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CCN Board Minutes
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August 8, 2000 Board Minutes

Serving Your Community's Online Needs Since 1994.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, August 8th, 2000


  1. Call to order
  2. Introduction of guests -- Derek Ferguson, Marilyn MacDonald, Mike Cormier
  3. Approval of minutes of previous meeting
  4. Organizational structure and reporting relationships
  5. Updates:
    • IPDB
    • LMDA grant application
    • Appointments process
    • ACORN
  6. Strategic planning
  7. Financial report
  8. Reports from Committee Chairs
  9. New business


    • Sharon Parker
    • Marilyn MacDonald
    • Bernie Hart
    • David Murdoch
    • Derek Ferguson
    • Doug McCann
    • Leo Deveau
    • Andrew Wright
    • Viola Winstanley
    • Mark Rushton
    • Joyline Makani


    • Krista Olmstead
    • Grace Paterson

    Meeting called to order at 6:41pm

    Minute-taker appointed: Mark Rushton

    Introduction of Derek Ferguson, sitting in to observe, a potential board member.

    Approval of minutes deferred until next meeting.

    Previously approved minutes have not been posted to the website - Sharon Parker is following up with Michael Cormier, who is undertaking this task.

    Executive Director's Report:

    • a booth has been booked for WOTS, Sunday, Sept. 24th
    • location TBA
    • sharing a booth with HRM/CAP
    • Communications Committee is coordinating (Krista & Marilyn)
    • suggestion of a BBQ on Aug. 25th at Math Dept. building, as last year. Details TBA.

    Organizational Structure (see Sharon's diagrams)

    • discussion re: interconnections and communications among committees / board / other players. Historical review and identification of where we are now, what's working, what isn't.
    • IP Committee gaining new focus, as an important (and somewhat ignored) component.
    • Bernie: we need direction, more input.


    • structure the committees (see IP Committee for model)
    • job descriptions needed
    • strategic planning
    • action items
    • policy review / goals

    Chairs of committees need to be more proactive re: their committee email lists.

    • Bernie: we've shifted from an organization providing connectivity to one that is / will be mainly information / content-focused.
    • Doug. IP committee - pushing a reporting process upward, requires area editors to file reports on their sections to committee head, who moves it to the upper levels as appropriate.

    Joyline has moved to the Dalhousie Library administration, which breaks our connection to the North Branch library. Suggests that Sharon send a letter on behalf of CCN to strengthen the relationship.


    New Web Site Template... and Colours


    Andrew Wright
    Mark Rushton
    Doug McCann
    Donna Randell
    David Potter
    Michael Cormier
    Johnathan Thibodeau
    Bob Adams
    Sharon Parker
    Christopher Majka
    Michael Smith


    On SUNDAY July 9, 2000 a CCN member reported difficulties reading pages created by the new template. Specifically,

    "the Recent Updates page bothers me. If the links are supposed to change colour when you have visited them I can't tell. I am not classed as colour blind but there are shades of light blue and light green I cannot distinguish between."

    The initial colour change proposed (vlink="#808080") was directed to the Webmaster. The Webmaster "suggest[ed] bringing in [the complainant] and others into the discussion ... [to] provide a more expert opinion regarding colour contrast". The complainant and one other discussion group participant indicated the initial change as less than satisfactory.

    The second solution, proposed to be implemented on MONDAY, was satisfactory to the user. It displayed colours according to the users default browser settings (vlink=""). The Webmaster cautioned against a quick implementation. The discussion had occurred over a weekend, and given that the change would impact on ALL pages using the template, other stakeholders should be consulted first.

    It was suggested that other technical solutions were possible.

    There was no further action until July 28, 2000 when the user inquired about the status of the colour change.

    Over the WEEKEND of July 28 - July 30, a discussion ensued regarding various technical solutions, their suitability, and overall philosophy. A server side solution was proposed that would maintain the integrety of the original design, and also allow users customize the colour displayed.

    On MONDAY morning, the user complaining as a member and a 'customer', wondered why the colour change had not been implemented. By noon of the same day, the user had resolved the colour issue by override our colour selections (browser preferences).

    The users final comments were "For the most part, my association with Chebucto has been very positive. This "discussion" has been totally frustrating. And - Given I Am The Customer - leaves a lot to be desired".

    No further action on resolution of the colour issue at CCN occrred until THURSDAY August 3rd when the Tech Editor present an updated server side solution. A discussion ensued over the appropriateness of a technical solution, the use of technical resourses, and the lack of a managed approach to problem resolution.

    On THURSDAY August 3, 2000 the Webmaster directed the Editor in Chief to "take all necessary steps to implement [the server-side] solution".


    1. The 'colour' problem was relatively minor. The complainant was only concerned about the colour displayed on ONE page. In hindsight, this could, and should have been fixed by a temporary change to the PROBLEM page.
    2. The complaint pointed out an underlying problem with the new template. While the pastel colours were inviting and appreciated by the user, the site lost functionally because of the colours selection.
    3. The complaint and ensuing discussions occurred over two separate weekends, and during a holiday period. This limited input and consultation possibilities from interested stakeholders.
    4. Not all stakeholders (template authors, designers, editors, technical, board members) participated in the discussion, either by choice or lack of awareness of the issue. Question: Who has subscribed to ccn-webmaster, the discussion list regarding web design changes?
    5. There is confusion regarding CCN's mandate. Are we a commercial ISP or a volunteer-driven community service organization? Do our members share a common resource or are they customers?

    Sharon: Note from Jonathan - Colour fix not yet implemented, need to review code again.

    Bernie - issue of "customer" vs. "member" - if a "member" has an issue, how do we respond? Process.


    Sharon has report from Giselle/Tech

    • EIC is testing revisions
    • office should check with Giselle to see if she's ready for testing of the office-relevant components

    IPDB is being put back into service as per Board directive of two meetings ago. Office was not informed following that meeting due to communication error. Exec Dir will work out logistics with Office.

    LMDA Grant Application

    • Bernie: we need to meet with David re: meshing with HRM. Viola will assist in writing tasks.
    • Need to be ready by end of August.

    Appointments Process
    • follow-up to the EIC transfer;
    • new appointments will now come from within the relevant committee, and brought to the board for approval.


    John Sherwood will make a presentation to the board on August 29th. CCN has been asked to join the network.

    Strategic Planning

    • Sept. 15th/16th
    • Please confirm attendance to Sharon
    • wide range of input desires, open invitation
    • Facilitator: prices run 1200/day, still determining facilitator

    Financial Report

    Handed out - no major discussion at this time.

    Committee Reports

    Volunteer - All committee heads, others asked to submit to the Volunteer Chair a list of volunteer needs ASAP. We have volunteers waiting in the wings.

    Meeting adjourned 8:43pm.


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