Monthly Meeting - 2010-06-08

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Public meeting minutes for Tuesday, June 8th 2010 at 6:30pm
Location: 1820 Pandora Street
Previous: Monthly Meeting - 2010-05-11 | Next: Monthly Meeting - 2010-07-13



  • Luke
  • Jamie
  • Chris
  • Kim
  • Mark (AKA Jax)
  • George
  • Mike
  • Miron
  • Devenne
  • Ali (LATE)

Explanation of roles

Facilitator: Chris Hooper

Scribe: Luke Cyca

Consensus briefing

Consensus briefer: Chris Hooper




Jamie: Between april and may units donated was down 25.4%. Weight of donations was down by 27.4%. We are averaging 26tonnes of donations, which is still the 3rd highest over the year. We're not dropping, but we're not climbing. Another two months will give us a more realistic view. Historically, last year this time was quiet time as well. Please don't freak out.

The price of copper has down 43.7%. That will equate to about $300 we lose per shipment. We can maybe recoup that by sending crushed HDs out for aluminum for $0.05 / .10c per pound. Will confirm rates

Figures are on the wiki for recycling.

Donations: 2008 - 162,116 KG 2009 - 373,533 KG 2010 - At around 134,000 KG

Motherboards We normally ship 5 pallets every 6 weeks (for about $140,000 per year) This month we shipped only 4 because it is a major cash injection. It took 8 weeks to get to 4. $10-13k should come in as a result of this over the next 2 weeks.


Kim: Due to the lack on incoming machines, there is a lack of build fodder. Building systems is at a standstill.

Health & Safety

Jamie: We had someone come in today without suitable footwear. Someone today minorly cut her ankle. I would suggest that we give them the option of putting them in the area where we'll minimize the risk of injury. Otherwise, we would potentially have to send them home. It's an obligation of H&S. No other accidents.

Disaster Plan

Jamie: In progress. Includes suggestion for luminous tape around exits. Fire extinguishers. Wind-up flashlights. Risk assessment has been done for all stations. Located in the cave currently. Will be put on the wiki eventually.


Jamie: Still not doing because of the cost. We weren't able to recoup the cost. If we are going to provide it as a service, we likely won't be able to make it pay for itself. We should be cautious to bring it back on. It could be a service that will be a drain. Pick-ups were often going straight-through for recycling, not sold in the store. This represented less revenue overall, and contributed to it being not worthwhile overall.

Mike: There was quite a bit of demand. But since it was losing money, more demand created more of an expense. Mainly due to fuel. It would never pay for itself.

Jax: Thinks that we should be able to find a way to make it work. Perhaps leasing rather than renting. It improves our image, particularly to companies.

Mike: We can't afford to lease now.

Jamie: It's not being written-off. If someone puts a request in currently, it is considered on a case-by-case basis. Particularly large and lucrative pickups. Usually these pick-ups cost around $50.

Mike: It was costing us about $5000 per year. Estimate that it was bringing in less than $3000.


Luke: Services including mailing lists, website, wiki are all hosted internally now. This means we are less dependent on third-party service providers.

Jamie: Creating a spec for inventory software, point-of-sale, client database, historical sales. Computer-science grad to build it, and as agreed. Will start out tracking the highest-value assets first. Suggest forming a working group / committee

Jax: We should start by tracking what's leaving FreeGeek, and what's being requested. That would give us a basis of what sort of things the inventory system should start tracking.

Mike: My concern is that outside influences slowed down the whole thing and it didn't happen.

Jamie: There is no timeline yet. There is just one software engineer. WIll be open-source.

Luke: We need to make sure that it is properly documented so that we don't have the same maintenance problem as fgdb where we have undocumented database schemas, etc..

George: We don't know how long we will have a relationship with this developer. We need to be concerned about that.

Devenne: Should be open as soon as possible so that people can watch or collaborate.

Jamie: Developer will be invited to a future meeting.




Mike: Comments from volunteers indicates that they are sick of the politics on the fg-general lists.

Luke: We're going to encourage people to move to the fg-governance list.

Jax: We're also going to encourage people to bring these issues to real-life meetings.



Luke has taken on the director role of finance liaison. Will be reviewing financial statements back to Jan 2010 and will work to improve the clarity of financial statements for everyone. Expect more in the next couple weeks.

Miron: We didn't approve the past year's financial statements. What can we do about that?

Mike: Our accountant is good, but the past director didn't display the reports in an easily-interpreted way.


Mike: I think we're trying to go out and get some, but no details.









