Rectory & Rhinelander Bldg

Vestry Meeting

May 17, 2010 Minutes

Rector Michael Phillips, Hal Barth, Virginia Borland, James Daubs, Jean Geater, Rob Ingraham, Warden Steve Knight, Liz Poole, Alden Prouty, Carol Stevenson, Jim Synk, Warden Bea Tompkins, Susan Valdés-Dapena, Treasurer Rob Morton
Suzanne Julig
Erlinda Brent, Todd Schwarz

Rector Michael Phillips called the meeting to order and led the Vestry in prayer. Rob Ingraham gave the spiritual reflection.

MayFair Report

Todd Schwarz and Parish Administrator Erlinda Brent presented an overview of the recent MayFair. There were 60 vendors, twice as many as last year, and net income grew to $11,559. The Fair netted $10,200 in 2009 and $9,200 in 2008. We may receive additional funds as a donation from Spoonbread Too, who provided the food. Erlinda and Todd said we can fit even more vendors—between 75 and 83—and should try to get them next year. Erlinda said the first contact with vendors should be a "save the date" notice in January, with a follow-up in mid-March. Todd is willing to serve as a leader for the 2011 Fair and listed the improvements/adjustments he'd like to make going forward, such as mapping our circuit breakers to accommodate the band, the two bouncy castles and the popcorn machine. He stated the need for a Site Director for the day of the Fair and a Vendor Relations person.
    There will be an in-depth review of MayFair on June 12 at 9:30 A.M. with Michael, the Wardens, Table Leaders, Suzanne, Rob, Erlinda, Todd, and any Vestry members who would like to attend.
    It was agreed that the 2011 co-chairs should be named by September 2010.

MOTION made and PASSED to approve the Minutes of the April meeting of the Vestry as revised.

Treasurer's Report

Treasurer Rob Morton reviewed the parish financials from January through April 2010. He explained that we have taken $30,000 from the endowment so far—half of the amount we will allow ourselves to withdraw this year. By this time in 2009 and in 2008 we had withdrawn $50,000. We have a realistic chance of realizing our break-even budget for 2010. If we have funds left over, the excess will go to repay the endowment the extra money we withdrew in 2009 and to the Diocesan arrears.

Diocesan Assessment Arrears Draft Letter

Jim Synk reviewed the arrears situation as explained at the two recent Town Meetings with the parish. We have three years to pay with no interest and with a $20,000 reduction in the amount owed. There was much discussion about not continuing to ask the parish to make contributions over and above their pledges and the importance of balancing our budget. Jim circulated copies of his draft of a letter to the parish explaining our arrears situation and inviting parishioners to help pay it by giving "a dollar a day" for the next 30 months. Michael asked that Vestry members contact Jim directly with any comments to the draft letter.

Compensation for Yorkville Arts Academy Director

Director Mary Ausman receives housing as her salary; no money changes hands. The estimated value of the housing is $21,600 a year. Proceeds from the Yorkville Arts Academy will go into the parish budget to cover this compensation.

Diocesan Investment Trust (DIT) Report

Jean Geater told the Vestry what she learned at a meeting about this trust. It is several trusts combined, one of which was set up for the benefit of Holy Trinity many years ago by St. James Episcopal Church. The DIT is run by the Commonfund through a computer-driven asset allocation system that is rebalanced frequently. We receive 1% of the market value each quarter—approximately $12,000 a year in recent years. The principle is restricted in perpetuity.


Property—Rob Ingraham told the Vestry the transept over the organ has been repaired. The organ restoration project has been shifted to begin in January 2011 with a guarantee that it will be finished by Palm Sunday. The broken oil pipe has been repaired by a contractor hired by Jim Iredell. Another contractor has submitted the plans for our water meter to the city for approval. Holy Trinity's hearing with a judge on this matter has been moved to July 6, 2010. Rob and Franny are meeting with a paving company about St. Francis Way. They will be choosing a paving stone and getting prices for the project.
Newcomers/Membership Development—Warden Steve Knight reported that there are two new members on this committee, and the next meeting is on May 27.

Neighborhood Ministries—Alden Prouty reminded the Vestry that the Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center fundraiser, a concert by the University Glee Club, will be on Monday, May 24, at 7:30 P.M. She encouraged everyone to attend and invite their friends and neighbors. Michael reported that two Muslim groups—The Muslims Against Hunger Project and the Muslim Alliance of New York—are volunteering at the Neighborhood Supper on the next two Saturdays. He would like this to be an ecumenical team, so he asked that Vestry members let him know if they can participate.

Pledge Campaign—The committee will meet in June to begin planning.

Adult Christian Education (ACE)—Carol Stevenson announced that the last Sunday for ACE programs was May 16. The Wednesday meetings on the book Disgrace generated lots of good conversation. There are two more Wednesdays, focusing on the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop. There will be a film series in August. Please email suggestions for any ACE topics to Carol by June 12.

Communications—Rob said the first issue of Triptych is just about ready for mailing and is also available online. It has generated very positive comments. There will be a fall issue, too.

Carpenter's Kids—Susan Vald&#eacute;s-Dapena reported that she is working out the details of giving the cow to Chitelela and writing the last few thank-you notes to the sponsors. She also wrote an article for The Episcopal New Yorker, as requested by Bishop Roskam, on our Lenten discipline of compassionate fasting and donating the money saved to Carpenter's Kids.

