2008-01-28

Scarborough Amateur Radio Club Inc. General Meeting

The meeting was held at the Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre
in the Seniors’ lounge on January 28, 2008.

Bernadine VE3YDB called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM.

A warm welcome to our guests this evening: Randy VE3WRN, Marius VE3MSS,
and Jeff VE3WJD.

Members are encouraged to wear their club badges at every meeting. The
club spends about $8 to provide a badge for each member. Members must
pay for replacement badges. Anyone needing a badge should contact Joe
VA3JDX.

Nominations for Amateur of the Year will be accepted until March 31.
Rules and a list of past winners are available on the website at
. Nomination forms are in
the members-only section. Earle VE3KCO raised a question about the rules
for eligibility; this will be discussed at an upcoming executive
meeting.

Discussions:

Vice-President position available. Hugh VE3HAG asked why we have a
Vice-President. Audrey VE3YDB and Peter VE3FJI explained that the
Vice-President takes the place of the President as required. Gord went
on to say that the position is required by the Corporations Act and as
one of the signing officers for the bank.

Field Day: Rod VE3SOY will be contacting those who intend to
participate. If we have more people we may be able to have a dedicated
team to help with station setup. Hugh suggested we contact Toronto
Conservation to book the preferred site as early as possible. Rod will
follow up.

Contesting: Bob VE3IEL asked about upcoming contests. These are listed
on RAC website. Earle said we need some organization if we wish to
participate as a club. Peter pointed out that some contests are CW-only
or HF-only so that may preclude some members from participating. Gord
VE3CNA mentioned that many/most contests don’t allow group
participation. Bob suggested we have our own contest on 2m simplex.
Bernadine would like to discuss the issue at a future meeting/workshop.

Our guest speaker tonight was Randy Nelson VE3WRN, the manager of the
CNIB Amateur Radio Program. Randy gave an overview of the program and
the station at CNIB headquarters. Randy also took questions from the
floor regarding the CNIB’s amateur radio activities. Due to technical
problems the CNIB station is operating with limited antenna capacity.
Several members mentioned the club’s long history of support for the
CNIB radio program. The CNIB will be holding a hamfest on Saturday, May
24 at their headquarters on Bayview Avenue just north of Eglinton. Randy
is asking for anyone interested in volunteering for this event to
contact him. He anticipates that they will need about 50 volunteers.
There will be two shifts: 6:30 AM-9:30 AM and 9:30 AM-12:30 PM. Duties
may include providing security, selling refreshments, helping out with
parking arrangements, and assisting visitors with visual impairments.
Admission is $5 and tables are available for $15 for people wishing to
sell items at the hamfest.

The CNIB Hamfest will be the first to be held in Toronto for some time.
Bob mentioned that this may be because such events have in the past
attracted attention from government officials checking for provincial
tax collection and electrical inspection stickers. This rarely if ever
happens outside the city of Toronto.

Break

Raffle – Thanks to Joe VA3JDX for the draw prizes.

Bylaw proposal:

Bob suggested carrying on previous tradition of having membership year
different from fiscal year. Gord says having membership year the same as
the fiscal year avoids dividing responsibility. Peter said the fiscal
year must be the same as the membership year to avoid difficulties in
accounting. Earle was of the opinion that the fiscal year ends at the
time of the Annual General Meeting, but Gord pointed out that the new
executive formally takes over on January 1; the handover at the AGM is
ceremonial. Joe pointed out that members can pay their dues starting in
September but they will be applied to the following fiscal year.

Earle moved that the proposal to amend the bylaws be shelved. Audrey
seconded.

Discussion on the above motion:

Earle argued that the proposal was introduced unconstitutionally and
that the present bylaws did not need to be changed.

Peter spoke in opposition to the motion, since the club could not
function under current bylaws since there were not enough members to
make a quorum at most meetings.

Gord asked whether the problem was in fact with the bylaws or whether
there was some unpleasantness during 2007 that prevented reaching a
quorum at executive meetings.

Bob stated the the club was no longer large enough to require the same
number of elected positions. Several of these positions have been filled
unofficially for some time by appointment. He disagreed with Earle that
the proposal be shelved.

Gord spoke in favour of the motion to shelve the proposal. He stated
that SARC is not a business and that the Corporations Act sets out
different rules for non-profit organizations. Unlike a business, SARC is
a democracy. Proposal concentrates too much power in the hands of the
directors. Voting by proxy is also problematic. Insurance for
officers/directors is also not necessary since we are a small non-profit
organization.

Bob spoke against the motion. All things considered, the motion at the
AGM to carry on with bylaw reform indicated that we should continue
discussion.

Earle again expressed the opinion that the proposed changes were not
needed.

Bernadine spoke about the need for some changes due to the difficulty in
achieving a quorum at meetings.

Earle said that the way the proposal was introduced was
unconstitutional. Bob said that the motion was properly introduced and
voted upon at the AGM so it was properly under discussion.

Nick very reluctantly spoke in favour of the motion. With all due
respect to the previous executive and to Bert who had put so much effort
into the proposal, Nick believes that we do need to revisit the bylaws
but that we, as a club, are not in any mood to do it now, even though
this is an important issue.

Joe believes the bylaws need revision as there are too many executive
members for a club of this size. Since most executive meetings did not
achieve quorum, anyone could say that all decisions made at those
meetings are invalid. He belongs to another club with 400 members and
the board there is only 6 or 7 people, along with many volunteers.

Peter suggested we deal with the motion and revisit specific points
later.

Audrey agreed with Earle and Nick. She suggests we vote on Earle’s
motion and set up a standing committee to review the bylaws and report
back.

Accordingly, the motion is amended as follows:

Earle moves that the proposal to amend the bylaws be shelved, and that a
standing committee be established to study the proposed bylaw changes
and the 2005 bylaws and come back with a written proposal incorporating
necessary changes. Audrey seconded. Motion carried.

Other business:

Bob is willing to act as editor of Wavelength. Ray will help wherever
possible.

Peter extended his appreciation to Lambert for his help preparing the
auditor’s report for 2007.

Bernadine mentioned the need to plan a schedule for the next three
months; this will be discussed at executive meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Participate – Learn – Enjoy