Greenbelt Internet Access Cooperative
Annual Membership Meeting – June 10, 1997
Conference Room, Greenbelt Police Station
M E E T I N G M I N U T E S
DIRECTORS: Anne Andersen, Matt Elliott, Ed James, Doug Love, Dan Macy, Neil McLeod (Absent: Clement Lau, Laila Zaghal)
MEMBERS: Jim Bates, Steven Harper, Jim Heagy, Christina Kavanagh, Patty Merryman, Greg Meyer, Chris Morris, Nancy Revis, Dorian Winterfeld
=== PRELIMINARIES ===
1. Neil McLeod provided a list of Members in good standing (i.e., eligible to vote). Voting cards were passed out to Members as they arrived and signed in.
2. Dan Macy provided evidence (postal receipt) of proper notice to Members of the Annual Meeting.
3. The meeting was called to order at 7:03pm, with Dan Macy presiding.
· Dan recognized that the 10 members present more than met the requirement of 5% of the total membership (currently 50 members) for a quorum and called his last meeting to order.
=== ANNUAL REPORTS ===
4. Treasurer (Neil McLeod)
· Neil reported that we are pennies away from having a share value of $50 and being in the black. We earn $2 per member per month, several dollars from each shirt sold, and $12 for every member who joins in the first two weeks of the month. There is now no fee on our checking account and we should consider investing in an interest-bearing account.
=== NOMINATIONS & ELECTION ===
· Dan noted that the original Board had seven Directors but that the Bylaws had been amended to add two more Director seats. Recently, eight Director seats have been occupied, with one seat vacant. Because it was not previously clear which Directors were initially designated for one-year terms, four incumbents (Dan Macy, Laila Zaghal, Ed James and Neil McLeod) had volunteered to be assigned to one-year seats. Ultimately, all of those except Neil resigned as of today, leaving four vacancies to be filled by election.
· The following nominations had been made previously: Chris Morris, Jim Heagy, Greg Meyer, Dorian Winterfeld, Melissa McDowell and Bill Dupree. Dorian and Bill were not present and Bill had not been contacted to determine his interest in running. His name was dropped from nomination (as was Melissa's by earlier request). Neil nominated Nancy Revis.
· Dan then asked each candidate to make a statement.
7. Nominee Statements
· Jim Heagy had no speech prepared, but is willing to be Secretary. He would like to see GIAC succeed and get new members and an air-conditioned meeting place.
· Greg Meyer is interested in being Vice President because he likes the training aspect. He plans to teach some of the classes. He is willing to be President but does not feel as involved as a president ought to be. He wants to get closer to the Members and understand their needs. He has read the Bylaws and needs close sessions with the exiting Officers. He will continue their intent if he agrees with it. Since this organization is totally voluntary, we will have to make it easy to volunteer. It is crucial that what we do has to be documented. We need plug-and-play volunteers.
· Chris Morris is a CPA, familiar with business operations and financial reports. He knows how finances should be handled. He is new to the Internet but can help the group understand funding.
· Nancy Revis is brand new to the Internet. This is her first meeting. She had no prepared speech but is excited about this. She just graduated from the University of Maryland after attending classes for 19-1/2 years. For her last class she had to do a webpage and built one for the Greenbelt Community Church, which will be posted in the next few days. Some members of the church are going overseas and will be able to keep in contact. [Matt added that her pastor just signed up for our next class.]
· Dorian Winterfeld arrived just in time to make a statement. He wants to help out but has no overwhelming need to be on the Board. He will be responsible for the GIAC Page.
· At this time, with sixteen present, Members put candidates' initials on the back of their voting cards. Neil collected them to count the ballots.
· Jim Bates and Neil McLeod counted the votes. Neil then announced those that have been elected to the Board: Chris Morris, Jim Heagy, Greg Meyer and Nancy Revis. The voting cards and election results will be available for reference in the GIAC permanent records.
=== OTHER BUSINESS ===
While votes were being counted, Dan asked for other business:
10. Publicity / Promotions
· Neil and Patty announced the winners of the Directory Contest. The contest was to supply the maximum number of new Community Directory listings between March 10 and June 1. First Prize is a 12-month subscription to GREENBELT.COM service, Second Prize is a 6-month subscription, and Third Prize is a 3-month subscription [all prizes being donated by Neil & Patty]. There was only one official entry, Matt Elliott, who contributed 177 airline sites. He won the First Prize, while the grantors withdrew the Second and Third Prizes.
