EMS
Board of Directors
Meeting Minutes
Meeting date: 2/5/2015

Call to order:

A Regular meeting of the Board of directors of EMS, was held at 687 McKinley street, Suite #2, Eugene OR on February 5th, 2015. The meeting convened at 6:10PM, Rick Osgood presiding, and Ben Hallert secretary.

Board Members in attendance: Bob, Kassandra, Rick, Ben, Darrell (arriving shortly after the meeting was convened)
Board Members not in attendance: None

Quorum present? Yesd

Also Present Were: Clif Cox, Michelle Kaplan

Approve agenda, and previous minutes.

Agenda:
  1. Approve the agenda
    Approval of Agenda: Motion was made by Rick and seconded by Bob to approve this meeting's proposed agenda as amended. The motion carried, passing with unanimous approval.
  2. Review previous meeting minutes
    Approval of minutes: Motion was made by Bob and seconded by Rick to approve the minutes of the 1/15/15 meeting. The motion carried, passing with unanimous approval.

Old business

New Printrbot surface

Clif ordered the plastic bed insert he had requested at the previous meeting. It was a custom size he determined would be optimal for the PrintrBot. The piece of glass used previously was too narrow and the clips wouldn't stick without falling off, the new surface should help address this. It currently has a problem that's caused by the insulating cork he added earlier: the clips tend to bow the plate and Darrell is working on finding bigger clips or moving the insulating cork. The size of the clips will be important in avoiding the bowing problem going forward and Kassie suggested a spacer might solve the problem. Clif proposed that if this works as expected, we should make the same change to Rick's printer. There was general agreement that this would be a sensible course of action.

Unexpectedly, Clif also mentioned that he is still a signer on the bank account and suggested we transfer this responsibility to someone else. He is also holder of the PO Box key and suggests stewardship of it be transferred to someone else if the board wished. There was no action item associated with this suggestion as of yet, the board will adopt a cautious 'wait and see' approach while evaluating this going forward. He provided a letter to Darrell that had been mailed to the EMS regarding the imminent dissolution of our corporation administratively if certain actions are not taken. Darrell will take action on this and report back to the group.

Facilities - Status update & preliminary budget

Bob attempted to spend money allocated for sundries in our previous meeting but was largely unsuccessful. He has acquired some new solder braid that is en-route, but other than that he is now soliciting ideas for things to be replaced. Rick reminded us of the squawk sheet discussion from our last meeting. Bob and Ben will discuss specific examples of how this might be implemented offline.

Bob also reported that Dale's efforts on the CNC Mill have shown great progress. Darrell additionally mentioned that he has witnessed all axes moving on the machine. More parts are moving than were before and Darrell has ordered a speed controller to replace one that sacrificed itself in the pursuit of knowledge. Clif wanted to know who was paying for the refurbishment of the mill and Darrell indicated it was the Eugene Maker Space organization and that the financial investment was currently below $30.

Treasurer - Report

Darrell reports we have just over $4,000 and 15 members. He also noticed that Bob and Sam's OCCU transfers did not complete. Bob will address his shortly.

Easter egg drop status

We sent out an email requesting volunteers. Rick received a response from Scott who had an idea to contribute but has not yet volunteered.

ACTION: Ben will send another entreaty to the group for volunteers. If we do not make substantive progress by the next meeting, we may cancel this event.

Ham directory action item

Rick was unable to find the email that had listed the requirements the ARRL list had mentioned. Bob has a copy and will forward it to him for review.

Bob will also send the 'How to do PR for nonprofits' guide to the board.

Results of Raspberry Pi inventory

Bob reports that we have enough to make a couple of 'Nice raspberry pi starter kits'. If we want to use them as prizes, we can. Ben suggested we modify the desktop background in X on whatever SD cards we provide to show the EMS logo. Bob suggested we place EMS stickers on the cases. Kassandra riveted the two ideas together with the suggestion we do both and there was general agreement.

EMS Youtube channel

While attempting to create this, Ben discovered that eugenemakerspace@gmail.nos.com had already been registered. Ben wished to use it for the channel and at the meeting Bob volunteered that he had the data for that account and would provide it to Ben.

ACTION: Bob will provide the login info for the eugenemakerspace@gmail.nos.com account to Ben

Off-the-shelf laser cutter search 2015

Bob reports that Craig felt the cutter Bob had sent for evaluation was 'overpriced' and that his own success with finding a reliably working affordable Chinese laser was a fluke.

Rick asked if there were other non-laser tools we might consider instead. Ben suggested a 2.5D router (for wood, plastic, etc). Darrell had seen a Kickstarter for one and Bob noted that it was now on Adafruit believes that the cost is around $2k. Darrell felt that the price it was being sold for was an 'exceptionally good deal'.

ACTION: Darrell will contact the CNC guy from the KickStarter to get details and report back through the board mailing list.

Rick suggested we try reaching out to the group for inspiration on what to get, a discussion to proceed in discuss DL. He feels that 'throwing two grand at the group' might spur them to action and a router could be a viable fallback option if inspiration fails to strike. Rick also feels we should emphasize tool reliability and longevity as part of the decision process. Rick also noted that while a plasma cutter might be useful, it's unclear how big of a demand there would be for it and this contributed to the importance of involving the community.

Rick suggested the possibility of a fundraiser to bridge the gap between our budgeted amount and the end cost if the equipment requested by the community exceeds our ability. The example given for this was the case of a $4k laser that's widely sought by the group.

We also discussed mills, routers, and the difference between them. The consensus was that they are indeed different and that there's nothing wrong with that.

ACTION: Rick will mail discuss with the request for ideas. (fill out details) He will set a target of 'around $2,000' to spur discussion without aiming the group directly at one item. He will also mention the possibility of using the budget to purchase multiple items.

