Our wonderful host, Techco, is booked this week, so that means that our member's meeting will have to be next week, February 23, 2012. For the member's meeting this month, we need to take the time to follow through on some business related to our recent incorporation. We need to elect board members and adopt a set of bylaws in order to A) comply with the state's requirements for our corporation and B) complete our 501(c)(7) application to the IRS to obtain our non-profit status with the federal government. Since having a vote be the only topic for discussion would be pretty quick and not much fun, I'm also going to be giving a presentation on the history of our incorporation, including giving some information on how to do this yourself. So if you've ever been interested in starting your own business, this can be a quick primer on some of the bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through to incorporate. Some of the information that I have is specific to non-profits, but much of it is applicable to other corporate types.
In preparation for the upcoming elections, I've taken the time to prepare/update several wiki pages. A proposed set of bylaws are located here. These bylaws were generated by stealing bylaws from several other hackerspace/makerspace locations and integrating them into a consistent bundle that seemed to fit our needs. There have been a few others that have had some helped get these bylaws together, and I appreciate all their help. The bylaws are intended to be limits to the power to the board of directors. After adoption, the bylaws will only be able to be changed by a vote of the members.
Additionally, I've worked to develop a set of Membership Rules for the new board to adopt. Similar to the bylaws, these were generated by compiling information from several other hackerspaces. The membership rules are different from the bylaws in that these rules are the domain of the board of directors to change, without requiring a full vote of the membership. This is the way to set rules for our members in day to day operation.
And finally, for those that are interested in having a leadership position, I've got an Officer Duties page that gives a brief description of the duties of the offices we have established so far. As we are a pretty new group, this isn't well defined yet, so I expect there will be lots of things added to this going forward.
So, if you're interested in how to start a corporation, or you are interested in the future of the Knox Makers, be at the meeting next week, 2/23/12. If you want to run for office and/or vote, make sure to pay your dues and come out and vote!
A special note for those that want to participate but unable to make the meeting: we'll nominate candidates at the meeting next week, but leave voting open through next month's open hack, so you'll have time to vote by proxy. Those who are interested in leadership positions but can't show up should use our email list to state your interest. You will need to be current on dues and you should probably have a history of regular attendance if you expect to be elected. Hope to see you all there next week.