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September 22, 2013

Present: Z, Claude, Donny, Gatlin, Hannah, Honey, Leslie, Mary, Molly, Nathan, Nolan, Ryan, Seneca, Travis, Victor

Meet and greet

Nathan: Lived with Ryan at ICC. Was excited to hear about this place. Single room. No pets or allergies.

Mary: Wants a single room. 3rd meeting at least. Probably moving in with Seneca; was hoping to meet him.

Honey: Can we pick up trash for a labor holiday?

Travis: We'll mention that to Beth.

Officer reports


Hannah: Went to court earlier this week. Mary and Seneca should be able to move into 110 or 207 at the end of October. Re-signing with Sam.

Food buyer

Z: Will be sending out a survey. Think about what we want to have as bulk. Do we want fruits, vegetables? Do we want to join a CSA?


Nolan: The panopticon(sp?) is coming into being. Andy and I went back into the office. Found that the cameras have indeed been recording. Seems the limiting capacity is how much space is on the drive. They archive until the drive is full, then clear it out. We have footage from the past twelve days or so. Want to get to work on the wireless but need fundraising. Need a web site to be able to start fundraising. Need a bank account to set up a web site. I feel dead in the water; we need a bank account stat.

Gatlin: There's a bank account as of yesterday. I'll give the relevant information to the relevant parties.

Victor: Do we have a camera that we're pointing at the dumpsters?

Gatlin: Yes.


Ryan: I need receipts. If you want something reimbursed, please write a note on the receipt. Otherwise I'll forget.

Menu planner

Leslie: Please be really flexible with us the next 2-3 weeks, until things can get switched over to what we approve today. If you like something, send menus.


Victor: was really pleased with the around-the-world party. Was pleased with whoever moved the toilet off the table. After this Tuesday, we should be able to get out of emergency mode and onto more regular maintenance. Distributed a questionnaire that I really hope you'll get back to us. By the office, there's a plastic box. Put surveys in the box, and it's a good place to put service requests. Please do not think that, if you tell one of us that there's a problem, that it's going to get solved. Go through proper channels so that there's a record. Otherwise you will not be helped.

Honey: Call the maintenance line, or leave requests in the box. In the morning or at night I'll check.

Hannah: Can we post something under the box so that people know to post things there?

Z: Can we have somebody volunteer to make that happen? I guess I just volunteered myself. Will print it at work tomorrow.

Donny: Is it okay to text, or should we call?

Honey: I don't have the password for the voicemail. I think you probably could.

Victor: Text is better, I think, because we'll have a record.

Victor: Donny, did you get your sink in?

Donny: There's an issue with the drain not aligning properly with the p-trap that I don't know how to solve. Other than that, it's looking pretty good.

Victor: Anybody have any objections to hiring Frank? We have some big issues with the boiler, and the leak in the laundry room. He can line up the contractors for it a lot better than I can. He knows the codes a lot better than I do. I will be continuing to do little stuff. I want to put Frank on the big jobs, like the valve.

Travis: I think we should bring an official proposal.

Leslie: He was hilarious, and he seemed to understand the coop mindset. I can't imagine anybody better.

Hannah: I've only heard support for the idea. I think putting it to a vote would be the appropriate way to do it, but I think a lot of people are behind you.

Victor: I'm thinking of getting another guy to do some drawings to get ideas for maximizing our use of the space.

Honey: Beth would like you to pick three people to lead projects for the labor holiday.

Victor: I already sent her an email about it.


Travis: Had some folks to go to the courthouse. Been working with a few people to resolve inter-personal conflicts. Things seem to be pretty smooth this week.

Leslie: Can you help Beth with the labor holiday? It is important for this week.

Travis: The idea behind labor holiday is that every member does four hours of labor at some point during the weekend. Black Star will be donating a keg of beer.

(Don) Request to make exception to change lease terms

Don: Concerned about moving other people into the apartment or moving people out of the apartment at will.

Ryan: I've only seen that ever used if an accessible unit is needed.

Ryan: Or if a water line breaks and the apartment is unusable, might have to move you out to get it livable again. If you sign a lease for an entire unit, we're not going to put anyone in there with you.

Ryan: We wouldn't use that here because we don't have accessible apartments, but we'd like to in the future.

Don: I've done things around here for free, which I don't mind. There may be times when I might not be able to do something on a certain day and get fined. I might be out of town.

