Board Minutes July 2013

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Approved at the August 2013 board meeting

EBC Board Meeting Minutes for July 24, 2013

Board meetings are open to the EBC members and the public.

  • Location: BikeWorks South, 2nd floor meeting room
  • Start Time: 6:30pm

Please RSVP to board at edmontonbikes dot ca if you plan on attending. Please include a brief summary of any agenda item you would like to table. Thank you!


  • Meeting Chair: Leila
  • Minute-taker: justin
  • Food by: Sarah
  • Board attendance: Anna, Leila, Sarah, Lee, justin, Neil, Bernadette, Chris Corrigan (late)
  • Staff attendance: Chris Chan, Coreen
  • Regrets: Paul
  • Absent:
  • Guests: Geoff S, Jason P, Kristin F, Paul B, Meghan T, Nathan E

Call to Order

  • Meeting called to order by Leila at 6:32pm.

Approval of Agenda

  • Motion: To approve agenda. Motioned by Leila. Seconded by Bernadette. Motion Carried.

Approval of Last Month's Minutes

  • Motion: To approve June 2013 minutes. Motioned by Lee. Seconded by Sarah. Motion Carried.

Logistics for Next Meeting

  • Date: Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 6:30pm
  • Location: BikeWorks North
  • Chair: Bernadette
  • Minute-taker: justin
  • Food by: Leila


President's Report (15 min)

President's Report July 2013

  • Discussion notes:
    • Chris Chan: The report was only shared with the board, not the public, so our guests haven't read it. Anna: There is a printed copy that the nominees have, which can be passed around. Neil: Regarding holding ourselves accountable, we do the best we can. We are struggling to run an organization of this size. The things that have occurred so far haven't been egregious. Pointing out when we have failed to be diligent is a good strategy. Anna: Part of holding ourselves accountable could be holding onto SMART goals throughout the year. Leila: It sounds like we will talk about the rest of this throughout the agenda, or in future meetings.

Motion: To approve the July 2013 President's report as presented. Motioned by Neil. Seconded by Lee. Motion Carried.

Treasurer's Report (15 min)

  • Treasurer's Report July 2013
  • Discussion notes:
    • Neil: What Paul sent wasn't particularly legible. He sent me the files and everything seems to be in order. We are about $10,000 ahead right now, which puts us in a good place for the uncertainties with the BWS location. I will try to put out something more legible soon so you have something to look at. Paul and I need to get together next month to make a budget. Chris Chan: What are the bank accounts looking like? Neil: more than $30,000 in RBC account plus $40,000 in GICs. Don't know what we have for outstanding cheques. TD had $7,000 at the end of the last statement. $70,000 in GICs. Bern: How is BWN looking financially? Neil: I will look into that. Anna: Paul shared numbers at the retreat and BWN was looking good. Neil: BWN is ahead of budget. 5-10% ahead in most items. Leila: Anything else to discuss? Chris: BWN did well in bike sales. Kristin: In the budget is 'other depts' BWS? Neil: Yes. Anna: Have we thought more about hiring a bookkeeper? Neil: We can add a budget line-item. Anna: Chris could you put a call out in the next newsletter? Chris Chan: Yes, I also have connections I might be able to use.
  • Action Items: Chris Chan will put a call out for a bookkeeper in the next newsletter.

Motion: To return the June 2013 Treasurer's report as presented and request a current income statement and balance sheet. Motioned by Neil. Seconded by Leila. Motion Carried.

