The National Capital FreeNet

Executive Committee


June 11, 2002


Prepared by: Chris Cope (bz787)

June 17, 2002


The National Capital FreeNet Executive Committee met on the 17th of June 2002 at Master's Brew Pub, 330 Queen St. Ottawa.


Committee members present:              Chris Cope (bz787)

Sandy Campbell (dt820)

Gary Eikenberry (aa353)

Andrea Holland (es170)        

Ian MacEachern (bi207)


Guests:                                                Gibby Armstrong



Chris Cope, acting as Chair (and Secretary) called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.


The following matters were discussed:


  1. Introduction of Gibby Armstrong: Chris introduced Gibby Armstrong as a candidate for the position of NCF Treasurer. Ms. Armstrong is an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (on their audit team) and comes to us as a result of enquiries made through recommendations by Howard Cohen and Gordon Ashe also members of the PWC team. Ms. Armstrong's experience is broad, and in particular, she has considerable experience in dealing with not-for-profits and technology firms. Ms. Armstrong will make Manager this July.


Action Item:  The Executive Committee will advance a motion to the Board recommending that Gibby Armstong be appointed to the position of NCF Treasurer.


  1. Role of Executive Committee: The Executive Committee is a test-bed for the Executive Director to explore and brainstorm new ideas in a smaller group. While it was agreed that it’s purpose is not to review progress reports which will be presented to the full Board, there will be occasions where the ED may wish to test consensus and understanding among Executive Committee members before submission to the full Board. The Executive Committee will explore issues and priorities and make recommendations and/or bring items, motions etc. to the attention of the Board of Directors.


  1. Local Ownership: The ED reported on his activities relative to the Board’s recent decision that NCF is to be local rather than global. Ways of getting NCF members to “take ownership” of the organization were discussed, notwithstanding that NCF in fact is a registered not-for-profit without share capital. It was determined to be crucial that NCF members have a sense that the organization “belongs” to them and that they share in it’s future.


It was determined that the current bylaw concerning membership likely does not require amendment to achieve these objectives, but that the matter would be studied further as part of general bylaw review.


Action Item:  Certain web pages contain the word “owner”. The ED will review these pages and if necessary, remove the word “owner”, replacing it with phrases such as “belong to. Or “belonging” etc., which capture the notion of inclusion, but avoid defining or limiting the corporate ownership structure.


  1. Community Networking Software: The various other local Community Networking Software offerings were discussed, including Community Zero and the SmartCapital Sm@rtCommunity Centre. A number of ideas to ensure that NCF’s offering will occupy a unique market niche were discussed including:

"         Community Directory;

"         Marketing focus should be regional in focus, directed at the citizens of OttawaSupport for community issues;

"         Domain hosting;

"         Email list hosting; etc.

It was agreed that there were plenty of opportunities to offer unique services, but further analysis is needed, both for the needs of the community and to review the available software. Until such time as we are more advanced and our research is more complete, action by the Board will not be required.


Action Item:  This item will be deleted from the Board agenda for 18 June 2002 meeting.


  1. New Sysadmin:  The ED reported that of 3 candidates short-listed for the new Sysadmin position for projects, one candidate was best qualified. This candidate however, wished to accept the position on a contract basis. It was agreed that NCF needed 100% of the Sysadmin’s attention and that we could not expect this unless the individual was engaged as a full time employee.


Action Item:  The ED will continue the search for a Sysadmin, and will broaden his search parameters.


  1. Projects: The committee deferred discussion on funded projects, noting that the ED would present his progress report to the full Board.


  1. Contract/purchasing Authority:  Procedures for contracting with various firms relative to NCF projects was discussed. It was noted that while certain individuals are designated signing officers for cheques, our Bylaws permit any two officers to sign contracts that commit the organization. It was noted however, that there was an absence of clear policy governing the Executive Director’s discretionary authority to spend.


Action Item: The ED will develop a policy recommendation for discretionary spending, including provisions for emergency measures.



  1. Modems: The ED reported that the three new USR Total Control remote access servers (one is on loan from Carleton) are all working very reliably. The Cisco AS5100 formerly at NCF’s Extended Access site at Mitel and now part of our main modem pool equipment, had exhibited some incidences of failure on several lines. Line assignments have been changed and the unit now seems to be working well. There are remaining concerns however, about this unit’s overall reliability and having two different platforms complicates adaptation of our session management software.


Action Item: The ED will prepare a recommendation on replacement options for the Cisco server.


  1. Visioning / Strategic Planning Workshop: Holding an intensive planning session in lieu of the August Board meeting was discussed. It was agreed that such a session would be useful, but ought to be goal-oriented and close-focused. The session ought to expand on the vision already articulated and work toward achieving strategic planning objectives. It was thought that such a meeting could not be effectively planned by August and that it ought to be quite separate from our Board meeting schedule and not a replacement for a regular meeting.


Action Item: The ED will explore ideas for a strategic planning meeting and provide his recommendations for something later in the fall.


  1. Summer Meeting Schedule:  The summer Board meeting schedule was discussed, noting that last year, the July and August meetings were cancelled. The ED noted that there did not appear to be any pressing issues requiring Board attention during the summer.


Action Item: The ED will prepare a recommendation concerning the summer Board schedule for review by the full Board.


  1. ED Contract: The committee deferred discussion on the ED contract negotiations, noting that the Secretary (acting as lead for the negotiating committee) would present an in camera report and recommendation to the full Board at the next Board meeting.


  1. Next meeting: The next scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee is July 9, 2002 at a venue to be determined.


  1. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.