Our Constitution and Bylaws
Before incorporating our society, we need to set our bylaws. We can start with the schedule B, and make our own amendments to it.
Amendments to the Bylaws
Part 2 – Membership
- d) on having been a member not in good standing for 2 consecutive months
Since we actually have to keep and maintain a building, I think 2 months is the maximum we could tolerate a member not paying their fees. Is that reasonable?
- The name of the society is the Kamloops Makerspace Society
- The purposes of the society are:
(a) To provide a physical space where makers, hobbyists, inventors, artists, engineers, and other innovative people from all walks of life, can come together and share ideas, knowledge, equipment, and opinions in a collaborative and creative atmosphere
(b) To organize and host workshops focused on teaching specific or broad skills related to tinkering, using tools, and making things to members and the community
© To provide related services and tools for fostering creativity in the intersection of art and technology as determined by the members
Let me know if you have any other comment or suggestions for changing our bylaws or the constitution
I’ll list the bylaws of other makerspace in BC that I can find here, for reference. If you find the bylaws for any other makerspaces let me know
The Vancouver link doesn’t work for me…
Talking to a friend from VHS he thinks and I agree with him that access control and privacy should be addressed in the bylaws and constitution. I think it is important to know who is entering the facility and when, however value privacy and I think we should limit how that information is used and how long it is kept for. I understand this is a complicated issue, but we all will work hard to establish this community and both its safety and security are important. I look forward to any input on this matter.
Here is a link to VHS constitution and bylaws
I agree with him that access control and privacy should be addressed in the bylaws and constitution. I think it is important to know who is entering the facility and when, however value privacy and I think we should limit how that information is used and how long it is kept for
@Nicholas I totally agree that we should communicate this as clearly as possible. In order for us to operate safely and also clearly communicate to others what is available and what activities we perform, we will have to constantly share videos and images of the space with others. I would go as far as saying we should also have a few streaming cameras that will be available on the site, so people can remotely check on the space and make sure tools are being used safely. I know this may not sound very appealing to some, but the benefits are huge, especially at the beginning while we don’t have the resources to monitor the space in person at all times. It will also likely reduce our insurance cost, which ultimately means more fun tools for us.
In addition to accepting the bylaws, all members must sign an agreement and a waiver that we still have to write. I am not sure how much of this needs to go into the bylaw and how much of it will be in membership agreement and the waiver. @Nicholas could you look at the schedule 9 form and see if you can find a spot for the statement about control and privacy? It would be great if you can come up with the phrase as well.
Another note, I also think we should take advantage of asynchronous voting on issues using this community site. We can put any issues to vote here (there are poll plugins), and that gives all paying members a chance to vote on the issue before a given deadline. This way everyone also has a chance to think and do some research before casting their vote.
(1) A member in good standing is entitled to one vote on each matter that is put to voting
(2) Voting is done asynchronously via the community site
I was reading though this guide (which is referenced on the government site) and found this statement about writing the constitution:
if your Society is going to apply to be a registered charity under the Income Tax Act, you must also include a "non-profit", a "winding-up" and an "alterability" clause to your Constitution.
As far as I know VHS or any other makerspaces in BC are not charitable organization. Is this by choice or is it simply not possible to get the charitable status?
The same guide states that you can qualify as charitable of your purpose is "the advancement of education". Does that apply to us?
Is it worth putting those additional clause into the constitution just in case? Do you see any risk or downside in adding those?
After getting this feedback I think we can probably leave out the idea to be charitable. I like the suggestion that if we need charitable status we should create another parallel organization in future.
I am still working on finalizing the bylaws. >> Here is the latest draft of our constitution and bylaws <<
I have added a few bylaws indicating how a question can be answered via this forum (after it has been discussed in an in person meeting). I also modified the section about sending out notices. Let me know if you have any concerns.
Sorry, I realize fully that I’m a bit late on chiming in on this as the papers are filed tomorrow. But I thought I’d offer my thoughts in any case. As well, since it is a little too late to make any concrete changes to the actual paperwork, I’ll allow myself to riff just a little.
