Frequently Asked Questions
This is an old revision of the document!
Electing a Secretary, and Chair to host the meeting. Adoption of rules of order – Explanation of how the meeting will be operated. How to make a proposal, How to object correctly, What is consensus, ect.. Report of the financial statements; Report of the directors. Election of directors – Our board of directors will be changing this year! Reports from the members of the previous year. (short, no new business) Laser community (Dallas Luther, Richard Sim) New/Special business AGM topic - Liability Waiver (Steven Smethurst) AGM topic - The members list (Steven Smethurst) AGM topic - The members rates, specifically Paypal (Steven Smethurst) AGM topic - Hacker/maker-in-residence program, (Dallas Luther) AGM topic - Fundraising and grants (Richard Sim) AGM topic - Moving to a new space. (Everyone) AGM topic - Safety at the space (Emily Smith, John Carver) AGM topic - Space clean up (VANHOC) AGM topic - CDN-Hackerspaces (Dallas Luther) AGM topic - VHS as an organization (Richard Sim) AGM topic - Partnerships with other community groups. (Everyone) AGM topic - Businesses in the space (Richard Sim) AGM topic - Running paid classes (Steven Smethurst) AGM topic - Clarification of the Mission statement. What direction we want the space to go in, What is the purpose of VHS, Are we satisfying this goal, how do we improve on it. AGM topic - Space/Direction meeting more often then once a year. Other proposal. Any new business that any members want to talk about or add. Merger with VCL
Meeting minutes - July 22nd, 2012 @ 12:00pm:
AGM quorum has been reached Attendance: Mike, Robert Butterworth, Time Webster, John Craver, Michael Kessler, Aaron Thul, Joe Bowser, Jeff Davis, Kevin Reed, Jason McLaren, David Carne, Steven Smethurst, Ryan Hietanen, Colin Fox, Matthew ‘Loial’ Peters, Luke ‘handsome’ Closs, Emily Smith, Andrew Milne, Robert Wellman, Chris Codahy, Steven McCullough, Arthur Hazleden, goldfish, Dallas Luther, Paul S Gill, Paul Fisher, Richard Sim, Dan Royer Steven S. is voted chair Arthur H. is voted secretary Jeff introduced meeting etiquette Luke C. passes meeting vote indicator cards around, green means agree, red; disagree Jeff defines consensus as per (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus) John C. presents: our financial report. Since last agm, we have ~24 new members (according to those who have paid dues). Laser cutter originally allocated $3000 (money left from Vancouver MakerFaire 2011 profit) Laser cutter costs so far: $4108.10, plus $150 per month for rental of dedicated 1st floor space at 45 West Hastings. We are currently collecting $1800 / month in dues. Joe B asks about the focus on member dues as the income vs kit sales, etc. Our expenses vs income are so close that it is not significant. Financial record is circulated around, vote called, adopted by all members. Directors all take a stand and introduce themselves to the members, new members get to know their faces. Election of directors: Jeff D. elected John C. elected Steven S. elected Dallas L. nominated, Joe B. blocked, Jeff D. reads procedure for a blocked vote; a fourteen day period is granted in which to hold a meeting to resolve the vote. Time between is granted to resolve the issue on the vote. “teeth” Steve presented motion to change the consensus model to a majority voting model, motion is deferred to later in the meeting when we discuss organisation of the space. Break for pizza at 1pm Pizza arrived at 13:14 Meeting resumed at 13:27 Job B is withdrawing his block, Dallas L. voted as a director Richard has been voted a director. Arthur H. elected Tyson voted a director assuming he accepts, (he did ask to be a director). Emily nominated but declined directorship.
Report from laser committee. Richard; we’re down to the last week until its ready for member use. Dallas: now is the time to discuss our group’s philosophy about the use of the tool. Budget overrun, safe operation for member use, who is going to teach it, how do we maintain it. Two different strategies; you must be taught to use it vs. you read the documentation to use it. Emily: we need to have a safety model to adhere to, documentation that members must follow if using it. Dan: people just want to use the cutter, why not safety train new safety trainers. Steve: why not copy Victoria’s model? …members talk, everyone wants training for the laser cutter… Dallas: Steve: What are the most likely parts of the laser cutter to break, and how much do they cost to replace? $200-300 for mirrors, $1000-1200 for laser tube Emily: With regards to safety (a bit of a side note) we should focus on education, i.e. how does stuff work in the space so I don’t get hurt? e.g. if someone’s using the angle grinder, how can I be sure that I don’t get injured just by being in the space? Arthur: We should have a night where we say, “If you want to learn how to use the laser, come out to this night so we can teach everyone.” Cost of laser cutter operation; about $0.50/hour
proposals for this discussion: make training available put a donation box in laser room limit access to laser cutter room user fees for laser use
Dallas: we (the laser committee) are going to take into account all the input gained from this meeting, adding this extra information is going to take time to setup the procedure. Richard: who wants to be on the laser safety committee? Loial, Emily, John C. Tim, Rob, Aaron, Mike kessler, Chris, Steve M.
