Minutes, Dec. 3, 2020

City Club of Eugene
Board of Directors

December 3, 2020


Board Members (via zoom):

Scott Coltrane – President

Kitty Piercy – President elect,
Skip Coburn – Treasurer,
Joshua Burstein – Secretary,
Members:  Marilyn Milne, Ralph Pledger, Margaret Hallock, Laural O’Rourke, J. Ingrid Kessler

Executive Director: Silver Mogart

Guests who joined us during various parts of the meeting:  Annie Middleton, Marti Ravits, Joel Korin, Mary Leighton


  1. Approve Minutes – a motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes from our November meeting.
  2. Approve Agenda – a motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda for this meeting.
  3. Approve Ingrid Kessler as City Club Secretary – Josh has served for some time as our secretary and now has other obligations to which he must attend. We are very grateful to Josh for his excellent service. A motion was made to appoint J. Ingrid Kessler as secretary. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
  4. Media Committee report — Guest Annie Middleton who has been performing our new website design joined us to review this work in progress. Reasons to redesign our website include an updated look and advanced communication and content platforms which are easier to use and will result in greater engagement. The new site also will be formatted to be easy to access on mobile devices. Our search engine is being optimized. All of this will help bring us into the future, including in ways about which we may not yet be aware. Annie shared some screen shots of our new home page and the website in toto. Links, such as links to Facebook, YouTube and to our podcasts, are featured at the top of the front page. Supporters are acknowledged at the foot of the page. We were also shown how the pages will look on the phone. Inside the site, pages include:  forums, about, get involved, join us, and donate. Handy links exist to current, archived, and future events and programs. Also, opportunities such as volunteer opportunities and sponsorship opportunities are featured. There is a place for board and committee members to log in. Question: How will this be pushed out so that we are very visible and easy to find online? Answer: Our search engine has been optimized. As we add content, we’ll be increasingly visible via Google since that new content will trigger updates to the Google search engine. There was a suggestion to specifically feature the advantage of membership prominently so that our members can recognize the value of membership. A variety of ways to accomplish this were discussed. Thank you to Annie and Marilyn!
  5. Monuments Project. Mary Leighton joined us to discuss the Monuments project. This project would be an ad hoc way to expand community vision through different modalities. In fact, community members have already become engaged with this idea and different stakeholders have expressed interest. Mary suggested that we could perhaps wait until February 2021 and then launch a contest for High School students. The contest would have the aim to explore the idea of what young artists think is worth memorializing from this year, what ideas make us better citizens, and questions of that nature. February is a good month for schools to have this event due to the academic calendar, and thus we could consider a University event as well. Advantages of this project include that it keeps us visible while everyone is stuck at home. We could even have a City Club Friday Forum about the winners. However, the project as it is envisioned now would be over the span of a few months and not permanent after that. There was particular enthusiasm expressed for engaging school age children. Also, it was noted that this project broadens our reach into the community and supports our mission. Question: How do you do a monument about things you don’t like? Answer: Art can accomplish results and have effects that no other modality or conversation can. Question: Why cut it off at school age? We have lots of great artists in our community including landscape architects and others. Answer: That is a good consideration worthy of thought and exploration. Question: Is an actual monument going to be built? Answer: For the moment, no actual monument – it will be done on a smaller scale at the school age level. However, it was noted that other community members who are interested in this idea may be able to include other activities which then include the adult artists in our area and perhaps even an actual monument/sculpture. Opinion/Aspiration: It should not be just another class project, but should be something that reflects all our struggles right now and also reflects the beauty around us. We should be using the arts to say who we are as a community. Future Action: We will be discussing approving prize money in an upcoming meeting. A suggestion was made to involve the membership for the contest – we could even have a member’s choice award. By consensus, the board is enthusiastic about this project. Thank you Mary!
  6. Board Members Introduced themselves to newly elected member Laural O’Rourke. We are a diverse and experienced group. Welcome Laural!!
