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August 18, 2013

Present: Beth, Diana, Donny, Elaine, Greg, Hannah, Honey, Jess, Jesse, Leslie, Mike, Molly, Ryan, Seneca, Travis, Victor

Meet and greet

Diana and Seneca are applying

Diana: Just got a job in Austin that starts tomorrow. From Dallas. An individual room is fine.

Seneca: I've been working at Apple for five years. Probably looking for a place in October. Probably looking at a single room, although I might try to get someone to rent a double with me. If so, I'll bring them. Have a period of disability coming up in Sep/Oct.

Hannah: Would you need a first-floor apt?

Seneca: If there are rails, I should be able to get upstairs as long as I make arrangements for people to move things for me. No pets or allergies.

officer reports


Ryan: Got some receipts, collected some rent. Give me your receipts.

Leslie: Met with Meghan. We need to meet with Victor and discuss how we can accommodate him. Three officer positions for the kitchen. Some of us think that's too many since we need labor. Email me suggestions if you'd like to see stuff cooked, especially meat stuff, since I don't eat meat.

Ryan: We talked about Cynthia cooking. Is that going to happen?

Beth: Meghan emailed me privately. Said she didn't want her to cook since she isn't a member of the food program. Z and Meghan had agreed to cook. Meghan will cook alone with Wednesday.


Hannah: Dealing with HACA. Some stuff with maintenance. If we're going to get paid for some of these units, we need to make sure some things are fixed. We have a very healthy vacancy reserve. I don't want to touch that money, but, if we need it, it's there. Lots of leases ending in the fall. Some will renew, some not. I'm not sure who is renewing.

Honey: I've come to several meetings. Where do we discuss grievances? Kids breaking into my house, waking me up in the middle of the night, disrespecting me, cussing me out. My neighbor breaking into my house. Someone needs to do something about my neighbor and her kids.

Hannah: If you stick it out for the whole meeting, you could bring it up for new business. I can put it on the agenda for you for next week. Agenda mostly available on line, which is a problem right now. There's an agenda sheet. We need to publicize it better.

Honey: I would hate to catch anybody in my house who doesn't belong there.

Hannah: I could write it down for next Sunday, and you'll be first next week.

Travis: We don't have a whole lot of policies around conflict or harassment.

Honey: I feel like I've done all that I mentally know how to do, and it hasn't helped. I can chill for a week because I know somebody knows about it and it will be addressed.

Leslie: A lot goes on on email, which isn't always fair to everyone else.


Victor: 105 has a very small drip in the shower. I think we'll be able to deal with that. In the other unit, the oven does not work. Can't light the pilot. This place is probably full of asbestos. As long as we're not sanding on it or breaking it or doing anything that makes the dust get in the air, it's really not a health hazard. Being around big chunks of asbestos is perfectly fine. I hope that, on the wiki, there has been posted a reasonably-priced way to remove asbestos, for when we remove walls. Natural gas has been a problem. For $150 or less, you can buy a really good gas detector. Can go into everybody's apartment, check all the valves, check the pipe to see if it's leaking. If it's leaking, we can deal with it as a plumbing emergency. Greg tried to find contractors to replace the valves. All the contractors ran like hell and didn't want to deal with the job. If we were to get a permit and replace all the valves, chances are we would fail the testing process, and they would shut off all the gas. It is the kind of thing that puts businesses out of business. Contractors are afraid that they won't get paid.

Donny: On Friday a pilot light went out in the oven.

Victor: That oven pilot light was not lightable.

Honey: I know she had problems with hers because you tried to light my stove. She didn't have a light in her oven.

Victor: There was no smell of gas. I have not talked to her. I can pretty much guarantee that the pilot light in the oven had nothing to do with it, since it's been out for months. Thee orifice has got to be clogged.

Ryan: Did the fire fighter get the pilot light on? He said he couldn't light the oven but he got the pilot light on.

Victor: There's a pilot light for the stove.


Beth: I've got a no-show policy. Cleared up a few labor hick-ups with people. Still a few people not on the labor chart. Need to talk to Hannah to see who needs to be on the chart. I'll make sure that everybody is very aware of what labor there is.


Jess: Had a kids event this morning.

Hannah: Cassandra wants to do yoga with the kids next time with Donny.

Jess: The Sustainable Food program has been rescheduled. Having a party next Saturday.


Travis: Nolan isn't here. We're working on getting a manual together.

