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Dear Members and Friends,

Please see the summary below of the General Business Meeting held on Sunday, January 25, 2015:

• The Group was notified that Mother Center wanted to know if the Houston Center would like to have a monastic visit in April. We discussed this proposal and also a requested visit in November for our ten year chapel construction anniversary for November 2015.The majority preferred the April visit and Managing Team notified Mother Center.

 

• The Group also suggested to cut the current proposed budget (please click here). The majority of the Group suggested two areas as follows:

• Flowers

• Juice Socials

The Group had lengthy discussions on both topics and it was a majority to cut the budget for both flowers and the juice socials.

Regarding Flowers: the group suggested fewer arrangements on the altar and a reimbursement of $25 per week and a majority agreed. The Flower Committee Chairperson was informed of the Group’s decision. Also noted, the Flower Committee could receive individual donations specifically for flowers and use those funds for needed reimbursements. The Treasury will provide $25 per week to the Flower Committee as the Group suggested.

Regarding Juice Socials: some of the group wanted to cancel the social altogether, some wanted to leave as is and some wanted to reduce the budget. After a Group discussion, a majority wanted to cut the budget. Managing team decided this was an important part of the Houston Center and it was important to have a venue for introducing new comers and have time to visit with others and socialize. It was also important to comply with the Group’s majority recommendation. Therefore, managing team worked out a plan with two devotees who will donate funds at the end of the year to help cut the budget as the Group wanted.

 

• The Group wanted to focus on paying off the mortgage early. It was discussed that the original goal of the Group and of Mother Center at the time the property was purchased in 2004 was to pay off the mortgage as soon as possible. And, that a couple of years ago, the Group voted to make a one-time $5,000 payment toward the mortgage. Therefore, the Group voted for two additional payments toward the mortgage as follows:

 

• To pay an approximate payment of $5,200 from the Prosperity Bank account and close that account. This was approved by Mother Center and managing team made this payment as voted by the Group.

 

• To pay a $5,000 payment from the Building Fund Account with SRF. However, this was not approved by Mother Center. SRF stated that we need to keep a reserve of six payments in the account that equals approximately $9,000.00 (which we have). Our monthly mortgage note is approximately $1,501.00. When we reach a balance of  $14,000 in the building fund account, managing team will make the additional $5,000 payment that the Group voted to do.

 

• The Group suggested to have a fund raising event to also help pay off the mortgage early. One suggestion was to have an India Night. The Group wanted to have this fund raiser along with the monastic visit and Mother Center approved. Managing team has been working closely with the Group and with Mother Center on the Agenda for that weekend and specific events that Mother Center has approved.

 

• The Group voted to pass the Budget with the two revisions to reduce the cost of Flowers and reduce the cost of the Juice Social.

 

For those who were unable to attend, please note that you can always give your proxy to someone else to vote on your behalf. You would need to provide a written statement to your proxy to bring to the General Business Meeting or send an email to a managing team member and copy the person who would be voting on your behalf.

All of the above decisions were made by a majority of the Group attending the meeting. It is the duty and responsibility of the Managing Team to implement and follow through with the Group’s decisions. Therefore, Managing team is working with the Group, the Committee Chairs, and Mother Center to achieve the Group’s majority votes.

 

Thank you.

- Managing Team

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