Managing Growth. Scaling mandirs from a small scale operation/facility to a large scale operation - Dr. Bapineedu Kuchipudi (s08a-2)

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  • 1. Session 8a Management & Administration of Mandirs Managing Growth Sri Venkateswara Temple, Bridgewater,NJ Dr. Bapineedu Kuchipudi Vice Chairman September 11-13, 2009 Issues that arise in scaling mandirs from a small scale operation/facility To a large scale operation
  • 2. Share the HTCS experience
    • Hindu Temple and Cultural society of USA Inc,
    • Sri Venkateswara Temple (Balaji Mandir) and
    • Community center,
    • 780 Old Farm Road, Bridgewater,NJ.
  • 3. Needs Assessment and Balance
    • Super size the Temple?
    • From Fast Foods, large Vehicles and Mansions the American mindset favors everything BIG.
    • Hindu Temples are not immune to this ideology.
    • Temple Administrators need to be grounded with a disciplined and restrained approach
    • Needs of the Community
    • versus
    • Needing to build for the Community
    • RUN
    • Resources Utilization Needs
  • 4. Winning over Bureaucracy
    • Local, County, State…
    • Building bridges and Working Together
    • (with your township, state, and federal legislators)
    • …… The Bridgewater Experience
    • Zoning laws/FAR (floor area ratio) requirements
    • Retain local counsel/planner that knows the code
    • Respect the system. Work with the system.
    • Educate the township board, neighbors, and anyone who shows up at town meetings to oppose.
    • Counter “Not in my backyard” opposition with Expert testimonials, DOT Studies, and if all else fails look at RLUIPA Federal Statutes.
  • 5. Invite Federal,State and Local Legislators to Visit the Temple.Conduct guided temple tours to local community(Public relations)
  • 6. Governor Corzine receiving thertham and prasad.
  • 7. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen leading the Maha Ganapathi Procession
  • 8. Winning over Bureaucracy
    • Zoning laws/FAR (floor area ratio) requirements
    • Retain local counsel/planner that knows the code
    • Respect the system. Work with the system.
    • Educate the township board, neighbors, and anyone who shows up at town meetings to oppose.
    • Counter “Not in my backyard” opposition with Expert testimonials, DOT Studies, and if all else fails look at RLUIPA Federal Statutes.
  • 9. RLUIPA
            • U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
            • A Guide To Federal Religious Land Use Protections
            • The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) protects religious institutions from unduly burdensome or discriminatory land use regulations. The law was passed unanimously by Congress in 2000, after hearings in which Congress found that houses of worship, particularly those of minority religions and start-up churches, were disproportionately affected, and in fact often were actively discriminated against, by local land use decisions. Congress also found that, as a whole, religious institutions were treated worse than comparable secular institutions. Congress further found that zoning authorities frequently were placing excessive burdens on the ability of congregations to exercise their faiths in violation of the Constitution.
    • In response, Congress enacted RLUIPA. This new law provides a number of important protections for the religious freedom of persons, houses of worship, and religious schools. The full text of RLUIPA is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/housing_rluipa.htm .
  • 10. Contributing with a SEVA Attitude
    • The local, state, and federal government has blessed
    • temples with tax favorable treatment and freedom in exercising our faith. We are grateful.
    • In return, the need to contribute and improve the quality of life and cultural enrichment becomes our duty and demonstrates good citizenship. Over the years HTCS has participated in many ways of giving back. Some of our efforts include:
    • Annual Health Camp for the uninsured and underinsured
    • Annual Scholarships for the local graduating high school students
    • Indian American Festival (Tenth year)
    • Helping local schools with funds for special programs
    • Soup Kitchen with the local Catholic Charities
    • Disaster Relief as needed
    • Contributions to many other local causes.
  • 11. Taking care of our Priests HTCS Religious Committee
    • Recruiting Qualified priests/monitoring priest services and devotee satisfaction.
    • Ensuring that priests follow established guidelines set by your religious committee. Reviewing and training on the right way to perform services based on practices and Agama requirements
    • Have a fair and workable Sambhavana and gratuity system. Housing, benefits and Quality of Life Issues.
    • “ Brahmana Santu Nirbhaya”
    • Taking care of the priest family has become an important social duty.
    • Ensuring that a few priests are qualified to perform Aparakarmas is critical to serving the Hindu American community
  • 12. Accountability and Transparency
    • Checks and Balances
      • Treasurer
      • Finance committee
      • Audit committee
    • Fiduciary responsibility
      • Credit policy committee (An HTCS initiative)
    • Encourages fiscal responsibility and discourages deficit financing and debt to support growth.
    • Avoid the concept of “Build it and they will come” mindset.
  • 13. It is a Balancing Act To Build Bigger
    • Temple’s responsibilities
    • Do not grow the temple beyond it’s means
    • Discourage borrowing!
  • 14. Thank you for listening
    • Hindu Temple and Cultural society of USA Inc,
    • Sri Venkateswara Temple (Balaji Mandir) and
    • Community center,
    • 780 Old Farm Road, Bridgewater,NJ.
    Om Namo Venkatesaya!