On the actual Bylaw amendments, yes, I think 2 months is an entirely reasonable maximum. I have been behind the scenes of a few non-profits and co-operatives, as well as in the construction contracting business, late payments are a huge problem these days. I personally feel that although a certain rhetoric claims that new digital and wireless tech makes things easier, it also thoroughly distracts us. Add to that a general lack of accountability from our leaders at all levels of politics and business setting a dangerous precedent, and I can see why we have a problem.
I’m all for holding members (including me) accountable; and on the flipside for creating systems and protocols that make it easy for members to be accountable.
I like the Constitution as well, and wouldn’t have any suggestions there either.
I could fill your screens or your ears as I’ve long been in extended friendly debates about this issue. I’ll simply say that my opinion is that now that everybody is walking around with a supercomputer in their pockets, capable of digitizing and transmitting all manner of potentially personal information, we can kiss our privacy goodbye. And its okay, most of our pre-history was spent living tribally with no privacy, the concept of privacy is relatively new. As McLuhan said, instantaneous electricity will re-tribalize us. What it means is that at all times we will be held by strong and broad-reaching social contracts urging us to engage only in behavior that is acceptable to the group. Which I tend to think is generally a fine idea. My issue with current privacy debates is not that, heaven forbid, we lose our privacy; it is that currently the power to eliminate privacy is held in the hands of the few, governments and public agencies like the NSA, as well as large inhuman corporations like google and apple. We are all being spied on, while being quite forcefully shoved away from any power over our digital lives. The inequality is my issue.
So yes, let’s use technology to hold each other accountable, and to openly and with clear contracts and agreements as to how the data will be collected, stored and potentially distributed, spy on each other. I believe that we stand to learn a lot from each other. Not to mention, it offers great community project ideas like say…a tele-presense robot that could help keep an eye on things. It also offers potential income streams, even a non-profit requires cashflow.
@arasbm On Charitable status:
I don’t think it is a big deal at all. I’d say that the reason you can’t find any other spaces in our jurisdiction registered as charities is because it is a very old way of legislating good will. My past experience has shown me this: Aras and friends would spend much time and energy filing the paperwork just right, then following up with very hard to communicate with gov agencies, all for a bit of a tax break. And the work is not done there, this system requires maintenance, and charitable donations must be rallied to make all that time we spent getting setup worth while. I found that grants can be like this as well. Paperwork heavy. Our whole society is drowning in paperwork and it distracts us from the real work.
I’d say our energy and time are better spent trying to come up with new and interesting income streams based on actually making things. They may be taxed at a higher rate, but I think it is quite possible that despite they could potentially offer us greater return on our investment of time and energy. Although I cannot say for sure because I am not so knowledgeable on the taxation schemes within non-profits.
As above, there is a new economy brewing, large income streams are becoming crowd-sourced, and as it becomes more and more difficult to value commodities, value is being attached to intangibles instead. With crowd-funding and simple digital payment schemes like paypal, the old ways of controlling and measuring good will are unable to cope with new realities. I’d like to see a future where everybody has made it their business to do truly good things for others, and so we are all charitable. There are many trying to coax us in this direction, and there is ample evidence mounting that it makes good sense.
So…I second and applaud your decision to scrap the charitable status. Keep the paperwork as simple as possible. As necessary as it is, it is always a distraction from the real work it claims to administrate. A balance must be struck.
bye for now…
@Bradley-Maker Thanks for the great feedback!
It is not late at all. We will only sign the papers tomorrow if all directors feel 100% comfortable with the bylaws and the constitution. If you or anyone else suggests improvements, I’d be happy to change the bylaws to reflect that until then.
And thanks for all of that hard work Aras. Looking at your laptop, reading through the document today was the first time it really fully dawned on me how much work you put into that. Well done.
We also had a lot of great discussion happening during the meeting today about ways to move makerspace forward. Too many great ideas to list here, but I have been trying to keep notes