Present: Rebecca (minutes), Richard, Andy, Alex, Corey (facilitator), Don, Cynthia, Paul, Michelle, Donnie, Nolan, Dusana, Carey, Gatlin, Lauren, Jesse
Joshua: Graduated from Texas State, still taking classes at ACC, interests are varied and diverse, lived at 21st street, work in marketing for YMCA, loves doing stuff with co-ops. First meeting, no pets or allergies, has a stable source of income, whatever for labor, wants to learn more about maintenance, can cook, taking a permaculture design course, looking for an individual room
Andy reads contracts…
They are in agenda items, click on names, if you wanna read them.
Majority votes to approve both contracts.
Officers must conduct all house business in officer emails…
All composting containers must be securely covered and emptied daily.
On 21st of month, associates with a balance over $100 will have their associateship terminated.
(Paul) Any member not supported by Section 8 who wishes to take over an entire unit must have that request granted by either the board or the house 30 days in advance in order to do so.
Donnie facilitates this item
Paul: This stemmed from a conversation over email a proposed cap of singe occupancy units. a Cap seemed harsh to some people. concerns about grand-fathering and how that would work. simpler to have a discussion before we do something like this. concerns with the membership coordinator
POI AND CQ:
Gatlin: CHEAs mission is to provide affordable housing, if its unavailable, that kind of defeats the purpose.
Lauren: when someone wants to move in the coop but cant because one person is taking up a whole unit,
Nolan: I'm wondering if it would be cool if we had a discussion tonight but table consensus until a few weeks later.
Paul: it's a possibility
Concerns and FA:
Andy: this item doesn't have a clear definition on how the house should make a decision when a member brings a request to take over a full unit
Paul: would accept a FA to stay in line with our mission
Corey: we're not denying people housing, don't see how this affects fair housing law with ppl that are already living here
Andy P: really appreciate this item as a compromise for the next agenda item, concerns though for voting each time, would need to develop parameters for deciding who can live alone or not
Nolan: FA: should this vote not succeed, just part of your life goals to live on your own, if they don't get that vote, you should be able to say that this isn't working for me and i need to move in. it seems risky to try and get a free contract break.
Paul: Right now, the house can allow anyone at all to move into a singe unit, if mem-co allows it. I would much rather the group decide this than a single person. I think this could be a better solution than what we currently have. I do have concerns that anyone in double occupancy could use this to get out of their contract.
Gatlin: more in favor of Richards, bc of the popularity contest and external objective like a quota being met. its more restrictive. interested in knowing what the arguments against actually allowing this? There are a swell fo ppl against the idea
Carey: I have a concern with a possible FA attached: since you have this that it could be brought to the board, a board member could vote to give themselves a single occupancy unit, FA board members would need to recuse themselves
Andy G: pop contests: this is setting up bad policy, unwittingly
Lauren: this might end up like a reverse pop contest, there might be some ppl that always vote against the issue.
Richard: this is a contract break that's being done, and right now mem-co person is the only person to decide this.
Alex: democracy always has the chance to turn into a pop contest. that's not a good argument.
Michelle: POI: def biased in this conversation, but it is part of our mission, we are cooperative, bring people together, the more we cut off resources and members of our community, i have a big problem with it, the point of view that more people in the coop could be a bad thing doesn't make any sense.
Corey: this is basically a contract break. we do those as a house sometimes, and we don't worry about pop contest for those. Also, change member to resident in proposal.
Paul: accepts FA to change “member” TO “resident”
Andy G: switching from single room to full unit would be a contract break, i don't think that's right.
Paul: you'd have to sign a new contract.
Andy G: Can you have two separate contracts?
Richard: There is a situation in which it is a contract break.
Corey: Lease states “either a unit or single room”
one block, majority up wiggles, few down wiggles.
Donnie facilitates this item
(Richard) No more than seven units may by claimed for whole-unit occupancy by individual members of the house. An exception to this rule shall be granted to members receiving financial assistance via the Housing Authority of the City of Austin if that assistance is conditional on their occupying a whole unit. However, such units still count toward the cap. If at the time of this proposal's passage the cap is already exceeded, no action will be taken to fall within the cap. The house may, at its discretion, waive the cap when faced with a vacant or soon-to-be vacant unit and a shortage of applicants willing to occupy only a single room.
Richard: Invite everyone to think of this as less restrictive. the previous item seems like a cap of 0. like any house rule, we can grant a waiver on case by case basis.
CQ or POI:
There are 20 units. 7 are single occupancy as of now.
Nolan: Have we taken on any new HACA members since taking this place over?
