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September 11, 2008 Board Minutes

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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008


  • Bernie Hart
  • Kent Murray
  • Mary Rigby
  • Max Russell
  • Johnathan Thibodeau
  • Joe Thomas
  • Alan Turner
  • Andrew D. Wright


  • Richard Connolly
  • Marilyn MacDonald
  • Bill Matheson


  • Roswell James
  • Jim MacLennan

Minutes of last meeting

Meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm.

Minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated by email and corrections noted by Marilyn inserted. Motion to approve made by Alan, seconded by Joe. Passed.


Committee Reports

Financial Report

Alan presented the report. The income for August was $6024 while the expenditure was $7933. The income was significantly less than that recorded for July, however the July income which was $10196 included a GST rebate of almost $3000. Monies expended in July were slightly less than those expended in August, $7895 compared to $7933. The revenue for August 2007 was $8784 while the expenses for the month were $9502.

Alan noted that the losses in year to date revenues and expenditures illustrate Chebucto's basic financial problem. This year's to date revenue is $63203, while it was $71149 at the end of August 2007. The year to date expenditure is $61132 while at the end of August 2007 it was $77611. Alan reminded the Board that this years income included the cashing of one $5000 GIC.

Alan said a fundraising letter had been sent out to 45 businesses the week before last. Max suggested that it could be useful for members to review the list of metro businesses and send another round of letters out. Members present agreed with the suggestion, but no immediate action was arranged.

Joe had some concerns about staff capacity to support new users. Alan and Andrew reminded the Board that current staff supported almost 4000 users in the past.

Joe suggested Chebucto consider increasing the membership to over $100. This topic took up a few minutes of discussion, but no definitive action was taken at this time.

Bernie noted that Richard Connolly had approached Wacky Wheatley's on behalf of Chebucto. The firm will give an introductory letter written by Richard to each new computer purchaser in their metro stores, and donate $100 to Chebucto to the cover the cost of the buyer's initial year membership. The company will pass the purchaser's name on to Chebucto and it will be our responsibility to contact the person and activate their membership. (This will not be undertaken due to an objection raised by Aliant.)

Bernie noted Marilyn's concern about acceptance of memberships at a time when the viability of Chebucto is uncertain. After some discussion. Andrew outlined a scenario that would allow for the maintenance of those membership remaining active at the time of the AGM next April.

Joe outlined a grant programme whereby Emera awards up to $1000 to selected groups or organizations. This quarter's applicants will be informed of the awards in mid October. He suggested a submission covering the cost of equipment needed for the immediate expansion of the wifi would be appropriate. (Johnathan provided a quote for the equipment which Joe submitted to Emera on September 15.)

Mary spoke to Joy Woolfey. At this time Joy would be interested in working with us on strategy and fund raising rather than membership.

Alan moved his report be accepted, seconded by Kent. Passed.

Technical Report

Johnathan presented the report. Dalhousie's planned power outage in late August provided an opportunity to set up a battery backup system which would allow Chebucto to run for more than an hour without mains power for whenever future outages occurred. The battery system was easily put in place and is now operational. However the main server, which was moved to provide space for the system, overheated in its new position. In the two days that it took to diagnose and rectify the problem some 1.4M messages were on hold and the resultant backup took some time to clear.

The slow webmail service users have been experiencing recently has been rectified by putting in a server that only handles webmail.

A stockpile of equipment is needed for the wifi project. Cables and high gain antennas have been ordered and these items that cost about $1000 should arrive within a week.

The node in Spencer House was relocated from the attic to the basement and is operating perfectly.

Exterior cable and UV resistant ties on order should arrive within the next couple of days and will replace the older material on Fenwick Place.

Policy Committee

Andrew noted the wifi install policy is on the website and is being used.


News Release

The news release will be sent out next Monday morning, September 15. Marilyn has revised the news release for the new date and has prepared the list of media which it should be forwarded to. Andrew will send it out from the office.


Door to Door Campaign

Bernie suggested that two teams with laptops in hand try a door to door campaign in the Morris Street next Tuesday and Thursday evenings.



Bernie will make arrangements for himself, Andrew and Johnathan to visit Northwood and check out the feasibility of using the roof of the building in the wifi project.



Bernie net with Dawn Sloane and she is interested in seeing the wifi service in Uniacke Square and in the seniors centres in her area. Neither Councillors Uteck or Murphy have replied to Bernie's letters to them.


Farmers Market

Chebucto will have a table at the Halifax Farmers Market on Saturday September 20 and probably again on the 27th.


The Other Home Show

Chebucto has reserved a table at the Other Home Show in Scotia Square, Thursday 20 November, 11 am to 3 pm and has placed a business card sized advertisement in the Show's publication "Building Communities"


Other Business

ACORN - Andrew will attend the meeting being held in Antigonish.


Next Meeting

The next scheduled Board Meeting will be Thursday 9 October, 6:30 pm.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:35 pm.





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