It has been my pleasure to serve as your treasurer for the last 5 years. You will elect a new treasurer a year from now. If you are interested or know of a candidate, please talk with a nominating committee member or with Brian Covell, Meredith Beckman, or Nancy Armstrong.
Central Midwest District is generally in sound condition. Our situation at this time has experienced a rebound of its invested funds from the drastic hits taken by nearly all equity markets in 2008. Our reserves are about 30% in CDs and 70% in socially responsible funds. Yields from any certificates of deposits have dropped from around 4% to around 1% and thus are not very helpful as an income source for providing a cash flow cushion. While we have used some of our reserves at times when our cash flow became too tight, we still have a safe cushion to operate the district securely well into the future.
During the last year we were informed by our consulting accountant, Mark Cull, of several changes that would improve our reporting and record keeping. One of those concerns was precipitated by an inquiry into our insurance coverage. We were told that if we want insurance coverage for “affiliated” organizations under our policy, then the affiliates need to be clearly affiliated with CMWD. From an accounting point of view that would require financial record keeping and oversight. If affiliated groups in your local congregations use the facilities of your church, then I would suggest you read your insurance policy carefully.
The budget for the CMWD is prepared over the winter months and is discussed and approved at the board meeting prior to District Assembly. This has been our procedure under policy governance for the last three years. The proposed by-law amendment is proposed to make the procedure clearer.
Last year, with lower contributions and thus less income, we had a reduced, but balanced budget. As a way to hold down expenses, our staff worked under an understanding of accepting week long furloughs during the year (July 2010 - June 2011). This plan was reflected in the last budget.
The budget for the coming year reflects a planned return to the normal, non-furlough, work year for the full time staff. While no salary increases are in the budget, returning to a full work year, requires a larger budget line for staff services. The plan for next year, 2011-2012, is a deficit budget of about $13,000. While our staff has often operated to keep expenses low and run a balance of income to expenses, next year may or may not be as successful as we have been in the past. In 2012, CMWD will likely consider an increase of fair share from $21 to $23. Currently we are on the lower end of fair share amounts among the districts of the UUA. A stronger economy would help us, but at this time a better economy is still uncertain.