Regular Member Meeting 2008 10 21

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Time & Location

October 21, 2008
Members Present: Nick Farr, Matt, Elliot, Jonathan, Katie, David Lotts, Martin, Derek, Rodney, Member 29, Peter, Richard, Timball, Ben
Others Present: Anonymous Prospective Member, Jess, Alli, Prospective Member Dave
Quorum: ?
19:50ish to 20:54
HacDC, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, DC. (Space)
Presiding: Nick Farr

The Consent Agenda

Nick proposes making the first Tuesday of the month the "important one" for voting and otherwise transacting business.

Member 29 suggests an overhaul of the bylaws with an eye toward quorum "gotchas".

Anonymous Prospective Member was approved and will be referred to as Anonymous New Member for the remainder of these minutes.

There are more prospective members. Elliot volunteers to sponsor Lorne as a new member. Approved: Lorne as new member.

Andrew is resigning as Coordinator in Chief. He will continue to serve until a replacement is elected. We'll target the Nov. 11 meeting for an election for a replacement. Nick suggests Elliot as a replacement, and Elliot is willing.

Nick proposes discretion for the board to add prospective members to the members mailing list (provided they've paid dues) prior to their official approval as a new member. This seems to be approved by consent.

Nick proposes dividing the members mailing list into a low-traffic announcement list (to be newly created, members required to subscribe) and a noisier "blabber" list (based on the current members list, subscription optional). Derek expresses concern that people have different ideas about what constitutes an issue important enough to be discussed on the announcement list. Where do we draw the line? Nick suggests that at the point where an issue becomes a motion that can be voted on, it goes to the announcement list. Rodney suggests that as the quorum is decreased, policy discussions over e-mail will become more important. Derek proposes using a forum to allow members to easily ignore "blabbery" discussions. Nick says people have been clamoring for a noisy "blabber" list. He proposes the additional creation of a HacDC public anything-goes list (which could be tied in to a forum system) and a public announcement list. There was some discussion of potential names for the public mailing lists.

Derek suggests many new issues have been brought up at this meeting and that they should preferentially be brought up on the members mailing list first, for discussion and thought.

The overwhelming majority of members approve of the proposal to structure the mailing lists with an announcement list and a blabber list.

The Door: Nick suggests it has become a problem. He proposes creating a night to get together and work on IT infrastructure relating to the space and the church. The idea would be unify the entry system so that one card lets you into the church and into the space. Nick says the church wants this.

Pete points out that the lease is up in January and this may be a good time to be researching other potential spaces. Nick encourages members to look for potential spaces and share on the members list. He inquired with the church coordinator about leasing additional space from the church. Pete questions whether we need more space.

Nick says the lynchpin of getting expeditiously approved as a 501(c)3 organization is to establish that we're doing public good. The Columbia Heights Wireless Project would be a good effort toward that end. Each org in the church now pays for its own bandwidth. The goal would be for the church to get bandwidth itself and provide wireless access to its tenants. This would give us good standing as a 501(c) and provide us the flexibility to move out while leaving the wireless infrastructure. It's possible that one of the other church tenants may want to buy all of the space for lease in the church. Nick will try to get the church coordinator to a meeting at the November 11 meeting. Rodney suggests that we may need money from the wireless access users to build the infrastructure; this could endanger 501(c)3 status. Nick suggests fundraising may be an option when the project gets further down the road.

Parts Budget. HacDC put up almost $500 to jumpstart the parts stock. $200 of SD cards were sold at Toorcon. The four budgets: Refreshments, Parts, Member Dues, Donations. This simplification was approved by consensus. Nick notes that people have been, if anything, overpaying for parts used from the inventory. Derek expresses concern that the transactions should all be recorded somewhere. Nick says we're tracking money, even if individual parts may not be tracked; if a pattern of not paying develops, we could revisit this policy.

David Lotts suggests pasting parts invoice to wiki; members generally agreed.

Martin put out a call for volunteers to help with Hamfest on Sunday.

Wednesday nights, Nick proposes dealing with stuff by collecting, organizing, and selling on ebay. New Member suggests broadening the scope to "get your hands dirty day", which could include cleaning up. Some members propose less frequency, like 1 day per month. Elliot suggests the time required may be more appropriate for a weekend rather than a weeknight.

Tuesday nights, Nick would like people to come up with events to hold at 8:30pm in the auditorium to keep the meeting short, draw people in, and use the auditorium which is reserved then. Call for people to come up with ideas for events.

Election night party? Next week is a Dorkbot DC meeting, and the one after that is election night; both of those nights would be less than ideal for a special event. Nick suggests "moving" Tuesday meetings to Dorkbot when they have a meeting on a Tuesday evening. This could help in recruiting new members.

Anonymous New Member proposes talking about telephony at several of the Tuesday meetings. He says he'll consult with another prospective member who's working on the phone project. Nick will see a guy this weekend about getting phone service for free in the space. Callers can be restricted so as not to be calling places like Europe.

yard sale at Herndon High School

Martin proposes stripping the CRTs.

Rodney asks, people who haven't paid dues, what about their privileges? Nick will catch up with those people individually to collect keys and revoke any other privileges.

David suggests lowering dues. Nick suggests postponing this discussion until the annual meeting in January or February, possibly around ShmooCon.

Derek requests an idea of the financial situation. Nick says we've got cash to pay rent, Internet, etc.

Rodney requests guidelines as to a revenue-generating project that's okay (and that would work to allow lower dues). Discussion will continue over email until we achieve 501(c)3 status. Any income we make must be directly related to our mission.

Martin asked for a show of hands of members interested in HacDC acquiring machine tools.

Dave, a prospective member, arrived. Derek sponsors him. No objections. He's a new member.