Tuesday 15 February 2011

Bylaws and Timelines

The meeting tonight won’t be going over too much, but everyone’s invited to come down, have some food and brews and hang out! We’re busily working behind the scenes, things seem to be falling into place…or getting jammed there with a little bit of help.

There’s been a lot of talk about how we’re going to run the space, as we are a corporation and though it may be boring we do need to take into account a host of legal issues. We’re currently setting up corporation bylaws, or at least talking about setting them up. We’ve taken some advice from hacklab.to and protospace, and we’re learning how they’ve successfully run their spaces.

Basically, the bylaws will codeify what we’ve already been going over at meetings. The conversations seem to raise three separate aspects that bylaws would cover: direction/management, accounting and member policies.

On the directing side of things, we’re thoroughly beating the “no one who works for us will get paid” dead horse. A lot of the talk concerns financial liability issues, as in, if we tank whose ass is responsible. Though we don’t expect to tank, and won’t accept anything short of raging success, it’s something that has to be thought about. We’ve got Ron, Mak and Andrew doing all sorts of corporate-bureaucratic wizardry to make the corporation a feasible entity as well as insuring that should we go under, it’ll be as painless as possible.
The one thing we have decided on concretely is that all voting will be done in-person. No automated or online voting systems will be set up, not only because of technical complications but also because of the person-to-person community we hope to build.

Member policies are pretty straightforward, and we’re not expecting a lot of problems there. However, we do want to implement either policies or bylaws that would protect all members from any sort of harassment and make the space a ‘safe place’ for everyone. No discriminatory remarks, actions, etc will be tolerated. We are also attempting to set up bylaws that will allow us to eject any members who violate the harassment (or other important safety policy) without any repercussions from the group. In short, we won’t tolerate destructive attitudes and behavior.

Accounting is probably the most intricate issue, as setting up a non-profit corporation needs some finesse and forethought. Our goal is to raise $2k in funds before March 29th, and we’ve got a number of ideas to help us do so. We’ll need to collect member fees from 45 members by the end of March, and we’re going to run a fundraising event by March 19th. So far, our ideas include a possible “anti-social social”, a LAN party, or a bake sale. Your thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

This is the current timeline for achieving our goals:

  1. Establish By-Laws& Vote on 5 interim Board Members (If by-law examples are used) - By Feb 26

  2. Fund raising event (Anti-social $ocial) - By March 19 Based on outcome from fund raising / membership drive to date;could sign Draft Letter of Intent (LOI) for space, which Mike needs
    to create a sub-lease to SkullSpace by March 19

  3. Deadline for 45 Members pre-paid for three months&& $2000.00 in donations - By March 29

  4. Sign Draft LOI / Lease for space - By April 5th

  5. Finalize Lease / Insurance - By April 12th

  6. Initial Clean / Move into space - By April 26th

  7. Open House - April 30th?