Michael Bacarella General Member Meeting Notes20170923

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General Member Meeting Notes 2017-09-23

These are my unofficial notes from the General Member meeting today.

This is not intended to replace any official functions of EMS. The EMS secretary was also in attendance and wrote down information as well. Information present in any official EMS communication that's absent from here, or vice versa, is not a problem on its surface. I took these notes for my pleasure only. They are shared here in case they may be useful to others.

Apologies if I misrepresented anything or made any mistakes. Please correct them here (or send me an email).

The meeting lasted from 10am to around noon. It was a Saturday.

Board members in attendance

  • Jher
  • Tom
  • Clif

Agenda, adopted by all present

  • Introductions
  • Report
  • Quorum procedure
  • Advisory councils (more positions than just the bod)
  • Membership receive formal accounting assets/expenses
  • Documentation issues
  • Equipment pool/maintenance
  • Lumber storage plan
  • Insurance almost being lost?
  • Railing at pick-a-part
  • Scheduling more general cleanups
  • Discussion of dissolving the board


(comments stated by others after each introduction; sorry if I missed any more nice comments)

  • Tom "president for two days"
  • Jher "this place is a really important spot"
  • Cord
  • Mike "new member"
  • Jim
  • Ben
  • Mary
  • Paris
  • Les
  • Clif
  • Beata "kicks butt at 3d printers"
  • Michael
  • Dale "hanging out for 4-5 years"

Meeting officially started at 10:30

Clif moved to accept the above agenda

Seconded by Cord. Motion carried.


Summarizing last board of directors (Bo D) meeting, two days prior

Karen, Tanda and Ben requested a snap election to replace the Bo D

During the last board meeting, it was noted that

- That the general EMS Bo D election is in 73 days, a short time away
- EMS has no precedent (or bylaws) for mid-term elections, so would have to develop a new one with short time

The Bo D offered to appoint a third member with the good faith approval of those present to settle the matter
- Tom was elected as the third Bo D member and appointed president with the good faith approval of all present.
- Snap election request was withdrawn

Meeting minutes

The Bo D decided (during the last Bo D meeting, two days prior) with the feedback and the approval of all present, since there was disagreement over which meeting minutes were completely accurate (Karen's notes, Tanda's notes, and Clif's notes), that it would designate that all of the reports would be entered into the record as the official minutes.

No treasurer's report given, Dean didn't make it

On flame-wars and treating people respectfully

All people present, despite beginning from quite adversarial and heated positions eventually shook hands or came to an understanding.

A sentiment for adopting a no-flamewar rule in communications was carried.

Quorum procedure

[ I missed the beginning of the quorum procedure discussion due to distraction ]

Cord says the disuss list "makes us look shitty"

Cord went on to express frustration over how he was informed that waivers were missing, and that it was publicly announced that a third of our waivers are missing due to paperwork mismanagemnet. Would have preferred if each member was contacted via email. There was general agreement in the room on this point.

Missing waiver should not exclude you from voting

Tom and Cord and others did not feel that a missing waiver should preclude dues-paying members from voting. Perhaps from not being allowed to use the shop.

Jher offered that if EMS hands you a key fob, it serves as a receipt of sorts; if you're a member in good standing; a missing waiver is EMS's problem, not a fault of the member. No objections were noted.

Advisory councils

Jher introduces the topic

Bo D's overwhelmed by tasks. Advisory councils seems like a good way to get buy-in from more. Members and reduce the bod workload.
e.g. shop steward council, sys admin council to appoint sys admins.

Michael says there is actually a de facto sys admin committee (the sysadmin@ list). Jher noted that this was not very well publicized. Michael agreed and is taking efforts to make it more widely known that IT/systems issues should be reported here.

Do we have suggestion boxes?

The board@ list is a suggestion box of sorts, unfortunately it's moderated so members are turned off by the automated response if they're not on the list (only board members are on the list). Ben asks if we can disable moderation. Clif says that opens us up to spam, but we can have additional people configured to approve mailing list messages. Michael added himself to the board@ list as a moderator so requests can be approved more quickly.

Dale on the shop steward role

Dale wants to volunteer for the shop steward position but nobody has defined what a shop steward is. Moving in a direction to have a three person committee to oversee the shop stewarding role is carried. Dale defines what he thinks shop steward should do

  1. makes sure equipment works
  2. find people who are qualified to fix broken equipment
  3. shop upgrades
  4. does not want the shop steward responsible for being a janitor

There's consensus to have Dale be the de facto shop steward.

[ I, Michael, have e-mailed him offline to ask if he wants to set up a steward@ list like the sysadmins have ]

Membership receives formal report of financial accounting

Dean has formally resigned as treasurer (two meetings ago) and clif has adopted the role. Dean will continue to work, unofficially, in this capacity and assist Clif. Ben requests this is sent as a written report to the membership. Cord requests this be complete before the general election. Beata asked if the statement would account for shop inventory assets. Group decided that is too huge a job and that sticking straight to the financials would be better. The new treasurer (Clif) resolved to try to get this done wihtin a week.


Cord suggests we should have a members@ list that emails everyone that's a member

Clif says everyone gets added to the discuss@ list, manually, after they join. Cord wants something other than the discuss@ list for reaching every member since it's toxic and people unsubscribe themselves.

[ Michael notes privately that there are opportunities to automate both adding people to discuss@ and also adding functions to the keymaster so we can reach all of the members via email. ]

Meeting minutes controversy

Mary expresses that she is alarmed by the meeting minutes controversy; there were conflicting minutes of the meeting, with members observing that important sections were missing in the official post. Ben calls out Clif's editing the meeting minutes to remove controversial items. Clif's response on meeting minute editing controversy is that Clif understands membership is upset by his editing of the minutes. Clif explains that he removed the part about the snap election due to a mistake in editing, and that he will do absolutely everything in his power to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Equipment pool/maintenance

Dale says the new member welcome email should say what to do if we find a piece of broken equipment. (Contact the shop steward!)

Lumber storage/cleanup

Ben says the lumber situation is untenable. Our sheet goods and stick goods are in piles that are difficult to safely navigate. Further, everything is stacked which limits visibility/accessibility, so people are probably going out and buying materials instead of using what we already have. Dale agrees. Ben would like to rally a group to build a structure to manage the lumber. Mary says instructables has half a dozen designs for lumber management, so finding a design should be easy.

Clif says the shop used to have a shelf but we took it down because of safety issues. Jher asks Dale to chime in on what he recommends. He says he'd like to hear more about Ben's thoughts on how to move forward. Clif says Joe also wants to make contributions here but he is not at the meeting. We agreed Joe should reach out to Dale.

On cleanup: we agreed Les would be empowered to be in charge of cleanups for the organization.

Insurance almost being lost?

Clif says we paid a premium late due to a mixup; it got paid and everything was worked out.

Dale asks, w.r.t. insurance, what's required in terms of shop safety. Clif said he would send this information to Dale. Mary asked if untrained people using the machinery is an issue for insurance; Clif says it is not.

Cord offers that Dale should feel empowered to make any necessary changes to meet shop insurance standards. No objections raised.

Railing at pick-a-part area

Dale as new shop steward said he'd put this on his short-list to handle. Ben offered to also help.

Scheduling more recurring cleanups

Group turns to Dale to schedule the first one (aside from the post-member meeting cleanup). Straw poll results: last Saturday of the month is when cleanups should be done.

-- Main.MichaelBacarella - 23 Sep 2017