Special Congregational Meeting Minutes
March 24, 2019
1. Opening Prayer – Pastor John Scheusner
2. Introduction of CLC Staff – John Barnes
John gave a brief description for the purpose of the meeting and introduced Peggy Elder, CLC Director, Karolyn Havener, Assistant Director and Jacquie Mikhailian
3. Presentation of CLC vision for future, proposed project
Peggy Elder discussed CLC history and presented a plan to offer two new infant classes and an additional toddler classroom. One pre-k and a 3-year old classroom have been converted to add space needed. Prices are set to be competitive and cover related costs. We have needed a cosmetic facelift for some time, so costs for improvements to the attractiveness of the facility have been included. This will include painting of walls in hallways and the gathering area and replacing the flooring in the preschool areas. Plans and architectural details have been created with the help of Wayne Reber and have been discussed with the City and the Property Board. The estimated cost of the construction, cosmetic updates and program assets total approximately $80,000. With your approval the next step is to solicit contractor bids and begin enrollment for next fall.
John Barnes – need motion to approve the budget adjustment for staff and supplies.
Jim Kimble motioned to approve the budget for staff and supplies.
Second – Len Livingston
Sandi Vatthauer – Will adjustments start in the fall, second half of 2019? John Barnes, yes
Jacquie Mikhailian – We are looking to hire one more lead infant teacher. Jacque will be lead teacher one. We will need assistant teachers for both infant classes as well. In the toddler program, we will split the toddler class into 2 classes. The second toddler classroom will require one teacher, halfway into the school year, as assistant teacher may be needed as the class grows.
Susan Short – Does insurance liability requirement change by taking on infants. Also, is this program encouraging mothers to not mother their children by staying home with them.
Karolyn Havener – I understand your concern. Society is going in the direction of mothers working outside of the home. We can make the choice to provide a place where the
children are safe (we are licensed by the State of Texas) and children can learn about Jesus at a very early age. We can get on board and create that space or we can go by the wayside and end up not providing any kind of program for the current need. The societal trend is for more mothers to work outside the home. We want to meet the need in a Christian environment so the children can have the best start possible.
Regarding liability insurance, we are licensed to have children in the program from 0 thru school age, so the insurance provider has that information in their possession. It might be a good thing to look into, just to be safe.
John Barnes – Do we have a quorum? Affirmed
Lynn Gustafson – As an educator I would like to corroborate what Karolyn said about preschool which provides a vital step into public school. It used to be that children could be at home, enter Kindergarten, learn how to write their name, colors, the alphabet, but it’s not that way anymore in Kindergarten. Even when my children were Kindergarten age, my husband questioned the need for preschool. In Kindergarten is now where children begin to learn socialization skills. To have learned other skills prior to Kindergarten is extremely helpful.
Wayne Reber – Are we dealing with Part A of the budget or the whole budget? The 3-year recoup of costs is a really good thing. It could possibly be less.
John Barnes – just Part A
Julia Bessler – I’m really glad the CLC is here. The reason my family starting coming to All Saints is because the CLC is here. How many new children will you be able to accommodate by changing the program?
Karolyn Havener – we are starting the Infant 1 program with 4, we could possibly do 6 based on age of children. The Infant 2 room will start out with 6 with the possibility of 8. Two different toddler rooms – would provide for approximately 14 more children than we can now accommodate.
Pastor John – Offering infant care makes it possible for families to enroll all of their children in the same place.
Karolyn Havener – We have had parents in the past express a need for an infant program when other of their children are already enrolled and they are about to add another child to their family. We have been fortunate with two families in the past who have found care for their newborns for a year and have come back to CLC for the remainder of the preschool time for these children. A lot of families won’t do that. They don’t want their children at different locations. By adding the infant program we are helping families stay together in one place. We have enough interest that we have a wait list. We have enough interest from our existing families to fill up the infant rooms, which is really exciting.
Sandi Vatthauer – Is anything happening with the current nursery area that will provide advantages for the church’s nursery program.
