Treasurer promises balance and communication

June 07, 2014


“I work for you, I represent you,” said newly-elected Conference Treasurer Terry Montgomery at the start of the Treasurer’s Report at the 2014 Annual Conference Session on Saturday morning, June7.

“The budget should be lavishly communicated,” Montgomery said

Twelve pre-conference budget presentations took place during the spring throughout the Conference, he said.

Montgomery spoke of struggling to present the budget in a way people could understand, offering the example of how when he first came to work it was difficult to determine where his pay came from in budget based on how it was laid out. This has led to changes in how the budget is structured, he said.

Montgomery expressed the importance of proper focus in fulfilling the mission.

“If you have a budget of $100,000 to go to missional work, please go do $100,000 of missional work,” he said.

The Council on Finance and Administration asked the Conference for $16,014,097 in apportionments in 2015, a $259.4K or 1.59% decrease from the 2014 budgeted apportionments.

Montgomery ran down 2015 specifics of each department within the Conference. The information is available on the Conference website, he said.

For General Church, which includes the Episcopal Fund, General Church Administration, Ministerial Education Fund and General Church Missions, the 2015 figure is $2, 423, 084, or 18.2%.

The Bishop’s Office figure is $289,453 or 2.2%.

Finance is $498,250, or 3.7%, and oversees the financial health of the Iowa Annual Conference and the Conference Board of Pensions, including managing $35MM in annual income and $60MM of net assets.

Benefits and HR account for $321,467, or 2.4% of the 2015 budget, including supervising the benefits of more than 1,500 active and retired clergy and serving as the Conference HR department.

Benefits are very important, said Montgomery, and consideration was in process for adding to staff in this area.

Information Technology represents $247,150, or 1.9% of the budget.

Communications is $360,975, or 2.7% of the 2015 budget.

Archives makes up 0.2% of the budget with a figure of $23,000.

Montgomery spoke at length about the Conference Center, which has a figure of $688,741, or 5.2% of the 2015 budget.

The cost of building and maintaining the Annual Conference Center is ongoing, something the Conference will be paying into the future. There is copy and mailing equipment on site that is no longer used but for which leases are still in force and being paid.

“As Conference Treasurer I have a maximum that I’m going to sign leases for and it’s three years,” Montgomery said.

He gave the example of outsourcing cleaning duties in one’s home.

“Why don’t we do that?” he asked. “Because it costs too much.”

Montgomery has assessed the costs at the Conference Center for maintenance and plans to add maintenance staff.

Annual Conference Sessions make up $403,816, or 3.0% of the budget.

Clergy Support and Services is $970,085, or 7.3%.

District Offices is $2,939,520, or 22.1%.

CCMC is $376,860, or 2.8%

Camps is $1,031,433, or 7.8%.

Higher Education is $752,658, or 5.7%.

Parish Development is $528,182, or 4.0%.

Communities and Institutions is $222,921, or 1.8%

Emerging Ministries is $268,241, or 2.0%.

Hispanic Ministries is $103,267, or 0.8%.

Social Justice/Immigration is $160,246 or 1.2%.

Missions (Africa) is $19,258, or 0.1%.

Youth Ministries is $39,760, or 0.3%.

Board of Laity is $14,874, or 0.1%.

District Missions is $92,829, or 0.7%

Offering the example of the need for the Conference to respond to unforeseen natural disasters, Montgomery said emphasis of the Conference cannot be on apportionments.

“We need to be good stewards of our finances,” he said.

Montgomery restated that mission budgets should be used, and then went on to say that operating budgets should be reduced.

“We need to be more transparent,” said Montgomery.

After having advised Conference attendees that 20 percent of apportionments are received in December each year, while expenses run throughout the year, he said that monthly budgets will be developed.

“You’re going to see a transformation this year,” Montgomery said.

“We need to act with integrity as a Conference,” said Montgomery. “We need to live our Conflict of Interest Policy.”

Balancing the budget is a priority.

“And we need to communicate,” he said.

Twelve more visits are planned throughout the Conference; said Montgomery, with Conference staff accompanying him for presentations.

“We’re going to talk about this balance,” Montgomery concluded, before offering himself for questions throughout the rest of the Annual Conference Session.