Chairing FinCom

This trustee chaired her first committee meeting (Finance Committee) last night. I focused primarily on making sure everyone, especially the non-trustee members, could have a chance to speak. There were some mechanics that I was unsure about, but luckily the committee members had much patience and the staff was there to help.

It was an interesting exercise in blending Robert's Rules and the consensus rules that I'm more used to at cohousing and Green meetings. I couldn't diverge far from RR, but at committees we strive for consensus, so I felt that a temperature check with the committee members was an OK thing to try. There were some rounds of casual "I see many nods around the table" but the temp check offered more clarity. (A temperature check is where members are asked to use their hands/arms to show their preference, usually along a spectrum of options, e.g. hands high for agreement, hands low for disagreement. It's used to see how long a discussion should take – if the room is already in consensus about a topic, discussion can be safely cut short.)

I hope I didn't alarm the committee too much. I'm the vice-chair of Finance and Policy/Governance, so I may get another go at the rodeo during my term.

In terms of the content of the meeting: staff reported on the financial health of the VSB and a proposed admin procedure on how to continue providing said reports on a quarterly basis. Discussions were had about various sets of numbers but nothing controversial. We also had to make a recommendation to the Board to approve the audited financial statement from last fiscal, which will bubble up to the Board meeting on Monday evening.