Executive Director's Report (15 min)

ED Report July 2013

  • Discussion notes:
    • Chris Chan: Didn't track hours this month, got distracted. I will start again. If that was helpful. (General agreement that it was helpful and should continue) We need a new media contact. Mostly just takes over for me if I'm not here. Coreen: I can offer back-up for that as well. Chris Chan: Your cell phone number will go up on the website. Coreen: I don't know. Anna: I can do this, but I will be away for the month of August. Chris Chan: You can delegate. Chris Corrigan: I am well informed but this won't mesh well with my day job. Chris Chan: I'll be away until Aug 1st so this is why I bring it up. Coreen's report will have something about BWS losing it's lease. Minerva storage doesn't want to lose us from the area, there is a 1400 sqft space in their building. Uncle Myles' t-shirt company is also empty. There may be things close by. If we're looking for the end of Sept or Oct then we have a month until we need to be calling and securing places. Anna did the community garden tour. Neil and Anna are helping with website updates. Bike rack rentals is going well. Bike racks will be all used during tour of Alberta. Bike rack sales - only sold 3 so far, not making any money yet. Promo if you can. Cycle Edmonton hasn't been updated yet. Will be doing something in Aug with Downtown Business Association. Nothing to do with election. Not as many lunch and learns. If you have workplaces that want them, we offer them for free. All I did was sent out the newsletter for membership. A lot of June/July has been events. Otherwise, just caught up on emails. Still behind, but catching up. Leila: Should we add the possibility of hiring administrative staff to consider for the budget for next year too? Neil: Will look at the new budget. If we can't count on the BWS revenue that might be difficult. Bernadette: What is the 'Error recovery' note in your report? Chris Chan: A bicycle didn't meet someone's expectations of being ready to ride. Anna: Is this something that the mechanic certification would help with? Chris Chan: This was something I started last year, but ran out of time. Anna: Has it been easy/hard to get volunterers for offsite stuff? Chris Chan: Easier. Coreen has done well. Asking to get paid has helped.

Motion: To approve the July 2013 ED report as presented. Motioned by Neil. Seconded by Bernadette. Motion Carried.

BikeWorks Report (15 min)

BikeWorks Report July 2013

  • Discussion notes:
    • Coreen: Potential to lose the space for BWS is the biggest item. Talked to NCA board member. They're looking to do renos because of water main break and because they want to offer more programming. 75% sure that they will be doing renos on entire building, and not renewing our lease. If renos fall through, there would be an opportunity to renew. They are sensitive to our timelines (not wanting to move during busy season, or winter). We should prepare for a Fall moveout. They will keep us updated as things develop. I'm looking at taking a week off the first week of September. Will let you know when that's confirmed. There has been well publicized drama with our ex-neighbours at BWN. Hopefully the end of our smell problems. Fence has been cut and hole is opened again as of tonight. Coverage plan is in motion. Brett is helping to bottomline a lot of the things up there. Issues with cleanliness and cleaning at both shops has improved. Leila: what changed? Coreen: People being accountable/responsible. Realizing one person was doing it all. Not as many bike sales as last few months. Been talking about paving stones and major maintenance at BWS. On hold while we wait to find out the fate of BWS. Quite a few Intro classes. Still quite popular. Already registering for Sept. Getting more advanced classes for Aug. Orientations have been going quite well. Smoothing out, getting more retention. Made some notes about W&TO day. Another volunteer day would be good. Midnight ride was well attended. Doing a fair amount of work with the adapted bike program. Doing most of our work and fittings on bike building nights. Getting more bikes out than we ever expected. It's been a great learning experience, volunteers find it rewarding. They take up a lot of space. Got rid of a lot last night, should have seen the mezzanine before that. Rental program has been popular. If we had more bikes we could rent them. Initially after raising prices there were some complaints, but haven't heard anything recently. Last part of the report is W&TO day, something that has gone on around it. Nothing is new. Have issues with volunteer turnover for that day, because it's quite stressful to have people yelling at you, who feel entitled to use the shop. Might want to strike a committee to try and address the issues. Think of more ways to deal with those who are rubbed the wrong way by the program, and then come back the next day like nothing's wrong. Neil: I'm understanding some of the issues we're facing. Do you have any thoughts? W&TO day is a stop-gap. Aside from calling the cops about the guy calling "discrimination' out at you down the alley, what can we do? Sarah: What's wrong with that? Chris Chan: Just thought of this: We don't tolerate behaviour like that, we could ban them, one step before that is to take their photo and have a wall of shame. as a deterrent. Maybe it should be zero tolerance to that kind of abuse, but maybe that's a bit extreme as a first step. Coreen: I usually try to be as nice as possible. but I would like to say, just don't come back if it gets that bad, which has been only once or twice. If we got to that level we'd be doing it every women's day. Sarah: I don't know how you feel about this, you suggested it in your report, how would you feel about striking a committee to think up ideas for how to deal with this Coreen: I'd like that.
  • Motion: Strike an ad hoc Women and Trans* Only Day Committee to address issues arising on that day. Motioned by Sarah. Seconded by Leila. Motion Carried.
  • Action Items:
    • Chris Chan will print up stickers to put on pamphlets for rental program to reflect price changes.
    • Coreen will call a meeting of the ad hoc Women and Trans* Only day committee on August 1st at 6pm.

