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Minutes for 12/06/08 GSM Board Meeting 2:30 at Steffners

Minutes for 12/06/08 GSM Board Meeting 2:30  at Steffners

Present: Sandy Steffner, Ed Steffner, Dick Bottenberg, Gerry Paul, Janet Hopper, Paul Jansen,  Judy Hamilton, Bill Robbins, Doug Zbikowski, Kathy Ahlers, Katy Paul, and Steve Erickson.

Meeting called to order by Dick Bottenberg who preceeded to review  the minutes of the last board meeting. Sandy made maotion to accept the minutes as prepared and Kathy seconded.

An agenda was prepared to follow with committees presenting updates and submitting requests.

Checking Acct as of 11/30 was $3767.11  Paul explained teh new report format, which he explainedd was more like a traditional accounting report. It was a double entry (assets and liabilities) report for this this year and last year. Paul also indicated a new account was opened with ING Savings bank, from money taken from the prior TCF Savings Certificate. This allows us more flexibility and a higher interest rate.
Kathy A questioned why the printing expenses had become so high. Paul J and Ed S then agreed to provide a breakdown of Printing/ Public Service / State Fair expenses.

DOug Z mentioned a 5000$ expense ( for the markers project) that he expected to be payable about next Feb or March.  Paul J responded with a need for a budgeting process so that he could better arrange the savings certificates schedule to meet anticipated cash flow issues. This lead to a discussion (re)creating a Budget Committee to facilitate this process.  After possible Budget Committee members (Kathy A, ED S, Paul J, Doug Z, and Janet H)  was agreed, A motion was passed to create this group (Motion by Gerry P, seconded by Ed S). The  new Budget Committee was then charged with the task of reporting how they are to function  in there task of oversight of the budgeting process.


There are currently 200 members, 59 of which are expiring. The total includes 57 family memberships. Total dues collected since 12 April 2008 is $3405. Doug Z noted that this is the most members we have had for many years.

Steve asked for ideas for the nest years program.  He noted that the "Grand Theme" for each year made it harder to find speakers, as most preferred to talk about their current research work, and Steve added this tended to result in more lively lectures. A number of ideas were offered.

Bill noted they are still looking for another (preferably female) to replace him on the committee, so it would be more gender balanced. Current members are Bill R, Lee P, Doug Z, and Kathy A)
Doug Z asked if GSM should include about 200 pamphlets (with a lecture schedule) to the spring Earth Science (High School) Teachers Conference in St Cloud this February. This would require about 60$ to print additional lecture series cards. Although the the current years lectures would be mostly over by that time, the intent is more to indicate the kinds of talks that GSM presents. There was a lot of discussion as to which  pamphlets (white or yellow) were available, or effective, or remained. Then Steve Erickson remembered that he had about 60 lecture cards not used  and it appears that will be sufficient, and thus avoid more expense. A final motion was passed to use the existing materials for that conference (Made by Ed S, seconded by Kathy A).

Doug Z reported on the membership applications he received from the pamphlets distributed at the Sate fair this year. There were 2 sets used: 4 applications came from the yellow pamphlets, and 2 from the white ones  for a total of 6.

Doug Z then reported on the likely funding to be received from the MN Sesquicentennial Committee for the geological markers project. This will be about $40,000 with GSM acting as the prime contractor.This would be a matching grant, with GSM contributing $5000 ($3500 from a prior board action several years ago, being stored in savings, and possibly $1500 more, pending GSM board approval. The remaining contribution would come from time contributed, primarily with Doug Z acting as prime contractor, and also including DNR contributions of time and some materials.
There was a lot of discussion about GSM's financial exposure in case the State reneged on granting the funds, in view of looming state financial shortfall. The problem would be that we might incur the cost of casting the plaques before any reimbursement might occur.

Duug Z. Ed S, and Paul J then agreed to meet with Jane Cunningham of the commission to clarify any financial risk,and to complete the process of GSM being a qualified contractor. This meeting will be within the next week, as the whole project must be settled by the end of the year, as the Sesquicentennial Committee ceases to exist at the end of 2008. Doug Z will report of the results of that meeting, and an emergency board meeting likely will be called in December. The question of whether to proceed with the project, and to allocate an additional $1500 was deferred to a later meeting.