Minutes February 2nd, 2015

Minutes in PDF format for download

United Community Partners
Board Meeting
MINUTES
February 2, 2015

Attendance
Board of Directors: Liz McLellan, President; Kat Davis, Secretary, Steve
White, Treasurer;
Celinda Miller, at-large; Bill Shields, at-large.
Absent: Milicent Simpson, at-large.

[NOTE: To avoid confusion caused by the use of black and white printers,
action and decision items are now indicated in bold italics. – Download the PDF for this formatting – link at top of page.]

1. “Check-ins” indicated all present were in fine fettle.

2.Minutes: The minutes were approved as submitted. Kat will bring hard copies of meeting materials to each meeting that can be copied as needed on-site for those without home printers.

3. Treasurer Nominations:Liz nominated Steve White as Treasurer. Second, Kat. There were no other nominations.

4.Treasurer Vote: Unanimous for Steve White as Treasurer.

5. Treasurer’s Report:Steve passed around an amended version of the January Treasurer’s Report, indicating that the amount being held for the Shade Sail project had been distributed, leaving a balance of $13,482.50 in assets.

  • Steve will send a PDF version of the reports to all Board members for their files.
  • Liz and Steve will discuss accounting program options and bring info to the March meeting.

6. Voting Process Discussion and vote:Three variations on UCP By-laws; Article III, Section 10 and Article III, Section 11, relating to the topics of voting, membership and quorum were discussed. The first version was submitted by Liz and based on the work of Bill and Celinda; the second was an update from Celinda; the third was submitted by Steve.

Following discussion, Kat was instructed to synthesize the results into a single document.

  • Kat will incorporate the changes into a single document and send out to the Board for review prior to the March 2 meeting.
  • Revision will be discussed and voted on at the March meeting.
  • Part of the compromise surrounding this discussion included modifying the Board members from the current “5” to a range of “5 – 7”.  This will require a formal vote in March.

7. Mission/Vision/Services Proposal: Using the original, four-page document as a base, Liz and Kat crafted a shorted version for the Board’s review.With changes
that included expanding the area served from Pine Valley to all communities in the Baker County Panhandle, the Vision and Mission statements were unanimously approved. The revised, approved versions are:

Vision: United Community Parters is dedicated to the success of Pine Valley and the Baker County Panhandle as home to vibrant communities informed by our rural heritage, nurtured by our natural wonders, guided by shared principles and sustained by the creative energy of people leading healthy,productive, rewarding lives.
APPROVED by unanimous vote, 2/2/15.

Mission: United Community Partners facilitates access to organizational assistance for citizen-led initiatives which stimulate economic activity, foster goodwill and fellowship, and enhance Pine Valley and Panhandle communities as rural places to live and work.
APPROVED by unanimous vote, 2/2/15.

Services to Support the Mission:

[Note: To clarify the connection between the Mission and Services, there was agreement to move this section so it immediately
follows the Mission.]

There was discussion but no vote on this section. Celinda recommended adding the words “local” and “business” to the list of entities served. She also suggested some formatting options. Additional suggestions included substitution of more commonly recognized phrasing (“organizational assistance” instead of “technical assistance”) elimination of non-profit terminology (capacity building) and less esoteric verbiage (“post and share” instead of “disseminate”). These and other changes will be incorporated into a new draft and sent to Board members for review.

There was consensus that UCP would continue to offer small grants. After considerable discussion, four of five present agreed that these grants should be made
following some standardized process and timeline that would be applied to all applicants. This will be discussed further at the March meeting.

•Kat will redraft the List of Services to incorporate recommended changes.
Celinda will review and provide suggestions for reformatting. The revised
document will be sent to the Board for review.

•The amended Services document will be discussed and voted on in March.
Due to the length of the meeting, discussion of “Our Values” was tabled
until March.

8. Project Selection Criteria:The Board reasserted it’s desire to make small direct grants. There was also consensus for establishing and following a selection process (see above). However, due to time constraints, discussion on project selection criteria was tabled until March.

9. Debit Card Request: Removed from the agenda by Liz who stated it could be revisited at a future meeting.

10. Open Discussion:Eliminated due to time.

11. Check outs:Eliminated due to time.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 PM
Submitted by Kat Davis, Secretary
2/3/15

Minutes – January 5th, 2015

Minutes in PDF format for download.

Attendance

Board of Directors: Liz McLellan, President; Kat Davis, Secretary; Bill Schuhle (aka T-Bill), outgoing Treasurer; Steve White, Treasurer; Celinda Miller, at large; Bill Shields (aka R-Bill), at large.

Absent: Ruai Gregory, at large; Milicent Simpson, at large.

