Bylaw Changes

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Born On:
10:06, 26 June 2009 (CDT)
Last Updated:
23:26, 21 May 2017 (CDT)


This page is for brainstorming about changes to our current bylaws to not only cut down on confusion but the overall bureaucracy that bogs down meetings and generally getting things done.


  • Methods of voting in new members.
  • Roles placed on the Secretary.
  • Membership application.
  • Resignation of board members


Use this area for discussing bullet points from above. Please keep the discussion to an appropriate section.

Methods of voting in new members

  • Our current method of voting in new members has proven to be broken in many ways.
    • Few people vote, or should for that matter, because they don't come to the shop often enough to meet much less get to know potential new members.
      • Possible Solution:
        • Voting should be a count of Nays more so than Yays. Nays must express reason for voting as such.
          • This will eliminate the problem of having to wait 72 hours or whatever for people unable or unwilling to come to the meetings to vote. --strages 10:15, 26 June 2009 (CDT)
          • I have a problem with this "default accept" policy. There still needs to be a minimum number of people who vote "Yay" Maybe we have a Yay percentage of the people who voted, with a minimum number of people required to vote? --Brimstone 11:24, 26 June 2009 (CDT)
          • I like the idea of a percentage of votes and I wonder this this can be applied other votes beyond new member voting. --strages 12:38, 26 June 2009 (CDT)
      • Another Possible Solution:
        • Remove the vote for membership
          • Remove the first vote for membership but keep the second, more strict, vote for keyed access.
          • I am not saying membership should be baseless. A potential member should meet a set of criteria and then, so long as they meet those standards, they can be added to the roster of members. It's just not a voting issue perhaps. --Crashcart 14:40, 30 June 2009 (CDT)
    • Individual votes are public
      • It's not necessary for a member to know who voted against them for membership, keyed access, or office position. This seems like it could cause friction, and possibly cause someone to vote their social conscious rather than how they really feel.
      • Possible Solution:
        • Have Officer Elections, Membership Proposals, and Keyed Access proposals be closed ballot. The President and Secretary would count and record the outcome of the votes, assuming no conflict of interest.
      • I'm against public votes. If I'm against someone being a member, I can let the board know and that person know. I like the closed ballot idea, but it will create more paper(digital) work for the president and secretary. --Brimstone 11:24, 26 June 2009 (CDT)

Roles Placed on the Secretary

  • In my honest opinion, the secretary has too many roles placed upon them according the bylaws and this had gotten in the way of progress on more than one occasion due to the secretary either not being informed or unavailable at times. --strages 10:19, 26 June 2009 (CDT)
    • Possible solution: Secretary is responsible for recording and posting meeting minutes only.

Other tasks such as

  1. Writing resulting proposals
  2. Pinging people about their action items
  3. Processing Membership applications

Would be delegated by the Secretary or Chair.

  • The only problem with this is that no one steps forwards. These are tasks that can't be forced on someone, they won't be completed in the capacity required. My suggestion is that we have a secondary secretary or a position just for these tasks. --Brimstone 11:29, 26 June 2009 (CDT)

Membership application

  • People should be able to ask for keyed access at the time of application to become a new member. We have a vesting period, all be it an informal one, before we vote people in as new members. This is too let people have a chance to get to know the person and a feel for how they will work with the general group dynamic. I don't see why this period wouldn't be sufficient enough to determine if they would be trustworthy enough to have a key. --strages 10:24, 26 June 2009 (CDT)

Resignation of board members

  • Ok, so the whole "must do it in person" thing has now become a problem. I know why it was put in place, but it's been abused by someone unwilling to return from out of state and unwilling to allow the board to change. Bare in mind that charter members have the ability to vote as if on the board whenever they choose to. I suggest there be a vote on removing board members and that it must be unanimous, excluding the board member in question, to pass. --strages 10:29, 26 June 2009 (CDT)
    • The bylaws actually say: "Resignation from the board must be in writing and received by the Secretary." I think snail mail, fax, or scan-and-email are within the bounds of "written." It doesn't look like this has to be done in person, as per the by-laws.


This section will hopefully contain a list of changes in need of being made to the bylaws as a result of open discussion by members.


The following changes were unanimously decided for Article II, Section 1 of the Bylaws:

Regular Members

Regular members must have two signatures from board sponsors on a completed membership application.

Board Members

A member is eligible for a position of the Board of Directors if they have remained an active member for at least 3 months.

Dickie 08:47, 1 July 2009 (CDT)


Section 2 of the existing Bylaws will be incorporated as details to further sections. Therefore, these changes will become the new Article II, Section 2: Rights and Responsibilities of Members.

Section 2.1 - Regular Members

Active members have the right to unattended access to the organization's facilities.
Members have the right to vote in the election of the Board of Directors.
Each regular member shall pledge a monthly contribution to remain an active member. They have the right to alter this pledge as needed.
Regular members shall follow all rules set by the board pertaining to the organization's facilities.

Section 2.2 - Board Members

Board members must remain active members.
Board members shall follow all rules set by the board pertaining to the organization's facilities.
Board members shall vote on all matters concerning the acquisition or release of resources, maintenance of facilities or organization, changes to organization bylaws, and membership applications.
The Board of Directors shall hold at least one quarterly meeting.
Board members shall be decided by popular vote of all active members.

