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August 7, 2016

Present: Ramona, Madeline, Melissa, Paul, Ashli, Miss Cynthia, Alex, Burgess, Garrett, Corey, Hannah, Ryan, Richard

Meet and Greet

Review of Minutes


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Agenda Item 1

(Corey) Contest Chris' no-shows of me for Bookkeeper for “Failure to maintain Rent Box” and “Failure to communicate desires” (not sure on this one, it's kind of hard to read).

1) These are not tasks assigned to my labor position.

2) I do understand the implicit notion of my duty of care regarding the rent box and have been working diligently with maintenance to get us a new suitable rent box ASAP. When it was found out that the new rent box would take a while to be manufactured I went out of pocket to refurbish the old rent box with a new secondary lock so it could be used as a temporary measure. By this meeting our new rent box will probably be up regardless.

3) These no-shows were clearly issued by Chris as an act of retaliation for me no-showing him as Food Buyer for not following our receipt turn-in policies on display above the rent box. (He literally wrote them within an hour of me writing his no-shows).

Corey: Given the nature of what the no-shows were saying, that they don’t make a lot of sense, it leads me to believe the action was retaliatory in nature.

Hannah: What are you looking for to come out of this?

Corey: I just want to bring it up, use it as an example, that this behavior's not acceptable. We need to be clear on this as a co-op. Not looking for any further resolution.

Richard: This is probably a vindictive retaliatory action, but regardless of that the no-show itself may have some factual basis to it.

Corey: There may've been some delay in work log because of the rent box being broken into

Richard: How do you know if somebody is behind on rent?

Corey: I check the rent box on the 7th, the 15th, and the 21st. I didn't in this case because I got behind.

Richard: There is an implicit requirement that checks be checked for on the 21st, and this was 3 weeks late, so again there may be a factual basis to the no-show regardless of its intent.

Corey: If there is, Chris can be present at meeting to argue that. I no-show myself when I fall behind on deadlines.

Paul: I'd be willing to sign a yellow card for this because it's a clear case of uncooperative behavior.

Hannah: Feels the discussion is over, wants to move to close.

Agenda Item 2

(Hannah) Vote on general policy for members' responsibility for no-show backlog January-July 2016.

Richard: Still entering values for makeup labor to balance out missed labor. One person with 40 missed hours, everyone else less than that but the top 3 highest are also in the 30's

Hannah: 48, 30, 31 were the highest # of missed hours she counted by the person

Richard: It seems like some people have resolved to just not do a portion of their labor each week and just keep making it up. Some newer members were writing their flex labor on the makeup sheets.

Hannah: Wondering about our flexibility to create our own labor as makeup, if this is a good thing when it allows people to fall behind on crucial labor positions like DCU

Hannah: How to move forward?

Paul: My understanding is that anybody who wants to ask for one can request a labor plan, so is there really anything we need to do right now policy-wise?

Madeline: One option that she used as Labor Czar at another co-op is to assign people more than 4 hours a week on the labor schedule. That way missed hours are getting made up gradually and there's transparency because the whole co-op can see scheduled responsibilities and progress.

Melissa: How many people have makeup labor?

Richard: 3/4 of the house have makeup labor. The top 3 are in the negative 30's

Hannah: More than 20 people have double digits

Miss Cynthia: People need to do their makeup labor, if not what are they doing here? This conversation isn't going anywhere.

Ryan: What is the rule for automatic membership reviews?

Richard: 8 no-shows in a month, 12 over 2 months, 15 over 3

Corey: Does everyone understand why this is a problem, what we're trying to solve with this item?

Ramona: Not really, could you explain?

Richard: I fell behind as Labor Czar and as a consequence alot of co-opers fell behind on their labor because they didn't expect repercussions. Now we need to figure out how to handle the backlog

Concerns and Amendments

Ryan: We've bypassed the allotted time our rules prescribe, so we can't make a decision on that now. In other words, there's going to be automatic membership reviews no matter what. One option: We pick a number now, if people with missed labor haven't gotten below that number in missed hours by a certain point, e.g. a month, they'll be automatically member-reviewed.

Corey: People should have a default 30 days to make up labor, if after that time people have more than 10 or so missed hours they should be automatically membership-reviewed and we should start drafting makeup labor plans for them.

Richard: Am I effectively denying all requests for labor plans at the moment?

Hannah: If they're over 10 hours, and they've already passed the labor plan with Richard, then that's fine, but they should follow up later.

Ryan: I was thinking 15 hours

Richard: We should at least make it no more strict than our current standards.

Hannah: It sounds like 15 is more reasonable. Making a motion: “If by the agenda posting (Friday noon) for the meeting of Sunday Sep. 18 you're still at or over 15 missed hours, the automatic membership review goes into effect for you.”

Ryan: Agrees, adding that our normal policy continues, so e.g. if somebody racks up a bunch of missed hours this month our pre-existing policy will apply to them, this new policy won't change that

Corey: Thinks the 18th is too long. Suggests the 9th of September as the cut-off date

Richard: I think planning a month out is premature

Hannah: Sure, things might change in the meantime but we should have a plan

Ashli: As somebody who's almost definitely in the top 3, I'd rather have a membership review and a labor plan go into effect sooner rather than later so I know what's going to happen and what's going to be expected of me.

Ryan: If we sent out automatic membership reviews right now, how many people would that be?

