Monthly InterCouncil Summary

January 2014

This summary describing the work of the temple’s three major decision-making bodies is published regularly. Each of the three major bodies of the temple mandala – the Board of Directors, the Dharma Council and the Mandala Council – meets monthly and provides notes to be consolidated for a report to the general sangha. A governance notebook with approved minutes is filed in the temple office. A list of current Council members and areas of concern, individual charges to leadership, and temple job positions are listed on the temple website.
The InterCouncil Mandala Review Committee (ICMRC) is a standing committee formed from members of the Board of Directors and the Dharma and Mandala Councils. They receive reports from each Council and the Board and discuss common issues.
In January the Committee discussed the newly formed Communications Sub-Committee and its complicated charge, focusing on maintaining the interpersonal connections that we find so important. Concerns around the details of a timeline and location of next year’s events require a response even though the details are not clear. IMRC members would like to see a revised format of the Sangha Forum. Several ideas were presented but a decision was not finally made. Other discussion concerned workshop leaders and the new Emergency Preparedness Team.
Next meeting: February 12, 2014

Board of Directors

  • The Board of Directors met in the newly rented house across from the Siskiyou property with a quorum as well as newly elected board members present. The Board agreed to meet on a new Thursday schedule of every three weeks, beginning 1/16, 2/13 and 6/6.
  • Member Concerns: a sangha member proposed creation of a new 501(c)3 organization, separate from DRZC, to raise funds for a new Dharma School building. Various groups and individuals are already putting energy into the project and the Board voted support.

Sub-Committee Reports

  • Property: The “Offering” has gone out for Siskiyou Cohousing LLC with 32 units offered and 25% of the total already sold. A legal MOU between DRZC and the LLC was discussed and will be considered further at the next board meeting. The Sodo building construction permit was denied by the City in the main due to possible settling of the underlying land. To remedy this, a surveyor is hired to monitor settling of the surcharge which in fact is going very slowly. Our goal is to manage this within a frugal budget for needed subgrade improvements. Habitat restoration is going well highlighted by a huge tree planting with Friends of Trees and other sponsors on February 22nd. All sangha members will be encouraged to participate. In grant writing efforts, a complicated brownfield cleanup grant is in the works, and the property development team is considering application to a complicated tax credit program that looks financially promising although a retainer is required to begin the process. The Board voted to move forward with exploring the opportunity.
  • A revised Budget for 2014 was presented by the Treasurer and was approved. A new Corporate Treasurer has been chosen from the sangha and candidates will soon be interviewed for the new position of Business Manager.
  • Transition concerns meetings indicate that people want to know how they will be affected personally. In response, the weekly newsletter includes a new section called “Transition Planning” that describes who is leading the different aspects of the move.
  • The Board has created a new Communications Sub-Committee to look at both what we communicate (content) and how we communicate it (channels).
  • The inter-council concern (through the ICMR) regarding the place of the DharmaGarden in the overall structure has been clarified. The Board voted to provide oversight for the DharmaGarden Steering Committee and the Committee will report regularly to the Board.
  • The Abbot’s job description was approved unanimously and will be followed with an annual performance evaluation.
  • An Emergency Preparedness Team is formed and will be active with six members.

Dharma Council

  • The Dharma Council considered several loose threads (gambling resources, End of Life workshop) and received a formal Seminary Evaluation Proposal including a recommended systematic process of preparation, evaluation and bringing new instructors into the educational and outreach programs. There is much presented and proposed in the document and the Council discussed how this might be done with intentions to follow-up in the very near future as the seminary program attracts new students wishing to tackle serious dharma study and temple leadership.
  • A brief discussion considered Workshop Leaders and Assistants with a planned e-mail follow-up.
  • A work group is listing various temple activities with an eye to prioritizing space in the transition months.
  • Next meeting is February 12, 2014.

Mandala Council

  • The Mandala Council considered staffing needs of Guestmasters and Head of White Family.
  • The White Family has updated a list of New Board and Dharma Council Members.
  • The Red Family did not have a report. All is well.
  • The Yellow Family is working on the breakdown of the bookstore. Sewing is shutting down and photos will be archived and boxed up.
  • The Green Family will ask Daoren to request all library books be returned by the time the library is packed up.
  • The Blue Family is updating the staffing of practice events. Sacristy and precenting may need to be updated as well. A Family Rep should check with team leaders to verify active volunteers.
  • There was much discussion around moving, how to do it, who needs to know what.
  • Next meeting was to have been February 9, 12-1:30pm in the sitting room. It has been cancelled on account of weather and will be rescheduled.