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meetings:2016-06-26

June 26, 2016

<div class="level1"><p>Present: Burgess, Madeleine, Jamie, Richard, Alex, Donny, Chris Nolan, Paul, Corey, Marilyn (minutes), McAllen, Russ, Hannah, Ashli, Donny (facilitating), Cynthia, Gatlin, Dusana, Lauren</p></div><h2>Meet and Greet</h2><div class="level2"> </div><h2>Review of Minutes</h2><div class="level2"> </div><h2>Wiki Updates</h2><div class="level2"><p>There will be change in hours for officers after the election.</p></div><h2>Agenda Item 1</h2><div class="level2"><p>(Richard) Add "same gender preference" (as a reasonable objection) to the list of considerations for prioritizing roommate applicants.</p><p>Richard: This has been the practice of MemCos in the past and he wants to make it formal. Paul: He thinks this codifies what is already law. Ashli: we need to have wording to include non-binary members, such as replacing "same gender preference" with "reasonable objection based on gender identity" (language per Madeleine). This is a friendly amendment. Corey: This might be something to punt to a lawyer. We could pass it now and then see if they can help us draft some language. Ashli supports that and tables the friendly amendment pending legal review. Richard: he had thought about this but wanted to get the most frequent objection codified, and then pursue it again if there is a situation that is not covered by our current policy. Corey would like us to reach out to the CHEA Board for further discussion. <b>Proposal accepted by consensus.</b></p></div><h2>Agenda Item 2</h2><div class="level2"><p>(Richard) Add "preference for romantic partner or immediate family member on the waiting list" (as a reasonable objection) to the list of considerations for roommate matching. Richard: In the past we have granted an exception for people to skip ahead in the waiting list. CQ: How many generations is immediate family. Paul and Madeleine: one generation. Ashli: We should not include romantic partner, because we can't be sure that someone is a romantic partner. McAllen: His definition of romantic partner has to do with a level of commitment and amount of time; it's not black and white, but the amount of time is a legitimate measure. Paul: In agreement with Ashli, because the MemCo would have to make a judgment on the part of the co-op. McAllen: We could create a friendly amendment to address this. Richard: He would not accept that amendment. He thinks this is similar to the previous item, when we accept that people are acting in good faith, take them at their word. Ashli: She opposes giving priority to romantic partners over close friends. McAllen: He agrees that the situation is different between romantic partnerships and domestic partnerships. Paul: Suggests a friendly amendment to make it "domestic partnership" or "civil union" instead of romantic partner. Richard doesn't consider it a domestic partnership. Madeleine supports making this apply to spouses. Not accepted by Richard. Marilyn: How about common-law marriage? Richard: That would be included in "romantic partnership." Burgess: He can't think of anyone who wouldn't. Richard: Can you think of anyone we accepted in these circumstances that was not acceptable? Donny: Would Richard accept changing the proposal to cover immediate family only? Richard: yes, and bring back the romantic partner issue another time.</p></div><h2>Agenda Item 3</h2><div class="level2"><p>(Ryan) Budget: He has sent out a revised budget proposal for a $10 per bedroom monthly rent increase which increases budget $100 for food and $100 for kitchen supplies and fully funds the fixer position (entire year instead of 3/4 of year). Other officer function budgets are based on current year's expenditures and adds $4000 for capital improvements. He would like to see our first purchase be a commercial refrigerator, then we can talk about renovations, e.g., commercial kitchen. Most of the $10 increase goes to cover the lease increase, but now we can budget for a higher laundry income than originally expected ($500 instead of $300). Labor fines and late fees brought in $6000 last year and the new budget anticipates $3000, expecting that there will be fewer fines. This was the middle-of-the-road increase that people at last week's meeting seemed to support. Dusana: If something is not spent in one month does it roll over to the next month or a different line item? Ryan: If anything is over budget we already have a budget for a 5% surplus, and that has worked well. There is no requirement that money be spent. Few officers have complained about having too little or exceeded. Paul: I thought we had asked you to make explicit that the proposal was to pass the budget. Ryan: I forgot. Burgess: A $10 increase is a real concern, but we are getting a lot more meals than we did a year ago, making this very affordable. Corey: Looking at the CHEA budget, $7 of this $10 is going to CHEA. Ryan: There is more coming from fine and laundry income than we had previously budgeted, so we can't count on increased services (like meals) in the future. Richard: A budget that includes fines might be an incentive to overly-aggressively enforcing fines and late fees, which happened at Sasona. Burgess: Who is in the position to do that here? Corey: Sasona did not have a budget, so they freaked out. Ryan: the budget increase is 1.4%. Paul: Did everyone have to sign a new lease for the new lease fee? General response: Yes, except for people on HACA support, who are on a different timeline and will see increases later Russ: Is there a list of capital investments to be done? Ryan: New roof, new kitchen. Cynthia: Will we tear up the kitchen? Ryan: Yes, to make our kitchen like a restaurant kitchen. We won't have all the money right away, but we can build the fund. <b>Budget passes by consensus.