For example, the steward of a hoe might decide that the best interests of that hoe were in keeping it pristine, in locked storage, never to be touched or dirtied, forgetting that it is only a tool. Likewise, a financial steward might choose to never spend a penny, but invest and grow a group's finances, forgetting that money is but a tool.
That said, the Treasurer is ultimately responsible for the financial health, and that may mean resisting impulsive spending by others.
To that end, the Treasurer's biggest responsibility is to maintain and enforce a budget, which is to be agreed upon by various committees.
Until land for an ecovillage is secured, the Treasurer may also be called upon to manage an acquisition trust fund. The trust fund's money will be "off-budget," meaning it will not be available for the day-to-day operation.
The Treasurer may also be called upon to manage and track labor and other contributions, which are non-monetary credits used to acknowledge contributions of goods, materials, or labor by its members.
In an egalitarian group, the Treasurer is expected to fill a spot on the stewards' council, which is responsible for carrying out policy decisions via consensus. All leaders are expected to act as servant leaders rather than traditional business executives or managers.
My background has been bookkeeping since 1970. For the past 15 years, I have owned and operated my own bookkeeping service. I have been the treasurer for two non-profits. I pride myself in being very detail oriented, and I love to have everything in balance.
As Finance Steward, I will keep track of all the finances in a clear and concise manner. The “books” will be open to examination by any of the members upon written request. I believe in being ethical and right-principaled in my business dealings.
--Carol Wagner 11:21, 19 Apr 2005 (PDT)
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