Council 2009 03

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When: 7:15 pm, 18 Mar 2009
Place: FG meeting room
Facilitator: Anne G.
Scribe: Laure1 1
Minutes Checker: Marie
Attendance: Dave, Debra, matteo, Marie, laurel, Matthew H, Allie, Cliff, Anne. Late: Mary Kate, vagrant
Last meeting: Feb 18


No previous commitments.


State of the Onion
Recycling is up. Forklift needed expensive repairs. New front desk intern: Tim Webster. Renee is still doing spanish tours. Ian is leaving and we'll be hiring a FT build coord. Allie is taking on interim laptop coord. Ryan Wunderkind is now the youngest staff ever hired. Inreach is working on making the front desk work smoothly. New website! And there's a new grants group starting up.

Space Cadets

Removed the wall at the back of the big room to make the laptop space bigger. Next step: add a wall to make the classroom a viable classroom. Other changes are planned - see meeting minutes.


2008 income sources chart. 49% sales, 7% other, 14% fees, 15% recycling, 15% donations
January 2009 income sources chart. 55% sales, 19% donations, 16% recycling, 9% other
  • 2008: $854,366 revenue, $806,654 expenses: $47,712 net
  • Jan 2009: $71,583 revenue, $62,852 expenses: $8,731 net
Representation of above revenue figures, to more easily compare the year data with the month. See below nb about useful resolutions of figures, though.

Fees have mostly disappeared, only partly replaced by reimbursements. Donations are up, partly because they are replacing some of the fees. There has been some incentive for corporate donations and they are going up.

Due to the winter storm Q4: low sales, donations, fees due to closedness. Expenses the same.

Q. How does this compare to last January?
A. We brought in slightly less and spent slightly more, but were in the black for both. Looking at the budgets on a quarterly resolution can give a clearer picture.

With Jeff (former laptop coordinator) and Ian (printer coordinator) gone, what's next? A new full time Build Coordinator, who will be able to improve the build program, coordinate the build volunteers better, and guide them into other new programs like laptops and Mac build.

General Priorities
Meeting from February: worked on Overview Time Line. They declared an end to "the weirdness" because we now feel there's sufficient predictability. Did not meet in March.


The board had an extra-ordinary meeting to deal with an outstanding $20,000 that FG seemed to be at risk of losing. The upshot: we've reached an agreement that should work to get the whole amount repaid over the course of three years.

Q. Is there interest stipulated in the repayment plan?
A. Not unless there's default or late payment.

Also, Oso has resigned from the board. We're seeking another board member -- one with financial/CPA type skills, or with PR/fundraising skills would be especially welcome. We could use a financial mastermind to help us be sure we can get through an audit.

Board will be talking about clarity on conflict of interest again at next meeting (in April).

Council should consider potential conflicts of interest throughout the board selection process.


There's a group of staff that wants to split off from PR, get together and talk specifically about pursuing grants.

Expressed: we need a larger strategic plan before questing after grants.


Priorities Group: Laurel1 (NEW)

Clarifying Questions:

  • Who is on the priorities group? Whoever wants to be, but most often RFS, Cliff, Dave, matteo, Liane, a few others.
  • Will this cause council meetings to go overtime? We can't know yet, but the agendas have been fairly empty lately, and a lot will depend on the group's motivation and skills. We are pretty good at ending on time.


  • This would require better facilitation to make sure that people who don't know what's going on get dealt with well.
  • There's been a lot of time devoted to reports in council lately. We could potentially move reports to the list, and just have questions about the reports in the meeting itself. People would have to have read the reports before coming.
  • Lack of continuity in membership has been a problem with council.
  • Written reports and more handouts could help with making sure that people are prepared.


  • Will we be able to deal with people who don't know how to behave in council?
  • We will need more consensus training on an ongoing basis so our facilitators are skilled enough to deal with problems.
  • Are the minutes sufficient for continuity? We can continue to use the techniques and tools that the Priorities group developed, on the priorities wiki page.


  • Dissolve the Priorities group and roll their function into the Council until needed again. CONSENTED.



  • Facilitator: Dave
  • Scribe: Webb
  • Minutes Checker: Marie
  • RT Jockey: vagrant
  • Consensus training: Laurel1
  • Date and time: April 15
  • Place: Free Geek