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AGM 2008 Report of the Chair
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AGM 2008 >> AGM 2008 Report of the Chair

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Chebucto Community Net Society
Annual General Meeting
April 29, 2009

Report of the Chair

Let me begin by once again wishing everyone a happy fifteenth anniversary. There are still some of us remaining who were here during the initial planning stages of our service. I am pleased to be able to say we have remained true to our initial mission - to strive to see that no one is left behind. To this end we continue to offer a free service to those who can't afford to pay and we also continue to keep the fees at the lowest possible level. Further, we attempt to offer as useful a service as possible.

For the first time in years the Board was forced to increase fees to address increasing expenses and losses in membership. We were extremely heartened by your response. We received a number of very encouraging replies and, to our surprise and delight, a number of additional donations. I would like to thank all of those members who made donations to Chebucto during the year. Such support has been so important during this difficult period. It is also a tremendous morale booster for the Board and Staff.

While we cannot report that our financial problems have been solved I am able to say we are in a better situation than this time last year. Following last year's AGM we convened a second members meeting on May 29th at which we discussed means we might use to attract new members and to address our financial problems. The Board followed this with an in-depth exploration of avenues we might pursue. Richard Connolly's presentation this evening outlines one of the approaches we have adopted. This idea was initially conceived by Richard and we are thankful to him for shepherding it to this stage. As he has indicated your participation in this approach will be very important.

I need to also make it very clear that one of the key reasons we have been able to weather difficult periods is because of the hard work and dedication of our staff, Andrew Wright and Johnathan Thibodeau. We are most fortunate to have them. It is not at all unusual for one or both of them to work through the night or on a weekend to keep our service running. At the same time they are always willing to spend time with a member having trouble with a computer.

Mary Rigby, Jim MacLennan and Alan Turner have taken the lead in approaching seniors' organizations with a view to acquainting them with our service and offering support to those who need it. Thanks to their efforts we have now become associated with several organizations which we hope will lead to new members. We encourage all of you to make use of our posters and brochures to spread the word about our service. Let's leave no bulletin board unposted.

Thanks to the efforts of Board Member, Joe Thomas, we were able to obtain a grant $1,000 from Emera which was used for additional equipment for the Wireless Service. And thanks to Marilyn MacDonald we made a second application to Human Resource and Social Development again in support of our wireless service. Unfortunately it was not successful. But we continue to hope we will find funding avenues which fit our project. Again we seek the support of members in identifying possible funding sources which we might be able to tap.

Last fall we carried out a door to door campaign in the Morris St. area to market our wireless service. Our objective was to enlist university students returning from the summer break. We were not successful. Since that time we have done a good deal of soul searching concerning an appropriate approach.

We now think we have found a niche. Because of the sharing aspect of our service - one node host for a neighbourhood - we believe we need to work with community groups or at least within an existing structure. Our first trial for this approach will be in Joseph Howe Manor, a senior's facility on Victoria Rd. Thanks to Board member Bill Matheson for facilitating our approach to this group. If we are successful here we intend to approach the other metro housing facilities as well. It has also been suggested we approach Coop Housing groups.

We also hope to work with the Imagine Bloomfield group in introducing the service to this area of Halifax. Again we believe the nature of Chebucto is well suited to a partnership of some sort with the Bloomfield project.

I am pleased to report that for the first time in a number of years Chebucto participated in the Annual General Meeting of the Halifax Regional CAP Association. Andrew gave a presentation on our Wireless Service which was well received.

This will be my last year as Chair but I am committed to continuing support for Chebucto as I believe it is an important service for our Region.


Bernard Hart

Chair, Board of Directors

Chebucto Community Net Society




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