Arthur: I bought an eyewash station (yay) where is it to be mounted? (members all point to the first aid kit by the kitchen
Luke: Reported on 3 new potential locations for VHS that were looked at recently
Steven: is going to create a members waiver to have all members sign. He does want this for insurance purposes, it will be updated as required. vote called, passed.
Steven: is going to remove members from the members mailing list if they are not members who have been paying dues Dallas: we should postpone this until we have a new space, lets try to get this old members back into the fold. Steven: proposed delaying this for an extra month, passed. Robert: given that we’re getting a new lock space, we need to contact those members about initializing members Steve: moves to change the two locks, passed
action item: steven-send email to non paying members, change lock action item: add non-recurring donation item to the paypal page
Steven: do we reduce membership fees? Dan: do we keep all these meetings to 10 minutes? Dallas: hold fees steady until we get a new space, vote? passed by all. John: …?
Fundraising and grants: Richard: fundraising and grants are great SO LONG AS they do not go to pay the rent. Jeff is cool with fundraising so long as it isnt covering expenses John: any grants or fundraising efforts should never impede member’s access to the space (only green cards raised) Joe: paid classes should be a case-by-case situation. Jeff: we are okay for fundraising and grants so long as they don't pay rent: vote: passed Emily: all grants apps MUST be pushed to members list before the application, motion passed Arthur: STFU if theres a paid workshop, space rule number 4 cited: ‘dont be a dick’
THE SPACE MOVE! Luke: vote called: do we move? vote passed Joe: space committee needed Steven: space committee is needed Emily: space committee needs to write reports, members need to chime in on it. Danger to avoid; committee needs to know about the members Dan: we vote on what we do not want? Loial: what is the feel of the next space?? Mike: space committee should have more power, the committee should be able to make the decision to move. Steven summarizes: everyone wants to move, we need a committee, the committee needs to check with members before it signs, needs they have a feel of what the space wants as a group Dallas: I’ve been doing space research for some months, the city has been making arts studio spaces, he has talked to the city, with arts groups about a 5000 sq-ft space available. Space is a blank slate, open warehouse. City is the landlord. This will be a very social space, we’re a drinking club with a hacking problem. More formalized nights, training, tools, shop upkeep needed. We need a new organization that isnt vhs or vcl, would be a new model group that could take on this space and use it properly. Could not be a consensus model. There is not official cost from the city, but so far $3000 / month is about right. this would land us 5000’. We would split a workshop and tools with vcl including a lathe, mig welder, grinders… We will need a formal grant written to get this together. The city wants to lease this to one person/organization. Summary: propose the board leads us into a new organization merged with VCL to take on this space with the city. Dallas: red gates arts community will divide up the remaining 10000 sq-ft into arts spaces. Richard: really likes what this would bring to vhs, he can teach airbrushing workshops Jeff: we need to hold the rest of this meeting until we reach this discussion John: are we paying our own rent? is this taxpayer subsidized? as a long term thing we need more details. If this is city owned land there are some politics needed. are there strings attached? Dallas: not subsidized, at cost, we are getting a lease from a landowner (the city). Joe: please put this down on paper Dallas: there is not yet an official request for proposal Steve: moving committee Chris: if the building burns down there's no hackspaces in the city; there is value in having multiple hack spaces Dan: thanks for cleaning at the space summary: dallas has a new idea for a space/change of vhs’ operation we also have suggestions for other spaces from the group, we want to have a space committee proposal: push this down farther on the list… Steven: motion: moving space committee to be founded? fail lukec: moving space committee - ONLY FOR MOVING space committee: Steve M. Goldfish, lukec, Dallas, Butters, Steven S. Steve and Robert talk about their spaces
Meeting will resume at 15:00pm
Safety at the space: Emily: we met at the fgm, safety solution was difficult to comprehensively tackle John: we are taking small steps to a bigger solution. Steve: safety is being put off and put off, Volunteer safety committee: Emily, loial, Chris, Robert W. Jeff, Steve M. John C. Paul G Arron T. Safety committee to ask list for examples of unsafe situations to base safety standards on.
