august 23 meeting

page for agenda and minutes of august meeting for communications committee

Things that came up at the last general meeting:

  1. what do the colored tags mean? Decide for sure, communicate to everyone.
  2. Fix for sale & Library bike documentation
  3. setting up a computer in the shop
  4. map of shop
  5. guide to stripping bikes
  6. training system for volunteer staffers
  7. better documentation of volunteer tasks.
  8. community-building social events!
  9. Printing

Things we got to in the meeting:

  1. what do the colored tags mean? Decide for sure, communicate to everyone.
  2. Fix for sale & Library bike documentation
  3. setting up a computer in the shop
  4. map of shop (somewhat)

Notes and Points-of-Action from the Comm. Committee

(these are in no particular order)

1 – Colored Tag System


Red – EAB
Blue – For Sale (Done)
Green – Library (Done)
Red, Blue – Fix for Sale, In Progress
Red, Green – Library Bike, In Progress

To differentiate between a Fix-for-Sale being done by a Commission Mechanic, and a Fix-for-Sale being fixed up by volunteers, the Blue tag on the Blue, Red tag combo will have a “C” or “Commission” written on it.

When you receive a donated bike that is a high quality, good condition bike that’d be a good Fix-for-Sale, tag it with a Blue tag, Red tag, and a White # tag, then fill out the corresponding Fix-for-Sale form. Make sure the Blue tag that you select for this bike is BLANK on both sides (no writing). At this point, anyone may work on this bike.

If you receive a donation that’s a good condition, but low quality bike that you think would be good for a Library bike, tag it with a Green tag, Red tag, and a White # tag, then fill out the corresponding Library Bike form (which is currently under construction. For now, just modify the Fix for Sale form and write “LIBRARY” on the top.) After you have done this, any volunteer may work on getting this bike road ready.

For the Fix-for-Sales that you receive, be sure to give an initial Safety Check Assessment. Go down the checklist in the back and denote anything that is wrong with the bike in a column beside the original column. The original column will be used by the staffer when the bike is complete, to give a Final Safety Assessment before a bike is sold or allowed on the road.

IF YOU ARE SELLING A BIKE: make sure you give it a final safety check. After you accept the payment for the bike, write the date and your initials or name on the bottom of the Fix-for-Sale form and file it in the back of the binder.

Commission mechanics:
If you see a bike that you want to fix on commission, exchange the blank Blue tag for a Blue tag that has a “C” written on both sides, or “Commission” written on both sides. Then fill out the black box at the top of that bike’s Fix-for-Sale form with your name and phone number. When you have completed the bike, remove the Red tag and indicate a Final Price on the bottom of the bike’s Fix-for-Sale form.

Volunteer mechanics working on Fix-for-Sales for volunteer hours:
Please do not begin work on a bike until you are sure that a commission mechanic has not already claimed the bike. Check the Blue tag for the “C” or “Commission” writing on it, but also double check the Fix-for-Sale form to make sure that no one is building it on commission. If someone is, their name will be written in the black box at the top of the front of the form, plus they may already have done some work on the “Build History” and “Notes” on the flip side of the form.

DO NOT write your name in the black box on the top of the front of the Fix-for-Sale form! This box is only to be used if you are a qualified collective council member building the bike for pay (instead of volunteer hours). Simply leave this box empty. On the back of the form, you should describe your work in the “Notes” column, and write your name, the date, and hours worked under the “Build History” part at the top. Indicate in the “Build History” that you are a volunteer. List any new parts you’ve added to the bike on the front. When you have completed the bike, remove the red tag and get a staffer to do a final safety check on the bike and give it a price (if it doesn’t have one already) so it may be sold.

Point of Action on Volunteer Night: Someone should make a sign of this new system! Also, would it be possible to print out a description of the new system, adapted from the above language, to place into the Fix-for-Sale, Library and EAB binders?

2 – Fix-for-Sale Form Improvements

  • Create two columns on the back, a “Initial Check-in Assessment” column, and a “Final Safety Check” column, under the Safety Check header.
  • Condense the pricing equation on the front. Also, add more instructions about how to use the equation?
  • Add instructions to the bottom for what to do after the bike is sold.
  • Include a liability signature from the purchaser(??? This occurred to me while typing these notes)

Will said he will work on this.

