Prez John Cottle opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thought for the Day: There are 4 boxes that secure your freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  (Source unknown, shared by Gary Hopper)

Dean shared a moving video about the current status of polio and the End Polio Now campaign.

Guests: Rotarian Sue McKinney, of Oakland Sunrise; and Jose from Ukiah, guest of Jody.

Happy Dollars:

Kira: happy to be celebrating her 17th wedding anniversary!
Heather:  also happy, to celebrate her 2nd wedding anniversary.
John C.: happy to report that his wife Betty is doing better.
Liliana: it’s raining!  That makes us all happy.

Sunshine Report:
Wilma is not feeling well, and is still struggling with diabetes issues. She will need rides to Santa Rosa to see an Endocrinologist. Call Wilma to volunteer rides — we have three volunteers so far.  We hope you feel better soon, Wilma!!

Bruce announced that a Casino Night planning meeting will be held immediately after today’s meeting. We are considering March 7, 2015 as the date, which coincides with Fort Bragg’s Whale Festival and chowder tasting. Theme will be “whales and pirate tales.”  General consensus was that sharing the date with the Whale Festival’s daytime activities will allow a greater number of out-of-towners to enjoy our fundraiser event.

Adopt-a-Highway program: John P and 4 or 5 others will attend this afternoon’s training session at the CalTrans building north of Fort Bragg. About half the club raised their hands to say they are willing and offering to help with highway pick-up, which will need to be done 6 times per year.  Our stretch of highway is from Big River bridge to the junction of Hwy 1 & Lansing St.

Today’s Program:

We had 25 participants in today’s discussion, which covered several topics. [Editor’s note: I’ve done my best to summarize the sometimes chaotic conversations below — my apologies if I didn’t get everything in order or just right.]  A brief financial overview was given:  our Club has $17,000 in reserves. This can get us through the year, solvent, still addressing our usual avenues of service.  Late in the meeting, there was a Motion: To have the Treasurer present a budget for activities and administration at next Board meeting (Nov. 10), to be modified and approved by Board, and presented at the following Club meeting (Nov. 13). Seconded by Liliana. All ayes, except 1 nay.

Loan forgiveness discussion: First, there’s a sense that we need a collective understanding of the Club’s budget. Second, there is a timing issue, as the property taxes are due in Feb for $1500, which will be refunded when the property is reclassified to non-profit ownership. Consensus that there is no need for a vote today; we need to know the budget first.  After much additional discussion, near the end of the meeting, a Motion was made (by Bruce) to approve loan forgiveness, the motion was seconded (by John P.), and a vote was called for. Vote results: 15 for, 4 opposed. Motion carries.

Ownership of Rotary Park: Discussion with the County has been suspended. There was discussion of who will maintain the park, and at what annual cost. Rotary will cut grass, pick up garbage, while the County will do major limb removal as needed. Insurance is $800/year — a non-issue for the Rotary Foundation in terms of expense — the insurance has been purchased and is in place. The idea was floated that a proposal needs to go to Board of MCCSD, so that they could consider ownership and develop a MOU for transfer of ownership. The Rotary Foundation will take/maintain ownership for the short term. We should have a Club member serve as the Park Committee Chair.  Again, after much discussion and near the end of the meeting, there was a Motion: for the Foundation to continue to explore Park ownership options with any party they can identify, then bring options to Foundation Board for approval, then to Club Board for recommendation. The Motion was seconded, and a vote taken. Unanimous ayes. Motion carries.

Fundraising ideas: Casino Night is generally agreed upon as a very successful fundraiser that we will continue. We could make a form for selling stepping stones, give ourselves 45 days to sell them, to see how much we could raise toward the Park. We need to get on the Historical Review Board’s agenda to see if they might agree to our putting in the stepping stones. The Theatre Company has done stepping stones, and that project could be used as an example.  All of our fundraising could be done via MOU between the Rotary Foundation and the Rotary Club, so that donors can take a tax deduction.

There was addition discussion of having a Christmas tree in park — yes, the Club members agreed this is a good idea. Lighting the tree will be a bit of an issue, as electrifying the park will cost thousands of dollars. Tom/Harvest Market has offered the use of a generator offered to light it for single night. We will do more planning for this event at future meetings.

Raffle winner: Gary Hopper. Lucky guy!