Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

Red Cedar Zen - Board of Directors Meeting Minutes 

DATE: November 14, 2018 5:30 PM
PRESENT: Ken Oates, Chris Patton, Bernadette Prinster, Tuli Candela, Tim Burnett
ABSENT: none

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.

Old Business

Brokerage Account Update:

Ken reported that as he checked into the details and plentiful paperwork involved in opening a Brokerage Account in order to accept donations of stocks and bonds that would benefit RCDH, we have to have a Treasurer in place on the current Board. The Board decided to table this issue until sometime in 2019.

Board Changes:

Current Board President Ken Oates will leave the Board at the end of December, 2018 and Bob Rose will step into the President’s role.

Since Talus Latona’s departure as Treasurer that position has been vacant for a few months. Bernadette, current Board Secretary will now serve as Treasurer. John Wiley and Ben Greene will work with her on the Financial Workgroup. 

Chris Patton will swap his current Vice President hat for the at-large slot with Tuli Candela.  Chris will retain his Volunteer Coordinator duties. As Hannah Sullivan expressed interest in a Board position, following this Board meeting she was asked to serve as Board Secretary and she accepted.  All present at the Board meeting agreed that we would move into these positions with the mutual understanding that in a few months we may need to talk about switching hats if the roles don’t work. 

To summarize, the new Red Cedar Zen Board configuration beginning in January, 2019 is as follows:

President - Bob Rose

Vice-President - Tuli Candela

Treasurer - Bernadette Prinster

Secretary - Hannah Sullivan

At Large - Chris Patton

Ex-Officio - Tim Burnett 

Update on Real Estate Lease and Red Cedar Dharma Home: 

Bob reported on his meeting with Jim Sands (ReMax- Bellingham).  Jim's recommendation is to negotiate as long a term lease, with lowest possible rent increases, to stabilize our situation and give us time to develop a capital campaign, raise funds, and be in a position to move to a more permanent location at a time of our choosing. 

Current lease has no penalty for breaking the lease; so staying silent on that aspect is to our advantage.  Also, Steve Brinn (for whom Jim acts as real estate agent) looked over current lease and thought it "unsophisticated" from a commercial property perspective but basically to our advantage.

 Jim thought our current rent of $2,600/month for 2,600 sq. ft. was "right in the ball park" for a fair market rent.  Replacement cost estimated at $600,000.  To use our current rent as an equivalent mortgage payment would require a 20-25% down payment ($120--150,000) with a mortgage of $450,000. On top of monthly mortgage debt service, we would also have to pay taxes, insurance, utilities (now paid by landlord), maintenance, as well as any improvements necessary to bring a new space up to zendo standards.

Next step is for Bob and Tim will meet in January with landlord to determine if there is an interest in extending current lease and for what time frame.  If so, initiate negotiations so we are in a contract well before 9/20, date of current lease expiration.

Following that, we will schedule a sangha conversation about current status and community desires for imagined new home 3-7 years out, depending on capital campaign funding base analysis. March 16, 2019 was discussed as a possible date. 

Tim’s Performance Evaluation:

Ken requested that each Board member get their review results to him either on paper or electronically. Tim has submitted his review to the Board. Results will be tabulated for the December meeting. 

Dharma Hall Library update:

Ken shared that the computer system created for the library is not working and that the library is now fully operating on an honors system. The Board agreed unanimously that this is ok. 

Next Board Meeting:

December 20, 2018, 5:30 PM (location to be announced) 


Respectfully submitted, Bernadette Prinster


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