Tammy Lindsley (death in the family) and Marc Wells (illness) were both missing. Their absences were excused.
Also attending were James Fiscus (Clayton and Endeavour ex-officio member), Sam Justice (OSFCI attorney), Ruth Sachter, D. Stephen Raymond, Joyce Zimmerschied and David Lohkamp.
The meeting started at approximately 7:30PM.
The minutes from the previous meeting were then accepted by general acclamation.
GameStorm 12 bought a large number of memberships in Gamestorm 13, thereby becoming an expense for GS 12 and income for GS 13. This seemed odd. Stephe: This has happened for the last couple of years–it's for guest game masters. Rick: This method of moving money forward from convention to convention should probably be discussed, to make sure we're OK with that. There is still a problem (in general) with getting books closed in a timely manner. Rick still needs copies of the signed management agreements.
The one major change was $680 for new radios (this was previously authorized by the Board). Rick realized that the copies of the spreadsheet he brought didn't include the income page–he'll send that out.
Right now, we're earning less than 1/10th of 1% in interest on our savings. He'd like some guidance of how much flexibility he has in exploring options. This will be discussed by the officers at a later meeting.
The Treasurer's report was accepted.
The annual insurance policy need to be renewed in the next few months. (After this year's OryCon.)
GameStorm has a collection of dice, with the GameStorm logo. They're generic and can be used at future GameStorms.
There was some side discussion on artifacts in general. (Nothing seems to be selling in recent years.)
The latest count from Reg puts OryCon at about 400 paid members, but that's a very fuzzy number because of the registration system problems.
The next meeting will be October 16th.
Aaron: GameStorm ran the board game room at Kumoricon, and OSFCI loaned them kitchen supplies. The supplies are still in their storage area. Michael Pinnick is working with them to get the supplies back.
Debra: There is a mini-game day on October 30th, in combination with Kumoricon.
The Award is still looking for an administrator–may pay that person in nominated books. Ruth: Are any of the nominees coming to OryCon this year? Rick: Some of them are.
Andrew: It's still their intent to pull away from administering the scholarship and there still is no one else in place. John: They've said there are four options (in order of preference) : (1) they find someone to take over everything; (2) they find someone to take over just the fund-raising; (3) leave the fund as it is; with no new fund-raising, giving out the scholarships until the fund's balance is down to zero; and (4) donating the funds to the two Clarion organizations. Debra: Have they thought about putting an ad on Craig's List? John: They want to be careful about who takes over–they want someone who knows what Clarion is.
John: This is all planning towards turning it over to someone a year from now, so there is still time to get someone in place. They have been talking to people both here and in the cities where Clarion is held.
Have we ever settled on what is the status on the money that was turned over to OCF? Sam has tried to contact OCF about this, but hasn't been able to talk to anyone yet.
Andrew: How much money to you want to spend? I have spent up to $500 on the Sunday of an OryCon or GameStorm, but I don't want to wait until the last day of the convention to buy the games. I was thinking of $200. Andrew moved that the president (Aaron corrected that to be "Aaron", since he wasn't doing this in his role as OSFCI President) be authorized to spend up to $200 between now and the next Board meeting; Debra seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Rick: This is another item that falls under Miscellaneous Expenses, for which we've allocated nothing. We're modifying the budget as we go along? John: The answer might be that we need to make sure to budget for capital and miscellaneous expenses from the start. Rick: If we keep changing things, then at the end of the year we can't tell how much we were off. We'll know how much we spent, but not what we'd budgeted for. John: In the past, we've allocated $500 or $1000 for capital expense, because we knew we've be spending something. Aaron: We will continue to use the budget that we've previous approved, and we will track the exceptions.
Sam: The practical consideration is that the actual value involved is so very small that the IRS wouldn't really care. Andrew: Back when Cecilia was OSFCI Treasurer, we needed to track any payment given to an OSFCI board member/officer, for any amount, for reimbursement of an expense. Sam: As far as the IRS is concerned, there's a big difference between someone taking a stamp, and someone being reimbursed for a stamp used for OSFCI business. Reimbursements don't bother me at all–reimbursements are not income. And it would seem reasonable to say that anyone working at the event could be allowed free entry (e.g. receive a comped membership). Rick: There's a real difference between that, and paying the chair $200 for his/her work.
Jim: I serve on the SFWA Board. As part of that, SFWA paid my way down to the SFWA meeting. I checked with my accountant, and he said that was not income. He did suggest, though, that the per diem should be declared as income, and charged against actual expenses. John: I did the taxes this year for the Reno Worldcon, and there isn't any requirement to list payments made to Board members. (There used to be, when he did the OSFCI taxes years ago.) Also, while OSFCI probably won't be audited, a lot of Worldcons have. And almost all of those was made reimbursements to committee and program participants, and that's been fine.
Andrew: The problem you have with any blanket rule is two-fold: you have people who are going to push the envelope–if you give out X for Y, people are going to try to make the Y as small as possible and the X as large as possible. (He gave several examples.) Aaron: I thnk you are trying to say that a blanket permission can be abused. Andrew: No, a blanket permission will be abused. Rick: The Board could allow a chair to comp committee members, but they should let the Board know how many people received the comps. Ruth: Since I joined the group, it's certainly not been the policy to comp OryCon committee members, but other events we've sponsored have comped staff membership. It should the convention's call, but it should be stated in the proposals and in the budgets.
It was felt it would be good to include it on the financial statements that the events are supposed to provide to the Board. Beverly: It seems like it would be better to reimburse the staff memberships after the convention rather than comp them ahead of time. That way, the people who actually do the work are the ones who get the benefit, and would exclude the people who volunteer ahead of time and then never do the work. Rick: That was what Tammy was proposing for OryCon 32–issuing refunds to the people who she felt deserved them, rather than just comping everyone. Beverly: There are some people for GameStorm for which $25 is a lot of money. John: Has there been any problem with GameStorm with people abusing the comps, in a way that affects the convention? Not really. Rick: There have been a few people abusing the program participant comps for OryCon.
