ORANGE COUNTY RADIO AMATEURS
Executive Board Meeting – February 9, 2021 20 – 7:30 pm
Platforms Utilized: Zoom.
MEETING CONVENED AT 7:30 PM
OFFICERS PRESENT: W4SAR David, (President); KR4UB Dan, (Treasurer); N8BR Bill, (Secretary); KD4YDJ Karen, (Board Member); N1LN Bruce, (Board Member); W4CFO Jim, (OCRA Member); W4ORD Ladd, (Vice President); KU4GC Dee, (Board Member); KA1HPM Nick (Board Member): KM4MBG Jack, (DFMA President) and W4BOH Wilson (Board member)
W4SAR (Dave): Welcome. Call to order. The draft agenda for this meeting is as follows: 1) Officer’s reports 2) ARES/Auxcomm report 3) A quick tutorial on use of the new G-Suite platform 3) Review of Second Draft, Updated Officers and Board Members Role Descriptions 4) Review of Proposed Acceptable Use Policy 5) Preliminary Field Day plans 6) Other items, time allowing.
Vice President W4ORD (Ladd): The exchange Club is holding a place for us on their schedule for next December in case COVID 19 restrictions are lowered between now and then. Or, we may have a potluck, Time will tell.
KR4UB (Dan): First, I believe the board should know that when club finances are discussed in open meetings we never announce specific account balances. Second, I want to explain an expenditure I made on behalf of the club since I would like to be reimbursed for the funds. Specifically, I purchased a new S–com Controller for $580.00 and a Polyphaser for $90.24, and would like to draw $670.24 from the club account for my reimbursement. Both of these items are to be used on our repeater systems. Dan shared with board members a copy of the paperwork confirming the purchase and a receipt for the payment. The board voted unanimously to approve this transaction.
KA1HPM (Nick) : Not much to report. We will build our new repeaters when the weather warms up. The antenna that Dan is storing at his QTH needs to be tested before it is moved to the new site in Goldston where it will be installed. Bruce (N1LN) offered to help with moving the antenna, setting it up for testing at Dan’s QTH, and checking the SWR. It was mentioned that Steve (W3AHL) may like to be involved in this project.
Change in Agenda
W4SAR (Dave): I would like for Jim, W4CFO to present a mini-tutorial on our new Google Suite, but I believe it is more appropriate to have him do that later in the meeting. So let’s move ahead to other items:
Plan for reviewing and approving club minutes
In response to questions from an earlier meeting regarding the processes used by the club for reviewing and distributing our meeting minutes, I drafted proposals for processing and reviewing meeting outcomes from both the executive board as well as those from the general membership. The overarching goal of each procedure is that it be as simple as possible and at the same time to maximize transparency in the decision-making functions of our club. Both draft proposals were discussed at length by the executive board, revised pursuant to their recommendations, and adopted unanimously by their vote.
1, Executive Board Meeting Minutes:
The club secretary will prepare draft minutes of executive board meetings and distribute them electronically to board members for review and approval within seven (7) days of the board meeting. Board Members will be permitted seven (7) days to review those draft minutes, articulate recommended revisions to the secretary, and for him/her to post the revised minutes on the club website for the general membership.
2. General Membership Meeting Minutes:
The club secretary will prepare draft minutes of general membership meetings and distribute them electronically to board members for review and approval within seven (7) days of the general membership meeting. Board Members will be permitted seven (7) days to review those draft minutes, articulate recommended revisions to the secretary, and for him/her to post the revised minutes on the club website for the general membership. Approval or disapproval of the minutes will be voted upon by general membership present at the following general meeting.
Plan for Loaning of Club Equipment
N8BR (Bill): At our last executive board meeting N1LN (Bruce) proposed that OCRA establish a program through which club members could borrow club-owned equipment. The concept was approved by the board contingent upon the development of appropriate paperwork and a management strategy to oversee its operation. I have followed up on that charge with the form presented below that has been extensively edited by N1LN (Bruce). I believe, as does the executive board, that It adequately facilitates the implementation of the new program for club members. In the near future we will prepare an inventory of club owned equipment that is eligible for loan to members. Discussions concerning liability ensued. W4ORD (Ladd): Perhaps we should provide borrowers with specific instructions for grounding the equipment they borrow.so if lightning hits and their house burns down we won’t be sued. N1LN (Bruce): I have added a section requiring borrowers of club equipment to install proper grounding to the items they use. Plus, there are waivers of liability in the lending agreement.
