Board of Directors

Regular Meeting -- September 17, 2017

The Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 2:40 pm. The following directors (constituting a quorum of the full board) were present at the meeting: President Kathy Lee, Secretary John McGarey (by phone), Treasurer Penny Chambers (by phone), Lia Nelson and Kim Pillsbury. Robert McGarey (Executive Director), Bonnie Thomas and Sunney Keathley were also present at the meeting.

Reading of Mission Statement and Approval of Minutes

The Mission Statement was read aloud at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes from the previous meeting were read aloud and approved as read.

Executive Director's Report

Financial Planning. The financial subcommittee came up with recommendations about how to utilize the funds we have in the bank, and the board reaffirmed their recommendations: that we maintain a $10k target cushion with a minimum $5k, that we meet our current needs for Mini-Split even if it goes under $10k, and that after that we put the excess above $10k towards the art barn.

Art Barn. The board discussed the art barn and the progress that has already been made. We are actively estimating the costs and cleaning it out. We discussed possible added concrete underneath the toilet due to the need for a fall down to the sewer line. Bob attempted to hire a plumber (Steve Hanson) to consult and give us an estimate, but he wasn't available. Bob will call Bruce David Johnson to get an estimate from him.

Mini-Split. Bob ordered the new whisper quiet mini-split. It should be installed this week. at a cost of $3200 installed

Other Updates. Fifteen people attended Saturday night's video, from a number of different sources. Financially there is $13.5k in the bank after all bills, and we have no insurance payments coming up until February. After the mini-split is paid, we will be right around $10k. The members-only progressive dinner has been delayed. The water usage at the HPC was way up but the toilet in the Cottage was running regularly and when Bob fixed it there is much less water usage (roughly $75/mo). Bob is consulting with a good business consultant for the center.

Getting Volunteer Help. Penny cleaned the back porch and made a pleasant change for the feel of the center. Suggestions: inviting people 15min early for the events; putting up a list of things that could be done around the center if someone has a few minutes; using Google Forms to keep track of this. It was noted that if volunteers help, they feel a sense of ownership, and people taking the initiative is valuable to Bob in order to really get things done around the center.

Renters. - Laurel left and Austin took over her cottage. Bonnie went month to month so in October we will send an invitation for people to start bidding on it. Austin is behind on his events (not on volunteer hours) to such an extent as to start eviction proceedings. There are enough events this month so that if he attended them he could be fine by the end of the month, but he hasn't attended any yet. Consequently, if there are no events he has attended by October 1, eviction will begin.

Solar Panels. An anonymous donor has volunteered to pay for solar for the center as a matching fund. Bob said a matching fund would be great, but someone would need to volunteer to take this task and run with it. Penny is researching options and costs for installations.

Conference. The 2016 conference was done in an incredibly short time frame and more realistically we need one to 1-1/2 years. Step 1 is getting a conference coordinator who is committed to staying involved for that time frame. We were burned by our previous one disappearing.

Fundraiser. Discussed doing a fundraiser where Sunney would do numerology readings and someone else could draw caricatures. Our nonprofit consultant tells us that we should do a fundraising activity quarterly. However, Bob says he is not going to take on this responsibility personally. Sunney suggested a committee to do fundraising. She says: "Feeling our way into a more efficient way of organizing the 'basecamp' here so that our founder and leader is free to go out and make public appearances which in turn has (according to our experience) informed the public on the incredible service that we have here." Sunney will meet with another volunteer to figure out how to get started; they can take smaller steps.

Since there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at around 4:15 pm.