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CCN Board Minutes
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May 15, 2001 Board Minutes

Serving Your Community's Online Needs Since 1994.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2001

Attending:

  • Jamie Carroll
  • Ed Dyer
  • Tom Fullerton
  • Bernie Hart
  • Marilyn MacDonald
  • John McKay
  • Grace Paterson
  • Mark Rushton
  • Jeff Warnica
  • Chris Watt
  • Viola Winstanley
  • Andrew D. Wright

Minutes of April 3rd

The Minutes of the April 3rd meeting had been posted. Because there were not copies available, it was agreed that these minutes along with those from Jan 9th, Feb 20th, and March 13th would be posted and would be approved on-line.

Andrew will post the April 3rd minutes and provide the Board with the URL. Once they are approved they will be posted for public access.

Andrew Wright reported that the necessary reports and information have been supplied to the Registry of Joint Stocks.

Confirmation of Election of Officers

It was moved by Ed Dyer and seconded by John McKay that the Executive Committee consisting of Marilyn MacDonald as Chair, Jamie Carroll as Vice Chair, Chris Watt as Treasurer and Bernie Hart as Secretary, initially selected by the Board following the AGM, be approved. Passed unanimously.

Chris Watt indicated he is now able to deal with the banking with the assistance of Marilyn MacDonald.

It was moved by Ed Dyer and seconded by John McKay that the four members of the Executive (Marilyn MacDonald, James Carroll, Chris Watt and Bernard) be authorized to arrange with the Royal Bank and the Credit Union for signing privileges. It was agreed that the procedure of requiring two signatures on each cheque would be continued. Passed.

Following a discussion re a change of Banks it was decided to remain with the Royal in order to maintain credit card transaction facility for membership renewals.

Expression of Thanks to Doug McCann

It was moved by Jamie Carroll and seconded by Grace Paterson that a letter of thanks be sent to Doug McCann. Passed unanimously

Marilyn indicated she would write the letter.

Policy Respecting Refunds

This issue arose because a member who had paid for a PPP account approximately a month ago indicated she wished to discontinue her account and requested a refund. The reason she stated for this was that she found Sympatico to be faster. The problem at present is that while there is a clear policy in writing that we do not refund membership dues there is no written policy with respect to PPP. The person making the request has been a member for three years. Tom Fullerton reported that he had been having problems with his PPP account and that this might explain the reason for the persons decision. Andrew W. indicated there had been no mention of problems.

It was moved by Bernie Hart seconded by Mark Rushton that in future when a person has paid for and successfully established a PPP connection there will be no refunds and that this will become a CCN policy to be provided to members in writing when a new account is being opened or when there is a renewal. Further any requests for refunds (under the connection provision) require Board approval. Passed with two abstentions.

It was moved by Jamie Carroll and seconded by Mark Rushton that a refund for the PPP account be given to Amanda Gouthro (au157). Passed with 1 Abstention and 1 Opposed.

It was moved by Jeff Warnica seconded by Mark Rushton that the responsibililty for reviewing requests for refunds be passed to the Policy Committee. Defeated with 2 Voting in Favour.

Policy Respecting IPs and VDNs

Discussion began on this item but due to the complexity of the issue Marilyn asked that this item be postponed until later. It was moved by Ed Dyer and Seconded that this issue be tabled until Item # 11. Passed (For the purpose of clarity the two parts of the discussion have been combined as one.)

    Issues:
  • There is no longer a functioning IP Committee.
  • There is a lack of vision as to how Web Sites on CCN should appear.
  • We do not have a satisfactory method of initiating/orienting new organizations wishing to become IPs.
  • A significant number of sites are no longer being maintained by organizations.
  • It was agreed it's now a communications/procedural issue and not a technological one.
  • There is a lack of technical rules which organizations can follow.
  • Previously there were several champions of the IP process but this group no longer has control.

    Suggestions
  • CCN needs to prepare a comprehensive package.

CSuite Project Update

Marilyn explained she had been trying to obtain the financial records for all CSuite related projects from David Murdoch without success. This had involved several meetings, phone calls and emails since Christmas. These records are essential if the Accountant is to complete the audit of the CCN Financial records for 2000.

In explaining the present status of the request for funding from the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT - HRDC) Marilyn indicated a grant had been received by a previous Board for $25,000 from OLT for the purpose of preparing a full proposal to undertake the development of a new version of CSuite. All or part of the $25,000 had been used by those associated with the CSuite Co-op to prepare the Development Project proposal. The funding had been made available for this project through CCN but the Board did not approve expenditures. David Murdoch, on behalf of the Co-op had asked the CCN Board to be the sponsor of the second stage. The Board reviewed the proposal and made revisions. There were also conversations with David Murdoch, Gary Shearman and John Nemeth representing the Co-op. Jamie expressed concern that there still appeared to be financial activity relating to the project.