</b></p></div><h2>Agenda Item 4</h2><div class="level2"><p>(Paul, Cynthia, Robbie, Corey, Richard, Alex, Jessica, Ashli) Membership Review of Chase Maxwell for: Harassment, retaliation, threats of violence with intent to obtain firearm, unwanted soliciting of other members to aide in criminal activity, uncooperative behavior, gross neglect of mental health, and violent history.</p><p>Cynthia: She hasn't actually seen the behaviors, just what she hears, and it seems to be a conflict between roommates. Talking about use of firearms is taken seriously here. Chase: I was never serious about getting a firearm. There are people who own guns and I don't. I don't have one to threaten anybody with it. Richard: Is everyone okay with Molly calling in and listening in while she is at work? (No objections.) Hannah: She was bothered when she asked Chase not to spit in the courtyard and he said he would not stop. She would like him to respect others' concerns, even if he doesn't agree with them. Russ: That affected him, top, shows lack of respect, lack of consideration. Statement from Robbie read by Corey: Mental state has deteriorated, no longer participating or doing labor. Since September there have been statements and actions indicating that he has no concern about his behaviors affect others. In the unit he paces, loudly talking to himself or listening to computers and other media at high volume. He agreed to change these behaviors but later resumed them. He has loudly said he wanted to hurt others, including expressing a desire to kill his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend. He quotes Chase, "I can't get anywhere in this goddam world without holding a gun to their heads." He routinely interrupts and vocalizes aggressive and delusional thoughts and will not stop the statements even when asked. He has actively followed individuals who he is angry at. He has been neglecting his mental health and is more and more detached from reality. This is not a safe situation, and he hopes the review will spur him to get the mental health attention he needs. Chase: Robbie was saying crazy things when he was driving Chase to the hospital; we know what that was about but no one wants to talk about it, but few people want to hear his opinion. "People twist what they want from you every day," giving mixed messages. He is experiencing hard times, and he thinks people were happier with him when he was depressed and isolating in his room. He doesn't understand why everyone is against him all the time. He can't keep a part-time job, and he hears excuses for why he's not good enough. "The r*pe is happening in your head all the time." Richard: We need to drop discrimination of mental health, as it is not a basis for any action by the house. We need to cite behaviors that are objectionable. Corey: We can talk about what creates an unsafe environment for the co-p. Russ: I'm not against Chase and not everybody is against him. There are people willing to work with you if you are willing to work with them. Russ wants to understand what he wants, if this is the path forward for him, here at the co-op. Knowing where the line is for behaviors, you have to choose whether or not to cross the line, whether or not to stay and work things through. Chase: Losing my apartment and going on the street is not good for him, especially since he gets released from jobs. When you're in pain, being called mentally ill doesn't help. Sometimes you just want to have someone there for you, not tell you what to do. Corey: We have tried mediation, but Chase's response to problems in the unit was "I should just find some things to be upset with you about" to get things even. Chase: I don't remember that. Corey: Chase has a selective memory. When asked to stop spitting, he replied, "Why don't I ask you to stop shitting and stop sitting on that bench?" After Corey wrote a yellow card, Chase wrote one on Corey, saying he was willing to listen but not to change behaviors, was feeling bullied. When anyone addresses a concern with him he takes it as bullying. When they had a discussion about this Chase followed Corey to and from the breezeway, and had to leave the co-op because Chase did not respect his boundaries. Chase: I was trying to apologize. Corey: "Your apologies are phrased as 'I'm sorry you feel that way,' and he ignores our processes." He has not followed through on agreements from the mediation. Burgess: Wants to address his victim stance, and that it is unlikely that he is always treated badly. Chase: He talks about these things to vent his feelings. People who don't express their feelings are the ones that might shoot someone. Burgess: Last week Chase was doing a good job in