Motion: To approve the July 2013 BikeWorks report as presented. Motioned by Leila. Seconded by Sarah. Motion Carried.

Board Retreat Committee Report (7 min)

Committee Report

  • Lee, Sarah
  • Discussion notes:
    • Talked about the SMART Goals: HR/Staff Liaison Policies, Charity Status, BWN surplus. Decided not to create any further goals at the retreat, focus on what we've already prioritized for ourselves.

Charitable Status Committee Report (5 min)

Committee Report

  • Sarah, Neil
  • Discussion notes:
    • Sarah: Neil and I met Monday, condensed the goal, meeting more often. Chris Corrigan: How often are you meeting? Sarah: Every week.

Performance Evaluation Committee Report (2 min)

  • Update on process. From Adam's email: "Lee, Leila, and I met with Chris on Thursday [July 18] and discussed the results of the survey that was sent out. It was a good discussion, and Chris will be drafting some S.M.A.R.T. goals for the next 12 months. You will be receiving a report on the results of the survey and our meeting with Chris, hopefully by Monday or so. Chris's SMART goals may take a bit longer."
  • Details to be discussed in camera.

Current & Completed Business

Updates on Action Items From Previous Meeting (5 min)

Board Member Appointments (25 min)

  • Must fill 2 current vacancies today (Micah resigned May 8, Adam resigned July 24)
  • Overview of appointment process:
    • 2 minute introductions of board applicants (may present in person or meeting Chair may read application/intro if applicant is absent)
    • Current board members vote for up to 2 candidates by secret ballot
    • Votes tallied and announced.
    • Review other ways to get involved with EBC.
    • Review process for formal election at AGM. Anna will contact 2 new board members for a mini orientation in the next two weeks.
  • Discussion notes:
    • Voting by ranked, run-off ballot.
    • Voting occurred, results: Caylie Gnyra and Kristen Flath.
  • Motion: To approve the election results and appoint Caylie Gnyra and Kristen Flath to the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters' Society board of directors until the end of the current term. Motioned by Bernadette. Seconded by Leila. Motion Carried.
  • Action Items:
    • Neil to create e-mail and wiki accounts for 2 new board members. Email Chris Chan with their email addressess.
    • Neil to add 2 new board members to board email list.
    • Anna will meet with new board members to do mini orientation next week or 1st week of August.

New Business

BikeWorks South Lease (10 min)

  • Review info about current lease
  • Review current possibilities for other locations (Chris)
  • Discussion on criteria for BWS location to guide Operational tasks
  • Discussion notes:
    • Leila: I want to talk about priorities for the space to guide us in finding something. Sarah: Examples? Leila: Accessibility. Neil: Don't want yard storage for bikes (if there is any) between the front gate and front door. Leila: As a community based space, one thing to consider is if we're interested in sharing the space with other organizations, for meetings and other events. Lee: What do you mean by sharing the space? Leila: Primarily Bikeworks. But we put on events. Sarah: Facilitating sharing would be preferable. (General agreement) Also staying in Strathcona would be preferable. Neil: May be a few industrial-type properties that are affordable in the area. Sarah: Probably best not to expand past our current capacity. (General agreement) Neil: We probably can't get more volunteers even if there are more stands. Bernadette: This might lead into the paid mechanic question. Leila: Get Chris Chan to consult the minutes in searching for the space. Chris Chan: My report asked for someone else to head this. Sarah: What would be involved. Chris Chan: Legwork. Phone calls, internet searches. Lee: I could do that. Do we want to look in Strathcona? Neil: Don't go downtown, too close to North shop. Going across the bridge is a mental barrier to people from the southern suburbs. Chris Chan: Anna was involved in finding BWN so consult her because she has experience. Make sure to call realtors. Leila: Staff will be required to help
  • Action Items: Lee will search for appropriate properties in the area and report back to the board by beginning of August.