Donnie: cannot reveal names
Andy: we have not taken on any new HACA members
Andy P: the item that we just passed, would it make it possible for us to surpass the 7 unit cap?
Richard: any house rule can be waived, by posting an agenda item and house approval. This would moderate the previous item
Corey: if this passed and went in tandem with the other one, what would happen, anything under cap can be delagated to mem-co, over cap would use process of last agenda item, could in theory use last agenda item to go over the cap as well. if we amend it.
Andy G: the two would go hand in hand effectively.
Richard: POI: would accept a FA that when under the cap a whole unit can be taken for the asking
Concerns and FA;
Andy G: desire to take over a full unit at some point, this would prevent me to do so, while others that currently have a unit can keep theirs.
Carey: FA: how we define single occupancy, would be a whole unit that is occupied by a single person with no dependents. the most common case, if someone wanted to move in with kids.
Nolan: dos that introduce us denying a single person over family on the list.
Richard: yes, but single people are not a protected group.
Amendment is accepted by house.
Lauren: FA that ppl receiving assistance should not account towards the cap. it breeds animosity.
Richard: we would be denying a section 8 voucher, having them count toward the cap would not let our labor dwindle. Decline FA
Carey: I would be in favor of lowering the cap to 5, make HACA not count toward the cap.
Richard: i don't know if that would pass, but sure. Declined.
Andy G: This takes away ability of members to control their own lives, making decisions for ourselves and each other is part of being in a coop. cannot make decisions about teir living situations for themselves.
Gatlin: mission we have is affordable housing, i could afford a whole unit, but we could have an unchecked situation where near 20 potential bedrooms could be blocked off, people with not a lot of money would choose to have a lot of space here because they can afford it. this place is such a rare gem, we shouldn't allow it willy nilly. closing off rooms without some kind of process is ,,, don't think the argument holds water here.
Andy: it's preventing future members from having a single occupancy unit.
Richard: FA reconcile this with previous item: person does not need to go to the house if they want a single occupancy unit if we're under the cap.
Andy G: will there be a waiting list or first come first serve?
Richard: would be current process
Core: they way its currently structured for current residents wanting to move around, they are at the top of the waiting list, there would be a sublist.
Concerns on this amendment: no house vote if under the cap
Paul: just pulling out a chunk of the previous rule
Corey: we're not really removing anything from the previous rule, we're further defining it.
Andy G: you're upset that your thing might get modified by his thing, don't be upset.
Paul: i don't think ths should pass without an amendment to reconcile.
Richard: this would make it not necessary to ask the house to take over a whole unit if we're under the cap.
Back to main proposal as amended by 2 amendments so far.
Richard: FA to raise cap to 8
Andy G: this would be 40% of our unit space. it would 32 hours of labor.
Alex: losing that much labor would be bad for the house.
Andy G: we currently have 7 for the cap, which would be 28 hours of labor lost.
Paul: where are you getting this number 7 or 8?
Richard: would prefer 0, but there are members who have problems with this.
Donnie: it is valuable for us to have different types of options for this coop, having variety is good, i'm not against the idea of cap, but thought it would be good around half and half, so 10 single, and 10 double. that's where I Got my numbers.
NOT accepted to raise cap to 8.
Lauren: it allows for greater diversity, like older ppl would rather have their own space. some of us feel like we should have the ight to make our own decisions, but others say that we need more equality, we should have room for both.
Paul: this item complicates our rule set, it doesn't really add anything in particular.
Richard: this is just to contain it
Carey: You're saying that if you get more rights because you have more money, because you can afford it, you deserve it
Andy: FA: 0 units are single occupancy, FA to discontinue contracts that allow for single unit occupancy
Richard: Doesn't sound friendly, declines
Corey: idea that having more members could increase the cap so it could be more dynamic sort of. 7 is 20 %. If 36 ppl lived here, it would be 7.2%. At 34, it would be 7%. FA:
McAllen: some important element in the goal of this coop is gonna have to be sacrificed, single people vs. room mates, affordability, we can't have our cake and eat it too, something's gotta give, a cap is a good idea, its a compromise.
Temp check: One block, item passes!
(Corey/Richard) Extend due dates for April, May, and June labor fines to October 7th.
Richard: Give extra month to pay off labor fines. Have sympathy for people.
Andy: Why isn't this being taken up as bookkeeper…
Corey: Only one person has contacted me about a payment plan.
Richard no showed himself, was the main source for this being back logged.
Concerns and FA:
Donnie: Does this make bookkeeping job harder for the next few months?
