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Committees, Meetings and Governance
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Like any group of people, we have certain established procedures and ways of doing things. The more common ones you'll find here on this page, or on a related sub-page to this one.
We welcome and encourage visitors at the space. In fact, coming to the space and meeting members is the best path to ultimately becoming a member!
At various times during the week we have public events going on at the space with open hours. These hours are usually posted on the Calendar.
If you've never been to the space before, the best time to visit is during our weekly open house. Open house is held every Tuesday evening, from 8 - 11pm. Note that our weekly member meeting also takes place on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday night, typically between 7:30 - 8pm. Visitors are welcome to come and check out the weekly meeting.
Each member in good standing can admit two (2) guests to the space. It is the responsibility of the member to ensure that guests don't disrupt the space or otherwise behave in a non-Excellent manner. Each member must be present to supervise his/her guests at all times. Exceptions to the two guests per member policy include: open house night, and special events (approved by the membership, hosted by a member)
Membership and Minors
- Members must be 18 or older except by express permission of the board.
- All persons under 18 must be accompanied by a designated parent or guardian, and each counts as one guest.
- No more than one child under age 12 per parent/guardian, close supervision required at all times.
If a Confirmed member in good standing goes on hiatus, their confirmed status along with all privileges earned through classes and training are preserved when they return.
If a Confirmed member has dues owed and leaves, those dues must be paid, or forgiven by the Board ("be in good standing") before retuning.
- The suggested donation for beer is $2.
- Feel free to take a soft drink. They cost us a quarter, but if you feel like putting something in the donation box it's appreciated.
- The donation box is counted by the treasurer every Tuesday.
- Money in the jar can be used to make change. Please be kind . . . leave some change for other people.
- When the drinks run is made, we tend to buy:
- Four to six fridge packs of soft drinks (Sprite, Coke, Coke Zero, Dr Pepper, Diet Dr Pepper, maybe something 'weird')
- Two cases of beer, generally something like Lone Star, but sometimes something fancier
- You can buy drinks to add to the fridge! Use the following procedure:
- Check that there is enough in the jar to cover a drinks run. Sodas cost about $4-5 per case of 12.
- Don't take the money from the jar first. Spend, then get reimbursed.
- If there is beer in the fridge, don't buy more. We go through beer pretty slowly.
- Print your name on the receipt clearly, and add it to the jar. It's how we balance the account.
- Don't use the jar drinks fund for any other purpose! It's to buy drinks.
The following is a change to the Expense policy, proposed on May 15th, 2012. It is still subject to review by the Membership and Board
- Expenses under $50 for a given project are "petty cash" and only need a sign-off from a board member.
- Keep your receipt, follow the instructions in the "petty cash" drawer to be reimbursed.
- Your receipt MUST BE SIGNED BY A CURRENT BOARD MEMBER to be reimbursed via petty cash.
- An un-budgeted expense between $50 and $500 requires signed approval from the Chairman and one other Board member.
- $500(plus tax) is the maximum that can be expensed outside the Budget without Board approval.
- If expensed: Purchase the item, and submit description of the expense + receipt to the treasurer.
- Otherwise, submit a cart/quote/purchase order request to the  and the order will be put in and paid via check or credit card.
- Budgeted and approved expenses over $500 and less than $1000
- If expensed: Purchase the item, and submit an expense report + receipt to the treasurer.
- Once the item has been identified and negotiated, submit the cart/quote/purchase order to be paid for by ATX Hackerspace via check or credit card.
- To ensure the best value, unless the item is only sold by a single vendor, at least two quotes must be pulled.
- If you submit an approved invoice/cart/list to firstname.lastname@example.org, it will be purchased using the company card in a timely manner for you.
- Budgeted and approved expenses >$1k are major capital expenses, which require the Chairman and the Treasurer to counter-sign. These cannot be purchase and reimbursed without the Chairman + Treasurer's sign-off, and must always be paid directly through ATX Hackerspace whether directly or through loan/lease agreements.
- Expenses under $50 can be done as petty cash transactions
- Petty cash transactions must be approved, and signed off by a board member
- The receipt for petty cash must show:
- What the purchase was for. e.g. "plaster for mezzanine" "USB cord for printer" "paper for copier"
- Who spent the money. e.g. "Martin B" "Mark G" (please use first and last name. We have a lot of Matts, Davids, etc)
- Which board member approved the expenditure
- How and if it was paid. "Petty Cash" "check" "PAID"
- The full date (1/1/2011)
- Every member has the ability to store some items at the space. The items must fit within a standard Banker Box ( 12" x 10" x 24" ) with a closed lid.
- If you need more storage, you need to bring it up during a standard member meeting and ask permission of the Membership. You must propose where the item will be stored, and for how long. Your name, and date that the material will remain at the space must be clearly labeled. The preferred method is black sharpie on masking tape.
- If you wish to lend a tool to the space for general use, you must label the tool with your name in a permanent way (permanent ink, etching, strong label)
- You need to bring up that you wish to store the tool at the space (per Storage policy) and get it approved at a membership meeting. If it is a small tool, just getting permission from a Board Member is sufficient.
Last Person Out
When you are done using the space, to be excellent to the next person who needs to use it:
- Seal and put away all food.