The revised proposal had been submitted by CCN to HRDC and the response was that it was not sufficient. The consensus was that there is presently a serious question about ownership - who owns CSuite and who is able to legitimately apply to HRDC for funding to make modifications.

    The following actions were agreed upon.
  • A letter will be sent to the CSuite Co-op through David Murdoch directing them/him to make financial records available or legal action will be taken.
  • A clear distinction will be drawn between the grant request which originated with the Co-op and the new one to be submitted by CCN.
  • Any re-submission will be done under the name of Chebucto Community Net.
  • Jamie will contact OLT to determine what is required to complete the CCN proposal and to make it clear that CCN will not be playing the role of a sponsor for the former proposal submitted by the Co-op.
  • Mark asked that there be more on-line communications on this project and similar issues between Board meetings.

Staffing

Jamie reported that at the Executive Meeting there had been a discussion re hiring Johnathan Thibodeau for the summer. The duties which would be undertaken included:
  • Vacation relief for Andrew.
  • Carry out the backlog of technical requirements.
  • Learning operational procedures required by the Office but not available to the present Board.
  • Do the technical fixes on an as needed basis.
  • Possible work on special projects such as "streaming audio".

Jamie recommended Johnathan be paid at a rate of $7.50 per hour for a 35 hour week. Members expressed concern about making this commitment without being sure of the funding available. There was also a concern re income in view of the number of people not renewing their memberships. (We have lost 50% of the members who signed up last April.)

It was moved by Ed Dyer and seconded by Tom Fullerton that the Executive be empowered to hire Johnathan on an as needed basis and in keeping with the available funding. Passed.

Space

Jamie spoke about the office space which has been provided to CBNet at Silicon Island by Knowledge House. He suggested CCN might benefit from seeking a similar partnership with a business or organization in Metro. Members expressed concern about our present arrangement in terms of its public visibility and functionality. It was suggested we should consider the Computer Science Bldg. Andrew cautioned that we not make this site search too public as it might lead to a misunderstanding with Math and Stats and a loss of space without CCNs agreement. It was agreed the benefit of the present space is its stability.

There was agreement that the Board should seek and entertain proposals to be brought to the Board for consideration.

Partnering Opportunities

Marilyn spoke about the advantages of forging partnerships with such companies as Knowledge House. She suggested we are going to need such support if we are to move ahead. She pointed out that at this stage there have been no overtures to CCN nor have we approached and potential organizations. However, John McKay had an informal conversation with Dan Potter of Knowledge House who indicated he would be willing to meet. The Board agreed the Executive could explore such arrangements. However, there was one caveat with respect to the ethics of such an arrangement with certain companies.

Committee Reports

Finance

Chris distributed a Financial Statement. He pointed out that there is a surplus of $8,365 with respect to the current years activity. CCN's total "non-capital" assets are $47,718. Chris pointed out that for last year there had been an operating deficit of $26,000. And while our operating costs will be less our projected income will suffer due to the monthly loss of memberships at the rate of 100.

Chris indicated he would be able to have a complete financial statement for the next Board meeting. He also reported he would be able to file our income tax return by the end of June in keeping with CCRA requirements.

Technical Committee:

Ed reported he had purchased the Non-interruptable Power Supplies and that he may be able to install them during the next weekend. This will involve one existing supply and two new ones.

He indicated that attendance at Tech Meeting has varied from two to six. There is one new volunteer. There was a question as to whether technical problems may be the cause of members leaving. Ed suggested a more likely reason is the speed of our service.

General

Marilyn pointed out that CCN is suffering because of the inactivity of Committees which were formerly established and carried out functions but no longer operational. She cited the Volunteer Committee, Membership, IPs.

Mark suggested the September Weekend did not go far enough and we did not get beyond the identification of problems and issues. He agreed to convene a meeting(s) to explore and develop new response to the "community" components of Chebucto.

Other Business

A question was asked concerning the status of the "Potter Committee". There has not been a meeting of this group.

There were questions re the Provincial Server. Who owns it? What is its purpose and can we seek funds from its users? Marilyn asked that this be raised at the next meeting.

Marilyn asked that anyone who has had mail or phone contact from Robert Speirs should report this to the Police.

Meeting adjourned.

 


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