the courtyard, as compared to other times when he just signed the labor sheet rather than doing the labor, and Burgess wonders if it is because he had this review coming up. Ashli: We should not tolerate abusive behaviors in this co-op. Russ: The issues are choosing whether or not to get along. Living here is not a requirement that others like someone. No one here is responsible for Chase's happiness, and it's his choice. Corey: We don't have to be friends, but we do have to be able to live relatively comfortably here, and it's become impossible for me to do that. I've awakened to Chase screaming at Corey's pets that they have to shut up or he will stomp their heads. Chase: I scream at them because they cry at my door. What am I supposed to do? Corey: You could have brought them up at mediation. Chase: If you'll be cool I'll put on a smile and listen to what you say rather than speaking. Hannah: I don't want you to be fake or shut down. If I ask you not to spit in the courtyard I would like to know that you understand and will meet me halfway. Alex: Putting on a fake smile -- that's what you say is the Jeffrey Daumer story. None of us want violence here. The "soliciting aid for criminal acts" complaint occurred when Chase asked Alex what he knew about stealing cars. Alex kept trying to redirect the conversation, but he continued to talk about it and tried to convince Alex to help him. Chase: You didn't get the song reference. Alex: A 20 minute conversation about this is not a song reference. McAllen: He was more defensive in the past when criticized; he got over it when he realized that everybody makes mistakes and gets yelled at. He thought he was getting "yelled at" more than others were, but it was a false perception, he was not getting attacked more than anybody else, and he was able to change his perception and stop being defensive. Donny: This has been a 45 minute discussion; he reviews the complaints and proposes we try to get to a vote in another 15 minutes. Molly (via phone messages): Her concerns are from when she first met him and have to do with his arrest for violence at the end of a relationship, kicking a dog. Chase: Someone might feel others are against him if they bring up the past; he goes through this when he applies for job, having to tell about his past. Lauren: Chase has hit on her inappropriately offering her sex when he owed her money. Chase: Denies this happened. Ashli: The story about assaulting an ex-partner is relevant. He usually claims these complaints are not relevant. Chase: He thinks the co-op's message is just to do his labor and shut up. He doesn't understand what is wanted of him, feels there is double-speak back to him. Gatlin: When Chase hears others' reactions and requests he immediately rejects them. Paul: If the person you are talking to turns away and walks away, that's too far. Chase: He doesn't remember that happening. Paul: Gives an example when Chase didn't give up a conversation and followed him, and Paul had to go to his unit and close the door to get away from him. Corey: There was a time chase blocked a doorway and Corey had to say several times that he didn't want to talk to chase before chase would leave. Alex: In another conversation Chase tried to explain his entire worldview, and Alex didn't have the time or patience to listen, tried to end the conversation, but Alex had to tell Chase to leave his apt. to end the conversation. Hannah: There were statements about using gun violence. Chase interrupts to talk about the possibility of civil war, and he denies this being personal. Hannah: One someone at a job or job interview wronged Chase, and she is concerned about this in the context of gun threats, that his fantasies about using guns are frightening. Chase: Again states that he doesn't have a gun. Ashli: If someone wants to leave a conversation and is pressured to stay in it, that is harassment. Chase: He has not done any harm other than hurting feelings (swearing), and people should get over it. Paul: Quotes Chase as asking if there aren't times when he wants to stab everyone.</p><p>Chase is asked to leave so the House can discuss the review and take a straw poll on the options. The final vote is for eviction within three days (noon on Thursday, June 30), the time frame which applies in this case because he is also in arrears financially, followed by a ban from the property upon vacation of the unit.</p></div><h2>New business</h2><div class="level2">Melissa's phone, and possible credit cards, were taken from the breezeway; it was tracked to an apt. across the street. Burgess is now running people off from the breezeway but telling them they can have access again if the items are returned.</div><div class="level2"> </div><div class="level2">Hannah has organized a neighborhood happy hour at a British-y pub, Nosh and Betty, Thursday from 6-8 pm, 8440 Burnet. Come out and meet new people.</div><div class="level2"> </div><div class="level2">Cynthia forcefully states that people need to return the plates and forks that they are taking to their units.</div><div class="level2"> </div><div class="level2">We will have election results on Thursday.</div><div class="level2"> </div><div class="level2"> </div>

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