During the information sessions following the Rev. Perchlik’s resignation, some of you may have heard that the Board of Trustees negotiated a “fair and comprehensive” settlement with the Rev. Perchlik. As the particulars are available to the Finance Committee, the board thought the congregation as a whole should be apprised of the thinking behind the negotiated settlement with the Rev. Perchlik and its impact on the congregation’s financial position.

Our goals in negotiating a settlement with the Rev. Perchlik were that it be quick, clean, kind and fair. The timing enabled both the minister and the congregation to meet the deadline for Interim Ministry applications. The negotiating team was guided by our bylaws, the minister’s contract and good standing within the Unitarian Universalist denomination.

Under the contract, the Rev. Perchlik was eligible for only three months of salary, housing allowance, and benefits in the event of a dismissal. As this was a resignation and not a dismissal, the negotiating team wanted to be kind and fair to the Rev. Perchlik by providing a settlement that would offer support until he was able to find an interim pulpit. In such situations, the minister bears the greater risk. There was no guarantee the Rev. Perchlik would find another pulpit while, on the other hand, congregations typically fill interim positions. Finally, if we treat our ministers fairly, then we retain the good standing and reputation we enjoy within the denomination. This made it far easier for us to attract top Interim candidates and supports our future search for a settled minister.

The settlement provided the Rev. Perchlik with five months of salary, housing allowance, and benefits for a total of $54,100.20. The cost is covered by the 2017 budget and unrestricted reserves. Those reserves also cover the expense of our halftime bridge minister, overlap of two months of two ministers’ compensation, and moving expenses for our interim minister. This resulted in a substantial reduction to, but not total elimination of the unrestricted reserve fund. The settlement had no impact on our Building Major Maintenance Fund or restricted reserve funds.

The cost of a new search will be a factor as we consider budget and fundraising options in 2018. Indeed, it may influence our thinking about whether a two-year interim might be more advisable than the initially anticipated one-year interim period. Once the Rev. Posa has an opportunity to do his initial assessment, we should have a better handle on that and get back to the congregation. Given the hard work of the prior Search Team, we could get started as late as September if we still think we are ready to move into search mode yet this year.

If you have questions, thoughts, please contact Linda Selsor, Board President.