Annual General Meeting planning (5 min)

  • Strike AGM ad-hoc committee.
    • Book a location near BWN. Location _______ being booked by _____.
    • Budget for AGM (venue costs, catering, printing, etc)
    • Door prize recruitment
    • New board member recruitment and organizing applications
  • Board members: mark your calendars for Nov 2-3 as the Board Orientation/Retreat.
  • Discussion notes:
    • Sarah: Happy to do it if there is at least me and two other people. Bernadette: I will do it too. Neil: Can recruit new board members. Chris Chan: Need to book soon.
  • Action Items: Bernadette will book the hall by August 1st.

Creating Budget for 2013-2014 (10 min)

  • Current budget goes to end of August 2013. Initial discussions on next budget... (Neil)
  • Discussion notes:
    • Tabled.

Alberta Bicycle Commuters Conference (5 min)

  • Update on conference planning (Bernadette)
  • Discussion notes:
    • Bernadette: Picked a date: Sept 28 & 29th. All day 28th and half day 29th. Red Deer at Kerry Wood Nature Centre for free. Having three topics: Education, Advocacy and Infrastructure. Spoken with John Collier about education, would like to talk to Chris Chan about possible infrastructure presentation. Don't have an idea yet for advocacy. Looking at about $40 per person. Karly thinks we can get a grant from Alberta Bicycle Association.

