The National Capital
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
Chris Cope, acting as Chair (and Secretary) called the
meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
The following matters were discussed:
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
Action Item: The Executive Committee will advance a
motion to the Board recommending that Gibby Armstong be appointed to the
position of NCF Treasurer.
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.
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
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.
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:
Marketing focus should be regional in focus, directed
at the citizens of OttawaSupport for community issues;
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.
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.
The committee deferred discussion on funded projects, noting that the
ED would present his progress report to the full Board.
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
Action Item: The ED will
develop a policy recommendation for discretionary spending, including
provisions for emergency measures.
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.
/ 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.
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
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.
meeting: The next scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee is July
9, 2002 at a venue to be determined.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 PM.