July Board Highlights

July 18, 2021

By John Jennings, Board President

Board Members:
John Jennings, Doug Dunlap, Linda Besant, Sandy Pollock, Phil Wallin, Joe Bertagnolli, Rosemarie Sweet, Linda Logan, Ryan Fitz. Staff: Linda Grove, Chehale. Friends: Willa Rabinovitch

Quick Bits
KCC’s pro bono attorney, Bruce Howell, is reviewing the draft Children’s Program Safety Policies, with the goal of recommending any necessary revisions in August.  Willa is working to find people to rebuild the ramp, to be installed in October. The latest SCOL water test for the main compound came back clear of contaminants.

Guidelines and Timing for Re-opening
A list of guidelines for the August 8th re-opening KCC Portland Center for in-person gatherings, based upon the most up to date information about Covid-19 and recommended procedures, was discussed. Guidelines will be posted on the KCC website and sent out on the Community Listserv. [Re-opening was subsequently cancelled]

Reorganization:  Timeline and Recommendations
KCC sangha members who are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) representing administrative areas (Programs, HR, etc.) met on June 25th, with professional facilitation, to consider the reorganization proposal. Smaller sub-group meetings are happening related to each area of responsibility prior to a second SME meeting.

During the first meeting, the facilitators offered the clarifying concept of the difference between “adaptive” and “technical” change. Adaptive change addresses fundamental issues, while technical change addresses much simpler operational issues. Adaptive change is best approached slowly, with time for all to be heard, as in the early phases of a values-clarification process for strategic planning. Technical change can be handled more quickly by those directly involved.

A timeline has been established that includes another SME meeting, Board approval of a revised re-org plan, Sangha input and finalizing the plan in the fall in time for the Working Groups to prepare plans and budget requests for 2022.

Under the proposal, the Board delegates responsibility for daily management of KCC to the Management Team and Working Groups. There will need to be guidelines for the authority of the Management Team, to be delineated in a Charter.

Strategic Planning
After a discussion on Cliff Lenton’s proposal for a strategic planning process, which calls for a representative group of around 20 people to draft a strategic plan for sangha and Board approval, the Board concluded that KCC needs to delve into many fundamental/adaptive issues at the root of planning for our next phase. (Questions like: “What is our mission going forward?” “How does KCC, as a sangha in the west, evolve in a lineage that is patriarchal and hierarchical?”) The nature of our sangha requires that all who wish to participate in such fundamental discussions have the opportunity. We need a planning process that involves more of the community than the original proposed process.  John will form a task group to begin to explore appropriate strategic planning processes and identify the fundamental questions we face. The task group will include others besides Board members.

Timing and Process for Bylaw Revisions
A Board task group did a preliminary review of the current Bylaws and identified a few areas that could use substantial improvement and a number of less critical language clarifications. Although it would be best to make any changes after the reorganization and strategic planning are complete, it was determined that there may be some changes that should be made sooner because they are either out of alignment with current practice, or will affect current standing agreements on operations and decision-making.  The task group was asked to identify the changes needed sooner and those that can be addressed later after strategic planning.

DEI Statement Progress
The Board had requested that the Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Study Group take on the task of developing an inclusivity statement. Zopa said the group declined to take that on and suggested an alternative whereby the leadership, the Board and PC need to become more clear about why to have an Inclusivity statement at all.  Zopa feels that KCC for the most part has not done the internal work yet, so we need a statement that matches where KCC is now. She said KCC needs an inclusion statement that reflects that “through ignorance and inaction we have been unknowingly exclusive,” and that we need to do the work to explore our blind spots, to move beyond intent and on to living the views. Zopa also suggested language we could use in the near term while we proceed to do the personal and organizational work on the issues. Rosemarie will craft a draft statement for Board review as an interim solution.

Trauma Response Task Force Progress
Two KCC members wrote the Board urging us to address more directly how to deal with and recover from conflict within the sangha. A task force was formed to consider their concerns. Their preliminary recommendations are 1) to establish a broader Harmony Council-like body to address both residual, current and future sangha-wide conflict issues; 2) make better use of the Communication, Conflict Resolution and Grievance Procedures developed by the current Harmony Council; and 3) communicate back to the sangha members who wrote to the Board. The Task Force will regroup and finalize a proposal for the next Board meeting.

Financial Report
The Budget Reserve went up to 4.7 months but is still short of our goal of 6 months. We continue to run a little over on total income compared to what was budgeted and a little under on expenditures. There has been more than budgeted from classes and retreats and less from individual donations. Blooming Lotus is critical this year. It needs to follow the retreats planned in September and October.

Staggered Board Terms
Phil presented the following adjusted Board terms. All were agreed prior to the meeting.  The objective is to have only two Directors leave at a time; one-third of terms expire each year.

Class 1: term ending 2021

Phil Wallin (mid-2021, eligible for new term but declines)
Sandy Pollock (end of 2021, two-year hiatus)
Linda Besant (end of 2021, two-year hiatus)

Class 2: term ending 2022

Doug Dunlap (mid-2022, eligible for new term)
John Jennings (end of 2022, two-year hiatus)
Joe Bertagnolli (end of 2022, eligible for new term)

Class 3: term ending 2023

Linda Logan (mid 2023, eligible for new term)
Ryan Fitz (end of 2023, eligible for new term)
Rosemarie Sweet (end of 2023, eligible for new term)