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Board Meeting Notes for December 19, 2013


  1. 7:05
    1. Tony resigned from the Board on Monday, but plans to remain a member.
    2. Brant has sent a draft of the December Treasurer's Report to the Board for review and approval.
    3. Brant to complete forms for our insurance broker to get quotes on Board Insurance.
    4. Dan offered to help Brant with Treasurer-related duties until a new treasurer is elected.
  2. 7:09
    1. Are “making events” for non-members too much of a risk for us to host?
    2. At Makerfest and The Make-A-Thon, it was noted a few kids burned their fingers with hot glue. No parents were upset with us, but it was added to the today's agenda to address any issues that may arise.
    3. Tom and Dan both attended the conference call last month with our insurance broker and their understanding is that our policy covers anyone on the premises or in the building, regardless of their membership, for events and activities considered routine. Non-routine events or activities would not be covered. While not iron-clad, having a disclaimer or signed waiver requirement helps inform participants and is one step we can take to help reduce our risk.
    4. It was noted that the more often we hold events, the greater the likelihood that events would be considered routine.
    5. It was also noted on the call with the broker, that our policy covers the corporation, but not people who teach a class and receive compensation. Those who are compensated are considered professionals. We also cannot pay someone to teach a class as they would not be covered under our policy. Instructors are covered, but only if they go unpaid. People could donate money or materials to the corporation, but the instructor cannot be compensated in any way by us or participants.
    6. As a result, guests could still attend classes, however they would be subject to our policies limiting tool use.
  3. 7:18
    1. Is it ok for members to use our logo on items they sell? It was not clear who added this to this agenda, but no one voiced any concerns at this time.

Policies and Procedures

  1. 7:20
    1. Revisions to the By-Laws were discussed. Dan has made further changes to the work jason g. started in August. Dan proposed revisions to the wording and content of sections to better align with the way we've been operating as well as modifications to sections on membership eligibility, access to the building, member storage, suspensions, and terminations.
    2. The revised Member Application Process requires two Member signatures and one Board Member signature. The By-Laws currently require only two Members and the exact wording refers to full members, however it is not clear if full means in good standing or otherwise. It was noted that the current Member Application Form being used has a field for the Board Member signature and that a Board Member is required anyway to issue key fobs, accept dues, and enter the new member into the membership software.
    3. Tom expressed concern that if no Board Members were willing to sign a new member's form, we could effectively deny someone admission despite obtaining signatures from others. When other Members in attendance were asked for their opinions, Ron had no objections and DL said she felt the process was almost too easy and some vetting or interviewing was appropriate. While this concern was discussed in the meeting, it did not illicit any changes to the proposed wording.
    4. The prospect of being able to terminate a Member by unanimous Board vote was considered, however many of us felt that it would give the Board too much power. Past discussions on the message board garnered a fair amount of criticism and such a measure would likely not be supported by the Membership.
    5. The instances allowing the Board to suspend someone's membership were clarified by Dan. Tom asked what the difference is between someone who is suspended and someone who is terminated. Our current policies indicate that if a Member is automatically suspended for non-payment of dues, they must reapply and they may not enter the building during non-public hours, or use equipment. Tom remarked that Members who are terminated appear to have the same restrictions to those in suspension. Brant, Chris, Tom, and Dan discussed the matter in further detail however it did not illicit any changes to the proposed wording at this that time.
  2. 7:40
    1. The website, its hosting, and management were discussed. No one objected to Chris and Pete working on the website. Brant asked if the Rackspace service only provides a computer and users are responsible for the operating system, applications, server software, content management, and so on. Chris agreed that was an accurate description and added that his current account costs approximately $17 per month. Additional hosting and work that requires more involvement from the provider would increase the cost of service.
    2. VOTE: Should the website, wiki, etc. remain on a computer hosted by Rackspace or be returned to its previous host?
      1. The vote was unanimous to keep it at Rackspace.
    3. VOTE: Would the Board agree to pay $17 per month for this service if Chris, Pete, and others decide we should use it?
      1. The vote was unanimous to fund it.
    4. VOTE: Royce has been paying for and managing the DNS. Should the Board take over this responsibility from now on?
      1. The vote was unanimous to pay and manage it ourselves.
  3. 8:00
    1. Chris, Pete, And Dan agreed to discuss the development environment, applications, features, and other details of our website and wiki in the coming days.
    2. Chris and others noted that we would want a separate instance or machine to handle billing or member software as he did not want any financial or personal data stored under his own account for privacy and security reasons. The group did not object.
    3. Backups of the website and wiki were discussed. Chris, Pete, and Dan agreed to consider options for backing up our data at two or more physical locations.
    4. Membership Software was discussed briefly. Tony has moved all new members and information from the software he created back to Jason's software on the Google AppEngine. We are currently using the AppEngine as we were previously and Board Members are able to accept new members and process dues and rental payments.
    5. Tom and Brant both supported the idea of finding commercially-available Membership Software to manage dues, invoicing, and other tasks. Their primary concern was support and availability in case something were to happen to one person. Writing software ourselves was a good way to save money when we were first starting out, however we have grown and the demands put on one person, either a volunteer programmer or the Treasurer, have grown also. Tom asked the group what a Member's time is worth and if paying for a solution allows someone to focus on making rather than administrative responsibilities, we should support it. Chris also added that access control could be a feature we consider when looking at options. Several products, both commercial and open-source are being reviewed currently and the Board will continue discussions on their message board.