Wayne Reber – Room 15 (current nursery) is being enlarged by about 4 feet which will increase the capacity. The plan is to also add a changing table. Rooms are sized for compliance with State licensing rules for square feet per child.
Pastor John – the paint and new flooring throughout will improve the overall attractiveness of the facility. We will also be adding observation windows in both of the infant rooms and the two toddler rooms.
Mary Rosas – Do we have a nursery on Sunday morning while construction is going on?
Mara McGee – There are 2 rooms we can use during construction. We can move over one room while the construction is going on. This room will not be involved in the construction.
John Barnes – Restated the original motion – Salaries and supplies – $32,182
Carol Foster – asked if the quilters room, which was labeled as classroom 3 on the Plan was again being taken away from the quilters.
Karolyn Havener – No. The numbering system established years ago originally numbered that room as Classroom 3. There are no changes to the room as a result of this project.
Ann Terhune – Asked for clarification on what is being voted on.
John Barnes – clarification – vote is strictly for salaries.
Jim revised his original motion to include only salaries, Len Livingston seconded the revised motion.
Jim Kimble called for the vote. Vote was by raised hand. Motion carried.
Next item up for consideration and vote is remodeling costs and supplies – approximately $80,000. The CLC is requesting authority to spend money they have saved over the years for this renovation.
Jim Kimble – Motioned to approve the budget of $80,000 for renovations and supplies
Alex Widener – second
Wayne Reber – Would recommend a 10% contingency over the $80,000 so we don’t have to come back to the congregation.
Wayne Reber – Motioned that the cost be amended to $80,000 plus a 10% contingency.
Alex Widener seconded.
Marc Funderburk – Are there any regulation agencies involved that may impact the operations of the church? Any ADA requirements that need to be addressed?
Wayne Reber – Yes. Asbestos survey is being done. This is required in order to get a City of Arlington building permit. We should be Ok on this point. If the building permit amount exceeds $50,000, you have to register the project with Austin, related to the Architectural Barriers Act. If the permit amount exceeds the $50,000 threshold, the City will not review the permit if it doesn’t have the appropriate registration number. He will be reviewing strategies with Bill Stephenson related to cost shifting to keep the amount under $50,000. All new construction will be ADA compliant; however, there are existing parts of the building that are not ADA compliant, so you don’t want to get into a situation where those areas have to come under review. Having to take it to Austin would challenge the completion timeline. We will approach the project by doing individual work orders using the acquisition approach.
Pastor John – We need a finalized number for the supplies budget. Jacque is on her way in with those numbers. We need to look at that before we finalize the vote.
Marc Funderburk – What if the contractors come in with different numbers at the time of construction, what is Plan B?
Wayne Reber – Once the project is approved, we plan to contact contractors in early April. We hope to get replies quickly enough so we can negotiate elements out. We’re hoping we come in under the budget. Plan B would be to sit down with the low bidder and negotiate to come in as close to the budget as possible. The plan is to award a contract in April so that the CLC can make selections regarding the flooring/cabinet materials, etc. The construction cannot start until May 24, the end of the regular CLC session. There’s about three weeks of work to get done; because of the nature of the work being in different parts of the building, it could take a little longer.
Marc Funderburk – Have we pre-qualified contractors to expedite the bidding process?
John Barnes – We have asked people to give us names of contractors that they may know who have done work for them. Karolyn will call the State to find out what we need to do for vetting of the contractors to determine if any of them are recent sex offenders or for any other reason would not be acceptable vendors.
Wayne Reber – We will find out those State requirements and include in the bidding documents. I’ve gotten two names from Bill Stephenson. They will need to be licensed in Arlington. Four or five names would be ideal.
Sandi Vatthauer – Low bid is not always the best bid. If we get an unusually low bid, we should not just jump on it.
John Barnes – Updated list of supplies has been presented. The total is $11,647.19. Included in the list: 10 cribs, 3 evacuation kits, 18 crib sheets, 4 rockers with gliders, 2 changing tables, folding mats, wall mirror, 6-seater buggy, 6-seat feeding table, 2 infant swings, 3 exercisers, 4 bouncy seats, stackable washer and dryer, 2 mini refrigerators, double stroller and some miscellaneous extras.
