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Kelly Wells hoofs it at the 5th annual Golden Goat, held at Shell Ridge, October 2000 (Photo: Ian Tidswell)

BAOC Board Meeting Minutes

Date: December 6, 2004
Location: Alta Bates Imaging Center, Oakland

PRESENT: Board members Terry Farrah, George Minarik, Steve Gregg, Nancy Lindeman, Mark Blair, Trinka Gillis, Scott Aster, Ev & Jean Beuerman, Steve Beuerman, Bob Cooley, Gary Kraght, Jeff Lanam, and club member Chuck Spalding

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by George Minarik, in the absence of President Ian Tidswell.

1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - George Minarik

The minutes of the September 4, 2004 board meeting were approved as posted to the Board email list.

2. PRESIDENT'S REPORT - George Minarik

On Ian's behalf, George congratulated all involved in the production of the Long and Short Champs. Overall we've had a successful year. Our finances have been brought back into line, giving us more flexibility for 2005.

Syd Reader sprints to the finish at Las Trampas (1999)

3. EVENT COORDINATOR POSITION - George Minarik

Cheryl Madson has been unable to fulfill her duties as Event Coordinator. She has not communicated with anybody on the Board for about six weeks and has not responded to a request for her resignation. George read from the by-laws that an officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the Board if the officer is unable to perform the duties of the office. The ten Board members present at this stage of the meeting voted unanimously to remove Cheryl from this position. The Board wishes to thank Cheryl for her many efforts volunteering for BAOC, and hopes that she will participate in and contribute to BAOC in the future.

Evan Custer was elected to the Event Coordinator position by unanimous vote. Evan will schedule East Bay events, and will be assisted by Chuck Spalding (South Bay) and Mark Prior (North Bay).

4. EVENT COORDINATOR'S REPORT - George Minarik, for Evan Custer

Evan sent the Board a 2005 event schedule in progress. Evan has scheduled most of the East Bay parks. Chuck gave a report on his progress scheduling the South Bay. Mark Blair clarified that for BAOC, South Bay is defined as San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties. The Golden Goat is tentatively scheduled for Nisene Marks. It appeared that Evan is trying to create a Park-O series by scheduling Arastradero, plus several of our more developed Peninsula parks during August. Nancy mentioned that a lot of kids are gone during this time; we need clarification about these events from Evan. Stanford is scheduled for April 10; if this is confirmed then we will have our annual general meeting at this event. Scott Aster reported that a sea kayak vendor in Sausalito would make all his kayaks (40 kayaks, 30 double) available some Saturday or Sunday for an event. The lowest price we could get would probably be about $25/person. Excellent nautical maps of Richardson Bay are available. Because most of the shore is private property, we may have to refrain from placing control markers and ask questions about controls instead. Scott will propose a date next Board meeting.

Scott Aster spots a control on the Green course at Briones, 2001 (Photo: Trevor Pering)

5. APPROVAL OF 2005 A EVENT - George Minarik

An A meet at Joe Grant North, tentatively named "O' in the Oaks III", was proposed for October 22-23. We do not yet have an event director or course setter. The Board approved this event unanimously. Chuck said that Evan asked both Dan Stoll-Hadayia and Thorsten Graeve if they could work on a Tahoe A meet in 2005; neither was available. Gary mentioned that Fallen Leaf Lake needs a year's notice.

6. 2006 A EVENT TENTATIVE PLANS - George Minarik for Evan Custer

Tahoe venues were discussed first. Bob said there is very good terrain in the SE corner of Fallen Leaf Lake that is field checked, but has never been used. It must be combined with previously used areas to make enough for a day's orienteering. Gary suggested Spooner or Burton for a second day; Spooner is close enough that people can stay in one place. Steve Gregg heard rumor that Boreal may have new management friendlier to O'. Bob said that the eastern portion of the Boreal map has the Pacific Coast Trail running through it; the forest service probably won't let us use it. Boreal can't be used until July due to snow. Part of Sugar Bowl has had a big parking lot put in, and a few runs have been cut. George will ask Evan what he thinks.

Discussion shifted to Bay Area venues. Scott mentioned that Annadel has had a change of ranger; perhaps we can use it again. Nancy suggested a 2-day at Annadel. Gary mentioned we'd need to use an existing map because we don't have time to make a new one. Morgan Territory, Joe Grant, and Briones were mentioned as possible sites; Calero was also suggested but may be too sensitive. There has been discussion lately on the USOF Clubnet about a short/sprint/classic 2-day format. Would we like to use this format? Vlad is interested in a sprint at Golden Gate Park. China Camp could work for the second day. Although it's steep, the rangers are cooperative and we have not had an A meet there yet. Gary proposed using the Presidio for Day 1. Scott said we could call it the Golden Gate A meet.

