Morrill Memorial and Harris Library Investment Committee

Minutes of January 5, 2016 Meeting – Final Draft

Present:  Cindy Stableford, Betsy Ruml, John Hawkins, Gretchen Rittenhouse, Rachel Kurland

Minutes of October 5, 2015 approved with no changes.

Rachel provided the Library Board report:

  1. Reviewed the 2015 Library income/expense report and draft Budget for 2016.  Several maintenance items – tree removal, insulation, for example – contributed to increased costs, but the Friends were able to cover the expenditures.  Budget for 2016 is almost final.

  2. 2016 projects:  front stairs and oil painting restoration.  Expect some private fundraising to cover both projects.

  3. Will receive a $2,000 Terrell Grant in March

  4. Planning request to Byrne Foundation for Children’s Librarian salary.

  5. Will request the same amount from the Town as requested in 2015.

Cindy Stableford reported for the Friends:

  1. Very successful Holiday Sale due to great raffle, giftables, weather.  $6K ($5,700 net) vs. $4K last year.   Netted $2,500 from raffle alone.  

  2. Table at Barrett Hall was effective.  Overall, results may not be sustainable, but time will tell.

Report from the Chair (Cindy):

  1. Cindy reviewed the 2016 Downer, Swan and Ordway/Steele fund distributions to Library operations based on the funds’ earnings at year end 2015.  The Committee agreed to distribute a total of $173.61.  Rachel will revise the Draft 2016 Budget to reflect this number.

  2. Cindy presented a draft 2015 Annual Town Report for Town Meeting.  It was approved and she will forward to Nellie Pennington.

  3. Although it was not discussed at the meeting, subsequent to the meeting Cindy shared a copy of the Library Distribution Model updated with 2015 results, a copy of which is attached.  Pooled Endowment Funds (Total Endowment less restricted Funds) remain approximately $18,000 below the required $250,000 balance at year end, which is the point at which distributions may be made, according to Rules of Operations Revised as of June 8, 2015.


Portfolio review (Betsy Ruml):

  1. Betsy reviewed the 2015 sector performance report.  Commodities, emerging markets and gold were the worst performers, while international investments were also down – Primarily due to the strong dollar.  The Dow was essentially flat in 2015.  Large growth stocks (NASDAQ listings, mostly) were the best performers.

  2. Our portfolio is relatively stable - down .45% for the year, before adjustments for contributions/distributions, which will worsen performance by a bit.  Betsy noted that the portfolio was down over 4% in September, so there has been a decent recovery since then.  International and small cap investments fared the worst.

  3. Current balance is $250,323.92:  66% equity, 34% FI and cash.  Cash balance is $10,272, close to the $10,000 target.

  4. Betsy initiated a discussion of the target allocations.  Our 65% equity/35% fixed income allocation target is relatively conservative.  Many portfolios like ours, with a long-term outlook and modest distribution requirements use a 70/30 or even a 75/25 allocation.   She suggested that keeping our cash target at $10K, but decreasing our position in the bond index fund so that we achieve a 70/30 allocation would better match our longer-term goals.  She noted that this is not a prediction of short-term performance in the various markets, but rather a shift in longer-term allocation goals. The committee approved this suggestion.  Betsy will prepare a specific re-allocation plan, including a re-balancing of our allocations within our equity holdings, and present it to the committee for final approval (via e-mail) within the week.

The meeting was adjourned.  Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 at 9AM at the Library.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gretchen Rittenhouse


Note: Disbursements may be made if the year-end pooled endowment balance exceeds $250,000.   

MML Pooled Endowment Fund Distribution Calculation


Opening Pooled Endowment Balance

Ending Pooled Endowment Balance

Annual pooled endowment  market performance

5 year average year end balance

5 yr average year end balance times 3%

Cumulative possible distribution amount

Distribution taken

Distribution Deferred