Authorization for tools: Strings attached?



I agree with your basic statement, but the members don’t elect committee chairs. They can, through a somewhat democratic process, suggest a chair for the board, but it is the board who appoint committee chairs. And ultimately it is the board that are responsible for the actions of the officers they appoint.


And will replace chairs who act egregiously. The members can express their displeasure at a chair’s actions, and it will be acted upon. Unless it’s just drive-by criticism. I can almost guarantee that if a committee voted overwhelmingly for a particular chair (who accepted the position), the board would appoint them.


Not to mention authorized users, if we’re going to try to make it a hard requirement. Also, grandfathering needs to be considered whenever tools are annexed for “training required”.

And I still think much of this goes against the Maker “do it yourself” spirit, but if it’s where the membership wants to go…


There was an instance last year where just that kind of happened. The board came back and said we want you to vote for someone else. Like I said, I basically agree with your post, but the committee chairs are ultimate appointees of the board and not voted on by members.

BTW, have you heard my explanation that DMS derived the word committee chair from ancient greek for janitor? :slight_smile:


There are exceptions to every rule. :slight_smile:


If you shop around our rates for virtually everything are very competitive. If you can find somewhere else in the area you can use a lift for unlimited periods of time for $50 upfront and $50 a month you will change my mind.


I think you’ve got a great idea. One way you could help accomplish it is to e-mail/PM the chairs, ask them for a list of tools that require training (and who the trainers are), then update the wiki.

Remember, we’re all volunteers here.


Irrelevant. We are a non-profit and have a mandate to use our funds to further the education of our membership, not to compete with the local Jack Junkies.


Agreed. It is an unfortunate theme, lately.


I’ve got a better idea: Put it to the membership to make this a rule for all tools which require training/authorization. I think making a tool “training required” should require some justification and periodic refresh, along with the documentation I noted above. That way, committees will spend the work to require training on those tools which really require it.

This isn’t really about training for me; It’s about automotive using the guise of “training” to grab $50 from each member who wants to use the lift. If that money went back into maintaining the lift or paying off a loan from the BoD, that’d be just fine in my book. However, as Brandon has demonstrated with his posts on this forum, the money is actually being used to buy other tools for Automotive. Shouldn’t that be done with donations and honorariums? It is used to keep transients from abusing the system? Perhaps, but maybe there’s a better way to handle that at the membership level.

(Disclosure: Yep, I got trained. I paid my $50. I’m trying to make it better for people who might not be able to afford that, but could be trained and trusted not to abuse the system.)


I think you are confusing nonprofit with charity. Having funds to invest in growing the organization furthers our educational goals.


I don’t see an issue with a one-time $50 class fee to use the lift, our other big tools have similar systems (CNC Router, HAAS Mill, etc).

Historically the automotive committee was discouraged from hosting classes due to liability issues that our insurance provider brought up. So honorariums were not a possible source of funds for the committee and relying on donations only is unworkable.


Oh, let’s not get into this argument again. No-one said it was a charity. Members pay $50/mo for access and contribute in some small part to the pool of funds from which the committees occasionally benefit. Happily, there are some members who donate more.


Sure, but what built the space and keeps it running is not that $50/mo, it’s the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of man-hours that our volunteers have put in. Volunteers are far and away the most important part of the space.


As are donors, who have donated tens of thousands of dollars and equipment (the lift being one of those donations) to DMS. Profiteering from equipment donated by some kind soul, installed by some of those excellent volunteers you mentioned, just doesn’t sit right with me.

Anyhoo, I think I’ve made, or at least attempted to make, my opinion known. I hope others will consider my argument and think about how DMS might be made a little better for everyone.