Monday, December 12, 2022


Attendees  were :
Virginia Winn, John Wetzel, Karl Smith, and Marguerite Frongillo. During votes, John was proxy for Fred, and Marguerite was proxy for Dianne.

At 7:30,  The meeting commenced with a report on the November 5 dance:
In spite of being unannounced at our previous dance (10-22), there were 16 dancers (ncluding two board members). We charged $8 admission, as the first mailchimp announcement of this dance, sent 10-28, gave $8 as the admission cost. We needed to charge this amount, as subsequent personal advertising by board members had to adhere to that price, so as to avoid any potential charges of false advertising.
Karl kindly is contributing $54.00 in cash to help with door shortfall.
Future dances will have $10.00 admission, as this is our normal charge..
So far we have not paid anything for CMFA. At this point we have paid out (or will pay out) about $750 for sound equipment that John, Karl, and other COTMD members have purchased for and installed at CMFA for the use of all CMFA clients.  Our room rent for CMFA is expected to be 20% of the door for a given dance. Twenty per cent of the door for our 4 dances at CMFA have not yet added up to $750, so we have not paid any room rent yet.

John and Marguerite provided different parts of the treasurer's report, since Victor was not present.  Those present voted to approve the report.
Aside from the normal "status of funds" part of the report, it also included mention of a $500 contribution from an anonymous doner, and a $54 cash donation from Karl to help cover the shortfall caused by our inability to charge a full $10 per dancer at the last dance.

The attendees voted to approve the minutes of the previous "emergency" meeting (these are posted on our board website!)

There was an agenda item to approve expenditures of $100 for canned music, but this item was not taken up for discussion.

Approve expenditures for sound gear for CMFA:
John provided a list of costs for all already-purchased and installed "intended for transfer to CMFA" sound equipment, as well as for other items intended for the same that still needed to be purchased, with the latter being close estimates and the former being the actual amounts spent.  The total amount we expect to spend for gear that is intended for transfer to CMFA  should total less than $750.00.  It is intended that COTMD ‘s donation of this equipment will serve two purposes:
1. The funds thus spent will be considered as substituting for fees we would ordinarily be charged for use of the CMFA space.
2. The equipment will allow more flexible use of the "pink room" by our group and other groups which might be able to make use of a complete sound system that can handle any audio source (microphones, line level signals and bluetooth signals).

A vote to approve all of the above previous and future expenditures (expected to total less than $750) was proposed, seconded and approved by vote.  The vote has the effect of approving all expenditures for the CMFA intended equipment that has already been paid out by Victor, and all of the above items that have not yet actually been purchased, once those expenditures are submitted to our new treasurer.

Victor had recently announced via email his intention to resign his position as our treasurer.  Dianne Britton offered to serve as our next treasurer.  A motion was tendered to approve her as our new treasurer.  The motion was seconded and all present voted in favor.

John announced that Dianne has kindly volunteered to (in addition to acting as treasurer) be in charge of our BlogSpot website, as well as MailChimp marketing or our dances.

Those present enthusiastically suggested much needed steps that we hope that Dianne will address:
A] Update the “Dance Information” section of our BlogSpot, designating music as “recorded or live band”
B] Have a prominent button or link where people can request having our email notifications sent to their email address; have this in multiple places- even in MailChimp emails.
C] Have a prominent “donation” button in our BlogSpot.
D] Get rid of our outdated, unused websites, such as Lake Murray Contra.
E] Every link we have – email, Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, Instagram etc- needs to be displayed on every marketing outreach item. Karl said  he would help with Twitter, Meetup,  and Instagram, but it might be best to have a designated board member who could handle all online and real world marketing efforts.  For now, Karl and Dianne will be handling their respective marketing platforms and efforts.

John explained that our insurance contract holds harmless our organization AND both of our venue owners, CMFA and “Lexington County Contradance.” The latter term does not correctly identify the protected entity, so that needs to be changed to whoever is the responsible owner of the land parcel that contains the Lake Murray Contra Hall (most likely Susan Fort or someone in her immediate family).

We discussed possible ways to manage contacts between our insurer and the board:  Currently we need to remember to contact our agent yearly, to pay the bill. It would be much better for us to give our agent our contact information and contact us every year. Karl is on record for contacting our agent, who works for a subsidiary of the insurance company.

The meeting attendees were informed that we have paid out $650 for insurance this year, and this will be an ongoing yearly expense.

We discussed the current problems associated with not having a fixed, known to be available for sure venue, which holds up our ability to hire callers and bands because we cannot do that if we don't have a venue pinned down.

We briefly discussed "music licensing" in general and Emily Rush in particular:
John mentioned that music licensing and recorded music contributed to changing square dancing from a folk tradition to a money-making modern "club square dancing" phenomenon. John also stated that Emily Rush is a great (and widely acclaimed) caller.  However, charging as much for a collection of recorded music curated by her as would ordinarily suffice to pay for a live band seems excessive (John's opinion).

John also shared pertinent comments that board member Kenny sent via email and that are paraphrased here:
1. It is crucial that we be able to plan our dances a well in advance, and announce each dance way ahead of time, so our dancers know we will be there for them.
2. It is important to minimize, or even phase out the recorded music dances within about a year because our crowd wants live music.
3. The caller runs the dance. Others need to acknowledge that the caller has a plan, and to cooperate with the caller.

Much time having past, John adjourned the meeting at about 9:15 PM.

NOTE (by John Wetzel): Although this information does not match what was decided AT this meeting, the next meeting has been scheduled for January 18 at Marguerite's house.