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January 12, 2006 Board Minutes

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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
January 12, 2006

Attending:

  • Mark Alberstat
  • Ed Dyer
  • Bernie Hart
  • Marilyn MacDonald
  • Bill Matheson
  • John McKay
  • Tanya Moxley
  • Alan Turner
  • Marni Tuttle
  • Andrew D. Wright

Regrets:

  • Tom Daly

Absent:

  • Dale Crory

Marilyn noted that this was the 5th consecutive miss for Dale; no regrets tonight, although have been provided previously.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Alan / Mark moved approval of last month's minutes as circulated. CARRIED

Staff Matters

Bill / Marni move that we go in camera for this session. CARRIED

Alan / Mark moved that we leave in camera. CARRIED

Motion: Bernie / Alan moved that Marni develop revisions to the Office Manager contract to better reflect Andrew's current working situation. The new contact will be presented at the March Board meeting. If a new agreement is not reached by then, the terms of the 2005 contract remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2006. CARRIED

Discussion regarding the need for Johnathan this year in the face of various new initiatives we want to undertake. There was agreement that we need to budget to have him all year, in order to do the things are talking about.

Alan / Bernie move that we offer Johnathan full time for the year at his current rate of pay. CARRIED.

Dial-up

Andrew reminded us that we've now 'crossed the line' and have more Plus accounts than text accounts. We would need 200 - 300 new accounts to keep ahead of fixed costs such as salaries and equipment.

Due to fairly aggressive marketing from the hi-speed providers, we are slowly losing dial-up users to hi-speed providers. So how do we provide hi-speed? Andrew outlined a wi-fi solution for the peninsula called Clic. Bill suggests that the city councillors could be helpful.

The implementation will require hardware selection, approaching potential customers, finding funding etc... There seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm for this initiative among the Board members. Andrew estimates $10,000 for hardware, $3 - 4000 for advertising, some funds for sub-contracting some technical tasks.

Actions: John will be in touch with a contact at CabCo re: equipment and someone at the city. Bernie & Andrew will work on a presentation for Communications Canada (Industry Canada).

So do we go ahead? Bernie proposes we review the budget first.

Budget 2006

Bernie circulated a 2006 budget. At our current rate of using-up-our-reserves, we have 2-3 years of status quo left to us.

Marilyn reminds us that five years ago we had no paid technical staff at all, so don't get too tied to salaries just yet. Alan pointed out that the more we cut dedicated staff time, all we do is slow the bleeding, not change the result.

Question re: do we need Board liability insurance? Given the changes in legislation re: non-profit Boards, should we investigate this? John & Bernie suggest we do need it, given the business we're in.

We do need a new mail server, above & beyond the possible wi-fi project. Andrew suggests we budget $3000 for it.

Alan suggests we put some of our reserves in a daily interest account, which would get us better interest than currently.

Marni suggests that all Board members be expected to make a donation at whatever level we are comfortable with. Marilyn will follow-up with a letter to Board members.

Bernie suggests we take a half day in the near future to consider the wi-fi project in more detail, in addition to considering options for fundraising. Marni will work with Andrew to review our current fundraising situation and bring some recommendations to the suggested meeting.

Andrew notes that we need to drop our VDN rates to the market rate, from $150/year to <$30.

John / Mark move that we accept the presented budget, although clearly some changes will arise. A separate capital budget will be developed for the wi-fi project. CARRIED

Bernie / Alan move that we allocate up to $12,000 from our reserves for the wi-fi project, with the expectation that we will be seeking funds from other sources so that hopefully we don't have to spend all this. CARRIED

Ed notes that the uptake rate would not have to be enormous in order for us to come out ahead. There was some further discussion of options & possibilities

 

Committee Reports

Finance Committee

Nothing additional to the Budget.

Technical Committee

  • System software has been updated.
  • Webmail has been updated and was rolled out 2 - 3 weeks ago.
  • Ran into some user issues with old web browsers; there are several versions of webmail running as a result.
  • Other significant effort has been around wi-fi initiative

Policy Committee

Lots will be required for wi-fi initiative.

External Committee

The school of Public Administration at Dalhousie wasn't able to find a student to work on a project for us. That's okay given our current situation. Her contact there provided another contact who might have a student next year. With the AGM coming up, there will be some work to do on planning the meeting.

The AGM would be April 13th - Holy Thursday. General agreement that we go to the 20th instead. The committee will take a look at the rooms in new Rowe building. We would like to publicize the meeting fairly heavily so we can launch the wi-fi initiative. Several members expect that if we say we're announcing a hi-speed option, that people will come out. Marni will make the call to book the room once we pick a space.

Who's up for renewal? Marilyn, Bernie, Alan, Tom, Tanya, Mark. There are also questions about Dale. At the Board's request, Marilyn will write to Dale to enquire about her status. Any other suggestions about new members can go to John.

Internal Committee

Hasn't met.

 

Other Business

JT's car was broken into and he lost his laptop, bag, and the book we bought with him previously. AW wants to know if we can contribute to replacing it. General Yes.

Adjournment: Bernie moved that we adjourn at 9:05 PM.

Next Meeting: Feb 9, 2006. 6:30 PM, Colloquium Room

 

 

 

 


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