Monthly Meeting - 2009-07-14

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, July 14th 2009 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2009-06-09 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2009-08-11


June 9th

  • Facilitator: Gregor
  • Scribe: Alex
  • Consensus briefer: Alex/Ifny


  • Gregor
  • Alex
  • Mike Mm.
  • Jessica
  • Stephen
  • Chris H
  • Ifny
  • Ashley
  • Joe
  • Bernie
  • Christine
  • Devenne (late)

Old Business

Director's insurance

  • Moving forward (slowly), the forms are being looked over, partially filled out, upcoming director's meeting should enable progress.

Wikification of legal feedback about staff discipline draft document

  • A previously created draft of the staff discipline was found to be unusable by our employment lawyer who lawyer said to scrap it, so this item was abandoned because we have to start from scratch.
  • COMMIT: HR will continue to develop a new draft policy

Ifny's wikification of minutes checker checklist


Build program report

  • First few people came out of the new prebuild program, they built a few machines.
  • Stalled in terms of production expansion because of lack of building electrical capacity.
  • (uncertain) Many machines completed, waiting for staff QC, staff haven't gotten around to it, they also have nowhere to go. (Store mostly full?)
    • Need more space for built machines.
  • Stephen needs to be trained on writing grants (became agenda item "Hardware Grants")

Directors report

  • Old directors and staff met, old directors 'passed on the helm'. New directors chatted with staff mostly about "general directions" and director's insurance.
    • Sean and Ifny oriented Christine and Ashley on finance/bookkeeping, sales entry, cash out proceedure.
  • Boris resigned from his position as a director.
  • Directors will discuss what to do about the position left behind. (became item "Director Position Vacancy")
  • Affiliations of directors present:
    • HR: Joe, Ashley
    • Finance: Ashley, Christine

Event reports

  • Car Free Day:
    • There was a geek booth.
    • Gave away 2 boxes' worth of cards (didn't see them littering any place- a good sign).
    • Mike Mm helped transport stuff.
  • Park Gate library: Ifny gave a talk about Free Geek and "computer liberation"/free and open source software.
  • Windowsless Wednesday: "Great success".
    • Many helpers showed up.
    • New question-queueing system worked well (whiteboard by waiting area for names and problems).
    • Was better facilitated than previously.
    • Was at full capacity, we'll need to do more than once per month to keep up.

Upcoming events

  • July 28th: Radio Canada will explore Free Geek Vancouver
    • Tentative plans are to spend a day following two computers through the inspection/production line.
    • Need fluent french speakers. Email Ifny (


  • There is discussion about taking all auxiliary storage out of the warehouse.
    • Inventory is about to begin being taken.
  • Electrical: "All roughage is done."
    • We will be buying some recycled armoured cable from North Star (intentional name drop)
  • Operation meeting minutes need to be checked before publishing
  • Upcoming assessment of material processing time (ie time taken for a computer from receiving to built)
  • Decided to do barebones sales with overstock of computer parts.
    • This is still ongoing.
    • Selling 2-6 desktops per day.
    • Higher end selling best.

Staff reports

  • Build program meetings item from template
  • Operations meeting/OHS meeting item from template
  • Jessica is the new interim volunteer coordinator.
    • First week passed without mental breakdown.
    • Jessica notes amazing volunteer energy.
  • Staff reviews in progress.
    • Mike Mm. done. Stephen next, then Patrick...
    • (uncertain) Being careful to stick to timetables, aiming to do one every two weeks.
    • Reviews will be in order of hire date.
  • COMMIT: HR- to publish a staff review timetable
  • As of July 1, staff have full benefits
    • Found a "super Cadillac plan"(says Ifny) for $100/month/staff person.
    • Will offer coverage to individuals' spouse and dependents for a little under $200/month/staff person.
    • For comparison, original benefits budget was $300/month/staff person.
  • Esam has finished his term as volunteer coordinator.

