Richmond Astronomical Society

November 2011 Board Meeting Minutes

Feb 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Board Meetings

RAS Board Meeting November 14, 2010


President Jim Browder called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.


Attendees (11):

  • Jim Browder, President
  • David Medici, Vice President
  • Jim Blowers, Treasurer
  • Chris McCann, Secretary
  • Ken Wilson
  • Betty Wilson
  • Prashant Reddy
  • Gary Cowardin
  • Dave Walton
  • Bill Newman
  • Tim Streagle


Secretary’s report given by Chris McCann

  • August’s board meeting minutes were discussed and minutes were accepted.

Treasurer’s report given by Jim Blowers.

  • Balance Summary          (as of 8/15/2011)                (as of 11/14/2011):
  • General Fund:                        6314.61                               6455.39
  • Observatory Fund:                   128.35                                   85.58
  • TOTAL:                                 6442.96                               6540.97
  • Checking Account:                1366.35                                1462.47
  • Savings Account:                   2860.22                               2860.43
  • Certificate of Deposit:            2216.39                               2218.07
  • Pay Pal Acct:                                0.00                                      0.00
  • TOTAL:                                 6442.96                                6540.97

Jim Blowers mentioned that RAS has 22 observatory members. (7 have paid dues as of morning of 11/14).

The reported totals are actually “under-balance” since 2 dues payments were received since creation of the treasurer’s report.

A motion was made to transfer money to the general fund when needed.  Motion was approved.

Treasurer’s report was accepted by the board. 


Observatory Report given by Jim Browder

  • Maintenance update
  • Reported that the cement based that had been coming apart has been fixed.
  • The other two exterior walls have been painted.   The base, the poles, and the inside of the roof have been painted.
  • A couple of roof holes have been patched.
  • Remainder of painting (interior) will be completed in the Spring.
  • A sapling tree that was resting on the power line has been removed.


Education Report (Jim Browder) :

  • Many outreach skywatches and events have occurred and continue to be scheduled at various places.
  • Our Outreach coordinator, John Raymond, continues to be working the night shift, and therefore, will not be able to work outreach events for 2012.  John needs to be removed as contact.  Most board members are expected to voluntarily fill in.
  • It was recommended that at least 2 members be at each event, and have the designated person denoted on the calendar.  When planning, confirm contact information for site personnel, but do not denote on calendar.
  • A suggestion was made to create an informal outreach team call list.
  • A suggestion was made to ask Terry Barker to update the RAS email account and create a generic board email address for the public to use when requesting outreach events.


Library Report (made by Jim Browder)

  • Virginiareported there was no change in status.  There is no issue at the Virginia Alarm Company.
  • The lock on one of the cabinets needs repairing.  Can we ask RAC’s locksmith to work on it?


Other Reports:

  • Heart of Virginia Star Party (November 18-20).  RAS will be providing drinks and will be a major supporter of the event.  A motion was made and accepted to allocate up to $100 for refreshments.  Admission fees will be $15 and $6 for lodging.  Wifi will be available in the field.  Expected weather for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is clear skies and lows around 29.
  • RAS has been invited by Laura Greenleaf, of the Department of Games and Inland Fisheries, to meet and discuss the possibilities for starting a dark-sky workgroup.  Ken will represent RAS this Thursday (11/16) at 5:30.
  • Annual SCC report – due by the end of November.  $25 fee was paid and delivered by Jim Browder this week.
  • Possibility of having an Astronomy event in April at Bellmeade, a Powhatan plantation built in 1856.
  • Research needs to be done, there is a possibility of an event at ????, a Catholic convent.  It is located on the water and has a good observation area.
  • Reminder that RAS is hosting VAAS 2012, scheduled for September 15, 2012.  The shelter and dining hall at the Heart of Virginia scout camp have been reserved.  Planning committee will be created after elections are done and new board has begun its duties.



Old Business:

We had a very productive discussion concerning the Asset Policy that was drawn up by Ken Wilson.  Among details that were finalized were definitions of assets to be tracked and the job description of the Asset Tracking Officer (ATO).  Dave Walton will be our ATO.  The ATO and the Board will work together to iron out any “grey areas” that occur during the beginning of this new process.  Digital photos will be taken of all equipment, and may be made available for website usage.  The ATO has the freedom for ‘callback option’ for any piece of loaned equipment.  Items cannot be checked out by members having less than 1 year of membership.  Training will be done for expensive and  “restricted items”.  Many other decisions were agreed to, too many to list in this report.  Motion was approved to accept Asset Policy, with recommended changes.  Our policy will be re-evaluated by the Board in the near future.


New Business:

  • A suggestion was made to put FAQs on the RAS website.  Ken and Betty will research the idea.
  • 501(c) (3) filing – no action has been done, since it is due next year,  May 15,2012.  It was brought up as a reminder.


Election of RAS Officers for 2012

Election results, elected positions, month of meeting presentation:

Tim Streagle                                                  January

Prashant Reddy                                             February

Betty Wilson                                                  March

Jim Browder                    President                April

Ken Wilson                                                     May

Dave Walton                    ATO                       June

David Medici                   Vice-President        July

Chris McCann                  Secretary                August

Jim Blowers                     Treasurer                September

Bill Newman                                                   October

Gary Cowardin                                               November

<Christmas Party>                                          December


Appointed Positions for 2012

Virginia Eckert                 Librarian

Randy Tatum                    Observatory Director


Next Board meeting will be Monday, February 20, 2012 at Extra Billy’s at 7pm.  If you want to come early for dinner, come by at 6pm.   There was a brief discussion about changing the meeting date, due to President’s Day being the same day.  Agreement was made to keep the meeting, as planned. 


  • Meeting was adjourned at 8:42pm.

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