Present: Barak (facilitator), Richard, Paul (minutes), Corey, Russ
Luke (first meeting)
(Richard) Effective the first house meeting of July 2019, members may not pass a proposal without satisfying a member attendance quorum of at least seven.
Richard: We've never had quorum in house meetings. Every comparable 501©3 non-profit has a quorum. It seems undemocratic not to. We should have a quorum.
CQ: So seven people eligible to vote are required for a vote? If we can't get people for a month, what happens?
Richard: Yes. If we can't get people to vote for a month, votes don't happen for a month. If it's an important issue, I think we will be motivated to improve attendance.
CQ: How do we deal with people leaving/coming during the meeting?
POI: Makes sense to clarify - quorum at beginning of item, end of item?
Concerns / amendments phase
CQ: What if we get into a situation where we can't vote for months on end?
POI: Then maybe we shouldn't exist as an organization. Burn it down (he said, figuratively).
CQ: Seven people seems high?
POI: It's 20% of the cooperative.
Concern: I'm concerned about applying this for all proposals. Can we differentiate which proposals this applies to?
Richard: I'd rather not.
POI: What if a failure to have quorum converted into a paper vote over the next week, 7 votes minimum, to get more buy-in?
POI: We can conceive of ways to deal with emergencies. If we can't overcome being short a few people at a meeting, that's pretty indicative that it's not important.
CQ: Would this apply to 48-hour meetings?
Richard: I'd be open to it not applying to them.
Concern: I don't agree that having a quorum will lead to more buy-in from members.
POI: I don't think this is an unreasonable number of people to require.
Richard: Willing to amend to delay this to the beginning of August instead of July if that would help address concerns.
CQ: Can you think of a time where we haven't had a large number of people in the room when making a big decision?
Richard: Not really.
Amendment: This only applies to regular Sunday house meeting decisions.
Suggested amendment: Sunset clause.
Richard: Don't wanna.
Friendly amendment: “Effective the house meeting of July 21, 2019 …”
Friendly amendment: Quorum is to be measured immediately prior to each proposal's final consensus check.
Item passes as amended.
(Richard) If two or more members block a proposal, the meeting facilitator shall determine whether the reasons for blocking are relevant.
Richard: Blocks don't happen often in our system, but then due to our rules we end up arguing over what relevance means, especially if we're passionate about the issue. This just gives the facilitator the power to decide/clarify that relevancy. Usually the facilitator is someone we've decided is impartial about the issue.
POI: We've used “germaneness” in the past. I don't think they're identical terms but we should be careful.
CQ: Does this also skip the relevancy check?
POI: No. If there aren't the votes to decide a block is irrelevant it won't be ruled as such.
Concerns / amendments phase
POI: I have a problem with “relevance” as the criterion for determining when blocks are acceptable.
POI: If someone moves to overturn the block I think that should be OK. What if the facilitator blocks?
Richard: I'd be OK with a 75% overturn block in case the facilitator blocks.
POI: If we had a 90% overturn block, that would still enable one person not blocking to decide the block is reasonable for the block to be upheld.
Suggestion: Super-majority of 90%, 95% to overturn a block?
Richard: That seems like a more ambitious change.
POI: Voting something down is an option that should also be used more.
Amendment: Starting at “the meeting facilitator,” “… at least 90% of the non-blocking members present must affirmatively decide that a block is not relevant for the block to be overridden.”
Item passes as amended.
(automatic) Member review of Paul for accruing 14 hours of no-shows over the course of May and June.
Richard: This is 14 hours over May & June, starting from June 6, 2019 weekly no-shows of Paul as Bookkeeper for not levying fines. He was also no-showed for not taking minutes twice in May. That's slightly more than half of the 14. Paul was also out of town and out of contact without preparation and without contacting people.
Paul: I have belatedly paid Christian for doing my minutes in my absence. I apologize whole-heartedly for not notifying people properly before I left.
<Paul leaves, there is a straw poll for a behavior contract when he returns.>
CQ: Do you still want to be bookkeeper?
Paul: I'm not running again. I'm willing to finish the term and help train my successor.
Richard: Standing contract for first-time labor reviews: no more than 5 gross no-shows/month for 3 months.
Additional item: Paul should train the replacement bookkeeper.
Additional item: Paul should notify the house if he won't be able to take minutes or if he's leaving the country for a period of time.
Behavior contract passes.
Steward has to draft final agreement for approval next week.
CQ: Election nominations end tomorrow, right?
CQ: When will voting end?
POI: About a week after that.