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September 1, 2013

Present: Beth, Claude, Cynthia, Donny, Hannah, Jess, Mike, Nolan, Paul, Ryan, Travis

Officer reports


Ryan: Spent all of my officer time working on the eviction.


Jess: I've been working on the eviction issue some. Hannah successfully delivered the notice. From talking to people in the neighborhood, I don't think anyone is confused about what is going on. I think everyone understands the situation with Mike.

Travis: Do you know if the kids program was intended to be repeated?

Jess: I think they were talking about that. The lady running it hasn't contacted us again.

Mike: Lani from Web Wranglers of Texas stopped by on Friday. They're planning on offering web development courses and need space on a Tuesday or a Thursday night. Meant to put it on the agenda to propose offering our commons, but didn't do it in time.


Nolan: Haven't done as much in the last week because Sarah has been in and out of the hospital. She has a pretty good support system now. There have been issues with adding things to the wiki. I've modified the paragraph on the front page saying how to edit the wiki. May be helpful if someone could make a screencast to explain how to add an agenda item. I can make sure it's on the wiki and linked to the right places. We don't have control over the wireless. I've been warning about that off and on. I don't think Z and people in 206 realize that they have the power to shut off our connection. I've been told that we don't have money, so trying to figure out how to fundraise for a wireless network. My goal for this coming week is to set up a crowd-funding platform on our server.


Victor: We got the leak in the 105 shower fixed yesterday. We did some major plumbing fix in 207. Replaced the water stops so that we can shut everything off. We need to replace the water stops in a lot of the rooms because they're not working. Azzurra has bought herself some fixtures and a kitchen sink. If we're going to do all that other major plumbing anyway and you want to spend $100 of your own money, we can get you a new sink with some new fixtures that look nice. If you want to recover your bathroom shelf and we can coordinate things, I can pull the sink out and put it in at your convenience later. If someone is interested in doing something like what we're doing in 206, talk to me after the meeting. Wouldn't be hard to do a bathroom makeover that would cost a resident well under $200, including replacing the mirror. If you want to do a bathroom makeover and don't have $200, let's talk. Donny was working on having a party to help people understand maintenance and how this building works. Talking about getting a toilet. We need to install a toilet in 207. I want everyone to know where the boiler, water cut-off, gas meter are. If there's a fire, you might have the information the fire department really needs at that moment. Different people have different skills. Leslie has been working on putting tile on some of the countertops. Hoping that, by then, a lot of stuff will have developed with Cidnee's apartment, and we can have an oven that we take apart to show how an oven works. Travis has been working on dish washers.

Donny: At Sasona, we'd have an around-the-world party where people would open up their unit. Victor had the idea with a toilet to have an around-the-world potty. We have a number of people doing interesting things. We could go around, spend about 30 minutes at each apartment, joke around but learn things.

Victor: By the end of the night, I'd like everyone to feel comfortable taking care of clogs, working with a plunger, a closet snake, a regular snake. If someone wants to volunteer to be social coordinator, I'd really appreciate that.

Jess: I'll take that under my purview if you want.

Victor: Makes good sense as outreach.

Jess: What date?

Victor: To be determined.

Travis: I'd prefer that it was an in-house thing.

Jess: Could put some chairs at the entrance to indicate that it's an intra-cooperative party.

Ryan: Did we have to replace the whole toilet in 207?

Victor: I'm not positive. I think we could probably only replace the tank.

Ryan: The inspector said it was the lid that needed to be fit properly.

Victor: 208. I'm hoping that I can get a whole toilet, only replace the water tank, get the rest back.

Ryan: A previous inspector said that the toilet issue was tenant damage.

Victor: Planning on taking my stove and oven over there, trying to source a toilet lid from someone.

Ryan: I can call the code compliance officer and ask if we're going to be responsible for that.


Hannah: If we could elect the steward and fixer, I'd like to do that right now. Travis running for steward. William running for fixer; Andy is not interested right now. I motion that Travis be elected steward.


Hannah: I motion that William be elected fixer.


