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Minutes of the 12 April 2007 AGM
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Serving Your Community's Online Needs Since 1994.

Minutes of the
Chebucto Community Net Society
Annual General Meeting
April 12, 2007.

Approved at the April 23, 2008 AGM.

The meeting was called to order by Bernie Hart at 7:05 PM.

 

Minutes of the 2006 Annual General Meeting were circulated in the folder provided.

Moved by Tony Cianfaglione, seconded by Hugh Conrad that they be accepted. Carried.

 

Report from the Chair (by Chair Bernie Hart)

Another poor year but CCN is still solvent and functioning despite technical difficulties, and we have even added new services.

We reduced our spending on advertising - there was no evidence of results, and reduced funds were available.

The Mousepad in the Sunday Herald has been our best advocate and is used for teaching at Cape Breton University. Our brochure has been updated and revised, and members are encouraged to download it from our website and "spread the word".

We are slowly losing organizational members, a matter of concern to us as we hope to reach individuals through the organizations. We are now hosting the website of the Canadian Volunteer Initiative which, though it has lost federal funding, is still supported provincially.

Moved by Bill Matheson, seconded by Mary Rigby that this report be accepted. Carried.

 

Policy Committee Report (by Policy Committee Chair Andrew Wright)

There have been a couple of complaints against CCN users and Plus service was suspended for two members whose computers became infected and part of a botnet propagating spam. There have also been a number of unjustified complaints.

We have had to tighten control of organizational website scripts due to some carelessness on the part of their webmasters about security configuration and updates.

Web forums have been pretty much spoiled by the invasion of spammers (55,000 spam messages on one CCN web forum).

We need volunteers for the Policy Committee.

Moved by Tony Cianfaglione, seconded by Kent Murray that the report be accepted. Carried.

 

Technical Report (by Technical Committee Chair Ed Dyer)

Mail to users has remained constant at about 5,000 messages per day. Viruses peaked in 2005 and are now considerably reduced. Spam has had the effect of reducing viruses as they compete. Spam represents 98% of incoming mail and we have had to quadruple our filters, which are coping effectively.

We have increased our Chebucto Plus level mailbox size to one million kilobytes from four thousand kilobytes which had become totally inadequate.

We have experienced more downtime mainly due to power outages, so much so that one time we installed a generator, with volunteers manning the office 24 hours a day.

We did not make the progress we had hoped for on wifi due to the problems fighting spam and installing the new mailbox system. We are only days away from beta testing the new wifi software.

Moved by Tony Cianfaglione, seconded by Jim MacLennan that the report be accepted. Carried.

 

Financial Report (by Treasurer Marni Tuttle)

While we have our expenses under control, our revenue is still decreasing. We either have to increase revenue or face extinction.

Moved by Heather Hartlen, seconded by Mary Rigby that the report be accepted. Carried.

 

 

 

 

Election of Directors

Four vacancies exist. Three names have been put forward: Mary Rigby, Bill Matheson, and Matthew Newton. There being no further nominations from the floor these members were declared elected by acclamation.

 

Amendment to CCN By-laws

Most organizations retain the past Chair as a member of the Board. This can be very advantageous, making use of the acquired knowledge and experience. It is not in CCN's present by-laws.

Proposed new wording for clause 20 is:

"The Officers of the Society shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Past Chair. The offices of Treasurer and Secretary may be combined. The Officers with the exception of Past Chair shall be elected by the Directors from amongst their numbers at the first meeting of the Directors following each Annual General Meeting. The Directors may elect two persons to fill any position as an Officer, in which case that position shall be designated with "Co-" prior to the proper name of that Office. In such case, each individual filling that office shall have authority to exercise the full powers and authorities vested in that Office by these by-laws."

Proposed new wording for clause 25 is:

The number of Directors shall be thirteen. The subscribers to the Memorandum of Association of the Society shall be the first Directors of the Society.

Proposed new wording for clause 29 is:

At the first annual general meeting of the Society and at every succeeding annual general meeting, those Directors, with the exception of the Past Chair, whose terms expire at that general meeting shall retire from office but shall hold office until the dissolution of the meeting at which their successors are elected and retiring Directors shall be eligible for re-election.