Ryan: I ordered the cat-5 cable last week, but had an issue with the payment. They didn't ship it until Thursday or Friday. Hopefully we'll have it early next week, and Nolan can get in touch with Charles, and we can start running some tests.

Hannah: Computer lab? We have a room now. Ryan has a computer that we can pony up. You can come and use the Chrome book any time.

(Hannah) Member admission priority policy

Hannah: Explaining that people on the wait list will get prioritized by whoever is on top. Let's say Billy wants a roommate but can't stand cats, and the next three people on the waiting list have cats, so the next person will take the room. Will try to honor people in the order that applied, but, when it comes right down to it, I want to make sure that the room is paid for.

Travis: Since we don't discriminate, how does that play into roommate compatibility?

Hannah: This policy gives a fair amount of power to the membership coordinator. If we get a steward position in, I'd be glad to have that be a check on the memco. The memco gets the final say on whether a concern is legitimate or not. Needs to make sure the house is abiding by the Fair Housing Act. The one question I have on my mind is the gender of a roommate being a possible thing, but I'm pretty sure that's not legit with the Fair Housing Act.

Jesse: I don't think it's a violation because you're not discriminating against a male for having a room. In an instance where a woman only wants a room with another woman, you're taking that into account.

Honey: You're just looking out for preference. Not discriminating as a whole, as long as you don't, say, decide that nobody can have cats.

Ryan: What if a woman is first on the list and only wants female roommates, and the only people who want roommates are men?

Hannah: I would advertise and try to find somebody who can sign for the other half of the room. If I can't find someone compatible within 30 days of the lease, I'll just say that it won't work out this time. If she wanted to bring someone to the meeting, then that would work, too.

Greg: If someone got bumped, would they go to the bottom of the list again?

Hannah: No.

Molly: How does this link into reserving some apartments for HACA?

Hannah: We're not going to talk about it tonight. Should talk about it at some point.


Passed Member Admission Priority Policy

The ultimate goal and the bottom line is to make sure there are no gaps in occupancy. Our budget relies on having every room full all the time.

- The person on the waiting list who was accepted earliest has priority for being offered the room/unit. However, among the accepted prospective members who respond, the person who can immediately move-in without a gap of unpaid for days, is able to immediately pay the full deposit and membership fees, and can pay rent on or before their date of move-in is the person given priority for actual move-in. A current resident moving from another room/unit, a former resident, a current associate, or a former associate will be given priority above the waitlist, in that order, assuming for the latter three that they can also pay the full deposit, fees, and first month's rent before the move-in date. - In the case that the person given priority for move-in is requesting an entire unit, the Membership Coordinator will facilitate their move-in and the signing of a lease as such. Leases should be signed 30 days before the unit is due to come open. - In the case that the person given priority for move-in is requesting a single room, the Membership Coordinator will spend a reasonable amount of time seeking to find them a roommate, with the expectation of having a lease signed for the room by all occupants at least 30 days prior to its opening. The secondary roommate must also be an accepted prospective member. Similar prioritization guidelines will be taken into account as for the person given primary priority. Considerations for prioritizing roommate applicants: a) Does the primary accepted roommate have pet allergies that the secondary roommate's pets might irritate? b) Does the primary accepted roommate have pets that are territorial or otherwise incompatible with a secondary roommate's pets? c) Does the primary roommate have other reasonable objections to a proposed roommate? The Membership Coordinator may determine if an objection is reasonable or not.

4. If 5 weeks before the room is scheduled to open no acceptable roommate can be found from the pool of accepted prospectives, the Membership Coordinator will instead seek to fill the room with an applicant requesting an entire unit OR an alternate set of roommates.

(Hannah/Victor) Reorganization of maintenance duties. Discussion of options

Victor: I cannot keep up the pace I've had. Greg or Donny came up with the notion of splitting the position into 3-4. We need someone who deals with plumbing, someone with carpentry/painting, someone with ACs. I'm way behind as it is. Not sure who else can step up. What's going on now won't work at the end of the month. I need some serious help here. Another thing that has come up has been giving a scholarship position to somebody. I am very much in favor of that. This house is much more like CH, which has a paid maintenance staff person, than it's like an ICC house. It's like taking care of 20 coops.

Hannah: Ryan and I talked about this a little bit. We don't have the money to sustainably do this. Would drain our savings. The best option we can think of would be to continue renting out a room in the commons long-term. A room rented out here would pay for a room rented by the maintenance person. The maintenance person would probably be expected to do at least 10 hrs/week.

Mike: Should the person in the commons be given a discount? Living in 106 seems not equivalent to being in an apartment with your own kitchen, etc.

