Governing Councils, Committee Meetings, and Budgets, Oh My!

Last night, I attended my first Hart House Board of Stewards meeting. The day before that, I convened a Hart House Literary and Library Committee meeting, and then defended the Committee’s budget proposal to the Committee on Budgets.

It’s been a long week.

Two of these activities were firsts for me. Although I haphazardly prepare personal budgets, and have been modifying and preparing the Committee’s budget for almost two month now, I had never defended one before. I forgot all the vision “buzzwords” that I was supposed to use to align our budget with the vision and goals of the organization – they flew right out of my head as soon as I walked in. However, I managed to intelligently and (reasonably) eloquently present the budget, the rationale behind it, and to answer questions posed to me by the committee. At the end, the Director of Programs at Hart House described our budget as “responsible,” so I think that’s a win.

Since the Board of Stewards meeting was the second meeting of the year (and this was the other first), I felt out of place and behind on important background information regarding the meetings. In the end, it was almost a good place to start, since the meeting opened with a guest speaker who described the governing policies, mandates, and responsibilities for governing bodies such as the Board of Stewards. All good things to know, if one is on the board. In the end, I walked away with booklets of information, which I plan to study over the weekend in preparation for my additional position of responsibility at Hart House.

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