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Board Meeting Notes Oct 2011

Bartlesville Astronomy Society Board Meeting
October 17, 2011
805 E 13th St., Bartlesville, OK

John asked if there were any requested additions or changes to the Agenda. Having none, the meeting was called to order at 6:55 pm. Those board members in attendance were John Grismore (President), Daryl Doughty (Vice President), Mike Woods (Secretary), Vicki Enderlin (Treasurer), Steve Planck, Duane Perkins, James Campbell, and Arden Strycker.

BOARD MEETING FREQUENCY. The question was posed how often the Board should meet in the future. A general consensus was that we should plan on 2 meetings a year (about 6 mo apart) and others can be scheduled as needed.

FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS. Vicki presented a financials summary for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011. The membership increased from 17 to 36. Income (from dues) and expenses increased as well, with the balance being constant near $1100. Increased income from dues of more members kept pace with increased expenses. The board members expressed an interest in getting a good club telescope, and a number of ideas were proposed to generate the funds. (1) We could make available a donation “bucket” at the meetings for people to donate to the “scope fund”. Receipts would be made available to those contributing funds. (2) We could conduct an auction of donated items. All proceeds would go to the special project fund. (3) We could use the Gazelle website (www.gazelle.com) for selling donated items, particularly computers and electronic items for recycling. James would research this possibility. (4) Mike suggested selling some of our stuff currently in storage (at his house) on eBay, Cloudy Nights, and Astromart. What items to keep and what to sell were discussed, but there were no formal decisions or action items for this or any of the proposed ideas. Jim Vogh and Fred Frey were tasked to inspect our current equipment and make their recommendations as to what should be done with existing BAS equipment.

John asked if we should increase the dues to help in other areas, i.e., support outside speakers, publicity of public events, public presentation tools, etc. There was no consensus, but a suggestion was made to poll the general membership at the next meeting. Some of the positive benefits proposed for increased dues would be explained.

Vicki mentioned that Arvest Bank where our funds are deposited had requested copies of documents supporting our 501(3)(c) status. John said he would look into this.

GOALS AND DIRECTIONS. John briefly summarized our accomplishments for last year (increased membership, established regular meeting programs, set up viewing sites for club events, obtained insurance to enable us to conduct organized events), and asked what the new goals should be going forward. Daryl suggested establishing a specific goal for a certain number of Educational programs, establishing dates and times. These would not necessarily be just viewing events at night, but actual organized presentations (daytime or evening). Daryl suggested seeking out volunteers to make these presentation programs if the schools would be interested. We need to let them know what we can do. These programs might also be good for other organizations, such as the scouting programs. Duane suggested that we find out more about the scouting programs (particularly the cub scouts) and what their requirements are, so that we can plan these programs more effectively.

Steve mentioned that we may continue to look for other alternate sites to Sooner Park for public events. The Tuxedo Ball Park is currently under renovation converting our site into a city park.

EVENTS SCHEDULE. John asked for input on the frequency of scheduled stargazing events and whether we should increase the number of events. We have been scheduling a club party 4 times a year, public events about 2 times a year, and other requested events such as for schools about 2 times a year. The board members felt that was about right. Arden agreed to generate an annual schedule for 2012 as he did for 2011 (accounting for moon phases, weather patterns, function scheduling, etc.).

Some thought there might be more interest in the Skull Creek site if we made it easier to find, e.g. setting up a vehicle caravan. One suggestion was to set up a joint event with Tulsa; members of the Tulsa club have expressed strong interest in using the area as well.

Everyone thought twice a year plus other special occasion events were about right for public events. For the beginners group, John tentatively plans to set up a classroom type review at the December club meeting. The first beginners group outside program would be scheduled after that. We currently have scheduled a star party open to the public on November 7, 6:00 pm, Sooner Park, weather permitting.

Daryl and John felt that SunFest and Astronomy Day events were excellent opportunities. Duane indicated that we could also target some viewing objects other than the sun during the day, e.g. brighter stars and planets. The board members generally agreed that we should do SunFest again, and should look for a suitable location to set up on Astronomy Day.

PROJECTS. Club scopes—already talked about. Some discussion had centered on what of the larger mirrors, etc. that the club currently has would be worth keeping.

CLUB BY-LAWS REVISIONS. Arden stated that in reviewing the By-Laws some key issues warrant review. They include (1) restructuring the officers and their duties to be more consistent with what we are currently doing; (2) consider how best to establish and maintain continuity year-to-year, e.g. do as we do now or change to something that maintains better continuity; (3) establishing different categories for membership; and (4) a full review of appropriate controls over expenditure of funds. There are currently no guidelines in the By-Laws over the management and control of funds and fund expenditures. No consensus was reached on any of these points. A committee was established to review the By-Laws in more detail, members being Arden, John, and James. We would circulate via email portions of the revisions to the board members as we work through the major sections. When appropriate, special Board Meetings could be scheduled to make formal decisions on proposed changes.

INDOOR ASTRONOMY ACTIVITIES PLAN. John brought up the idea that we should consider setting up programs suitable for implementation at public/school events when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Duane mentioned that Starry Nights is a great planetarium program for organizing a talk. That is, talk about a constellation or something similar, then going to the program to project it and actually show where it is, etc. [This really is a scaled-down version of commercial planetarium programs], with one person doing the program and one person running the projector & software. Mike talked a little about the possibilities for this type of presentation, alternate planetary programs, etc.

OTHER BUSINESS. John asked if there was any other business. Hearing none, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.


Respectfully submitted
Arden Strycker