Chris: are we empowering the safety committee in any way. To give the safety committee the power they would like, they need to make a list of requirements sent to the list. Motion passed.
Space cleanup The same people keep cleaning up the space… Compost shelves? VANHOC: John C. Dan, Steven, Arthur (DANHOC) Dallas on … Coalition of Canadian creative spaces Mandate: to setup a charity that all Canadian hack spaces can use as one charitable entity. Advantages, access to other directors and their experience. So far VHS’s name has not been used for anything. Sponsorship by Princess Auto has fizzled. David: the board should prepare a proposal for the membership Emily: we need more info about official business for members to be able to vote and stay informed VHS AS AN ORGANIZATION Quarterly meetings have been voted in, people need to meet in person
Richard says: Description: Do-ocracy isn't scaling with VHS, despite our slow-n-steady growth. Do-ocracy is great for giving members a sense of power and ownership of the space, but lets the big tasks get swept aside or results in members who try to tackle them getting frustrated as there really is no straightforward answer to the “how do I get it approved?” question.
Proposal: Do-ocracy works for the day-to-day tasks of running the space and provides great value to the space and our community, and as such we should (must) keep it going for the day-to-day tasks that it is working for. Where larger planning is required (“get us a laser cutter!”, “move spaces!”, etc), committees are well suited and have proven to be very capable - but they must be given autonomy and executive decision making power in their designated area to allow them to proceed at the required pace. Likewise, the BoD must have the autonomy and executive decision making power to tackle the tasks that are even larger, society-oriented (including the committees), or affect VHS long-term. The formation of committees should be first up to the interested members to come together, or if this doesn't happen the BoD should nominate a committee from the members. A committee officially exists when it's been approved by the BoD, at which time its mandate will be clearly stated.
Quarterly VHS meets have been voted in.
Loial: there is going to be a shopping list to the left of the entrance door. This is its official location. (everyone claps)
Dan is going to setup the forum, will not be the admin.
Richard : BOD committee of committees.
David put forward a motion to pass a stop-work empowerment for all members. (i.e. if a member sees unsafe behaviour, they have the power to tell the unsafe person to stop whatever they are doing and correct their actions) The motion was passed.
We are going to skip to the classification of the mission statement. We are going to address the skipped items in two weeks time at a secondary meeting.
motion: is our current mission statement appropriate.. motion passed. motion to add to unofficial mission statement: teaching & safety motion to adjourn the meeting for one week, Sunday July 29th at noon. passed.
Attendance: Ryan Smith (Goldfish) Steven Smethurst Joe Bowser Jeff Davis Richard Sim Dallas Luther Robert Butterworth Aaron Thul Luke Closs David Carne (joined later)
Businesses in the space
- Not a problem - Disclosure; be open about what you're doing and why - Prototyping ok, production runs go through membership list - Issue is when using the space as your primary business space - Not an incubator for this reason
Running paid classes
- Joe: Gets into employer/employee relationship - Steven: Consider it rented space Everyone agrees can't happen in current space due to interrupting members use
Deferred to on the members list, until after in a new space
Jeff: Do we want to encourage sliding scale, by donation, or ?? Steven: Decided by person holding the class, we don't turn people away due to lack of funds
Jeff: Appointment of an Auditor required legally, defer until 1st quarterly meeting? Dallas: Needed for docs for 281 Industrial proposal Aaron: What cost is involved? Dallas: We could share an Auditor with Redgate, etc; but wouldn't be fair for us as their books go back to the 90's Luke: Jr accountant $300-400 Jeff: Propose to list that directors have the power to appoint an auditor Everyone agrees
Dallas gives a summary of the 281 Industrial space that ~9 of us viewed on Thursday Mayor gave directive to open more spaces for art/culture use. Being run by both Culture and Real Estate parts of the City. We are looking at working with Redgate/Dynamo/151 (artist studios) and VCL
