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January 15, 2017

Present: Richard, Chris, Paul, Marilyn (minutes), Corey

Meet and Greet

Heather Poffenberger, 1st meeting, came to Austin 2 days ago. Has been in two co-ops in Illinois, 50% students, 50% community members, largest had 12 members. Did cleaning, MemCo, gardening labor, and likes gardening and landscaping. No pets or pet allergies, loves pets.

Review of Minutes

Accepted with corrections: Addison (not Madison), Arthur, and Greg all accepted as prospective members at last meeting; on agenda item 3 the item was amended and passed with proviso that the outreach coordinator would only be suspended for one election cycle unless a better alternative is proposed and accepted

Wiki Updates

Amanda has some questions about items from last week's meeting and if/how they should be included in the Wiki, e.g., Jeremy's ban from the Commons. We do not have a ban list. Paul says there is one page that is members-only accessible – a list of current members. There was no decision about creating a ban list. She will update the Wiki with last week's changes to Outreach, Safety Officer, and Mediator positions. She was also asked to make sure all the updates have been done in the last 6 months.

Agenda Item 1

(Corey) Discuss new possible ballot distribution standards. (ie how much do we care about exploitability in our election process)

Corey: It has been hard to get the election going because current policy requires the Steward to find members and hand-deliver ballots to each. Posting the ballots inside doors can be difficult because of large, intimidating pets. In addition, the election can't go forward until everyone gets a ballot, which means there is no deadline until that is accomplished. Corey says if we don't care about anonymity we can have people sign their ballots; if we care more about anonymity and trust everyone, we can just leave a pile of ballots equal to the number of members. Another option could be to have people sign off for numbered ballots, or distribute ballots in manila envelopes with their names. Electronic solutions could be used, though there are a few non-users of electronic methods who could be handed a ballot. Regular state and federal procedures have people sign in and then take a ballot which they use anonymously. If only two people count ballots, then anonymity is relatively strong, with only two people having access to the voting. There was some discussion of the value of electronic voting and ways to notify people of electionsk, e.g., posting notices or ballots on the outside of doors.

This is a discussion item, no vote.

Agenda Item 2


  1. Nullify the current official coordinators election.
  2. Recognize as legitimate the outcome of the substitute election administered by Richard, et al.

Richard: Steward's effort to run the election fell through, so Richard used templates from prior elections, made a list of people to distribute ballots to. All but three people have ballots. Associates are invited to come pick up ballots from Richard. Corey offers an amendment to explicitly state that the voting deadline is 1/18 because the rule is that the one week time frame begins at the end of ballot distribution. Richard points out the alternate process he has proposed and started veers from our procedures in many ways, so Corey's amendment is extraneous. Corey's point is that members need to have an explicit deadline publicized. Paul suggests that the deadline be posted on the Commons door, and Corey agrees to drop his amendment. Donny: He will accept the results as legitimate if everyone has been notified. Richard says he has been able to notify all but one person. Proposal passes by consensus.

Agenda Item 4

(Donny) Discuss solutions for additional help managing the coming influx of Travis County contractors which has overwhelmed the current volunteers. Consider labor credit.

Donny: Maintenance is only set up to handle one contractor at a time and only occasionally, but the TC contractors are sometimes here simultaneously and all day. He is asking for help in letting contractors in and knowing what they're doing and making sure doors are locked when the contractors leave. Russ has been very available, but best to include others. He would like a discussion of labor credit for being “on call” and being here. Richard: He recommends 1/2 credit per hour for being present and monitoring the contractors.

This was a discussion item, but the consensus was that the labor czar can go ahead and notify members of the new labor position.

Agenda Item 5

(Donny) Discuss: We need a volunteer “point of contact” for the roof project, who can generally be on site during installation. Naming this person is required for ICAST to move the roof project forward. Consider labor credit for this person.

Donny: He doesn't have details on what the contact person's duties are, but contractors want to be able to contact someone here with the dates and times and ask for help in getting the parking lot or other areas cleared if needed. Corey says he would rather have someone else take the job, but he can do it if he has an idea of when and from whom to expect a call. Paul also says he could be a back-up person. Donny will find out if the named person is the only one that can take the call and be present; once he has more info he will notify the members and get someone. The roof work can go ahead as soon as we have that person in place (and the weather cooperates and we can get on the roofers' schedule).

This is a discussion item only, no vote.

New business

Maintenance report from Donny: Sealed the hole in the soffit facing Gault St, which should take care of rats in the ceilings. We are expecting a new stove in the Commons this week: Don will install it.

Ryan sent out a Treasurer's report, complete for 2016. Treasurer and bookkeeper will meet and do tax prep this month.

Donny: Most people cooperated by being present to meet with the contractors coming into their units, but wanted to know why maintenance isn't handling these visit. The answer is that there aren't enough maintenance people, so those whose units will be worked on are requested to be available via phone to meet with them.

Anti-racism training occurs at Yellow Bike Project tomorrow. Co-op members are invited to attend.

meetings/2017-01-15.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)