General Membership: Larry Miller.

Minutes

The minutes were approved as submitted by Bill Schuhle, outgoing Secretary.

Treasurer’s Report

Outgoing Treasurer

Bill Schuhle presented the Financial Report for January. There was general discussion on the contribution received for the Shade Sail Project. Additional funds are expected to be raised before this amount is paid out. Liz and Bill provided an explanatory overview on UCP funds for the benefit of new members.

New Treasurer

Several individuals have declined the opportunity to serve as UCP Treasurer. Board member at large, Steve White has volunteered to serve in this capacity. T-Bill noted that Quickbooks training would be useful. Noting the difficulty in filling this position, Liz suggested that, should she be interested, Board member at large, Milicent Simpson may be willing to train for the Treasurer’s position in an “understudy” capacity.

Oregon Non-Profit Handbook

Following online discussion, Liz will purchase one copy of this resource book. Kat suggested she contact Baker County Library Director, Perry Stokes, to see if the public library would a) consider purchasing the book for the collection and b) make the copy available for the Halfway Branch Library. Another option would be for UCP to purchase the book, donate it, but have it cataloged for use at the Halfway Branch Library only. Barring this, UCP will purchase a copy and it will be housed in the Fellowship Hall with other documents. Liz will contact Mr. Stokes.

New Board Members

New Member at Large, Milicent Simpson and Secretary, Kat Davis were formally welcomed to the board.

Review of the Mission Statement

The discussion began with an overview of the history of UCP, the origin of funds and the relationship with other organizations and the City of Halfway. The emphasis and “energy” of UCP has evolved through time. Recently, there have been some problems with decision- making due to the lack of an up-to-date, relevant mission. Additionally, the bylaws need reworking to address issues caused by obscure phrasing and actual practice. Celinda and R-

Bill completed some initial work on this in 2014. They provided a brief overview of their efforts which focused on the need for definitions, especially for the meaning of “consensus” and what would constitute a quorum. The draft versions of their work will be sent to Liz. Celinda provided a hard copy of the current mission/vision statement. Liz shared this with the group, noting it is an unwieldy list more than a statement. Kat asked if the current activities of UCP have “strayed” from the original intent, or if the original intent was determined to be overreaching and therefor needs to be modified to match reality. Following discussion that included various models including project funder, community skill-building, “infrastructure” for community development and organizational facilitation, it was agreed that all these aspects of service could be incorporated into a mission as “strategies”. The discussion also challenged us to be mindful of “place” – that Pine

Valley has a deep heritage that may see UCP’s efforts in community development through a different lens. Liz will craft a draft version of the Vision, Mission, Strategies and Bylaws building on work already completed by other board members. This will be sent out for board review. Kat offered assistance with this project. Board members are asked to read the draft versions, submit suggestions and come to the February meeting ready to approve the documents or make any final changes needed. The new, complete documents are to be approved and posted by March so as to aid in addressing funding and project requests.

Previously Agreed Goals

  • Vision, Mission, Bylaws – to be reviewed and updated by March 2015 (see above)
  • Partner with Panhandle Chamber on an annual meeting with community non-profits to discuss priorities, projects and opportunities for collaboration – T-Bill (and possibly R-Bill) will attend January Chamber meeting to extend UCP’s offer to assist with such a venture.
  • Ford Family Foundation and NEOEDD collaboration – Liz to continue overtures. Board is asked to review NEOEDD planning document, sent out by prior email.
  • Distinguish between projects of UCP and work conducted by individual board members.
  • Establish and follow a formal process utilizing the existing selection criteria for all future activities.

Other

The Board expressed appreciation to Bill Schuhle for his work as Secretary and Treasurer.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:40 PM.

Next Meeting: Monday, February 2. 1:30 PM at the Presbyterian Fellowship Hall

Respectfully submitted,

Kat Davis, UCP Secretary

Minutes – December 1, 2014

Annual Meeting

Home of Larry & Celinda Miller, approximately 7:00-8:30pm

Present: Liz McLellan (President)*; Bill Schuhle (T-Bill) (Secretary/Treasurer)*; Celinda Miller*; Steve White*, Bill Shields (R-Bill)*  (* Board Member), Ruai Gregory, Milicent Simpson.

Note: UCP has been on hiatus since May of this year in part due to President Liz’s unavailability because of family matters requiring her attention. She thanked the group for their forbearance during that time.

Finance Report. T-Bill distributed copies of the finance report and read through it with the group. Ruai wondered about the amount paid to Bluehost for a year of hosting for our web site. Liz said she might be able to bring that down a bit by hosting it herself, but wasn’t sure. She and T-Bill agreed the amount paid to Bluehost was pretty typical.

