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July 14, 2005 Board Minutes

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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
July 14, 2005


  • Bob Ashley
  • Bernie Hart
  • Marilyn MacDonald
  • Bill Matheson
  • John McKay
  • Tanya Moxley
  • Marni Tuttle


  • Mark Alberstat
  • Dale Crory
  • Tom Daly
  • Ed Dyer
  • Alan Turner

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Bernie / Bob moved that the minutes of May 12 and June 9 be adopted as circulated on the mailing list. CARRIED.

Wi-Fi Update

John received some e-mails re: equipment costs that were way out of our range. He will continue to follow up.

We could choose to approach a local vendor, but we'd need a specific list of items, which we haven't got.

Hi-Speed Comments

Bernie got a call from National Capital Freenet. They are going to high-speed as one of their service offerings and would like to talk to us about what we are up to. A number of people are interested in being part of this discussion. Bernie will follow up.

Andrew reviewed some models we could use for rolling out high-speed services.

John wondered whether we could use some of the existing dark fiber network in Halifax as part of our potential wireless system. Andrew will check with John Sherwood about where the dark fiber goes now.

It was also noted that there isn't really a functioning cross-Canada group that provides networking opportunities for the remaining freenets.

Report from Working Groups

Marilyn reviewed the decisions made at the last meeting.

Both groups reported no progress so far.

Bill agreed to take leadership for the volunteer group; Bob agreed to take leadership for the marketing group.

Each group is asked to report online within a week or so on their progress to date. Weekly reports are expected at least until the August Board meeting.

Both groups should feel free to speak with and ask questions of all the other Board members.

HRM Volunteer Organization 'Umbrella' group

Bernie got an e-mail from Peter Mortimer at United Way about them looking to create a networking group for non-profits in HRM that would allow mutual support functions.

There seems to be uncertainty at United Way about how we could help.

We need an updated brochure or other materials that we can give out in these situations (Andrew & Marilyn are working on it).

There is a meeting of this proposed UW group in September. We would like to send a Director or two. Bernie will follow up with Peter. We may need to meet with Peter prior to this proposed meeting in order to give him some ideas about how we could help.


Committee Reports

Technical Committee

The new UPS batteries have arrived; installation plans are underway.

Johnathan is continuing with operating system upgrades on most of the servers.

Some new hard drives have arrived and will be installed soon.

Some changes have been made to the web site to allow for an 'active' cell that displays a random message from a set determined by Andrew, each time the page is loaded. This is an interesting way to communicate with members.

The web camera appears to be broken. Andrew is looking into new ones. Even broken, the page gets 5000 hits per day.

There has been no progress with v.92.

The on-line timer on the Chebucto Plus page isn't working since 'clio', the database server, was upgraded last weekend. Andrew will have Johnathan look into it.

Finance Committee

Bernie provided a handout with the June numbers.

Revenue looks on target.

Expenses are too, and Bernie & Andrew are monitoring wages closely.

Equipment costs are okay so far; we may want to buy some new hardware for mail later this year.

Our current account balance continues to slip a little bit each year, so we need to keep a close eye on it.

Only six people have taken advantage of quarterly accounts so far.

Policy Committee

The membership reward program has been updated to include the new account names and options.

The membership agreement still needs some work, and the committee has assigned people to this task.

External Committee

The committee met on July 6th; notes were circulated to the Board as well as committee members.

The 'Flying Cow' initiative is still underway. Marilyn will report to the Board about which zones are selected. Right now we will likely choose the ones with the most readers. In the future we might use different criteria, depending on the marketing plan in progress. Marilyn will ask them whether they have any other information on the people in the zones, like demographics or income levels.

Bill mentioned that the provincial government now has a web site with quite detailed demographic information about communities in NS - he will forward the URL to the mailing list.

We need to consider how we can track whether this advertising option is effective.

Andrew will begin to keep a record of what people say about how they heard about us when they start a new account.

Since this is a 26-week venture, we have time to see trends.

Andrew's sense of our membership is that they are mostly upper/middle class professionals or retirees.

Marilyn and Andrew are working on letters to members asking them to consider recruiting new members for us & emphasizing the reward program.

Bernie is researching options for TV space like with Eastlink. 25-word items on the 'info' station are free; other options are also available. He will keep Marilyn up to date on his findings.

Dale is working on letters to organizations whose web site we host, thanking them for displaying our logo or asking to add it.

Tanya handed out some samples of business card ideas for Board members to carry around and give out. Board members are asked to provide feedback on a preference. Tanya noted that we can buy double-sided business card paper and print our own; some for each member with his/her own name.

We could make a no-name version available on the web site for members who want to promote us to print their own.

Board members could also create 'signature' files for e-mails that are sent for the Board, with a bit of CCN info at the bottom.

Andrew will look into costs for advertising in the Dal Gazette for the first issue or two of the school year.

Can we put posters in the hallways near the Registrar's office at the various universities?

Marni will look into getting us on the 'services' list in The Coast's student supplement.

Marilyn will speak to a neighbour who works at NSCAD about how we might advertise among their students.

Internal Committee

No report, but perhaps we need another conversation about what Internal and External do, as there seems to be a lot of overlap.


Other Business

There doesn't seem to be enough time to put together a picnic kind of event for August.

Bill will send some suggestions to the list about perhaps meeting for dinner as our August meeting and inviting some past Board members to chat or help with brainstorming.


Bernie moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 PM.

Next Meeting

August 11, 6:30 PM.





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