National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF Board of Directors
Minutes of Meeting
April 20, 2004


Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors

Held on April 20, 2004 at 7:00 pm
Billings Room
Ottawa City Hall

The meeting was called to order at 7.15 p.m. with Chris Cope as Chair and Sandy Campbell as Secretary.


    Board members present:
    Christopher Cope (bz787), President/chair
    Gary Eikenberry (aa353), 1st Vice-president
    Sandy Campbell (dt820), Secretary
    Mark Mielke (al278)
    Don Francis (ba990)

    Michael Williamson (cm324)

    Michael Mei (bi195)
    Graeme Beckett (aw958)
    Mary Anne Dugmore (er983)
    John Hennessey (ev776)
    Shing Kwong Lee (ez191)

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


    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.

    (see minutes of prior month)

    MOTION: That minutes be approved as published.
    Moved by: Sandy Campbell
    Seconded by: Mark Mielke
    VOTE: All in favor

    (see draft agenda)

    MOTION: That the agenda be adopted as published, with the addition of "Board initiative" under New Business as 7 b).
    Moved by: Sandy Campbell
    Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
    VOTE: All in favor

    1. Report on 2004 Annual General Meeting (Mary Anne Dugmore)

      Results of the AGM votes were posted online; report of the AGM Chair was postponed to the next meeting of the Board.

    1. Executive Director's Report (John Selwyn)
      (see accompanying report)

      The ED reported that because of accounting schedule, results for March extended into April, resulting in March member contributions amounting to $26,597 versus budgeted $22,298. Although April results will be reported as lower, we will be about on target for the year. Expenses for March were lower because of the System Administrator's involvement in the Extended Access project. That has now ended and expenses will return to budgeted levels in April.
      The Extended Access project has been delayed because Bell has been slow in configuring the "time of day" enabling of the number of NCF's partner. As well, the upgrade of the Mitel Extended Access was unsuccessful; the hunt is on for new cards to enable 56K support on Mitel lines, which for the time being remain at 33.6K.

      MOTION: That the Executive Director's Report be received,
      Moved by: Sandy Campbell
      Seconded by: Gary Eikenberry
      VOTE: All in favor

    2. Treasurer's Report and Financial Statement(see financial statements for prior month)

      MOTION: That the Financial Report be accepted.
      Moved by: Gary Eikenberry
      Seconded by: Mark Mielke
      VOTE: All in favor

    1. Welcome new and re-relected Directors

      The ceremony was quickly attended to.

    2. Board Initiative (Sandy Campbell)

      Director Sandy Campbell elaborated on his "election platform" published in connection with his candidacy in the AGM Board elections:

      "I was first elected to the Board of Directors of NCF in 1999 and re-elected twice after that. Based on five years experience, I want to offer an outline on what I think should be the main concern and preoccupation of the new Board. "Since 1999 the Board has progressed from being dysfunctional and counter-productive to the point of being able to carry out its basic duties and functions quite effectively. There is a direct connection between the improved quality of the Board and the steady and dramatic progress made in the quality of service FreeNet has been able to offer to the members. "Now, along with its oversight role, I believe the time is right for the Board to take on additional responsibilities. Membership and membership contributions have been increasing gradually and that is encouraging, but NCF still faces the spectre of going broke before enough members contribute enough money to pay the bills. "Therefore, along with its fundamental role of monitoring the performance of the Executive Director and staff, the Board ought to focus its talent, energy, and experience on finding ways for NCF to achieve stable annual revenues. In the past, there have been numerous discussions of the Board's need for "visioning" in terms of NCF's overall goals and roles, which consisted of much talk, but no action. "I believe NCF's fundamental purposes and objectives are sufficiently well-known to all. We do not need more open-ended debating and philosophizing about the FreeNet "concept." What we do need is a sharply-focused plan of action to produce reliable funding to make it possible for NCF to keep putting the concept into practise and to keep adding and improving services to keep FreeNet relevant in the fast-changing internet world. "I plan to present my ideas on this and to ask my colleagues on the Board to do likewise. Varied views and approaches will provide raw material and a starting point for a thorough discussion and investigation of the doable options available. While preserving the basic concept, I believe the Board must be innovative and be ready to think outside the box of tradition. I am confident the Board will rise to the challenge of this top priority: Developing a strategy to put FreeNet on a stable and reliable financial footing. In my view, this is absolutely essential to future growth and development, beyond mere survival."

      There was considerable discussion, with reservations about an "activist" Board voiced by President Chris Cope and ED John Selwyn. There was a consensus that because the full membership of the Board was not present, an in camera session to discuss and debate the idea would not be useful at this time.

  7. Announcements
    No announcements.

    May 18, 2004 at 7 p.m.
    Honeywell Room
    Ottawa City Hall


    The meeting adjourned at 8.55 p.m.