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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Should the draft by-laws on the wiki, and the acticles of inc from the 5/11 meeting be consistent with each other? They are not,

Proxies:

The draft by-laws:
Quote:
d) Voting. There shall be no proxy voting.


The FIRST AMENDED AND RESTATED BYLAWS:
Quote:
Section 2.14. Proxies - proxies shall be allowed. An appointment of a proxy is effective
when received by the secretary or other officer of the corporation. An appointment is valid for 1l
months unless a different period is expressly stated in the proxy form; provided, however, a
proxy is not valid for more than three years from the date of its execution.



The commitees section also disagrees the draft says the commitee heads must be board members the amended bylaws do not.

Is there a reason we don't update the draft by laws to reflect the ammendments? Or am I missunderstanding the purpose? The Wiki keeps a versioned history, so you could easily see the progression of the document.


Question on the accepting the by-laws.
If we wish to bring an amendment, can it be evaluated by the legal team ahead of time so it could be voted on and incorperated into the annual meeting? It seems that we'll be having back and forth over an extended period if I understand Wammies explanation of the process. That would I assume postpone the date we could achieve 503c status right? Could someone please clarify the process for an ammendment to be accepted and incorporated?

Thanks

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:27 pm 
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wammie wrote:
paulsobczak wrote:
Yea, is there a plan to solicit input, if voted down?
Sure, any votes put before membership can potentially be voted down. If that happened then proposed changes would not occur until further discussion and formulation of alternate points to vote on.


your response confuses me. I read it as long way of saying there is no plan.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 6:35 pm 
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wammie's response is partial, and i'm working on an accurate clarification of it. i'm hoping to have that tomorrow.

otto, no, the draft version is what is being replaced. the documents in the meeting minutes and action are the current ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:51 am 
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In the interest of having the by-laws that will actual be voted on directly accessible. I just did it. If you have Wiki access and want to clean up the formating, I'd encourage you to do so. I'd be more comfortable if the board published the revised by-laws themselves, but I understand they are busy, so I dug the by-laws out of the pdf from the last meetings actions and put them up.

Yes this is an unofficial action of someone who's a regular member, but in my opinion it needed to be done.

The revised by-laws you will be voting on.

Could the board please post an adgenda for the June 8th meeting?
There is obviously confusion as to the process of voting on the by-laws and how the meeting will be run. For example will each article, or sub article be voted on individually (I.e. the members have line item veto powers) or is it a one shot up or down vote? I've asked for clarification and if amendments can be offered and vetted ahead of the meeting, I'd still like the answer to that, and understand Metis is working to get an answer.

Thanks

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:44 am 
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Next Question:

Where are the previous / unammended articles of incorporation?
There are some of the statements under governance section of the Wiki that seem unusual and the only way to verify them would be to see the original articles of incorporation under which we currently function. Can they be posted to the Wiki ASAP please.

Thanks

Pete


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:48 am 
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otto, that's all on the radar, awaiting response.

on proxies, and some other bits, info forthcoming on that.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:55 am 
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and current articles, i'm not certain if there's a digital version, they're on file with the secretary of state, i'll see what i can dig up with physical or pdfs.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 12:45 pm 
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OK

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:34 pm 
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We’ll apologize in advance for using some erudite language (and being a bit verbose even for me) but we wanted to be as clear and specific as possible in response to your questions and comments including a few that may be based on possible misunderstandings. Thanks for your patience while we've been researching answers and making sure our message is accurate.

First and foremost, let us reiterate that for all practical purposes this is a clean up and tidying of our organizational documents, not a big restructuring. For the most part, these will not change the essential mechanisms by which we operate and will not change the major structures of the organization currently in place. The items in the notification packet legally formalize that we have a board, we have rules for meetings, and we have members. This all seems very formal, and it is, however the formal process is necessary for us to continue to do things in the real world such as purchase insurance and sign leases, and know that our basic corporate structure is logical and compliant. While may seem ominous to say that we need to check with the lawyers, we're checking with them to make certain that we are providing accurate information that is well informed, certainly not to hide anything.

In an ideal world we would have gone through this process when we first launched our organization but we didn't know then what we do now. We started with a cheap 'incorporation in a box' that came with no by-laws. We were given a template for by-laws and formed them ourselves into draft by-laws as best we could, and adopted them informally until we could craft an appropriate set. There are a number of problems with the draft set, where they are superseded by state statute, ambiguous, or contained other potential issues. Knowing there was room for improvement, the Board sought assistance from our pro bono attorneys to get the legal foundation of our organization on a firmer footing so that we are able to be around for the long term, and in the near term, and most importantly, be in a good position to apply for tax exempt 501(c)3 status with good underlying corporate documentation.

