Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-3:10pm
Present: Liz McLellan (President)*; Bill Schuhle (T-Bill) (Secretary/Treasurer)*; Rev. Bill Shields (R-Bill)*; Steve White*; Celinda Miller*; Larry Miller, Ruai Gregory (* indicates Board Member)
Minutes: Liz asked if there were any objections to the minutes as sent out via email. Celinda indicated she had offered a correction to Bill via email which he said he had fixed. As there were no objections, the minutes were adopted.
Finance Report. T-Bill passed out copies of both the main finance report and an updated accounting of how the Ford Family Foundation grant for the MainStreet Stage had been spent. He indicated that next month’s report should show approximately $1,086.00 more in the checking account when funds spent for Stage equipment would be reimbursed to us by the Hells Canyon Chamber.
The bottom line on the Ford accounting sheet indicated about $156 as yet unspent. Bill asked for suggested items/materials for the stage that could be purchased with this money so that he could contact Ford for appropriate permissions and an extension of the purchasing deadline which had already passed. Liz asked that R-Bill and others interested draw up a list of needed items to give to T-Bill and that he present those to Ford for approval. Ruai stressed that Ford appreciates photographs in a final grant report, especially where a building is involved.
T-Bill indicated he’d like to follow up on Liz’s suggestion of purchasing some accounting training time from local CPA Kelly Higgins. R-Bill indicated this might be an expensive proposition. Alternatives were discussed with the bottom line being that T-Bill was voted permission to spend up to $200 (a price he said he had found online) for a copy of QuickBooks Nonprofit which is accounting software designed both structurally and terminology-wise to fit the needs of non-profit organizations. Ruai also suggested former UCP treasurer Zella Sly as someone who would likely be willing to help out with accounting questions. T-Bill said he would contact her. R-Bill pointed out that Veryl Waldron uses QuickBooks and could be a source of advice as well.
Record-keeping Discussion: Liz reiterated her position that all money going out of UCP needs to have records that account for it. R-Bill felt that we have not made it clear to grant recipients exactly what the expectations are and that therefore after-the-fact requests for detailed receipts have met with some resistance. A clear, up-front policy and signed agreement could prevent these problems. T-Bill and Liz agreed to put together draft agreement, simple and to the point, to present to the group.
T-Bill talked about the year 2000-era computer he had received from Sue Forrester which contained many files related to the early days of UCP and the forestry project plus the Granite Peaks assisted living facility project. Bill said he could provide a more complete inventory next month of what was there and a determination could be made about what to print and file. Liz suggested that anything having to do with finances should probably be saved.
Ruai said it would be really nice to have brief summaries of the results of all the various projects that UCP has supported/been involved in over the years and indicated that this has not been something that has been done nearly enough. She agreed to see about getting something written up on the Pine Eagle Education Foundation and the Pre-School in particular.
Liz will request a paragraph about the recycling project from Linda Collier if we no not have one. She will also update the web site with these reports and add a means for online donations to the pre-school project.
The existing timeline chart of UCP accomplishments up through 2008 needs to be brought current.
Bylaws and Voting Discussion. It was clarified that, per the bylaws, a quorum for making decisions consists of three board members present (60% of the five-member board). R-Bill contended that the consensus/voting section of the bylaws is cumbersome and is influenced by the definition of “member” which is strange. He said that at the recent training in Baker, it was suggested that non-profits not even have members, but simply a board that is responsible for decision-making within the organization. He suggested that consensus be defined as “unanimous minus one”. Steve pointed out that with only board members voting, and a quorum requirement of three, two members could make decisions. Other options, such as re-defining “membership”, were discussed and this included the possibility of a signed membership agreement, a set membership term, loss of membership for non-attendance, and charging an annual membership fee. Celinda recommended that a quorum of the board consist of all five members. R-Bill pointed out that this could preclude needed action in a deadline-driven situation. T-Bill suggested a necessary minimum of three affirmative votes of the five board members to make a decision which was re-stated by R-Bill as “a majority of the board” as opposed to “a majority of a quorum”. Liz suggested that a committee of interested members address the issue and R-Bill and Celinda agreed to head up such an effort.
