Petition 81578

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Headquarters/Staff (81578-FA-NonDis)

Report No. 16

Background and Mandate
    The General Conference assigned the responsibility for establishing a procedure for making a quadrennial review of the location of staff and the headquarters of general agencies to The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) in concert with the Connectional Table (CT). The legislative reference for this responsibility is found in The Book of Discipline 2004, ¶ 807.7, which reads:
To act in concert with the Connectional Table to establish a procedure for making a quadrennial review, initiating proposals and/or responding to proposals by the general agencies regarding the location of headquarters and staff and reporting the same to the General Conference.

    There is no corresponding reference to the CT’s responsibility for this task in ¶ 905. As a consequence, the CT referred to ¶¶ 807.6-8 when living out this function.
   The previous procedure developed by GCFA and the former General Council on Ministries (GCOM) involved a joint working committee. This body dissolved with the discontinuation of GCOM and has not been reconstituted. The primary responsibilities of that committee have been divided between GCFA, relying on its Executive Committee and Property Services Committee, and the CT where the entire table serves as the committee. At this time, general agencies seeking approval for relocation of headquarters or staff bring the case for relocation before both GCFA and the CT in separate actions. The requests are considered and receive action by the two bodies without regard for sequence or timing of the consideration.
Activity Concerning Headquarters/Staff Relocation
   New actions considered by GCFA and the CT during the 2005-2008 Quadrennium concerned the relocation of the headquarters for the General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM) and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW). Both of these actions are recorded in the minutes of GCFA Executive Committee meeting, September 9-10, 2005, in action items 130 and 133, and in the minutes of the CT meeting, November 4-7, 2005, in action item 11/5 - 10, as follows:
GCFA (130)    Proposal from GCUMM for purchasing Nashville property
Bishop William Morris, Interim General Secretary for the General Commission on United Methodist Men, elaborated on the proposal made in the August 1 letter of intent. (Exhibit C)
A resolution to authorize the sale of GCFA’s property at 1000 17th Avenue South in Nashville was presented and considered by the committee. (Exhibit D) It was moved by Don Underwood to accept the resolution. The resolution was seconded and adopted.
Don Underwood also moved that the request for the GCUMM to move the location of their headquarters be authorized. The motion was seconded and approved.

GCFA (133)    GCSRW Relocation Request
Garlinda Burton, General Secretary of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, presented a request to move the agency office from 1200 Davis Street, Evanston, to 77 W. Washington Street, Chicago (the Chicago Temple). (Exhibit F)
Sandra Lackore stated that GCFA would absorb approximately $5,000 in costs related to the move. The balance of the move-related costs would be covered by GCSRW funds.
Marilyn Moore moved approval of the move. The motion was seconded and adopted.

CT (11/5 – 10)       Plenary
Convened in plenary, the CT:...
  § Approved the request from the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women to move from Evanston to Chicago, IL, and confirmed the earlier decision to proceed with the new home for United Methodist Men. (See attachment 6.)
    Consistent with action taken at the 2004 General Conference, GCFA completed the consolidation and relocation of its headquarters location from 1200 Davis Street, Evanston, Illinois, to 1 Music Circle North, Nashville, Tennessee, in December 2005. As reflected in action item 130, above, GCFA subsequently sold its service center property at 1000 17th Avenue South, Nashville, to the General Commission on United Methodist Men. The GCUMM took possession of that building upon GCFA vacating it in December 2005. In October 2006, GCFA sold its ownership interest in the Evanston property to the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The realized proceeds from both these sales have been set aside by GCFA as a building and improvement fund to provide a source of funds to deal with on-going maintenance and improvement projects on the Nashville headquarters building.
Headquarters Property Report
   The Headquarters Property Report is summarized in another GCFA Report to General Conference in volume 3 of the Advance DCA. This report will detail the resources and methodologies used to compile the information contained in the report. Findings relevant to the location, condition, and status of agency properties are presented in that report.  
   It is the recommendation of the General Council on Finance and Administration that the location of the headquarters buildings and staff of the general agencies of The United Methodist Church remain at their current locations for another quadrennium. This recommendation is contingent upon any actions of the General Conference that may affect agency headquarters locations.