La Plaza Telecommunity
Board of Directors Regular Meeting

Tim's Chile Connection
May 11, 1999

Executive Summary

+ A wireless project similar to the one in Questa will be developed for
+ La Plaza will seek ownership of the Questa demo project equipment.
+ The board is asked to underwrite improved health benefits and a
  retirement plan for La Plaza staff.
+ There will be a 'spring cleaning' day in June or July.
+ There may be changes in fees for business users and those online for
  extended periods.
+ 70% of La Plaza's hardware is Y2K compliant, 23% is still being
  assessed and 7% is non compliant, but with fixes available for all non
  compliant items.
+ La Plaza needs a long range public relations strategy.
+ The board seeks board members who are non-techies.
+ Proceeds from the Tango III will be used to purchase two new
  computers for the La Plaza essay contest.
+ The board will not change the way board members are selected.
+ The board will meet in other communities served by La Plaza.
+ A policy for the disposal of capital assets will be discussed at the
  June meeting
+ La Plaza will donate a web page for a year to a benefit auction.

Call to Order                            Thomas Myers, President
Approval of Agenda                       Thomas Myers, President
Approval of April Minutes                Thomas Myers, President
Executive Director Report                Judith Pepper, Executive Dir.
Y2K Report                               Tim Corcoran, Systems Admin.
Treasurers Report                        Reva Suazo, Treasurer
Committee Reports  
          Membership                     Thomas Myers, Chair
          Public Relations               Peter Alexander, Chair
          Nominating                     Thomas Myers, Chair
          Youth Advisory                 Thomas Myers, Chair
          Fund Raising                   Dawn Redpath, Chair
          Education                      Ira Schwartz, Chair
          By-laws                        Thomas Myers, Chair
Board Discussion                         Thomas Myers, President
Members Comments                         Thomas Myers, President
Next Meeting
       June 8, l999 - 6:00 p.m., In Questa
Adjournment                              Thomas Myers, President

Call to Order by Chairman Thomas Myers, at 6:05 p.m.

Present: Alexander, Goetz, Lopez, Myers, Redpath, Suazo, Wichman,
Pepper (Executive Director), Corcoran (interim Systems Administrator),
Medina (staff) and members, Erich Kuerstner, Mr/Ms Jerry Simpson,
Elizabeth Manning. Absent: Gunn, Schwartz

Approval of Agenda

MOTION to approve agenda: Lopez
SECOND: Alexander
VOTE: Agenda approved.

Approval of Minutes of April 20, l999.

MOTION to approve: Redpath
SECOND: Wichman
VOTE: Minutes of April 20, l999 approved.

Executive Director's Report--Judith Pepper
The Executive Director presented her report, highlighting the
  + We are working with Rick Carlisle, State Radio and Communications
    General Service Division, to develop a wireless project for Penasco
    similar to the one in Questa. The State, La Plaza, Penasco Schools,
    La Jicarita Enterprises, and the Picuris Pueblo are working
    together to provide high speed data lines to the Pueblo, the
    Schools and other community offices.  Arnold Lopez requested a T-1
    line to connect La Plaza and the high school but was told U.S. West
    could not install it, leaving us to use the 56Kbps line to reach
    the schools and the 80+ users in Penasco.  There will be a meeting
    May 21, with the partners and LANL to plan a collaborative effort
    to install the wireless service through the Pueblo. Given the poor
    phone service at the Pueblo, it is hoped they will agree to the
    user of their radio towers for this purpose. The State would like
    to see the service installed by September.
  + Rick Carlisle is recommending two options for La Plaza assuming
    ownership of the equipment from the Questa demo project. the
    equipment in Questa. La Plaza can buy the equipment outright or the
    State can give ownership to one of the four municipal entities
    involved and La Plaza can continue to manage both the equipment and
    the system. It was suggested La Plaza might be better advised to
    own the system outright rather than to have such an arrangement
    with the schools. La Plaza might not have to buy it but, if we do
    want ownership, it may be important to do so. There is some
    question as to whether the state can sell property to a private
    entity. The fact La Plaza is a 501c3 serving other entities may
    change this.
  + The board was asked to consider a fundraising event to underwrite
    the cost of better health care benefits, paid at 100%, and a
    retirement package for La Plaza staff. It was pointed out the staff
    at La Plaza are quite loyal and that, to retain such a staff,
    benefits will have to be improved.  It was suggested a fundraising
    event might not be the appropriate way to underwrite these
    benefits; that they ought to simply be made a part of the budget
    and the board be made responsible for finding the revenues
  + The staff will come up with a date for 'spring cleaning in either
    June or July and board members will be expected to participate.
  + The budget is within the allocated amounts for expenses and
    revenues. $22,000. a month was projected and this seems to be right
    on target. Accounts are carefully monitored and there are more who
    are on the credit card payment arrangement.
  + It was suggested Charlotte's Web (Charlotte, NC) would be an
    organization against which La Plaza could compare itself.
  + It was noted the number of calls for technical assistance was again
    going up. Part of this was due to the installation of the new
    modems and also that the number of users in Questa is beginning to
  + The question was raised as to the number of businesses making use
    of La Plaza services. La Plaza currently does not differentiate
    between business and personal users, charging a flat $15. for
    either use. This seems to be a standard practice for most ISPs. It
    was suggested an additional fee might be added for additional
    hours. Nationally, average usage is two hours a day. 235 of our
    users meet this level, online for 60 hours or more a month. It was
    noted modem speed has a lot to do with this; that we might do well
    to find out the average modem speed of our users.

