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October 30, 2001 Board Minutes

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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
October 30, 2001


  • Ed Dyer
  • Marilyn MacDonald
  • John McKay
  • Grace Paterson
  • Jeff Warnica
  • Chris Watt
  • Andrew D. Wright


  • Bernie Hart
  • Mark Rushton
  • Bill Matheson

Chebucto member awaiting nomination to Board:

  • Reg Hody

Minutes of October 9th, 2001 Meeting

It was moved by Andrew Wright and seconded by Chris Watt that the minutes be approved.

Discussion on whether committee reports should be summarized in the minutes or full report included in the minutes. There is a rationale for Technical report for referring back, and Ed's intention is that this report be included in full. Minutes are there to fall back on. Other committees (Finance, Internal, External, Policy) are accountable to membership at Annual Meeting. Decision was to include Technical report in full, but summarize other committee reports. Passed.

Board Membership

Linda Carvery has agreed to serve as Board member. She has been very active in North End Halifax Community, where she lives and is raising seven children. She has an honorary doctorate from Saint Mary's University in recognition of community service, is a celebrated singer and founding vocalist of the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, and has been appointed to the Nova Scotia Arts Council. While expressing concern that she is not personally technically adept, she is a strong believer in the realization that people and youth be brought along technically. To qualify as a board member, she needs to become a member of Chebucto. For access, it is anticipated she will use CAP site at North End Branch Library. Chris offered a 486 but concern was expressed that Text access had a steeper learning curve than graphical access.

Action: Marilyn will invite her to attend November 20 board meeting. Andrew will process her membership and provide initial training.

John McKay had three refusals.

Reg Hody was recruited by Chris Watt and gave a précis. He is currently providing home care to his mother, who had a stroke. While a student at Dalhousie 15 years ago, he was chairman of the computer lab, and has been a paid-up member of Chebucto since its inception. From 1980s onward, community nets have provided access for people who would not have had opportunity or access otherwise. Chebucto is a good place and he wants to be a part of it as it provides a value-added service and is run by committee who is interested. Reg will be nominated at next Board meeting.

Andrew Wright has approached Audrey Sampson, librarian, and she has expressed an interest in accepting nomination as board member. Marilyn will contact her.

Board discussed whether to postpone nominations to AGM or fill board positions at this time. There is variation in the length of the vacated terms. Viola's position is up for renewal next AGM whereas Tom's position has more than a year to run. Andrew will circulate the names of Board members whose terms are up for renewal at next AGM. Six members are elected each AGM. The concensus was to fill positions now.

Revitalization and Renewal

The second session held on Oct. 18 was devoted to our technical needs. Bill Matheson took notes. Jeff and Andrew are working on a costing model for the 56K modems and it needs to be refined and presented to Ed before the tech team is ready for board approval. The high speed digital connection T1 lines available from MTT can be purchased as full or half lines, and are billed on a monthly basis of approximately $500 per T1. Eastlink may be an alternative service, if cable is an option in the Chase Building. Marilyn asked if there had been sufficient visioning meetings on tech issues, and concensus was yes. The future availability of a secure server, which does not have to be a high performance server, was put forth at an estimated cost of $2000 US. The financial feasibility of proposal will be reported at next Board meeting.

The third session will focus on external relations and marketing, and intent is to hold this meeting before the Nov 20 board meeting. Marilyn will poll the list for suitable date and time.

Inner City Project

Ed Dyer, Marilyn MacDonald, and Bernie Hart representing Chebucto, met with Inner City Project. Other partners are Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) and North End Council of Churches. There was a full and frank discussion and project team is in the process of preparing an HRDC proposal with 3 partners by November month end. Marilyn has a clearer idea what Chebucto could provide and a clearer idea of where to start. Plans are to have an official storefront that will build support and an awareness of Chebucto presence. GPI is dedicated to building a new measure of community well-being. The community is a geographical area and will be looked at in terms of social assets and the role of Chebucto in empowering the community with information technologies to support community values (e.g., work satisfaction, quality of life, health, and living environment). GPI will measure the impact of Chebucto on community well-being.