Hannah: Gatlin is letting his lease expire at the end of September and will be moving out. He does want to sign an associate membership. Honey signed a new lease. Andy Goolsby signed a new lease. Dealing with HACA. Posted notices on Sam and Delia's door, Don's door, Martina's. Afaik all of these three people plan on resigning. Updated the flier. Got a Google Voice number.


Donny: Looks really good on the front. Thank you.

Paul: There's more to do.

Victor: Did McAllen take care of the weeds in the parking lot?

Ryan: Yes.

Food buyer

Azzurra: I bought some much needed stock items, but will probably wait to do a bigger bulk purchase at Wheatsville in October to take advantage of their customer appreciation days. I am working on saving us money in other areas so we can afford better cooking oil, but we currently have a surplus so that's not an immediate issue.

We need dietary restrictions from new members joining the food program!

Leslie has been planning menus and working to make the kitchen stuff more efficient.


Meghan: When I get the updated budget from Ryan we will be buying more bulk and storage stuff for the commons.

===== (Hannah/Beth/et al) Real talk on the labor situation. Beth: Updated labor chart. Already made two edits since I put it up. If you want clarifications on your labor or don't like your labor, please talk to me before I print these out. Decided to take Paul's grounds coordinator position down to two hours and create a grounds keeper for two hours. Giving Hannah one hour. If anyone else wants to do it, let me know. Planning a labor holiday in September. Let me know what weekend works the best.

Hannah: If we power wash the concrete, I'm wondering about the possibility of power washing some walls within the courtyard.

Victor: Let's be really careful about power washing the siding that's up there. There are many places where the siding is deteriorating. Most likely it contains asbestos. It's an easy way to spread it. When it dries, we'd have a lot of dust. Spreading the brick is fine.

Hannah: I'm fine with putting it off. Is there another way we could wash the siding?

Victor: Sponges and soap and water.

Hannah: A lot of these tasks seem specific and not a group project. Maybe we should have things on the back burner as bigger, non-skill projects without taking attention from what really needs to happen.

Victor: Some of these things we're seeing as teaching opportunities. William has a couple of drills. Teaching people how to put in pilot holes. I was hoping to do the stove and teach people how thermocouples work. Hoping that, by then, Travis will know more about dish washers. We'll have a dish washer that's open and can be taken apart. Hoping that Donny is looking at electricity for the lights and can show people about multimetered stuff.

Hannah: Do you think that will flesh out the weekend?

Victor: I'm hoping so. I don't know how many people will be available at the right times.

Hannah: I'd like to paint that room. I think that having a nice place to show prospective members helps.

Travis: Have we firmed up the dates?

Beth: No. People are suggesting September 14, 21, and 28. I'd like to have things spread throughout the weekend.

:People seem to like the 28th-29th. Also will give Victor and others more time to prepare.

Beth: If you have questions about labor, let me know. I keep meaning to post a chart on peoples' doors, send it out by email, get responses saying that it doesn't work for people.

Jess: If you aren't fully in love with your labor for one cycle, then it isn't the end of the world.

Beth: I'm happy to give people the labor that they want to do. I just haven't been getting requests.

Hannah: Be kind to your officers, everyone. It's a lot of unpaid work.

Jess: My final point on Saturday was that a lot of people, especially officers, have been maxed out trying to do what they can for this place. I think people deserve a little bit of slack. We've done as much as we can.

Hannah: Generally cut people some slack.

Beth: I've put up a check-off sheet. Doing the schedule Sunday through Saturday. On Sunday I'll pick up the sheet. I'll be responsible for no-showing people for labor that they don't check off. I figure that people will probably be honest. it's better than nothing.

Donny: I think there was confusion and lack of knowledge as to whether Beth and Hannah were on the same page about who was signed. Wanted to make sure that labor requirements are spread to everyone who it needs to be spread to.

Beth: We had to speak with mari and Teofilo to see if their labor would work for them. They're on the chart. A lot of people who people were complaining about not doing labor aren't on contracts yet. I'm putting labor on the labor chart.

Claude: What about me?

Beth: Jess wants you to be the key master, but involves collecting every key in the apartment and making a copy of it.