Ford Leadership Program Update. R-Bill suggested that UCP keep the list of community projects that has been compiled at the Ford training as possible projects for UCP to consider. So far, the training group has whittled an original field of 30 suggested projects down to four: 1) a timebank; 2) a re-building of Lions Park in Halfway and a similar venue in Richland with playground equipment, etc.; 3) a youth after-school activities program; and 4) an area history project involving the local museum.
Liz indicated that, either via the local investing program underway at NEOEDD, or independently of that program, a timebank may be in the works even if it is not chosen as the Ford group project.
Open Discussion. Ruai said we still haven’t heard back from Sally Andrews about what’s happening with the oral history project that UCP contributed to and that was to be carried out by Sally and her daughter Vicki Johnson.
Ruai also reported that Cindy Delcurto, new parent representative member of the pre-school board, is out actively soliciting funds for the pre-school. The issue was raised of the use by the pre-school (and other organizations) of UCP’s 501(c)(3) status for fund-raising without adequate accountability for the funds so raised. R-Bill made the point that funds given to a 501(c)(3) are in the public domain and if passed to a non-501(c)(3) which subsequently fails, the funds must be returned to the donating 501(c)(3) or passed on to another 501(c)(3) so as to remain in the public domain. He also made it clear that any donations made to take advantage of our 501(c)(3) status need to be made to us directly and there needs to be a signed contract with the receiving organization (pre-school, etc.) as to how the funds are to be spent and what kind of reporting is required. Ruai said she will let Cindy know how she needs to proceed in her fund-raising efforts based on these considerations. Ruai will also give us a report at our next meeting of what’s happening at the pre-school and how funds raised through UCP have been spent.
Meeting adjourned at 3:10pm.
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer
First Monday of the Month – Presbyterian Fellowship Hall 1:30pm
From Hells Canyon Journal Article by Linda Collier
The Pine Valley Cross Country Ski Club is getting ready for the skiing season. At the club’s November meeting, members discussed various aspects of the season relating to the primary goal of the club, which is to bring cross-country skiing to the students of the school, and then to community members.
Members of the community are invited to become members of the club. For $10 per household, family members can use sets of skis and ski on groomed trails on weekends when the ski room is open. Of that $10, $6 goes to the Oregon Nordic Club, a statewide cross-country skiing organization. Pine Valley Cross Country Ski Club is a chapter of the statewide club, which provides liability insurance and nonprofit status, plus professional support and advice. Liability insurance means that more groomed skiing will be available on land owned locally, and nonprofit status means that all donations are tax deductible.
The remaining $4 of the $10 membership goes to the local club, to pay for skis, grooming equipment, and snowmobile gas.
In order to better meet the needs of younger skiers, additional sets of skis, boots and bindings are being purchased. These are being purchased because of cash donations throughout the past year by the Tyler Foundation, Snake River PCS, Pine Telephone,
Jacob’s Dream, NW Ski Foundation, and Brook and Lois Moore. Members, with help from Marvin Brisk, are manufacturing more grooming equipment, which will be pulled by a snowmobile donated by Idaho Power. Members are also building more storage facilities at the ski room at the grade school. Skis and boots are being cleaned and readied for skiing.
Officers will be meeting with school representatives to discuss arrangements for physical education classes. At this time, it is expected that students from fourth through twelfth grades will be given a chance to learn to ski through their physical education classes.
Those classes will start sometime in January and continue as long as there is snow.
New officers were elected at the November meeting. Officers are Linda Collier, Galen West, Mary Jo St. Clair, and Tom Collier. Retiring officers are Tom Nash and Ivy Wreden.
“The club would like to thank Tom and Ivy for their services during the first year. The club would also like to thank all of our generous donors, without whom this endeavor would not be possible,” said Tom Collier on behalf of the Pine Valley Ski Club.
The community is invited to become members of the Pine Valley Cross Country Ski club.
