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April 18, 2006

DCN Board Minutes April 18, 2006

Davis Community Network (DCN)

A duly called regular meeting of the
Board of the Davis Community Network was held
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
at the City of Davis Training Room
600 A Street.

Present: Tony Bernhard, Tsui Chang, Jim Frame, Brian Gegan, Anne Hance, John Jones, Steve McMahon, Jan Meizel, Kimball Sargeant, Vicki Suter, Richard Yamagata, also Exec. Dir. Richard Lowenberg.
Absent: Rick Guidara, Robert Nickerson, Tom Stanionis,
Visitor: Kari Peterson

1. Called to order at 5:18:00 pm by President Kimball Sargeant
2. Agenda approved as distributed
3. Minutes of March 21, Board Meeting approved by consensus
4. No public comment
5. Election of new Board Member:
Anne Hance moved the election of Brian Gegan to a term of
2 years from February 2006.
Seconded by Steve McMahon the motion passed

6. Follow-up discussion on issues, goals and objectives gathered at the DCN Strategic Planning Retreat.
Eight issues were identified at the retreat and each had one or more people assigned to help its further discussion and planning.

a) "New Blood" -- John Jones.

John suggested that a first step should be to determine what categories of people are needed on the Board and then a committee should be formed to seek out and talk with such people to gauge their interest.
Richard Lowenberg commented that he has just met with Paul Harter of the Yolo Community Foundation and talked with him about a non-monetary partnership which would help DCN extend its reach with its resources for nonprofits. This might result in a new Board position or perhaps a seated liaison person.
Anne reminded us that we had identified youth as an important factor and had mentioned having a student board member. Kari suggested seeking out younger community members who view the present digital community differently (more young-adult oriented cutting edge?) from most of the current board. Vicki strongly recommended consideration of graduate students, specifically those in the UCD Techno Culture program. Anne commented that we should be prepared for the likelihood that such new young blood will bring fresh energies that we might find difficult to cope with.

b) Volunteers - Vicki Suter

Vicki identified four populations of potential volunteerism: i) Students (post K-12) who might be asked what issues and projects would be interesting to them rather than presenting things we've already decided we want to do (perhaps both avenues would be appropriate.) Included in this group would be the very significant opportunity presented by community projects routinely assigned to students of the Graduate School of Management (GSM) These projects assist nonprofits with identified problem areas in their organizations.
ii) People who are limited in their access to traditional social interaction but who could participate virtually. Steve remarked that DCN could develop resources and tools to facilitate this way of volunteering. This population includes those with disabilities as well as those who are house-bound for other reasons.
iii) People who are passionate about specific aspects of DCN's mission and who would participate in specific projects.
iv) Technologically skilled individuals who would bring their special skills to benefit DCN and its mission.
Vicki also recommended that every partnership DCN enters into should bring money, or space, or equipment, or volunteer time to DCN.
Next steps for a) and b)
* Apply to have GSM students work on a DCN business plan which should be sure to include a volunteer management program and a fundraising plan. Richard Lowenberg, Vicki , and John will cooperate on this.
* Each board member should write a page on, "If DCN had $500000 this is how would I want it to be used."
* Seek a graduate student as a new board member

c) Funding - Jan Meizel and Anne Hance

Jan reported that she is working on a template for grant proposals but grant opportunities are somewhat limited. She is researching specific possibilities. She suggests that virtual volunteering might be quite fundable by grants.
Referring to the paucity of grant opportunities for "community networks", Richard Lowenberg remarked that the words being used now for fundable projects are "civic involvement " and "social communication.'"
Anne pointed out that other sources of funds are needed for basic subsistence and to support existing mission-driven programs. She identified four including the MOUs that DCN enters into whenever possible; the DCN subscription donations and pass-thru fees from Omsoft which need to keep pace with Omsoft's charges; individual donations; business and corporate donations;
As the meeting continued membership and special events were mentioned as income producers. Anne also wondered if the City of Davis would be willing to re-institute a program it had some years ago in which a box on a city bill could be checked to indicate that an extra $ amount had been added to the payment as a donation to the listed nonprofit. (Nonprofit pre-identified on the bill - not open to 'write-ins.'
Next steps: include the funding issue in the GSM business plan project.

d) Telecommunications Commission - Steve McMahon and Rick Guidara

Steve reported that the City Council has asked the staff to bring recommendations to the council in May. Kari mentioned that she believed that the council might be cautious of setting up a new city commission because they are quite expensive to run. Steve will talk with Rick about ways that DCN might be able to take on some responsibility for an advisory group to reduce city costs. Funds would still be needed but less than if the city were in sole charge of the group/commission.

e) New Media - Vicki Suter and Kari Peterson

Vicki and Kari suggested that while a committee should be formed to study and make recommendations on this large issue it would be good to start with a small pilot project. Perhaps digital story-telling would be a good place to start. This engendered considerable interest and people shared their visions of how the DCN web might incorporate a new aspect which would be 'the Davis Story' and would present a vivid picture of life in Davis.
The new media issue proved popular and the team includes; Vicki, Kari, Brian, Steve, Jan, and Richard L. Richard L. will call the first meeting.

f) DCN Purpose - Tony Bernhard

Tony suggests that we think in terms of vision (to draw people in) rather than purpose (to drive people) and wondered if we could do this better graphically than with words of which we already have many. Tony shared a graphic he had drafted. This stimulated thought but no conclusion. Richard L. has archived copies of the visions we wrote several years ago. It might be interesting to look at those but we should probably write new ones.

7. & 8. Reports/Announcements

Richard Lowenberg reported that Seth Duffy will do a css (cascading style sheet) class on May 11. This relates to the previous web site accessibility class as a web-site accessibility technique. 18 people are signed up for the Simple Sites 2.0 class on Thursday.

9. Meeting adjourned at 7:04 p.m. pm.

Submitted by Anne Hance, Secretary

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