Since UCP is sponsoring the Outdoor Women of Halfway calendar project and some of the report included figures for that, Milicent (who is involved in that project) was asked what the proceeds were to go for. She said possibly “homesteader”-type skills classes for women and possibly upgrading of local shooting ranges.

One item in the report was the annual CT-12 filing with the State and Liz requested of T-Bill that, as an aid to the incoming new treasurer, he make up a listing of all recurring payments UCP makes during the year. Bill agreed to this.

The Brokerage Account isn’t doing much, so Liz suggested our taking a look at that at some point.

Minutes: The minutes from the May meeting had been distributed by email for changes or corrections. No needed corrections were noted, so the minutes will stand as distributed.

2014 Recap: Liz reviewed the year’s accomplishments per her agenda outline emailed prior to the meeting and incorporated as part of these minutes as additional pages. T-Bill mentioned that the book “Bookkeeping for Non-Profits”, available at no cost from the Ford Family Foundation’s Select Books program, would be a good one to have in the organization. Milicent said she would order a copy.

Liz asked that folks let artists in the community know about her featuring of local artists’ work on the UCP web site.

In order to bring Milicent Simpson on as a new board member without first having attended three meetings, R-Bill moved to suspend the By-Laws. This was seconded by Steve White and the vote was unanimous in favor. With the By-Laws duly suspended, and the three-meeting requirement waived, it was agreed that Milicent, along with Kat Davis (not present), are now officially Board members. Liz enthusiastically welcomed Milicent to UCP and the Board with praise for her abilities and enthusiasm she had witnessed in the recent Ford Cohort training.

Liz asked for ideas for a possible new treasurer to replace T-Bill who is stepping down. Ruai suggested Zella Sly who is now back at U.S. Bank in Halfway and was UCP Treasurer for many years. Unfortunately, per T-Bill, she doesn’t do QuickBooks. She might still be a good resource. R-Bill suggested Deb Lowe who has done work for non-profits in the valley. Ruai suggested Eileen Monti, now retired from her IT position with the school system and a former member of UCP.

Open Discussion on Possibilities for 2015: Celinda said that, due to stipulations imposed by the Rodale Institute on the use of their materials, she would like to withdraw from our organization any materials that we’ve accumulated as well as any intention to pursue that community regeneration model as a possible UCP project and instead look into the possibility of the Ford Family Foundation providing guidance along those lines. She felt that keeping it as a UCP project would mean her being the point person for the project and she is otherwise occupied now. T-Bill said he would return to Celinda any materials he has on file.

Celinda wondered about how we make it known that UCP is available to assist with worthwhile projects. Ruai said the newspaper used to cover UCP meetings regularly and thought it would serve us well to have that happen again.

R-Bill reiterated the importance of an annual meeting of all the non-profit groups in the valley and it was agreed that planning for such a meeting in October, in partnership with the Hells Canyon Chamber which organized such a meeting last year, would now be on the UCP agenda, with the idea of possibly expanding it beyond non-profits as well.

R-Bill commented on the sorry state of the Chamber web site and hoped that UCP might be able to assist in putting that right. Liz said she’d be happy to work on it. It was agreed that, not speaking as UCP members but simply as individuals, we would encourage the Chamber to up their game with the web site in order to make it a real resource for the community rather than a frustration.

Liz reiterated our intention to work more closely with NEOEDD and the Ford Family Foundation during the next year.

There was discussion about UCP’s involvement in crowdfunding, particularly when the beneficiary is a private business, and Liz promised that we would explore and clarify any gray areas when it came to a possible UCP role in that. R-Bill suggested that, even though the by-laws give quite a bit of latitude in this regard, we would only rarely directly assist a private business and be more likely to fund an effort that benefited a number of businesses.

Steve reiterated the need to get something in the paper regarding UCP’s existence and offerings and agreed to write an article for submission. Liz suggested he post a draft to our Google Group for others’ contributions and also asked that he make sure the paper once again starts listing our meetings in the Community Calendar.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Minutes – May 19, 2014

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:40-2:50pm

Present: Liz McLellan (President)*; Bill Schuhle (T-Bill) (Secretary/Treasurer)*; Celinda Miller*; Steve White*, Bill Shields*  (* Board Member) (This meeting consisted of the entire board and only the board.)

Note: Our regular May meeting, which was originally scheduled for the 5th, was postponed until today because of folks being ill or out of town.

