CBA board meeting November 13, 2013
 
Present were Stephani, Wilson, or, Manne, Purcell, Levinson, Moese, Wisner.  Also present were directors elect Mess and Meinking.
 
Prior to the beginning of the actual board meeting Pres. Stephani give a description for our new board members of the basic structure of ACBL, its districts, its units and our place within this pantheon.
 
The meeting was called to order a few minutes after 5 PM and the minutes as distributed by email were approved.
 
We conducted the usual review of our 3 priorities for the year:
Zero-tolerance: Nothing to report this month (always good news).
 
Membership: Nothing new to report, however, notice will be given to all members that we are getting ready to print the 2014 directory and we will ask for any corrections that need to be made. We will do this via an email to the membership, a copy of the existing list at the director’s desk and a fillable form on the website.
 
Building location: We have continued the investigation of the building on Blue Ash road. Other than learning the name of the building owner, we have made no progress. The owner now wishes to lease the building rather than sell it and when pressed for a rental price, we were quoted something around $5000 per month. This is noticeably higher than our existing rent and on those terms we would have no immediate interest. We did leave message with the owner that in the event they want to sell we would be interested in having a conversation.
 
Presidents report:
The holiday party is scheduled for Wednesday evening December 11. Diane Thaller and Melanie Onnen are again chairing the event. The price for this year including dinner and bridge is $22 per person. We reminded ourselves that the board members are responsible for bringing dessert for this event.
 
Congratulations were offered to Barbara Levinson on her appointment to the national ACBL Goodwill Committee.
 
Discussion of the duty and pay for Tonya (who cleans the bridge center) was inconclusive. We will attempt to get a written description of what her job entails. Some of this discussion centered around responsibility for cleaning the microwave oven in the kitchen and whether or not that was the responsibility of the game directors or the cleaning staff.
 
The party honoring the Granovetters is set for Sunday, November 24. We have arranged for a kosher caterer acceptable to the Granovetters. The price per person including bridge will be $10, with the CBA underwriting the remainder of the cost. The catering cost per person, including the choice of three entrees and appetizers, is $16. Tickets will be limited to approximately 100
 
The board reviewed the report submitted by election chairman Joe Muenks (it is attached to the end of these minutes). The board sends its thanks for a job well done and we did discuss what level of detail about the election should be posted for the membership. We agreed to attempt to get numbers on the percentage of the membership that actually voted and what percentage the winning candidates received. Over the objections of Steve Moese we decided not to post the vote totals for all 5 candidates.
 
District 11 board meeting.
The primary topic of discussion at the district 11 board meeting at the Louisville regional was the future of the Midwest Monitor (MWM).  At the previous district 11 meeting the board had passed the proposal from Brad Bartol on changing the MWM to an all electronic format and referred this decision to the individual units for ratification. The ratification vote was 6 in favor, 2 opposed and one abstention. There were serious reservations expressed about this proposal, most notably from district 11 treasurer Adrienne Netherwood and members of unit 124 (Cincinnati).  Since the details of the contract with Brad Bartol are as yet unknown, Board President Bill Sentman appointed another committee with himself this chair to hammer out the details and pursue other alternatives. In an effort to make the change go forward and provide time for further investigation, the board agreed to honor the proposal for a period of 2 years from the time the conversion starts (around June 2014). During this time the cost to our unit will be roughly 1/3 of the average amount we been paying the last several years ($1500 versus $4500). The new correspondents from our unit (they write the articles for the Midwest monitor) will be Steve Felson and Bob Brown.
 
Our district now has a new youth coordinator, Isaac Stephani, who did a very good job of presenting the three-point plan that he has for increasing youth participation in duplicate bridge within the district.
 
Our new supplies coordinators, Debbie Wiest and Lorna Davis, have resigned from that position. We are working on their replacements. In the interim, some kitchen supplies have been purchased and an inventory made of all kitchen supplies. This inventory sheet will be used to do a periodic inventory and allow us to develop a usage pattern to simplify future purchasing.
 
