SMA Board of Directors Meeting
4 April 2020
After some disorder and technical difficulties the meeting was called to order by President Rob Burgess called the meeting to order at 1100 hrs. Those attending were Rob Burgess, Forrest Sumner, Ron Thompson, Al DiSabitino, James Shields, Paul Howell, Greg Thorup, Bob Dodge and Russ Pinizzotto. Unable to attend was George Bokinsky, Kirk Rogers and Joan Chamberlin. This meeting was the previously scheduled March 18 meeting that was postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
No minutes were presented for review and approval. The minutes of the January 18, 2020 meeting will be circulated with these minutes.
1. Program Committee – several names were circulated for possible speakers once normal meetings resumed including Thomas Baumgarte from Bowdoin, Eileen Yingst, Chris Magri (UMF), and a new club member willing to talk about his experiment to measure the temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation. It was agreed to try a virtual meeting over Zoom with just the membership. A trial session will be held in which members will be invited to join to work out bugs a few days before the actual meeting. The program would be short, primarily focused on Russ’ constellation program. We’ll see how it works and proceed from there.
2. Membership: Bob reported logo’s products from LL Bean were in. The club will reimburse Bob and club members will pay their share to the club.
3. Outreach: James reported that the star party for the girls Scouts scheduled for this month is obviously postponed until further notice. Rob reported that CREA (Cathance River Education Alliance) requested an August star party at the Highland Green Golf Course in Topsham. CREA has obtained permission to set up on the course, next to the club house restaurant (which will be open prior to). Decent parking. It was decided that under current proclamations no star parties can be held and must await lifting of such restrictions. Nevertheless, Greg offered to follow up with the outgoing president of the Cumberland Fairground operation to meet the incoming president and retain our right to use the facility for star parties. James presented the publicity poster his daughter created for SMA and it was received with great enthusiasm and high praise. It can be used to publicize recurring SMA meeting and special events and is suitable for community bulletin boards in colleges, libraries, etc.
4. Equipment: It was again agreed that the club needs to decide which of its unused equipment it should sell, which to keep for lending within the club, and which to utilize for club star parties. Ron will recirculate the list. Forrest will get pictures of the equipment he has. (Not discussed, but the same should be done by Rob and Ron so that we can advertise items to be sold).
5. Dark Sky Advocacy: No report.
6. Finance: Ron reported the club has 36 paid members.
Included with these minutes is a listing of club committees and their areas of responsibility and current membership. Bob Dodge stated that without a point person to act on recommendations from the Board nothing will get done. The original design of the committee assignments is that at least two directors would have responsibility for each substantive area so that there would be accountability. That hasn’t worked as well as planned on paper. Rob asked for thoughts on a new design or approach. Absent any change what will be needed is a recommitment by Board members to effectively execute their committee assignments. With the new board coming on there should be three or four new directors who could be paired with existing directors to fulfill these committee assignments.
In that vein, it was widely recognized that Ron has performed many duties of other committees and that without his effort the club wouldn’t be where it is today. Ron is looking for relief from all these tasks, particularly as to Membership. He will prepare a list of all activities he is currently handling so they can be properly reassigned/re-assumed by the respective committees.
Annual Meeting: Rob reported that the annual meeting to elect new directors will have to wait until we physically reconvene. At least three directors (Greg, Joan and Paul) have offered to step down from the Board to allow some new directors to join. Rob asked that names of possible candidates be forwarded to him to be considered by a nominating committee he will appoint.
Next Meeting: Proposed Saturday, May 16, 2020, by Zoom
Adjourned at 1200 hrs.