  • Discussion notes:
    • Neil: Basically suggesting an employee on commission? Chris Chan: A paid mechanic that only does paid work. Already is doing this privately in his own shop. Not unheardof in community bike shop world. Our Community Bikes (Vancouver) does this already. People come in and want to buy bikes that aren't even close to ready but don't have the interest in learning. Leila: This would be taking place during shop hours? Chris Chan: This is just an idea, we can go with any options. Leila: Closed shop hours? Chris Chan: Paid during open hours, would be volunteering when the work isn't there. Neil: Have concerns with that kind of an arrangement. What's in it for him, if he's already getting lots of clients, presumably he has all the tools? Chris Chan: He doesn't have all the tools. Working from a garage is not the same as working from a fully functional bike shop. Plus we have the name and the client base. Chris Corrigan: Who is this? Chris: Shawn, my roommate and former bike mechanic at Western Cycle. We could expand to other people if this takes off. Sarah: To summarize, there are a lot of options which we don't have to take all or any of, ultimately. We would be expanding our services to clients who we don't usually reach but know about us. My concerns would be is this just with Shawn? Leila: I would like to see us opening up a competition to everyone, not just creating a position for someone. Neil: Not necessarily, business relationships are based on personal relationships. If it was a paid wage position, maybe, but there is no risk to us. Leila: Financially maybe, but Keith Halgren is someone who wants to do the same thing. If this is a community context, what do we sacrifice if we do this. Coreen: We have a strong policy against profiteering by working in our shop, we are clearly against it, this makes makes me worried. Chris Chan: I don't understand the profiteering. We would get all the money from parts and services, more than we usually would. If Keith wants to do this too, great. It would generate revenue. Neil: Did we ever pass our non-competition policy? Even if we didn't, entering the market price repair market place is a vast change in direction. Leila: I would strongly agree with you. Sarah: How so? Neil: We have always offered a unique service. I would worry about alienating the shops that we currently have relationships with, the impact this has on those relationships. Chris Corrigan: This might be useful if we have pressure to maintain a greater fleet of bikes. Edmonton is growing. Other cities have multiple Bikeworks-like organizations. could help diversify what we offer. Bernadette: My thought is people who go to current shops at market value usually go there because they have a bike that they bought there. Offerring something like this gives us the opportunity to build a loyal customer who is interested in coming back. Sarah: I would like to shed a positive light as well, and see the proposal go forward and look at the different opportunities as well as drawing it up with not just the one mechanic in mind, in case something happens. Maybe we need to have them only for certain parts of the year, and think about drawing up contracts for how their time is used. Leila: I would like to take this to the question I brought up in my report and look at it in a broader perspective. I think this position is a departure from the basic mandate of Bikeworks and look at that more deeply and how it plays into our operational vision as a whole and whether or not this is a useful way to grow our services in yet another direction. We're growing our services in many programs which need organizational backing and support that we have difficulty doing. Chris Chan: In terms of sustainability, he's already doing it, so it doesn't take a lot of backing. In terms of generating revenue it might provide an opportunity to hire administrative help. Other bike shops won't really work on EBC bikes, some as far as turning people away. May not necessarily be competivitve. Can take an extra amount of time to get EBC bikes fixed. Leila: Or people can show up here and learn to fix their bikes. That is how we operate already. Chris Chan: That option isn't open to everyone. Sarah: Not for scrapping or going full steam ahead. I want to look at how other shops do this. Leila: Other shops do this to bring in money, to pay their rent, then do what Bikeworks does for the love of it. So the situation is kind of opposite. Neil: Could do something that is less of a departure, and maybe bring in less revenue. Like where a mechanic can use the Bikeworks shop to do repairs for people off hours. We recommend them to customers. Sarah: Maybe the service can be reserved for people in particular situations, instead of just anyone. Bernadette: Maybe we stick with the DIY but you can hire someone to do one-on-one tutoring, come in off hours. Sarah: Curious what Lee and justin think. Bern: and Coreen. Coreen: I think in terms of hiring someone to build bikes, I like that idea, get the bikes out of the yard. Haven't really decided, don' t know if it's creating tiers of service. As for the repairs services, that's where I'm the most trepidatious. There are so many other avenues to do that throughout town. We really are empowering people to be able to do it themselves, take care of their bikes themselves. It is a really big component to making it accessible. Every day there are people who have no interest in picking up a wrench. But we have done a really good job of encouraging that. We have changed the culture of cycling in Edmonton. That's why we have such an active base of engaged volunteers. Lee: I keep thinking back to Neil's point about competition. If we go into the commercial market, we might be stepping on toes. The community aspect is the most important here. It will be good to clean up the yard, but it will have other impacts . justin: Agreed with comments about stepping on toes and concern for fostering the community aspect of the shop, in a complex way. Sarah: I just want to recognize the time and I have to leave at 9:30. Chris Chan: I think I have a comment that I think will be friendly and address some of the concerns. I went on the Our Community Bikes site. (shows the site) I want to make this more accessible. Hiring a bike builder would definitely address a number of the issues. I like that we had this discussion because we pushed it a lot further and came back to something that felt comfortable. Coreen: If someone comes in and needs advanced help, having someone to fill that gap, I could see that being useful, but getting someone to pay to change a flat tire no. Neil: We had paid mechanics and that had it's own issues. Having people here during shop hours, doesn't seem like a good idea, but having someone during closed hours seems like a good idea. Coreen: There are definitely things to iron out. With a lot of our volunteers what is a 'done bike' has a lot of variation. Neil: It would be a different situation between loving volunteer and paid bike builder. Sarah: It sounds like there is an opportunity to address old issues, and having a paid mechanic in some sense provides an opportunity to address these issues, but I'd like to move on. Leila: Would like to table this conversation until the next meeting. Sarah: Or email conversation.

In Camera Session (15 min)

  • Motion: To go in camera. Motioned by Leila. Seconded by Sarah. Motion Carried.
  • One topic hosted by Leila (15 min)


  • Motion: To adjourn the meeting. Motioned by Leila. Seconded by Bernadette. Motion Carried.