Treas. Susan Wisner reviewed an abbreviated financial report that had been sent to all board members. Our procedure is to produce and review a more detailed financial statement only on a quarterly basis and to provide more succinct versions monthly.  In addition to the usual financial statement, Treas. Wisner gave us a recap on the results of tournaments so far this year. Those results are reasonable and somewhat better than normal. Part of the improvement in the results of the sectional was the result of a small thermonuclear explosion from the tournament chairman AJ Stephani. After receiving assurances that there would be no more fire alarms emptying the building, there was another one on Saturday and as a concession to us, our rent for the weekend was reduced by $1000.
 
Education committee: The Saturday morning game is doing fine and programs at local high schools have all started. In January we will have an event aimed at teaching existing bridge players what is involved in playing duplicate bid bridge. The committee also requested that we find a way to check the quality of the cards and some of the bidding boxes at the bridge center.
 
Tournament committee: The Stac tournament scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Year’s will proceed with a normal schedule for the week. As with last year, we will not add additional games during this week. Because both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on Tuesdays, we will not have Tuesday evening games in either week. While the committee did not have a complete review of the results of the October sectional, the table count was up slightly over the year before. However, overall table counts remain in a declining pattern, with team game attendance especially vulnerable. Since 2008, overall table counts are as follows, with Sunday Swiss table count in parentheses: 2008 - 241 (40), 2009 - 273 (45), 2010 - 232 (37), 2011 - 260 (49), 2012 - 182 (29), 2013 - 218 (26) The NAP district qualifier for next year will again be at the bridge center on Saturday, October 11, 2014 and Sunday, October 12, 2014.
 
Steve Moese reviewed with the board a proposed master plan for bridge activities that he had earlier emailed to all board members. This plan primarily involves collecting information on all special games and special activities at the bridge center on a more timely basis and finding much more comprehensive ways to deliver this information to the membership. There was very broad support for the idea however Pres. Stephani asked that we spend the time between now and the next board meeting to review this.
 
The next meeting of the board is the annual dinner meeting to be held December 9, 2013 at Stone Creek Dining at the corner of Montgomery and Cooper Roads at 6:30 PM. This will be the final meeting of the 2013 board followed immediately by the organizational meeting of the 2014 board.





2014 Term Election Results and Report
CBA Board of Directors -
 
Conclusions
There were 5 worthy candidates for 3 openings this election cycle.  The winners as counted by Mike Lipp, Stephanie Richardson and me were (in alphabetical order):
 
John Meinking, Tom Mess and Steve Moese.  The runner ups in order of finish were Salty Roark and Al Beuapre.  The tradition of the CBA is to offer appointments to the Board when openings occur the following year in the order of finish in the election. 
 
Some conclusions:
 A competitive election generated more interest in the process this year.
Early voting continues to be welcomed by our membership.
Private balloting should be available to those voting at the Sectional.
 
Discussion
Versus the prior election, having 5 candidates meant that the order of finish was more pronounced.  Recall that when we had only 4 candidates, 3rd and 4th essentially tied.  Here 1st place garnered more than twice the votes of 4th place.  The Board brainstormed names at a meeting and this helped the small nominating committee with folks to ask.
 
Early voting represented about of all votes cast this election, much like last year.   This practice should be continued if logistically controlled, like it was this year.  Note that having a Board or Election Committee member oversee the process lead to zero complaints of irregularities.  Recall last year that there were many complaints, the most disturbing being that some directors were passing out ballots en masse and instructing others how to vote.
 
This year’s chief complaint was that balloting was never anonymous, even at the Sectional.  This was a result of early balloting ballots being unavailable to mark the book prior to the start of the Sectional.  For next year, early voting should start Thursday a week before the Sectional and end the Wednesday before the Sectional.  The book can be marked with who voted ahead Thursday night and then all votes during the Sectional will return to being private.  If anyone voting early complains, they can be told to wait for the Sectional when voting is anonymous.
 
Recommendations
 The nominating process should start earlier, possibly late August or early September.
 Early voting should continue with voting proctored by Board or Committee members.
 Anonymous voting should return to those voting at the Sectional.
 
Sincerely,
Joe Muenks, Election Committee Chair (513-519-11476 cell)