Board of Directors

Annual Meeting -- April 4, 2009

Members held their Annual Membership meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 1:40 pm. Voting Members present (constituting a quorum of the full voting membership) were: Pam Chambers, Bill Edelbrock, Leslie Harvey & Bob McGarey. They noted that Places 3 and 4, the ones whose terms are expiring, are not currently filled. Members unanimously decided to leave those positions unfilled at the present time. The meeting was adjourned at 1:50pm.

The Board of Directors held its annual meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 1:50 pm. The following directors (constituting a quorum of the full board) were present at the meeting: President Kathy Lee, Vice President and Secretary Leslie Harvey, Treasurer Pam Chambers, and Robert Gardner. Robert McGarey (Executive Director), Sherryl Wiseman (new intern) and Shannon Smith were also present at the meeting.

Election of Officers

The Board unanimously elected the following officers: President: Kathy Lee, Vice President: Robert Gardner, Treasurer: Pam Chambers, Secretary: Leslie Harvey.

Reading of Mission Statement and Approval of Minutes

The Mission Statement and the minutes from the February meeting were read aloud. The following changes were made in the minutes: The paragraph about the mortgage should read "Refinancing the mortgage isn't a good idea at the moment...." The Executive Assistant's report should read "...his frustration with not having a truck to haul garbage and compost..." Minutes for February were then approved as amended.

Treasurer's Report

Colleen will be coming in to do more volunteer data entry, but it would be good to have another good volunteer. Andrea O'Sullivan might be a good lead as she was an accountant.

Executive Assistant's Report

New Shed. Everything has been installed except for the flooring.

Trees. Robert is wondering if we can hire Bill Edelbrock to do more preventative tree trimming.

Chicken Coop. There will be a number of visitors on Saturday' April 11 as part of the Funky Chicken Coop Tour. Chicken enthusiasts from all over Austin tour the area's chicken coops. Unfortunately two of the chickens were killed in the last couple of days (one death by chicken coop, one death possibly by weasel). We received 21 responses to our ads in 2 months. This is great, even though we haven't been able to identify jobs that are useful to the Center for everyone yet.

Landscaping/Permaculture Plan. Robert distributed copies of his proposed plans for the Center grounds, and explained his overall vision. The Board was very impressed with the extent of the planning and detail he has put into it. Great job Robert!

Executive Director's Report

Finances. There have been a lot of expenses resulting from needed repairs, conferences, services, etc., which have resulted in a financial bottleneck at the present time. Bob expects things to open up more soon.

Car Share. We just signed up with this non-profit car rental service, which charges a one time fee of $300 and $5/hour, up to $60/day. They have a truck and this will help us accomplish a LOT of different tasks, particularly for hauling things.

Bingo. There was a mistake in the wording of the Franchise Tax bill, so unless it's changed we will have to pay ~$10K in taxes. Funds are building up in our account, so if the tax law is changed during this legislative session we will have access to all the accumulated funds. Also, the lessor Littlefield has increased our rent and now changes for repairs and maintenance, property tax, and insurance. One fortunate thing is that we can't be charged any more because we're paying the maximum amount we can legally be charged.

Tumblebus. SOLD! For $9K! John Patterson also offered to buy it (after the agreement was made with the other person), so Robert told him if he wants to pay us $10K right now he can have it. Haven't heard from him again though.

GoodwheelChairs Sidewalk Sale. Were going to have it on 4/11, but will be rescheduled (date TBD).

Art Barn. The Art Barn is now a source of income beginning at $150/month. This has growth potential as more people join in.

Interns. Edwardo resigned and now Hannah Walter has been hired and is moving into the Cottage. In exchange for free rent she will work 15 hours/week. Progress will be reviewed in 1 month, 3 months and 6 months from her start date. Rachel has been busy improving the living space in her apartment. We're hoping when that wraps up she will be able to provide more assistance for other projects at the Center. Robert suggested that we have a meeting with Hannah to help her understand where she'll be needed and how she will fit into the big picture.

New System Administrator. Jerry Kilpatrick has volunteered to be our new system administrator. He's a retired IBM manager and wants to work 20 hrs a week as soon as his son learns how to drive (end of April?).

Barbara Marx Hubbard. Bob made a connection with her through the AHP Board and asked her if she's interested in coming to Austin to give a talk. She said she's interested in doing this at some point.

First Austin Circle of the Reformed Congregation of the Goddess. The group have been using the grounds for their rituals, and they sent a thank you note with a $100 check.

Big Picture. Bob said he's seen so much positive growth and change in the last few months that he believes people are really taking a sense of ownership in the Center and thus utilizing more and more of the space in wonderful new ways. He said this could well mean that at some point he might have to move off-campus so we can rent or otherwise utilize his living space. He thinks this new sense of ownership and empowerment by members is a very positive development, and is exactly where he has always wanted the Center to be moving.

Since there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:10 pm.

Minutes submitted by Leslie Harvey, Secretary, April 4, 2009.