Present: Joshua, Andy G, Corey, Donny, Burgess, Richard, Marilyn (minutes), Ryan, Cynthia, Hannah, Andi
Melissa McClure and son Marley, 12 y/o, here for a second meeting; looking for a unit to share, but should in a couple of months be able to afford a whole unit. No pets or pet allergies. Accepted as prospective member.
Reviewed and accepted.
Wiki updates accepted as written.
(Donny) Discuss problems with composting in our south parking lot (people not covering their greens; nearby covering leaves contaminated by dog poop). Consider removal of compost heap.
Donny: He adds that our property is not conducive to composting. Current compost heap is not helpful to us or our neighborhoods.
Richard: Is this a labor problem? Someone is assigned to it daily. Donny: Something that requires daily attention and oversight every day tends to fail; this is our third failed attempt, the others using rotating tumblers. Joshua: Has anyone identified other options. Melissa: Community gardens will accept compost materials.
Hannah: Premature to declare this a failure. We have an investment of money and labor in the bin. Other urban properties compost. We should try again. Ryan: Composted at a previous similar property; same problems arose; you need someone committed to finding the brown materials even if it's not a labor assignment on a particular day. Joshua: We should have an alternative in place before eliminating current system. Hannah: Getting browns earlier in the year was a struggle, but now that it's fall it should be easy to stock up. Donny: Think current system might be a violation of health code. We would need to restructure what we're doing, make sure that the labor is done daily, and train better; doesn't seem this is possible. Ryan: Don't fall for the “sunk cost” fallacy, i.e., what we've spent in the past. We don't actually have that much invested anyway. Corey: We re-used materials, which is part of the problem and needs a middle divider; there is no budget for it. It also needs fencing. Burgess: How much labor is invested now? Richard: One hour per week, oversight from Grounds. Are we getting complaints from neighbors? Donny: We are attracting pests, but we have not had complaints. Ryan: I think whatever comes out of it is low quality and probably should not be put on our food. I like the idea of giving our compost to another organization. Like recycling, it has to be done consistently to avoid smells and pests. Hannah: Not convinced by Donny having seen one squirrel. She has seen pretty good quality compost come out of it. Wonders if it might be worth more labor and more brown material. Burgess: Dog droppings are not being picked up from it and might be added to the compost. Corey: Our neighbors also do things that attract possums and other pests. Burgess: How much usefulness can we get out of a compost pit? Hannah: We have had to spent a fair amount on soil amendments, but the soil has gotten better with compost. Burgess: With reduced planter space and numerous 80-90 potted plants in the courtyard, so we are not lacking for plantings. We have limited use for the compost, but a community garden may have better use for it. Hannah: Maybe someone could research how/where to transport compost and Labor could add an hour for transport. She and Dusanna are interested. Burgess: How much labor do we have to back up things that aren't being done with attention (gives example of a refrigerator door being left open). Richard: Has there been an effort to contact Grounds coordinator. Donny: I sent out an e-mail and put it on the agenda. Burgess: It would be a shame to shut it down and then try a 4th time. The payback would be minimal. It doesn't seem realistic; it requires a lot of oversight. Corey: The construction is pretty sturdy but we didn't have time to build more into it. Corey requests to table this, to give us another couple of months to try to improve it. Donny: Is willing to table it and bring it back in a month.
(Corey) Tweak acceptance process for Partner Org. Prospectives.
* MemCo must still give the house 48 hours notice of persons coming for a site visit.
* As a part of meet and greet, the house shall conduct second meeting procedures (as it usually would for membership acceptance purposes), for any partner org prospectives that have successfully completed a site visit.
* After the 2nd meeting procedure is completed, the partner org prospective shall be considered accepted for membership, and be permitted to sign a lease when they are able to fill an opening per the waitlist.
* Prospectives aren't required to attend this meeting.
This is mainly to alleviate concerns I have in the current process that reasons for denying residency aren't defined, and that are potentially open to being seen as a fairness issue in that how we select which applicants have to go through an additional procedural step is very discretionary. Easiest way I can think of to alleviate this is to walk all applicants we get in this manner through the final part of membership acceptance.
Corey: Previous policy left a number of issues vague, with possibility that vague policies could be seen as unfair.
C/FA: Marilyn: Why are no meetings required? Richard: Meetings were seen as an obstacle. Hannah: People's dependence on buses, child care, etc., might be difficult for some more than others. Some of our processes, like having others evaluate them, that could be intimidating. Whoever is giving the tour could report to the House if the member sees behavior that might be problematic. Would be open to language that would not sound like, “we'll judge you on Sunday.” Cynthia: I gave the Caritas prospect a tour. Some people could tear this place down, but we have to give people a chance. We have to look at whether or not they're willing to do labor. Corey: I don't like leaving it on MemCo to be responsible for determining if someone is behaving poorly. It could be seen as discriminatory.
Marilyn: Friendly amendment: Make it a requirement that the person come to the second meeting if the person giving the tour has areas of concern. Corey: Accepts the amendment in order to have further discussion, with amendment from “the person giving the tour” becomes “if anyone involved.”
