Thursday, September 26, 2019

Minutes, September 17, 2019

Minutes of Board Meeting of September 17, 2019
Submitted by Victor Gascón

PRESENT: Natalie (phone), Jonathan (phone), Marguerite, Virginia, John, Victor; a quorum was declared.


1. Approve minutes of previous meeting: minutes of the last minute were approved with a clarification that our monthly loss is not $300; finances were reviewed and the monthly loss was recalculated at $142 per month.

2. Treasurer’s report: Virginia presented her report and it was approved as read.

3. Reports from most recent dance/dances: we talked at length about a new dancer that is restricted to a wheelchair. Although she did quite well, some of our regular dancers did not know how to be good partners to her. Victor offered to reach out to the Contra community on Facebook and also to one of our regular dancers from Charlotte (who danced very well with this new dancer) and seek so me guidance on how to be better partners to her. There was some concern that not knowing how to dance with someone in a wheelchair could be dangerous to the person in the chair.

4. Booking report (and discuss booking strategies): Marguerite reported that booking is in progress and the group offered some suggestions to fill the remaining vacancies for 2020.

5. Reimbursable costs and charges: none reported.


1. Review of financial analysis from last meeting: as previously reported (see above), the losses per month were re-calculated to $142 instead of $300.

2. December Dance Venue: There is a question concerning the availability of the Quaker Church for December. John Wetzel will contact Jonathan G. to find out of the hall will be available for that month. We previously heard that it would be, but that Jonathan G. might not be our host, but that another church member would take his place.

3. Venue Search Update: The group spent some time reviewing progress on our search for a new venue. Marguerite reported on her work with several possible locations. Natalie previously produced a spreadsheet for us to track our results, which she sent to Fred (he is our lead contact on this). Victor will get the spreadsheet from Natalie and make it available to the Board through Google Documents.

4. Status of Facebook Donations Button: Victor reported that he will have this done by the end of this week.

5. Exit strategy for COTMD: the group had a vivid discussion concerning the need for an exit strategy in case we cannot continue to operate due to low attendance. Victor suggested during the last meeting that it would be prudent for us to decide when we would suspend operations (either temporarily or permanently) based on a certain amount of bank funds. At this point, based on our current expenses and monthly losses, we can sustain operations for about 3.5 years. Some of the options presented were:
a. Stop operations when we reach a certain balance on our checking account. We will need to decide that at a future date.
b. If/when we reach that balance, do we suspend operations and hope we can re-start at a later date? Do we completely close our doors? If we decide to terminate dances, do we leave the money in the checking account and hope others could use it to re-start the dances later? Do we use it for an all-out dance? Do we donate it to CDSS or another non-profit organization that is closely aligned with our mission? These are all questions the Board will need to entertain in future meetings.

None of the above precludes us continuing to seek donations and working to improve our dance attendance. The exit strategy is simply a prudent way to plan for the worst-case scenario. John mentioned that, without this in place, we could find ourselves in the same position the organization was a few years ago when Board members had to put in money to keep dances going.


Lake Murray Contra: Jonathan J. and Victor are meeting on September 18 with Susan Forte to discuss using her barn for our dances. They will report on negotiations after their meeting. Three main points will be part of these talks: monthly fee, liability insurance, and management of the hall activities during the dances.

As a side-note to this, Victor offered to create a Waiver form that we can ask dancers to sign to protect the organization.

NEXT MEETING: the next meeting with be at Virginia's home on November 19, 2019. This is the week before Thanksgiving, and the week after our November dance.

ADJOURNMENT: meeting adjourned shortly before 9 PM.