A notice was circulated on Focus: HOPE lunch on November 8, 2001, World Trade and Convention Centre, 12 noon-2 p.m. Contact Gord Michaels for tickets.

AGM 2002

Tom Fullerton's feedback on the AGM 2001 and the discomfort of other Board members with the amphitheatre style venue, led to a discussion on alternative venues. Suggested options were the North End Branch Library, the Spring Garden Road Library, the radio room in the CBC building, the MacInnis Room in the Student Union Building, Halifax Community College, and various classroom settings. Room capacity, availability and rental costs will determine venue.

Need to appoint an auditor. Joanne will do the books. Chris Watt knows another accountant who he will contact.

Committee Reports

Technical Committee

We have had 2 outages in the last three weeks. The first, on October 10, was due to a power outage inflicted on us by the University, as they were changing some electrical equipment. You may have noticed some steel works on the top of the Life Sciences building. We took advantage of the opportunity to do some adjustments to the main server in preparation for the installation of the new hard drive, which was on order but had not been received.

The second outage was planned to carry out the first phase of the new disk installation, on Sunday October 28. Johnathon Thibodeau, Jeff Warnica, and Ed Dyer began by starting the system shutdown around midnight, with the actual shutdown occurring at 1:00 a.m. The new drive was connected and set up, and then the dull work of copying files to the new disk was begun. By 7 o'clock or so we had enough copied and the system set to use the data in the new locations, so we started it up and were able to get things running. Mail service was delayed while we worked on updating the mail system to a new version, but we were unable to get the mailing lists to work reliably, so we finally backed out to the previous version, and will try to sort it out during the upcoming week.

The next phase of the disk update is to make some more space on the hard drive where the mail and info directory trees are located, and rebuild them. Some preparatory work will be done while the system is up, and then we will have to take the system offline for a few hours to finish the job. I have received a donation of an extra disk controller, and we may install that at the same time. Keeping the disks on separate controllers should help to speed up disk access.

The third phase will be to re-organize the oldest, smallest disk. This will also require some downtime, so will be scheduled in a few weeks. If we are able to acquire a fast disk controller by then, we will be able to gain even more speed from the two larger disks as well.

Mail systems have been updated on most of the other servers, and that should also be completed this week.

Discussion on Technical Report: In honour of Ed's first anniversary in his position as Tech chair, Marilyn presented him with two tickets for the Oldtimer's Hockey game. The demands made on Ed are awesome and he leads by example.

Finance Committee

Jeff indicated his report would be circulated to the board via email.

Policy Committee

Andrew is working on policy for quarterly installments for Chebucto Plus accounts for those who do not wish to make a lump-sum payment for annual $100 membership. There is an existing policy on NSF cheques. Jeff suggested that postdated cheques or pre-authorized credit card payments be used. There is no technical block to a user starting up multiple sessions, and this is usually picked up by tracking reports. Further investigation revealed that some users were passing along their accounts for others to use, or that computers were passed along that contained account information that was activated by new computer owner. These account holders were advised that it was against membership policy for an account to be shared.

External Committee

The next visioning meeting will address external and marketing issues.

Internal Committee

Mark has prepared a letter to be sent to organizations which are Information Providers (IP). The gist of the letter is that we are going to be revising how IP accounts function on our system. In addition, an email notice will be sent to all IP editors. The switch from IP to new Neighbourhood Accounts will take place in the new year.

Johnathon is about half-way through clearing out expired accounts. When a current account expires, it expires dead, but old accounts need to be cleared out of the system. John McKay said we should be ready for irate people who'll contact us. Ed indicated this had been handled through emails advising those account holders that account was about to be terminated. The recycling of account names was discussed but dismissed as too problematic, as old accounts receive more spam.

Other Business

There was no other business and meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.


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