At the Special Congregational meeting last Friday night, members present voted in favor of the following motion: “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I move that the Board be granted full authority to sell the B & G Annex property on condition that the Board determines that this property will not be needed to allow for the planned ultimate development, known as Phase II, of the OUUC Division Street site AND that the Board be authorized to establish a negotiating team for handling the sale on behalf of the congregation.”  Passage of the resolution required a 2/3 majority. Of the 89 members voting, 64 voted in favor of the motion, 24 opposed and one abstained thus the 2/3 requirement was met.

The negotiating team established by the Board of Trustees consists of Jerald Dodson, Building and Grounds Chair and Linda Selsor and John Tafejian, members of the Board. No listing of the property will take place before the determination is made that sale of the annex will not impact Phase II development. The negotiating team will be meeting with the architect who designed our building and the remaining two building phases and former members of the Space Planning Committee to determine next steps in the assessment process. Preliminary work was done in the days leading up to the meeting, so we are hopeful that this work can be completed fairly expeditiously. The congregation will be updated once the assessment is complete and a determination is made as to whether or not to proceed with a sale.

The vote by the congregation comes at the conclusion of an almost eight-month process of the board and congregational discernment and assessment. Our thanks to the members of the initial Task Force that explored potential options for use of the annex property. The members included Steve Tilley, Harmon Eaton, Tim Ransom, and Carolyn Keck. Don Melnick, Linda Whitcher and Jerald Dodson contributed to the work of the Task Force. Alice Curtis served as the board liaison and scribe. At a series of informational meetings in May, various options for future use and disposition of the annex property identified by the Task Group were discussed. The top choice of the advisory ballot taken at the meetings was the sale of the property. As a result, the board assigned a committee consisting of Jerald Dodson, Don Melnick and John Tafejian to investigate the sale of the property. Our thanks go out to the members of the committee who spent countless hours meeting with various contractors and realtors to determine the costs of repairing or demolishing the building prior to a possible sale. And finally, thanks to the members of the Building and Grounds Committee and many other volunteers from the congregation that helped clean debris from the Annex building and make the grounds presentable.

A shout out is in order to all the volunteers who helped assure a well-run congregational meeting and to our members who listened and spoke respectfully sharing diverse perspectives and concerns. If you have any questions about the process moving forward, please contact one of the members of the negotiating team – Jerald Dodson, Linda Selsor or John Tafejian.