Y2K Report--Tim Corcoran 
  + Y2K statements from Mission Critical utility vendors have been 
    received from:
      --US West
      --MCI WorldCom
      --Kit Carson Electric
  + 70% of La Plaza's hardware is Y2K compliant, 23% is still being
    assessed and 7% is non compliant, but with fixes available for all
    non compliant items.  As outlined in the report, there is hardware
    that likely will not survive to 2000. Also, while both main servers
    are compliant, La Plaza hopes to replace these this summer. A grant
    has been submitted for funding to do so. If the grant is turned
    down, La Plaza will go immediately to the McCune or Ford

Treasurer's Report--Reva Suazo
There was nothing to report. The audit begins May 12.

Membership--Thomas Myers
Two unsubscribed. Two or three others joined.

Public Relations--Peter Alexander
There has been no work thus far but the plan is to work up a long range
PR strategy for La Plaza. The Executive Director noted the difficulty
in getting coverage in the local press, using, as an example, the fact
the Taos News was only just now carrying the story about the March 31
award of the Benton Foundation grant.

Nominating--Thomas Myers
Those indicating an interest in serving on the board have been asked to
submit letters so indicating; this to fill current openings. To date,
no responses have been received. The desire is to create a more well
rounded board, to include more community members, more diverse skills,
e.g., marketing. La Plaza does not want to have just a techie board.

Youth Advisory--Thomas Myers
With the Kellogg MIRA grant coming to Taos, the Youth Advisory
Committee will be moving in that direction. However, with students
currently in finals and year end activities, little will be done until
school is out.

Fund Raising--Dawn Redpath
Proceeds from the Tango III will be used to purchase two new computers
for the La Plaza essay contest.

The chairman was absent and no meetings have been held in the most
recent period.

Bylaws--Thomas Myers
Under the present bylaws the board may appoint someone to fill a
vacancy until the next board election. The appointee can then run for
the board. This is to prevent the board from loading the membership
with those of its own choosing.  The La Plaza attorney said the board
may also amend the bylaws and thereby select and elect those who it
chooses. It was noted there is no requirement the board must fill a
vacancy so long as there are at least three but no more than nine on
the board.  The decision was made to leave things as they are.

Board Discussion--Thomas Myers--President
MOTION the board list be closed to all but board members. (Currently
anyone can send messages and only board members receive them.):Alexander.
SECOND: Redpath
DISCUSSION: Discussion centered on whether the board should close off
this means of communication by members.
VOTE: Motion Failed on a 5 to 2 vote.   

The board will meet to discuss the evaluation of the Executive

The Vision process will continue on email, with Goetz gathering the
information. Once the necessary groundwork has been done, the board
will meet to develop a strategic plan.

The Executive Director noted once a clarifying post had been sent out
on the listserv policy no additional postings had been received.

The board discussed meeting in Questa and Penasco.  Questa was selected
for the June meeting.

A policy on the disposal of capital assets will be drafted and brought
to the next meeting for consideration.

Jerry Simpson requested the board consider a contribution for the
auction being conducted for the police officer suffering from Cancer.
La Plaza will donate a web page free for one year.