Finance Report. T-Bill distributed copies of the finance report and read through it with the group. There was some clarification needed on the new line added last month to show how much of the money in the checking account is restricted funds for a particular project, resulting in a bottom line for the account that represents our discretionary funds balance. Future finance reports will show separate accounts for the restricted funds balances and these accounts were set up with starting balances that reflected our retention of a 1% administrative fee. R-Bill questioned the necessity of setting up actual separate bank accounts and indicated that in his experience this often leads to left-over funds languishing which no one can access because the signer(s) on the account(s) are no longer around.
T-Bill will look into accounting methods for handling this that don’t involve separate accounts.

Minutes: T-Bill noted that the minutes from the April meeting had been distributed by email for changes or corrections. No needed corrections were noted, so the minutes will stand as distributed.

Professional Assistance Questions: Liz re-stated her concerns about defining what kinds of issues should be handled in a Ford board training workshop vs. specific legal and accounting advice that she and T-Bill might need on a sporadic basis. She said the latter was provided for in the bylaws and likely didn’t need board approval. There were questions about attorneys’ fees and the possibility of locating a pro bono attorney who deals with non-profit issues. Liz has not yet found such.

Fair Board Letter of Understanding/Fiscal Sponsorship: T-Bill passed out a draft copy of the letter he’s working on and everyone read through it. Steve asked if more of the reporting burden shouldn’t be on the Fair Association. It was concluded that shared responsibility for reporting, as stated in the draft letter was acceptable given T-Bill’s willingness to carry that out. Liz stated her joint desire, with T-Bill, to run this letter by a knowledgeable attorney. Steve suggested getting an estimate from an attorney before proceeding with a consultation. Celinda offered to locate information she has on a pro bono, non-profit-oriented legal organization in Oregon that she discovered online. R-Bill said he’d be happy to authorize spending up to $100 for a one-time consultation. This was agreed to by the group.

Appropriate Administrative Fee for Fiscal Sponsorship: Liz pointed out that our current 1% fee for sponsoring a project was well below the national average and opened the floor for discussion of this matter. The general agreement seemed to be that, given the financial condition of most individuals and organizations in the valley, and the amount of time spent on our part in administration, staying with the current 1% is appropriate.

New (2002 vs. 2001) Bylaws: Liz opened the issue that the 2001 bylaws on which we’ve been operating were revised in 2002 and we were never notified of this update (T-Bill discovered the revised version while looking through legacy documents received from Tony Sowers). R-Bill felt we should ignore (toss) the more recent version and stick with what we’ve known about. There was general disagreement with this idea since the revised version was adopted and has since been filed with the State. Celinda stated that she saw no problem applying the revision work that she and R-Bill have done to the newer version – it should be a simple process. Not directly related to the revisions, T-Bill pointed out that the bylaws list our principal office as being simply “located in Baker County, State of Oregon” while our forms filed with the State give this more specifically as Halfway City Hall. He asked if we might change that to the now-more-appropriate address of the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall (255 W. Church St., Halfway) and it was agreed that this be done.

T-Bill also asked about board members’ terms of office and the stipulation in the bylaws that these be staggered. Liz said she will create a web page with that information on it, so that should suffice for a record of this information.

Liz asked that everyone study and familiarize themselves with the revised bylaws and said she will be making them available on the web site in their annotated form. She also suggested discussing the staggering of board terms at our next meeting. She asked that Celinda provide us with a document incorporating the changes to the consensus portion of the bylaws that she and R-Bill have worked out. T-Bill offered to translate any PDF received from Celinda into an editable file for Liz’s use in posting.

Ford Workshop: Liz asked for specific things to be worked out at a Ford workshop. She mentioned “granting vs. grant writing” as one recurring issue. R-Bill mentioned “board liability”.  Celinda mentioned “separate bank accounts” for fiscal sponsorship obligations. She also wondered about the possibility of our operating on a seasonal schedule with no official meetings during the April-September period when most folks are busy with summer activities. Liz suggested trimming down our goals and vision statements to specific and realistic sizes given our small organization, clarifying our relationship to other organizations in the valley, and possibly putting a cap on dollar amounts we are willing to handle for proposed projects. She also suggested a “council committee” of folks from various orgs in the area to help determine where our resources would be best utilized.

Miscellaneous: Celinda asked if our Articles of Incorporation were ever found and T-Bill said “yes”. These will be made available as a PDF and as hard copy for the public files.

Organizational Archive: Liz indicated that the “discovery” of new bylaws shocked her into the realization that we need up-to-date, hard copy archives of our organization’s history. R-Bill has offered the use of a filing cabinet in the church annex for this purpose. T-Bill will see to it that these files are kept up-to-date.

Open Discussion: Steve asked about the shade sail project at the fairgrounds and T-Bill said there will be other contributors to that fund since the proposed budget is $15,000 and the initial Janzck donation was for $4,000. Celinda asked about shade at the MainStreet Stage. T-Bill offered that not scheduling anything between 4:00 and 6:00pm would solve that issue.

