by Meg Gerstner
PRESENT: Scott Aster, Mark Blair, Van Boughner, Bob Cooley, Nick Corsano, Evan Custer, Meg Gerstner, Steve Gregg, Rosemary Johnson, Gary Kraght, Jeff Lanam, Nancy Lindeman, George Minarik, Ian Tidswell.
The meeting was called to order at 7:07 pm at the Alta Bates Imaging Center.
The minutes of the September 22, 2003 board meeting were approved.
Ian reported that we've had a pretty good year, but wants to bolster our club finances. Ian welcomed Van Boughner, our new webmaster, who suggested that the "President's Corner" that Ian prepares for the bulletin be added to the website so that readers could comment. We are still looking for an event coordinator (to replace Evan), an e-punch director (to replace Robert Lewis), and a social director.
Evan reported that the schedule for 2004 is about half complete, with some gaps in the summer. He is seeking an event director and course setter for a Briones event in March (Ian volunteered for one of these positions). The Golden Goat will be held at Tamarancho, directed by Harold and Penny DeMoss. There was some discussion about an appropriate A-meet location for 2005. Suggestions included Big Basin, Briones, and North Joe Grant, as well as Tahoe. A tentative decision was to schedule a fall A-meet at North Joe Grant (with Briones as a fallback), and have a June event at Tahoe using a barebones approach.
George reported that our regular events were very strong, and our A-meets were successful. As of December 2, 2003, the club had made $71 overall, due, in part, to exceeding our mapping budget by about $10,000. There was some discussion as to whether a new board policy or guideline should be implemented to provide advance notice of significant overspends, e.g. greater than $1000. Appropriate wording for a future vote will be worked on by George, Mark, and others. In addition, George will not pay bills that are substantially over the budgeted amount.
For 2004, our budget estimates decreased in almost every income category from 2003 actual numbers, increased for administration, programs, and equipment expenses, and decreased for marketing, mapping, and meet-related expenses. Several topics were discussed in detail. About $3000 will be allocated to an upgrade to the e-punch equipment to allow all of our units to be more stable, have the capability to handle new software, have timemaster capability, and an LED showing when the battery is low. Gary asked whether there should be an adjustment to our event fees to support the e-punch equipment. The 2004 budget was prepared assuming no change in fees. A question was raised whether additional compasses could be purchased so that we would not run out at events. It was reported that Ev and Jean had recently purchased a number of new compasses to be distributed to the registration kits. We continue to receive royalty income from McGraw Hill for their use of one of our maps. Van reported that the website has about 500 visitors each day, 50 of whom are directed to the site from search engines. The average viewer looks at 4 pages before logging off, and hits are highest on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There was a lengthy discussion about the bulletin, as it constitutes the largest portion of the marketing budget. A proposal had been made by the budget committee that we decrease the number of issues per year from 6 to 4, thus decreasing the bulletin budget from about $5400 to $3900. It was suggested that the bulletin is a less effective marketing tool than the web, and that we lose money on memberships due to the USOF fees and costs of producing/mailing the bulletin to members. Suggestions for scaling back included cutting down on the size of the bulletin (although we are already at very small type and decreasing the number of pages would not cut down significantly on the postage or setup costs), cutting down on the frequency of distribution (although 4 issues would make the bulletin less timely), and cutting down on the number of bulletins distributed to first-time attendees. (Currently of the 450 copies printed for each issue, about 300 go to members, and 150 are available for free distribution.) The possibility of an electronic bulletin was raised; Van and Jeff will investigate how this could be implemented. Also suggested was the possibility of replacing the bulletins sent to first-time attendees by a postcard. The decision was made to continue to print the bulletin as it presently is, with continued distribution to first-time attendees and the budget was amended to increase the bulletin amount to $5400, change the total expenses to $49,460, with a 2004 year end bank balance of $3179. The 2004 budget passed as amended.
Bob reported that the North Joe Grant map will be drawn by the end of January 2004, giving us about 18 sq. km. Mark Blair has converted Niscene Marks to O-cad. Our only remaining map not on O-cad is Boreal. Van plans to put the Shell Ridge and Joaquin Miller permanent courses on the web, along with instructions on how to use the maps. During 2004 we will get a base map of Tilden Park but will not bring in a professional mapper. Other suggestions for mapping include a recently acquired farm in San Jose at the north end of Almaden Quicksilver. It was suggested that we put mapping ideas on a spreadsheet for ease of reference. Gary reported that we may have lost the use of our Indian Valley map (ostensibly due to the presence of too many people at events), although he is continuing to have discussions with the Marin Open Space District that owns that land. The Open Space District suggests as other locations in Marin Pt. Reyes, Stafford Lake in Novato, and Olompali State Park. It was suggested that some of our Marin-based orienteers might write to the Open Space District and/or to their county legislators.
George reported that Terry Farrah has prepared a proposed statement for inclusion on our website. Ian suggested that BAOC become a member of the Leave No Trace organization, which would entitle us to use their logo on our website. He will look into this further. It was suggested that we might include letters from rangers welcoming orienteering to their parks. The proposed statement will be distributed on Bayonet for comment.
There was no report for Membership (Steve Beuerman), Registration (Jean and Ev Beuerman), E-Punch (open), Event Quality (Dan Greene), or Social (open).
Equipment (Mark Blair): Mark is preparing new directional signs. Customized banners for the start and finish, as well as a general club banner containing the club name and website, will be ordered. All e-punch units will be upgraded (as discussed above), and longer stands, required for soft soil, have been ordered.
Juniors (Nick Corsano): Nick asked whether the Scout O had been rescheduled for the Spring, but no one knew the answer.
Permits (Rosemary Johnson): Rosemary announced that Audrey Faist will be dealing with permits for South Bay events.
Publicity (Nancy Lindeman): Nancy reported that the flyer has been changed to add a Reno/Tahoe contact and an Adventure Racer contact. Stanford Community Day has been scheduled. Ads/announcements will be placed in Adventure Sports Journal for our Sunol, Joe Grant, and Tahoe events.
Bulletin (Jeff Lanam): In addition to the discussion above, Jeff will be ordering Adobe Acrobat software for use in putting the bulletin on the web. December 28th is the next deadline for bulletin articles.
Website (Van Boughner): Van has made a number of changes to the website, including replacing e-mail addresses with graphics, using style sheets to help the pages load faster, and having the pictures on the home page change each time the screen is refreshed. Future plans include modifications to the text and color scheme and creation of an archive. At present, we are using about 60% of our disk space and 3% of the bandwidth.
Outreach (Scott Aster): Scott made a presentation to students at San Rafael High School, and several students then attended the China Camp event.
USOF Report (Gary Kraght): Gary reported that USOF is having financial difficulties.
The next board meeting will be Monday, March 1, 2004, at Stanford University.
December 21, 2003