Sunday, January 30, 2011

Questions for the Annual Meeting

I went to St. Paul’s annual meeting with a written list of questions. I didn’t get much past asking question 1. (See “Annual Meeting Report.”) I got something of an answer to my second question, but I don’t consider anything that I was told to be definitive. I do expect to pursue answers to these questions, and I will post the answers here as I ferret them out.

Questions for St. Paul’s Annual Meeting

  1. I am confused about how loans are represented in the financial statement. In the Operating Fund balance sheet on page 14, there are lines for both short-term and long-term loan liabilities. Can you explain this?

    Follow-on question: In the cash flow statement on page 19, there is an item called PNC and Diocesan Roof Loan Payments. On the previous page, at the end of the Operating Fund accounting, there is an item labeled Less Debt Principal. Does this not represent the payments of both principal and interest on our two loans, since the amount is the same as the line on page 19?

  2. Page 21 shows $3,000 “donated” to the Refuge Service Fund from the Education Fund. What is the Education Fund intended for, and how does a “donation” to Refuge constitute support for “education”?

  3. On page 20, there is a $25,000 item in Contingency Fund expenses labeled Write of 2010 loan to Operating Fund. Is it not true that this is not a loan intended to be repaid but simply a withdrawal from the Contingency Fund? Moreover, if this is revenue into the Operating Fund, why does it not show up under Revenues on page 15, rather than as capital (i.e., equity) on the Operating Fund balance sheet, where it is labeled Write off Loan from Contingency and Revenue Funds? (On the other hand, interest income from the Contingency Fund, which was transferred to the Operating Fund, does show up as revenue on page 15.) Is it not true that the Operating Fund less loan payments actually has a surplus of $13,472.96? Moreover, is it not true that if all the opening balances of the special funds are added together and all the ending balances subtracted, there is a net loss of less than $600?

    Follow-on question: Whether legitimately or not, are we not removing more and more items from the Operating Fund—at a serious risk of obscuring our true finances—in order to reduce our assessment liability to the diocese? Do you intend to not report donations to the Salary Restoration Fund to the diocese as operating revenue?

  4. What is the difference between the Property Commission, whose expenditures are shown on page 16, and the Property Fund, accounted for separately on page 22? Did the $25,100 in donations come from parishioners and, if so, why is this outside the Operating Fund?

  5. Why does the Episcopal Church Men Fund, which contains $2,542.19 show no interest income?

  6. Under Refuge expenses on page 26, there is a $5,264.86 item labeled Musicians. Exactly what musicians are being paid? Does this include Bryan Sable’s salary? If so, does it include taxes and other benefit payments paid on his behalf? Is part of his pay buried under Total Personnel Commission?

  7. In the accounting of the Friends of Music account, to whom was $800 paid for Music Guild Admin? Who was paid the $1,000 Salary listed two lines down?

  8. In his report on Refuge, Kris Opat stated that the parish contributed $8,000 in seed money to Refuge. Why is there not $8,000 in income from the parish shown in the Refuge Service Fund on page 26?

  9. The 2011 budget looks very similar to the 2010 budget. I noticed, however, that worship and music has been reduced from $17,000 to $13,900, although actual 2010 expenditures were only $15,511.38, since we did not provide the budgeted $1,000 to Old St. Luke’s. Do we anticipate any support for Old St. Luke’s, and where do we expect to save $2,100 on music?

  10. What is the budget for Refuge for 2011? Do you anticipate receiving funds from the diocese?

  11. Kris Opat indicated that there is enough money set aside for Refuge to support the service through Pentecost. Do you intend to run the service during the summer, and, assuming you are expecting to offer Refuge in the fall, where do you expect to get the funds to do so?

  12. Of the $610,000 listed as 2011 pledge income, how much is currently pledged and how many pledge units does this represent?

  13. In his report on Refuge, Kris Opat stated that an average of 34 people attended Refuge services, though this apparently counts the people putting it on and is inflated by the attendance at the first service and a service that members of the confirmation class were required to attend. What has been the average attendance at the other services that St. Paul’s conducts? In particular, how many people, on average, attend the 8:45 versus the 10:30 service?

  14. A question for the senior warden: Your report was quite glowing, and it left me thinking that St. Paul’s cannot be better than it is now. Is there any area in which you see need for improvement? If so, where do we need to improve?

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