Hannah: 6, not including somebody who's leaving already

Ryan: So we could knock that out in one meeting

Paul: As a point of process, I'd like to see a formal proposal

Hannah: Formal Proposal: “If by Sep. 8 a member has over 15 hours of unaccounted for (total) no-show labor, they'll be automatically membership-reviewed and should come with a labor plan”

Richard: Am I waiving membership reviews that would normally happen anyway?

Hannah: No. 15 is the flat number that matters.

Corey: Do we have a solution to the question brought up earlier about people who've already contacted Richard about labor plans?

Richard: My plan is to effectively deny all requests for labor plans until we've gone through this process.

Melissa: Are you going to notify people?

Richard: I'll email a spreadsheet and I'll print it out and put it in the commons.

Item passes

Agenda Item 3

(Donny) We have a significant opportunity to receive grant money from Travis County Weatherization program. We are talking likely several years worth of maintenance budget given to us for air conditioners, solar screens, energy improvements, etc., along with professional labor to make it all work. To show that we qualify, we must collect income data from EVERY La Reunioner. I propose that the house decide to collect this data, and make every effort to help people fill out the income forms. Form will be emailed and some copies available at the meeting.

Corey: (passing out a form for Austin Energy to get our utility data, 2 forms - signed affidavits from an employer or somebody who's been supporting you financially, a form “Application for Assistance”) It's alot of paperwork. Donny feels it's really important that we get the house's approval before moving forward.

Garrett: When is the deadline to apply?

Corey: ASAP. A bunch of unclaimed, ungranted money is going away in early December. It's also going to take time to process the paperwork, etc., everything has to be done by the beginning of Dec.

Paul: Hopefully we can get everybody together on this. If it works, we can all get a reduction on our utility bills. But we need everybody to participate, and who would be responsible for making sure the forms get turned in?

Melissa: It wouldn't be fair to penalize people for not giving out personal information, but we could give people an hour of labor for submitting the forms.

Burgess: Travis County very much wants to give us this money and very much wants to do this work here. Anybody who think their own privacy rights here overrides the collective benefit is anathema to me.

Hannah: The information on the form may be your best, most honest guess - the forms don't appear to be asking for verifiable numbers, just

Garrett: Suggests setting a date for submission and temporarily appointing somebody to be responsible for spearheading this program

Richard: I don't feel like we have the authority to penalize people for not giving info, but Ryan seems to think so

Ryan: If we pass this, nobody blocks, and only then somebody refuses, then it's reasonable for us to membership review them

Ashli: I don't know how I feel about that, but the big concern is communication. Not everybody in the co-op knows this conversation is going on right now or has the opportunity to express concerns or block

Corey: I don't see how we can knowingly, before agreeing as a house to pursue this, have any idea that nobody's going to object to this.

Ashli: If we move forward with this, we should appoint somebody to bottomline it ASAP going directly to every resident's door with the forms in hand so co-opers can review them and we can find out if there are going to be any objections

Richard: What percentage of people do we absolutely have to get to participate?

Corey: 100% reporting, 2/3 meeting income requirements. I don't know, if we skipped somebody reporting, if we'd just be disqualified or if they'd be considered

Burgess: Our goal is low-income housing, to subvert our ability to provide low-income housing is something I'd take seriously

Hannah: Formal Proposal - “That we resolve to support this, that we give a volunteer between 10 and 20 labor hours based on what they report, that they be appointed and supervised by, and their labor hours tracked by the Maintenance Coordinator, and that we give a labor hour to anybody who fills out and submits the form.”

Ryan: Instead of taking alot of effort to get people to fill out the form, we ask our project coordinator who bottomlines this to get a general idea of people's income levels first.

Corey: We might not get everything we hoped for, but it's highly likely we'll get something out of this if we participate. Doesn't see a benefit from pre-polling people about their income.

Richard: Why did the people who decline choose to decline, when you were doing MFI (Median Family Income - CHEA reporting statistics) stuff?

Corey: Only one person declined and he didn't give a reason.

Item passes

Agenda Item 4

(Ramona) Grant Ramona a rent reduction for the months of July and August due to ongoing renovations upon moving in.

Ramona: I'm asking for somebody to fill out this form..

Hannah: That'd be Paul

Ramona: …and to give me 3 weeks to pay my rent.

Paul: Can we just treat this like a payment plan?

(A few people): Yes

Richard: Paul, do you agree (to fill out the form)?

Paul: Yes

Hannah: Can we table this and Corey and Ramona will discuss together after the meeting?

Ramona: Yes

Item tabled

Agenda Item 5

(Ramona Traylor) I'm requesting crisis assistance for my rent payment from a local government agency, so I'd like that approved by the house.

(Item agreed to by Paul / tabled along with previous)

New business

Lauren: Joint birthday party for Melissa, Molly, Ashli, Paul, Robbie

Corey: Coordinator's meeting Thursday August 11 at 8pm

Richard: Something like a quarter of the co-op was born in September so follow-up party next month

Richard: The 6-month old hammer for no-shows is coming down tonight. Props to Hannah for help with backlog.

Ramona: Willing to do labor for cash - tutoring, etc.

Corey: If you haven't paid your rent yet, pay it

Paul: I'm finally catching up following up on lease renewals and cleaning up the renewal list, e.g. taking Chase off of it

meetings/2016-08-07.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)