Regular Member Meeting 2008 06 24

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Revision as of 14:55, 25 June 2008 by (talk)

These are the minutes of the Regular Member Meeting held on June 24, 2008

  • Members Present: Nick Farr, Ben Stanfield, Member 005, Peter Ordal, Member 007 (left early), Tim Ball, Derek Cooper, Tino Dai, Alli Rense, Andrew Righter, A. Sabino, Bjorn Westergard, Richard Bewley
  • Others Present: Chris W. (New Member), Anna
  • Quorum:
  • Called to Order: 8:08pm
  • Adjourned: 8:54pm
  • Location: HacDC, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington DC, 20010, USA
  • Presiding: Andrew Righer, Coordinator in Chief

Draft minutes of the last meeting

The Consent Agenda

Nick Farr removed Central Services Concept from the Consent Agenda

Minister Reports

Coordinator in Chief

Introduction to Reverse Engineering was moved to 3pm instead of 2pm due to conflictions with the church. Andrew is getting a mechanical lock this week for the door. All projects are running smoothly.

Ministry of Finance

MoF Report for June 24.

  • Almost all inflows to HacDC come in via PayPal. Money is moved out of PayPal as needed, as HacDC earns a good return on monies kept in PayPal.
  • HacDC also received a $1,000 donation and a $100 donation and continues to be in the black. Nick is working with an attorney, pro-bono regarding official receipt letters to these donors notating our pending 501(c)(3) status.
  • Based on our current financial status, we are about 1/2 and 1/2 on member dues vs. donations. Peter Ordal noted that this is remarkable given that HacDC has been around for only a few months.
  • Looking to migrate to an open source advanced accounting system. The chart of accounts, categories for expenses and income may change based on guidance from a CPA.
  • Our 501(c)(3) app is waiting the close of our third operating fiscal month so we have accurate numbers to put on the application. It has not been sent yet. Best case scenario is that it is approved 90 days after filing, worst case a year or more. (Hacker Foundation took a year.)

Keeper of the MIBS

(No report as the office was vacant.)

Minister of Information

Working on a mailing list for brainstorming/feedback on the website. Interested members should email her at Also, she put photos on Flickr. If you are in one, and you do not want to be, please let Alli know, and she will take it down. Alli noted that she gave people as much notice as possible, before posting pictures.

Member Reports

  • Bjorn: Microconroller Mondays are going well. Members should get involved, HacDC has many AVR's available. Bjorn suggested purchasing a programmer to have in the space. Also working on big UV meter project off and on. There is also a bunch of audio gear, with digital delays, etc. We should all jibber like idiots into the box.
  • Derek: We really should discuss amending the bylaws to lower the quorum. (Not added as an item for New Business, will appear on next week's agenda)
  • A. Sabino: Reported a query from a friend working on setting up a non-profit, but she is looking for guidance on how to setup a database, taking donations, distributing donations, etc. Gave her the general site, to see if anyone has any ideas.
  • Alli Rense: Asked if anyone is responsible for purchasing beverages in the fridge. Nick noted that the cup is not an official part of HacDC books. So far, the honor fund for purchasing drinks appears to be working. When there aren't enough drinks, someone takes the money in the cup, and goes to buy more drinks. (This is also how members get to select what drinks are available).
  • Ben: Planning to come in on Thursday to start gathering stuff for the museum. Tim asks where would we put this stuff. Ben responds that we can shove it on a shelf, take pictures of stuff and put it on the web. Anna said she's very interested in that. Ben also asked members to identify items for the museum.
  • Andrew: We need to organize. Nick then noted Nate would be back before Friday, so it was decided the issue was N/A.
  • Member 007 noted a pest problem in the space. Nick said he would follow up with the landlord and reiterated general membership feeling that people should keep the space clean, dishes washed, etc.

Old Business

Approval of New Members

Chris W. : He does Iterated Designs, web application programming, stint in the government as a security engineer. They encourage you to break their stuff. He saw the group, wanted to become a part of it. Found HacDC from Rodney and website... and decided to join.

As there were no objections, Chris becomes our 34th member.

New Business

Elect new Keeper of the MIBS

Per the bylaws, each member present has the opportunity to run as a candidate for each officer position.

Richard and Ben nominated themselves as candidates. After a brief discussion on voting procedure, the candidates determined themselves equally qualified and agreed to play a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to avoid a potentially contentious election.

Nick presided over a best two out of three competition which Richard won. Ben withdrew his name from nomination and Richard became the new Keeper of the MIBS.

Central Services Concept

The proposal, in brief, specifies how specific administrative tasks are to be delegated.

Nick proposes calling the ministers and their assistants "Central Services", reachable as a group at

In following with the ongoing pun of the British Parliamentary System, Nick is calling it "Shadow Ministers". This policy will make sure each minister has at least one appointed designate who knows how to perform various required functions. When ministers change, the existing delegates help the new minister learn their duties. At that time, the new minister can re-arrange job functions, assign new roles, etc.

The other point of this policy is to document who things have been delegated to, as a system of checks and policy.

Nick asked if anyone has any questions / comments.

Derek: Objected to the use of the term, "shadow". It is used in a negative connotation in some languages. However, Nick notes that in other cases it is used to have a lot of different meanings. Bjorn believes the "evil" connotation is terrific.

Ministers have the discretion to create/eliminate positions and titles. The membership can force a membership to create a position for someone who wants it.

Peter notes that designating certain shadow ministers creates an "inevitable" successor, which could lengthen the election cycle possibly. That said, his thinking is based on the idea that we are arbitrarily giving people titles as a way of imbuing responsibilities upon them.

As Nick pointed out on the mailing list, really the focus of shadow ministers are the jobs with some sort of procedural knowledge that needs to be preserved in the organization. While this may be encouraging people to participate just for the title, in the end, the policy is more about building redundancy (and that's a good thing).

Chris: Can you forego the election cycle? Nick notes that all the election cycles rotate annually, and that each minister can choose how to delegate to a person. Nick reiterates that the idea is to force each minister to delegate to at least one other person for redundancy.

Nick also notes that it is a policy that requires minister to document their tasks and that this further enables us to grow as a group, and each member has help reassembling vital functions, that need to be completed.

Alli: Is the shadowing is done during a meeting? Nick notes that it should be announced at the meeting, but not necessarily assigned. Nick notes that passwords and dependencies are given to them, but they have to be notified or sent to the members e-mail list.

Passes by consensus