Friday March 7, 2014


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President Stone called the March Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:12 PM.  There were eight members present plus six Board members.   There was a quorum.  Meeting was official.

Secretary:  The minutes of the last five business meetings were approved by acclamation.

Treasurer: Kevin Ackert indicated that we are starting a new fiscal year.  He will give the board a final close of the books by the April Board meeting.

Membership: There was a new member Bob Domings.

Early Meeting Announcements:  Open forum on the agenda after New Business

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College: Bill Drown substituted for Kevin and didn’t open the observatory.  No one opened all month due to weather conditions.

Salem University: The observatory was closed most of month.  Only opened one night and had only one visitor.  On Friday March 14th Dennis will hold an event at the observatory for the University.

News, Correspondence, and Upcoming Activities:

Star Party Committee: Event at Tewksbury Library was attended by Kevin Hocker and Kevin Ackert and two other club members.  Next event is the Science event at a school in Salem.  Brewster and Dick Luecke will man the booth and Brewster asked if two more members might helpful.  Brewster has not finalized the school star parties for the coming year.

Telescope Clinic: No Activity.

YAP Program: A motion was made and seconded to approve the YAP budget of $1200.   The motion was unanimously approved.

Old Business: 

The club still would like to find other volunteers to do star party presentations.  If anyone is interested please contact Brewster LaMacchia.

Kevin Hocker presented the results of the voting for the club logo.  The winning logo was number three that had the comet with two tails, large lettering and caps on the first letter of the NSAAC and the website.

Kevin Hocker talked about proposed changes to the Bylaws as listed in the club newsletter:

Article 1, Section 2 – Regular Membership
Regular membership dues shall be of an amount determined by the Treasurer and approved by the Board of Directors and general membership as outlined herein. Membership is subscription based commencing on the date of initial dues payment and expiring 12 months later. After membership expiration a former member will have a brief grace period in which to renew membership. If membership is not renewed during the grace period the member will lose access to all member privileges.

Article V, Section 5
Remove references to old Joomla website

Article VI, Section 4
A meeting agenda will be produced prior to the Board of Directors meeting. If sufficient topics are not on the agenda for discussion the Board of Directors meeting may be postponed or cancelled as long as the majority of board members are in agreement.

In various sections throughout the Bylaw document added the option to use the club email list server as we would use the club newsletter for official club communications.

Motions were made and seconded to accept each of the above changes to the bylaws.  All were approved unanimously.  Members can view the new Bylaws on the club website.

Brewster LaMacchia read the slate of candidates for officers for the election of officers.  The slate is:

  • President – Kevin Hocker
  • Vice President – Ed Burke
  • Treasurer – Kevin Ackert
  • Secretary – John Hobbs
  • Membership Dir – Dick Leucke

Vice President called for a motion to elect the officers by acclamation.

Next was the election of the members at large.  There were three members running for the two positions.  They were Dan Smoody, Ron Sampson and David Aucoin.  Voting was by written ballot.  The winners were:

  • Member at Large Dan Smoody
  • Member at Large Ron Sampson

New Business: Member Jennifer Gough made a motion to award the out-going President a hooded sweatshirt with the new club logo.  Motion passed.

Dan Smoody began a discussion on why we are losing members.  He said there are varied interests in the astronomical community.  He thinks the club has lost focus and we are not attracting people who may be interested in a particular aspect of astronomy. He suggested that we need to form users group such as an observing group, an astrophotography group, a telescope making group, and other topics.  We need to set up these groups so that prospective members can contact someone in the club who shares their interest.  These user groups and contacts should be listed in the newsletter and especially on the website.

Another topic was how to let the public know when there is observing at Veasey on Friday nights.  There was talk of setting up a email group of interested outsiders and then someone in the club can send out an email to these people that someone will be at Veasey.  The board will discuss this idea and report back to the members.

The March Board meeting date will be Monday March 10th at 7:30 PM at Veasey.

Meeting adjourned 10:07 PM.

Respectively submitted
John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC

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