Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

November 2010 Minutes

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors

Board Minues                                                                                Weds, Nov 3 and Sat Nov 20, 2010


Nov 3rd: Jeff McKenna, Tim Burnett, Joan Dow, Don McClary, Talus Latona

Nov 20th: Jeff McKenna, Joan Down, Don McClary


VISITORS: Nov 20th: Marti Bartlett


encouraging words

full value contract

We commit:

  • to maintaining physical, psychological, and emotional safety
  • to working together to foster both group and individual goals; giving the group what it needs and individuals what they need.
  • to speaking and listening fearlessly to one another and fully talking things through.

review agenda and set time limits


Our Guest’s Business

  • Marti Bartlett supporting idea of purchasing a building
    • Marti pointed out that if we were to continue at our current lease level for 5 years total rent payments would be on the order of $115,000, enough to make substantial process towards paying off a mortgage on a building we would own.  Better for long term and perhaps more responsible use of member’s donations than paying rent.



Old Business

·        Board appointment process

o   We recalled that the Board is empowered to invite new members without elections but that it is our policy to hold a one month comment period and invite the sangha to give input before Board appointment decisions are finalized.  

o   Sangha is invited to offer input on the appointments to the Board of:

§  Talus Latona as Treasurer (replacing Don McClary who is leaving town for work for the year of 2011)

§   Edie Norton as Secretary (filling an empty position).

o   Appointments to be finalized at our January 5th meeting.


·        Sign update

o   Alborz has completed the overall sign additional plaque type signs with details on different user groups will be added below. Thank you Alborz!


New Business

·         Look at financial summary for last fiscal year.

o   Noted that membership income is actually quite stable over a two year average (even though it does rise and fall during the year) at about $1400/month.  Thank you members!  And that it is the largest leg of our tripod of support of:  (1) member income,  (2) rental of the Hall,  (3) extra from retreats.  [see copy of financial summary, attached]

o   The goal to reduce dependence on extra from retreats especially as Norman considers reducing his Northwest trips feels important. This can be done by increasing membership income and/or reducing our lease cost (the largest expense by far).



·        BIMS monthly rent:  should we request a small increase for 2011?

o   As our overall lease increased 3% a year for all five years of the building lease (and has done in 2008, 2009, 2010) the Board discussed whether we should pass on a 3% increase to BIMS as our major tenant for 2011 and 2012. 


o   Decision: do ask BIMS for a 3% increase each year on the 1st of the year in 2011 and 2012. This will be $824/month in 2011. Talus will contact Steve Hansen and work with Alborz to review our rental agreement with BIMS.


·        Annual meeting on Saturday January 15th

o   Find ways to make it easy for people to show up:

§  Provide lunch

§  Consider providing child care

o   Board Preparation

§  Board members please review the bylaws – a good annual ritual to make sure we are doing what we say we are on the RCZC Board

§  Update (simplify a bit more, update names) our big workgroups organizational chart.

o   Meeting Publicity

§  Start announcing the meeting at Weds eve.

§  Add it to the website (DONE)

§  Consider making a simple flyer (Tim will do)

§  Don’s statement summarizing the housing visioning process will be sent out:

Because RCZC is two years away from the end of the current building lease, we have time to analyze our finances and investigate housing-options.


The different pieces of information include;


    Our projected annual income that is sustainable.

    What current market costs are for a comparable building (a professional market analysis will be done periodically)

    Different ways of housing RCZ and BIMS (commercial building, church, residential, public space, etc)..

    What each housing choice represents by way of;  lease cost, location, physical plant configuration, lease stipulations.

    Sangha and BIMS member input.


We would expect there will be a lively on-going discussion about housing options. Certainly that is appropriate and useful. However, we need to keep in mind at this point in the process it's necessary to screen in information (rather than screen out information as if we knew the final answer). The information we collect now will point to the best choice in the future. So it behooves us to focus on quality big-picture information. The Board will share this study information by way Board Minutes and also on the fifth Wednesday of the month at the Sanga Voices meeting. This is an open and public process. Your participation is needed and will be helpful as we study housing-options.


o   Schedule

§  9:30am zazen

§  10:00am meeting begins

§  About noon: end meeting with informal lunch (soup made ahead + simple potluck?)

o   Agenda

§  Visions for the future (sitting group, Zen center, temple, etc)

§  Housing options

·         Process of deciding

·         Updates

·         Realtors report on market values

§  Open items from the sangha (nice to know ahead what they are but also have open floor time)

§  Volunteer Opportunities

·         Present updates workgroups org chart

§  Workgroup Reports

·         Library

·         How BIMS is doing at RCDH

·         Financial (just going over annual summary on membership mailing?)

·         Ritual changes and how the practice committee works

·         Garden & sign

·         Others?

·         Membership drive results



meeting reflection

on relationships, process, values and mission

of good value


upholding the contract

sangha on the horizon

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