National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF Board of Directors
Minutes of Meeting
December 9, 2003


Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors

Held on December 9, 2003 at 5:00 pm
Clock Tower Brew Pub
575 Bank street (Downstairs)

The meeting was called to order at 6.45 p.m. with Chris Cope as Chair and Sandy Campbell as Secretary.


    Board members present:
    Christopher Cope (bz787), President/Chair
    Sandy Campbell (dt820), Secretary
    Gary Eikenberry (aa353), 1st Vice-President
    Mark Mielke (al278)
    Don Francis (ba990)
    John Hennessey (ev776)
    Mary Anne Dugmore (er983)
    Michael Williamson (cm324)


    Vanessa Kanu (ev216), Treasurer
    Graeme Beckett (aw958)
    Michael Mei (bi195)

    NCF Management/Staff present:
    John Selwyn (es347), Executive Director

    Mrs. Kim Mielke and son

    Once around the table . . .
    Informal pre-meeting conversation, with Directors taking turn offering personal views and commentary on interesting things that might not make it to the Agenda.

    (Due to the informal format of the meeting, references to some comments from the lengthy "Once Around the Table. . ." discussion are rolled into the brief summary of the Executive Director's informal presentation under Ongoing Business 4b) below.)

    (see minutes of prior month)

    MOTION: That minutes be approved as published.
    Moved by: Mary Anne Dugmore
    Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
    VOTE: All in favor

    (see draft agenda)

    MOTION: That the agenda be adopted as published.
    Moved by: Sandy Campbell
    Seconded by: Mark Mielke
    VOTE: All in favor

    1. NCF nomination submitted to CIRA (Chris Cope)

      Chris Cope reported that the bid to have NCF nominated for a seat on the Board of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) was submitted as per motion of the NCF Board.

    2. Review of accomplishments, challenges, and 2004 Budget (John Selwyn)

      ED John Selwyn described the past 12 months as a year of accomplishment for NCF, including: achievement of solid, reliable performance of new all-digital 56K v.92 modems amd additional phone lines; a database that was working "wonderfully," permitting use of office tools that reduced daily data-processing time from hours to minutes; upgrading of FreePort system, providing better service to text users and reducing maintenance burden for System Administrator; in-house development of custom SpamFilter, whose ease of use protects members against the scourge of email Spam; introduction of personalized homepage, whose features will help make NCF a useful, effective internet "headquarters" for members; modem-sharing software to allow fair access for all during peak times. These, and other improvements on the drawing board, will provide the solid foundation for rebuilding the NCF community, including being "an enabler" for other community groups. Tangible proof of the effectiveness of the year's work: Membership has grown from 6,600 to the current 8,200-plus.

      The over-arching challenge remains achieving financial support from members sufficient to pay all NCF's operating costs as outlined in the 2004 Budget approved by the Board. It will require "re-engaging" with members, forming appropriate partnerships, developing "synergy" with other community-oriented groups and organizations. The ED said "the Board could be proud" of the sound role it played in getting NCF ready to meet the challenges.

      Directors unamimously lauded the work of the ED and staff and of the Development Team, including the initiative of creating the special Development Fund, which gave members the opportunity to make modest "extra" contributions to a federal "matching-grants" program to fund new services for NCF members. Consensus of the Directors was that the good work of the past year had established the stable foundation needed to meet the challenges of 2004. Vice-President Gary Eikenberry said he was "pleased and relieved to be where we are right now. We have an effectively-functioning Board, moving steadily toward the governance model. I could not have said that with the same confidence during the transition from the old Board format. I think NCF's hopes and goals are now reachable, which is why I'm still a member of FreeNet and have remained on the Board of Directors."

      MOTION: That the ED's informal overview be accepted.
      Moved by: Mary Anne Dugmore
      Second by: Don Francis
      VOTE: All in favor

    3. Assessing Board's role, priorities, performance (John Hennessey)

      Director John Hennessey briefly outlined areas in which he believed the Board could become more effective and productive. He agreed with suggestions that a detailed agenda and format should be developed and a meeting scheduled in the spring after the AGM elections.


    Because of the early meeting date, neither the Treasurer's Report nor Financial Statement for November was available. ED John Selwyn did report that expenses exceeded member donations by about $12,000 for the month; worrisome, but not surprising, given the change in renewals date approved last month.

    There were no announcements.

    January 20, 2004 at 7 p.m. (Location to be announced.)


    The meeting adjourned at 7.15 p.m.