  7. Guest Joel Korin gave a report on Program Committee plans. One of the values of membership is the ability to ask questions at a forum, and that ability was lost when we went to a virtual platform. We’re not ready for live streaming, but starting in January we will be able to invite members to ask questions of our speakers during the Tuesday recording sessions. Some technical details are still being ironed out. We are hoping for good interest on the part of the membership. If there is an excessive number of people wishing to participate, members will be given preference if they haven’t participated within the last month. The committee is also working on the introductory remarks, which some feel are currently burdensomely long, so that we can get to the content of each program more rapidly. By consensus, the board approved the move to the interactive format, and also to get opening acknowledgements recalibrated/redesigned. Some of the material now at the beginning of each program will be moved to the tail end of the program. How to best present speakers’ biographies was discussed as well as continuing to make sure to acknowledge our wonderful sponsors.
  8. President’s Report(Scott)  – tabled for time
  9. Executive Director’s Report (Silver) – A new City of Eugene payroll tax is starting with the new year, so that is something we need to help address for Silver. Ballet Fantastique has moved into some of the office space which we are occupying. Membership:  Eight people are not renewing, so our membership is falling a bit. We may start losing some members while we can’t meet in person. We discussed member outreach for renewal. Emails go out at regular intervals reminding people to renew. There is a concern about and sensitivity to the fact that this is a tough economic time. We will continue to focus on benefits of membership, such the ability to ask questions in our upcoming virtual programs.
  10. Treasurer’s Report (Skip) – No financial statements are ready for October due to the Thanksgiving holiday but they are on the way. The most recent bank account balance was reported to the Board. We are continuing to consider our Client Relationship Manager: Two proposals, one each from Bloomerang and Donor Perfect are, in front of us. Especially since Neon is raising our monthly fee, we will consider those options. Our records retention policy review is deferred while Silver and Skip continue to work on that.
  11. Membership Committee Update (Ralph) –Our discussion of encouraging our members to renew continued. Now, Ralph as Chair of this committee, is sending out his own email to people who haven’t renewed. If there is still no renewal then a member of the committee telephones the member to check in. The committee is also working on exploring additional social connections for our members. There are several ideas that are still evolving with details to be hashed out. For example, after the holidays are over, we could invite all members to a zoom meeting to come to hear about the upcoming forums and also ask for donations at that time, but very importantly it would be a way to get our members on to a screen all together for a sense of fellowship. However, since we have so many members, we will also consider having smaller zoom social events. We discussed that even if people don’t participate, it would likely feel nice to be invited. Also this would be an opportunity to ask members what they would like to hear about. Additional items in front of the committee are: We are revisiting our membership structure,  considering personally calling members in the month of their renewal,  having a membership directory, and offering free membership to our speakers. These are all ideas in progress for this brand new committee. Additional committee topics were tabled for time.
  12. Approve Paid Time Off Policy for Executive Director (Scott) – The calendar year is easier to account for PTO, so it will be on the calendar year. A motion was made to approve the policy and seconded. Discussion then included a remark noting that this is a good benefit that goes above and beyond state requirements. Silver will report PTO on his timesheet. There is no impact on the budget because he would get paid no matter what but now has some well-deserved personal time instead of working through those hours. The position of ED of ECC is 35 hours a week. The PTO is an allotment of 40 hours a year. When our ED ends her/his employment, unused PTO will be sacrificed and not awarded. There was discussion about in the future having paid holidays as well. There was a question about allowing PTO to roll over. Pros and cons were discussed, with excellent points on each side, but it was decided to keep it on the calendar year with the time needing to be used and not rolling over. There was a call for the vote and it was unanimously approved.
  13. Next Board Meeting moved to January 7, 2021
  14. Announcements –
  15. a) Marilyn will send out additional media committee updates.
  16. b) In the subject line of emails please put CCE so that Directors can recognize the emails as pertaining to the club.
  17. We adjourned at 7:34 pm.

Submitted by J. Ingrid Kessler, DVM, Secretary