Send $10 per household to:
36410 Valley View Lane,
Halfway, OR 97834
For that membership, family members can use sets of skis and ski on groomed trails on weekends when the ski room is open.
If you have any questions, please call any of the club officers.
For more information see the Ski Club Project Page
Please note: This list is primarily the criteria the group uses for funding decisions. Those funding decisions are made by the group in meetings. If you would like to participate in these funding discussions please become a member by attending three meetings. We meet on the first Monday of the month at Presbyterian Fellowship Hall at 1:30 P.M.
Members often choose to volunteer to support projects in the area on their own. Individual members have their own criteria for choosing which projects they volunteer their own time.
- The project meets UCP goals and objectives
- There is a desire in the community for the project
- The project has short and long-term benefits to the community; benefits are viewed as economic or quality of life.
- The project is viable and doable.
- UCP has the means in both dollars and labor to pursue the request.
- The level of participation of UCP is acceptable.
- The request must fit our non-profit status
- The applicant must have the ability to pay for services , including legal counsel if UCP determines this is necessary.
In review process
Please write a page or two about your project and how it fits into our priorities. Our members all anxious to help projects which improve our economy and quality of life.
If you would like United Community Partners to consider the project you have in mind please feel free to call Liz McLellan and discuss your plans and how best to present your project to the larger group. She can also get your project on the agenda for the group if it already meets the above criteria.
Please attend two consecutive meetings before proposing your project.
We meet the first Monday of the month at Presbyterian Fellowship Annex at 1:30 PM. Everyone is welcome.
If you are unable to attend or if the project is an “emergency”…please feel free to call Liz (5490) and discuss getting your concern on the agenda for our next meeting.
Here’s some wonderful photos from Pinefest this past summer. We can’t wait for Pinefest 2014!
For more about Pinefest go to pinefest.org
Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-2:35pm
Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Steve White, Celinda Miller, Mark Christianson
Absent: Bill Shields, Ruai Gregory, Larry Miller, Denise Christianson
Preliminary Question: Liz asked what constituted a quorum for decision-making purposes. Bill Schuhle said he thought 2/3 for board decisions, but wasn’t sure about general meetings.
Minutes: Liz asked for any objections to the minutes as sent out via email. She indicated that objections should be stated by email so corrections could be made, asking that Celinda pass that info along to Larry. There were no objections, so the minutes were considered adopted.
Finance Report. The finance report, which included information on both UCP’s grant to the MainStreet Stage and the grant from the Ford Family Foundation to UCP for the stage, was approved and is available separately. Bill stated that he would very soon be requesting a report from the Cornucopia Arts Council on how UCP’s $2,000 grant for Pine Fest was spent. He also reported on the destruction of UCP’s debit card based on the strong recommendation in the financial stewardship sessions recently in Baker that these NOT be a part of non-profit organizations’ financial tools as they are too open to abuse. USBank is offering a new credit card designed specifically for organizations like UCP with several advantages over a debit card and Bill said he would apply for one if that was agreeable to the group, which it was.
After Bill explained the current status of the Ford grant as being approximately $150 still available, but with the official deadline for disbursement past, it was agreed that he would contact Ford about an extension and inquire about the use of the funds for stage wall finishing (which is a different use than stated in the grant application).
Bill also explained an anti-embezzlement practice suggested in Baker of not having the person who writes the checks be the same person who signs them. It was agreed that, as a practice, henceforth Bill, as Treasurer, will write our checks and Liz, as President, will sign them.
Liz’s Letter to the Editor: Liz asked if there were comments or feedback on her letter to the Hells Canyon Journal attempting to clarify her role and UCP’s role in online fund-raising for Eagle Valley Orchards. People seemed to like the letter. Liz said she would think about re-structuring the way she handles fund-raising, particularly when the recipient is a business vs. a non-profit. Liz commented on the “bang-up” summer we’ve had with fund-raising, events at the MainStreet Stage, Pine Fest, etc. Steve suggested some kind of newspaper write-up about it all.
