Staff and Program Budget Cuts Reflected in 2010 Budget

June 13, 2009

The proposed budget for 2010 for the California-Nevada Conference maintains cuts made in the 09 budget - and makes deeper cuts into the staff of the Conference Council on Ministries.


Rob Dunning, CCOM Chair, made the following explanation:


"The California-Nevada Annual Conference is not immune to the problems of the economy facing all of us at this time. CCOM has been working closely with CFA [Council on Finance and Administration] to address the issues of declining apportionment remittances and the cost to run the Conference. 


"The cuts we have had to make, and the further cuts we will have to make in the program and staff areas of CCOM, are not easy to accept. I have been on both sides of the fence, having spent eight years on CFA and now serving on CCOM, and have found that it is not a case of 'us' vs. 'them': We who are on Conference Boards and Agencies are all in it together, and together we have to face the facts.   


"The fact is, unless the local churches who are remitting their full share of apportionments continue to do so, and the local churches that are not remitting their fair share increase their share, then the cuts listed below will have to be made. 


"Look closely at the proposed budget for 2010; look closely at what we are not doing. It is up to you - and remember, apportionments are not a 'tax' to the local church, but rather, your fair share of 'A Portion Meant for Others.'"


As you may recall, earlier this spring the Bishop reported that the Council on Finance and Administration had directed that the spending plan for 2009 be revised to reflect actual collections for 2008, rather than the 2009 budget adopted at Annual Conference. 


Every area of spending was subject to this revision. Wages for salaried employees, including Superintendents - which already had been frozen at the 2008 level - were cut 3.85 percent, effective March 1. In addition, it was decided to close the Conference Center in West Sacramento to meetings and employees on the last Friday of each month - which gives hourly workers a 3.85 percent pay cut also, in the form of an unpaid day off (while providing some saving in energy costs). District Offices are being closed on the last Friday of each month, as well.


These measures will trim away $47,111. Cuts also were made to actual programs administered by all the boards and agencies operating under the Program budget category, resulting in nearly $151,000 more in savings. Similar cuts are being made in all the categories.


In planning for the 2010 budget the Council on Finance and Administration recommended $200,000 in additional cuts to the budget. In order to reach that goal, it was decided to freeze all salaries in 2010 at the revised 2009 level (meaning 3.85 percent below 2008), and to continue the furlough day at the United Methodist Center and District Offices.


The Conference Council on Ministries made further cuts to its funds for the work of its Boards and Agencies, and put in place the following staff decreases to begin January 1, 2010: The Director of Stewardship position held by the Rev. Betsy Schwarzentraub will be eliminated; the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission staff position will go from full time to half time; the position of Administrative Assistant for the Director of Connectional Ministries, held by Dina Stenwick, will become a half-time position (Dina is scheduled to retire in 2011); the Administrative Assistant for the Communications Office, Jane Horstman, will go from full time to three-quarter (3/4) time; the Administrative Assistant for Youth and Camping, Sheri Sandoval, will go from full time to three-quarter (3/4) time; and the hours of the Administrative Assistant for the Volunteers in Mission office, Eddie Frutchey, will be reduced by five (5) hours per week.


Members of Annual Conference Session will have an opportunity to weigh in on the 2010 budget when it is presented for a vote next week.