jdlessley wrote:Management of the budget was the issue expressed by TinMan rather than were the funds come from or are allocated against.
Exactly jdlessley. Thank you.
It continues to be a struggle for me. Let me illustrate with an example of this week's email activities among the ward council.
We have 3 activities planned for the rest of the year. 1. A Halloween party the Elders are in charge of. 2. An adult dinner on 11-11-11 the RS is in charge of honoring veterans. and 3. the Ward Christmas party the HP are in charge of.
The RS started it, of course. I got an email on Monday wanting to know what the budget was for the activity. (Who else are they going to ask?) I emailed the bishopric and one of my councilors working with the clerk found out that there was $1300.00 left in the activities budget. The Summer party went a little over budget so there is less to work with than we planned. So, we divided it up: $400 for the elders, $400 for the RS and $500 for the Christmas party and sent out emails telling the groups their budget. The HP came back and said that would be okay for a breakfast party, but didn't think they could do a whole ward dinner party for that. (More about that in a moment.) Would I like to have a smaller Halloween party and take some money from the Elders and have a Christmas dinner, or stick with a breakfast? The RS came back and said that they were planning on about $700 and could they use $300 of their left over budget towards their veteren's dinner. (The Elders haven't even thought about what they are doing. It is clear in October, you know.)
So we had a ward council email discussion: Breakfast, or Dinner for Christmas with a smaller Halloween party? (Should I as the bishop just have decided? I didn't think so, I thought the WC should have input. Per the mock meeting idea.) 10 emails later: A breakfast was decided.
And so it goes. All are things that last year we would have had a 10 minute discussion in Ward Council, told the Activities chairman what we wanted and she would have made it work. She would have juggled the budget, planned the three activities and all I would have to do is show up the day of the activity.
As to the costs: The handbook says we are to be having activities that have "little or no cost." We have yet to figure out how to do that when a dinner is involved. Usually the ward supplies the meat or main dish and the other items are assigned out. Meat or main dish for 250 people is not cheap. Is the idea that we assign out all the food? That would put an unequal burden on some people. "You bring a salad, and you bring a dozen frozen chicken-cor-don-blu's." Or is it the idea that we stop having activites with dinners? Our WC didn't like that idea as food is always a big draw.
As I said. We are still struggling with it. But we are learning: The YM/YW should not be assigned the summer activity when they have all the camps/youth confreneces and so on already in the summer. The RS can have a "social committee" that is in effect a mini standing RS activities committee. Elders are still elders and will plan the Halloween activity the night before.