Mike: Do we not have keys to all of the apartments in the office? But then the office isn't accessible right now.

Nolan: We have ramps.

Victor: Hoping to put together toolkits for fixing clogs in your kitchen and bathroom. Was hoping to make you a quarter master for people to check out tools. You're here 98% of the time.

(Leslie) Review of kitchen officer positions


===== (Paul) Add compost heap to southwest corner of lot. Paul: It's on the other side of the parking lots, with a bunch of cigarette butts.

Hannah: Is this behind the parking barriers?

Paul: Right.

Hannah: I think that's the property of the apartments next door.

Paul: Is there a way of finding that out?

Hannah: We can walk over there.

Donny: Would this be an open heap, or would it be contained somehow?

Paul: Would be an open heap. A container is fine but not big enough for our needs.

Donny: At Sasona, they attracted things.

Travis: People say that, if you maintain it right, then it won't. Paul, I know you can take care of it, but what about the dinner clean person who dumps things on the pile. Not everyone knows how to take care of compost.

Hannah: People are going to go away for the weekend. I know that regular maintenance of anything is not a coop's strong suit. I also wonder about our neighbors hating us. Not saying no, but I have concerns.

Jess: Would it be possible to construct a larger, enclosed composter?

:Paul: Theoretically. Would be more of an investment.

Nolan: If we have a fundraising meeting, then each individual group could put together what we want to fundraise for and manage how we want to fundraise for that. Your grounds group could help fundraise for that on our platform.

Hannah: If we can get a bunch of 55-gallon drums, then we could use those. If anyone has an idea of where we could buy a couple of those for cheap, then that would be cool.

Donny: At Sasona, Tom bought them at the car wash place at Barton Springs and Lamar. You have to wash it out real good.

Paul: Those are nicer because we can put them wherever we like. We just need a spot that's out of the way.

Ryan: If you can put them on a stand with an axil that goes through the top third, all you have to do is flip it.

Claude: I have a couple of crates that I was going to use, but I'm not. You could put drums on top of them.

Paul: I'm going to table the compost heap and see if we can make some barrels.

(Paul) Make and secure bike rack for back lot.

Paul: Want to make it out of metal pieces. Will be inside the gates if/when we build the gates.

Travis: By the maintenance closet?

Hannah: Under the stairs?

Paul: I'm not sure how we would support it to the cement.

Victor: I have a drill. I know how to put a stud in cement.

Hannah: I can't wait to get our bikes out of our apartment. I'd feel more comfortable if they were locked in our courtyard, since people would see them.

Paul: We could potentially put a camera on it as well.

Donny moves that Paul does this for us.

Passes unanimously.

Labor No-Show Policy

Beth: I emailed it a couple weeks ago. Made very few changes. I put up a trade sheet. Just make sure that both parties sign.

Travis: Looks like you put a lot of work into this. It's good to have a clear policy about these things.

Nolan: I also like this policy a lot more. Can you review the “in bad faith” clause?

Beth: I thought that this was implied. If someone does their labor badly, then they might not realize that they've done their labor badly, so try to talk to them the first time before no-showing them.

Nolan: 16 hours seems a little bit high for me. I wonder if it would make sense to do X hours at a given time.

Beth: Was thinking that 16 hours is a month's worth of labor. We could change it. It's there as a catch-all for people who never showed up.

Beth: I would keep it posted publicly how many hours people owe. I'd like to have peoples' phone numbers up there, but not sure they'll necessarily agree.

Nolan: Does the 16 hours reset at the end of the month?

Beth: No.

Paul: At Sasona, there's a system where, depending on how egregious the no-show was, additional hours of labor can be designed.

Beth: I've discussed double-timing and triple-timing. There was not really much of a consensus. We don't have a kitchen and labor meeting, and that's when these kinds of things are generally passed. I'm totally happy with doing that kind of thing, but seems like there's no way to do it.

Jess: It feels overwhelming. Will wind up being a trap that will lead to really big fines for missed labor because people will feel intimidated for the huge number of hours.

Paul: Wasn't necessarily proposing it. Just bringing it up for discussion.

