National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF Board of Directors
Minutes of Meeting
June 18, 2002


Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors

Held on June 18, 2002 at 7:00 pm
at Client Services Boardroom, Ottawa City Hall
111 Lisgar Street, Ottawa

The meeting was called to order at 7.45 p.m. (after 'Once around the table. . .')
with Chris Cope as Chair and Sandy Campbell as Secretary.


    Board members present:
    Christopher Cope (bz787), President/chair
    Gary Eikenberry (aa353), 1st Vice-President
    Andrea Holland (es170), 2nd Vice-President
    Sandy Campbell (dt820), Secretary
    John Wenuk (ep585)
    Mary Anne Dugmore (er983)
    Mark Mielke (al278)
    Graeme Beckett (aw958)
    Michael Williamson (em324)
    Cathy Wenuk (ep584)

    Don Francis (ba990)

    David Millman, retiring Treasurer
    Gibby Armstrong, volunteer Treasurer candidate

    NCF Management/Staff present:
    Ian MacEachern (bi207), Executive Director
    Andre Dalle (al178), System Administrator
    Sheila Alder (bw306) , Office Manager

    Once around the table . . .
    An interesting informal discussion developed as Directors took turns offering wide-ranging views on the Internet, government policy on broadband, etc., and how FreeNet might fit into the rapidly-changing technological world.

    (see minutes of prior month)

    MOTION: That minutes be approved as published.
    Moved by: Michael Williamson
    Seconded by: Mary Anne Dugmore
    VOTE: All in favor (Mark Mielke and Cathy Wenuk abstained)

    (see draft agenda)

    MOTION: That the agenda be adopted as published, with additions regarding hiring of term Systems Administrator, purchase of another TC terminal server, and appointment of cheque-signing officers.
    Moved by: Sandy Campbell
    Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
    VOTE: All in favor


    1. Web-based community software
      This initiative remains of the monthly Board Agenda while work is completed on upgrading the entire NCF technical architecture. The new software could likely be installed by late summer or early fall. It was noted that the Ottawa Citizen's decision to withdraw from this field and impending changes with Community Zero would mean increased opportunities for developing the NCF online community, further reason to maintain the high priority of this NCF initiative.
    2. Status report on modem-access upgrade
      ED Ian MacEachern reported that the upgrade had been quickly and successfully completed; minor problems, inevitable with any new system, were being tracked down and corrected. "All in all, we are quite pleased . . . service to members is now more reliable, faster, and quite easy to use" and would become even easier with the purchase of another Total Control server. (See next Agenda item.) All NCF modems are now 33.6/bps (replacing aging 14.4 and 28.8 modems) and reliability of connections will continue to improve.
    3. Purchase of additional terminal server
      ED Ian MacEachern recommended the purchase of a third Total Control box to replace the Cisco terminal server which has been showing signs of deteriorating performance. Having all Total Control servers would mean that members would have uniform service and log-ons across the board. A refurbished TC box would cost about $3,750.00 and could be up and running very quickly. Total Control servers can handle digital lines as well as analog, so that should NCF decide to add some digital 56K lines they can simply be plugged into the boxes.

      MOTION: That the ED's recommendation be adopted and he be authorized to purchase another refurbished Total Control terminal server at an estimated cost of $3,750.00
      Moved by: Sandy Campbell
      Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
      VOTE: All in favor


    1. Executive Director's Report (Ian MacEachern)
      (see accompanying report)
      For the first time this year, member donations last month failed to reach the budget projection. The ED reported steps were taken immediately, including revising renewal letters and recruiting extra help finalizing the marketing plan. Gary Eikenberry suggested a follow-up with those new members who haven't yet donated after several months; Chris Cope suggested contacting the last 500 accounts archived to try to learn why they had dropped out and whether news of recent NCF developments might persuade them to return. Both suggestions will be implemented as quickly as possible. ED MacEachern said while the dip in donations was a concern, he was confident redoubled efforts will make up the lost ground. Webmail will be a major addition to NCF's marketing arsenal; barring unforeseen glitches it will be rolled out about mid-July.

