La Plaza Telecommunity
Board of Directors Regular Meeting
Casa Marisa Restaurant, Questa NM
September 14, l999
--The l998 audit has been completed. A review needs to be scheduled.
--An amended budget was approved.
--La Plaza has approval for the use of Picuris Peak and facilities
for wireless service to the Penasco area.
--The La Plaza equipment upgrades will allow state-of-the-art services.
--The amended budget has a $2,000 line item for use by the board.
--The deadline for board candidates for the November election to
declare their intent will be October 5.
Call to Order Thomas Myers, President
Approval of Agenda Thomas Myers, President
Approval of July Minutes Thomas Myers, President.
Executive Director Report Judith Pepper, Executive Director
Technology Report Oban Lambie, System Administrator
Treasurers Report Reva Suazo, Treasurer
Membership Thomas Myers, Chair
Public Relations Peter Alexander, Chair
Nominating Alexander/Redpath, Co-Chairs
Youth Advisory Thomas Myers, Chair
Fund Raising Dawn Redpath, Chair
Education Ira Schwartz, Chair
Bylaws Thomas Myers, Chair
Board Discussion Thomas Myers, President
List Serves Standards and Etiquette
Members Comments Thomas Myers, President
Need to set date and location for October Meeting.
Adjournment Thomas Myers, President
Call to Order by President Myers at 6:20 p.m.
Present: Alexander, Goetz, Lambie (System Administrator),
Myers, Schwartz, Suazo, Pepper (Executive Director),
Wichmann, and members Judy Cuddihy, Bill Reifsnyder,
Absent: Lopez, Redpath
Approval of Agenda
MOTION to approve agenda: Alexander
VOTE: Agenda approved.
Approval of the minutes of July 13, 1999
MOTION to approve as amended: Wichmann
VOTE: the minutes of July 13,1999 were approved, with Schwartz abstaining.
Executive Director's Report
See separate Report. Judith Pepper highlighted six areas for the board:
1. In August, total new accounts opened were 129. 148 were closed.
46 were 50 days past due and received notices. Of these, 26
2. There was concern many secondary accounts would be closed when
the rate increase was announced. Only 57 did so, or 11.88%.
3. The 1998 Audit is completed and must be reviewed by the Executive
Committee of the Board. A date and time will be set for this
prior to the next meeting. (Two possibilities were suggested:
9/29 at 2:00, 10/6 at 2:00.) One concern was about inventory
and how properly to handle depreciation.
4. The amended budget was distributed, authorizing technology upgrades
(most of the monies for these upgrades received in a grant from
the LANL Foundation). It shows a net operating balance of $27,989.
Although these funds are unencumbered, it was noted that several
additional technology upgrades are needed: Taos is suffering
busy signals again so more modems may be needed; and the Taos
lab equipment is outdated and needs replacing. The budget does
not reflect the $10,000 promised by the AOL Foundation because
nothing official has been received to confirm that award.
The board requested to hear the Technology Report before voting.
5. If the Department of Education Communications Technology grant,
in the amount of $860,000, for which La Plaza has applied is
received, the plan is to use it for one new lab in Taos in year
1, a new lab in Questa in year 2 and and a new lab at Siete del
Norte, Embudo, in year 3.
6. At this point La Plaza has verbal approval for access to and
use of Picuris Peak by all concerned parties. Work is going
forward. La Plaza hopes to be up and running by first snow
A Technology Upgrade report and a Y2K Compliance report were
circulated to the board. Oban Lambie noted for the board:
1. the old server is `held together by duct tape' and needs to be
2. with the changes, La Plaza will no longer be a `mom and Pop'
operation, but a state-of the-art ISP with ability to develop web
sites it could not host earlier.
3. new training will be needed to address new services and to
educate the public to use the new capabilities in the most
simple ways possible.
Discussion re: approval of the amended budget included consideration
of a line item for minor board expenses and development, including
an orientation for current and new board members in the use of the
technology to better manage the obligations of the board. $2,000
was suggested for this line item.
MOTION to approve the amended budget, including the $2,000 line item
for board expenses: Schwartz
VOTE: Budget approved as amended.
No Report. A notice will be sent to members re: voting.
Peter Alexander has prepared two excellent articles about
La Plaza, one for the newsletter for the Association of
Community Networks on the survival of rural telecommunities,
the other for the Philanthropy Journal for Nonprofits
explaining who we are. Both position La Plaza very nicely.
Incumbents not planning to run again: Lopez. Incumbents
planning to run again: Alexander, Myers, Suazo. Two
candidates have expressed an interest: Jerry Simpson and
Jose Careno. Two others are unconfirmed: Tammy Gomez and
Rick Daub. It was noted the board needs a member with
financial background and experience to help in tracking
the recommendations made in the audit report. The Chair
announced that Chris Gunn's position is officially vacant;
this based on his not being able to attend the last three
board meetings and that attendance via the internet is not
The discussion centered on role of a youth advisory group
and the need for La Plaza to have its own youth advisory
Discussed were the absence of recall provisions, residency
requirements and physical presence at board meetings, the
fact proxies were not needed and the notice of meetings,
15 to 45 days.
MOTION to table discussion on List Servs Standards and
VOTE: Motion to table approved.
The completion and approval of the ballot must be within thirty
days of the election. Since the board meeting is only two days
beyond that deadline the board elected to move the deadline to
October 5, l999.
MOTION to move the deadline for approval of the ballot to October
VOTE: Motion passed
The question was raised as to the status of the wireless project;
this because Questa is experiencing more and more busy signals.
Noted that the wireless project does not affect busy signals, which
are a factor of the number of dialin phone lines available, however
the wireless would relieve the congestion currently being experienced
on the 56k line used by the dialups once a connection is made.
Responsibility for the wireless rests with the State Information
Services Division, who wants La Plaza to take over the project.
The State is seeking an agreement on this signed by October 1. La
Plaza will also be working with US West to request more modem lines.
Adjournment: 9:00 pm
MOTION to adjourn: Alexander
VOTE: to adjourn
October 5, l999, 6:00 pm, Casa Marisa, Questa, NM.