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HAL-PC Board of Directors

Unapproved minutes of the March 24, 2011 regular Board of Directors Meeting.
Any corrections, changes, additions to these minutes will be provided following approval of the minutes by the Board.

MINUTES OF March 24, 2011
Houston Area League of PC Users, Inc.
4543 Post Oak Place
Houston, Texas 77027


Sibley Cooley President
Rick Archibald First Vice President (SIGs)
Sibley Cooley Vice President Programs
Jay Kraker Vice President Communications
Annette Story Recording Secretary
DJ Brown Membership Secretary (absent)
Jim Mehrmann Treasurer

Robert Spotswood Executive Committee
John Furby Executive Committee
Greg Brewer Director
Bill Budell Director (absent)
Marco Ferrufino Director (absent)
Meredith Foster Director (absent)
Jerald Linsley Director
Claudia Ludwig Director
Mary Ann Mitscherling Director
John Molson Director (absent)
Charles Olsen Director (absent)
Kevin Peck Director
Bernard Silverman Director (absent)
Jim Story Director
Mike Wilson Director

0 Guest

I.The meeting was called to order at 7:09pm, Sibley Cooley presiding.

II.No Minutes.


President, Sibley Cooley

  1. Sibley Cooley stated, "I am happy to report that we have made considerable progress. We now have our bank accounts streamlined and we have arrangements made with United Way where they will come and pick up our stuff that we want to move out of here." Modem Bob made an inventory list. A list is not yet made of the downstairs storage room. United Way could see to it that the recipients of our equipment and furniture could come and get it. Sibley said, "I am encouraged that very soon we would see a reduction, if not an elimination, of what we got in our storage here or in the commercial storage at Bullseye Storage.
  2. Sibley reported that he and our Treasurer, Jim Mehrmann met with Steve Stewart, CPA.
  3. Sibley stated that there are two inventory lists of various items of equipment, furniture, miscellaneous gadgets, etc. Jim Story made one [of contents of SIG rooms]. Modem Bob made one as items were moved to Bullseye Storage on January 28, 2011, before the January General Meeting.
  4. Because of the overcrowding of the smaller occupied space at the Headquarters facility much work was done to prepare and move computer equipment items that were sold or donated to computer recyclers or others, donated to Goodwill, sold to battery recyclers, and furniture donated to a men's shelter. Inventory lists were done gradually over a span of several months. The ongoing work and lists were mentioned at a number of Board meetings and the movement of items was discussed. A number of Board members felt they should have, and didn't, receive copies of the inventory lists. The discussion included the valuation of what HAL-PC has.
    After this intense discussion, Mary Ann Mitscherling moved, "I recommend that we have a copy of Modem Bob's list given to everyone who wants a copy who is at the Board meeting today and that we send a copy of the one that Jim made, when available, either electronically or by paper. The bulletin board will receive a copy of all of the items that were discussed." Kevin Peck seconded that. Sibley asked Mary Ann, "For the record you have withdrawn your original motion and restated it?" Affirmative answer. Greg Brewer called the question.

No further discussion and the motion passed.

First Vice President (SIGs), Rick Archibald

  1. Rick Archibald reported SIG C has been cleaned up and SIG meetings and education classes can use it.
  2. We need to move records that are mostly AT&T bills currently located in SIG C.
  3. Old education equipment: Rick stated that certain parts of the old equipment could be saved such as moveable trays, zip drives, floppy drives. There are the newer PS2 machines with donated keyboards and mice but an adapter is needed for them to be used. Greg Brewer said the XP license is also valuable. Claudia Ludwig said that 6 of the 12 old machines could be set up for basic classes.
  4. Rick stated he personally inventoried the wire by placing marks and writing the lengths on the rolls. A written inventory needs to be done.

Vice-President Programs, Sibley Cooley--Nothing at this time.

Vice-President Communications, Jay Kraker

  1. Jay Kraker said, "I will be able to start coming back to the Executive Committee meetings... once a month.
  2. Jay wants to revisit developing a plan where we could stimulate membership. "What can we do reasonably quickly at very little cost to start moving up the curve?" When asked by Sibley if he had talked with DJ Brown, Membership Secretary, about this Jay said he would.

Membership Secretary, D J Brown--Absent.

  1. Jim Story wanted to say something in relation to membership as follows: At the front desk we are having a lot of complaints and members quitting. I do membership renewals and Joe Collins does HALNet renewals. Less people are renewing membership and HALNet. The members Jim calls are those whose auto renew failed or who have not responded to the renewal letters that are mailed by USPS. The HALNet users that Joe calls are those whose auto renews have failed or who have not responded to renewal emails sent by Jim Story.

