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Monthly Board Meeting
April 14, 2000
Meeting Minutes


The meeting was held in the Conference Room of the Greenbelt Police Station, with Gilbert Lee, President  presiding. The meeting began at 7:02 pm. Gilbert welcomed all guests and the Board, both directors and officers.

Officers & Directors present:  Gilbert Lee, Neil McLeod, Patty Merryman, Peg Bates, Doug Love, Bill Dupree, Mary Camp,

Directors absent:  Dan Andrews, Shawn O,Neil, Norma Van Allen

Members & Guests present:   Jim Bates, Susan Jones, Ed Shramco, Dave Wallace, Doug Caprette and Clement Lau, Nancy Revis

Guest Speaker: Susan Jones spoke to the board and officers representing a group that would like to have GIAC look into giving informational classes on alternative ways to access the Web other than traditionally using a computer, for example WebTV, EyeOpener, web devices that use a telephone and your tv or a monitor. She asked for information on GIAC and why there was a COOP fee and she asked us to investigate free methods by which her group and others could get online free. Neil McLeod our webadministrator agreed it was something we could look into. A membership packet will be delivered to her.

Secretary's Report

March Minutes:

No changes or amendments, comments or questions were necessary to the March minutes and it was voted to accept them as recorded. 

                                    ISP Committee Report

Update on fee increase:

  • Letters were exchanged about a rate increase from Chesapeake and we sent one back pointing out items that needed to be addressed before GIAC felt they would pay. It was also stated that a performance penallty would be assessed against Chesapeake if further problems continued. However if Chesapeake did implement their end we would pay them the increase retroactive to February when they originally informed us of a raise in fees. 
  • Patty Merryman asked what we as an organization would do to handle the rate increase, should it be passed on, should it be absorbed? The item was tabled.
  • Work order processing was one of the items still coming up and was one of the reasons for the performance issue. We will continue to monitor it closely.

Past President Nancy Revis visited the board meeting with a reoccuring problem, spamming. Not only is she receiving it in volume, it is of an objectionable nature. Doug Caprette offered to collect some help in the way of URLs that contain help by filters and by way of things our ISP could possibly implement. If you are being spammed please contact the ISP and let it be known and insist it be hunted down, filtered or stopped. 

                                 Audit Committee Report

The Audit committee reported that the report is finished short of a few small changes. Many more thanks to Mary Halford CPA and the audit committee. We have made changes to the way we record our finances (cash to accrual basis) that may save us some tax burden. Jim Bates, committee chairman suggested that inactive people not using the internet and  people due a refund be notified. They should be asked to respond whether to remain inactive, resign and get a refund less any monies owed the cooperative or like in some cases in the past donate their coop fee to the cooperative.This action will help keep our bookeeping stable. The 1998 audit was also ammended to reflect corrections and a motion was made to accept both audits after the draft is finalized and signed. 

                                       Treasurer's Report

Peggy Bates has ordered "QuickBooks" to make the treasurer's function better able to generate audit information reports. It was suggested GIAC canvass the membership by means of e-mail broadcasts for accounting help and that people work in pairs or groups to learn the functions of the positions. This action was also recommended to apply to Neil McLeod's position as well. The split of the duties of the Treasurer and System Administrator were finalized at the meeting. The separation of jobs and bookeeping functions bring us into recognized accounting practices and saves us some money from outsourcing costs.

Taxes and future audits:

Mary Halford and Peggy Bates met to determine whether amended tax returns need to be filed and they filed an extension with the IRS to do so. Now that the records have been brought up to date in a standard format the software we have should issue the audit information in a report format. Future audits will not be a tedious chore as they have been in the past. Again the treasurer would like people interested in learning the process to contact her. This training could help in other areas of your business and personal life. The financial report and membership data can be found by clicking here.

Legal Committee Report

An E-mail help broadcast mas made and twopeople responded but backed out to help our efforts to become a tax exempt non profit organization. Doug Caprette said it was indeed possible to change our organizational status. He now has the URL of the model site we can get information from. A date was set for the committee meeting (Wend 19th 7pm) Clement Lau will e-mail and should generate a report for the next board meeting. 

                                   Vice President's Report

There was a question of where the feedback or reservations to our monthly classes should go as posted in the newspaper or flyers we may distribute. It was determined we should use the voice mail since we pay for it. Next we are working toward a "CyberCafe"in April and in June or July an eating outing where we exchange popular websites and a potluck meal. Bill Dupree is doing the April 18 class  of "PC Basics and use of the Windows operating system". June 3rd is COOP Day, Greenbelt Day and BARC's 90 Years of Excellance Day. We need volunteers for the COOP Day to man a table to give GIAC information out to the public. Further information will follow by E-mail. It is also recommended you ask attendees of the classes for their e-mail so we can thank them for their interest. A courteous reminder the COOP is always looking for generous people to help in ways that use that person's talents. Don't be shy e-mail us and volunteer.

                                    Bylaws Changes Proposal

It was proposed that items presented for change be done by e-mail first and then voted by the Board. The first and one that has made the job of running the organization difficult is the absence of directors from meetings and the inability to carry out the duties of their office. The Board is charged by the membership and State law to carry out the business functions and well being of the corporation. So it is with this in mind we draft more stringent expectations and performance standards. Second, with the abolishment of the volunteer incentive program we find we still have a dedicated group who volunteer for jobs without asking or browbeating.The Board would like to work out some kind of recognition be it formal, monetary  or otherwise. Third, that we have need to change the date of the Annual meeting to the first Tuesday in June. The bylaws presently says the second Tuesday but that crams the meeting into the same week as the regular Board meeting. There must be a general mailing to the members informing them of the change and the room must be arranged at the Community Center to accomodate the meeting between 40 and 10 days before the event.Neil McLeod reminded officers to prepare the annual report, billing cards, voting cards and broadcast a request for content of the annual report not already in the Secretary's hands. He and Patty will observe this year to see how we do.

           Miscellaneous and Unfinished Business

Board items:

There was a need to fill Ed James' Board seat and Peggy Bates volunteered to take it until election time. This gave her a vote in Board affairs as officers who are not also directors do not vote. It was also determined that no one was to be put on the slate of elected individuals unless they were present and fully willing to do the job. The Board wanted the odd year seat holders informed that their seats were up for the upcoming election and to broadcast that Board seats were open.

Voice mail schedule:        301- 419- 8044

April 23-29th Bill Dupree                May 14-20th Gil Lee 
April 30-May 6th Peggy Bates       May 21-27th Patty Merryman 
May   7-13th Neil McLeod              May 28- June 3

Remember when your shift is over e-mail the next person on the schedule. 

Greenbelt Library:

The Greenbelt Library has asked whether we will help in the documentation of the Tugwell Room materials. A grant was received to archive and make available documents in a web information database.Clement Lau GIAC member and past director made the presentation and the Board voted to approve the efforts.

                                       Meeting  Adjourned

The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 pm. Respectfully recorded Bill Dupree Secretary GIAC

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