Ford Leadership Training. Liz, Larry, Celinda, and Bill Shields are participating in the Ford training being held in Halfway over several months. Liz and Celinda both reported being very enthusiastic about their experience so far and what they are getting from the training. Liz asked that folks consider ideas – and put the word out that the group is seeking ideas – for what they might adopt as their project to accomplish for the local community. Steve suggested augmenting the cross-country ski program.
Center for Non-Profit Stewardship Training. Liz, Celinda, Bill Schuhle, and Bill Shields, as UCP board members, attended this one-day training in Baker City. It was primarily about the legalities and responsibilities of serving on a non-profit board. There were several sessions related to finance as well as sessions on board and membership recruitment and succession planning. Bill and Liz commented on their pleasure at meeting and talking with Kirk Harvey, Chief Investigator for the Oregon Department of Justice, how helpful he was, and how very much “on our side” he is.
Bylaws Proposal. Liz, after looking through the bylaws, has concluded that re-working them will not be the huge task we have been envisioning since they mostly consist of boilerplate legal wording which we will not be changing. She asked that we specifically look over the section on voting, quorum, and membership, and see if there are things there that we would like to change. This discussion will be on the agenda for our November meeting. She feels that the Vision & Strategy Statement is ripe for updating and offered to form an ad hoc committee of herself, Bill Shields, and maybe one other person, to compact the vision statement and bring it back to the group for discussion in December or January. Liz will send out emails regarding these two separate discussions and how to prepare for them. She also suggested placing a discussion of our goals for the coming year on the December/January agenda.
Open Discussion: Steve offered the idea of an ice skating rink in Lions Park as a possible Ford community project. Liz recommended creating a skills matrix as part of any board recruitment effort to see where gaps might be that could specifically be filled by a new board member. She also proposed the possibility of hiring an accountant (local CPA Kelly Higgins?) for a couple of hours of coaching for treasurer Bill Schuhle if he thought that would be helpful, which he did.
Meeting adjourned at 2:35pm.
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer
Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-1:50pm
Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields, Mark Christianson
Absent: Ruai Gregory, Denise Christianson, Steve White, Larry & Celinda Miller
Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read to the group along with an accounting, received from Lauri Bryan (Hells Canyon Chamber Treasurer) of how our UCP grant of $5,000 for construction of the MainStreet Stage was disbursed. Liz requested that a brief descriptive word or two be added to the Eagle Valley Feed & Seed entries which lacked same. Bill agreed to do this. Constructions costs came to right at $5,500 with the Chamber covering the additional $500. A copy of that report is available separately as well. No further additions or corrections to the finance report were suggested.
Bandstand Update. Bill Shields indicated that Deanne Johnson was doing some test colorings for possible use on the stage’s back wall. Lauri Bryan and Denise Christianson have discussed an overlaying latticework of some kind. Bill Shields indicated it would be the Chamber’s decision as to how to proceed. The stage is now in their hands and no longer a necessary agenda item for UCP.
Pine Fest Update. Liz said fundraising was coming along well. Mark said that during his recent time on the East Coast, he met folks who knew about Pine Fest. Amazement all around.
Upcoming Board Training. Liz asked for suggestions for her to pass on to Mauricio for an upcoming training. Bill Shields suggested our need for a unified view of what we mean by “consensus”. Liz wants to know the process for changing bylaws.
Meeting adjourned at 1:50pm.
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer
So I thought I would give some more general information on crowdfunding and the new economic models emerging in the wake of the banking collapse in 2008 which constricted the ability to get anything done if it required a bank’s approval.
More information at National Crowdfunding Association which covers the new equity or investment crowdfunding rules coming up to protect consumers.
We are much larger than the 1200 or so people in the Pine Valley area. Our personal and professional networks combined together are very large. Here’s a great article on understanding just how big the extended network of 1000 people might be:
There are thousands of platforms popping up which are specific to different types of crowdfunding from the very personal (weddings, medical emergencies), to creative (writers, film, musicians) community(solar projects, school gardens, art or hack spaces) and scientific research projects. Here is a very short list of what is out there.