Corey: No, Just change a date
(Jesse) Contest July no-shows for grounds coordinator.
Jesse: charged for July for 9 hours of no shows, I have documentation, emails and stuff with several members of the crew. There was no conversation at all about any of these. As a cooperative, the first step in these processes is communication between two people. instead of fining first thing. Last week I was removed from my office, which i am completely comfortable with. Last week I was in Houston for my grandfather's funeral. I wasn't here for the meeting. I have questions about, but they are not relevant to this topic. I would like to have my no shows removed.
Lauren: what were the no shows for?
Richard: July had 5 mondays instead of 4. Most months have 4. COMing from the officer review, it was determined that he wasn't doing is labor. IT was actually 8 hours of no show. It would have been a 10 hour no show, but I only did it fo the week subsequent to that.
Andy: You had emails, conversations and stuff. There were several members at the meeting that said you were not giving them much direction, not keeping up with their labor…
Jesse: in addition to these emails, I was also verifying what work was being done everyday. the only week that i was not doing my job was when I was in Houston.
Richard: I have no evidence of that. The only evidence that i did have was Lauren's email that she didn't do her labor.
Jesse: when you were added to the labor, I was not informed.
Lauren: when I started out I was already on grounds.
McAllen: I had a way of accounting for who did and who didn't do labor, there was no way that I felt like my labor was being accounted for when you were coordinator. As far as I can tell, there wasn't any accounting for.
Jesse: I didn't have a sign off sheet, but I did go into the garden everyday to make sure the plants were watered and taken care of.
McAllen: My concept of accounting for labor is like every other job done here at La Re, on paper or Trello, I assumed you weren't doing anything because you weren't writing it down.
Concerns and FA:
Lauren: Can we waive some and not all? Like maybe 4 no shows? Cause it wasn't done great, but he was doing something.
McAllen: Just second her statement. I think there was a miscommunication.
Jesse: I'm being charged 4 hours for not doing like the previous coordinator.
Andy: You were making sure things were getting done, but you weren't able to account for the actual people doing their labor. Someone might not be doing anything but still everything could be getting done.
Jesse: The crew had specific days that they did labor, and if it was done, I knew they had done their labor. I'm pretty sure I didn't send an email to Lauren cuz i didn't know she was actually on the crew.
Corey: Jesse, would you accept Laurens amendment to bump the number of no shows down to 4?
Jesse: This is based on paperwork, and not on actual work. So no.
Paul: This is one of those positions where you're managing a team. There were numerous people on your team that feel they were not communicated with.
McAllen: I don't understand why you wouldn't account for labor like every other position. When I was coordinator, you had a problem understanding why I wanted the crew to sign off on a sheet. I'm at a loss why you still don't understand that.
Jesse: When I was coordinator before you, this is just how I did the job.
Cynthia: If everybody just do their labor, we wouldn't have this problem.
Item does not pass
(Andy) Change the “Selection” section of the Fixer officer description to the following:
Chosen: A coop member may bring an agenda item to a House Meeting requesting to take on the Fixer position for a specified number of months, and how many hours per month that they plan to use. During the meeting the member may discuss their maintenance skills as well as what they plan to accomplish while they are Fixer. The house may then use the consensus process to handle the proposal.
Limitation: There is no requirement for the house to have a Fixer at any given time. No more than one member may be Fixer during any given month.
Accountability: This position can be officer reviewed.
Term: A member may not hold the Fixer position for longer than 6 months concurrently. A member may not hold the Fixer position for more than 6 out of every 12 concurrent months.
Add an “accounting” section to the officer description :
The cost of a half rooms rent will be set aside per month until a maximum of 1 full years wort of rent for a single room is held in anticipation of a Fixer. Should any income allocated to this fund in a given month exceed this limit the additional balance will be returned to the general house fund for use at the houses discretion.
Andy: my goals are two fold: 1) allow house the flex not to require a fixer when not needed, 2)prevent burnout of any member that wants to be fixer, the job is hard
Corey: POI: we would be cutting the fixer budget from $300 down to $215, change to the budget
Concerns and FA:
Corey: i like it in general, in future like to see this not just limited to maintenance.
Andy: I totally agree.
Item passes as is.
Lauren: We should speak Spanish on Wednesday!!!
Richard: 3 labor holiday date proposals on big fridge.
Richard: our brief grounds coordinator turned out to be less brief, it has to be a week for nominations. Tuesday at 8 I will propose fast tracking the election.
Andy: I'll be out of town next week, Corey and Richard are responsible for posting next weeks agenda.