Sun 10 Nov 2013 12:26AM

convert admin contract and shop leads (open/close/register/clean/inventory/deposit) to hourly wage-work and begin search for an executive director

JK Joey Korkames Public Seen by 4

Forgive my stream of consciousness here, but i really cant whittle this down or even chapter-ize it. I've repeatedly refused to discuss this in a 60 minute meeting and now you can see why:

The time has come for us, the board of directors, to face the fact that it cannot re-build Bike Saviours back to its former health by talking for an hour once a month instead of directing real work, nor expecting lots of well-meaning but limited ability/ambition direct-public-service shop volunteers to spontaneously rise to comprehensively administrate all unsavory retail and regulatory necessities of our shop, nor expect an underpaid and unempowered 'admin' to authoritatively and aggressively collaborate with prospective volunteers, landlords, and service providers whilst they thanklessly do much busy work that is ripe for automation by computers and hourly-paid trusted helpers (aka part-time employees).

We need to choose and hire good lieutenants to make the shop run like it used when Allison had neighbors of the shop to hand her 3-hour (remember those?!) shifts off to midway and we need an executive director to steer the growth and maintenance of the shop and collective like Allison did. She was our first executive director, succeeded, and then idealistically abolished her job and authority. That hasn't worked out despite our sometimes peaceful but mostly ineptly human efforts to commutatively run something without assigning reasonability nor compensation for it, except for a few compartmentalized chores that are oddly and intransparently paid to a single mistreated person.

We don't have enough broad based and recurring income yet to fund a exempted salary for an already established non-profit executive director (E.D.), but most organizations in our shoes nevertheless will attempt to recruit an enthusiastic manager already involved in the field on a pro-bono basis with an implied assurance that the volunteer will be the prime candidate for such a paid position once funding is in place, which would be assumed to have been caused by the initial success of said volunteer.

We will never advance past relying on a single-patron and find true security and buy-in from our community until we have prime movers doing the real work we need to become sustainable. TdF is a yearly monsoon of goodwill and sustenance from a single day in October, but it leaves us content with a dysfunctional drought the entire rest of the year. Our shop is haphazard and absent compared to other organizations with a fraction of our funding and far worse locations. We are seen as long past gone - i'm regularly asked if we're still around and its not because we have moved, but because we aren't there. The missing link is talented people. We have them, they are interested in helping us, but we are not engaging on acceptable terms. Most volunteers want to share knowledge and help people, they do not want to oversee our schedules, facilities, sales, and rules in order to work with people's bikes. We need to pay for those pillars to be held up every week, and then the volunteers-at-large will feel able to help us how they can on a recurring basis.

I have already laid out a good 1st year program of what could be done by an E.D. in my Shop Manager contract last spring, which was never read, critiqued, much less signed. In lieu of retaining me or anybody else on that contract, the board has instead done nearly none of the work items I detailed, except for the handful of projects I initiated and coordinated out of pure necessity to save face of our shop to our landlords, clients, and donor.

That inaction on my contract may well be for the better legally, because a contractor cannot administrate their own contract for us, which is what i was being set up to do. Call my own hiring votes, write my own Description and title, negotiate against myself on price, etc. Heather had to do the same and it is inexcusable to put needed people through such an absurd process. Also, a contractor can not exist in a hierarchical vacuum: Any organization that contracts has to have a director proactively monitoring their outputs and addressing their obstacles and adversaries, something this board has been completely incapable of doing for current and past admins by willfully allowing them to be abused, undermined and sabotaged.

Its time to acknowledge that anarchy & austerity has failed us the last three years and that we need to find and eventually fund a leader and the operations of the shop. I don't care specifically who it is but whether that they will do a good job in continuing our mission and in the manner of behavior that we have stated that we follow. This is not to suggest an abandonment of consensus for the board or its policy oversight of the collective, merely acknowledgement that good vibes don't make physical motion.

There is a lot of budgetary shuffling in my proposals to convert the the admin contract and shop leads to wage work and i am prepared to go into elaborate detail, but its would be pointless to break it down it until the basic principle of this is deemed worthwhile by consensus.
Of course it will cost us more than what we are paying an 'admin' now to illegally contract inside our shop, but it would provide us better value-per-dollar than what we begrudgingly paying for now and it would make all involved feel considerably better treated and resultantly more enthusiastic. It would also enable us to spread and delegate the real workloads of the shop as-needed instead of tying a single person down 100% of the time and giving us a "hit-by-bus-factor" equal to 1.

On a personal note, I cannot continue to spend time on an organization that doesn't value the work that it needs or the people that ultimately do it. I say that not as an ultimatum, but as a testimony in line with what everyone else that has been pushed away has effectively said to me. This is not compassion fatigue or burnout from doing the service work that brings us all to Bike Saviours, this is because of the utterly dysfunctional and neglectful operations of this board, comprised of people who i still believe capable of far better. You guys 'n gals are great advisors and policy makers, and individually make great service contributions to the shop, but this board as a whole is not executing basic management tasks and we have been in a downward spiral since our last director left, so lets agree to fill this void. If there is no will to execute our mission, then it may as well not exist and you could just call us a club. I don't need nor want to volunteer to run a weekly clubhouse, seemingly nobody else does in our general community either.


Ryan Guzy Sat 16 Nov 2013 1:30AM

I think we all agree with you that we need to go to paid employees and an executive director. That's where we are on the bike-coop-spectrum right now. However, we can't do that overnight and we were hoping that getting you hired would work out some of the legal/tax issues.

Since none of us has been successful in moving in that direction, I propose that we have a series of special meetings to work on a roadmap/timeline for this move and assign all of the necessary tasks to specific board members.

We can also continue the discussion on here and by email.

Thanks for writing down your thoughts and giving us a kick in the pants to get going on this.


Poll Created Sat 16 Nov 2013 1:32AM

Call a special meeting to coordinate employee-director process Closed Sat 23 Nov 2013 1:09AM

We need to meet to lay out a roadmap/timeline to get from where we are to a more business-like structure. We need to figure out what tasks need to be done and assign those tasks to specific board members.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 100.0% 2 JK PG
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 3 RG PV SBT

2 of 5 people have participated (40%)


Joey Korkames
Fri 22 Nov 2013 1:35AM

Yea to meeting(s). I'll start to work on a budget proposal for the hourly work I described aforehand and what I'd want to ask for from any ED nominee or applicant.


Patrick Gilbery Sat 16 Nov 2013 1:48AM

I have not been involved long enough to fully understand where the shop has been and is along the continuum, but I would like to see it grow.


Joey Korkames Fri 22 Nov 2013 1:27AM

Paulo, Floyd, and i discussed this a tad before our last meeting to vote on the Rusty Spoke grant. I think we all expressed an interest in setting up a recruitment process.

Additionally, paulo stated we are 'in the black' for our current outlays for the remainder of our existing lease. So we have a relatively certain place to start from.