Board Minutes October 2011

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For minutes from the retreat held October 29-30, please see Board Retreat Minutes October 2011.

Media:EBC Financial Report - September 2011.xls


Call to Order

  • Time: Anna called meeting to order at 6:33pm, October 5, 2011.
  • Board attendance: Alex Choby, James Phillips, Kevin Schmidt
    • Board-elect: Adam Burgess, Duncan Kinney, Paul Govenlock
  • Staff attendance: Anna Vesala, Alex Hindle
  • Guests: n/a

Regrets: Bernadette Blakey, Brett Rosenberger, Chris Chan, Derek Pluim, Elicia Elliott, Micah Cooper, Neil Carey, Stephanie Gregorwich

  • Minute-taker: Paul

Approval of Agenda

  • Do not have enough current board members to meet quorum and thus will cut the meeting down to brainstorming and general discussions. The board retreat (October date TBA) will cover this in more detail.

Discussion

Roles and Responsibilities of Board of Directors

  • The two paid staff (BikeWorks Coordinator and Executive Director) will be attending all board meetings for the coming year.
  • We are a policy governing board, as we hire an executive director to implement board policy, though we have only been this way for the past few years.

Type of Board

  • What sort of board do we want to be: a policy governing board, or an administrative governing board? It is important that the board takes on the obligations which its role requires of it.
  • Idea to engage board members: Each member could potentially have their own office hours in which they are more accessible to volunteers, the public, and can represent a certain committee.
  • What is our governance process? We don’t use Roberts Rules, how will we go about deciding policy or making decisions within the board?

Formulating Policies

  • Certain policies need to be fleshed out, creating a unified EBC voice on important bike related issues (e.g. bikes on sidewalks, wearing helmets, multiuse trails, etc.)
  • We could aim to garner the general feelings of the community on these issues.
  • James raised an issue with having only a few people being the spokespersons for EBC. This might be a less democratic manner of running EBC. This was a policy formulated last year, in which the president is the external voice of EBC based on internal dialogue within the group.
    • This policy might have to be looked with the new incoming president depending on how comfortable that person is with speaking to the community, having enough time.
    • Its hard to have an official spokesperson if you don’t have an official policy on a variety of issues.
  • How might we create these policies?
    • Connections to other organizations, to the city, communication internally and research externally.
    • Brainstorm what sorts of policies we might be able to develop (wish list) and then how to go ahead tackling such issues

Committees

  • This past year was somewhat informal for committee work. This year seems it will be the same unless we take proactive measures. Last year committees were formed around general issues and areas we felt were important to tackle.
  • It might be in the best interest of each board member to only chair and sit on one committee (although can volunteer or help out with other committees). This could help avoiding burn out.
  • Adam – Do these tackle the idea of turning us into a hybrid board? I.e. a policy board which has committees is somewhat like an administrative board? Anna – It may seem that way, though at the end of the day this is a policy governance board so having committees to actually formulate policies is simply a process for creating policies. You can get committee volunteers to carry out much of the work (which you and the ED would recruit) but it is the committee chair who bottom-lines the committee and proposes the policy to the board. Thus still follows the general format of a policy board.
  • Anna – It will be important for each committee to report back to the board each month about what has been happening (or past two months depending on what is going on). Felt out of touch with what the committees were doing. This could be added to the board meeting agenda under the Reports section.

Advocacy

  • This is a very important time for EBC. The Edmonton capital budget is coming up, and thus it is important we remain active and have our voice heard.
  • It is potentially going to be the case that there will be zero dollars over this next two year budget for new active transportation projects. Only repairs to existing infrastructure would be in the budget.
  • Thus, we should be aiming to attend public meetings, and increase public awareness of bike related needs.
  • This is where policy formulation can come into play, as it will assist in having set policies in order to approach the public and city council.

Volunteers

  • Looking into creating a more ‘hierarchical’ volunteer structure, where volunteers can take on more responsibility if they are interested and experienced. Currently we have only entry-level opportunities or board member.

Board Member Performance Standards

  • How do you start evaluating each other’s performance? Is this something we should look at?
  • Professional training sessions board members throughout the year during board meetings? The more development the board members can get, the better for EBC, and each individual board member (great resume builder).
  • A variety of workshops are offered by the Province’s Board Development Program for no charge for not-for-profits. There are 6 workshop topics which might be useful to look into:
    • Ethical and legal aspects of board membership
    • Roles and responsibilities in the organization
    • Policy development
    • Organizing and directing the board's work using committees
    • Managing the work of the organization
    • Building a better board
  • Some of these topics are covered in online workbooks so a workshop might not be necessary or the workbook can be a starting point.

Additional Comments

  • There is a need for the board to flesh out the policies, goals and aims of EBC. This will assist the executive director in doing her (or his) job.
  • There is a need to decide what sort of board we are, and go with that. Further, communication between employees, volunteers, and board members must be a priority.
  • We should look at ways of sweetening the membership so as to increase our numbers (partnerships with local businesses).
  • Making use of university students to conduct research for policies, demographics, etc areas which EBC might have a need for. If policy planning led to a more defined need, you could approach professors with our needs.

Review of Strategic Planning Workshop

  • Important Milestones of EBC over the past few years
  • Problem Areas
  • Goal Statements

Print Resources

  • Anna and Alex handed out promotional print material for each board member to distribute to their networks. Please ask Anna if you need more.

Adjournment

  • Meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.