Minutes, Indiana Community Network Assn., March 5, 1996.
The board of the Indiana Community Network Association met Tuesday, March 5, at the State Library with all board members present and some two dozen representatives of community networks, independent service providers and other related groups present. John Grimmer presided.
The board addressed the issue of press coverage, noting that pictures from the last board meeting of the awarding of the first round of grants had not been received. Mark Whitman promised to check into the delay. Board member John Wallace urged the networks to create their own relations with their local press and stay on top of them. He offered to handle press matters for the association itself.
Discussion occurred about the name of the association and if a "nickname" or acronym was needed. According to the articles of incorporation, the official name of the association is Indiana Community Network Association. If an abbreviation is needed, ICNA should suffice, the group felt.
Considerable discussion was held on the question of establishing a listserve for the members, specifically whether it should be a closed, subscribe-only and moderated listserve, or if it should be an open forum. Those wanting a closed listserve said they didn't want "a lot of junk" in their mailbox, but others argued for a free and open debate of whatever issues the association might face.
On motion by Worth Weller and second by Marci Au, the group voted 7-4, with a handful of abstentions, to have an open listserve.
A discussion followed about whether ICNA should be a registered trademark, as will be the case with "Access Indiana" and its logo. The group decided it was not necessary to register the ICNA name, but supported the registry of AI and also urged local nets to consider registration, particularly to preserve a marketing edge in the face of competition.
The possibility was raised of having the association provide community
network members some way of accessing their accounts toll-free while
traveling. Several ISP and other technical people present said it was possible but difficult.
Insurance for the group was raised as an issue, with it felt that there was protection for board members under state statute and that liability for the organization would not be great if there were no great assets. The matter will be treated as a budget issue.
Also discussed was the thought of getting blanket 501c3 coverage for all networks, through the association. This was dropped as not being an item clamored for by the members.
Considerable discussion was held attempting to set goals and mission for the
group, with the group, on motion of John Wallace, finally asking the
handle the matter, as well as putting together a budget based on the goals,
for review and approval at the next board meeting. Among the suggestions for
goals and purposes of the group were:
Discussion was held concerning dues, with it determined it was too early to set dues until the value of the association was determined through its mission statement and description of services to members. There was no objection to levying dues, but the group wanted clarity about the value of the association before a fee structure was established. Mark Whitman affirmed a comment made at the last board meeting, that the group could seek an Intelenet grant for startup assistance once a mission statement and budget had been formulated.
Mark Whitman urged that the group not get bogged down in procedural matters (budget, mission etc,) and accidentally neglect the "synergy" that is in existence at this point with the emerging networks clamoring for information, help, etc.
With that in mind, the group set Thursday, April 11, as the date for a "brown
bag" show and tell session. The site for the session is the State Library
auditorium and an internet connection and big screen will be provided so that
community network webpages may be viewed. Existing and emerging network
representatives are urged to attend and share promotional materials,
questions, answers, etc. The session will open at noon and go through 3.
The group also set Tuesday, May 14th, as the date for the next business meeting, 1 to 3 at the State Library. In the interim, the board will meet, possibly electronically, to develop a mission statement and budget proposal.
-- Worth Weller, secretary, 3.9.96