Present: Paul, Donny (facilitating), Marilyn (minutes), Corey, Ryan, Nolan, William, Richard, Russ
1st meeting: Tammy (Jarocky?), in home school community with Mel, lived in a co-op in college, has a son, wants to apply for membership. Here with her son Zach.
Stephen, friend of Lauren's, just observing.
Chris Baker (Not our resident), friend of Joshua's in Relating Games group. Most of his jobs are north and he'd like to live here instead of south Austin. Works in IT and feels he could learn what he needs to in order to contribute. Has lived in a group setting.
Summarized and approved.
Gatlin has sent some in an e-mail; Amanda will be the new Updater; Corey and Paul will bring what we have to a future meeting.
(Paul) In the house rules, rename “behavioral contract” to “behavioral mandate.” Since the house can pass one without the consent of the person under mandate, it is not actually a contract. Change our name for it to match.
Paul: Ever since La Re opened we have had 3 options: behavior contract, evict, or do nothing. The contracts are usually quite simple, and we have them sign it as an acknowledgement, but not as an actual contract; the co-op expects the person to follow the behavior but there is no requirement for a signature. This is just a name change, not a change in the actual policy.
Clarifying question from Russ: Will the document still require a signature? Reply from Corey: There is no standard format. From Paul: There's a difference between written procedure and what we actually do.
Point of information: WE call it a contract because it is an analog to a payment plan, the house saying the person has violated the race but under these conditions you can stay.
Ryan: A payment plan does work similarly, substituting for a notice to vacate in a typical lease situation.
Sarah: This is like an extension of a lease, so you would want a signature; an unsigned contract might not hold up in court.
Corey: Calling something a behavioral mandate would bring up a judge's concerns, doesn't sound like something we can do. I would rather explain to a judge that we found cause to evict someone but instead we offered a contract that they refused. He agrees the contracts need more definition, need standardization.
Paul: Open for something to suggestions to call it something other than a contract. If we require signatures people can refuse it, and we don't have rules for what would happen next. Current de facto: we would start an eviction process, though it's not in the rules. A board member suggested the “mandate” language.
William: Maybe we could add language to the description of the contract saying that failure to read and sign it would be an immediate cause to proceed with eviction.
Marilyn: It seems like in the past it was negotiable with the party. (Donny agrees with that.)
Richard: We haven't had this tested in the past; currently if someone fails to sign a payment contract it is precedent for something similar with this process.
Ryan: We should keep it as a contract but calling it a settlement agreement but be good language; it is not coercion if we use legal language that allows us to settle it outside of the eviction court. Or we could call it an eviction settlement.
Corey: Precedent from research he has done: there is a lot of precedent for the payment agreements and some for behavioral issues in Texas law. Both tend to be called “eviction hold-off agreements.” He favors it, though it's legalese. Courts would understand this language. Corey puts up this language as a friendly amendment.
Paul: Could we put that on the Wiki, that a behavioral contract is an eviction hold-off agreement?
Corey: Someone can reject the eviction hold-off agreement, which gives the other party the room to move ahead with eviction.
Russ: Maybe we could say “addendum” instead of contract.
Corey: This is a new contract, because the behavioral agreement says the person has not fulfilled the lease.
Donny: Formal friendly agreement to put “Eviction Hold-Off Agreement” on the document we ask a resident to sign.
Paul: Accepts the amendment to re-word his proposal: In the house rules state that a behavioral contract is technically an eviction hold-off agreement, and the forms for signing would include the same title.
Proposal as amended accepted by consensus.
(Paul) Clarify in the house rules, not just on the website and Membership Coordinator standard blurb to potential prospectives, that membership meetings can also happen on Wednesday evenings 30 minutes after dinner
Paul: Proposed because Richard pointed out that it is not in the rules, though there is no official minutes taker or guaranteed attendance.
Clarifying question from Marilyn: Should we appoint an official minutes taker or make the MemCo the official minutes taker, or to appoint someone in his/her stead?