      MOTION: That the report be accepted as published.
      Moved by: Graeme Beckett
      Seconded by: Andrea Holland
      MOTION: All in favor

    2. Executive Committee Report (Chris Cope)
      (see accompanying report)
      MOTION: That the report be approved as distributed.
      Moved by: Sandy Campbell
      Seconded by: Andrea Holland
      VOTE: All in favor
    3. Treasurer's Report (David Millman)
      David Millman, who did not stand for re-election this year, presented his final Treasurer's Report. Gary Eikenberry worried that expenses, particularly System Administration, were again over budget because they weren't billed out to projects; he was concerned that delays in billing might cause loss of amounts due NCF. ED Ian MacEachern assured him billings would be caught up this month.

      MOTION: That the Treasurer's Report be accepted as presented.
      Moved by: Graeme Beckett
      Seconded by: Andrea Holland
      VOTE: All in favor

    4. Appointment of new Treasurer (Chris Cope)
      Chris Cope said Gibby Armstrong had all the professional and personal qualifications, and more, that the Board had long hoped for in a Treasurer, including direct experience in the telecommunications industry. A decision was postponed on whether it would be advantageous that she also become a member of the Board.

      MOTION: That Gibby Armstrong be appointed Treasurer of NCF
      Moved by: Chris Cope
      Seconded by: Graeme Beckett
      VOTE: All in favor

    5. Thanks to David Millman

      David Millman did not seek re-election to the Board this year, but gamely soldiered on until his replacement could be put in place. Directors were grateful for service above and beyond the call of duty.

      MOTION: That the Board, on behalf of FreeNet members, thank David Millman for his dedication to a difficult NCF task.
      Moved by: Sandy Campbell
      Seconded by: Graeme Beckett
      VOTE: All in favor

    6. Thanks to Cathy Wenuk

      Directors were disappointed by Cathy Wenuk's announcement that for personal reasons she was compelled to resign from the NCF Board. Impressed with her contributions, Cathy had been selected by fellow-Directors as 2nd Vice-President and member of the Executive Committee. When circumstances permit, she will continue make her expertise available to the Board.

      MOTION: That Cathy Wenuk be thanked for her service to the NCF Board and to the membership.
      Moved by: Graeme Beckett
      Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
      VOTE: All in favor

    7. Bank signing officers

      MOTION: That Ian MacEachren, Chris Cope, Mark Mielke, and Gibby Armstrong be the authorized bank signing officers for National Capital FreeNet.
      Moved by: Gary Eikenberry
      Seconded by: Michael Williamson
      VOTE: All in favor


    1. Hiring of second System Administrator

      MOTION: That the Executive Director's recommendation to hire David Fothergill as System Administrator on term-employee basis be approved.
      Moved by: Sandy Campbell
      Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
      VOTE: All in favor

    2. Summer Board meeting schedule

      A motion by Sandy Campbell to cancel the July and August Board meetings, based on last year's experience and a relatively-light agenda that could be handled by the Executive Committee, was withdrawn. Directors agreed with John Wenuk that the full Board should meet in light of the need to keep apprised of such developments as last month's decline in donations. It was agreed that the Board will meet in July and consider then whether an August meeting was in order.

  7. Announcements
    1. The annual NCF Picnic will be held at Vincent Massey Park July 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hard-working organizers need help-- additional volunteers and especially the loan of a gas barbeque and its transport to and from the park.

    July 16, 2002 at 7 p.m.
    Billings Room, Ottawa City Hall
    111 Lisgar street, Ottawa

  9. IN CAMERA (Report of negotiating committee)

    Sandy Campbell reported on the progress of discussions and detailed some of the options that had been put forward. He said the committee would most likely have a proposal to recommend to the Board within a few days.


    The meeting adjourned at 9.35 p.m.