Present: Paul (minutes), Richard, Philip, Gatlin (facilitator), Anna, Ryan, Aaron, Karen, Robbie, Russ, Ramona, Barak, Don, Bernard, Hannah, Carl, Lydia, Robert, Zach, Giselle, Tarvis
Art (first meeting)
Yvette (first meeting)
(Corey) Automatically waive all fines incurred until the current disaster/state of emergency has passed.
Corey: World's on fire and we should probably suspend our fine activity. It's not something we need and it's something that would help our members.
Ryan: I'd be happy to do this for late fees starting in March, but I'm not sure what labor fees this would apply to - incurred labor fines, or labor fines going forward?
Clarifying question: Will this apply to the people already at labor review amounts?
Corey: I wrote it quickly. We can hash that out in amendments.
Point of information from incoming bookkeeper: Labor fines this month are from January. This month's wouldn't be fined until May.
Corey: As it's currently written this would apply to all labor fines.
Lydia: I'm more worried about our labor than our labor fines as far as protecting the elderly. Martial law is being declared in other states right now.
CQ: Was it your intention to wipe out old labor debts?
Corey: Everyone knows there's kind of a freeze - courts aren't evicting anyone right now. When all of that gets done, a lot of people may have a lot of leftover debt they owe all at once. I want us to mitigate any contribution we make to that.
POI from treasurer: Our payment plans are extremely flexible, and I think we could cover a 2-3 month payment gap with those. We're also not sure what relief there's going to be, in all kinds of ways. I think we can make payment plans even more flexible by allowing them to extend past the current contract.
Hannah: I want labor to be accountable. If we could do that without money that'd be great, but our current one uses money. Could we perhaps cut labor fines in half?
Lydia: We definitely need to re-evaluate the labor system.
Hannah: Good brainstorming. Perhaps we could have an emergency labor plan for this emergency situation.
POI from labor coordinator: Yeah, I agree. Not even sure holding everyone's feet to the fire during a pandemic is a good idea.
POI from board member: We're going to keep talking about this issue. It's going to be coming up every week. Let's make decisions as we know more, when situations present themselves.
Concerns / friendly amendments
Amendment: Eliminate the accrual of late fees beginning March 1st, 2020, until May 31st, 2020.
Agenda item approved.
(Corey) Automatically waive up to 2 months of rent for any member who has lost employment due to the current disaster/state of emergency, giving people time to file for unemployment/relief benefits. These funds can instead be covered by our vacancy reserve fund.
Ryan: I think this emergency is more of a marathon than a sprint. I'm worried that we'll spend our entire reserve covering people that lost their jobs in the first few months and then we'll not be able to cover anyone at all.
POI: I need relief. I lost my job this week and so did the family member who's my roommate. But I have questions about the documentation required.
POI: I want some kind of relief for people who lost their jobs or got furloughed. I don't want missed payments or fines to snowball and cause evictions.
POI from treasurer: Our vacancy reserve fund is apparently $25,000, but I think we're closer to $22,000 due to spending this year. Since we share that vacancy fund with Sasona, we should discuss it with Sasona and pass something on the board level.
POI: What about a rent reduction? Lots of us people losing jobs are going to get unemployment.
Concerns / friendly amendments
POI from board member: The board could discuss a special meeting to determine how to use the vacancy reserve fund. We've got to be careful with it. We can examine the issue and come back with an amount we can spend on the current emergency. Just on a back-of-the-envelope calculation with Daniel, our NASCO property manager, we might be able to spend 3 months reserve.
POI: I think there are other ways members are affected, and other ways that we can help our members. How does this help our elderly members who might have fixed incomes but be really suffering in other ways?
POI from board member: We can maybe discuss some of these ideas in the Wednesday (digital!) board meeting. I don't think we should dip into more than half of our vacancy reserve fund. I want to be able to help our members in a sustainable way. I also share concerns about the documentation required.
Corey: I do want this to be more about “loss of income” rather than a narrow “job loss” check. I do want us to be thinking about the future even with all the crap we have to deal with right now.
POI: Sasona might be needing that vacancy reserve fund quite soon as well.
POI: I think we should also be looking at ways that non-profits will be getting relief.
POI: We might be able to get emergency co-op loans through the ACBA or other co-op institutions as well. I'll be sending an email soon.
CQ: How many people do we think might qualify for this?
Corey: We really don't know at this point. This might be a retroactive rent wiping. If that's the case, this'll need to get tabled, and this is just a discussion item.
<A show of hands - more than half the members present have experienced a loss of income due to the crisis.>
POI: Evictions are stopped right now. We will not evict anyone. With late fees halted, ESSENTIALLY everyone is on a payment plan right now. So we have time to deal with this. We'll have to evaluate relief near the end of the moratorium, and do some sort of batch payment plan for the members that need it at that point.
Agenda item tabled.
(Richard) Approve Phillip's behavior contract.
<Richard reads the behavior contract language.>
Behavior contract language approved.
(Phillip, Richard, Paul) Member review of McAllen for sexual harassment and making threats with a weapon.
Richard: This is a member review of McAllen requested by Philip.
Philip: He admitted and confessed to it. I feel like he should have a behavior contract to control his behavior around me.
Richard: McAllen is not here. There aren't witnesses to most of the behavior, but just what McAllen has admitted to is member-reviewable.
POI: McAllen did make a statement over email: <statement is read.>
Richard: Accusation: McAllen brought out a machete, made threats with it, and claimed he did this as a joke.
Richard: Accusation: McAllen did some amount of sexual taunting, prancing around the unit naked, grabbing his ass, and making sexual comments. Gatlin & I once asked him about the details about this - McAllen said he has a special line of jokes for his homosexual friends.
Paul: I saw one such joke, where, at a party, McAllen implied a sexual encounter between Philip and him.
Barak: I said in the past discussion about this behavior that I think the same penalties should apply.
POI: If the situations are the same.
Corey: In my experience McAllen has a history of anger outbursts, almost to the point of being physical. I feel that's relevant even if it's not a concrete threat.
Russ: The first step should always be to discuss any discomfort with the person in question, but it's valid to bring these issues to the house.
Corey: One night McAllen beat the heck out of our door to yell at us about noise when we were playing D&D. It was pretty terrifying - he was aggressive coming up the stairs and knocking on the door. He even referenced his anger problems in his emailed statement.
Robbie: He didn't yell, but he was very aggressive.
Corey: I'll also note that McAllen has apologized to both of us for that incident.
Straw poll for no-action, behavior contract, eviction - behavior contract wins.
Vote for behavior contract succeeds.
Behavior contract items:
1) No contact with Philip.
2) If McAllen and Philip are the only people in the common area, McAllen will remove himself from the common area.
3) No hanging out / lingering outside Philip's unit.
4) No threats, bullying, or violent action towards anyone.
Clarifying question: Couldn't these interfere with officer duties? McAllen is Steward.
POI: Those tasks can be delegated.
Ryan: It doesn't make sense for both of them to have to remove themselves from the commons. I'm inclined to more leniency for McAllen since his behavior isn't as bad.
POI: I feel this is difficult because Philip is always in the commons.
All behavior contract items voted on and approved.
Job postings: ACBA posted a College Houses job board. Wheatsville, HEB, Wal-Mart, they're all hiring overnight stockers. Cap Metro is hiring bus drivers. And file for unemployment!
There're reduced-fee psychologists if you've lost your job or you've got corona-anxiety. Talk to Hannah.
More relief opportunities available on the email thread.