Wayne Reber – original $69,000 construction number included the washer & dryer. If you start with $67,000 plus supplies and then add a 10% contingency.
Pastor John – recalculating with the new supply number, we are still right at $80,000 before the contingency is added.
Vote was take on the amendment of the original motion to add 10% contingency – by raised hand. Motion carried.
Vote was taken on the original motion of $80,000 construction budget which now also includes the 10% contingency – by raised hand. Motion carried.
4. Address Property Maintenance Vacancy – John Barnes, Bill Stephenson
John Barnes – something that All Saints has struggled with over the past few years has been having a sole person in charge of property management. Wayne Reber has done a great job over the past two years. John then invited Bill Stephenson to speak to the issue.
Bill Stephenson – thanked Wayne Reber and Glen Foster for their past efforts to keep property maintenance going forward. We need to come up with a plan for how to go forward now that Wayne and Glen have indicated they no longer want responsibility for managing property maintenance. Three options have been discussed at the Council level:
1) Identify 3 volunteers to complete the work and give reports. Currently Bill is
tasked with completing reports and reporting to Council.
2) Hire an individual for 20 hours a week to serve as a handyman/security person
so that when CLC opens in the morning, there would be someone here at all times.
3) Keep some of our current contractors on some type of retainer so that they would
be “on call” to trouble shoot.
Jim Kimble – suggested a combination of all three options.
Ann Terhune – Eliminate the first option completely due to the difficulty of getting volunteers.
Mary Rosas – The idea of hiring someone is attractive because you can make requirements as far as when they are on site. Having someone on site every day is the best way to identify what areas need attention.
Karolyn Havener – on behalf of the CLC, the gophers who have been on site over the years have been vital to their operations because invariably something goes wrong, a toilet overflows or something breaks, and there’s only so much we can do to trouble shoot. I like the idea of someone being permanently on site as well as the idea of security. Both would be a huge benefit to the CLC.
John Barnes – adding a staff person would require setting and voting on a budget. Then Council would go through the procedure of vetting candidates for the position.
Mary Rosas – The best route to go if you want get things moving today would be to let us make a motion to let you all move forward on looking for that person. We can’t decide on a budget because we don’t know what that cost would be yet. What we could do is make a motion to give Council authority to start looking for that person.
Pastor John – some quick numbers, 20 hours a week at $20 per hour with FICA would be approximately $23,000 per year, at $25 per hour with FICA would be approximately $28,000. It would be prudent to approve a budget for this person now rather than to have come back for another congregational meeting.
Alex Widener – motion to authorize Council to seek an up to $30,000 per year position for a handyman for the church.
Mary Rosas – second
Marc Funderburk – Cautioned the congregation that based on tithing and giving, we cannot afford this position unless we dipped into savings to fund this position.
Sherrie Livingston – could it be proposed that CLC and ASLC share 50/50 in the cost of this position?
Karolyn Havener – CLC would be happy to share in that cost which would be very appropriate.
Marc Funderburk – Reminded everyone that our budget is just one budget. We don’t have a separate CLC and ASLC budget. It’s all under one umbrella. He is hesitant to authorize this without doing a financial analysis regarding the funding. He agrees that position is needed, but we currently don’t have the operating funds to support it.
Sherrie Livingston – Can a motion be made that the Finance Board make a financial report and that we come back to this?
Sandi Vatthauer – Original motions needs to be voted down if we want to table until another congregational meeting.
Pastor John – Expressed that he shares Marc’s concern over funding. We need to weigh immediate need against long term viability. Within the original motion, council is given the
authority to decide the amount that may be spent, i.e., could adjust hours to something less than 20 to lower costs.
John Barnes – Can we step out in faith and be confident that giving will increase to cover the costs of this position.
Unidentified – How much does it cost to keep vendors on retainer, or do we just pay them as jobs are done?