Section 2.2.1 - Board Officers

Board officers may have metal key access to the facilities of the organization.
Board officers shall be selected by the newly elected board and consist of willing board members.
Board officers may appoint a willing board member to fulfill the duties of the office in their absence. They may also lead a committee which fulfills the duties of the office.

Section - Chairman

The Chairman shall be responsible for leading general and board meetings.

Section - Secretary

The Secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes of all meetings and process new member applications.

Section - Treasurer

The Treasurer shall have custody of and be held accountable for all funds and securities of the organization, receive and give receipts for all monetary transactions of the organization, and deposit all such moneys in the name of the organization. He or she shall publish a monthly financial report. The Treasurer shall also perform such additional duties as are assigned by the Board of Directors.

Section 2.4 - Member Inactivity

A member is deemed active when they are admitted to the organization and remain active until they become inactive, resign, or are expelled.
Members are defined as inactive if they fail to provide a monthly pledged contribution for 3 months.
Inactive members shall forfeit membership and must reapply to be admitted into the organization.

Dickie 11:21, 4 July 2009 (CDT)


The following changes were decided for Article II and Article III. I took notes during this meeting rather than attempt to find appropriate wording, and we will be reviewing these posts to ensure our intentions were correctly reflected. I expect this section to invoke much discussion, and I have made a note or two where I believe discussion might occur. Please direct your comments and suggestions to the discussion page to ensure a record for committee consideration.


Section 3 - Resignation and Expulsion

A member may be expelled from the organization at the discretion of the Board of Directors if he or she fails to observe the responsibilities of a regular member.
A member may be abruptly terminated without warning if he or she commits a criminal act upon person or property while on organization premises or at organization functions.
A member may submit a proposal to cast a revote for one or more given board positions during the elected member’s term. If this proposal is struck down by the board, a petition signed by one forth of current members will overturn this decision and invoke a public election for the given board positions.


Section 1 - Proposals

Proposals shall be voted upon by the sitting board of directors.
The methods for determining the result of proposal vote (with the exception of bylaws amendments) are as follows:
  • Majority of non-abstaining nay votes will cause vote to fail.
  • Minimum two nays to reconsider membership vote at next meeting.
  • A membership vote can only be reconsidered once. A second vote resulting in at least two "Nay" votes causes a membership vote to fail.
  • Given less than two "Nay" votes, majority of non-abstaining "Yay" votes will cause the motion to pass.
  • Once called to vote, a motion is open for vote for five days. At the end of which, the motion passes, fails, or is reconsidered.

Section 2 - Board of Directors

Board position elections shall occur semiannually at dates determined by the sitting Board of Directors.
Board elections are open to all active members.
Each voter is given a "Yay" or "Nay" vote per candidate.
The methods of determining the result of board elections are as follows:
  • The 10 candidates with the highest percentage of "Yay" votes will win the election.
  • The number of "Yay" votes for a candidate must exceed fifty percent for the candidate to be elected.
  • If any position is left unfilled due to a tie vote, the position shall be determined by coin toss.
  • When the election results are confirmed and announced, the board seats are vacated and reassumed by the newly elected members.

2009-7-15 and 2009-7-24

Though I didn’t get around to posting the results from 7/15 earlier, the meeting left some loose ends hanging that I hope we cleared up on 7/24. Here’s a list of the decisions made at those meetings:


  • All references to charter members abolished.
  • After board elections are decided, previous board positions are vacated.
  • Once a proposal is put before a vote, voting is enabled for five days. At the end of which, the vote passes, fails, or is reconsidered.
  • There is no "inactive" member status. If you fail to remain active, you forfeit membership.
  • In the first two sentences of Section 2.1, "...members may..." changed to "...members have the right to..."
  • New Article II, Section 2 title: Rights and Responsibilities of Members
  • Members may change pledged contribution as needed


  • Minimum of 3 board members, no cap. Rules on winning elected positions remain.
  • A member can submit a proposal for a revote on a given board position. If the revote is voted down by the board, a petition signed by 1/4 of members will overrule the board's decision, and the board position will come to a vote.
  • Proposals for Bylaws changes must be unanimously approved by the board.
  • Other proposals, including membership stuff, go by the "two nays" rule.
  • Article VII - Disolution - take out charter member stuff, renumber if necessary

Committees were agreed to have been sufficiently explained in our changes and their article was omitted. We pick up on Amendments with Article V.

Article V – Amendments to These Bylaws

Section 1 – Amendments

Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Secretary to be sent out with regular board announcments.
These bylaws may only be changed by a unanimous decision by the sitting board of directors.

Article VI – Dissolution of Makers Local 256

Section 1 – Dissolution

The organization may not dissolve less than 30 days from the time a proposal to dissolve passes.

Section 2 – Asset Distribution

In the event that a movement to dissolve the organization passes, assets may be liquidized to pay off any debt the organization may have accrued. Any remaining assets of the organization must be donated to a charitable, educational, or scientific endeavor.

We have now completed the review of the existing bylaws. The next step will be to compose drafts of the new bylaws which will be presented here for public review. We will continue to reword and make changes as we see necessary, as we have undoubtedly left some conflicting or confusing verbiage in there somewhere.

Please continue to post your comments, questions, and suggestions!!!

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