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This page lists decisions which PLOTS staff have voted on. Currently any major decision requires 70% (currently 5/6) agreement and any staff member can call for a vote. We use anonymous approval voting, which is de-anonymized after the vote is complete. Staff hiring decisions require 100% agreement (see below, April 12, 2012).

Gulf Monitoring Consortium invitation

August 19, 2013: (6/6) Public Lab should accept its invitation to join the Gulf Monitoring Consortium (SkyTruth, LA Bucket Brigade, LA Environmental Action Network, Gulf Restoration Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance).

3 month Retail Task Force: Summer 2013

June 5, 2013: (6/7) We will reorganize staff time around a 3-month plan to expand our retail operation to assure sustainability, for June/July/Aug 2013.

Gulf Future Principles for Sustainable Restoration

April 11, 2013: (6/7) We agree to support the "Gulf Future Principles for Sustainable Restoration" statement as a staff.

Contractors; monthly sysadmin and retail assembly spending

April 8, 2013: (2 separate votes, all 7/7 unanimous) We agree to a) spend $600/month on sysadmin and hosting services, b) spend a maximum of $180/month on a retail assembly position in Portland Oregon. Both positions will be reviewed after 3 months.

Director of Retail Communications hiring vote

Jan 31, 2013: We accept Adam Griffith's counter-proposal of starting the Director of Retail Communications role (as circulated on paper and in PDF) with the new start date of March 1st, where he will account for this later start date by not submitting hours for 20hrs/2 weeks prior to his start date. (5/5, as Adam recused himself and Becki is not yet voting)

Tri-State Open Science Challenge application and Development Manager voting rights

Oct 16, 2012: The staff is open to PLOTS applying to Salk Prize, as part of the Tri-State Open Science Challenge (but not the DTRA Defense Prize). (5/6 for Salk Prize, 2/6 for DTRA)

In addition, the soon-to-be-hired Develoment Manager will have voting power as a member of the staff, bringing the total staff votes up to 7, but only after an initial 3 month period of employment. (5/6)

Travel reimbursement incentives

April 12, 2012: For plane travel, reimbursements will be only 50% of total price if the ticket was bought less than 15 days before the flight. (7/7)

If you choose an alternative form of travel (like a train) which is more expensive, you must choose to pay the difference or receive only 50% of the total price in reimbursement. (7/7)

Equipment loans to participants and partners

April 12, 2012, 7/7: A discretionary budget (to be decided) will be available to staff members to make equipment available for loan to participants and partners in PLOTS work. Such loans will be made with the provision that those who borrow must share -- must make the equipment available for public access.

Ability of PLOTS staff as a whole to sign ideological statements

April 12, 2012: PLOTS staff as a whole can sign ideological statements only after a staff vote, on the semi-weekly vote cycle. (7/7)

PLOTS staff can call for a community vote, which doesn't block the staff's ability to vote on and sign ideological statements separately. (7/7)

PLOTS staff hiring decisions

April 12, 2012, 5/7 agreement for multiple proposals, decided by Shannon who called the vote: Hiring a specific person for a staff role (not assignment of money for hires) requires a 100% (7/7) level of agreement from staff.

PLOTS overhead on grants

April 12, 2012, 6/7: PLOTS will require overhead contribution on grants raised by non-staff individuals to work on PLOTS programs, tools and infrastructure (web or otherwise) on a sliding scale with a minimum total amount to be decided on, and can make exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

CPA hiring vote

Approved April 8, 2012, 5/7, two abstentions: We should hire Debbie Moran of Eriksen Krentel & LaPorte LLP as PLOTS' accountant at approx. $1,500-$2,000 (depending on the size of our yearly budget) for the 2011-12 year.