Mark proposed a rogaine for 2006. Joe Grant North could be used for a 4/7 hour and Mark is interested in being one of at least two course setters. Bob said that even all of Joe Grant is too small for a 24 hour rogaine. Mark suggested May; not yet hot but lots of light.

Jesse Gray (left) and Mike Springer (right), running it in at Briones, 2002

7. TREASURER'S REPORT AND 2005 BUDGET DISCUSSION - George Minarik

We had great attendance in 2004; the average take was over $1000. Our A meets were very successful with income over budget. If we can keep up the attendance in 2005 with more events we'll be in great shape. We had dramatic savings on meet-related expenses due to the smaller number of events. Also, A meet fees did not go up as expected. The 2004 budget projected a $1060 loss but we actually had a $17,668 gain.

The 2005 budget is based on the following assumptions: one A meet, 15% increase in regular meet fees, 5% increase in non-mapping expenses. It features $44,410 in income and $59,060 in expenses, including $15,000 in mapping expenses. Board members were asked for comments. Scott suggested budgeting for the outdoor fair at the San Mateo County Fair; an increase in the Outreach budget to $500 was penciled in. Gary said that USOF fees should not increase until 2006; the USOF fee budget was adjusted accordingly.

Ev and Jean said they'd need 60 new compasses to bring rental inventory to 120, the number needed to provide rentals to all who want them. After noting that, even with inventory loss, compass rental has operated in the black, the Board penciled in $600 to buy 60 compasses. Jean noted that the hotline may be seldom used; she can't tell how many calls it receives but it records only about one message per month. The cost is about $15/month. It was decided to remove the hotline number from new whistles in anticipation of possibly eliminating the hotline in the future. Jean said she needs to order more whistles and that we have run out of yellow punchcards. Jeff will make some corrections to the punchcard design and submit to the Board. An increase of $200 in the registration budget was penciled in to allow for punchcards and whistles. George explained that the $1900 budgeted for awards includes well over $1000 for Scout-O awards.

8. REPORT OF EMAIL VOTE ON COUNTING PARTICIPATION- Steve Beuerman

In 2006, USOF plans to begin basing club charter fees on participation rather than membership. Clare Durand asked each club how they wanted to count participation; the choices were (a) number of entries, (b) number of lines in results, (c) number of individuals, or (d) number of maps. An email motion was made for option (b) and the Board approved it 11-1 by email vote. Gary reported that most other clubs voted for (b), and that is what USOF is adopting.

Dan Stoll-Hadayia running in at Coyote Hills, 2000

9. RAISING FEES - George Minarik

There has been discussion for several months about increasing the fees we charge for events. In June a committee was formed to study the issue, but it never met. This past month, both Gary and George posted fee increase proposals to the Board email list (see Appendix). George said that our options today were to decide to keep fees the same, vote to increase them at this meeting, or decide to increase them sometime during 2005. The primary reason to increase fees is to maintain our mapping effort; mapping costs have gone up because we've been using more expensive mappers who produce a better product. We have not had a fee increase in six or seven years.

Terry asked for arguments against a fee increase. Trinka said that $14 -- George's proposed non-member rate for orange/advanced -- seemed too expensive for noncompetitive orienteers. Mark proposed increasing membership fees instead, perhaps from $15 to $20. George said that membership is more sensitive to a price increase than event attendance because membership benefits are few. Gary suggested that membership be a loss leader because it is our source of volunteers. Jeff said that we want EDs and CSs to be members so that they will be protected from liability by our insurance (only member volunteers are protected)

Gary reviewed the policy directive passed by the USOF Board regarding club charter fees. If this directive is implemented, club charter fees will be based on participation rather than membership starting in 2006. Clubs would provide statistics in 2005; USOF would base the per-start fee on these numbers. Several things have to happen in order for the policy directive to be implemented. First, the USOF finances working group needs to craft an implementing proposal. Second, the USOF Board needs to approve the implementing proposal. And third, clubs at the Annual General Meeting this summer need to amend the USOF Bylaws to remove the clause that states that club charter fees must be calculated based on club membership totals. The proposal would be close to revenue neutral, meaning the average club would pay the same as before. USOF's insurance premium will probably see little or no increase in 2005 because this is the trend in the industry, but we don't know yet.