Richard: Concerned with Redgate, as they want a lot of space. Would like to put in 3-4 different proposals Dallas: Redgate does have the most legitimate claim to the space from Mayor's mandate. Just have to protect our interests in the proposal Steven: Create an umbrella org to administer the group? Goldfish: Redgate has created non-profit already, will dismantle and reassemble as decided upon by the group of orgs Dallas: Jim from Redgate does have close ties to the space already and the city is aware of it; they were looking at it before the Mayor's mandate was given, and talking to the city about the space days before the news came out about the mandate. Dallas: If VHS was to take 5000 sq ft, we could sublet it to many other orgs for short periods (we've already been approached) until we can use the whole area. For now we only need 3000. Grass Frames bikes, Circle Crafts, etc. === IN CAMERA: discussion of VHS's position with regards to VCL === We discussed a baseline that we can move on, but will leave the decision to happen organically Goldfish: Proposes looking into umbrella org but not go further right now Dallas: Who does it? Sees the board being the group as they're the most widely endorsed group. If he wasn't on the board that'd be fine. Joe: Fine with the board, as it's their asses Goldfish: It's only a proposal. Steven: Only the board, or a few extra people? Luke: There is the space committee Jeff: It should be different from the space committee as it's a proposal, maybe a mix of 3 board + 2 space committee. Steven: Space committee needs to keep going. Joe: Let's make it a max 5 people Steven agrees, doesn't want to put numbers on size of group right now. Goldfish: Disagrees with the idea of “the board” doing it, even if it's a committee made up just of the board Luke: agrees Jeff: A committee formed by the board has the authority under our bylaws to handle the proposal process and act on behalf of VHS Steven: If the proposal is accepted we MUST continue as we'd otherwise screw over the co-applicants - we cannot put it to the membership at that point. Dallas: The space is rough and will take a lot of work; his main concern. Luke: The space he + Rob looked at close to Main & Broadway is still a good option Richard: Lack of sky train access is a big issue Dallas: As a social club (VHS), the 281 Industrial space will be great. We'd be an island in our own space in the middle of nowhere. Steven: Deposit + extra money? Dallas: (for 5000 sq ft). 1st + last month deposit would be ~8000 + renovations. Would be open to the infrastructure grant Luke: Concerned Dallas is trying to push VHS towards being a Techshop; the opposite of a social club. Doesn't understand the vision Dallas: I still want a professional space, and working to make that happen, but I don't see VHS being that, ever. This space is great for exactly what VHS is. People in the community want to push it forward (Zee, Andrew, Emily, etc), and VHS isn't able to let that happen. Joe: Completely agrees with Dallas. If we don't go outside our space, we're limited. 281 Industrial will allow VHS to cross-pollinate. Jeff: Doesn't want us to become a Techshop, but we can find a happy middle ground. A new, larger space will allow that, but allow the two to co-exist. Luke: Wants it clear that he has no problem with Techshop and would totally support it, just it's not VHS. Dallas: Getting a bit annoyed with VHS's decision making process and scale, but accepts that VHS is what it is, and feels that this space will be the best for that. He will make a tech shop type space happen in Vancouver, but not as VHS - it'll be another space. Just like Noisebridge and Techshop in San Francisco co-exist fine. Luke: Same as Free-Geek and The Hackery; TH split away because of the FG process. Joe: Not really fair for TH. The do-ocracy doesn't work for things that people don't want to do, like cleaning the toilet. You do need someone who's an Executive Director who can be empowered to be a dick. Luke: If we need an Exec Director to execute on our directive, we should think about taking 3000 sq ft and pay an ED. Jeff: Problem is that when someone is in that position, everyone else feels less empowered and drift away. Doesn't want to see that situation happen to VHS. Gives example where he's seen this happen elsewhere. Joe: In Jeff's example, the person didn't have a job description so just took over - if we did it, we'd need a strict job description. Steven: Still likes to have a Shop Steward/point of contact for people to talk to. Jeff: Would like to see more people with fewer responsibilities Steven: Only problem is volunteers flake out. Being paid, you are committed Luke: Maybe the quarterly meetings will solve the issue, as we focus on the macro direction. We can review volunteers. Richard & Steven: agrees Joe: We did this with Maker Faire Jeff: It was more external Dallas: It was more an external commercial venture; people got paid Joe: But Emily was empowered to do it. Luke: We could have a ~$3000 grant to someone in our community quarterly to make sure things get done Jeff: That goes into having employees Luke: what about as a contract? Jeff: We can take steps towards it and see how it works out, but doesn't want to commit to it in this meeting Dallas: Judy Piggot(?) consults on this stuff. Pretty dialled in. She coaches institutions as they grow to prevent melt-downs. Exec Director is blamed for all problems in the org, and the org usually goes back to consensus process. She has strategies on how to divorce people from their personal biases. Her, or someone like her, would be a great advisor. Can ask her. Joe: Would there be a fee? Dallas: She does it professionally, but it'd be modest for us as she knows who we are. Dallas: We need to set a path for how we're going to run VHS.