Bill Stephenson – No numbers have been put together regarding this yet. We have an approved list of vendors. If option 3 was selected, he would seek to put some numbers together if it was determined retainers were necessary. We may find out that is a more expensive option than the part-time position.
Mary Rosas – posed the question to Wayne Reber whether there was really 20 hours a week’s worth of work needed? If we hired someone 20 hours a week, would they be busy the whole time?
Wayne Reber – over the past year, I have spent around 20 hours a week working on various property projects, including gopher time. Some of that time includes researching product purchases online, meeting with vendors, etc. It might be possible to include some janitorial work within this position thereby reducing the amount we pay for our current janitorial service. The position could easily support 20 hours with the right job description.
Rod Parks – My question is that since we project a return on investment on the CLC construction project in three year (roughly $25,000), could we not use some of that projected increase to fund this position.
John Barnes – that would be something that the Finance Board would have to present to the Council.
Marc Funderburk – When does Council want a report from the Finance Board? What is the Finance Board being charged with related to this matter?
John Barnes – could a report be provided by next Council meeting?
Pastor John – this will be a collaboration between and ad-hoc HR team, existing staff and finance. A 60-day time frame is ambitious. We will fall short with only a 30-day time frame.
Marc Funderburk – The Finance Board can live with a 60-day time frame. We can provide the financial analysis as well as a job description to the Council.
Ann Terhune – please read the motion again.
Alex Widener – motion to authorize Council to seek an up to $30,000 per year position for a handyman for the church. It was seconded by Mary Rosas.
Wayne Reber – do we need to provide for a probationary period for the position to give us a way out if it’s not working out?
Sandi Vatthauer – that would just be a charge to the Council. Doesn’t feel it requires an amendment.
Pastor John – We already have an employee handbook that provides for probationary periods for all employees. Since Texas is an at will employment state, we always have the option to terminate based on performance.
Bob Blankenship – Reiterated that Texas is an at will employment state, so you can terminate an employee at any time; however, you have to follow what is in your employee manual.
Marc Funderburk – Proposed an amendment to the motion to not put a dollar amount on it until the Finance Board and the ad hoc HR team have had a goodly amount of time to research the position and the costs associated with it.
Amended Motion – The council is authorized to charge the Finance Team and the ad-hoc Personnel Team and anybody on staff that Pastor and the Council deem necessary to the committee to provide financial and human resource analysis for this position.
Second – Ann Terhune
Pastor John – did not speak for or against the motion but wanted to make clear that with the amended motion we are committing ourselves to another congregational before a hire could be completed.
Alex Widener – the numbers provided in the original motion are fair for the position. We have a buffer from $28,000 to $30,000 which provides a cap for the Council and gives them discretion for what they need to do. Then we would not have to come back for another vote.
Wayne Reber – Agreed with Alex. The commitment for 2019 would only be around $15,000 which won’t make or break us. After final analysis is completed, you could terminate the position if it doesn’t make long-term financial sense.
Mary Rosas – so does the final motion include dollar amount or not?
Alex Widener – current amended motion is to remove dollar amount.
John Barnes – Clarified that based on the amendment on table, voting in favor means we would be back in June to vote on the budget amount. If we vote against the motion to amend, we would be back to the original motion which included the dollar amounts.
Vote was taken on the amendment – Amendment was defeated.
Marc Funderburk – asked for final clarification that the vote about to be taken amends the budget. John Barnes affirmed.
Jim Kimble called the question.
Vote was taken on the original motion which authorizes Council to seek a part-time maintenance position at an amount not to exceed $30,000 per year. Vote was by a show of hands. 24 in favor, 4 against. Motion carried.
The Finance Team will report back to Council by the May meeting.
Other General Discussion
Cecelia Chavez – Cecelia was nominated to fill the council position of Secretary Elect representing the Spanish service. Since the Spanish service is no longer meeting, Cecelia has resigned her position. We will be looking for a replacement for her and would appreciate any help that can be provided as far as possible candidates to fill this council position.