Here is a list focused on business and start ups – lots of equity/investment platforms here.
Briefly from Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD:
By working together as organizations and individuals in three northeast Oregon counties, and taking advantage of external expertise, we will:
- Provide support for local businesses that need investment capital and are profitable or have profit potential, but are not likely to be attractive to angel investors, venture capital investors or commercial lenders
- Create options for individuals to invest a portion of their capital within the region
- Work together on an economic development project that will increase the vitality of the region and our ability to work together
Their project ChangeXChangeNW is “a resource for communities in the Northwest. Our goal is to bolster local economies by connecting the dots between socially-minded investors and locally-owned businesses.”
Go to their site for details on all of these exciting changes happening. Springboard Innovation is working with NEOEDD to bring the same model eastward. Contact Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD for details.
Startsomegood focuses on projects with clear benefits and have strict criteria for using the platform.
“StartSomeGood is a peerfunding platform for broadly-progressive social impact projects and organizations. While our focus is on social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for creating change we support all forms of changemaking: entrepreneurial, advocacy and activism, community organizing, research and information provision and inspiration.
“Our vision is a world where everyone can be a changemaker, where communities can create the future they want and governance is citizen-focused and responsive.”
“Our goal is to build the world’s best mobilizing platform for changemakers, allowing them to raise the funds, grow the community and gain the skills and contacts they need to make a difference.”
Crowdfunding is a huge topic which we can’t cover in one post. This is just the beginning. I encourage everyone to explore what’s out there and what has already been made real via crowdfunding, microlending, crowdsourcing, and equity crowdfunding. And get to work on imagining what is possible!
If you have any questions or would like us to focus on a particular crowdfunding topic in the future, let us know in the comments.
Here’s something inspiring to leave you with…
Letter to the Editor,
On Crowdfunding and United Community Partners,
Hey folks, Liz McLellan here. It has come to my attention that there is some confusion and perhaps bad feelings around the crowdfunding projects I and UCP have supported over the last few months. I would like to clear these misunderstandings up, in so far as that is possible. I should say, this letter is from myself and not from the UCP Board.
A little background first. I moved to the Valley in 2008 from NYC. My background is in non-profits, technology and fundraising. It took me awhile to find a place where my skills could be of use to the community. In 2012, I saw a need and had volunteered to build a website for United Community Partners. Around June that year, I started to attend regular meetings. In June 2013, I was elected President when Ruai Gregory left the post after years of service to the community. I am less comfortable being an officer on the board than I was just doing tech work to be honest.
I had been enthusiastically helping with the website – with the intention of raising awareness of the potential of online fundraising and crowdfunding for projects, businesses and organizations in the Pine Valley community. I had been through a few successful kickstarter campaigns myself and understood this was a real boon for anyone or any group which could harness the strength of our extended networks online.
At the same time I was elected to the board of UCP, I became aware of two projects which looked like they would be perfect candidates to demonstrate the power of crowdfunding to the community. Not every idea or project is a fit for this model of fundraising. I agreed to volunteer for both the Eagle Creek Orchard Indiegogo campaign and for the Pinefest Indiegogo campaign because these projects, in my estimation, had the hallmarks of potential for success from the get go:
1. A passionate champion. Someone who was willing to do anything it took to get it done, who was not me.
2. An existing network extending far beyond Pine Valley – online and off. Both the sustainable agriculture community and the music community have deep and extensive online networks of passionately dedicated people.
3. A group independent of me (or UCP) which was ready and raring to go – to help us in any way to get the word spread far and wide.
I have personally talked to other people in the Valley with various groups and projects who had good ideas but, lacked these three things. These are prerequisites to any success in crowdfunding campaigns. If you have an idea or a project – start thinking about these three things. It can take years to build up the groundwork for success.
These were not projects I sought the permission of UCP to work on. Nor, was I required to do so. Though I did let the UCP folks know it was fine with me if UCP was listed as a supporter of these campaigns because of these efforts. Members also did volunteer on their own for both in other capacities.