Donny: Usually we're flexible on the labor front. It's rare that you have to get something done at a specific time or it'll count against you.

Gatlin: One of the labor czar's jobs is to work with you. If you have a legitimate reason you cannot do something and the labor czar does not work with you, that is a violation of their job. Speaking only for myself, I don't think you should have to pay for the mistakes of the labor czar.

Z: Don was awesome because he wasn't even on the hook for labor, and we were trying to get it so he could help me with my floor, and a scheduling conflict did occur. I understand you have a legitimate concern. That being said, some labor needs to be done on specific days. Ie, watering, commons clean. People have been really flexible. I was gone for a month and a half, and I banked labor before I left. Most people don't jump to no-showing people.

Victor: It sounds like you have seven days to perform your labor. Would that give you enough flexibility?

Don: It all depends. Sometimes I might be gone longer than that.

Donny: You can plan to be gone for two weeks and have someone cover your labor for you. We trade labor all the time here. You just have to plan ahead.

Gatlin: Things are systematized. You can count on them. You shouldn't have to be afraid if you're honest.

Hannah: You read the lease. Nobody reads the lease. That's great. Leases put things in the worst-case scenario. There's what it says in the lease, and there's what we actually do. We're not going to do things different than we do for everybody else. We do two hours of labor per week for people who aren't on the food plan. There's a lot of flexibility built into the system. As long as you're honest and you communicate with people, you probably won't get a fine.

Don: When you work something out, how does it work? Do you pay someone out of pocket?

Hannah: If I notice that you haven't done something, then I'll write your name on the no-show sheet. The labor czar will talk to you and decide what to do. You can appeal at a meeting.

Don: If I'm assigned to fix something on Monday and it's fixed by Wednesday or Thursday, how does that work with the hours?

Travis: With maintenance, it's more flexible. It's more that something needs to get done, and you work with the apartment to find a time.

Donny: I think he's asking how we account for the labor he does do. Your rent is your rent, and the labor hours are on top of that.

Leslie: Travis and I used to be part of the Park Slope Food Coop. You do work, so the nice groceries are cheaper. Lots of people who worked there were very busy or had erratic schedules. If this evolves, we could consider doing a different labor system for people in your situation. This is everyone's place. I think that your problem can be worked out.

Honey: I feel confusion about some things that can be worked out. A person might have an erratic schedule, or might have health issues, of course their labor shouldn't be watering the gardening or sweeping. We should assign them labor that they're able to do.

Hannah: You make community by taking care of each other. Nobody wants to charge or for labor not to get done. It sounds like you'd be a perfect fit for maintenance, so I think that your schedule would fit hand and glove for that.

Don: I want to stay.

Don: Everything was answered.

(Ryan) Discuss and vote on creation of Bookkeeper position and Treasurer Job Description

Ryan: The bookkeeper position will do a lot of the receiving the paperwork and data entry. Will get the rent checks and receipts, tabulate the expenses. Leaves treasurer with writing checks, working out how things get paid for, communicating with NASCO, long-term planning, budgeting, forecasting, making next year's budget with the help of the bookkeeper.

Leslie: Are you acting as a treasurer and bookkeeper right now? Still envisioning two hours for each?

Ryan: Sure.

Mike: Your proposal looks like it was taken from the Sasona wiki and makes references to pages there. Have you looked at them? Do they apply here?

Ryan: I took those out.

Travis: Having two people doing finance instead of just one greatly reduces the risk for embezzlement ans other shady things, since you have checks and balances.

Leslie: I'm hoping that we have enough people that want to take these positions.

Travis: Beth was very excited about reducing the amount of hours required for the food program.

Z: Could we create the position but not have elections until a little later, so that newer coop members can participate?

Ryan: I would really like it to be implemented in October. In October I want to start creating a budgeting process, and I can't do everything as it is. I've waited until the last minute because I haven't had time to make a proposal. In regards to the manpower, we're probably 70% coop members at this point. I don't think we'll have trouble filling it.

Mike: We're eliminating an officer with the food program proposal.

Donny: If no one signs up to run, then we'll deal with that then.

Travis moves to vote, Donny seconds.


(Leslie/Travis) Discuss and approve new food program restructuring. (See PDF)

Honey: Would we take bulk items from the common unit back to our apartment to cook for the potluck?

Travis: Yes.

Z: I'll look for ways to get things as cheaply as possible.

Leslie: If more people buy in, there's a financial benefit. However, we're not all coop. I don't really like mandatory things. Makes me feel trapped. I don't want to increase everyone's rent; would be a lease change. We're still struggling to find benefit for the people with families. It's harder for them to see a benefit. I don't feel like we're at a place where we can make it mandatory, even though it would increase the benefit of buying it in bulk. Maybe we should get it started, work out the kinks, and see if we can make it mandatory.

Travis: I've made it mandatory. You can bring it as a proposal as an amendment.

Honey: If this changes and we work out the kinks, cool. It's important to know who is on the meal plan so everybody can get food. At times, it's not working out.

Z: I've had some long-term health issues. When I treat my diet well, I'm able to not have those things. If I eat black pepper by mistake, it gives me gallblatter pain and the possibility that I could vomit. Part of my reason for joining this coop was wanting to have support in making that life decision to continue on that diet. We've had various levels of success. The reality of the situation is that, for the most part, I have not been able to rely on the meal plan to give me a meal. On one hand, I understand I have the possibility to opt out. On the other hand, being part of the meal plan and having that support was really important to me. I feel like I won't be accommodated with a potluck style and I'm being pushed out because the system was not able to accommodate me. When I came in, that is something that I'd asked. As soon as that goes into effect, I'll stop receiving a benefit. I was paying into the meal plan when I was out of the country and not receive a benefit. I had this dream that I'd be able to eat at the coop three days a week and have a meal that I could eat. I would like to see some sort of happy medium. Maybe the happy medium is that I opt out and, if there's something that I can eat, then I'll throw in $4.

Honey: I feel like this is as far as we can get. I've been hurt, too, when there were things I couldn't eat.

Seneca: I was proposing making it mandatory for new people, not for people already living here. If we have people with genuine special needs, I don't think it would be out of line to propose something outside of the food program.

Mike: Do we know if we can require participation from members who use Section 8?

Hannah: We can charge a fee that cannot exceed the normal rent rate set. Can include food.

Mike: Propose an amendment to reinstate the language exempting people who were here before April 20.

Travis: Not friendly. Creates a division in our coop. Wanted us all to be on the same level. My friendly amendment is to change it back to where everyone is optional. When we reach 100% capacity, we'll re-visit that discussion.

Don: I don't think it should be mandatory, but I'll still donate what I can. Maybe it'll benefit somebody else.

Gatlin: Do menus need to be turned in for review? Who's job is that?

Leslie: The potluck coordinator.

gatlin: If the menu is not inclusive, is it easy to give feedback?

Leslie: I do not want to be menu planner anymore because everyone's dietary restrictions are on me. There are probably five different people whose dietary restrictions do not overlap. It is very hard to do that.

Gatlin: Should be optional. If the system cannot handle individual needs, nobody should be forced into a system that does not serve them.

Honey: It's overwhelming. I feel bad, so I'm willing to help.

Z: Having to cook for myself because I can't be in the program is really a struggle for me. I'd still need to be part of it until November 1.

Travis: No, the proposal says that everyone can decide right now.

Z: If I'm not in the program, I can still donate $4?

Donny: That's already the policy.

Travis: It's $2 per meal.

Z: I think the thing for me to do is to opt out for now. If there are cooks who want to try to accommodate me, then I'll pay it.

Travis calls for a vote. Mike seconds.


New business

Donny: Now that we have a bank account, Erin will bring a fundraising item for a vote next week.

Nolan: My storage unit is being demolished at the end of the month. It's a 10-by-6 storage unit. Does anyone have ideas of places to store stuff for 3-4 days?

Gatlin: The antechamber before my room has a ladder in it. It can be moved.

William: The ladder's got to stay there.

William: Does anyone have an idea of how I could post a running log of my hours as fixer?

Z: I have a guest coming next weekend. Katia(sp?). She is a prisoner rights activist. Will be driving up to Gatesville(sp?). She will be bringing an espresso maker and some coffee as a donation to the house. I'll be missing the labor holiday but taking possession of the shelves. Tentatively planning for Sunday at 3. Katia interested in helping and becoming an associate member of the coop.

Gatlin: I'd like to start taking our motions and policies and putting them into a bulleted list, so that we move to something like what Sasona has. Would like to change the way we make motions so that we don't have ambiguity.

Travis: We already started on that.

Gatlin: I'd like for people to propose that line item X changes to this sentence.

meetings/2013-09-22.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)