As many of you know metis, videoman and orion have been meeting with our lawyers on a regular basis since November to craft these documents, while soliciting feedback from the rest of the board, and taking intent from our early club documents, and draft. This has not been a simple task, with lots of what if's, and we have learned a lot about good business practice, and spent many many hours trying to craft and understand all of the bits of the Revised and Restated documents. The entire Board of Directors has read and re-read these, and had them explained, and feels that they are the most appropriate action for the organization.

We as a board felt that it was very important that everyone know what's on the table, and that everyone be able to participate. Even though the board under the current bylaws could technically adopt most of the changes to the bylaws without a member meeting, we wanted to be as inclusive as possible, so everyone is aware of and approves of these changes. This is also why we have gotten these documents out to everyone earlier than the required official meeting notice, and timed the meeting so that we could include as many new members as possible. We very much want this to feel like – and be – an open process so everyone’s voice can be heard. But we also needed as a board to move the process along so that is why we are calling the annual meeting and asking for your approval of these bylaws and articles.

In responses to specific questions:

The agenda is included in the Written Action, as page 23.

The current notification states that we will be voting up or down the items in question. That is pretty much standard practice. In other words, we need to approve or disapprove these corporate articles and bylaws without amending them. If there was a desire to amend them, we would need to call another meeting, and then make those amended articles or bylaws available for everyone to review ahead of the new meeting.

It is generally done this way because impromptu amendments prevent fair notice to all members of what is being proposed and also doesn't allow for proper vetting with our lawyers. If an amendment is deemed necessary and desirable by the members, good practice would be to come to a consensus on the intent of an amendment, have our lawyers write it up, have the Board call a Special Members Meeting with notice of the amended articles/bylaws to be voted
on, notify everyone of the text, and then vote at the special meeting. All told that would take at least 2 weeks to do formally, realistically over a month.

We can certainly do that if necessary but we hope ultimately everyone will appreciate that the articles and bylaws are thoughtful, consistent with our organization’s history and mission, and more or less standard for nonprofit organizations like ours. We also hope members will appreciate the board worked hard on these articles/bylaws to get them in shape. They may not be perfect but we think they will serve the organization well and ensure that we continue to operate in a fair and open manner. The offer us the flexibility to grow, and do not constrain us within our stated goals as a community.

While it has taken a while to wrangle these documents together, the impetus behind these changes has been to be in a good place to file for independent 501(c)(3) status, as well as set ourselves on a solid footing in general We are very hopeful the members of the organization will support these efforts. In terms of time-line, we're hoping to file for 501(c)3 this year, and
to be conservative we plan to make that filing in August. Prior to doing that we need to take care of these legal structure issues. The 501(c)(3) application is lengthy, and we will need to provide significant documentation along with it. There is no guarantee the IRS will approve our 501(c)(3) application, but to give ourselves the best chance we need to take care of these “housekeeping matters”, and then respond accurately, and at length to many pages of questions about our purpose, what we do and have done, and how we operate. Getting these legal documents in order is a first big step and will move things along, and allow us to focus on that application, which we'll need some focused help on from many of you.

If there are other questions/comments, please let us know.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about the Annual Meeting
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:18 pm 
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Quote:
The current notification states that we will be voting up or down the items in question. That is pretty much standard practice. In other words, we need to approve or disapprove these corporate articles and bylaws without amending them. If there was a desire to amend them, we would need to call another meeting, and then make those amended articles or bylaws available for everyone to review ahead of the new meeting.


I anticipate this being an issue, and I don't want it to be a huge set back as it seems it is going to be if such things happen.

Myself and others would like to see a one year term for officers and the board, and to have those positions voted on by the members.

These are the two main issues that I am hearing and I want things to go smoothly as does everyone, which is why I think it is a really good thing to have a sheet of paper available for people to write down their position if things get voted down.

While I do appreciate what the board is doing I don't appreciate statements like

Quote:
Even though the board under the current bylaws could technically adopt most of the changes to the bylaws without a member meeting, we wanted to be as inclusive as possible, so everyone is aware of and approves of these changes.


We are a small organization on enthusiasts, we thrive on information, and we like being asked what we think about important things like the by laws.

Please also let it be known that we appreciate what the board has done to get the ball moving, thank you for getting us this far. I think what we want is a say in the process.

This could be done by asking us like you guys did in the online q and a.


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