As I mentioned in my March Message From the East, the Lodge continued its focus on securing our financial future. I am pleased to report that our lodge was able to reduce its 1st quarter operating expenses by approximately 37% compared to the same period last year. I extend my sincerest gratitude and congratulations to everyone who participated in this worthy endeavor. I am confident that we have acted decisively and in the best interest of our lodge’s long-term health.
Having pushed as aggressively as we could in cutting costs, we turned our attention to lodge revenues. Gentlemen, I am well aware that the issue of raising dues is always a sensitive one. This does not mean, however, that we can or should ignore the issue. To that end we had a healthy discussion on the matter in lodge. As part of this conversation, the lodge entertained a proposed by-laws change to raise our dues by $10. Due to timing issues, I expect to reread this proposal at our Strawberry Night Dinner and proceed to ballot on the measure in September at our Lodge Charity Night. While the details of our financial decisions are only appropriately discussed behind the Tyler’s door, I provide the following summary for your consideration.
Some proposed a further increase to our dues while others recommended either steeper cuts in expenses or continuing to operate at a deficit. The countervailing forces were clearly (1) sensitivity to any impact on those living on a fixed income and (2) the lodge’s need to secure a financial legacy for our future members while remaining active. I firmly believe we struck a healthy balance on the issue. We are now turning our attention to degree work and planning for our lodge birthday party.
As always, I look forward to working with you all in lodge.
David T. Witherspoon