Thursday, September 16, 2021

Minutes September 15, 2021

Minutes, September 15, 2021






Victor (via telephone)

The meeting began with a discussion of whether or not we could proceed without having a quorum, and all slightly unsure of what the rules were on that.  Once Victor joined us, it was clear that we did have a quorum, once we counted all the people who were not present, these being a minority of the board, so that we had more than 50% available to conduct business.

The treasurer' report was presented and approved.

The previous minutes were approved.

Victor reported on the private dance held at Susan's facility last weekend.  Attendance was 12 persons, who "had a blast".  The hold harmless waivers seemed to work pretty well, although owing to poor lighting conditions and tiny illegible numbers, the algorithm used to generate ID numbers for those signing the waiver may need to be re-visited.  Or, a magnifying glass and good lighting might solve all those problems.

There was a standing email based question that had already been proposed and seconded, that is, to allow John to retain a "callers stand" (stepstool) and a direct box, without having to pay for these, in light of his long service as our sound person.  The "ayes" had it, so John did not need to write us a check for those items.

A motion was made, seconded and approved, to allow Victor to put information about his next private dance on our website.  That information will only be placed there a couple of weeks before the event, and the exact verbiage of that notice is subject to review and approval by the board before being published on our website.  This is because any such notice has to make clear that our organization is not sponsoring the event, merely reporting the fact that it exists.

There was some discussion of whether it might be a good idea for those items of sound equipment that are not currently included in the gear that "stays set up and ready to use" (for example, our powered speakers) to "live" at Victor's house rather than store them at Susan's facility.  The reason for this is that there are too many people with access to that building, and no way to assign blame if expensive gear goes missing.  Victor agreed that he could store un-needed gear at his house, but only for the next couple of years, as he will not be in Columbia after that.  Victor also agreed to bring Fred and Dianne's sound gear back to Columbia when he visits Susan's place at his next event.

A general discussion was held as to when (if ever) things might open back up, contra-dance wise.  The general consensus seems to be that, at best, things might get back to normal by Spring of 2022, but it is also quite possible that things will remain in limbo all the way through 2022.

In light of the fact that our organization will not be sponsoring any dances in the near future, we decided there was no point in meeting as soon as two months out.  Instead, we agreed that Virginia would host the next meeting on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

The meeting was adjourned.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Minutes, July 14, 2021

 Minutes,  July 14,  2021

The board met on July 14, 2021 at Virginia Winn's house.  We socialized a bit starting at 7pm.

Action items are highlighted in bold.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30pm by John Wetzel.

Attending in person:
John, Marguerite, Barb, Dianne, Fred, Victor, and Virginia.

Nobody called in.

The previous meeting minutes were approved.  John will post.

Victor presented the treasurer's report.  There were no transactions.  The cash balance remains as expected.  The board voted to accept the report.

The majority of the time was spent discussing how to resume a dance series.  The discussion centered on concerns for legal liability, the desirability (or not) of the dance organizer being in the role of covid police, the issues of re-engaging the dance community, the issues with bands, callers, and viable venues.  There was discussion of the approaches being taken by other dance communities, the need for liability waivers, and the paperwork needed (or not) to make it legally significant as opposed to just theatre.

John said he could provide examples of a "hold harmless" agreement modeled on practices in surveying which he thought were both germane to our needs and legally binding.  Victor said he would similarly inquire of other dance groups how they were dealing with legal issues associated with covid.

With that as the backdrop, Victor described his exploration of the possibility of hosting a private, invitation-only, contradance at Susan Fort's hall.  He thought that it might take place in mid-September.  He is modeling this on some similar events he saw being tried up in the Greenville area.  Victor asked for permission to post an announcement of his event on our Facebook page.  The board approved this request recognizing that the private dance idea is a good way to gauge interest.

As a second discussion topic, the issue of where the sound system is kept, needs to be addressed.  John noted that moving the equipment around is becoming a bigger issue for him personally; and also that setup has a steep learning curve that makes it harder to get a willing new person able to do the job. The upshot of the discussion is that Victor will discuss with Susan the possibility of keeping our sound equipment at her hall in ready to use condition, ideally already wired and ready to go.  A motion was made, seconded, and approved, that Victor should discuss sound equipment options with Susan and negotiate with her as necessary for keeping our sound equipment at her hall; and that the negotiation may entail equipment expenditures on the part of COTMD as needed to help reduce the complexity of setup so that newbies can feel confident in operating the sound system when dances finally resume.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 15, at 7pm, at Virginia's.

The meeting adjourned at 8:40pm.

/s/ Frederick C Druseikis

Minutes, May 19,2021

 COTMD Board Meeting 5/19/21  Minutes

After a long hiatus the COTMD Board met at Virginia's house at 7pm on Wednesday 5/19/2021.

Present:  Victor, John, Virgina, Marguerite, Dianne, and Fred.
By phone: Natalie.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30pm by John Wetzel. Fred took notes.

We agreed to improvise the agenda as this meeting was the first since COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in March of last year (2020.)

The minutes from the previous meeting -- November 2019 -- were reviewed and approved.

Victor presented the treasurer's report.  It should be noted that Virginia had decided to step back from the treasurer's responsibilities at the end of 2019, and Victor accepted the responsibilities.  Then COVID happened and financially the group went into hibernation as there were no dances being produced.  Victor reported the cash balance on hand based on the most recent bank statements. The board accepted the report.

Fred reported that he renewed the domain names used by the group ( for two years with the domain registrar.  The cost was $35, which is being treated as a contribution.