Chuck said he has a spreadsheet into which he can plug numbers from any fee proposal to see its effect on our club. George reiterated that, even without an increase in club charter fees for 2005, we will have to restrict our activities, especially mapping, if we don't increase event fees. Mark noted that we already have the highest event fees in the nation and asked why we need to charge more than other clubs. George said it's because we are on the cutting edge of orienteering, being an early adopter of epunch and having the most aggressive mapping program in the country. Other large clubs such as DVOA are also cutting edge, but they are older and benefit from a legacy. They also have higher participation, bringing in more money per event. Jeff questioned Gary's proposal that we charge $16 for nonmembers on orange/advanced. Steve Gregg responded that this will have the beneficial effect of discouraging first-timers from starting with orange/advanced. Gary added that if someone is not a first-timer, we want to encourage them to join the club and get the member price. A member of any O' club in the world gets our member rate. Mark and Jeff thought $14 (George's proposal) and $16 (Gary's proposal) straddled the border between reasonable and too much.

Terry moved to implement George's proposal (see Appendix) beginning in April 2005, with the following changes: $20/member, $24/nonmember for goats/rogaines. A fast and furious round of amendment proposals ensued, each of which were voted upon and either accepted or rejected. There was consensus that the half price fee should be for age 20/under (currently it is for any student); this is consistent with the membership fee cutoff. We currently have a $20/family maximum but it is rarely used; there was support for retaining this. Finally Gary moved to table the discussion. Mark added, "with a firm resolve that we will resolve this at the next Board meeting". This motion passed with 7 in favor and 4 abstaining.

The fee committee shall consist of Steve B, Chuck, George, Ian, Ev & Jean, and Gary. The first meeting was scheduled for Saturday, January 8, 10 a.m. at George's house.

10. MAPPING REPORT - Bob Cooley

Bob has the base map for Tilden, but nobody to check it yet. Bob just converted USGS to OCAD for a Twin Peaks street map. Jeff saw an article in last weekend's Mercury News about Midpeninsula Open Space trust lands that adjoin parks, in particular an approximately 6000 acre area along the coast. Mark said that some of these lands are still under negotiation and may not yet be open to public use. Scott asked about UC Santa Cruz; Bob said that it's far away with not much good forest and very steep drop-offs to the north. Nancy asked about the area north of Wilder Ranch; Bob said that redwoods are hard to map accurately and he was waiting for an improvement in technology. Jeff asked about the new addition to Calero; Bob said that some of it is open space, not park, and a lot of it is poison oak. There is a little bit more of Calero to the SE which he may add, but course setters are already reluctant to use the edge of the existing map. Black Diamond has very little forest. Round Valley has protected species which preclude orienteering use.

Max and Victoria at the Emerald Hills Street-O in 2003, after answering the question "How many skunks on the fence?"

11. APPROVAL OF 2005 BUDGET - George Minarik

George moved to pass the budget as submitted, with the following corrections and adjustments: regular meet income corrected to $31,800; annual USOF fee reduced to $3600, outreach expenses increased to $500, compass expenses increased to $600, registration supplies increased to $800. The motion passed by unanimous vote.

12. DIRECTORS' REPORTS

Membership (Steve Beuerman): A report was submitted via email. We gained 28 USOF members in 2004. Turnover was about 1/4 ; this is typical. Steve suggests that the fee committee consider a season pass.

Registration (Ev & Jean Beuerman): Jean reported that some white/yellow participants have complained that their remote starts have been too far away. We advertise that people can take strollers on white. Jeff suggested we put this in the course setters guidelines. Steve Gregg remarked that this is impossible on a lot of our maps. Scott remarked that a remote start is contrary to what a white course is supposed to be.

Punching a control at Shoreline Egg-O, 1997

Equipment (Mark Blair): Mark's only issue has been making sure we have enough portable aluminum stands for A meets. We do now. Aluminum stands have come to be the standard over the clip-in ones we were using a couple of years ago. Chuck mentioned that both days of A meet, epunch units fell off stands; in particular a Go punch fell off when he punched and he stopped to replace it. Trinka will check the Velcro on the stands. Bob mentioned that the Velcro sticks better if you don't wrap the control cord over the Velcro. Chuck suggested using the old style at Go & finish controls, where runners attack harder. Since this is a significant problem, there was general agreement to use the old stands for Go/Finish. George said that Condes can tell you how many punches to expect at each control; we can put the sturdier stands at heavily used controls also.

