3 Questions about board minutes published in Sept. Bulletin

  • Home
  • 3 Questions about board minutes published in Sept. Bulletin
6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"The Sept. Bulletin contains minutes from board meetings from January through June, 2006. The minutes are, of course, necessarily greatly abbreviated. I have three questions about them and hope someone will amplify on these abbreviations.

JANUARY: Money paid to some club meeting speakers.

It is stated an honorarium will be paid to certain guest speakers, e.g. an author already in New York on an author's tour. Q: How much? Q: Why? His publisher covers his expenses and, in any event, honoraria go beyond expenses: it is a ""fee"" offered. This is a change from past club policy. In the past, when we've had authors, we've bought the authors' books for a 40% discount and sold them at that cost at the meeting. He was pleased to have a qualified audience and autograph and sell them. The publishers were happy to make what they would make in selling them to a book store—in fact, way more copies than they would sell to any one bookstore. Way more. We did pay parking and bridge tolls to those guest speakers whose expenses weren't covered by their company and who came from out-of-state. That was it. (NBC flew a speaker R/T from Washington, D.C. just to speak to us.)

FEBRUARY: NYCC Youth Program.

I'm delighted to see the NYCC embark on a youth program. The minutes state, ""The Club will provide a new bike if necessary and/or $300 for accessories."" Please explain. A literal reading of this suggests any child signing up for the one-time ride was GIVEN (outright) a NEW bike by the club or $300 worth of accessories. Is this so? Or ""given a bike to ride,"" i.e. loaned? Why a new bike? Why not a used one? We could give away so many more used ones than new ones and that would be merely fair payback to us by Recycle-A-Bicycle for our support of it. And is it the case that each of those kids who already had their own bike were given $300 worth of accessories? The minutes seem to be saying this. If so, were we able to buy the accessories at trade cost. If so, was the $300 the trade cost or its retail value?

How many bikes were given? How many kids showed up for the ride? How was it publicized? Were members invited to accompany the kids* How many bikes were distributed? What accessories and how many were distributed. Did we really, in a sense, pay kids $300 to ride laps around the park once?

(*...as they were in 1992--but the kids were not given bikes. We did have the Police Athletic League select one kid at Christmas to represent all children and the club gave her a new bike (bought at trade cost for c. $125 plus a helmet), and presented the bike to her and her family at a meeting also attended by a P.A.L. representative.)

Or am I completely wrong here and this is simply a case of inexact writing of the minutes?

JUNE: $5000 grant obtained by the club.

The minutes state ""ENY volunteer Marcella Butler has obtained an underwriting grant of $5000; use yet to be determined."" I know what a grant is. I'm not sure what an ""underwriting grant"" is. What is it? Who was the donor of the grant? Who was/were the final recipient(s) of it? What was it used for? Can the successful grant proposal be available (say, as a PDF) on the club web site or in the Bulletin? And congratulations to Marcella for obtaining this."

Anonymous's picture
Marcella (not verified)
donation is for Escape New York event only

This is from several donors for the specific and limited purpose of underwriting the Escape New York event, and it is not for the general use of the club so the minutes should be amended. To the extent that there are funds left over after ENY, such 'profits' will go to Recycle-a-Bicycle per the express instructions of the donors. I am not the only volunteer working on the event this year to secure cash donations to help the club put on a great day AND also increase the Club's contribution to R-A-B. But sorry, this is not for general Club use.
To everyone: sign up for the October 14 event! ENY will be great this year.
We also need a volunteer coordinator...

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
To repeat: Who were the money donors? And comment on R-a-B.

"This is donors of cash, not product, right? Private people or a foundation, not commercial enterprises who were acknowledged as sponsors, right? Don't they deserve to be identified that we can be mindful and appreciative of them or, if they are commercial establishments who weren't acknowledged, so we can patronize them? Please name them.

This was said to be a ""grant."" It's rare that grants are given for entertainment or pleasure other than for people suffering or deprived in some way. That hardly defines us...so what was the hook the grant application used so successfully?