W4BOH (Wilson): Perhaps we need to have an agreement similar to this that will apply to the repeater equipment we loan to Chatham County. Of special concern are the liability issues. KR4UB (Dan): explained that the repeater equipment remains under the ownership of OCRA and is housed in Chatham County secure communications facilities. The FEMA MOU “Memorandum of Understanding for Auxiliary Support” defined by FEMA for such arrangements, will be used as the instrument to document this long-term agreement.
APPLICATION FOR EQUIPMENT LOAN PROGRAM
Note: The document represented below is a draft of the application form that the board approved for the equipment Loan Program. Printed copies for actual use by those wishing to apply for the program may be obtained from the Club Secretary
The Equipment Loan Program is a new initiative for the Orange County Amateur Radio Club, having been launched in January, 2021. Its goal is to help club members who are new to the hobby borrow a piece of club-owned-equipment for a period of up to one year in order to get a new station up and running, or to replace failed gear in an existing setup. The application process is simple.
(1) We ask that you complete the form presented below. It is a request for your basic contact information.
(2) Please supply the name of the equipment you would like to borrow, its serial number, and the length of time you want to use it. Keep in mind that the initial loan period we offer is for a maximum of 6 months. Depending on circumstances and your needs, with club approval this period could be extended to one year.
(3) Along with your application please submit a photocopy of your current valid amateur radio license from the FCC web page. We will use that document to verify your qualifications to legally operate the borrowed equipment.
(4) Sign and date the Loan agreement below, and return to the club officer who manages this program. He/she will advise you on equipment pick-up and return.
Name (last)__________________ (first)_____________________Call Sign________
Make___________________ Model No______________________ Serial __________
Additional items included such as a microphone, power supply, morse key, antenna tuner, etc.
Item Make Model Serial #
Date of loan _______________Agreed date for equipment return_______________
Loan Agreement: By signing this agreement the borrower agrees to comply with the following terms:
- Use/Disclaimer: The lender disclaims all representations and warranties associated with the loaned equipment and any use thereof. This includes any damages, losses, claims, causes of actions, expenses and liability of any nature whatsoever associated to or related to the use ol the equipment while under the care of the borrower.
- Borrower will keep their OCRA membership in good standing (dues) and their membership record current with any changes in address, or contact information.
- Borrower agrees to use the loaned equipment for amateur radio activities only and not for commercial application(s).
- The borrower shall be responsible for returning the equipment by the date specified above. Equipment shall be returned to the lender in as good a condition as when received by the borrower except for reasonable wear and tear.
- Borrower shall comply with all federal, state, county and municipal laws and ordinances applicable to the use of the loaned equipment.
- The borrower shall be responsible for the installation and grounding of the equipment and any associated antennas.
Lender (OCRA Board Member)___________________________________________________Date_______
This document has been reviewed by the Executive Board and adopted by the unanimous vote of that body.
Review and Revision of Job Descriptions for Club Officers.
W4SAR (David): Presented the second draft of his ideas on proposed duties of executive committee officers and members at large. The presentation garnered substantial discussion and led to numerous suggestions for additional revisions. We also have to give consideration to the job descriptions for board members at large. David will consider the committee’s suggestions and craft revisions for consideration at the next executive board meeting.
Review and revision of Acceptable use policy for club repeaters
KR4UB (Dan): Provided an overview of the revisions made in the draft of the club’s acceptable use policy for repeaters. Discussion ensued on the legality and enforcement of repeater rules. The thesis presented is based on FCC regulations and enforcement declaratory rulings that amateur radio repeaters are private property. And as such, in addition to their responsibility to ensure compliance with FCC regulations, the owners have the right to establish policies that dictate how those facilities are to be used and what behaviors are acceptable for their users. The only extra-organizational body that influences this process is the FCC. So, as long as our repeaters function within the guidelines of the FCC, we can regulate them in whatever way we determine is in the best interest and safety of our users and the hobby they enjoy. If our guidelines are violated by a user, we can ban that person from using our repeater. The FCC will support this decision even to the extent of taking action to temporarily suspend or even revoke his or her amateur radio license and possibly level fines.. In practice this is usually done via a multi-step process over a defined period of time.
Dan will place the latest revised acceptable use policy draft on the OCRA G-Suite document system. for another round of board reviews and alterations as needed..
W4CFO (Jim): Presented a brief but very useful overview of the “big picture” in our club’s struggle to learn and effectively use Google Docs and its associated editorial tools.
Meeting was concluded at 9:11 P.M.