Monthly Meeting - 2008-10-14

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, October 14th 2008 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2008-09-09 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2008-11-04


  1. Old News
  2. Mission Statement Change
  3. New News


  • Marcel (Facilitator/Volunteer)
  • Sean H (Director)
  • Megan (new staff)
  • Bernie (Volunteer)
  • Luke (Scribe/Board)
  • Ifny (old staff)
  • Ryan (Notes checker/Staff)
  • Simon (Director)
  • Alex (Volunteer)


  • Facilitator: Marcel
  • Scribe: Luke
  • Minutes Checker: Ryan++
  • Consensus briefer: Luke
  • Regulator: Sean H


Old Business

First Aid:

  • Megan++ can teach first aid - so perhaps she can teach first aid in house
  • Ryan is leaving in 2009, so he'll be skipping first aid
  • Ifny points out that people are welcome to send suggestions to the working group

Luke asks about Ryan's Status:

  • At the end of 2008, Ryan will be leaving the staff

Directors Insurance:

  • Luke send an email to the directors, didn't hear anything back
  • Ifny says that we really just need Director's Bios, Pete and Simeon have the forms
  • Ifny suggests a directors meeting would help with the situation
  • Megan asks what the company is - Ifny: The Co-operators
  • Sean H suggests that FG moves ahead with the current account
  • COMMIT: Ifny to send the forms to Sean H
  • COMMIT: Sean H to email the directors list with a meeting suggestion
    • COMMIT: Luke to add encouragement to the thread

FG Intergalactic update:

  • Terry from Toronto came, collected a lot of information
  • We wish Terry good luck in bringing FG data back to Toronto
  • David has initiated a request to get all the FG to submit their list of recyclers
  • Yay, there is a new Free Geek in Providence, Rhode Island!

FG Upcoming Second Birthday:

  • Luke pitches the idea of a Retro Retrospective Party
    • A retrospective would help the group reflect on accomplishments of the past two years
    • Luke suggests a 3-hour retro (w/ breaks) in the afternoon, and then it would follow on into a potluck or party
  • Ifny suggests the month of November be used for FG's birthday
  • Ifny suggests a volunteer appreciation then too
  • Ifny suggests we form a Birthday Committee to organize and delegate the tasks:
    • Megan, Luke and Ifny
  • COMMIT: Ifny to send an email about FG's birthday: suggesting a meeting in late october for a birthday party committee meeting.

Financial Report

  • End of 3rd quarter
  • Notes: numbers could be off a bit
  • Last month: revenue $13,200 expenses: $15,000
  • record sales in the store - $12,900
  • online sales are lower than expected
  • david is spending more time fixing things up, so the store has more things to sell
  • shaun doesn't have figures for the online sales
  • We've been exceeding revenue projections and undercutting expenses
  • Quarterly revenue: $43,270, expenses $32,200 salaries: $18,750
  • We're getting less that 1/2 on scrap metal than what we were before
  • Balance: Assets: $32,000, Liabilities: $4,700
  • Operating in the black - good for a non-profit!
  • Payments for meetings
  • Raises
  • Benefits

Why is ebay revenue low? --bernie

  • Sean H: the focus and the priorities shifted
  • we realized the more inventory we had, the more we could sell
  • So david spent more time focusing on keeping the store have stock. So david spent more time doing that.
  • We focused a lot more on having machines ready in the store
  • The store has been cleaned up, we've made process improvements

Ifny: Are we still on track for our next raise?

  • Sean H: we talked about a $0.50 raise on Nov 1st
  • Ifny says that her understanding was that if the money was there, the plan was to proceed with the raise.
  • No objections in the group, as we're looking good financially.
  • Ryan asks about health benefits vs pay raise. Ifny things it won't be an enormous (but not insignificant) expense. Ifny to look into benefits this week.
  • Discussion about raise vs benefits...
  • Confirmed: As of august meeting, the raise is still scheduled for Nov 1st.
  • COMMIT: Ifny to research benefits next week

Upcoming Events

Details for many of these events are at <>

October 22nd - Fundamentals of Linux

  • 3 part workshop series on getting under the hood with Linux, no GUI. Coproduction of Free Geek and Ubuntu Vancouver.

October 24th - FreeGeek made the shortlist for the Vancity Envirofund Grant ...

October 25th - Media Democracy Day (Saturday) at the Vancouver Public Library 12-6pm -- helpers wanted!

  • Lots of free and open source reference during the conference this year. MDD is calling us a 2008 sponsor, since we helped facilitate meetings and meeting space.
  • More info at <>
  • Ifny is doing a workshop called "Free your computer, free yourself - Practical steps to get you on the road to liberation with free software" Sat. Oct 25, 1:45-3pm in the Pete Room @ Vancouver Public Library
  • Megan is going to help with the Geek booth. Simon said he *might* be able to help.
  • Ifny would like a couple additional helpers for the day (someone with wheels could help with picking up/dropping off?).

November 1st - Ubuntu 8.10 release costume party (at the Hackery)

November 4th - November FG Monthly Meeting!

  • The regularly scheduled November meeting lands on a holiday, so we've decided to bump the meeting forward to the 4th. See the website for full details.
  • COMMIT: Ifny to update website with meeting details - moved to November 4th

November 5th - Windowless Wednesday

  • Ifny urges the general membership to come and help

New Business

Facilitator and Scribe for next meeting?

  • Megan++ will facilitate!
  • Ryan++ will scribe!

New Volunteer Coordinator

The group welcomes Megan++ to her new position.

Proposal: Mission Statement Change

  • Ifny reads the existing mission statement, the proposal and the changes.
  • Ifny explains that she's been thinking about changing this to more closely reflect what we actually focus on, in particular our environmental objectives. [it's just that it occurred to me as i was putting together the last grant application i wrote for us.]
  • Ryan has a concern about the language 'community service' - it sounds like a prisoner exchange program
  • Group agrees to the "first phrase change" - to reflect more emphasis on the environmental impact. Discussion continues on the other changes.
  • Discussion on wording around other changes continues ...
  • Group is close to reaching consensus, will loop back. (Group finished the statement to end the meeting.)
  • COMMIT: Ifny to update the website, and notify intergalactic, and send separate email to general list.

New Mission Statement:

"Free Geek is a nonprofit community organisation that reduces the environmental impact of waste electronics by reusing and recycling donated technology. Through community engagement we provide education, job skills training, Internet access and free or low cost computers to the public."

Proposal: Staff is paid for staff meetings

Consent is reached to approve the proposal.

And with that, the meeting was adjourned.