Liz suggested a summer meeting hiatus with any necessary business doable via email. This seemed to appeal to folks, so she will send out proposed dates for our Annual Meeting (due by August 30 per the bylaws) and possible dates in September for the Ford workshop. Celinda requested a phone call to alert her to important incoming emails as she checks hers only infrequently.

Steve wondered about UCP sponsoring board training not only for ourselves, but to be available to board members of any groups in town who could use some help with improved functioning. Liz said maybe it could be a two-day workshop with the first day being UCP-specific and the second open to the wider community.

Meeting adjourned at 2:50pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

2014 Annual Meeting Agenda – Dec. 1st, 2014

United Community Partners
Annual Meeting – Dec. 1st 2014

1. Treasurer’s Report – Minutes

2. Annual Meeting Delay – This meeting was supposed to happen by August 2014 but, due to family crises for Board President Liz McLellan, and also due to the difficulty of finding a meeting time where we would have a quorum of the Board – the annual meeting for UCP was delayed until December 1st.

3. Overview of 2014

Beginning in May 2014 the UCP Board was on an extended hiatus due to members conflicting commitments. These issues are not expected to continue into 2015.

Treasurer Bill Schuhle requested and received permission to update the UCP Board’s accounting system. He purchased Quickbooks for non-profits and moved our data to that system.

Liz and Bill came up with a place and system for maintaining hard copy records for the board after finding that records were spread all over the Valley. This is an ongoing project. Records are now housed in a file cabinet at the Presbyterian Fellowship Hall.

The Board worked through concerns and lack of clarity around the rules of Fiscal Sponsorship for projects in the Valley. This is ongoing work.

Board Members participated in Cycle Oregon’s Rural Communities Tour dinner with the intention of getting to know Cycle Oregon’s funders better.

The UCP website featured local artists – and hopes to continue to do so.

UCP assisted Outdoor Women of Halfway with their calendar project by acting as Fiscal Sponsor, assisting with social media promotion, order processing, donation processing and setting up project pages on the UCP website which allowed the group to have a home base online.

UCP funded grant-writing in the amount of $250.00 for Denise Cairns Gym group.

UCP funded Friends of the Library garden revamping project in the amount of $500.00.

UCP acted as fiscal sponsor for the revamp of the gating system at the Pine Valley fairgrounds for the Pine Valley Fair Board.

UCP acted as fiscal sponsor for the Shade Sail Joint Project between Pinefest and Pine Valley Fair Board. This is continuing into 2015.

4. Board Scheduling and Attendance

Regular UCP monthly meetings will resume the first Monday of the month – at Presbyterian Hall if Rev. Bill is agreeable. Regular board attendance for board members is expected going forward. Please schedule around them and if you are not able to attend please call or email Liz one week in advance.

5. Board Elections and Staggering

First term of current board

June 2013 – June 2015

Liz McLellan President
Bill Schuhle Treasurer, Secretary
Steve White Board Member
Celinda Miller Board Member
Rev. Bill Shields Board Member

Both Celinda Miller and Bill Schuhle have asked to come off the board before their second year is done. As we have discussed staggering board elections for continuity this is not a problem for the UCP board and actually in the long run will help with board stability.

Kat Davis has volunteered to act as Board Secretary (Interim) and will begin that role in January 2015 to relieve Bill Schuhle from duties as secretary. If anyone would like to run against Kat Davis as Permanent Secretary – please speak up now. We will have a special election in March for this position, as Kat will have attended 3 meetings and therefore be able to run formally for the position with any opponent who would like to run.

As for Treasurer, we have had little luck in finding a willing candidate for Treasurer’s position. This is of deep concern as this is a critical role to the functioning of the organization.

It may be that we need to hire someone to provide this service.

Proposal – Board Appointments 2015-2017 (Staggering Terms)

Please refer to 2002 Bylaws Section – Article IV – Section 2 Also if you do not have a copy of the Bylaws – Please print one out for yourself.

UCP BYLAWS – Section 2

Selection of Board Members. For the establishment of the initial Board, 2 members of the corporation ( persons who have attended at least three meetings) shall be appointed by the Halfway City Council. The remaining three members shall be appointed by consensus of the members of the corporation. Eash year thereafter upon expiration of a Board member’s term of office, the membership shall renew or appoint new Board members by consensus.

Proposal Text:

To stagger the board elections Celinda and Bill – should have come off the board in June. But, as a favor to the organization both have stayed on even though they both intended to step down. We have been in hiatus since May 2014, not actively meeting.