- Sweep, vacuum, and tidy up around the area you were working at, and in general
- Put away chairs and tables, make sure all your tools are put away in the right place
- If there are any trash bins that are full, take out the trash (If you have a recycling program where you live, please consider grabbing a bag of recycling and haul it out with you)
- Reset the AC to 80F. It will reset itself at midnight, six AM, noon, and six PM if you forget. (Note that there is an AC control for both the front lobby and the workshop area).
- Make sure the exhaust vents are turned off.
- Make sure all power tools (such as the air compressor) are turned off.
- Check that the back door and garage door are securely locked.
- Turn off all lights.
- Set the alarm (you have 90 seconds to vacate once armed)
- If you were hosting an event, remember to take the door out of party mode.
Sleeping at the Hackerspace
- Our hackerspace is an industrial workshop. It is forbidden by the terms of our lease for anyone, member or nonmember, to take residence at the space. Sleeping over at the hackerspace is discouraged, and should only be done as a last resort if personal health and safety are at issue. Members working long hours on a project are encouraged to put aside what they are working on, go home and take a rest, then return as being overly tired is a hazard in a workshop.
See Also: Class Policy
- Any confirmed member in good standing may teach a class
- If your class requires exclusive use of an area in the space, it must be scheduled and voted on during a member meeting.
- If your class will be open to the public, you will need a temporary Host card made, and get approval during a member meeting.
- If you are going to charge a fee for the class, it must be approved by the board.
- If materials are needed for the class, consider having students purchase them before coming to the class
- Another option is to use the ATX Hackerspace Store, and have students purchase materials on-site
- Any confirmed member in good standing may have a Hosted event
- For a recurring event, you will need a permanent Host card made, and get approval during a member meeting.
- For a one-time event, you will need a temporary Host card made, and get approval during a member meeting.
- If your event involves charging a fee, this is the same as renting the space at the member rate, and it must be approved by the board.
- Your event must comply with the bylaws of ATX Hackerspace, and applicable Austin/Texas/Federal laws.
Proposal & Voting Process
1) A patron or a member-owner has a proposal. This person announces the proposal to the membership via the list with [ [DISCUSSION] ] tag and then becomes the lead on the proposal.
- A) If the person is a patron, the patron must be sponsored by a member-owner to have the proposal item placed on agenda.
2) The lead decides when said proposal has been discussed enough. 3) The lead starts a new thread with [ [PROPOSAL] ] tag.
- A) The first post is the proposal with the wording they feel is the best from the discussion thread.
4) Someone seconds the [ [PROPOSAL] ] thread.
5) The lead then asks for placement on the agenda of the next meeting.
- A) The lead will ask the Executive Director or Administrator for the proposal to be added to the agenda. It must be asked at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
- B) The Executive Director or Administrator will announce the agenda at least 24 hours prior to the meeting, but may close the agenda early when it appears that the meeting time is full.
- C) The Executive Director or Administrator will then defer items for time constraint reasons.
- i) The last items received will be deferred.
- ii) Those items deferred will get top priority at the following meeting.
6) The lead presents the proposal at the member meeting. Final discussions and tweaking of the proposal will be made, if necessary.
- A) The meeting no longer requires that a quorum of people be present.
- B) The lead may designate someone to make the presentation (designee).
7) After the allotted discussion time of the proposal, the lead/designee announces what they feel is the best wording for the final proposal.
- A) If the lead/designee so chooses, the proposal can have choices/options for a proposal.
8) Someone must second the final wording and/or options. 9) The final, official wording of the proposal is posted online at the conclusion of the meeting.
- A) This will be done by either the Executive Director or Administrator
10) Voting will be opened online.
- A) Currently, we will use the Helios system to hold votes.
- B) In the future, a similar online and secure system will be implemented on our website.
- C) Voting will be open until the second midnight after the day of the meeting (e.g. normal membership meeting agenda items will have voting open until 11:59pm on the following Thursday).
- D) Everyone will vote online, not in person.
- E) In the future, the kiosk being setup for the reception area will be setup to also allow for people to vote at, as well.
- F) “No” will always be an option for voting on a proposal.
11) Votes will be counted after the closing.
- A) For a vote to be considered as valid, the total number of votes must meet quorum.
- B) A lack of a submitted ballot by a member will be seen as an abstention and not counted towards quorum.
- C) If quorum is met, a proposal must gain a majority of the votes cast.
- D) If options are available on a proposal, the total number of votes must meet quorum and then the option with the highest vote count wins.
- i) “No” is seen as a vote option
- ii) When options are present on a proposal, there will be an choice to vote both options as acceptable (e.g. 1-Option A, 2-Option B, 3- Option A or B, 4-No)
- D) In the event of a tie, a runoff between the two options will be had.
- i) The runoff vote will again be opened the following day and run until the second midnight again (e.g. continuing from the member meeting, the runoff would end 11:59pm Sunday)
12) Any item not receiving a quorum of votes may be immediately re-proposed for the following meeting and would start the procedure over. 13) Any item that meets quorum but fails to pass may be resubmitted:
- A) With alterations and amendments at the following meeting.
- B) Without alterations and amendments after one month.
Policy/ATXHS_101 - A required course for new members
Agenda_Items/Escalation - Proposal to organize the process of meeting needs and answering questions.