Greenbelt Internet Access Cooperative

Monthly Board Meeting – October 1, 1998

Conference Room, Greenbelt Police Station

 

M E E T I N G   M I N U T E S

 

DIRECTORS:   Tom Crompton, Jim Heagy, Doug Love, Chris Morris, Nancy Revis (Absent: Ralph Bram, Neil McLeod, Brian Schieber; Resigned: Carol Bailey)

MEMBERS:     Ed James

GUESTS:      

 

=== PRELIMINARIES ===

 

1.      The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm, with Nancy Revis presiding.

 

=== MONTHLY REPORTS ===

 

2.      Secretary (Jim Heagy)

·         Jim reviewed the highlights of the previous regular (August) Board Meeting. 

-         Minutes of the Monthly Board Meeting – August 6, 1998

 

3.      Treasurer (Chris Morris)

·         Chris reported the year-to-date income as $1,650.32 and the share value at $76.06, based on 72 Members.

·         For the month of September, GIAC brought in $132 from the VIP, corresponding to 44 Members, or a 61% non-volunteering rate.

 

4.      Membership Committee – No report

 

5.      Legal Committee – No report

 

6.      ISP Committee – No report

 

=== OLD BUSINESS ===

 

7.      Volunteer Incentive Program

·         Tom Crompton reported on the VIP initiative.  Several observations were offered:

-         There has been a minimal increase in volunteers and those who consistently volunteer cannot be directly traced to the VIP.

-         Not counting Officers and Directors, GIAC has fewer than 5 volunteers/month.

-         Members appear to have more money than time.

-         A measure of "equity" has been established between those who volunteer and those who do not.

-         It is early in the life of the VIP and therefore no long-term assessment of the program is yet possible.

·         A lengthy discussion followed on the prospect of including attendance at the monthly membership meeting as a valid VIP activity.  On the pro side, credit for attendance would potentially boost participation in meetings, with the added possibility of more Members becoming actively involved in GIAC.  On the con side, credit for attendance raises the likelihood of Members attending meetings simply to avoid doing anything else.  In response to this sentiment, President Nancy Revis posed the question, "Is it better to see a Member at a meeting or to have his $3.00?" The consensus was that it is better to see Members at meetings.  The outcome of the discussion was a decision by Nancy to amend the VIP criteria to honor attendance at the monthly meeting.

 

8.      Classes

·         The September class, "PC Basics I", was a success with ~20 people in attendance.  Increased attendance was attributed to the promotional efforts of the Library.  Tom Crompton will teach “PC Basics II” on October 19 in the meeting room of the Greenbelt Library.

·         An instructor is needed for the November class.  In general, class instructors are becoming more difficult to find.  The point was raised that if we cannot fill scheduled class dates with instructors, GIAC may lose its right to use the Library meeting room.

·         Support from GIAC Members at classes is also waning.  It was emphasized that a good GIAC showing at classes is important for GIAC's image and reputation.

·         Note that reliable class dates and times can be found in the online Community Calendar.

 

=== NEW BUSINESS ===

 

9.      Internet Service Provider

·         Disturbing issues concerning SigmaNet were raised:

-         SigmaNet has not been responding to routine requests from GIAC officials.  They are not answering their phone, replying to email messages, or acting on faxes sent to them.  As a result, account maintenance and activity has essentially come to a halt. 

-         Nancy Revis recounted her visit to SigmaNet and meeting with their president, Ashok Saxena.  She learned that SigmaNet has vacated their office in the 7501 Greenway Center Drive building, moving most of their activities to a site in Rockville, MD.  The hardware used to support GREENBELT.COM Internet services resides in a small room within another business, "Asia Vision", on the same floor as SigmaNet’s vacated office.  Only one SigmaNet technical representative was present to monitor the system.  Nancy went on to say that SigmaNet lost their lease to the vacated office.  This move was the cause of the announced network outage earlier in the month.  GIAC was not informed of the move and Nancy found out only after visiting SigmaNet.  Sanjay Mishra, our dependable point of contact at SigmaNet, is no longer active in the technical activities of SigmaNet.

·         SigmaNet is no longer accepting faxes for GIAC account activity.  A new system for correspondence between GIAC and SigmaNet has been established.  The email address ‘new@greenbelt.com’ has been created for the purpose of notifying SigmaNet about GIAC account activity.  SigmaNet will monitor this address so that several of their tech reps can act on the information.

·         SigmaNet also has a new tech support number, 301-345-2002.

 

10.  Leadership Transition

·         Carol Bailey has announced her resignation from the GIAC board.  She was apparently dismayed at the level of discord within the Cooperative.

·         Due to a personal problem, Ralph Bram will be inactive for an undetermined period of time.  It was agreed that he is a valuable member of the Board, particularly for his parliamentary skills, and that his position will be held for his return.

 

=== CONCLUSION ===

 

11.   Scheduled Meetings

·         The next meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Thursday, November 5, in the conference room at the Greenbelt Police Station.

-         Minutes of the Monthly Board Meeting – November 5, 1998

 

12.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:35pm.

 

 

- 10/__/98 Posted by Jim Heagy
- 09/01/05 Reformatted & edited by Neil McLeod