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CCN AGM 2000 Minutes
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Chebucto Community Net Society
Annual General Meeting 2000 Minutes
Held April 24, 2001
Approved at AGM 2001: April 23, 2002

 

Call To Order

Doug McCann, Chair of CCN called the meeting to order.

 

Minutes of 1999 AGM

The Minutes of the AGM for 1999 had been circulated at the door. Following their reading a motion for approval was moved by Ralph Morehouse and seconded by Tom Fullerton. Passed.

 

Chair's Report

Doug McCann indicated that 2000 had been a year of transition and challenge for the Board. There were several reasons for this, the first being a lack of sufficient funds to maintain the level of operation of the previous year. The most serious result of this had been the resignation of our Executive Director in August. With this loss the operation had to undergo a significant change. Because there were not sufficient funds to fill the Executive Director position, the role was assumed by the Executive Committee. Next was the loss of the Chair of the Technical Committee, David Murdoch who was replaced by Ed Dyer. Also the Board and particularly the Executive Committee had a number of resignations. This meant there had to be a slowdown in activities and a rethinking of the way CCN operates. Doug pointed out that in his view Chebucto had weathered the storm and "there is the promise of calmer seas ahead".

On the positive side the growth of Chebucto has now reached the point that we have had to move to prefix "b" rather than "a" in assigning member IDs. The estimate is that Chebucto has been responsible for serving over 20,000 people since its creation. While many people have migrated to other services, Chebucto deserves credit for their initiation. A new and more attractive web site template has been launched and a webmaster has been appointed. We have added a FTP service. A Web Cam has been installed and has become an astounding draw for our site. The process of joining is now much simpler. A part time accountant has been hired. The Committee structure has been simplified. The By-laws have been thoroughly reviewed and revision will be addressed by you this evening.

A CCN member, David Potter, asked to comment on the Chair's report. David indicated he was generally concerned over the state of the Chebucto Community Net affairs. He suggested the turn over of Board members is an indication of a lack of support for the directions the present Board is taking. This has also resulted in the loss of some of the stalwart supporters of CCN. Further, he expressed concern over what he perceived to be an inability of the present Board to manage the finances properly and to keep the membership informed. He suggested there is a financial crisis which the Board has not resolved. He added that in his view there was a conflict of interest on the part of the Office Manager who is also a member of the Board of Directors. He also expressed concern about the security of the Machine Room which he felt had to be addressed.

Doug responded that he felt we have come through a difficult time but we are now able to cope with the situation. He pointed out that one of our key problems is that we need more people to volunteer to take on the many tasks associated with operating a community net.

 

Committee Reports

Communications Committee

Marilyn MacDonald reported that she had been responsible for Communications since October when the previous Chair had to resign because of a change of jobs. Marilyn outlined the communications accomplishments during the year which included: a summer student program; participation in Word on the Street; an advertising opportunity at Scotia Square; the installation and successful use of the Web Cam; a number of news stories.

External Relations Committee

Bernie Hart began with a comment on the remarks which had been made by David Potter. He pointed out that CCN has entered a new phase resulting from the gradual departure of all of the original group who had initially launched the network. There has always been a fear as to whether Chebucto could survive if the founding group left. He suggested the answer is "Yes, it can" but it won't be the same. The important thing is that with the support of the present membership it can get better. The conditions which existed in 1994/95 when Chebucto was born do not exist now and we must change to fit the new environment. What hasn't changed is our mission. We have a great deal to be proud of and with the support and participation of the membership we can continue to meet key information needs in our community which no other organization is able to do. Bernie added that during the past Chebucto has provided significant support to HRM CAP sites as well as to the VolNet program which resulted in seventy-five not for profit organizations receiving a computer, training and an internet connection.

Technical Committee

Ed Dyer outlined the highlights of the past year for the Tech Committee. The Tech Committee had been responsible for the installation and use of the web cam which was a great success during the Tall Ships event. During the year there has been a major overhaul of CSuite and Ed paid particular thanks to David Murdoch for his role in this. There is also an application for additional funding to complete this work. Perhaps the most important role of the Tech group is to meet the many technical requirements on the fly. This work tends to go unnoticed by the users but without it there could be no service. There has been a serious problem caused by temperature problems in the restricted Machine Room space. The equipment results in increases in temperature which requires an arrangement of fans to draw in cool air from outside. This situation has required volunteers to stand duty while the cooling takes place. Ed paid special thanks to David Potter, Marilyn MacDonald and Andrew Wright who spent long hours monitoring the cooling arrangement.

During the severe ice storm CCN lost power for approximately six hours. On the positive side Ed reported that now that the Disk Space has been resolved there is room for new members and users. Ed concluded with thanks to all those who supported the work of the Committee through their volunteer efforts.

David Potter thanked Ed for his work and pointed out that on several occasions Ed had driven in to the CCN office late at night from his home in St Margarets Bay to correct a problem.

Finance Committee

Chris Watt reported for the Finance Committee. Slides illustrating the income and expenses for the preceding year were shown. Chris pointed out that the accounting process has been simplified through lessening the number of accounts. He added that there has been confusion because of the number of projects in which Chebucto has been involved. Keeping each of these separate has been difficult. However, CCN completed the year with a balance in our account as shown in the slides.

Policy Committee

Andrew Wright, Chair of the Policy Committee reported. He pointed out that the Committee is responsible for both policy and user complaints. During the past year there have been relatively few complaints. The major problem has been dealing with viruses. The Committee is also considering the liability issues associated with the Network.

During this year the Committee has done a thorough review of the By-laws and the revisions, which have been circulated in advance of the meeting will be considered tonight.

 

By-laws

Andrew Wright, Chair of the Policy Committee introduced the By-law changes. The proposed changes had been circulated in advance of the meeting. Each was introduced and voted on. The results of the decisions made by members can be seen on the CCN Web site.

 

Election of Directors

The following were nominated as Directors: Jeff Warnica, Andrew Wright, Ed Dyer, John McKay, Chris Watt.

The following were nominated from the floor: Tom Fullerton and David Potter. David Potter declined.

David Potter raised the issue of Andrew Wright the Chebucto Office Manager being on the Board. It was pointed out that this practice is not uncommon, it is permitted by our By-laws and that if members did not wish Andrew to serve they could vote against his nomination. The slate was approved by a majority vote of the membership.

 

Appointment of an Auditor

It was moved by Ralph Morehouse and seconded by Jamie Carroll that the Board be empowered to appoint an Auditor. Passed.

 

Other Business

David Potter raised the issue of expanding access to the PPP accounts. Following a spirited debate it was moved that a Sub-committee to include the Treasurer, the Tech Chair and David Potter be struck to consider this issue and report their findings to the Board. It was agreed the Committee would have power to add members as they saw fit.

 

The meeting adjourned.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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