Friday, October 21, 2011

New Monthly Meeting Format and Other ABS Improvements Decided at Last Meeting!

In attendance: Garrett Johnson, Susan Fontaine, Carolyn Manning, Katherine Brandle, Steph Pedro, Jennette Ginsburg, William Hartman, Loren Demerath


The group discussed Daniel Gehrig's planned upcoming cleanup of the duck pond on November 5th.

It was mentioned there might be conflicts of interest with fracking, and the brief discussion around that it was noted the more we're in need of funds for our projects, the more vulnerable we are be getting comprimised in what is in the interests of the city, the environment, etc.


Garrett reported that all bases are covered with Velo Dendro, and that Robert has noted a need to get “corkers” assigned when we begin that day.


Letters to the Shreveport Times on the meeting have been written by ABS members Jennette Ginsburg, Robert Trudeau, and David Young; they'll also be shared via the blog (see Robert's below), whether or not they are published in the newspaper. There had been questions from some at the meeting about who ABetterShreveport is and whether we were there to protest (we were not). Jennette's letter was about public prayer. It was noted that there is seems to be a lack of awareness sometimes here of how public prayer makes freedom of religion difficult. Robert's letter noted, among other things, that the Mayor didn't recognize any of the community groups in attendance at the meeting.


The wine and beer tasting fundraiser is coming up on the 5th of November. There'll be a silent auction, and we're still accepting donations for that. We can now take credit cards under ABS with an app we now have. Over 50 people have bought tickets already, and we're hoping for 200.


The rest of the meeting focused on an action plan for building ABS capacity.

Job Descriptions: It was agreed that people would come to the next meeting with their own ideas of descriptions of board and officer and committee chair positions. It was noted that people may notice that they may already do what board members are supposed to do, or that they don't and are board members. We wear hats as committee chairs in addition to being a board member or a member. The board structure and duties of the Philiadelphia Center board members was discussed as an example (Garrett is on the board there as well). In sum: members are to draft a standard job description for each officer position, standard board member position, and committee chair person position that they hold, or if they desire one. The deadline is 10/31 when we'll discuss it.

Board manual: it can come out of the position descriptions. Susan, Steph, Susan and Loren will be on the board manual committee (page 8-9 in the report has ideas; a lot of the content exists already; we can borrow from elsewhere; due in mid January).

Adoption of professional ettiquite procedures: we can adopt the ones we want to give us more structure. If we want to build our capacity, we may have to make decisions. We can invite David Beiler in November or December to speak on Roberts Rules, and answer questions such as how might be able to minimize what we use.

Accessibility: this was discussed in terms of meeting purposes and schedule. The Lake Street Dance Hall could be the site of our social meeting {though we later discovered that is closed on Monday and so Robert and Loren decided Columbia would be site}. It was noted social meetings could also be a bike ride or a walk. It was decided the social meeting will always be the first meeting of every month. The programmed meeting will be the second; the board meeting the third; and the advocacy event the fourth (e.g., write letters, painting sharrows, attending other events/meetings at other times). Timeline: beginning of the month at Columbia. It was also noted that we need a point person for maintaining a calendar. Every month Steph will do that and throw it to Robert for the newsletter. The meeting minutes can continue to be sent out just to the board and posted on the blog, but with an announcement of what's next and highlights from the last meeting via mailchimp to the larger list used by the newsletter.

Archive radio show: use says Sara Hebert; we'll wait for Robert to take that up. 2 months for the timeline.

Database: Susan and Garrett will be the team for creating and maintaining the database of members and info such as dues being paid, contact info, day job, fields of expertise, skills, what they can bring, etc.; A membership benefit package was also mentioned as a possibility by Susan. An annual membership drive could follow from that. Benefits of dues could be discounts to fundraisers; Loren noted that a transparent budget is also what should justify our dues. Timeline: 2 or 3 months. (Loren also approved paying a monthly $10 fee budgeting software as suggested by Steph and Susan in the course of this discussion.) We'll have quaterly statements as well. Organizational fundraising would be a seperate committee. Velo Dendro could be the same thing as the paddles for the Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society.

Newsletter: this is Robert's domain; hopefully he can get one out announcing our social hour and new format soon {and he did!}.

Media release template: done.

The media contact list: structured but needs to be updated; Carolyn (with Robert as Co-Chair) will take that task and finish in six weeks.


Next week we'll have a meeting planning session for November and December; what should our themed meetings and advocacy sessions be about? Come with ideas!

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