C/FA: Andi: What Corey proposes already waters down the intent to make it easier for there to be more members from partner agencies. This just makes a different process, not a lessening of requirements. Richard: Can't see how that would happen. Marilyn: We have had it happen that we turned down someone based on a member's concern. Richard: Even given concerns, I don't think that having their presence would help us make a better decision. Andy: We could discuss behaviors without someone being here. Donny: In the previous example, it was helpful to have the applicant present. Corey: Membership policy says we can deny someone membership for pretty egregious things; requiring attendance wouldn't change that. They can be notified that their application will be reviewed at a meeting and they are invited but not required to attend. Burgess: This is a quasi-communal situation and it seems like someone moving in would want to come visit. Marilyn: Tables amendment.
Proposal passes without amendment.
(Hannah) Separate Outreach Coordinator into Events Planner and Outreach Coordinator positions, respectively oriented towards communities outside the house and inside the house. I hope to work on bulleted responsibilities for these coordinators which I will e-mail out—if I'm not able to I will ask that we table this item.
Hannah: As things stand we mostly recruit our friends; this would be an experiment to increase diversity. I have a list of potential activities; the person would have to be self-motivated and account for time spent researching, calling, and going out. There has been some debate about this being 1-2 hours per week. I didn't want someone to risk 8 hours of no-shows after a month while the job is still evolving.
CQ/POI: Andy: This is an elected position? Hannah: Yes. Andy: They could potentially do extra hours when first starting out. Hannah: I think it's legitimate to start at either 1 or 2 hours. Corey: Current Outreach Coordinator position is 2 hours, so I don't see why the new position wouldn't also be 2 hours. Donny: Does Labor have an opinion. Richard: It would be better to start at one hour and allow someone to accrue extra hours. Andi: Some of the tasks are kind of vague, so I think it would be better to offer 2 hours.
C/FA: Hannah: Friendly amendment: Nominees can declare whether their interest is for a one or two hour commitment.
POI/QA: How would that be done? The Nomination sheet would indicate if interesti s for 1 or 2 hours and that information would go on the ballot sheet. Friendly amendment accepted.
C/FA for original proposal: Corey is concerned that he and maybe others did not see the officer description (Hannah reads it.) Donny: We created the Outreach position to reach out to the wider community, but it became an Events coordinator position because we needed first to build our own community. Is happy to see that the co-op is in a position to reach out now. Burgess sees this as an opportunity for diversity.
Proposal is accepted.
(Sam and Delia) Give Sam and Delia a one month extension on unit 105 change move out date from Oct 31st to Nov 30th. new pmt plan
Delia: We have come across a lot of units that won't be available until mid-November. Her boss lives in Huntsville and she has not received her pay.
Donny: We have no one else who has signed a lease for that apt. Hannah: What is current balance? Corey: $707; they have worked on payment plans, but it's been “very off and on.” They are not current on their payment plan as of today. Marilyn: We gave 2-1/2 months notice. Hannah: People who have left have never paid their past due rent after they moved out. Delia: That's not our intention. Andy: How many hours are owing for labor? Richard: Has been off the labor schedule since his membership was revoked. Hannah: Has the partner organization been contacted? Marilyn: I contacted her caseworker in August and this week; I notified her that Sam and Delia's contract would be discussed tonight. Delia: the caseworker has changed and she doesn't know who it is. Hannah: Is concerned that the involved agency may not be fully aware of the situation.
Richard: They are not current with their payment plan. Corey: Would we still be getting payment from an agency if there is no further income from Sam and Delia. Andy: Delia has said she will go visit the agency. Burgess: Is concerned that she might get turned down. Two and a half months is sufficient time. Andi: Delia has a concern that she doesn't have a case worker, and there is problem finding a place. Not giving them an extension makes us responsible for kids not having a place to stay. Delia: Apartments are going fast, and they won't sign a lease in advance. Apartments aren't available to mid-November. Cynthia: You have to talk to your agency supervisor. We gave you a chance last year but nothing changed. Hannah: Your portion is $100 a month? Corey: Yes. Hannah: It is a $100 bet for us, which is a small risk for us. Marilyn: How will things change in the next few weeks? Delia: She is in contact with a landlord who has an apt. but it is not ready. Burgess: You have helped other family members, why can't they help you? Delia: They can't help with a place to live. Andy: question about how they will pay the balance. Delia: Sam will get paid Friday, and she hasn't been paid in over a month. Corey: The bet is the $700 that the third party agency will cover it. Hannah: In the past the third party has been flexible in these matters. Andi: I'd like us not to ask Delia personal questions. We should give her the benefit of the doubt that she has investigated all her options. Andy: There is a tentative plan to pay the $700.
Andy: Friendly amendment: The balance of $707 needs to be paid before a lease extension is signed. Cynthia: We want to rent that apartment and move on, even though we are concerned about the kids. Richard: Sam has accused Delia of stealing money from him in the last, so Richard wants to be sure that Sam agrees to this plan. Corey: $320 of the balance is labor fines. Burgess: He would like to see labor fines enforced. Joshua: Is Sam able to do make-up labor. Friendly amendment accepted.
The proposal passes.
Burgess would be willing to help if there is a Hallowe'en party.
Hannah suggests we go to another co-op's party and would be glad to drive. Takes a poll about who will be here for a Thanksgiving gathering. Some Sasonies may be interested.
Marilyn: Introduces a tentative membership agreement for those who live here with a family member and want to participate in the community, do labor, etc.
Don Has a request for a maintenance meeting tomorrow at 8 p.m.
Hannah: There is an outreach event Wednesday at 8 pm, two City planning staff discussing proposed new land use code
Andy: Next Coordinator meeting October 27.
Cynthia: Props to the co-op for keeping it looking good and acting cooperatively.