OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION: East Shore Congregational Meeting Regarding Holly House on Sunday, March 24, at 12:30 p.m.

Mar 11, 2019 | News


East Shore Congregational Meeting Regarding Holly House

Childcare will be provided along with refreshments.

Sunday, March 24, at 12:30 p.m.

Full Voter’s Guide

One-Page Summary of Voter’s Guide

March 10 Town Hall Q & A

March 18 Town Hall Q&A

LifeWire Q & A: audio recording

LifeWire Q & A: written document

Attain Housing Q & A: audio recording

Attain Housing Q & A: written document

Market Rate Q & A: audio recording


  1. Call to Order
  2. Establishment of a Quorum (25% of membership, 106 members)
  3. Adoption of Robert’s Rules of Order (and appoint a Parliamentarian)
  4. Board motion and vote to accept one of four options for the sale of the Holly House land parcel (the following is a summary and not the actual ballot):
    a. Attain Housing: Proceeds $1.2 million, 12 affordable units targeting homeless families with children; 13 units rented at market rate (with later possible conversion to affordable). No restrictions on the church’s use of the proceeds.
    b. LifeWire: Proceeds $1.05 million, 25 affordable units targeting homeless women and their families who have suffered domestic abuse. No restrictions on the church’s use of the proceeds.
    c. Market-Rate Sale 1: Proceeds estimated as ~ $3.85 million. ESUC is committed to a create a designated fund for earth and social justice distributions. The approximate initial value of the fund will be ~$890,000 (see below). All other details of the fund’s management to be determined in the future. The remainder of the proceeds will have no restrictions on the church’s use.
    d. Market-Rate Sale 2: Proceeds estimated as ~ $3.85 million. Sale with no restrictions on the church’s use of the proceeds.
    Proceeds from the sale will support the ministries, programs, infrastructure, and financial sustainability of the church except as noted in option c. The decision process on allocating non-committed proceeds including paying off the mortgage will be the subject of future congregational discussion and decisions.
  5. Adjourn

Summary of Business

The business of this meeting is the vote on the sale of the Holly House land.  Per our bylaws, no business other than that stated in the agenda will be conducted.

Supporting Materials

A detailed information packet on the vote will be available in the church office and distributed to all members electronically. Paper copies may be picked up in the Administration Building or mailed on request to Membership Development Manager, Nicole Duff (425-747-3780 ext. 106; [email protected]).

The Voting Process

Our bylaws require (1) a quorum of 25% of members for financial decisions exceeding $100,000, and (2) a majority vote (>50%) to pass a decision. The bylaws also do not allow proxy or absentee voting, so your attendance is strongly encouraged.

Under our bylaws and Robert’s Rules of order, if there is not a majority, we are required to repeat the vote with all options until a majority is reached.  After three ballots without a majority we will vote to suspend the rules (2/3 majority required) to allow re-voting with elimination of the lowest vote getter until a majority is reached (maximum of three ballots).

Voting Eligibility

The vote will use a paper ballot that will be distributed at the meeting only to members who are listed in the membership roll. The criteria for membership are in our bylaws; they require a financial contribution within the past two years unless you have been excused by hardship or life member status. If you have not been making a financial contribution you possibly may not be on the membership roll.

To confirm your status, the membership roll is available in the church office or you may contact our Membership Development Manager Nicole Duff (425-747-3780 ext. 106; [email protected]). 

There will be no process for validating membership on the day of the meeting. If you are not on the rolls, you may not vote.

Non-Member Attendance

Friends and non-voting participants in our community may attend but must be seated in the church balcony (excepting accompanying children, of course).

[1] Voted by the board as 30% of sale price minus the sum of fees, commissions (est. $193,000), and the mortgage balance at the time of closing (est. $690,000).  No commitment to pay off the mortgage is implied.  Numbers are approximate.

March 7, 2019

Dear East Shore Member,

Above this letter is the official announcement of a special congregational meeting to decide the sale of our Holly House property.  Our bylaws require this be snail-mailed to each member household two weeks prior to the meeting, unless they have specified getting notifications via email. This meeting is the culmination of nearly four years of effort by three Holly House task forces to bring us to this exciting point.

I know there will be much discussion about the process for this meeting. Please bear with the Board and Task Force in recognizing much of what we do is constrained by our bylaws including the explicit exclusion of proxy and absentee voting and the requirement for a majority vote that has led us to an admittedly cumbersome voting process.

I cannot stress enough how important this vote is for the future of our church. Please read carefully the material on the attached agenda, the excellent voter’s pamphlet, which is being distributed separately, and try to attend one of the information sessions (Sunday, March 10, 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Monday, March 18, 7:00 p.m.).  And most of all please be present for the meeting. We require an extraordinary 25% quorum in order to make financial decisions of this magnitude.

Childcare will be provided, and please let us know if there is anything else we can do to assist in your attendance including arranging rides.

I would like to recognize the particular contributions of Linda Freeburg and Laurie Adams in co-chairing our current Holly House Developmental Task Force. The task force has done an incredible and arduous job in steering us to this conclusion.  I would also like to acknowledge Ann Fletcher for her help in navigating our bylaws.

The Board of Trustees at its February meeting discussed whether or not we should make a recommendation to the congregation for this vote. We concluded: The Board can and will support whatever decision the congregation makes. There is no right or wrong choice. There is no good or bad choice. All of the outcomes can be made consistent with the mission and vision of this church, our commitment to social justice, and our obligation to be good stewards of our church’s resources. 

Thank you for your continued participation in East Shore!

Tom Doe

President, Board of Trustees