Jess: 21st St. does it. It never turns out well.

Beth: I'm proposing having fines earlier than other coops might have them. Coops like 21st St. have semesters. Instead of having monthly square-ups, you'll get a fine after two weeks if you haven't talked to me.

Donny/Hannah: Sasona has doubling and tripling, but it's rarely used.

Jess: 99% of the time, at a college coop, it just ends up annoying parents of some kid. Here it could be a large issue.

Beth: Mostly it forces you to come to a meeting.

Jess: Extra labor might be more useful for us anyway.

Travis: It seems that the intent is to get the work done and have the communication flowing.

Hannah: I wanted there to be a time limit for when you notify people for missed labor.

Beth: On Sunday, I'll take everybody's no-shows, and I'll send out notices on your door. After a week, I'll send a second notice. If you still haven't talked to me after two weeks, then you'll get a fine.

Ryan motions to vote.

Passes unanimously.

New business

Donny: We don't know if we want to spend $3-4,000 of the little we have left. Winter is coming up. We don't know how many furnaces will break. City inspectors coming to one unit. Straw poll to ask if I should bring the gate proposal up for a vote.

Travis: Erin talked about the fundraising update and mentioned it as one of her priorities. Might be worth talking to her before bringing it to the house.

Donny: Will be weeks away still.

Jess: If we do the gates, we should do them right. Right now, the main issue of people who we don't want on the property are being invited onto the property anyway. I think we should put it on the back burner.

A straw poll is taken. No one thinks that the gates should be put up for a vote.

Cynthia: I think we should leave it alone right now. We need extra money for different stuff.

Hannah: Beth and Jess have had Diana staying here. She shows up for meetings. Should we ask for her to be an associate, or sign a contract?

Beth: I gave her labor that she wanted to do. We want to get her on a contract. It's just figuring out whether she signs a contract for our room, or for a unit opening up.

Hannah: If she signs as an associate, she could move into a room a lot faster.

Beth: If it would be fine with you guys for her to continue to pay us a portion of the rent and sign as an associate, I think it's what we'd prefer if it's okay with people. She would be fine with an associate fee.

Hannah: I think that would be best. Probably not the last time we'll see something like this. People might not be as interested in being sure they're doing it right, too.

Travis: If she's going to be living in the building, we'd want her to be on the associate program that includes the food plan.

Ryan: How much labor are you giving her?

Beth: Cooking on Wednesday. 2 hours, which makes sense for an associate. I think she's worried about moving into the first unit that opens up if it's in bad shape. We don't mind having her in the back room; wanted to give her that flexibility.

Hannah: Would she mind paying the $60?

Jess: She's interested in that. Mostly everyone just wants things on the up and up.

Ryan: I could go with splitting my treasurer position into two. She could be a good person for that. Would be collecting rent and filling in a spreadsheet. We could base it off Sasona's positions. They have two positions, but my job is twice the work of both of those positions.

Hannah: Especially with Gatlin moving out, we have another half of the commons that we've been keeping out of sight and out of mind. What do we want to do with it?

Victor: I think we posted something on the wiki about glove bag removal. It's a method for removing things like sheet rock that contain asbestos. I don't think we have any load-bearing walls. I think there's a concrete column behind this funny-shaped thing. I think that's just a wall. I think we could easily and cheaply take this wall out through the glove bag method without releasing any potential asbestos into our air and suddenly have a nice, big space for us to be in without spending a whole bunch of money. We would not have to impair access to the door. We would seal off each 16-inch section and have people on either side removing sheet rock. The bags stay in place until we're ready to remove it. It's tedious and time-consuming but wouldn't hinder access to that space. Once we get the sheet rock out, knocking down the wood isn't a big deal.

Nolan: I haven't put it up yet. Thanks for reminding me.

Paul: We could get rid of the closet.

Victor: That could be done the same way.

Hannah: I'd like to have an area with some bean bags and toys so that we have an area to divert the kids into.

Cynthia: I want to have my birthday party on October 6.

Travis: My birthday is October 7.

meetings/2013-09-01.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)