Present: Richard (facilitating), Dusana, Michelle, Nolan, Andy (facilitating), Marilyn (minutes), Carey, Corey, Gatlin, Alex, Hannah, Ryan. Guests: Adrian, Michael, Lauren.
Michael Nguyen, second meeting, interested in being a member in the future, not immediately interested in a place until Sept. Lives in ICC-Avalon. Lauren, first meeting, is interested in becoming a member and living here; knows others from 21st St Co-op. Interested in a room. Neither pets nor pet allergies; likes to cook and garden and clean. William Browning second meeting, no allergies, would like to get have a room ASAP and would like a dog. All three have a stable source of income. No concerns. All three accepted as prospective member.
Under the finance section on turning in receipts the heading for membership/steward/labor has been changed to “Office.”
There was discussion and there were criticisms of the Board proposal for an administrative position; Board will continue to discuss it.
(Richard) Eliminate fixer position, to be effective when the current 106 resident (Tim) is able to move into a different unit. From Richard: this proposal is being combined with agenda item 7. Meg has said that after attending NASCO meeting last week she noted that there was discussion that the Commons should be available to all and possibly host outside groups (radio station, Food Not Bombs, etc.). Richard would like to eliminate who has control over the Commons space, especially since sometimes special rules are made for the resident of the Commons. As far as the fixer position, it may have been needed when we first moved in, but that position may no longer be needed. CQ and POI: Could we eliminate the Fixer soon? Currently the renter in 106 pays for the Fixer's rent break. Andy is concerned that maintenance labor is not always getting done, especially for critical items, and if his position disappeared he would be less available to do hands-on work. History: when we first moved in we had more needs than labor hours, so we made the bedroom in 106 a source of income. Question to treasurer: what would happen to the budget without the rent? We could fund the room via anticipated rent increase, though, depending on how much the increase is this will limit funds to spend on other “extras” like technology and grounds. Could half the fixer position be funded by no-show $$? Opinion that this would be an unstable source of funding. Does this item include funding? No. Concerns: The Fixer position allows a low-income person to come in and put a lot of effort into the co-op. Is it worth losing that to have a Commons without a resident? Concern about what the rent increase would look like. Not having a Fixer frees us from worry about potential for a conflict of interest in which the Fixer is asked to give up the position and thereby might lose a place to live. Concern: Maintenance needs to have at least a half-time Fixer. A part-time fixer could potentially be funded from no-show fines. Nolan would block funding by no-shows, as this would give incentive for labor and the co-op not to forgive or dismiss no-shows. Ryan agrees that linking the Fixer position to free rent was a necessary evil early on, but is not a good idea. Richard asks to table the proposal until he can develop a funding plan for the Fixer position. Donny agrees that disconnecting Fixer and Common renter is a good idea. Tabled.
(Richard) Transfer responsibility of advertising for new residents from membership coordinator to outreach coordinator. This is just a discussion item. He would like to see the OC have more responsibility, and there is a “creeping diversity problem,” especially with a shift to 75%:25% male: female ratio. MemCo likes the idea. The current OC function is a holdover from the student co-op structure. Free outreach, word of mouth, limits diversity. There is need of a description for the OC position and accountability. As we discuss the co-op we should all be clear what we are looking for – to diversity from white males. We also need a deliberate plan to include our minority members as part of a working group to plan outreach. Richard will work on creating a new job description for OC. He will contact the current candidates for the position for their thoughts.
Nolan - Refund part of a high Amazon Web Services bill from November, incurred by accident when performing tech officer duties. I have $70 remaining on my current payment plan and am requesting that this be canceled in lieu of payment. Nolan: tried to back up the Wiki every hour, which resulted in Dec 1 bill for $124 (instead of $2-25/mo). He intended to pay it himself but has decided to ask for the house to cover the bill. CA and POI: Precedent is that we paid for another resident's legal fee incurred during performance of his labor. Could this be prevented by putting things like this on a house account instead of personal account. Ryan supports that as he discourages people from asking for reimbursement for things they have not already discussed. Is there a time limit on coming back to the treasurer for reimbursement? No, and Ryan clarifies that sometimes there is urgency about a purchase. Nolan didn't ask for purchase approval as he did not anticipate the rapid increase in cost. Concerns: We ought to pay him back, and thanks for hosting the Wiki. Proposal accepted by consensus.
(Gatlin) Codify our consensus proposal process as the document available at http://v.gd/SILJ7a and add it in the relevant places on the wiki. The goal is to capture what we currently do, and friendly amendments to better capture this are more than welcome. Gatlin asks to table this, asks others to review the process posted at the accompanying link. Tabled.