Jamie: Trying to find ways to recycle Toner. Posed question to Portland. Cannot be recycled ethically. Potentially it is a health hazard in the warehouse. We need a fire inspection. If it caught fire and we have toxic goods in the building, it will be a huge problem. We should return it to the manufacturer that made it. We can only do that if it's not contaminated. We have lots of existing toner that needs to be dealt with. Even if we transport this to somewhere to get rid of it, we would have to use a hazardous materials transportation company. We may be able to resell it to refill companies. We need to check what their third-parties actually do with it. Need to follow-up with Portland to find out more about their experience with this. We may have to pay more for insurance.

Jax: Thinks this was handled one-time long ago. We should look into what was done before.

Jamie: When it gets incinerated, it's a major pollutant.

Jax: Similar to monitors which are smelted. There was no good solution, but it had to be done. The rationale to doing it locally is that is was more ethical than sending abroad and making it someone else's problem.

Jamie: There is no safe quotas for burning toner. There are with monitors (with Encorp). So that comparison doesn't apply.

Jamie: Regarding refills. We have always had a lot of people interested in buying them. When we ask them for their third-party BAN compliance.


Mike: has a gas card. Policy paperwork is in the cave.

Mike: Has been slow. Volunteers are wondering around, not sure what to do.


Jax: We have taken some steps to address the bylaws issue.

Luke: We are working to transition everything smoothly from the old board to the new one. This includes filing with Victoria, changing directors' insurance, and changing authority on bank accounts. Regarding the AGM resolution to require a director's authorization for all bank withdrawals: We have decided to defer that until we can guarantee that it won't interrupt regular operations.

Old business

Meeting minutes

Chris: All meetings except staff and director meetings should have minutes go on the wiki. PROPOSE a procedure for handling meeting minutes.

Devenne: There are already lots of policies surrounding meeting minutes. It needs to be simplified and clarified.

Expanding Free Geek

Expanding physical space, including accessibility.


George: We could create FG annexes instead.

Kim: The main issue is accessibility. It is not feasible at the current location. The only feasible solution is a bigger and more accessible building.

Mike: We also need a bigger warehouse, orientation area, bigger mezzo, and bigger store.

Jax: FG Portland is approx. twice as large, but is not processing twice as much stuff as us. They are larger, but we are denser. We do need a bigger space, despite that. Our financial situation is going to make this difficult. If we can move, our financial situation is likely to improve.

Miron: Asks what are the terms of the lease. (Nobody is sure) Communications accessibility is also an issue. We need a proper meeting space that is quieter. Should also consider audio systems for larger meetings such as the AGM.

Chris: There is a Locations mailing list that has discussions from last time FG was looking for a space.

Kim: Suggests we look into lease terms as soon as possible.

Chris: COMMIT: Create a wiki page and solicit general input on places for new location.


Chris: We need to complete the 2011 Budget by november so that it can be approved in December.

Luke: COMMIT: Form a finance working group that meets as often as necessary.

Mike: Past members of such a group where Mahmoud, Christine, Jessica.

Ali: All staff salaries are on the website. $25k/year for full-time.

New business

Laptop Hard Drives

Are we going to continue to send unwiped hard drives on under spec laptops to [a wholesaler]? If so, how shall we change the data security statement on the website? If not, what will we do with the laptops instead?


Mike: Laptops have been sold to the Hackery, often without wiping the hard drives. It was understood that the hackery was wiping the drives themselves. This doesn't follow the letter of the data destruction policy.

Kim: Works at the laptop bench, and personally wipes most hard drives.

Luke: Wants to confirm whether anyone knows of any incident where a hard drive was not wiped by the Hackery. (Nobody knows of one)

Ali: Either we start wiping all drives, even if they are temporarily going to the Hackery, or we need to amend our policy to allow third parties to wipe the drives.

Mike: We could require a paper-trail to prove that each hard drive gets wiped.

Chris: Propose that we ask staff whether they would like to keep the current process of sending some unwiped hard drives to the hackery, and propose a change of policy to allow such a process. OR, change what we are doing so that it complies with the current policy.

Ali: COMMIT to put the current policy on the wiki (in addition to the website)

Devenne: We don't want to set a precedent where it is OK to violate policy, and then allow policy to be amended.

Luke: It may be that the policy has been violated because it isn't feasible to comply, or isn't convenient operationally.

Chris: PROPOSE: Follow our policy by only selling processed hard drives to the hackery. Deadline to implement the change is 2 weeks from today. PASSED by consensus

Devenne: Would like to see an eventual policy change to allow the hackery to wipe hard drives.

Mike: Too difficult for volunteers to take out the hard drives.


Follow our policy by only selling processed hard drives to the hackery. Deadline to implement the change is 2 weeks from today.

Next meeting

When: Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Where: Free Geek Vancouver, 1820 Pandora St., back door


Facilitator: Luke Cyca

Scribe: Alishams Hassam