Victor reported that he contributed $175 to the group and paid them as various CDSS related fees during the 2020 financial year.

Fred will provide Victor with the technical information needed for the treasurer to take over the domain registrar account for the group.

The board next considered the status of officers.  A motion was made, seconded, and passed, to re-elect the slate per the last election in May 2019.

President: John
Vice President: Marguerite
Secretary: Fred
Treasurer: Victor
At large: Dianne, Bob/Barb, Natalie, Casey, Kenney

Next the board discussed the status of dance production. The general question was when to reopen the dance series.

Two realities need to be accommodated: (a) that bands and callers are reluctant to take gigs given the general level of concern about the spread of covid; and (b) when we restart that  there is no continuity with previous dances and it may have been as much as 18 months or 2 years since a local dance was last produced.

What came out of that conversation was the following items:

(1) We won't be in the role of being "covid police".
(2) We need to warn dancers that they really really should be vaccinated; if they are not then "good luck."
(3) That social dancing was highly likely to spread covid.
(4) Victor and Natalie will be looking at ways of polling community sentiment about when dances should restart; we should set our reopening based on perceived demand.
(5) In the interim we can be a focal point for organizing car pools, etc, to dances elsewhere.

The Board selected July 14 as the next meeting date; to see what kind of sentiment is emerging for a restart date.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 9pm.

/s/Frederick C Druseikis

Friday, May 14, 2021

Minutes, November 19, 2019

Columbia Old Time Music & Dance

Board Meeting - November 19, 2019


The board met at Virginia house.

ATTENDING (in person)

    Casey, Fred, John, Jonathan, Marguerite, Victor, and Virginia

ATTENDING (by  phone)



    Dianne (illness)

The group gathered 7pm and socialized a bit.  John called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.


The minutes of the previous board meeting, held September 17, were read and discussed.  There was additional discussion of "exit strategy" options mentioned in the minutes as some had not been part of first conversation.  No changes were proposed and no motions were put forward in that regard.  The minutes were approved.


Virginia presented the treasurer's report.  There was discussion of the current loss rate.  The report was approved by voice vote.

Virginia submitted her resignation from the Board role of treasurer but to continue as member at large.  Victor volunteered to fulfill the Treasure's rol for the remainder of her unexpired term.  A motion to so recognize this change was made, seconded, and approved.

By board action therefore Victor Gascon is now Treasurer.

A random discussion later in the meeting concerned tax reporting technicalities.  Victor agreed to do this for John, as he was already familiar with the process.


The October dance was well attended, headcount in the mid 40's.  The November dance didn't see as large attendance, head count in the very low 20's.

It was observed that although Susan does make an effort to have water put out for the dancers, we are coming up short on cups.

Via e-mail the week before the November dance, the board approved the purchase of 10 signs for placement on routes on the way to the venue.  That e-mail chain is included in these minutes by reference.  Summary: we agreed upon the need, a simple design, and responsibilities for placement; and we bought them for a good price.  General feeling was that while e-mail is workable, it could have been done a lot faster with face-mail.

Having signs, there was discussion about sign placement at the November dance.  It was observed that the signs are hard to recognize in the dark.  Victor volunteered to accent a few of them with some reflective tape to help improve their visibility in the dark.  Board members seemed to have different feelings about placement and visibility, but it was agreed by all that we'll get better at this as we have some more experience with it.

A second issue is that the owner is concerned about the presence of these signs, so they need to be removed after the dance, and put up within an hour or two at most before the event.  Marguerite was appointed to be the "sign wallah."


Marguerite give an update on the booking of bands and callers for the rest of the season.  Our web presence has been updated with that information.  Marguerite asked if she should start booking for next year and beyond.  It was agreed that she should start booking for the 2020-2021 season. (No motion was thought to be necessary for this.)

Marguerite asked for permission to negotiate a rate larger than the current max of $280 for an out of town band for January.  Fred volunteered to cover the difference between the current max and the price being asked by the band in this case.  The board approved.

Our schedule currently shows a Techno dance for December. Jonathan mentioned that Contra Force would be willing to do a live dance on that date for a very discounted price and the good will of the holiday season, if they can hold off on making a decision about it until the end of November and decline if they need too take a better gig.  (This is basically a right of first refusal.)  It was suggested that we just cover Contra Force's generously discounted price and the cost of the hall and offer to run the dance as free will donation, and advertise the hell out of it.  A motion was made, seconded and approved to allow Jonathan to explore this further and to proceed with that if can happen.  Otherwise it will just be our originally planned Techno dance.  Jonathan will be the caller in either case.


A discussion about venues ensued, especially about the parameters or characteristics thereof.  Rather than declare criteria, it seems more like we just need to record the criteria for each venue as we visit them.  The choice of one venue over another is a trade-off on several variable, size of the space just being one of them.  There are many other factors.  Generally, it was felt the the Quaker Church, as charming as it is in many ways, has a number of issues that make it difficult to dance there.  The search continues.  In this context there was discussion about the American Legion Hall in Lexington, its suitability, price, etc.  The exchange was informational and no motions were put forward.  Quaker Church remains a fall-back venue.

Marguerite raised the issue of how to publicize the negotiating parameters we have for bands and callers.  It is important to have our basic position and expectations easily available, preferably by page(s) on our web presence.  Marguerite and Victor will review the current information and Victor will update the web as needed.


Due to person schedules the next board meeting is being delayed by a month.  It is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:16pm.

/s/ Frederick C. Druseikis, Secretary.