Present: Richard, Elicia, Anne, Donny, Corey, Russ, McAllen, Joshua, Paul, Chris
(McAllen) Discuss questions and concerns about McAllen's proposed grounds plan.
McAllen: I want to remove most if not all plants in the courtyard, including the peach trees by replacing them with trees that will bear fruit, and to plant a plant guild, which is an ecosystem of plants that co-sustain each other and create a nurturing environment. The others will be food-bearing crops and fruit-bearing trees. Since we don't know what breed our peach trees are, we can't correctly pollinate them and thus they're not going to bear fruits. All of this will make gardening more low-maintenance and more efficient.
Paul: What's the timeframe?
McAllen: I'm not sure right now. I have to figure out which plants will work in Central Texas and get more info.
Paul: Is there plans to do things with the bushes around the property or only the courtyard?
McAllen: The second plan is to remove the bushes in the front of the building and replace them with more attractive plants, ones that bear fruit, or that attract wildlife. I need to do more research and want feedback.
Joshua: Some of our beds are small, will a plant guild fit within the space of the courtyard beds?
McAllen: I'm not sure at the moment.
Elicia: This sounds more like a concept than a plan and I think we should see something more specific before agreeing. I'd like to see exactly which plants are going to be removed and I don't want the rose bush to be removed.
Chris: I'm excited about the plan and I'd like to seek out more knowledge re: permaculture.
McAllen: I've taken a 10-day intensive course taught by the Austin Permaculture Guild.
Anne: I'd like to see if it's possible to start without tearing out any of the big stuff, to do it gradually to give us time to replace plants and see if they're going to work.
McAllen: I didn't mean to give an impression in my email that I want to tear everything out just like that. I want to go about it carefully and thoughtfully.
Corey: I'd like to keep the center tree in the circle bed. I don't think our beds are suited for trees so if we are going to plant more, we should probably do something to the beds to prepare them.
Melissa: I think the beds are deep enough so that no water is being wasted. The peach tree has for sure broken through the concrete beneath and any other trees we plant will do the same, so that's not a concern.
Corey: If we do want to jackhammer through the concrete we'd want to take out part of the bed completely.
Donny: I have concerns with that because there's a bunch of plumbing and pipes not very far below the concrete. Any big trees might damage this.
Joshua: So we know that the bed will support and peach tree and you're proposing replacing it with another peach tree or a similar tree?
McAllen: That's right.
Joshua: And as I understand it the certification in permaculture is a PVC and that's the same qualifications anyone would have if we were to hire them or seek their help?
McAllen: That's right and I have that.
McAllen: I need to take all of this feedback and concerns into consideration, research more especially on best times to plant, and develop a proposal.
Anne: Are you going to come back and present a proposal?
Paul: Coordinators can call 48-hour meetings that you could use to discuss the project openly.
(Paul) Remove “cleaning with vinegar” points from the Laundry Room Clean description. I have never been able to find vinegar in the commons when I look for it.
Also, clarify a few other minor issues relating to the task and the room.
(Paul) Don't hide the SSID name, as it's security through obscurity, the spelling will be an issue, and it'll probably be written down somewhere anyway.
Paul: It's pointless if we're adding a password and the Tech Coordinator agrees with me. It's “pure security theater.” It's a hassle for everybody here and doesn't benefit us anything.
Corey: What this means is if you're not already connected to it, you can't just select the network from the drop-down menu, you have to type it in. One of the concerns was that somebody could see the network and harass people in the courtyard or wherever to give up the password, but people can already give out the password on their own and there's plenty of networks in this coop.
Anne: We could change the password every few months.
Corey: If people are hacking into our network we can find out and respond accordingly at that time. The extra burden's not worth it.
Richard: But our Tech Coordinator could do that if they wanted to. There's nothing preventing them.
Paul: Friendly amendment that we remove the password from our network.
Donny: You weren't at the last discussion, but there's concerns that people are torrenting on the network.
Richard: Paul, your friendly amendment isn't related enough to this.
Proposal passes without amendment
(Melissa) Requirement for walls to be primed be amended.
Melissa: I'm requesting that we change the house policy that says that walls must be primed before people move in or that we hold a deductible on their account when they move out. It doesn't make sense, primer's more expensive, and the only point in having primer on painted walls is if you can't cover up the previous color with paint alone. Also you can't apply primer without painting it after.
Corey: Also, it ends up with the white walls yellowing. It's a case of the coop thinking something's a good idea but not having all the information to inform our decision.
Richard: It's not an official rule.
Donny: I think it was started informally by Victor back in the day.
Melissa: I want to pass a proposal now to clarify what we're responsible for.
Corey: Honestly I've never heard of this rule. I've looked at the wiki archive and not found anything. The only rule existing is that we'll put in the money and labor to paint your unit a neutral color and the coop's not responsible for anything else.
Richard: Have you talked to Mike (Maintenance Coordinator) about this?
Melissa: I thought it was in the house rules so it wasn't something he could change by himself. Do we have anything in our house policy about this?
Paul: The contract mentions two things about paint: That the resident won't paint walls without permission of the house (which is ignored) and that if it's painted by the resident and not re-painted upon leaving to an acceptable color, then CHEA will retain part of the deposit (which we don't do).
Corey: I think the language in the contract is shaky.
Melissa: I'd like the coop to foot the bill for the paint in my unit since it was just primed and now it's gotten to an ugly color.
Corey: I don't think that'll be a problem.
Richard: We have a labor holiday coming up, we've frequently had painting a couple units on the schedule.
(Melissa) Clarity on use of commons.
Melissa: I didn't see anything about having guests in the commons for group meetings etc. I was told to bring it to a meeting to request having guests over, which is very inconvenient. I think we should have policy about how many guests can come over, how much notice must be given, etc.
Paul: We used to have a defacto standard that it be brought to the house first, which we've relaxed since. I think it'd be good to have a formal rule.
Richard: I'd suggest not having a formal rule and not asking for permission, just letting the house know the day before.
Melissa: But as a devil's advocate, couldn't I just invite a big group of friends over during dinner time?
Donny: I think we should just be considerate that this a shared space.
Corey: The general rule of thumb is to let people know it's going to be happening, what spaces you're going to be using, scheduling it so it doesn't interfere with labor, etc.
Richard: I'm a food buyer for another week and I'm not sure what Marilyn's commitments are, so if you have any food request please let me know ASAP.
Richard: I put out the no-show backlog and haven't heard a response since, so I don't know if anybody's waiting for me to do a thing.
Corey: All the papers for proposing and voting on which days to do the labor holiday and what projects to do are on the commons fridge.