For the purposes of staggering the elections as recommended in the 2002 Bylaws – May we assume that Celinda and Bill were acting as Interim board members between June 2014 and December 2014?

That we are appointing 2 new board members for a term of service that will run January 2015 – June 2017.

That the 3 remaining Board members (Liz McLellan, Steve White and Rev. Bill Shields) terms will expire in June 2016. And at that time 3 new board members will be appointed or renewed by consensus as stated in the 2002 Bylaws?

All in Favor?
All opposed?

___________________________________________________

6. Open Discussion – Looking towards 2015

8:30 Adjourn – Socialize

7. Next Meeting: January 5th 1:30 PM Presbyterian Fellowship Hall

Wild Harvest 2015 – Outdoor Women of Halfway Calendar is HERE!

It’s been a few months but Outdoor Women of Halfway pulled this first calendar together just in time for Christmas!

Featuring the photographic work of Michelle Butner Photography and many of the intrepid gameswomen of Pine Eagle – Get yours TODAY!

The calendar is a fundraising project of Outdoor Women of Halfway with these goals in mind:

  • To visually present women hunting, fishing and otherwise gathering the bounty of nature in a way that shares the full story of what living close to the land means to us. From tracking, camaraderie around the campfire, to preparing wholesome food for our families, the outdoor life from a woman’s perspective is a tapestry of experiences and traditions that is a story seldom told.
  • To dispel misconceptions about harvesting wild foods and the women and families who do so.
  • To raise funds for community projects that focus on outdoor safety and education, especially focusing on people new to these activities, women and children.

Read more about the project

Purchase Calendar Online

ucp_new_OWH_SAN
ucp_new_OWH_PFucp_new_OWH_LYucp_new_OWH_JNucp_new_OWH_CD

Minutes – April 7, 2014

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 2:00-2:20pm

Present: Liz McLellan (President)*; Bill Schuhle (T-Bill) (Secretary/Treasurer)*; Celinda Miller*; Denise Cairns Absent: Steve White*, Bill Shields*, Ruai Gregory, Larry Miller (* Board Member)

Opening Comment by Liz: Our meeting was scheduled be begin at 1:30. By 2:00 there were four people present – not enough to carry on the bylaws discussion, so that will be skipped for this meeting.

Minutes: T-Bill noted that the minutes from the March meeting had been distributed by email for changes or corrections. No needed corrections were noted, so the minutes will stand as distributed.

Finance Report. T-Bill distributed copies of the finance report and read through it with the group. There were no questions or corrections. He has added a line to show how much of the money in the checking account is restricted funds for a particular project/grantee, resulting in a bottom line for the account that represents our discretionary funds balance.

Halfway Community Gym Funds Request: Denise Cairns was again present representing the gym to receive word on their request last month for assistance in the amount of $250 to pay for grant writing to fund the purchase of a new treadmill and elliptical trainer for the gym. A quorum of the Board was present and voted unanimously to approve such a payment. T-Bill will get a check to Denise forthwith.

Friends of the Library Grant Check. Liz requested that T-Bill also prepare a check in the amount of $500 for the grant we approved to the library group for garden work. T-Bill indicated that Linda Collier had provided to Liz the requested budget and plan drawing and that Liz would scan and distribute. Bill said the group didn’t need the funds until June, so that gives us time to finalize our granting paperwork to include with the check. Liz made it clear she didn’t want to hold up other groups’ work because we are not yet clear on our paperwork and requested that T-Bill write up an interim letter that would suffice until our bylaws discussion has taken place and our official paper work is in place. Bill will do this.

UCP Web Site. Liz pointed out that she had recently featured the photography of Phil Wreden on the site and plans to continue featuring the work of others in the future to help keep the site fresh and attractive and give some visibility to local artists. She asked that if others have artists they’d like to see featured to let her know. She also would like to set up a paid internship for a high school senior to learn blogging and how to feature artists and other valley residents on the web site. She will offer a formal proposal next month.

Cycle Oregon: Liz mentioned that Cycle Oregon was coming to Halfway this year and Bill clarified that it was not the huge group that has come in the past, but rather an “elite” tour of 30 participants, each paying $3,000, $1,000 of which is going directly into a fund in support of small rural communities in Oregon. There was general enthusiasm all around for what C.O. has brought to town in the past and for its return.

Meeting adjourned at 2:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Local Artist – Phil Wreden Wrangles Light in the Pine-Eagle Valleys

Big Thanks to Phil for letting us share his photography here. If you are a local artist get in touch – We’d love to feature your work here! Find more of Phil Wreden’s photography on his Flickr site or come by Halfway Whimsical Artists Co-op in downtown Halfway For copyright info contact Phil Wreden via his Flickr page.