Finance reports

  • Store: $11,400
  • Finance training session by Sean for accessing financial data.
  • Ifny trained on preparing bank deposits and petty cash.
  • Finance needs a mailing list
  • Christine is now the "signer" on bank accounts.
  • (uncertain) Free Geek Vancouver now has a US bank account. <text color=red>(insert bank)</text>
  • "Free Geek credit card" update from DesJardin: $50/year. No free plans
  • In general our Costs have gone up
  • $25k in operating account- a decent cushion.

New business

Director position vacancy

  • Info:
    • Directors operate under schedule B, societies act, boilerplate bylaws.
      • Easy compared to other provinces.
    • We have yet to properly incorporate consensus into our bylaws.
    • Boilerplate bylaws supposedly say the vacancy must be filled
    • We may still be able to "reduce the number of directors" instead of "leaving a vacancy"
    • Ifny has dealt with Victoria before, said they're relatively hands-off.
      • Doing something about it doesn't look temporally urgent.
    • (insert link to laws, acts, bylaws, etc)
  • Proposal: Contingency meeting for discussion on whether or not to fill the position.
    • (uncertain) Decision: Contingency meeting, Thursday August 6th, 6:15.
      • Decision: Outcome to be brought to next monthly meeting.
    • Maybe have a further contingency meeting to select director after discussion

Mailing list migration

  • Current problem is that our current server/mailing list owner isn't available enough
    • We need more control.
      • Noted that an organization the size of Free Geek might want full control over our own infrastructure.
        • Further suggestion to pay for server if needed
      • (uncertain) Someone named _____(omitted) might be able to help
  • Decision: We will migrate the mailing list.
    • Discussion deferred to operations meeting.


  • Jessica wants to organize a barbequeue social/potluck.
  • Decision: July 25th, 6:30 pm.
    • Address will go up on the website.

Hardware grant

  • Question: "What's going on with the hardware grants?"
    • (uncertain) Previously grants were somewhat ad-hoc, requests from the website went to ??? and were discussed on mailing list.
    • (uncertain) Organizations could get grants for hardware for their clients, for office equipment like printers.
    • Since January when Ryan left, grants have been put on hold for the most part due to lack of resources.
    • Somewhere between 60-100 hardware grants since FGV inception.
    • Free Geek Vancouver has dropped the ball on important hardware grant applicantions especially while shifting operations around.
    • Installed Roundup to track requests.
    • Grant machines haven't been stored very efficiently.
      • (uncertain) Portland has standardized builds. Free Geek Vancouver does not but there have been discussions about doing it. (where?)
    • Build coordinator was hired to also do hardware grants with the caveat that they had enough time.
      • Build coordination is behind schedule
    • (uncertain) Decision: Someone remind pending grant organizations that we are backlogged, ask if they still want grants.
  • Question: Who should do hardware grants?
    • Volunteers can't do much of the work for confidentiality reasons.
    • Hardware grants were originally supposed to be the job of the education coordinator
      • This was allegedly mentioned to Jane, the current education coordinator.
    • Need volunteers for feeding stuff into roundup. Contact Ifny (include email)
    • Proposal: Maybe in general we could have volunteers sign non-disclosure agreements so they can do this kind of work.
      • (uncertain) Decision: Directors will talk about confidentiality agreements in general (next director meeting?)
    • Decision: Push grant program responsibility decision to staff, have them report back at next monthly in case of objections

Commitments Summary

  • Director's insurance is still being worked on
  • HR to develop new staff discipline policy
  • HR to publish a staff review timetable
  • Thursday August 6th, 6:15pm: Contingency director meeting for discussion on whether or not to fill the vacant director position.
    • Must report back to monthly meeting
    • Consider further contingency meeting to select someone
  • Operations meeting agenda: Discuss mailing list replacement
  • Someone needs to remind pending grant recipient organizations that we are backlogged, ask if they still want grants.
  • Directors to talk about confidentiality agreements in general at next director meeting
  • Staff meeting agenda: Who is responsible for the grant program?
    • Report back to general meeting

Next meeting

  • When: Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Free Geek, 1820 Pandora St, back door
  • Facilitator: Jessica
  • Scribe: Alex F.
  • Consensus briefer: Alex F.