Big changes are in the air in the Mountain Desert District and throughout the Pacific Western Region. You are invited to hear more about them and to give your input. The MDD Board of Trustees will be holding two Zoom meetings to give more information and to hear input leading up to the Mountain Desert District business meeting on June 19.

The Zoom meetings will cover the same information, so feel free to pick which time works best for you – Saturday, May 22 at 10 am MDT or Wednesday, May 26 at 7 pm MDT. The issue to resolve is no less than the future of the MDD. A statement from the Board follows. To register for either of these meetings, email Rhoda Whitney at Registration for the business meeting will open on the MDD website on May 19th.

Mountain Desert District Board of Trustees – current ideas on regionalization 

Regionalization was voted in at General Assembly in 2014, but has never been fully implemented in the Pacific Western Region (PWR). The Boards of the four districts of the PWR have been meeting together for almost two years now, working to support each other, align our goals, and find the vision of what full implementation should look like.

The Mountain Desert District (MDD) Board has spent a considerable amount of time and energy – both in coordination with the other district boards, and separately – on what the path to regionalization should look like, and what we think the end goal should be. 

There were, and are, many reasons for regionalization.  The main reasons are:

  • ·       Eliminating redundancies,
  • ·       More chances to collaborate, and
  • ·       Ability for staff to specialize.

At this point in time, it appears inevitable that the districts will dissolve. The positive reasons for this are the same as they were for regionalization in the first place, plus the fact that lay leadership within the districts has become strained over the past few years.  As well, it seems clear that the UUA intends to operate through regions, not districts. Maybe it is time to accept this and work together to move forward.

MDD has an additional responsibility that the other districts of the PWR do not – we are the fiscal agent for PWR, and PWR only exists as a “doing business as” entity under the MDD. Therefore, the Board recognizes that we cannot responsibly recommend to dissolve the district until there is either another entity to contain the PWR or the PWR can exist on its own. 

A possible path forward would be for the MDD to expand its geographic boundaries and change the makeup of its board to include directors from all of the current districts, change its name to Pacific Western Region, and have the other three districts combine with the “new” PWR. At that time, the new board could decide to turn over governance to the UUA and dissolve as a board, or possibly continue at least on a trial basis. This would greatly reduce the number of board members needed from the region, reducing the strain on volunteers. 

We need to remember that governance structure is not Unitarian Universalism, and that there is no one perfect way to organize.

In faith,
Your MDD Board