So what are the misunderstandings? Some people are very confused and seem to be under the impression that UCP decided as a group to allocate my time as technical assistant to these projects. They did not. The issue for others seems to be that they believe that UCP as a group CHOOSE these projects over others – and ignored other needs. That is also not the case.
Some folks are not happy that “UCP helped a private business over in Richland,” meaning the orchard. I need to make this clear, I chose to help Eagle Creek Orchard out as an individual. I did so because I care deeply about local organic sustainable agriculture and localizing our economy and food systems. No UCP funds were used for the Indiegogo campaign. I also care a great deal about music and so was happy to help the Pinefest folks crowdfund when they asked. For each of these projects I donated about 30-40 hours of my time – building websites, social media campaigns and coaching both groups on how to run a successful crowdfunding effort – I did this with bells on and joy in my heart.
When the UCP members consider a project to allocate money to another process is required. Members all have a say and weigh in on the viability of projects which come to us. We have a process outlined in the bylaws for these group considerations. You too can have a say – simply attend three meetings and you can be a part of that decision making process as a UCP member. We each have our own personal criteria but, we also have criteria mandated by our bylaws which you can read on our site. We have given money as a group to projects which fit that criteria – as a group. Everyone in the community should be clear UCP as a group is open to considering projects from all groups and individuals in the Pine Eagle area. If the project is in line with UCP’s mission, we would be thrilled to help out in any way we can. In December, we will have a year end summary of how we voted to spend funds in 2013.
The UCP Board is a mix of older and newer residents but, we are very small. We seek and welcome participation from everyone in the community and hope you will consider attending meetings in the future to help us decide our priorities.
I, personally, have a limited amount of volunteer hours I can give for these tech projects. Like everyone else in the valley, I have to make a living. Finding time for everything we want to do is a struggle we all face. I am very happy to help when I can do so. As for the technical assistance I give, I need to evaluate for myself which projects are the most likely to succeed with some technical assistance – and which projects are beyond my ability to contribute time, programming, or coaching. UCP is not in charge of allocating my time in any way and I am happy to talk to anyone who has a project in mind.
The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is working on rules to allow equity crowdfunding for small business. The NEOEDD (North East Oregon Economic Development District) is working on gathering financial institutions, individual investors, credit unions and community banks in the area to build up local investing strategies and vehicles to explicitly support the localization of our economy, to bring our money home. We all see the need to pull away from the large impersonal banking system. NEOEDD is also looking at crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding (where you get a return on an investment.) for small businesses and cottage industry. Much more than this is on the way but, it is beyond the scope of this letter to explain much further. I would like to leave you with the idea that lots of good things are coming and it is a great time to get involved in what you are passionate about.
I hope this note clarifies some of the backstory which seems to have created some confusion in the Valley. We all wear many hats here and sometimes it’s unclear which hat I’ve got on. I hope everyone knows that ALL of us at UCP are working with the best of intentions and simply trying to contribute to the place we call home. I also encourage UCP members to clarify anything I got wrong here.
I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in these campaigns online and off because you helped make the power of crowdfunding and interdependence visible. We saved an orchard and put on a music festival! Thank you to Rob and Linda Cordtz and Mimi and Eric Kauffman for trusting the potential of exploring this 21st century style barn-raising! It was, for all of you, a massive leap of faith which I know was very scary. Thank you for being brave. It’s incredibly inspiring to me and many others.
We are as strong as our networks.
If you are interested I’ve posted some links about crowdfunding and the NEOEDD efforts on our site at: http://ow.ly/p5vP8
If ever something seems unclear, you’d like to get involved or you’d just like to know more feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading this far!
Liz McLellan, President of the UCP Board
Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-3:25pm
Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields, Ruai Gregory, Mark Christianson, Denise Cristianson, Steve White, Larry & Celinda Miller
Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read to the group. There were no additions or corrections. Denise indicated she thought the $250.00 paid to Cindy Thayer for writing the Ford grant was very reasonable. The question was asked as to how many hours Cindy spent on the application, but no one had the answer.
