Council 2009 12

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When: 16 Dec 2009 / 1261019730 seconds into the epoch
Place: Free Geek
Facilitator: Martin
Scribe: laurel1.0
Minutes Checker:
RT jockey: Vagrant
Attendance: martin, Richard, laurel1.0, Shannon, Jiro, Vagrant, Laurel2.0, Ali, Cliff, Dave, Debra, Shawn, Luiz.
Last meeting: Council 2009 11

Consensus training

The consensus training was a group discussion on the role of minutes. Some notes from that discussion:

Minutes should be taken for the benefit of those who are not at the meeting. Avoid colloquialisms, document important points of discussion, and make decisions clear and noticeable in the text (various formatting techniques can be used). Minutes are a historical record that should be understandable without extra context information.


  • Laurel1.0 - sync General Priorities lists with the work from last mtg. - DONE
  • RFS - set up contact email for council info - DONE
  • Laurel1.0 - send out introductory note for council info contact position - CARRYOVER (setting up the contact email ran into some snags)


Marie's resignation

Marie Deatherage has resigned from the board after serving on the FG board for 4+ years. The remaining board members and the staff are working on figuring out how to address issues that led to her resignation. This leaves an empty seat on the board, the chair position needs to be refilled, and the Relationships committee (see below) is down one member. Resignation email:

Board Recruitment Committee

The board recruitment committee met (before Marie's resignation) and talked about skills the board needs and ways we can improve our board recruitment. The next step in the plan developed was to pull together materials about Free Geek that will help with educating potential new board members about the organization. The suddenly empty seat in the board led to scheduling another meeting of this committee, immediately following the council meeting.

Board Relationships and Fundraising Committee

Tap individual donations better as a funding source, find better ways to cultivate volunteers who don't want to do the standard volunteer paths. Shannon and Brittany are going to interview other nonprofits around town and read some books about how this is generally done.


MK will be leaving the collective to work on her house and family, but will be able to do some work on an hourly basis to help with the transition.

Space Cadets

The landlord will deal with asbestos upstairs in Ken's old space. Please do not inhale in (use) that space until it can be repaired.


Currently no financial report; the holiday party and Marie's resignation were both elements in delaying it. The budget will be prepared before the board meeting in January.


We looked at the lists on the General Priorities page to update them; worked through the items on the Infinite resources list (all things we would want to do). We removed the items that we're already doing to a separate section of the list. It's now thinned and can serve as a starting point for figuring out what our current priorities are. Of these items that remain, most already have some work begun on them.

  1. Fundraising -- This program oversees and coordinates all FG's fundraising activities. It also informs and supports other FG committees that need money to accomplish their work.
  2. Grantwriting -- The writing of grants to grant-giving organizations to get free geek money.
  3. Media Outreach -- This program would systematize outreach to media outlets and social-change organizations in order to better maintain and increase Free Geek's impact in these areas.'
  4. System Administration -- hire a coordinator to make sure the ASSes keep up with their duties and that the computer infrastructure at freegeek is functioning and provides for our continued needs.
  5. Move to a new building -- Move to a new building that we would own
  6. Coders -- recruit more volunteer coders and coordinate their efforts
  7. GAP -- maintain and expand the Geek Access Point committee

Obviously various things are missing because this is an old list that does not even include material from the last big meeting (or the staff retreat). Notably, it does not include the board's stated priority of raising pay for the staff.

Next meeting: we should have a strategic discussion about Free Geek's big picture and future to develop this list.

Ali requests that the minutes note that a bag of cheese cube product was being passed around during the meeting.


Board position: Laurel1

  • The council should fill the empty position in the board promptly; please keep this in mind and seek good candidates. The Board Recruitment committee made a list of qualities and skills to look for; see the minutes linked above.
  • Potential new board members should be referred to the board recruitment committee (recruitment at freegeek dot org)

Council's Purpose: no presenter

  • We were not prepared to discuss this issue, but it should be discussed. Martin commits to prepare to present on this issue at the next meeting.

Council Recruitment: no presenter

  • This discussion is contingent on the previous item; topic deferred to next month.

Council process suggestion

It was suggested and the council assented that during check-in, people should be encouraged to state whether they are members of council or guests (so we can recognize people who have attained membership, as a reminder to guests, and so that we can point out the orientation materials). We should also encourage people to say what they do at Free Geek in the check-in. Notes to this effect will be added to the agenda poker reminder email.


  • Martin will prepare a presentation on the current state of discussion on Council's purpose
  • Laurel1.0 - send out introductory note for council info contact position - CARRYOVER

Next Meeting

  • Facilitator: ali
  • Scribe: COULD BE YOU!
  • Minutes Checker: Vagrant
  • Consensus training: Dave, on "the moment of silence"
  • Date and time: Jan 20
  • Place: Free Geek meeting room
  • Business:
    • Priorities - a strategic discussion about Free Geek's big picture and future
    • Presentation, discussion of Council's purpose (martin)
    • (dependent on previous item) Discussion of council recruitment