(Michelle) See if I can switch units to a unit that has not had cat allergens for a while. Request to get on a 3 month lease to see how new unit works with my allergies. CQ and POI: How do you know this is a cat allergen problem? Her doctor recommended she move out; testing can't happen right now. She does think there is another medical condition contributing. She hasn't stayed in that apt for 3 weeks and is feeling better. What about using a mitigation service? Michelle is not willing to stay in her room while awaiting mitigation? Could this be two separate items, with the room assignment separate from the lease? She wants to be able to stay if she can find another apt to stay in. Concerns and Friendly Amendments: I request a 3 month lease with no contract break fee if my health concerns cannot be addressed, but normal lease and deposit return terms apply. Amended proposal accepted by consensus.
(Hannah) Allow any labor fees collected prior to May 2 to be used to pay for Birthday Party food, nonalcoholic drinks, and decorations. Hannah is spear-heading the LaRe birthday party and would like help with costs. CQ and POI: A pledge sheet worked well to get large donations for the General Membership Meeting. Concerns and Friendly Amendments: This is something we should budget for, and treasurer would like to have items like this proposed for the budget. Should we collect labor fines before the party, so we'll have it in hand? Concerns about using labor fines for expenses, as it can pit the house against individual members. Response: this is a one-time thing, and as this proposal was just made it does not incentivize us to claim no-shows. Richard: same concern about using fines for expenses. Can we set an upper limit for expenses? Friendly amendment: Cap at $300. Accepted by Hannah and house. She asks for permission to collect owed labor fines, which she has as Steward. Friendly amendment: Add this to the budget. Not accepted. Friendly amendment: The Steward will have a $300 budget for the party. Amended proposal accepted by consensus.
(Meg) Phase out renting Commons space so we can be a fuller functioning co-op with a more “enticing” common space that we spruce up and have more programs operating out of. Tabled.
(Corey) Can I have old office filing cabinet? Corey is asking if he can have the old office filing cabinet. CA and POI: We should give it to him because he did a bunch of work to make the office available to the whole community. Proposal accepted by consensus.
(Jessica) Drop my one lump labor fine as I pruned the “Faery” rose but forgot to note it on “extra work I did” sheet. Discussed by Richard in Jessica's absence. CQ and POI: Corey saw her perform the labor and believes the time line is correct, that it was done before the deadline. Proposal accepted by consensus.
(Andy) Facilitation by Donny. Reduce Fixer to 5 hours per week, reduce compensation to half the cost of renting 1 room, starting April 1. Andy says the majority of the back-logged maintenance items have been taken care of, and he thinks 10 hours per week are no longer needed. Concerns and Friendly Amendments: Andy adds that if there is a major maintenance situation he may need to ask for restoration of the 10 hour position. Concerns: This may be about someone's agenda rather than the best interest of the co-op. Another member is also concerned about the cut-back and proposes an amendment to make this a 90-day trial. Proposal is not accepted. Friendly amendment: This would be an hourly position, with a cap of 10 hours per week; his rent would be reduced by the number of hours worked. Andy accepts with the exception that it be exempt from the no-show process that could potentially lead to eviction. Andy requests that he report monthly after collecting data from the Trello. Concern: currently maintenance coordinator and Fixer position are held by the same person, so where is the accountabiity? The accountability comes from reporting hours to Treasurere. Friendly amendment: Position would be for a minimum of 5 hours of week. Accepted by Andy. Concerns: would Andy pay full rent at the beginning of the and get paid back? No, he would get rent credit for the following month. Do we really need a weekly minimum? It is really a monthly minimum, 20 hours/month. Amended proposal: Reduce Fixer position to 5 to 10 hours per week, reported monthly to the Treasurer, with rent credit for the following month based on the number of hours worked (hourly rate is 1/40 of monthly single room rent). Concerns: Demand for maintenance may be artificially low because people are having difficulty posting to Trello. Andy says that requests can come through written requests (in box on top of the TV , e-mail, or the maintenance phone number, 512-387-5273. There was one block but no secondary blocks so motion as amended passed by consensus.
Richard asks clearance for additional labor credits: meal preparation for GMM, widening of a door for Claude. Accepted by the attendees
Corey is asking everyone to completed the Income Disclosure Forms, required to maintain our nonprofit status as providers of low-cost housing. There is more we can do that will provide data for the City in case we are applying for grants.
Does anyone want to help plan the party: Corey and Michelle volunteer.
Hannah asks for permission to paint the Commons hallway. No objections.