Friendly amendment from Corey: The membership coordinator is responsible for attending and documenting or providing for someone else to attend the Meet and Greet and document. Accepted grudgingly by Paul.
Richard: Friendly amendment: that the official decision be made on Sunday.
Paul: Not accepted because it is a different proposal. The idea is to make Wednesday a formal meeting.
Richard: As stated it allows someone to be accepted when there might be few people to discuss it
Corey: Friendly amendment to change the time to 8 p.m. Accepted by Paul.
Proposal accepted by consensus as amended: Clarify in the house rules, not just on the website and Membership Coordinator standard blurb to potential prospectives, that membership meetings can also happen on Wednesday evenings at 8 p.m. The membership coordinator is responsible for attending and documenting or providing for someone else to attend the Meet and Greet and document
(Richard) Allow a traveling Madison Community Cooperative member to sleep in the Commons for 2-3 nights between Dec 14-18.
Richard: He hung out with Madison crew at NASCO, and one asked if he could crash here during his winter travels. I don't know him that well, but he seemed well accepted by his own large group of Madison people.
Corey: Would he accept a roommate in the Commons?
Proposal accepted by consensus.
Donny: Points out that there are items tabled from last meeting that will not be discussed because there is no member here to represent those items.
The Board gave Garrett notice to vacate, so we are not discussing the behavior contract tonight because it would be subverting the Board's action. It is out of our hands.
Cynthia's son Tarvis passed away last night. She might be asking at short notice for a reception after his funeral.
Ryan: He and Corey are catching up on the financials, and they are only one month behind, so they will use the data tohave details about our expenses. We have a large balance because we have not spent the maintenance allowance from NASCO. We have a lot of costs from the past to catch up on, but we may be able to fix everything. They are trying to catch up on labor fines and payment plans. Richard: about half a year of labor fines have been documented, and Corey states that many of those people were already on payment plans and the finance team is trying to contact everyone. They should be caught up by the end of the month. Richard is also finalizing the August no-shows. and thinks he could be current by next meeting. We have to be careful not to overstate our income. Vacancy reserve claims hadn't been put in because CHEA didn't have a standard for that, but the Boards are working on that. There are quarterly meetings with the bookkeeper as well. Marilyn requests monthly or semi-monthly reports on food budget. Ryan agrees to monthly reports or sending out P&L to the people who need that to be better at their jobs. Paul suggests a very simple report to the membership, but Ryan is not able to provide that yet as they are catching up on past books. The books they are keeping apply to all of CHEA, so not everything is directly translatable to La Re's I & O. From Donny: Taking a good look at improvement to Buildings 1 & 3, and then determine if we are capable of making the improvements to Building 2 ourselves. Ryan: We have $1-6K per month in our budget, currently $2.4K, in our maintenance account. We are able to get interest on $10K per 6 months. Checking has $13K and Savings had $44.5 K currently. We spend $13.1K per month on the mortgage, so we may have $10K available for upgrades, though maintenance expenses won't be reimbursed for about 6 months.
Paul: Our most litigious former member has asked for a move-out form. Corey: There is a check list of things we look at and send to him after he has completed his move. Ryan: We have 30 days to send him his deposit back less any deductions from the time he gives us a forwarding address. The only problem appears to be painting, no damage, so likely he will get back his entire deposit. He can use a P.O.box. He has paid through December. If he is not gone Tuesday an eviction will be filed, however.
Richard: Labor Holiday report – please empty that keg! Corey: the pantry remodel has mostly been done, though new sheetrock is needed around the frame at the entry and one hole. Most things can go back in the pantry, though it needs painting. Richard: Should we have a mini-LH to have walls cleaned and painted, and outside walls have been washed yet? Corey: Yes, though the pantry is now usable. The pantry has new shelving units, and some tile work is needed.
Richard: We need to do elections. Robbie has been told, but hasn't moved on it, and even if he starts now they won't happen on time. Terms expire in January. If we don't have new officers the people who want to stay in place can and we can look for others to temporarily replace those who don't.