As for Recycle-A-Bicycle, I must say they've pretty much exhausted my goodwill. They do very good work but here's why I've become grumpy about them. Around three years ago I contributed bike stuff to them. Its (used) value was in excess of $1000. I asked for a letter of donation for tax purposes. I had to ask for it repeatedly. One was never sent until I said a subsequent donation was contingent upon my receiving it. Past R-a-B head Karen Overton apologized. I accepted her apology and explanation.

Recently I sought to donate more bike stuff. In past years R-a-B cheerfully sent a van to pick up whatever I was donating. Two weeks ago, when I called to offer what I sought to donate, some man summarily told me, without even asking what it was or what its value was, to bring it down there or put it in the mail. I explained it would take many large boxes to do that and that was an expense and inconvenience that seemed unnecessary in light of R-a-B having the capability to make a pick-up when they might be in the area. It's not as though we're out-of-the-way.

His response? We don't pick-up anything less than ten bikes. (The value of ten beater bikes is likely less than what I would have given them.) He was adamant. Nine bikes? Wanna contribute nine bikes? Not good enough. Ten or more for a pick-up.

So, after supporting R-a-B for more than ten years, including with a number of hours of my time just last week, I'm looking for a different outlet to which to contribute bike stuff. I would appreciate anyone's recommendation of some place in NYC. A man who, I heard, opened a bike shop in the area of 110th St. but whose (unusual, very refined-sounding) name I've forgotten, used to do community work related to bikes and children. Anyone have his name and bike shop name? He would know organizations to which to donate bike stuff."

Anonymous's picture
Marcella (not verified)
sponsors and anonymous donors

"""Grant"" was never my word - I have always called it a donation, and it is in cash. These particular donors wanted to be anonymous, but many other donors (of both cash and products) should be acknowledged for their support of the Escape New York event. We are working to get their names on the site: Starbucks, Fidelity, Reebok, and others.

And as for how the funds were secured: old fashioned phone calls and drop-ins. Grace Pineda, Katie Sayers and Susi Pichler deserve kudos."

Anonymous's picture
Carol Waaser (not verified)

Richard, you are correct, the minutes were abreviated somewhat in order to get them published. It was an oversight that they were not published regularly last spring. (Our current Secretary does a draft of the minutes each month and they are approved by the Board the next month and sent to the Bulletin Editor.) Here are answers to your questions:

Program speakers. The minutes may have been a little too abreviated here. While we discussed honoraria, we did not approve any. We instead talked about bringing in authors who were already in NY on a promotional tour.

The Youth Program was not a single ride. Five innercity young people (ages 16-20) were chosen through an application process to participate in a 2006 SIG. All 5 qualified for the B-SIG. Recycle-a-Bicycle assisted us in obtaining the new road bikes at cost from Fuji. I believe, in fact, all 5 needed bikes to participate. They were also each given a helmet, a pair of gloves, a pair of cycling shorts, a club jersey and water bottle. Had any of them not needed the bicycle, they were to get up to $300 in accessories, depending on their needs. Four of the five graduated from the B-SIG. The 5th did not do enough rides and had to return his bike to RAB. (We can now use this bike again for the coming year's program.) RAB provided the young people with loaner bikes to do the qualification ride before the Fuji bikes arrived. The program was very successful. Some of our youth graduates have continued to do Club rides.

ENY Sponsorship. I'll let members of the ENY Committee give you more details on this.

Anonymous's picture
grace pineda (not verified)
donation by Fidelity

In addition to the planned donation noted above, we have already received $5,000 from Fidelity Investments in large part because of the case I made for Recycle-a-Bicycle as the ultimate recipient. Because of this, I believe the maximum portion of the $5,000 should go to RAB and not for other club expenses. It would be ideal if the Escape New York website recognized this donation by Fidelity as well as the sponsorship of new sources I've tapped such as Starbucks and the Reebok Sports Club. Last I checked, there was nothing on the ENY site about this. Thank you for raising the questions.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Fidelity/Starbucks/Reebok - ENY sponsorship

"The ENY web page has been updated. More consultation with the ENY committee is needed, but at least this is a start..."

cycling trips