E-punch (Trinka Gillis): We've had a fair number of problems since we started using the new epunch units in September. One unit failed to beep. During two meets the master units had trouble reading the finger sticks; we may have a fix for this. At the Champs, some units were an hour off due to a daylight savings time issue. At Monte Bello sticks sometimes recorded the wrong unit number. We can update the units ourselves now instead of sending them to Germany. We've started using two laptops, one to enter people and one to download; this helps a lot but we need more volunteers to run two laptops. Version 7 units can be permanently programmed. Course setters can then take the units home from the last event; they then must use the numbers that the units are programmed with. At 30-35 Euros per unit, it will cost $800-$1000 to upgrade our non-version 7 units to version 7. The 2005 budget allows more than enough. We will see if we continue to have problems during the next couple of meets before permanently programming the units.

David Giese and Thorsten Graeve compare route choices at the 2002 Bear Valley Ski-O (Photo: Tony Pinkham)

A club in Texas is going to rent our controls for their A meet Presidents Day weekend; they are paying for two-way rush delivery. We might want to replace the old laptop this year; members are invited to donate unwanted laptops. George clarified that we are an IRS 501(c)7, which means that we are nonprofit but that contributions are not tax deductible. Esticks cost 44 Euros now, about $62 including shipping. This holds 64 punches plus personal info.

Event Quality (Dan Greene): Nancy asks that Dan study the white/yellow remote start issue.

Publicity (Nancy Lindeman): The N.O.D. prizes arrived the Saturday after the events. These were given away at Calero and Briones to new members, and also at Briones to adult newcomers. Nancy plans to publicize our adventure race courses in Adventure Sports journal. She has tried different ways of publicizing our ski-Os but nothing has worked yet. Jeff suggested fliers on bulletin boards in Tahoe ski shops; Trinka suggested Paco's, a big cross-country ski shop in Truckee.

Bulletin (Jeff Lanam): Deadline for next issue is December 20; it will probably be out the second week in January. Jeff requests interesting articles and pictures. Chuck has a tally of bulletins sent to first-timers in 2004.

Outreach (Scott Aster): Claire Warner and Scott staffed a booth at the USF employee benefits fair. USF promised us $100. Our booth was near sea kayakers and Sierra Club. Scott was reminded that large corporations have fairs with booths to encourage physical fitness for employees. Scott and Claire had real conversations with at least 100 people and handed out most of their 250 flyers. Other recreation and sports club staff were checking out our booth also. Home schoolers are already asking for a special beginner clinic at Spring Lake.

USOF (Gary Kraght): All goings on are available on the USOF clubnet. If anybody would like to know more, ask Gary. The big issue is club charter fees and how they should be calculated; insurance is tied into this.

13. NEW BUSINESS - George Minarik

Scott reported that a permanent course at the Presidio would involve 8 different committees; final approval could take another year. Chuck announced that he maintains the contacts list on our website and asks that we inform him of changes. There was general agreement that Steve should add Chuck to the Board email list. Mark Blair is going to set up the adventure racing people with a kit of some of our old equipment. Evan cannot attend Monday board meetings. All other weeknights were difficult for at least one other Board member. The next board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 8, 2005, at Stanford. Trinka will arrange for a room.

The meeting adjourned at 9:58 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Terry Farrah
December 21, 2004

APPENDIX

George Minarik's fee proposal:

Beginner's Courses (White, Yellow)    Remain at $6.
Each additional person remain at $2

Orange & Advanced courses:  Members fee increase from $8 to $10.
                            Non - Members Fee increase from $12 to $14
Each additional person increased from $2 to $4

Second Courses:     Increase from $2 to $4 on white and yellow
                    Increase from $4 to $6 on orange and advanced
                    Increase from $2 to $4 each additional adult
                    Increase from $1 to $2 each additional child

All Juniors,  20 and under,  pay half the above rates.

Accompanied Children under 8 -  remain free
Beginner's clinics, Start O:  Remain free
Compass Rental:  Increase from $1 to $2.
E-Punch rental:  Increase from $2 to $3.

Everything divides evenly by 2, so registration does not have to make change for
Juniors.


Gary Kraght's fee proposal:

C events - $6 for the first person, $2 second person, doesn't matter which
course or whether you are a club member.

B events - White/Yellow $8 first person, $4 second person, other courses
$10 first person for BAOC member, $4 second person, $16 non-member, $4
second person

Goats, Rogaines etc. -  $14 BAOC, $20 non-member, per person.

All juniors half-off.