Minutes – March 3, 2014

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:40-3:35pm

Present: Liz McLellan (President)*; Bill Schuhle (T-Bill) (Secretary/Treasurer)*; Rev. Bill Shields (R-Bill)*; Celinda Miller*; Larry Miller; Ruai Gregory; Denise Cairns   (* Board Member) Absent: Steve White*

Minutes: There was no meeting held in February. T-Bill noted that the minutes from the January meeting had been distributed by email for changes or corrections. He asked if anyone had noted any needed corrections. There were none, so the minutes will stand as distributed.

Finance Report. T-Bill distributed copies of the finance report and read through it with the group. Liz took a minute to explain the two deposits from her that were entered in February. She made those so that she could make good on her promise to carpenter Kert Lorence to raise funds online to compensate him for his work on the Jacob’s Dream Seed Sharing Station. She had failed to raise the money online, so covered that promise with personal donations.

Halfway Community Gym Funds Request: Denise Cairns was present representing the gym. She indicated that the gym was going through growing pains and that she and Karen Andruss were involved in working through those. She asked that UCP join them as a partner for fund-raising purposes and to take advantage of online funding options that had been proposed to them by Liz. She was not asking for any direct donations from UCP, but rather for financial help with grant-writing to raise the funds needed for equipment replacement, currently a new treadmill at a cost of $5-6,000 of which they already have about $2,000 saved from dues collected.

She explained the awkward position they’re in, being housed in the Elementary School and using equipment donated by John and Mary Jo Binford to the school, but not actually being a part of the school system. Their funds are currently being held in a special account by the school, but she wishes to change that so as to remove any appearance of their being a school function as the Ford Family Foundation in particular does not make grants for school-related projects and they hope to apply to Ford. They are in negotiations with school superintendent Mike Corley about the school possibly gifting the equipment to them. She asked about a special account being set up where donations would go. T-Bill said we would do that and could then pay vendor(s) of new equipment directly from that account. Celinda mentioned our 1% administrative handling fee that would be charged. T-Bill said that his current research indicated that 7%-15% was the normal range elsewhere. The general consensus was that a smaller amount, no more than 5% and likely the current 1%, would be appropriate for our local situation. A vote was taken on whether we wished to partner with the gym and the result was a unanimous “yes”. Liz offered to add a page on the gym to the UCP web site, including a PayPal donation option. She also suggested that T-Bill’s design skills might be put to use making membership cards. Lisa O’Kelley at the elementary school is our contact with the school district.

Fiscal Partnership Discussion. T-Bill, expressing confusion from his research on the subject, read from Oregon and Minnesota non-profit web sites some information about “fiscal sponsorship”, the official term for what we do when we partner with another project or organization to facilitate fundraising in particular. He indicated that something listed on Wikipedia as a “Pre-Approved Grant Relationship” seemed to best describe what we’ve done, e.g., with the grandstands project. He also said he’d be much more comfortable having a lawyer’s help in sorting out all the sometimes-conflicting information he’s finding and distilling it down to a couple of simple forms. R-Bill suggested contacting the Ford Family Foundation because of their offered capacity-building services since we now have some specific questions to ask. He also suggested narrowing our outreach to other nonprofit-oriented organizations for help to two: the Ford Family Foundation and the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD). It seems that these partnership-related questions could be addressed during the board training that we were planning to have with Ford following the conclusion of the current Leadership training program. T-Bill will get together a list of specific questions and, along with Liz, confer with Maurizio of Rural Development Initiatives (presenters of the Ford training) to work out the next step(s).

Discussion on Voting & Consensus: T-Bill and Liz had a long visit with UCP founding member Tony Sowers several weeks ago and Bill recalled that Tony was pretty adamant that the consensus process adopted at the inception of UCP to give voice and influence to all perspectives in the community should not be jettisoned. R-Bill, who was present during the early days of UCP, spoke to the genesis of the use of consensus for decision-making and concluded that it was: a) never followed and b) never worked. Therefore he sees no sense in pursuing it as our guiding principal in the present. He agrees with working within the spirit of consensus, but not a model of strict consensus. Liz asked for a re-statement of R-Bill and Celinda’s recommendations for modifying the by-laws. Bill said they were pretty long, so he will send to Liz who will mail them to the UCP list. Celinda emphasized that, even though under the proposed new procedures, the Board would be the sole voting body, a decision would be taken only after doing our best to read the pulse of the community and after considered discussion. Liz asked if it made sense to include wording to the effect that those casting dissenting votes should have an opportunity to propose changes that would enable them to vote positively. R-Bill seemed to think that that could get us once again mired down in process rather than accomplishment.

