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Meetinghouse Trustees' Report

The Trustees recommend a different way of abiding by the spirit of the 1962 agreement with Olive Rush.

Recommendation to the Santa Fé Monthly Meeting of Friends by the Trustees of the Olive Rush Bequest [approved 3-21-2010]

The Trustees responsible for attending to the bequest by Olive Rush to the Santa Fé Monthly Meeting of Friends – Elliott Skinner, David Henkel, and sitting Clerk Bob Gaines – recommend that Meeting re-visit the nature of the trusteeship and its responsibilities.

The 1962 agreement between Olive Rush and the Santa Fé Monthly Meeting created a Board of Trustees to ‘administer the premises and property’, including guaranteeing their upkeep and maintaining the premises “as a memorial to Olive Rush and to her father and mother….”

The current trusteeship succeeding the original arrangement was recommended to Meeting in the March 28, 1995 report of the ad hoc committee convened for that purpose. The recommendations on the “successor trusteeship’ include abiding by the spirit of the 1962 agreement and balancing the needs of the Meeting with the intent of Olive Rush. Subsequently adopted by Meeting, the arrangement has worked reasonably well. The trustees have periodically expressed their opinions to Meeting on proposed physical modifications to the Meetinghouse for enclosing the portal; creating an entryway through the zaguan (garage space) to make entrance more accessible; and clarifying the terms of Olive Rush’s will and the 1962 agreement between her and the Meeting regarding the transfer of the property. They have also voiced concerns about the liability of Meeting members related to the property.

Now that the Santa Fé Monthly Meeting has decided to incorporate itself under New Mexico statutes, the new Board of Directors will assume administrative responsibility for the physical property of the Meeting in support of its worship and witness. Consequently, the Trustees recommend laying down the trusteeship and transferring its responsibilities for the physical property to the Board of Directors of the incorporated entity. We further recommend that Meeting appoint a small group of Friends to serve in the manner of a “Watching Committee” to assist Meeting in abiding by the spirit of the 1962 agreement and, in the words of the 1995 report of the ad hoc committee, “to adopt the longest view or perspective: to balance the needs of the Meeting with the intent of Olive Rush, neither to take precedence over the other.”

The committee should comprise Friends with a solid understanding of the origins and evolution of the Meeting and who are seasoned in the deliberative manner of Friends.

Elliott Skinner            David Henkel            Bob Gaines

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