Building Projects

  1. 8:20
    1. The contractors are done in the Craft Lab and new ductwork has been installed. Tom said he would make an announcement on the member's only mailing list.
    2. The new laser cutter exhaust fan is installed and has power. The ductwork and controls are all that remain. Tom is looking for someone to make an enclosure for the push button speed controller.
    3. Chris gave an update on the phone system. It's been installed and it's working. The next step will be to get a SIP license. Brant asked if the PA could be made louder. We should check that each phone is turned up to full volume. We may need to hack something together with the ceiling speakers too eventually.
  2. 8:25
    1. Snow removal is being arranged by DL. She has spoken with the same plow service as the McDonalds next door. We will get prices and their insurance or bond information.
  3. 8:30
    1. BBCM (Betty Brinn Children's Museum) and Milwaukee Makerspace are continuing discussions about MakerFest and events in 2014. More meetings are being planned.
  4. 8:32
    1. Pottery Area in Vault Hallway
    2. DL provided the Board with a plan and list of items needed for the Pottery Area. DL asked if the lockers could be relocated and the Board agreed they could be moved to the other end of the hall, near the exit. DL agreed to send an email out to everyone to inform them of the move.
  5. 8:40
    1. The Board discussed member storage and abandoned items. Matt and others agreed to clean out abandoned items at least quarterly. Tom also mentioned he had another set of pallet racking and we discussed where it could be placed.
    2. VOTE: Should we issue name badges and a property tag for shelving or pallets to new members?
      1. The Board unanimously voted yes.
    3. VOTE: Should Tom bring in the additional pallet racking?
      1. The Board unanimously voted yes.

Member Projects and New Equipment

  1. 8:35
    1. Bob Trocke plans to bring in some tesla coil parts he's acquired.
    2. VOTE: Should the group give Bob Vault #1 and allow DL to move into the yet unfinished Darkroom Vault?
      1. The Board unanimously voted yes.
    3. VOTE: DL mentioned she had been renting Vault #1 and waiting to hear back from the Board about the Pottery Area. She had also used Vault #1 to store supplies, food and drinks for Makerfest. As a result, Tom asked the Board to support a reimbursement for three months rent in the form of a $150 budget toward Pottery Area supplies and materials.
      1. The Board unanimously voted yes.
    4. Dan mentioned he brought in a swage-block for the forging area and no one objected.
    5. Pete plans to bring a Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter in.
    6. Tom asked about the large format printers, how often they are being used, and if we really need two since they occupy a lot of space.
  2. 8:40
    1. All member projects had been renewed for an additional three months during the November meeting with the exception of the HMMMMMM which Kevin B said he would begin to pay rent for. Brant indicated that a check had been left in the drop box however the original invoice was for $25 and Kevin paid $20. His measurements were 8'x5' instead of the October measurement by the Board of 10'x5'.
    2. VOTE: Should the Board pursue this matter of $5 or not?
      1. The Board unanimously voted to pursue it.


  1. 9:00
    1. MattN volunteered to help organize Bay View Gallery Night in June 2014 at our building. No one at the meeting objected.

Additional Topics

  1. 9:05
    1. DL mentioned she would like to see at least quarterly orientation classes. Brant to send her links to curriculum being written by Lexie and others.
    2. Pete mentioned a new member mentorship idea that he had found from Detroit i3.
    3. Pete also mentioned he often receives phone calls from people looking for info on our group and he's comfortable answering them. Pete and Chris plan to look at options for integrating a Google Voice number with the building phone system and possibly email.
    4. Pete noted the January Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup and the Taxidermy Class fall on the same day. He will send out an email to coordinate.
    5. VOTE: When should elections for a new treasurer begin?
      1. January 7th open nominations
      2. 14th close nominations and open voting
      3. 21st close voting and install new treasurer
    6. The Board unanimously voted yes.

Board Meeting Agenda for December 19, 2013

Meeting Time: 7pm
Location: Lenox

  • 5 minute time limit per highest-level bullet point.
  • All members are welcome to attend, and non-board members can join the conversation when invited.
  1. Legal/Financial:
    1. Treasurer's Report
    2. Any insurance topics to discuss?
      1. Insurance for the Board of Directors
    3. Hands-on events like the Make-A-Thon… are they ok?
    4. Logo usage for members who make money on projects with the logo
  2. Policies and Procedures:
    1. Classes - how do we handle non-members?
    2. Review by-laws and propose changes to bring them up to date
    3. Discuss Website hosting with regards to: Main website, Wiki, Development Platform.
  3. Check on progress of Building Topics/Projects:
    1. Ventilation work
    2. Updates on Phone/PA System for space (Chris H.)
    3. Snow removal options (do it ourselves, pay someone in the neighborhood, a third thing?)
    4. Update on BBCM relationship
    5. Pottery Area in Vault Hallway, where can we move lockers? (Deboralyn S.)
  4. Check on progress of Member Projects:
    1. Darkroom (Rosie, jason g., etc.)
    2. Ed's CNC Router
    3. Joe's CNC Plasma Cutter
    4. Kevin's HMMMMMM
    5. JasonH/ShaneT's Hop Drop Rig (coming in before New Years to get ready)
  5. New equipment/donations:
    1. Tesla coil stuff
  6. Events:
    1. Bay View Gallery Night - June 6th, 2014
      1. We need someone to coordinate on our end. (Assuming we want to participate.)
        1. MattN may have volunteered
  7. Any topics from members who are present
boardmeetingagenda/2013-12-19.txt · Last modified: 2013/12/26 22:31 by raster