SCNA approves emergency use of reserve fund amid pandemic

The SCNA board has been forced to dip into its Reserve for Replacement Fund to help cover a revenue shortfall projected to be $20,000 a month until Sierra 2 Center can reopen and generate revenue again.

“I don’t think anybody expected what befell us – and I’m speaking of COVID,” SCNA President Bill Hoover said at the Jan. 13 board meeting, which was conducted via Zoom. “Frankly, we’re struggling to survive.”

The Reserve for Replacement Fund exists to pay for maintenance and repair of the community center. The board voted to authorize disbursement of up to $40,000 from the fund to cover the shortfall for the first two months of the year.

Sierra 2 Executive Director Terri Shettle said her staff is applying for a number of grants “to try to keep it as close to a zero net loss as possible.” Grants, such as for payroll protection and arts funding, have to be spent for their intended purpose, so the money cannot be used to replenish the reserve fund, Terri said. However, grants can reduce the amount that has to be removed from the reserve fund in the first place.

At its first meeting of 2021, the board voted to re-elect all of its officers: Bill Hoover, president; Kathy Les, vice president; John Bailey, treasurer, and Bruce Pierini, secretary.

The only change on the Executive Committee will be the member at large. The incumbent, Andrea Rosen, declined renomination, and suggested instead that one of the new board members take the position. As a result, Mimi Budd was elected member at large.

The other new members are Jessica Bivens, Shannon Motley and Lily Harris. Lily’s 9-day-old daughter, Mona, lay quietly on her lap throughout the meeting, possibly the youngest person ever to attend an SCNA board meeting.

The board also voted unanimously to ratify a letter to the city urging notification to new property owners in Crocker Village of the protections granted to the Heritage oak trees that remain on their properties.

Much of the January meeting was orientation for the new members, with presentations by committee chairpersons on the responsibilities of the Finance, Facilities, Development and Neighborhood Concerns standing committees, the Viewpoint principal committee, and the racial justice and quiet yard care ad hoc committees.

On Dec. 2, the new members were elected – and incumbents Susan French, John Mathews and Bruce Pierini were re-elected – by an electronic vote of 73 members at the general membership meeting via Zoom.

Before the vote on board candidates, the nominees introduced themselves to the membership.

Jessica said when she moved to the neighborhood, “I knew instantly I’d chosen the right place. I knew I wanted to get involved and contribute.”

Lily said, “Neighborhoods like this don’t just happen randomly. It’s because of people like those on this Zoom call.”

Shannon said Curtis Park has the small-town feel of Davis, where she grew up, with “friendly neighbors, a strong foundation … and the resources of the Sierra 2 Center.”

Mimi, who has lived on Curtis Way about 40 years, is a returning board member and former president. She joked that she is “seasoned,” having served on the board in the 1980s, when Bill Hoover was previously president.

Also at the December meeting, Treasurer John Bailey gave a presentation on SCNA’s financial situation. His figures showed a decline of $89,295 in revenue from the 2019 fiscal year to the 2020 fiscal year. Since the beginning of the pandemic, John said, the board’s focus has been on financial “damage control,” trying to find ways to stem the flow of cash while revenue is down but expenses related to the Sierra 2 Center continue.

Development Committee Chair Erik Fay pointed to some of the positive signs for SCNA in 2020: the Big Day of Giving, which raised more than $52,000 in May; the Porch Picnic fundraiser, which netted $17,800 in October, and 33 new SCNA members as an additional benefit of the fundraiser.

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