Health insurance for nonprofit staff members

Approved October 30, 2011, 6/7 -- We should purchase health coverage for Jeff, Mathew, Sara, Shannon, and Stewart with company Assurant Health. (25-30 copay, deductible 2000 only for hospitalization (not including emergency), monthly rate $380 each) The plan starts on Nov 1st and PLOTS will provide 75% subsidy for full time staff members, and 50% for part-time. The first payment of $1,903.45 is due on Monday Oct 31, 2012. This increases our original annual budget for health care from $10,992 to $16,000.

The following measure also passed with 6/7 votes: We will reimburse full-time staff who have already prepaid health care at approximately $94/month.

Note: Due to Assurant not approving us until the start of February, the reimbursement agreement was never needed.

Togo project approved

Approved Oct 31, 2011, 7/7: "We should commit to doing the Togo World Bank project with the GFDRR Labs."

  • Added scoping trip with OSM
  • Addition of strict language, developed by Public Lab, around community ownership of data
  • Area in Baguida to do pilot in has not be determined, this pilot could be run similarly to the Rio project in that mapping occurs in public space rather than private space

Vote thresholds for all votes lowered to 5/7

Approved Sept 9, 2011: The threshold for a successful vote was lowered to 70% or currently 5 of 7 staff members.

Part time staff working over 20 hours during a workshop

Approved Sept 9, 2011: Speakers/workshop runners get compensated for all the time they work; they must use comp time or something similar to fit it all within the # of hours they can work -- trading for non-work-time before or after the trip.

Hiring a fundraising person

Approved Sept 9, 2011: We will move $7,800 for a fundraising person from next year's budget to this year's

Butte-based coordinator position

Approved Sept 9, 2011: A Butte-based, Butte-partner paid, 3-month contract position, non-voting, possible renewal, oversight by working group, long-term expansion to other mining sites, no travel/conf budget built in. Also some amount of (~$2k?) overhead for PLOTS, not including Mathew's travel.

Honoraria or equivalent from speaking engagements & workshops

Approved Sept 9, 2011: PLOTS provides a yearly bonus to staff from pooling $150 of any honorarium for a speaking engagement that brings in over $500. If a PLOTS staff member receives an honorarium for a speaking obligation of over $500, $150 of that money is transferred into a collective pool. At the end of the fiscal year, that pool is divided evenly among the staff member as a ?speaking bonus?. The remaining amount of the honorarium in excess of $150 is folded back into the organizations operating budget. For honorariums less than $500 all of the honorarium is folded back into the organizational budget.

Rio/UNICEF project vote

Approved Aug 12, 2011: "Should Leif represent Public Laboratory in Rio, at personal cost to him and Liz?"

Approved Aug 12, 2011: "Do you give your approval for Shannon to sign the contract with the following amendment?"

"This signed agreement pertains to all data, pictures and media collected through the UNICEF Brazil Environmental Digital Mapping Workshops in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. All environmental and mapping data collected at the trainer workshops and follow-up workshops with youth shall be community owned and, with their explicit consent, provided transparently to those who request it. Public Laboratory has offered to publish the data in its publications and online in its digital archive with noted credit to community partners and to UNICEF Brazil, and may do so with approval from community partners."

Aug/Oct Q1 budget, Vote threshold for budgets

Aug 15, 2011: We approved the following measures:

"we should adopt this budget" (aug-oct budget)

"we should require only 75% (6 of 7) approval" for approving budgets in the future

(In the case of 75%, if the number of voters changes, the percent would stay the same, though the # of voters to get that might change.)

(This vote was superceded by a 70%, 5/7 majority threshold, see above, Sept 9, 2011)

Comp time vote

July 22, 2011: (need to post results)

Nonprofit officers vote

July 12, 2011, 7/7 We agree to appoint:

  • Shannon Dosemagen as president
  • Sara Wylie as treasurer
  • Jeffrey Warren as secretary

of the nonprofit arm of Public Laboratory for 1 year, until August 1, 2012, and to adopt the legal name "Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science" for the nonprofit.

Hiring process vote

June 23, 2011 The vote failed to pass any measures.