Mortgage Payoff – Carol Foster had posed the question asking why the mortgage was paid off. First, the mortgage company required payoff of the loan. Second, the new buyer required clear title to the property. Third, the cell tower people needed clear title for sale of the tower lease. The Finance Team did an analysis of a refinance and determined it was not financially viable.
Marc Funderburk – We were contractually obligated to pay off the mortgage. We had the option to take out a new mortgage on just the portion of the loan that covered the actual church facility or we could use proceeds to just pay the loan in full. It was Finance Board’s recommendation to the Council that we do that latter. The concern appears to be that it was not brought to Congregation as a vote. It was talked about on numerous occasions and was part of the budget analysis prepared for 2019, but never presented for a vote. It’s a moot point now. Marc asked the people present to participate in a straw poll by asking who thinks the Council did not act in the interest of the Congregation by taking the action that they did.
Ann Terhune – The point is that it was a lot of money, and any time you are dealing with that kind of money, it should be brought to the congregation. The congregation overrules the Council, and we should have known exactly what was going on. It may have been discussed, but some type of motion should have been made for the congregation to approve whatever was done with the money.
Sandi Vatthauer – I was council president at that time, and I should have taken the initiative and did not. I apologize for that. I was under the impression initially that we could do something other than pay off the mortgage, but because our assets changed it required either a redoing of the mortgage to just state our facilities property on the mortgage and not the park property because the original loan covered both pieces of property. I failed to include discussion of this in the November meeting which would have provided the congregation an opportunity to weigh in and vote.
Wayne Reber – when the vote was made to sell the property in the June 21 congregational meeting the following was stated as options for the sale proceeds, “taking the lump sum of $825 thousand, we could, with decision of the congregation, choose to pay off our mortgage and do some repairs that are needed…It’s the congregations choice as to what to do with the money…
Susan Short – would we still be able to secure a loan against this building in the future should it be needed.
John Barnes – yes that is still possible.
Mary Rosas – previous history led me to believe that we could not sell that property without paying off the mortgage, so I was surprised that suddenly we could sell the property without paying off the mortgage. I wondered what happened since then that made it possible to now sell the property and have other options for the proceeds. Furthermore, the mortgage payment was around $4,000 a month with an offsetting $4,000 cell tower lease revenue monthly. They washed each other out. If you continued to have a mortgage payment without the offsetting cell tower revenue, you would be creating a budget deficit. So the loan payoff made sense.
Ann Terhune – not questioning whether we should have paid off the mortgage but that the congregation was never given the opportunity to vote on how that money was going to be used. If it was voted on, it was not in the minutes.
Alex Widener – None of the proceeds from sale of the cell tower lease or the park property have been spent on anything other than the contractual obligation to pay off the mortgage.
Marc Funderburk – we have spent $80 thousand in benevolence. We honored our benevolence obligation and sent 10% out in benevolence to all the participating charities we back.
Sandi Vatthauer – would there be some benefit to taking a straw poll at this meeting to somewhat rectify the error made or should there be another congregation meeting to discuss this matter and take a vote to affirm the action taken related to the mortgage payoff.
Wayne Reber – The only legitimate way to do it is to have a documented vote of the congregation to affirm the mortgage payoff. It would preserve the authority of the congregation to vote for large sums of money to be paid and not the assumption that everybody wants to do something. Taking a straw vote is not procedurally equal to a congregational meeting.
Pastor John – recommended that at the November meeting we hold a vote to recognize the decision that was made to pay off the mortgage at our annual congregational meeting.
Wayne Reber – put it on the agenda for the next congregational meeting, whenever that is scheduled to occur.
Mary Rosas – do we need to do it sooner than November to quell further discussion amongst the congregation?
Sandi Vatthauer – the vote needs to be taken, whether it be November or earlier.
Motion to adjourn was made by Jim Kimble and seconded by Alex Widener. Motion carried.
John Barnes – closing prayer
Meeting adjourned at approximately 3:30 p.m.