Luke: If you look around the table, we're nearly all the 'old timers'. Dallas: It's already making a divide that it's seen as we're the ones with the power. Luke: We haven't done a good job of transferring the culture. We've let the talks/classes disappear. Dallas: Andrews last Intro to Arduino workshop was the best workshop we've ever had Steven: Didn't like being the guy who had to fill in the calendar Luke: We used to decide at SHHH's what the upcoming calendar is. We need frequent, repeating popular classes Joe: Have to get the new members involved with holding classes and talks. Dallas: Uptake of new members, we're falling prey to not introducing them to the space. The bylaws were just a standard set we gutted and now they're “the law”. We've figured out how we run now Steven: We should iterate Luke: New members are joining because they want to be part of what the old members created. Everyone: on boarding sucks Steven: Along with waiver, will attach a list of “this is what we are” Aaron: Safety committee meeting discussed this and have a list of things we should go over. I3 in Dallas had a Checklist right by the front door of items you should know where is and what they are. Steven: Must be less than 1 page. Joe: A checklist is great, but if no one is making sure it happens, it's useless Jeff: will bottom line it, but wants help from a few people (Aaron, Steven, Joe, Luke, ??) Aaron: Dan showed a couple of new people around the space, then got them to help organize the soldering kits. It was GREAT!
(David Carne walked in somewhere around here)
Luke: The small space we're in has worked well for us to have this great community and atmosphere. Concerned with taking 5000 sq ft because of that Steven: If we don't take 5000 sq ft now, we'll never be able to expand without moving Dallas/Steven: Subleting to Grass Frames would be good as they'd reno their part Dallas: Wants to see us in control of our own destiny in that space, and more space gives us more sway/power. Lets us make sure the proposal is in our best interest. Luke: Concerned that it's so much bigger than we've done before. Other spaces we've looked at are less of a jump. Dallas: Agrees it's a risk, but we'd be able to sublet and in the proposal can say we're outfitting the space for 3 months and ask for no rent during that time. === IN CAMERA: discussion of VHS's position with regards to VCL === We discussed a baseline that we can move on, but will leave the decision to happen organically Steven: City said that they'd be bringing the space up to code, so we wouldn't need to do a lot of the horrible stuff Steven: Clarifying that we don't want Redgate to push us out of the space, as they'd be able to rent the space for more $$$ Dallas: More space helps and allows us to do a lot more than want we can with less. Steven: If we had more space, more groups will join us, like the Biohackers Steven: What if we put in 1 real pitch and 4 not-so-great-ones, and they pick one we don't want so much? Richard: We just say in the proposals which we want the most Steven: Being with other communities for inspiration and cross-pollination is huge Dallas: There definitely will be cross-pollination opportunities; 1/3 us, 1/3 artist studios, 1/3 event/social space. Insurance will be sorted soon, will take it on. Steven: Going back to it, I think we'd be screwed or constricted if we didn't go into the space. Rob: Doesn't think we'd grow that much slower in the other space Dallas: We'd also have artists come in and want to be members to use our tools
Dallas and Steven propose we go in for up to 5000 sq ft, and the proposal committee have the authority to move forward as quickly as required
Jeff and Luke want it to be clear that the committee must come back to the membership before we say “Yes” to the proposal.
David: Even 2000 would be a huge space for us, and feel bigger than we think. Jeff: So we shouldn't define a minimum space? People agree.
Redefined proposal: Up to 5000 sq ft, preferably including the upstairs area and the proposal committee have the authority to move forward as quickly as required.
Revisiting the board of directors
Steven: Brought it up as it was on the mailing list Joe: I'll block that Everyone agrees.
Adjourned at 3pm