· Matt mentioned the software and web design conference being held at the end of September. He also passed out his outline for a basic class that Honore Francois will teach. He asked for Staples coupons for free photocopies and suggested moderately advanced classes on FTP and Telnet. Nancy Revis stated that some interested people don't even know how to turn on a computer and are embarrassed to admit it. She said we need to do a really basic class for them sometime.
12. Nonprofit Status
· Dan stated that there is another issue to think about: Are we committed to going nonprofit? He asked Chris to discuss the difference between profit and nonprofit status. Chris noted that we paid $16 in federal and state taxes per year. The primary benefit of nonprofit status is in obtaining grants. Government surplus goes first to charitable groups. We should qualify as an educational organization. We will have to amend the Bylaws, possibly eliminating the refundable membership fee.
· Dan's preference is that everyone donates the fee. Others can quit, get their $50 back, and rejoin later when there is no fee. Three resigned Members are waiting for their shares to reach $50 so they can collect full share value.
· Chris added that bulk-mailing privileges might be useful in the future.
· Jim Heagy asked if there isn't a middle, not-for-profit status. Chris said it was just nomenclature. Dan said there are different tax categories. A 501(c)(3) qualifies as an educational organization.
· Neil said that nonprofit status would be advantageous to our participating in Labor Day and other City functions. For example, we could save registration fees for Information Day tables.
· Jim Bates asked if enough people pull out, would it cancel the organization? Neil said that we have reserves to cover any pullouts. We have a fixed overhead of $30/month.
· Chris explained, "You can't own a nonprofit entity".
· Dorian asked about making the fee $25 to attract new members. Dan concluded that there are three parameters to be decided upon: 1) do away with the fee, 2) change the fee to a different amount, 3) keep or distribute the current reserves. He also noted that, to be a viable corporation, we should have at least $1000 in the bank. Chris said don't worry about it.
· Dan countered the concern that individual members might be liable in a lawsuit: This is minuscule at best. Courts are very unlikely to "pierce the corporate shield".
· Dorian asked what would happen if we return the $50 and not have it in the future. Neil said that we could stay afloat.
· Dorian then asked if we could vote on it. Dan stated that he is inclined to not do it tonight. The new Board needs to work through the parameters and issues, and then call a Special Membership Meeting with proper notice for discussion of it. Jim Heagy said that it fits in with the earlier suggestion to get to better know the Membership. He also wondered whether the $50 was keeping other potential members away?
13. Internet Service Provider
· Dorian asked if we had any progress on getting a local dial-up exchange. Neil answered that, with three local numbers, DSI serves the area. The two Ellicott City numbers go all the way to Baltimore. Our agreement is that we don't use these numbers if we can reach the 703 number. Dorian countered that we are now going through two exchanges. Matt said that there is a committee working on it.
14. Public Access
· Anne reminded the new Board that she is not online yet and hasn't learned how to use the Library computer yet. Neil responded that the Library computer couldn’t support multiple mailboxes yet.
15. Website Development
· Matt reminded us that the online Community Gallery is looking for photos that are distinctly Greenbelt. The lake counts; tulips don't.
=== CONCLUSION ===
“This past year has been a roller-coaster ride. It has been a lot of fun. A tremendous amount of work was done mostly by a core group. It's pretty amazing to me what's happened. At first I had doubts. I said to myself, "Why bother?" I now know why.
“GREENBELT.COM serves a very viable function in this community. We are probably the most technologically advanced group in town. We are helping other people and this is phenomenal. It makes us distinct from others.
“I need to make a discourse on using the Internet. It is not a place for sniping. Words used here have impact. One of Covey's rules is, "Don't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to his face". This is a volatile organization. It will not survive if members don't feel a part of it. It needs to maintain cohesion or it won't survive. It may continue, but not with the force it could have. When sending something to someone, think if you would say it to his face. Will it further the organization? There are shortcomings in all of us.
“I would like to thank each Member. Working with all of you has been a great pleasure.”
17. After general applause, the 1997 Annual Membership Meeting was recessed for the:
- 06/__/97 Posted
by Jim Heagy
- 05/15/00 Edited by Neil McLeod
- 09/01/05 Reformatted by Neil McLeod