December 2009

JuanCabasosThis month’s President’s letter will disclose our financial status to the membership. The buzz word in today’s business world is Transparency. I’ve asked the Treasury to give us a report.

Items to be included for this letter are:

1. When I first started to draft my letter, my thoughts were of either being Fiscally Conservative or Fiscally Liberal. Much to my surprise, the President of the South Texas Geological Society, Mark Thompson, wrote what I was thinking. Mr. Thompson gave me permission to print his October 2009 letter in our bulletin.
2. Leighton Devine will provide us with the CCGS numbers.
3. Sara Venable will provide the Scholarship numbers.

The Luncheons; we were losing about $150 per luncheon last year, thus the increase to $25 per meal. I’m happy to report that the fix worked and we are in the black.

The Bulletin; we have 300 copies printed per month and the cost is $661.95. Of the 265 paid members, 215 members request a mailed copy. The cost of postage is $201.36.

The Website; our current cost is around $200 per month to stay updated.

Keep Christ in Christmas,
Juan N. Cabasos
CCGS President 2009 – 2010



I have had the priviledge of attending many of the Board Meetings of the South Texas Geological Society for the past 6 years. One common theme that arises every year, regardless of which people represent which office, is the financial issue. It probably is the one issue that every president of the society needs to watch most closely. The STGS and all other similar organizations face 2 opposing sides of this issue, and I will summarize it as follows:

1) The Fiscally Conservative STGS: Financially, we are in great shape, and the society needs to protect this fortunate situation. Our society loses money on its two largests outputs, that being the publication of our Bulletin, and the hosting of our monthly luncheon. No corporation or even a non profit entity can do this and survive. We need to raise our prices for annual membership and also for our luncheon. We must at least break even on these 2 items we provide. We lose most of our money on the Bulletin, so we should either charge more for membership to further subsidize the Bulletin, or even go to every other month publication. There is no way we can donate money to scholarships, other geological non-profits, or any other cause until we get our annual profit/loss together. The finances of the STGS must be preserved as priority number one.

2) The Fiscally Liberal STGS: Financially, we are in great shape, and the society needs to take advantage of this to accomplish our purpose as a society according to our official “By Laws” and to in fact honor all of our previous commitments. The goal of STGS is not to operate with a positive cash flow, but to do the things we do best, even if it means an annual monetary loss. Yes, we can increase our annual membership and monthly luncheon charges to the membership, but that is not our purpose. Substantial income from hosting AAPG and GCAGS conventions has made our society financially healthy, and we must proceed with an annual negative cash flow under the assumption that future conventions we host will pick up the accrued deficit. The above two perspectives both present issues that have merit. I personally have consistently voted at STGS Board meetings along the line of the fiscally liberal position because I thought it was the proper route to pursue. Others may disagree, and I totally understand their position. This issue remains with every year’s STGS Board. By bringing it forward perhaps our society can reach a consensus.