Children/Youth—Jim told the Vestry that Suzanne Julig's offer of church tours for children didn't generate any attendance. She wants to work with the Newcomers/Membership Development group on attracting more families with children. Michael, Sunday School Director Mary Ausman and others will be meeting about improving the curriculum for Sunday School.

Hospitality—Hal reported that Inez and Jackie will be doing a smaller-scale brunch on Trinity Sunday, May 30. They expect lower attendance because Trinity Sunday falls on Memorial Day weekend this year.

Fundraisers—Virginia Borland reminded the Vestry that the Thrift Shop has great merchandise at wonderful prices and mentioned they could really use some publicity. She will write up her experience for the Sunday bulletin. She also presented three ideas for additional fundraisers: a tour of Carl Shurz park by two docents (Virginia and Jean) followed by tea or cocktails at a parishioner's home, a tour and tea or cocktails at Gracie Mansion, and a wine and cheese event with parishioner John Tucker sharing his expertise on wines and Michael sharing his knowledge of cheeses.

Wardens' Report

MayFair Review—Steve has prepared a form to help participants evaluate various aspects of MayFair. Once the completed forms have been returned, there will be an in-depth review of the event.

Rector's Report

Lilly Fellow Update—The committee has selected a candidate, and Michael will be speaking with him tomorrow, May 18.

Summer Schedule—Michael distributed copies of the schedule, prepared by Minister of Music Stephen Hamilton.

Egypt to Sinai
—Michael recapped the just-concluded Sunday ACE series, emphasizing how much the Exodus story illustrates what"s going on currently in Christianity. Parallels include people moving from a very stable situation to an unstable, fluid one; Christianity as an institution moving from a well-defined hierarchical structure to a more egalitarian setup; and the dramatic change in the church's place in the establishment. There was lively discussion on this topic and how it is reflected in the range of Sunday services at Holy Trinity.


Next Regular Vestry Meeting—Monday, June 21 at 7:00 P.M. in the Choir Room.

There being no further business to come before the Vestry, MOTION made and PASSED to adjourn.
Michael closed the meeting with a prayer.
Respectfully submitted, Liz Poole, Clerk

Property Committee Report prepared by Rob Ingraham

Condition report from tour w/Franny Eberhart
• Transept above the organ. Work scheduled to being this week. Contractor (Stiller & Peavey) will re-point and cap the molding joints with lead on the roof outside. Water is getting in along the slant of the roof to the left of organ. Plaster is falling down on organ; with an expensive organ renovation on the calendar this must be completed before the renovation begins. Need details of when organ renovation is scheduled (beginning, end, timeframe etc.) Organ expert coming from Austria first week in May to inspect.
• Broken heating oil pipe outside on sidewalk. Sidewalk grate can lifted, oil is pooling. Clearly a mess. Sidewalk will need to be opened up. No info yet on who can do this sort of work; oil delivery companies don't do this, and Arold has had no luck in finding someone, but it needs to be taken care of before the next heating season. No deliveries since the break, but this is urgent.
• Kitchen in 4th floor apartment of Christopher House, near a circular vent on ceiling of kitchen; not crucial but will get worse with more rain. Should be taken care of ASAP. Relatively simple patch job. No estimates yet.
• Tower Room/Carrilon: Water leaks from roof drains, steam leaking from radiator, mold abatement is the main problem. Mold must be cleaned up and surfaces repainted. Need some regular ventilation for the room; we have a fan, not sure if it works, but need to keep air circulating to prevent recurrence of mold. Water leaks need to be located precisely and repaired. No estimates yet on cost or who will do the work.
• There"s also an oil painting in Tower Room, commissioned years ago for the church; last Rector didn"t like it, stored it in the Tower Room. Must be placed somewhere else—steam leaks and mold will eventually ruin it, and it might be worth something. Painter is Jimmy Ernst, Borgnicht Gallery is apparently still in biz. Transfer to Rectory?
Water meter
• The NYC Environmental Control Board requires that we have a water usage meter installed, and we're currently in violation. There's a meeting scheduled for May 11th to provide a judge with an update on our progress, but it doesn't seem to be a problem about getting another extension. There's no charge for usage as a non-profit but the new meter and installation will cost. No estimates yet. Sidaris Engineering doing engineering work. Stephen Murphy of Sidaris has plans all drawn up. Jim Iredell has a contractor lined up for the job, but we need to decide how much and when he can do it. Water main is next to kitchen in Draesel basement. Engineer also recommends (not required by city) a "backflow" device be installed, presumably for health reasons. No estimates yet on additional cost for this. Invoices and other info is on bulletin board of Erlinda's office.
St Francis Walk
• Still needs to be replaced. Money is apparently dedicated, but contractor (Mikail?) should be given a chance to re-bid the project as it's been a year since the project was first proposed. A sample of a rectangular, red brick path stone and a circular-shaped path stone are in the church office; just need to decide what it's going to be; color, size, shape, etc. and find a store that will deliver. Contractor will provide labor and sand (for drainage). Estimates around $11,000 to $15,000. As we have the money, probably should be done soon, before someone trips on it. Bridge Lumber in the Bronx might be able to deliver stones. Contract will tell us how many we’ll need, when he can do it.
• CHT’s Property Preservation Trust is dedicated for Capital Projects, but some interest income can be use for general maintenance. Not clear on what. Water meter likely considered Capital.