[Noisebridge-discuss] Noisebridge Meeting 10/10/2017

John Shutt john.d.shutt at gmail.com
Fri Oct 13 18:38:59 UTC 2017

One more elevator thing.

I made a side trip at DBI yesterday to look into the elevator complaint. It got routed to housing, and no inspector ever came out, since we're a commercial building. The complaint is getting spiked without any action.

If someone can find the right place to file a complaint that may or may not help press the landlord. I don't know what enforcement mechanisms the city had for commercial elevators that break down, or what rights we have as a lessee.

I did some very shallow and quick research on maintenance and saw that we could get a professional maintenance contract for $50/month. The elevator repair fund can easily absorb that, once any big repairs that need to be done are complete. I would support low ongoing maintenance costs coming out of the general fund to keep the elevator working once it's fixed, and think we should try to reach an agreement with the landlord that offsets our rent for that amount. If there are objections to using general fund money for regular maintenance, I would lead a fundraising drive to replenish the elevator repair fund.

This busted elevator is a travesty and we don't have to live this way. I just want to make sure we keep getting stronger financially even as we increase spending so that when we hit issues like the SparkleForge inspection we can keep rolling merrily along. That would feel like a total crisis if it happened in 2015, but since we've been careful financially, it's mostly a time sink for a handful of people dealing with it, while most people are blissfully unaware there's an issue.

Now that we're stronger culturally, financially, and organizationally, we can do really important stuff like keeping the elevator working and not having overflowing trash cans and fruit flies all around. Those are not luxuries, but it really took a decade to get here.


Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 13, 2017, at 11:07 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>     we should settle on an upper limit for 
> what we're willing to spend on elevator 
> repairs, significantly less than $10K in 
> my view. 
>     I'm willing to chip in if someone tells 
> me where, who, how. 
>    i'm for an earmarked fund to be used for 
> small, maybe medium, repairs in the case 
> that we can't first get the landlord and 
> agents to respond. the elevator is of 
> elevated importance for disabled and for 
> heavy loads (including garbae). 
>> On 10/13/2017 04:33 PM, John Shutt wrote:
>> I spent yesterday at the Department of Building Inspection with revised plans, which were rejected since we need a signature from a licensed architect. I’m reaching out to a friend who is a licensed architect to see if I can get them to sign the drawings as the architect of record. I also need to look into our insurance liability for third-party “contractors” like architects or accountants.
>> The possible consequence is that DBI decides to call a Director’s Hearing, which hears evidence on the complaint and decides what to do next. I have documentation showing that we tried to submit our plans before the deadline, and a voicemail from the inspector saying that we needed drawings “by a licensed architect or design professional,” which is the root of the confusion: we have drawings by a design professional, but not a licensed architect. So typically if it gets to a Director’s Hearing and there are more inspections needed, we would need to pay a fee for those extra inspections. I would push back on that since we have clearly been trying hard to comply with the instructions we were given.
>> Bureaucracy is a mess, but we’ll get through it. We shouldn’t have to tear down the SparkleForge.
>> @Kevin: As I said before, from what I’ve been told, I’m the only person who donated to Zach’s PayPal address when he         posted it after working to fix the elevator. I’m putting my personal money where my mouth is when it comes to this, and I’m flat broke. Did you donate? If not, how dismayed are you really?
>> The two questions are whether Noisebridge should invest general fund money into the building besides what we are ordered to invest by the state, and whether Noisebridge should pay people out of the general fund for their time and work on the space. From the feedback we’ve gotten, the answer to the second question is no. People have blocking concerns.
>> The answer to the first question seems to be “yes, up to a point.” We would absolutely need to think about it if it cost $10,000 or something. Our lease is up next year. If we spend a huge amount of our money on a building we don’t own and then get kicked out, we might be screwed. Maybe that money would be better spent moving to a different building. Maybe we can find a way to force the landlord to pay for it. Have you researched how to force the landlord to pay? Or how much repairs cost? Do you have numbers that could actually help us make decisions about how to fix the elevator?
>> Of course you have to think about this stuff. If you don’t think about it you run out of money. If you do think about it, you survive. If someone were to actually do the research and find out how much it would cost to hire an elevator repair company, maybe that’s $500, maybe that’s $20,000. Maybe if it’s $20,000 we still decide to spend it. More likely we work it out with the landlord where we would pay for the repairs and deduct it from our rent. Or if we can’t force the landlord to comply, we hold a major fundraiser.
>> As for your hypothetical, I would have the exact same response if there was a critical issue with the third-floor door. I would suggest that I would support spending a certain amount of money to fix it, but it would be preferable if people raised money independently for the project. That’s obviously preferable since it keeps from draining the general fund.
>> In this actual case, this discussion led to an         observer pledging money to a dedicated Elevator Repair Fund nearly double the size of what was originally requested, which I consider a good outcome.  If that’s inadequate to keep the elevator in good repair, then we can match it with money from the equipment fund. So now we have $1,440 to work with, without tapping the general fund. That’s $1,040 more than was requested, and it’s available because we discussed it.
>> If that’s still not enough, we can think and talk about tapping the general fund—and my feeling is that we should! But it always has to be talked about and thought through, to arrive at the best outcome.
>> Best,
>> John Shutt
>>> On Oct 12, 2017, at 10:55 PM, frankbn at nym.hush.com wrote:
>>> What is the status of "Building Permit Application#inspectiongate?" 
>>> What will happen at 2:00 PM Friday? 
>>> On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 21:48:30 -0700 "kprichard" 
>>> <kprichard at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Let's say the 3rd floor stairs door got stuck, nobody can come in 
>>>> or out.
>>>> Landlord's repair person says they can't come for three weeks. 
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