Ruai returned to the voting issue with questions about our definition of “members” and how problematic the current definition has been in the past. R-Bill suggested eliminating membership altogether as not necessary for a 501(c)(3). It also becomes much less important if the board becomes the sole decision-making body. He suggested that if membership were to be continued, it could be predicated on payment of, say, dues of $50/yr. (similarly to the Lions or Grange). Liz expressed a desire to “hammer out” both the voting and membership issues in our next meeting and R-Bill and Celinda will work up a membership proposal to be distributed in the interim along with their voting proposal.

Discussion & Vote on Friends of the Library $500 Grant Request: Celinda voiced discomfort with our giving direct grants as she hasn’t been able to locate that provision in her reading of UCP’s founding documents and wondered if UCP founder Tony Sowers might clarify that for us. Liz emphasized that we need to table the discussion of whether or not we give out money and vote yea or nay on the Library proposal which is already on the table under our prior understanding. Larry asked how we keep the flow of funds going if those to whom we give money do not return something to us down the road. Denise commented that, “That’s what a grant is: you don’t pay it back”. R-Bill suggested reconsidering our income stream from administrative fees – that maybe that could be raised by upping our 1% fee. He also pointed out that we decided some time ago to ask of grantees that if at some point in the future they become flush, to remember us by giving something back. Liz emphasized her desire that UCP be “the wind beneath the winds” of other worthy organizations in the community and in no way perceived as stingy, it being our role to obtain funds to provide support to others. R-Bill suggested bringing this issue up in our board training with Ford. He also suggested we come up with a maximum dollar amount that we are comfortable with giving out for any particular grant as well as a lower limit of our reserves beyond which we would not want to go and at which point replenishing would be in order. Liz asked that any other items that folks come up with that they would like to be included in the Ford board training, to please email them to her.

Celinda expressed concern regarding the difference between giving a “hand up” and a “handout” and the need to avoid engendering dependence rather than growth and independence. Denise pointed out that major foundations have huge “principal funds” and they make grants from the income on those funds. We do not have such a fund, so would need to engage in fund-raising in order to have grant funds. Liz expressed her strong position of looking at people who come to us for money as real “doers” in the community who we can support based on their record of accomplishments.

Preschool Report: Ruai informed us that there is a lot of money available right now for early childhood education and the preschool is working on a major grant application – due March 28th – in collaboration with the school district which, under the circumstances, worked better strategically than going through UCP as they have done numerous times in the past. She said that, should this somehow not work out, she might need/want to come to UCP to act as fiscal sponsor. A vote was taken and it was unanimous that we would enter into that partnership should the need arise.

Open Discussion: Celinda asked for T-Bill’s and Liz’s perceptions of UCP and the things we’ve been discussing. Bill asked for specifics. Celinda expressed concern about board member succession – how to keep the organization going – and about her aversion to fund-raising. Liz went first and reiterated her “wind beneath the wings” comment, seeing UCP as a supporting infrastructure for energies that already exist and helping them to flourish. Anything beyond that would involve more professional board members versed in the legal and fundraising areas. T-Bill thought Liz has expressed all this very well and basically said, “Ditto”.

Return to Library Grant Vote. R-Bill pointed out that we currently stand at a “no” vote under our existing bylaws given Celinda’s abstention and Larry’s “no” vote. Liz asked what might change either or both of those votes. Celinda: making sure this is the end of our grant-giving until we determine that this is a proper activity under our bylaws. Larry: if we can get a plan (drawing) as promised from the library group showing what they are to do so that we can exercise some oversight of how our funding is spent. With these agreements in place, the vote was now unanimous in favor of funding the library project in the amount of $500. T-Bill will contact Linda Collier re: copying their plans and budget for our records.

Closing comments: Liz asked that over the next few weeks, all of us email to her any issues that we wish to have covered in the board training to be set up with Ford/RDI. Liz invited Denise to consider joining UCP. Larry and Celinda invited anyone who was interested to join them at a small business training in Ontario in mid-April being put on by RDI.

Action Items Summary:

  1. With regard to fiscal sponsorship, T-Bill will get together a list of specific questions and, along with Liz, confer with Maurizio of Rural Development Initiatives to work out the next step(s).
  2. R-Bill and Celinda to write up recommendations for modifying the by-laws and email them to Liz for distribution to the mail list.
  3. R-Bill and Celinda to work up a membership proposal to be distributed in the interim along with their voting proposal.
  4. All members to email Liz with any other items they would like to have included in the forthcoming Ford board training.
  5. T-Bill to contact Linda Collier re: copying the library garden project plans and budget for our records.

Meeting adjourned at 3:35pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer