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January 6, 2005 Board Minutes

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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
January 6, 2005


  • Mark Alberstat
  • Tom Daly
  • Ed Dyer
  • Bernie Hart
  • Marilyn MacDonald
  • John McKay
  • Tanya Moxley
  • Jeff Warnica
  • Andrew D. Wright


  • Bill Matheson

Minutes of Previous Meeting

December's minutes were distributed. Andrew will circulate August's minutes on the mailing list for online approval. Tom / Jeff moved that December's minutes be approved following addition of surnames to the present / regrets lists. CARRIED.

Now that Tanya has taken over as secretary, Marilyn requests that the Board approve Tanya's reviewing the online minutes of 2004 for spelling and grammatical errors, making changes as necessary without modifying the substance of the notes. Bernie / Tom moved that Tanya go ahead with this. CARRIED.

Tanya asked that Tom forward to her his e-copy of the October minutes, as she doesn't have a copy.

Tanya will email Chris to obtain the minutes from the 2004 AGM. The minutes of the 2004 AGM will not be posted online until approved at the 2005 AGM.

Board Membership

Chris Watt has submitted his resignation from the Board. Marilyn accepted on the Board's behalf. We now have two positions to fill. John spoke to a number of potential candidates prior to the holidays but has not heard back. He will follow up and report to the February meeting.

Marilyn will draft an email to be sent to all Chebucto members regarding the need for new Board members.

Chebucto Retreat

The 'committee' proposes the following three-stage process for the Retreat:
1. A meeting of Bernie, Tom, Tanya, and Marilyn with the facilitator within the next two weeks to update the facilitator on our current situation and prepare an agenda for stage 2.
2. A 1/2 to 1 day session at Fairbanks Centre in Dartmouth, February 5th. Intent: Develop a mission statement and goals for CCN.
3. Friday PM / Saturday session, possibly at Fairbanks Centre, March 4 / 5th. Intent: Develop decisions from stage 2 into specific objectives and a three-year plan for the organization.

Prior to stage 2, the committee would like to post two main questions on the web site for members to respond to and provide us with feedback. This will require assistance from Johnathan.

The purpose of the short timeline is to have this process complete in time for a presentation at the AGM (Annual General Meeting) in April.

The facilitator has not yet been selected; several are being considered. Bernie / Jeff moved that we approve up to $1,000 for the retreat process, with specific expenditures to be approved online via the mailing list.

Budget 2005

Bernie is not prepared to present a budget tonight. He will bring it to the February meeting. Since we closed 2004 with ~$13,000 less in reserve than we had at the start of 2004, we need to be careful with our planning this year; we can't operate with deficit budgets indefinitely. Bernie will circulate the 2004 budget for reflection / consideration by those who contribute to the formulation of the budget.

There was general agreement on the following principles regarding the budget:

  • Don't plan to spend more on operating expenses this year than we took in for revenue last year.
  • No capital spending unless absolutely necessary or the purchase is expected to bring in equivalent new revenue.
  • The 2005 budget should be carefully annotated to justify expenditures.
  • If we really need full time tech staff 12 months of the year, we should budget for it in advance, not try to find money for it every four months. We should, however, carefully determine whether we really need this level of staffing.

There is clearly a need for increased recruitment of new members. There are lots of ways we could do this. It was noted that we haven't tapped many of the free, local media sources such as Maritime Noon, Breakfast Television, Eastlink Cable, etc… How do we find members vs. just 'users'?


Committee Reports

Technical Committee

  • Twenty-four new PPP lines were added in December; text lines were accordingly decreased (PPP lines cost less than text lines).
  • Our current gear can support up to ~600 more users.
  • The tape library has been installed and is ready for use.
  • The RSS feed is up and running. There are 100-200 users currently registered for this service.
  • Hardware behaved generally well over the holidays.
  • The anti-virus software has been upgraded to insert a warning into messages suspected of 'phishing' - there have been a few complaints of false positives, so the system is being monitored.

Finance Committee

  • December was a slow month for both expenses and income.
  • "Salaries" looks high because it was a three-pay month.
  • Bernie is looking into alternatives for how he can better track expenses so that his numbers and categories match up with Johanne's (the accountant) at year-end.
  • He will be contacting Johanne very shortly regarding the year-end wrap-up for the finances.
  • The new company we are using for credit card processing (TicketMaster) is very efficient and costs a lot less than the previous one. The service is very good.
  • It was noted that we do not include the value of our hardware in our financial statements. This is apparently normal for non-profits; Ed estimates the hardware is worth about $2,000 - $3,000.

Policy Committee

The changes to the User Agreement were not completed over the holidays. Andrew plans to work on this in the next few days.

External Committee

  • Marilyn spoke with the Herald regarding an ad campaign. They decided not to go ahead over the holidays.
  • The price quoted by the Herald is very reasonable (~$358 for an ad 4 9/16" x 2 1/2") and allows us 4 - 5 insertions in January.
  • General consensus to go ahead with this.
  • Can we have one of the insertions in the Sunday paper next to Mark's column? Marilyn will check.
  • AGM is tentatively set for April 14th. Marilyn will circulate the date to the mailing list and make sure it's OK for everyone.
  • The External Committee will meet soon to start making arrangements.

Internal Committee

No report.


Other Business

John moved a vote of thanks to the Executive group (Marilyn, Ed, Bernie and Chris) for their efforts over the past year; and to Mark for his newspaper column.

Andrew provided a colour printout showing some trends in users types and numbers over the past several years. He agreed to send the source numbers to the mailing list.

An 'interceptor' has been added to the web service such that if your PPP account has expired in the past seven days, all you can do in your web browser is renew your account. Once renewed (via the online method), you can proceed to browse the web.

There was discussion of a message to be sent to all text users to let them know about our graphical dial-up service, costs, etc…

Discussion regarding impediments to the sign-up process, in particular having to mail in the Agreement then not having a way to find out when the account is ready. Jeff will draft some recommendations for the Policy Committee to review. The Policy Committee can then present possible solutions to the Board for action.


Bernie moved that we adjourn at 8:10 PM.

Next Meeting: February 3, 2005. 6:30 PM, Colloquium Room





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