3 – Library Bike binder

Resolved: create a Library Bike binder. Get it out of the Fix-for-Sale binder!!! Also, reuse one of the binders that is not currently in use.

Resolved: decorate the Library bikes to de-incentivize stealing them. Label the bikes as “L1” “L2” etc., or NAME the bikes and paint their names on them? This would be a fun volunteer night task.

Resolved: Create TWO Library bike forms, like so:

Library Bike Life Log form would be the form to file in the Library binder. We talked about naming the bikes, so an example form would be “Chiffy’s Life Log” (alternatively “L5’s Life Log”). The Life Log would the following information:

  • when the bike was taken out
  • amount of deposit received
  • when it was returned
  • amount of deposit returned
  • any notes about problems that the bike came back with (so mechanics know what needs work)
  • when any work occurs on Chiffy
  • who does the work on Chiffy
  • description of that work.

Maintaining the Library bikes must become a regular weekly volunteer task.

Bike Borrower Form would contain the following information:

  • Date of borrowing
  • Name of borrower
  • Phone, e-mail, address(?) of borrower
  • Amount deposited
  • Liability signature of borrower
  • Acceptance signature or initials of the staffer.

It was discussed that this form occur in the size of like an index card, and be filed in the same folder as the deposit money. When the bike is returned, this form could be torn up or it could go into a locked-up folder for some reason. (Thoughts about completed library borrowing transactions?)

Also, in the very front of the Library Bike binder, there will be a “How to Use this Library Bike Binder” document, similar to the one currently in the Fix-for-Sale binder, that orients staffers to how to properly process the forms.

Caroline has agreed to bottom line the drafting of the new Library Bike forms.

4 – Computer in the Shop

CJ says that each tenant is responsible for providing their own internet. None of us really want to provide internet ourselves, as it could get pricey.

Caroline agrees to talk to Andrew Butcher, CEO of GTECH, with whom she has a connection. Feels positive that he will be receptive to the idea. Committee agreed that offering half of the amount per month that GTECH pays for Internet would be more than fair. Inform GTECH that it would only be one computer using it, and it would only be during shop hours for the most part.

Mark was going to try to find out from Brian what he had in mind for a computer. Committee feels that a flat-screen monitor or a laptop would be ideal for space concerns. Talking about placement: the computer body could go in the cupboard under the register, while the monitor resides on the counter next to register. Or laptop could be locked in that cabinet each night.

We talked about the Crabgrass main page being the hub for any staffer to use for any documentation. I created a Crabgrass page to discuss what the new layout of the Crabgrass main page should look like to serve this new computer-in-the-shop function.

This means that we should emphasize Crabgrass usability and accessibility to people. Concern was raised about the sending of crabgrass links over the volunteer e-mail list that did not indicate that the link was private, or that you needed an invitation to view it. Clicking the “Public” box on the right hand column of each Crabgrass page makes a page public! So we should take care to make all the relevant pages public for anyone to view, and especially for members to print forms and what not, while the only stuff that should have the “Public” box unchecked is stuff only relevant and/or sensitive to the collective council. Also, if anyone is sending a private page, please make note that you need to sign in and/or receive an invitation to view it. Or where necessary send it over the collective council email list, not the volunteer list.

Also, make this “Public” check box and other Crabgrass “How to Use” instructions at the top of the main page, for any new staffer who has questions. Can someone work on getting a “How to Use Crabgrass” guide ready?

5 – Map of Shop

Caroline and Jessica want to work on this together.

That’s all I got folks! Feel free to add, modify, add links to relevant pages, and so forth. These minutes written by Caroline.


One thing about the computer-in-shop-as-reference. We should discuss where our documentation should be stored so as to be most useful. Crabgrass is versatile but has the disadvantage of not being public. The webpage is totally public – on the other hand we don’t want to totally overwhelm casual visitors with details. Perhaps different types of information would be best stored in each forum.


brainstorming on the in-shop computer: