Amending the Bylaws Two Percent Rule
At the upcoming UUCV Annual Meeting on June 17 (which also happens to be Father’s Day), there will be a proposal to amend Article VIII, Section 2 of the Bylaws. Our Bylaws can only be amended by a vote of the congregation. The information below is a brief summary of the issue and intended to raise the awareness of the congregation on an important topic. Article VIII, Section 2 contains a spending restriction known as the Two Percent Rule. The proposed amendment is to change the rule from two (2) percent, to four (4) percent.
This Bylaw currently reads:
“Article VIII Duties of the Board of Trustees, Section 2. The Board shall be charged with approving policy to govern the conduct of the business of the church during the intervals between Annual or special meetings. The Board may authorize the expenditure of up to a cumulative fiscal year total of two percent above the total annual operating budget approved by the membership at a congregational meeting. Expenditure of more than a cumulative fiscal year total of two percent of the total annual operating budget requires a vote at a special congregational meeting.”
Our Operating Budget for 2017-18 was $451,301.00 of which 2% equals $9,021.00. At 4% that would be $18,042.00. That is not a small amount of money, yet this request reflects the changed reality of our times from when the Bylaws were adopted over 50 years ago.
What are some of the reasons for approving the change?
Timeliness: There are times during the church year when unforseen needs arise. For several years the Board has found itself at or near the maximum 2% when something unexpected would arise. Options: the Board could either wait until the following year’s Budget or hold a congregational meeting. Congregational meetings take time to plan and arrange. For a church that is growing, these options slow down our ability to be responsive and timely.
Flexibility: The cost of goods and services have increased significantly. There have been times when the 2% rule has been too restrictive for our needs. At 4% the Board would have the necessary financial room to meet congregational needs that arise while still maintaining restraint in unanticipated spending.
What are some of the reasons for not approving the change?
1. The 2% rule reminds the Board to be fiscally conservative with church money.
2. Calling a congregational meeting or even multiple meetings to consider unforeseen but needed expenditures may be inconvenient but if the need is great, we can do this.
There will be more information available at our Annual meeting and the opportunity for discussion. When the time comes to vote please consider this amendment as necessary for the Board to be able to act timely on behalf of UUCV in response to circumstances that affect our church. In the meantime if you have questions or comments feel free to contact me.
Living in Paradise,
Bryan Buck, President