Moved by Tony Cianfaglione, seconded by Marni Tuttle that the by-laws be so amended. Carried (by more than three fourths of the vote).

 

 

Recognition of Volunteer

Bernie Hart expressed appreciation of all the work John McKay has put in for CCN. His contribution will be missed.

 

Appointment of Auditor

It was proposed to continue with the current auditor Harnish Sutherland Watt.

Moved by Marilyn MacDonald, seconded by Leslie Mihaley. Motion carried.

 

Discussion on Chebucto's future

Bernie Hart explained that CCN was created to fill a need for access to the Internet and at first was the only game in town, having the support of the city and many quasi-government organizations. Commercial high speed access has pushed us to one side and although we wish to continue to offer access to people who might not otherwise afford it, in the past few years our numbers, and subsequently revenue, have been dwindling. We have resources to continue on our present track for about two years. The Board is asking for input from the members and has prepared four questions for discussion.

How do we:

    1. Retain existing members: individuals, families and organizations?
    2. Attract new members?
    3. Raise/access additional funds?
    4. Develop a business plan for wireless service?

Members were divided into five groups, with each group asked to keep notes and pass them on eventually to the office for use by the Board. A spokesperson from each group gave one salient point from the group's discussion when the meeting came together again. Bernie Hart thanked all for their efforts.

 

Marni Tuttle moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:50 PM.

 

RESULTS OF DISCUSSION SESSIONS

CCN AGM APRIL 12, 2007

How do we:

  1. Retain existing members: individuals, families and organizations?
  2. Attract new members?
  3. Raise/access additional funds?
  4. Develop a business plan for wireless?

 

GROUP ONE

  1. Who are our existing members?
  2. MISA . publicize in places where low income people would see it.
  3. Charge more to people who can afford it.

 

GROUP TWO (Headed by Robert MacLelland)

  1. Funding from Dalhousie Student Union to subsidize wifi installation.
  2. Go ahead with wifi. It will attract new members at $100 per account.

 

GROUP THREE (Headed by Hugh Conrad)

  1. Have a CCN representative attend computer shows and contact computer clubs.
  2. Wireless will attract new members.
  3. Raise membership fees, charge a fee for technical assistance and target smaller businesses.

 

GROUP FOUR (Headed by Keith McPhail)

1. Arrange a Call to Action by email to drive users to read Annual General Meeting notes and engage in this future building activity.

Monthly bulletin to remind members to check Mousepad and other notices on website, also a reminder to check archives and other information on the website. Implement a "Community Check List", a mailing list that is a benefit of membership (but which users can unsubscribe from).

Information table at large community events.

EAC - Local foods - Global importance

CCN - Local network - Global access.

 

  1. V.92 would be a huge upgrade and a great attractor of new people with its Call Waiting features. Once this service and the wireless service are available, do an advertising blitz. Promote to schools, parents - promote the low cost and the value to the community
  2. Recruit poster people through a "focussed" call to members. Provide downloadable B/W and colour versions of posters online. Ask people to do their neighbourhoods. More people in neighbourhoods and then postering can be done several times during the year.

    Partner with other non-profit organizations - outreach using the public library database of not-for-profit organizations

  3. Approach professional fund raising association for advice and a possible contribution of assistance or a contribution.

Any way for group of members to raise contributions by "passing the hat" among members and members' neighbours. Contact "Music for Good Society".

4. Pool people together to fund an antenna (further out). Contact professional communications companies to donate their skills and services to help with the communications plan/protocol to make it easier for CCN Board/Staff/Volunteers to produce timely and positive communications.

 

GROUP FIVE (Headed by Bill Matheson)

1, 2. Photo Gallery brings viewers but not members, We need to generate revenue, perhaps by requesting a contribution in cash or in-kind. When people call the office to donate they can be asked to become members or to make a donation which can be counted as a membership. If organizations use our photos we can ask them to advertize or publicize us for free. Photos are put online on the day of the event. Doug could put folders of member submitted photos in the gallery.

  1. A) Contact all members and ask them to solicit charitable donations from people, (B) corporate donations and (C) promote banner ads with corner stores, etc.
  2. Use current members as nodes and to publicize wireless. Current members could buy a one year membership for a friend.

 

 

 

 


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