Aaron: Do we have a summary? Debra: We will leave it up to the chair, but we'd like to see that event's policy in the initial proposal, and any comps listed on the financial statements. Andrew: There is no reason to change the program participant policy–we're only talking about a staff comp or reimbursement here.
Stephe: We have included the number of paid members and the comped members in the report given to the OSFCI treasurer. John: It would be good to get these reports for distribution to the Board, as have received in times past (and as is required in the management agreements). We used to get reports from all of our events at every meeting, which would include what the current budget is, what the current number of memberships is–and this doesn't really happen any more. It gives us something to refer back to for planning for the future.
Andrew: This seems to be a time to address the problem we discussed earlier. Right now, we have a job without a function, the Board's representatives to the event committees. If we attached the responsibility to this function making sure at each meeting that there is a financial report, a registration report (or an explanation on how they were going to hunt down and hang the treasurer). Then you would have a job that required someone to do something.
Aaron: We have appointed representatives to all these events or have we? Two of the three upcoming events have chairs who are on the Board. The chairs who aren't present, didn't realize they should at least give reports by proxy. If the Board representative from that com con would make sure that reports were given at these meetings, it would make these meetings a lot more effective.
Arthur: It's already in the management agreements that the events need to make reports to the Board. The question is, does it matter if we don't have any teeth to enforce it. Are we going to take over the convention and run it for them?
Aaron: I believe what Andy is saying is that we make explicit the duty of the Board representative to cajole or otherwise encourage the chair or other management to make the reports, so that we don't come to this meeting and find out there is no report. Jim pointed out that the Board does have some legal obligations that appropriate reports are made.
There didn't seem to be any currently appointed Board representatives to the events. The following people were appointed:
Back to the committee comping policy:
It was decided any committee comping will be left up to the discretion of the event chair. And the Board requests reporting of how many staff members are comped (and this will be included in any new management agreements). Will this policy include OryCon 32? Yes.
Has the requirement for events to make reports at Board meetings been mentioned before? John: Yes (and he read a paragraph from the minutes of the July meeting, where Paul Wrigley said that the events have been failing in this duty).
John: Are we saying we want the management agreements to specify the charities that would receive surplus funds? (No.) The form of OryCon agreements hasn't changed much since about OryCon V–the first $500 is controlled by the chair, the next $500 goes to OSFCI, and everything after that is split 50/50. Aaron: GameStorm starting out by rolling much of the suprlus each year to the following year's convention. It was small back then, and needed a cushion. Later, the folks in charge of GS didn't want money going to OSFCI and they sort of made the surplus disappear (by continuing to roll it forward to the next year's convention). Stephe: The cushion is now sufficient enough that it's time to change that tradition.
Rick: Has GameStorm always been an OSFCI event? Aaron: Yes, GameStorm is not its own entity; it's an offshoot of OSFCI. Rick: OSFCI now has enough money to weather an OryCon or a GameStorm tanking. GameStorms seems to be still operating like it's famine time, but OSFCI now has enough to provide the security. Jim: Maybe the standard OryCon language should be put into the GameStorm agreements. David: Has GameStorm ever been a draw on OryCon? Aaron: GameStorm has made money every year. Jim: OSFCI being a 501(c)(3) organization provides a major benefit to OSFCI. Beverly: 90% of the people who work on GameStorm don't know about what OSFCI is and don't care about how much money is kept or how much goes to OSFCI. Andrew: Maybe one-third to OSFCI, one-third distributed to charities and one-third kept by GameStorm. Rick: If money is kept by the convention, it makes a mockery of the budget process. If they just keep moving $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 forward, what does that say about how accurate their budget is now? And if we do have this large surplus, we could do better than just keeping it in a checking account. Ric: What I would like to see is that every convention starts out with the seed money ($500, $1,000, whatever is need to avoid fees on the account) and then at the end, everything is distributed and the balance is back down to that $500 or $1,000 level. Right now, with large amounts carried forward, it muddies the water as far as how much we actually have.
Rick proposed that, since we don't have a signed agreement yet for GameStorm 13, the agreement that gets signed has the standard OryCon language. Aaron: And it's the responsibility of the OSFCI rep to GameStorm (Andrew) to get it signed. (This also applies to OryCon 33.) This motion passed.
The meeting was then adjourned.
There is no update on the Financial Situation since we report on a quarterly basis and the third quarter has not yet ended.
As you know, last year we tried some different things for fund raising at OryCon. We are hoping to make some changes at OryCon 32 based on what we learned last year. At present, it is still unclear exactly what form our fund raising will take as we have not yet received a reply from either the Chair or the Programming Department Heads in response to our wish list that we submitted it some weeks ago. We have, however, received a confirmation from the Dealers' room coordinator that we will have Dealer space for the popular egg sales.
Paul M. Wrigley
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2010|
|Page Fuller, Treasurer||October 1996||November 2010|
|Arthur Aldridge, OSFCI Rep.||July 2005||While serving on OSFCI Board.|
|Geri Jeter||November 2002||November 2011|
|Ruth Sachter||November 2002||November 2011|
|Marc Wells||November 2003||November 2011|
Our judges are:
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|Sarah Bryant||October 2006||November 2012|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2011|
|Page Fuller||October 1996||November 2011|
|Marilyn J. Holt||September 2000||November 2011|
|Sara Mueller||October 2003||November 2010|
|Alan Rosenthal||January 2006||November 2012|
|Sheila Simonson||October 1996||November 2010|
|Shawn Wall, Treasurer||November 2005||November 2010|