Motion to table bylaws ammendment and set a special meeting in 3-6 months under new board


I would like to make a motion to table revision and vote on bylaws until we do more thorough research and reevaluate what is needed.

I wish to propose a motion to table by-laws amendments next week and set a by-laws / governance meeting to convene in 3-6 months after the new board has had time to propose potential changes carefully with the collaboration of interested members.

I was itching to propose a bylaws amendment (really an appendix amendment, which could be changed more easily). However, I don’t feel confident that it will serve everyone unless we talk, think, and research things more. This would have been a simple clause to allow appointment of contingent “managers” or “deputy officers” to handle increasing workload (the COO job, especially, is often too much for one mere mortal).

I need more time to discuss my own inclinations with everyone, and to research more (I have spoken to friends in QueLab, Noisebridge, and non-hackerspace organizations). There are no easy, clear answers, and nothing works perfectly.

Here are some observations, though (not saying these are necessarily bylaws issues):

Some of the duties of leaders and wardens have become too great for one volunteer to handle alone; the COO position, especially, has become a LOT of work. We should think about delegating responsibility in new ways which not only ease our burdens, but reward members who take on responsibility. People shouldn’t be expected to take on crap work without recognition or reward; this only leads to burn out or even hurt feelings.

If membership grows, turns over quickly, or includes many members who cannot be present is our current quorum quota too high, too low? I honestly don’t know, but we could simply look at how it works out next week carefully and assess. Voting by proxy?

When Hive13 was smaller, officers needed to do double duty on the board as well as in officer positions. This is no longer the case. How can these two bodies work together and independently?

This last one is a bummer, and I’m happy we haven’t needed it badly, but: disciplinary procedures. There are fair ways to handle difficult situations, and they do happen. I’d rather have an impartial, fair procedural framework when this eventuality comes to pass. Sorry to burst bubbles, but problems happen, and we should think about this.

The above are my observations, not proposals nor positions. Simply concerns. I wouldn’t presume to know how to solve any of these concerns myself. So:

My motion:

1.) To table motions to amend the primary bylaws till a later date set by #2
2.) Establish a by-laws and governance amendment meeting 3-6 months after this current election. This meeting shall be called by the board, and the board is charged to responsibly investigate and cogently present any changes (if needed) in collaboration with the membership.

Yes, another meeting is a pain, but Daniel is not the only one who has voiced concerns about our organizational structure – he simply has the guts to speak up loudly. I have heard many more whispers than shouts, though, and we should pay attention to all. I think we should take the time needed to move prudently.

According to the Bylaws, the Bylaws can only be changed during the “Annual Meeting” (Which must take place in July), or, during a “Special Meeting.”

While I’m generally ok with doing some work to change/revisit the bylaws (mainly to bring them up-to-speed with case law and where they should be currently), we should still stick to voting on what has been presented (and honestly, the only think that I know of is Daniel’s proposed amendment), and then work on getting a group together to bring them up-to-date, both legally and from a good hackerspace point of view. (We’re not anywhere in danger now, but, I don’t want us to be in a position where the Hive gets smacked down the road due to some paperwork/Bylaw Snafu.)

Any changes to the Bylaws – either during the annual meeting or the special meeting – require 2/3rds approval of all of the members – not present members.


Lorin, I would be happy to postpone the amemendment of the bylaws I proposed for a special meeting within 3 months. But before i can really back this I’d like a date. (I can see this easily be put to the side and never happening, things and life get in the way, and we forget about things.)

Essentially, I have the same goal. Yes, I am aware of the 2/3rds majority.

I am simply urging folks to investigate fully and think constructively. Bylaws are really tricky and can be handled in many different ways. The most common construct is illustrated in “Robert’s Rules of Order” – This link is a fairly good start for figuring out how they function.

Robert’s Rules advocates a diverse group of interested members to work on the proposal of revisions. I agree with this.

Daniel, I could be wrong, but if we proceed on your amendment next week I think it will not pass. It is that simple. I’d like to see any problems or concerns from anyone resolved, so I’m trying to hear you out. I also think there may be simple updates and tweaks that would benefit all, but that would best be handled as a group. Finally, the solution you seek may be best solved in a document other than the bylaws.

So, I withdraw my motion to table amendments next week, as Ian suggests.

I would still like to move on formally committing to review our bylaws and governance as I proposed in part 2 of above motion. I think it is entirely reasonable to entrust the scheduling to the new board, and I am willing to charter and/or chair a committee to do so, regardless of whether I am reelected. A committee can present far better proposals to the membership than any of us could individually.

Daniel, if we make this a formal motion, to be carried by simple majority, then it does commit us. Setting a strict date now may be unfair to the many new leaders elected next week.

I realize this is a “dead” thread, but I think it needs to be brought up again, since no date was set during the initial discussion. Further it’s clear that the new privacy issue has set a date and time for a special meeting to discuss the privacy bylaw changes. Would it make sense to add additional changes to the agenda of this meeting? If nothing else I don’t see the harm in adding the typo changes. I think we should also consider other changes that could be added to the agenda.