Treasurer, Jim Mehrmann

  1. 1.Jim Mehrmann said, "... some of the things I am going to try to do, at least from the view point of the Treasurer, is start a monthly communication chat to talk to Steve Stewart, CPA. I have talked to the President on the side about what we are looking at and the general board right now. We will look at the fiscal year and what we want to accomplish within the fiscal year (June 1 to May 31 of each year)." The budget will be within those dates. Jim Mehrmann will get with the Finance Committee and some other people here next week to set up what we do with the Profit & Loss Statement. "Start with the baseline at the last known status where we are."
  2. Steve Stewart has agreed to come and meet us so we can ... reconcile. Jim hopes to use him as an advisor to the fullest extent he can so we can get everything reconciled by the end of this year.
  3. Sibley Cooley said Steve's work would be pro bono. So as to not duplicate efforts, we are waiting for James B. McElravy, CPA, to finish what is needed for his 990 work.
  4. Sibley said we have 3 CPA's support. A backup, if needed, is the Houston Chapter of CPA's Associations.
  5. Getting the latest version of Quick Books updates so we will wind up with the same system as Steve Stewart is what Jim Mehrmann wants to do. Also, Jim's overall objective is to get a very good picture of the budget over the last 2 years for every "department's" operating expenditures. What are the future expenditures over the next 60 days? We will have to get cracking. We need to get to work to start closing the books for March." Jim stated, "We will put together task groups so we can keep everything going and everybody keeping informed. That is one thing we want to do is keep communications open and keeping everybody informed. I think that is what I am hearing tonight."
  6. So much of the Office system requires complicated manual intervention.
  7. A discussion ensued of the cost of Quick Books and perhaps using Tech Soup.

Finance Committee

  1. Concerning the Finance Committee, within the next two weeks, Jim Mehrmann wants to have a meeting so we can sit down and evaluate where we have been, where we are, and what we need to do.
  2. Annette Story passed out for March 24, 2011, the Daily Forecast and the Unpaid Bills Report, to the Board members. The Unpaid Bills Report shows that we have made major progress on paying off our AT&T DSL2 late bills because of work of Chris Read, Jim Ward, Annette Story, and John Furby. Also we have paid off late bills for Postini because of negotiations of Rick Archibald. She reported the total bank balances to be $48,525.34. Annette Story pays the state sales tax monthly. The Quick Books report "Actual Payments by Package" reports the HALNet products sale by package. The total payments are used to calculate sales for tax purposes so it is total sales.

IV.New Business

  1. The Chair recognized Jim Story who brought up that HAL-PC needs to have a break room like we used to have where staff and volunteers can eat.
  2. The Chair recognized Mary Ann Mitscherling. She asked how many users pay on an annual basis. Paying on a monthly basis incurs monthly credit cost to HAL-PC that is increasing.
  3. Rick Archibald moved to accept the resignation of Kojo Idrissa from the Board. Jay Kraker seconded, John Furby called the question. Motion passed.
  4. Sibley Cooley said he would present to the Board in the very near future some savings to be had in processing credit cards.
  5. Kevin Peck said, "I don't know if it was done before but I want to welcome Jim [Mehrmann] to the Board." [Applause]
  6. Sibley stated, "For the record I want to thank Robert [Spotswood] for the work he has done. A lot of people don't know who he is or what he does. He is one of the brightest guys and has great integrity and I want to thank you personally. [Applause]
  7. .Robert Spotswood stated that he looked for a copier for the HAL-PC office and his expert stated that it was expensive to replace. If it breaks it will be cheaper just to replace rather than repair.
  8. .A question from the floor asked about the air conditioning replacement. John Furby said that replacement might not be required.
  9. Annette Story stated that the count of the attendance at the January General Meeting was 73.
  10. Sibley praised the work that Claudia did which is numerous things including the election, the Houston Engineers and Scientific Societies and their project for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

V.Old Business

  1. Committees
    The members on the List of Committees were updated. There should be at least 3 members on each committee. One now has only 1 member because of the resignation of Jim Ward. A reminder that you don't have to be a member of the Board to be on a committee was stated.
  2. The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for April 28, 2011, 7:00pm

VI. Adjourned at 9:00pm

Annette Story
HAL-PC Recording Secretary