EMS social event planning

Bob suggested scheduling a one-off social event with the option of making it a recurring one. He asked what time we should aim for, Rick suggested the 6-8 window because it has been a successful time for hack nights.

ACTION: Bob will announce it to the discuss group for February 26.

The discussion then shifted to the role of announce@ems. Bob suggested discuss be subscribed to announce. As there are a number of members who do not subscribe, this continued to a new conversation regarding the utility of a monthly newsletter/blogpost.

New business:

Nonprofit status

Darrell feels that The School Factory is not offering us the benefits we believed we were paying for and that their response to his inquiries about the IRS letter have not been sufficiently helpful. Our contact Jen had been supportive and gave consistent indications that we're "just about to resolve everything", so receipt of a letter suggesting essentially that we 'just do it ourselves' was unexpected and unwelcome.

Darrell notes that we are not listed with the IRS as a non-profit organization. We are in Oregon, but not federally. Rick made one small correction that we're non-profit without being tax-exempt.

Darrell will reply this weekend to share some of the concerns we have regarding The School Factory's role in our non-profit status. They have previously provided us written confirmation that we're a non-profit and this most recent correspondence to the contrary would seem to be at odds with that.

Regarding the possibility of pursuing our own 501c3 status, Darrell has found that there is now an 'EZ' form that's intended to expedite the process. This is at odds with Rick's experience with his previous makerspace where the group incurred roughly $800 in application and legal fees reviewing the process. It took them 8-9 months, they received some small corrections from the government, then after a couple more months they were good.

Rick noted that we would really need to up our accounting-game if we're pursuing this as there are firmly enforced requirements for tracking of money that need to be met by an actual non-profit.

Darrell brought our attention to a 27 month window that overlaps our School Factory relationship and that there could be a retroactive tax implication.

Ben asked whether our uncertain status could impact past donors who wrote off their donations and it was decided those donations were properly handled through The School Factory.

If we pursue our own exempt status, future donations will need to be properly accounted through us and that if there's any problems with the process, we'll incur some risk if we pre-emptively cut out relationship with the non-profit host we're using. Rick suggested that we continue to receive donations through The School Factory until our new status is complete (if we choose to pursue independent 501c3 status) instead of jumping the gun. Darrell outlined the difference between 'sponsored 501c3 status' versus 'independent 501c3' status. The previous treasurer did not file our taxes, and that may have contributed to both our IRS engagement and being surprised at the actuality of our current status. Darrell filed as a tax-exempt non-profit and the government expressed a measure of surprise at this as they did not have us listed as one. That was the point when Darrell discovered we have this issue and brings us back to 'the runaround'.

Rick suggested Darrell phone them and volunteered to participate on the call. He also expressed reservations that our organizational status would allow us to properly execute the transition to full 501c3 status.

ACTION: Darrell will setup a phone call with The School Factory. He will invite board to participate and will likely set it up as a Google Hangout.

Domain renewal for Eugenemakerfaire.com

Clif previously renewed the domain for a year and Nick@Science Factory had expressed interest in possibly taking it over. Rick asked if we should renew it or leave it to TSF to pay for it.

ACTION: Bob will talk to Clif to renew the domain then talk to Nick for reimbursement.

Eugene Maker Faire planning

Bob suggested we discuss Maker Faire planning at the February 26th social. He will spontaneously broach the subject at the social.

For hands-on activities, Rick suggested the old standard 'paper rockets'. Ben mentioned possibly sponsoring a shipbreaking table. Rick will check to see if a group that previously did this will be returning.

Invitation to Swarm from Eric Renn

Bob reported that it is a Seattle Makerspace coordination thing. It's on Sunday, March 22nd. He described it as some sort of Algonguin Round Table for PNW MakerSpaces. A certain required enthusiasm was missing from the table and there are no plans to attend at this time.

Creating a list of member owned live-at-home tools available for use upon request

Kassie described a situation where a member had several tools he was willing to make available upon request that would not stay at the space (for space and other reasons). Rick was concerned that the database would be difficult to maintain and suggested we instead work on training members to seek tools on discuss. He mentioned that his previous makerspace used a web app to track this type of tool library but it would incur a recurring time-cost in the form of auditing for changes. He suggested scripting the audit process to reduce the manpower cost if we were to pursue this.

Bob suggested we encourage members to instead simply ask for tools on discuss and see how that works out with the option of switching to a more detailed tracking system going forward if it's needed.

Other topics of discussion:

Action Items:

Kassie:
  • None
Rick:
  • Rick will mail discuss with the request for tool purchase. (fill out details) He will set a target of 'around $2,000' to spur discussion without aiming the group directly at one item. He will also mention the possibility of using the budget to purchase multiple items.
Ben:
  • Ben will send another entreaty to the group for Egg Drop event volunteers. If we do not make substantive progress by the next meeting, we may cancel this event.
Darrell:
  • Darrell will contact the 2D/2.5D CNC guy from the KickStarter to get details and report back through the board mailing list.
  • Darrell will setup a phone call with The School Factory regarding our uncertain non-profit status. He will invite board to participate and will likely set it up as a Google Hangout.
Bob:
  • Bob will announce the EMS social to the discuss group and schedule it for February 26.
  • Bob will talk to Clif to renew eugenemakerfaire.com then talk to Nick@TSF for reimbursement.
  • Bob will provide the login info for the eugenemakerspace@gmail.nos.com account to Ben

Adjournment:

Rick moved for adjournment, it was seconded by Bob.

Passing with unanimous approval, the meeting was adjourned at 7:32PM.

____________________________ ___________________
Secretary Date of approval
Eugene Maker Space

Topic revision: r3 - 18 Feb 2015, BenH
 

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