Bandstand Update. Bill Shields indicated the bandstand was for all practical purposes finished with only a few items yet to be completed. Lights are yet to be installed. The installed access stairway on the right rear corner is not being used very much so the plan now is to add steps on the front as well. The deck is now sealed with material donated by the Chamber. The back wall of the stage still needs to be painted/sealed/paneled. No decision has yet been made on which way to go. Cedar paneling has been suggested. Bill stated that he has done all he’s going to do in terms of installing paneling and if more is to be done, someone else will need to do it. After some discussion, the decision was taken to seal the back wall by the end of this summer to protect the existing paneling and leaving open the options to either paint or add paneling in the future. Steve took responsibility for getting the sealing done. Mark will find a champion for doing the paneling if we so decide. Bill went on to mention modest positive economic impacts of the stage so far with Old Pine Market developing a local line of bratwursts to sell at events and some banner printing business going to William Jackson that he had not had before. Stephanie’s is also getting some new business because of the stage.
Ford Leadership Training Update. Ruai indicated that approximately 27 people are signed up for the training coming to Halfway this fall, ranging from high school students to seniors.
Ford Grant Application Discussion. Bill Schuhle who, in his position as UCP Treasurer is the designated contact/reporting person with Ford as regards this particular grant, expressed several concerns that arose for him after reviewing the grant application as submitted by our contract grant writer. He felt that some of the wording possibly overstated UCP’s role in the two partnered projects described in the application. He noted also that the list of UCP board members submitted with the application omitted the names of Bill Shields and Celinda Miller. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that past president Ruai Gregory, who, of current active members of UCP, is the most conversant and comfortable with both the grant process and with the Ford Family organization, would contact them by phone (with Bill Schuhle present for the conversation as well), correct the board member list, inform them of our concerns, offer revised wording that more accurately described our role in the instances in question, and inquire as to whether this information should be submitted in writing as well. This resolution to handling Bill’s original concerns seemed to be satisfactory to all concerned.
As a result of our discussion, it was also emphasized and agreed that all the steps in the process of submitting a grant application will in the future be delineated and codified in our bylaws, an issue to be taken up in our impending discussion of process.
Bylaws Discussion. Bill Shields suggested contacting NEOEDD and asking them to come facilitate our process of re-writing our bylaws. Ford Family/Rural Development Initiatives could also provide such assistance.
Our Grant Writing Process Discussion. Liz expressed a desire to do a “post mortem” on the current Ford grant process and asked for suggestions for improving the process. Bill Shields suggested a written contract between UCP and its grant writers as well as a written description of what is needed and expected on the part of UCP. It was suggested that a grant sub-committee could be formed of UCP officers and/or other UCP members who cared about and were conversant with the subject matter of a particular grant who would be responsible for reviewing the grant prior to submission.
Emergency Water Project Update. Bill Schuhle shared that Mike Beidler indicated that other individuals in the community were interested in supporting fund-raising for the project and asked if UCP might act as a funds collection point for those donations. He also pointed out that, should the emergency components be purchased and stored and end up not being used prior to the City completing a more comprehensive water/mini-hydro project, the then-redundant components could be sold and the proceeds given to the City as a partial reimbursement on their project. Liz pointed out that with Mike’s precarious health status, if there is not a champion for this project, then UCP’s discussion of it is moot. Steve didn’t see any need for UCP’s involvement as a bank account for donations could be set up by the interested parties apart from UCP. It was agreed that unless a champion is forthcoming, there will be no more UPC time spent on this issue.
Rodale Regeneration Project Update. Celinda talked with Bill Shields about previous meetings held in Halfway to do a “SWOTs” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) process and the possibility of gathering the information gleaned from those. She also plans to continue studying the Rodale materials to find information relevant to our situation in Halfway.
Inclusive E-mail Discussions. Liz encouraged everyone to use the “email@example.com” address to easily send comments to the entire group and urged that responses be handled the same way so that everyone is in the loop when a subject is under discussion.
Our next regular meeting will be August 5, 2013, and will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm.
Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer