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meetings:2014-03-23

March 23, 2014

Present: Z, Burgess, Chris, Don, Donny, Eric, Hannah, Jess, Kerry, Marilyn, Mary, Mike, Nolan, Richard, Ryan, Victor, WIlliam

Meet and greet

Chris: I teach music. Live at Sasona. I'm really interested in your place here. No pets or allergies. Would take shared unit or possibly a whole apartment.

What gives you meaning? Music.

Discussion of maintenance

Victor: We have emergencies that happen, and we don't have an acceptable way to handle. I've been effectively on call 24/7 for over a year. I'm exhausted and can't keep this up at all. Right now, we have three different systems where people call in, and we coordinate by calling somebody else: membership, snap, and maintenance. I think that what we really need to do is to combine these into one phone that's covered 24 hours so that everybody will have a number that they know, and the person on the other end will be an operator who will know who to call. I think it's important to have at least three people have their official labor be this so that we don't have people on call 24/7 for a long time. The people doing maintenance dispatch haven't always been able to keep their own phone on, so we might need to buy a phone. I think we need a 24-hour response system. This is not a big house. This is a commercial property. Commercial properties have a 24-hour call-in line.

Z: I'm the main KAF contact. There have been a couple of times that we could have had deliveries if we'd had contact faster. I think a centralized system could be beneficial so I'm not the only person responsible. We'd talked about making a Google voice for KAF, maintenance, membership. Do you think it would turn into a number that people call all the time? How do I give someone an hour of labor for having a cell phone on them for eight hours that never rings?

Victor: They'd get some nuisance calls, like I get. I don't think there's a way around that.

Victor: I want to get a set of three first responders who know how to turn off the water, turn off the gas, know where the boiler is, so the person with the phone would always have someone to call who is on site. A lot of what we need for quick response isn't fixing things as much as stopping a major problem. For things like that, I think we could train people pretty easily.

Z: I think that all of us should know how to do that. Even if we have three first responders, if they're all gone, what's going to happen? Turning off the water and the gas isn't that difficult. Everybody should just know how to do that.

William: I put together a first draft for a maintenance request form. An on-going problem has been getting requests that are verbally called out across the courtyard, or calling me to let you know you need a key made. I have no interest in making a key at 10 pm. Supposed to go through a dispatch where someone would write it on a form, and a dispatcher would take it and put it into trello. Hasn't been happening consistently. I'm exhausted at having to take care of things.

Nolan: Sarah has expressed an interest in helping with the maintenance line. Since she speaks Spanish, she might be able to help with that.

Don: I'm available Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Victor: I don't even want to walk on the property. People say, “Victor, do this, do that.” It's killing me.

William: If I come to repair something simple, I'd like you to watch me do it and ask questions. A lot of things are simple solutions. I'm guilty in that I have not encouraged people to do that.

Victor: Often times I've made appointments to do things with people, and they haven't showed up, or they had a party that they wanted to go to.

William: Knocking on my door at a late enough hour wakes Meghan up. Please consider that there's another resident in my apartment.

Marilyn: Do we need to assign anybody to research getting a phone?

Victor: I plan to come next Sunday and make motions to that effect.

(Donny) Proposed new Officer description for Security Officer

Proposed Officer Description: The Security Officer is responsible for maintaining the existing security cameras, collecting and presenting information or concerns about security, and keeping the house aware of security issues when they come up. The security officer is NOT a guard and does not provide security. The security officer will be the responsible person when the house or the police need to view the security video.

(to be placed in the House Manual under Officer Descriptions)

Donny: A lot of security thoughts came up when we were broken into. People liked the idea of having a go-to person about security issues.

Z: Seems like we're creating a lot of officer positions; curious if it could be a labor position. I'm pretty against calling the police, especially for things such as property damage. I don't like the idea of someone possibly going to jail for things that are overcomeable. For the break-in, I understand that the police were called. I'd prefer that not to have been the case; I'd prefer that the person not to go to jail when there was no harm. I'd like us to have guidelines for when it is acceptable to call the police. When there is immediate danger, most people will feel comfortable calling the police.

Ryan: How much labor?

Donny: Was thinking an hour. Not sure it would generally be that.

Ryan: In the past year, I doubt that we've had a total of four hours even necessary. I think it would be inaccurate to say that there was no harm done. We've spent over $500, and many labor hours. Still not resolved; I can't access the money in the dryers.

Jess: I spent a lot of time last week looking at the cameras. The way I see it, needs to be a temporary job. Maybe a labor job that reports twice in one cycle. With the cameras, a lot of them need to be adjusted. They would be totally effective cameras if you point them a different way. The camera is inside the office is an infrared camera. As soon as you turn the light on, everything gets washed out. I agree about not involving the police and that no harm was done. If the people came back to steal money from the dryer, then a security officer would be around to be able to deal with it. Biggest problem with browsing the footage is that it's all out of synch.

Donny: I feel that it should be an officer position, since the house should decide who they trust for this. Could be a 0-hour position.

Ryan: An appropriate way to allocate labor could be on an as-needed basis. I would not like to see a weekly allotment. Someone could allocate 30 hours of labor and only do two hours.

Jess is interested in doing it, since it needs to be done.

Hannah: Could be a 5-6-week project with an hour of labor per week.

Richard: Is there an officer position that it could be rolled into?

Z: I think that giving a labor credit and then allowing a labor holiday would be difficult. If Jess puts in 20 hours and then comes to me and wants a 4-hour labor holiday, would be difficult for me to accommodate.

Jess: If it's difficult, would schedule a time when it's more convenient, but not looking for a labor holiday–I'm looking to get the cameras running.

Z: I'd prefer to give one hour of labor a week for a month than give 0 hours and credits to cash in at any time.

Z: Could we appoint Jess as a temporary position?

Donny: Should be someone's job to know how to allocate the cameras and make sure they're working.

Jess: The biggest problem is that the export ability doesn't work and doesn't give any information as to why it isn't working.

Donny: Amendment that it's a 0-hour officer position.

Jess amends that it's an eight-week position and we re-evaluate you after eight weeks. Donny doesn't accept; either appoint Jess or create a permanent position.

Z: I'd like to just appoint Jess. Seems time-sensitive. We could have another break-in tomorrow.

Donny: Don't think that has much to do with my agenda item.

Proposal to create a security officer position passes, 11-2-1.

Hannah proposes that Jess be credited with one hour of labor for eight weeks.

13-0-1.

(Donny) Proposed Security Video Policy

Policy proposal: The security video captured by our cameras belongs to the house as a whole and not to any one individual or officer. The viewing of the security video can be requested by the house or by any member. The security officer is responsible for facilitating access to the video. To provide a safeguard against misuse of the video, two members (one of which may be the security officer) must be present for video to be reviewed or copied.

(recommend this to be placed in the House Manual under Miscellaneous)

Donny: Last week there was some concern about the privacy of the security videos.

Z: If there's a break-in, Jess can't go and look at the video by himself?

Donny: That was a concern at the last meeting.

Jess: Last time it took me many hours to locate anything. It feels a little redundant to force someone else to be there. Since a security officer is an elected position, we're saying that we trust that person with the cameras. Frankly, the video is hard to browse.

Kerry: At the very least, it would help to have someone who is experienced looking over it. If Jess leaves and there's another break-in, then it would help to have someone who knows how to do that.

Marilyn: Doesn't mean that every single minute has to be double occupancy.

Donny: Would accept must be present → must be initially present. Then at least someone else in the coop knows that Jess is looking at the security video.

Z: What's to stop Jess from looking himself anyway?

Jess: If people see me coming in late at night and looking, please stop me.

Nolan: If we find that the security officer is, in fact, just browsing footage, we have grounds to member review. At least we're showing intent that we're trying to do the right thing.

14-0-0.

Nolan: Lower associate fees in lieu of food program changes

Nolan: I want to lower associate fees to $10/month. I asked myself what are we giving people in exchange for the $60 fee. We're giving them a vote and the ability to jump ahead in the line. We're also asking labor for them. Is that really worth $60? I don't really feel that it is. I get that jumping ahead in line is a really valuable thing, but want to point out that one of the things we've been trying to do is promote affordable housing. How does it promote affordable housing that people can jump in line if they have $60 of disposable income each month? It doesn't seem fair. I would feel more comfortable living with someone who has done labor than with someone who's paying $60.

Richard: It's $60 if one buys into the bulk program. $25 independent of that. We get a lot more than that. Snap, free meals. I probably spend way less than I would otherwise.

Nolan: I wanted to drop the bulk from associate members. Can't see someone taking flour. The snap is free to anybody.

Hannah: I'm not opposed to this. I agree that it's prohibitive for people who want to move in. Most people pay $25, and they do get meals. Our associates now are really great, but there's been a habitual pattern of associates not showing up for labor ever, so I've resisted expanding labor because it doesn't seem to work out a lot of the time. Not opposed to lowering the fees and see what happens. People have talked about abolishing fees altogether, and that rubs me weirdly because they're getting something, and people treat things better if they're paying for it. People could show up for meetings on a case-by-case basis if it's a hardship.

Z: I'd only like to see more than two hours if someone is claiming hardship. I think it's important to have a little bit of money coming in. If they want to use the electric, it's still going into their overhead. I could see a situation where associates want to pay into bulk, so don't want to see us abolish that. I could see someone across the street wanting to be an associate to join the bulk program. We need to strongly consider labor; we've had problems with associates being on the schedule and not showing up.

Ryan: We have a fairly large budget deficit at this point. I would be opposed to increasing labor requirements until we sort out our own no-show policies.

Kerry: I'd be more invested if I had more hours of labor. I don't want to invest two hours on the bus for what's going to be 30 minutes of time here. I'd be more inclined to come if I had a two-hour project.

Burgess: Having labor obligations is important, a much stronger indicator than being willing to part with dollars.

Hannah: There's not always a lot of food. I'd worry about extra stress if we had a lot of associates.

Ryan: We're probably breaking even on associates or doing a little better than that. I'd be hesitant to say that we're breaking even at $10, but hard to make a calculation.

Hannah: I might suggest raising it to $15 to be sure of that, since it's still a nominal amount of money, to cover ourselves on food.

Richard: Might be more straight-forward to calculate with food. With all I'm getting, $25 is pretty awesome.

Nolan: Okay with raising to $15. Would like to propose a system where people could exchange labor. I would like to see us be welcoming to people who can't afford the fee and do it standardly.

Z: meals are free, regardless of whether someone is an associate or not. If it's a hardship to pay $15-20, we need to consider what the person is getting that value. I'd strongly encourage associates who get a lot out of the food program to enroll in the bulk program. I'd be happy to make it $20/month and allow an associate to do an extra two hours of labor per month.

Hannah: Suggest tabling after we finish the stack. I think we should have a written proposal.

Kerry: When I stayed at 21st St. as a friend of the coop, they had a fairly wide sliding scale. Scale could be $10-25, and an extra hour would knock down $5 in the pay scale.

Nolan: Propose to make associate membership $20 per month with the option of doing two extra hours of labor to knock it down to $0? Could make the bulk program a separate thing entirely.

Marilyn: Will this be burdensome for the labor czar?

Z: Not necessarily. Could come up with short projects. Some people might be fluid and would want to pay money some months.

Donny: Want to reiterate that we're having trouble getting associates to show up for their labor. Do we have a policy for dropping associates if they never show up?

Hannah: No.

Hannah: Part of me wants to not lower to $20.

Z: I think $20 is fine.

Hannah: They already think they're getting a deal. At least Richard does.

Nolan: I can accept. I don't want to bikeshed this. Not consistent to make it free then if it's a $10/hour rate.

Hannah: There's no official rate anyhow.

Proposal to allow associate members to do two extra hours of labor per month to get a free associate membership.

Ryan: I think we should wait to see how we can be effective at enforcing labor policies.

Marilyn: I believe there should be a $10 minimum.

Nolan: We already have a member review policy.

Z: Keeping a minimum amount of money paid is a very quick way to ensure that someone is a part of the community. If you have to give $5 to Andy every month, Andy is immediately going to know the associates that have not paid in.

Proposal to allow an associate to do two extra hours of labor per month to lower the fee to $5/month.

7-1-1.

Nolan: Migrate mailing list to http://threadable.com

Passes.

Discuss future of Membership Coordinator position. Possible elections.

William: After a decent discussion with Cynthia, she expressed some interest. She wasn't feeling well and didn't come tonight. She has some experience dealing with certain government bodies.

Ryan: I think two hours are appropriate. If we're going to have two people, I'd like to see some accountability that two people are necessary.

Marilyn: I'm accepting for a shared position under the assumption that it's one hour per week.

Z: How is splitting the position different from having one two-hour position?

Ryan: I suppose it's not, if it's not more than is being billed for.

Marilyn: I think I needed to be pair with someone who had more flexibility, rather than necessarily needing more hours.

Buy an oven for #203 (Beth)

Jess: We had a CO problem in our apartment over the winter. The fire department came out and said that it was both the heater and the oven that was causing the problem. There are cracks in the pipes. If it gets worse, could cause a fire. It's entirely unusable. We've been making do with a toaster oven. We have no ability to go in on an oven. We understand that resources are tight, but a new fiscal year is about to start.

Victor: Did they identify which pipes are cracked?

Jess: The two rear stove burners as well as one of the burners for the oven.

VIctor: We have ovens with pipes on them. Write a maintenance request. We might be able to put new pipes on it. We have other ovens that we might be able to get parts off of.

Ryan: Next fiscal year starts June 1.

William: Are we in a financial situation where we can afford an oven?

Ryan: It's not in the budget, but we've been deficit spending for months. A little more isn't going to hurt.

Jess proposes that, if we aren't able to obtain parts, that a new oven be purchased for 203.

Passes.

Check-in about the kids' program

Hannah: Adrian had a couple of concerns that he thought were communication lacking. Wants to have the two back rooms and the small room free of folks unless they're passing through / need to get things. A little more flexible on the cooking, but sometimes kids run into the kitchen.

Jess: I'd feel totally okay with that as long as we'd have a semi-permanent and obvious sign when the kids are in here. I think it would be uncooperative to get yelled at for coming in when the kids are here.

Hannah: I think he wants to do that. He shouldn't be snapping at people, too.

Marilyn: A lot of people seem to use this room for a lot of purposes. If someone needs to work on something for their job, would be good to get a heads-up.

Donny: I helped with the kids' program last week. It was a bit of an issue; having the kids in the back room for two hours isn't possible, particularly when Israel is around. If adults are in the front room, it attracts the kids out.

Z: Gatlin isn't here, but he is the person I could see being most impacted by this. At the same time, it's only two hours. When KAF comes in, I'm usually putting food away. If it's a large haul, it's very possible that I'd be putting food away past 1.

Hannah: He's more flexible about things that are community responsibilities. If someone can only cook between 1-3 and absolutely won't use their kitchen, then okay, but he'd prefer they didn't.

Ryan: I think some gates would be helpful. For adults, it's a mental barrier.

Nolan: I would like to not have a barrier. We need to think about accessibility, too.

Ryan: I meant to barrier the kitchen from the commons.

Eric: If you put a barrier up, the kids are going to get passed it. When the weather is nice, kids will be going outside and will have interaction with adults.

Marilyn: It's really up to Adrian. If he wants to run a curriculum and doesn't want a lot of outside stuff going on, that's his prerogative.

Eric: I've talked to him about his curriculum. If it involves being out in the courtyard, will we need to keep kids out of there, too?

Hannah: You can't control everything with kids, but, when you can't control things, you try. We're not going to say people can't hang out in the courtyard. For the time being, he's trying to have a curriculum. Having adults around can be distracting.

Mike: I think that what they're doing is valuable, Like the idea of supporting it.

Donny: Sometimes kids like to draw at the table. If there are adults talking or playing video games, it distracts them.

Hannah motions that, during the two hours when the kids' program is in progress, co-opers refrain from hanging out for long periods of time in the two large back rooms and the small room, with the understanding that errands and passing through will occasionally be unavoidable.

Richard: Are there going to be signs?

Hannah: I'll make sure there are signs.

Passes.

New business

Z: Gatlin and I thought it would be cool to do the labor holiday the same weekend as the birthday party, but most of the house would prefer not to do the holiday the same week, to just enjoy the party. Was going to propose April 5.

Hannah: April 5 is the day of the coop summit, which several of us are volunteering for.

Z: Next day would be April 19.

Hannah: Does that give us enough time to prepare?

Donny: We have a list from last week.

Z: I'd like to get it on the calendar. There have been a couple of opportunities for people to do make-up labor, with locks or Andy/Nolan's apartment. I want to give this as the absolute last warning to people. As soon as Gatlin gets back into town, the no-shows will start rolling. Working on the labor descriptions. By next week, they'll both be on the wiki and in the commons.

Hannah: Have people not on the email list been talked to?

Z: We're going to sit down with the no-show list, figure out who the worst offenders are. Gatlin or I will have a sit-down conversation where the person will have the option of writing a check or arranging make-up labor.

Ryan: Let me know who has to pay fees.

Nolan: Anybody who wants to make up labor, I can let you into my apartment. McALlen is the only person who showed up this weekend.

Ryan: I made a budget where everyone has to start paying the new price at the beginning of the fiscal year. Brings the cost down to $839 if you want a whole apartment and $419 if you want half an apartment. If people want to protect their contracts, people will need to pay $850 and $425. Will lose $1,700 on the contract-protected budget.

Donny: Sounds like folks are somewhat interested in replacing the commons lock with a storeroom lock. I found a nice safe that would allow us to put rent checks in it.

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