Hannah: I don't want to charge them less. Might be willing to consider giving them a free food program.

Molly: Hosteling? I think it's ridiculous to have all this space and not hostel, unless we're worried about things that hostelers can bring with them, like bed bugs.

Hannah: I've thought about hosteling, too. It's more work for the memco. Would be less money than if we had someone continuously. Most you can charge would be maybe $20/night.

Molly: I was thinking this would be in addition, and we'd make a hosteling coordinator a separate position.

Donny: We're recognizing how much labor there is here. Having 4-5 guys on the crew still requires a lot of work on the coordinator. We've burned through two maintenance coordinators. Running by committee might work, but a paid person might be good.

Travis: The place to deliver maintenance requests should be accessible to everyone on the committee.

Victor: We have a Google phone number.

Honey: I want people to either knock on my door for maintenance requests. I can hunt down the maintenance person. I can handle that responsibility. I like to talk.

Beth: We have a lot of maintenance hours that are not being utilized because Victor doesn't have the time to learn everyone's strengths and dole them out each week. Could make it their responsibility to dole out maintenance tasks, make sure everyone is given the right amount of work. We would get the labor being lost right now because people just don't know what to do.

Hannah: Donny thinks that the maintenance person should be primarily doing maintenance stuff, and there should be a separate coordinator who would be assigning tasks and prioritizing.

Beth: Even if Victor was doing that, I think it would take a lot off his plate.

Donny: That matches with my experience as a maintenance coordinator at Sasona. Easier if you can get your hands out of doing maintenance. The coordinator can keep track of the live-in maintenance person. Maybe someone who doesn't know anything about maintenance, so they won't have any temptation to be fixing stuff.

Victor: I think this vision will turn out to be very flawed. When I've assigned things to people, I've got back excuses about why it can't be done, and I've had to do it myself. It isn't having time. Haven't had people who can or will do the work.

Jesse: The maintenance position really needs to be split into three roles, if not necessarily three people. Not just maintenance of the individual units, a/c, gas, water are all separate.

Hannah: We don't have as many skilled maintenance folks as we wish we did. Doesn't mean that system isn't compatible with having a paid maintenance person.

Jesse: Doesn't need to be different people.

Molly: Having a paid maintenance person would be a really good way to delegate training. If you have someone who you know can reliably take in information and train someone else, then that helps you a lot.

Victor: I think the training is very important.

Molly: It's really time-consuming, especially for a task that'll take 2-3 people doing it. Training one person is a lot easier than training three people.

Jesse: Could we, say, have a yoga night where we'll learn about X every month, or every two weeks, so that we're training everybody who lives here to be familiar with those systems?

Victor: If you look on the wiki, you'll find a bunch of videos. Would be good for everyone to look at them. Travis successfully fixed a toilet after looking at the video.

Donny: Training is happening. I've heard of several people who have learned things and fixed things.

Victor: William is working on training people to clean evaporators. Will help keep the systems lasting longer.

Jesse: The wiki might be very useful, but not necessarily how everybody learns. I think it's much more effective for me to have a hands-on experience.

Leslie: I think we all agree that we're going to need a paid person, and the most viable way to do that is to continue to have someone rent a room in 106.

Hannah: I want to know if anyone has objections to that. I know it's not what we were originally going to do.

Travis: I think the purpose is very important.


Proposal to create the officer position of Steward, a catch-all position that ensures the proper running of the officer corps and the co-op as a whole. More official-sounding job description to follow.

(Tabled till next week)

(Travis/Leslie) Discussion on harassment within our community

Minutes for the discussion were not taken.

Motion that Mike is formally banned. If we see him at the coop, then we will call the police.

Victor happy to deliver the message.

Passes unanimously.

(Ryan) Nominate and elect Board Representative for Greg's former seat

Ryan: I assumed that Donny was our board rep. I talked to him last week. He said that he was not. I nominate Donny.

Travis seconds.

Donny: There was an election. Results were lost when Gatlin disappeared. The board has met last week. They wondered why I wasn't there. They think that I'm on the board.

Beth motions that we elect Donny as board rep.


(Beth) Labor no-show policy


(Beth) Provide two free meals a week to Jessica in exchange for her performing an extra hour of labor until and unless that slot can be taken over by someone who needs the hours


New business

Elaine: I will be moving in October.

Hannah: At the beginning? The end?

Elaine: Probably the middle. I will come back to visit.

meetings/2013-08-18.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)