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Officer Descriptions

Steward (2 hours)

  • Monitor central responsibilities of house officers and reporting delinquencies first to the officer, then to the house if necessary.
  • Be familiar with other officers' jobs to the extent that s/he may continue the performance of that job in an emergency or transitional period.
  • Make sure that house meetings expedite business and function according to the procedures (through the facilitator).
  • Make sure minutes from house meetings and house policies are clear, current and posted for members to see.
  • Be the first source to members for general information about the co-op and CHEA.
  • Carry out evictions on behalf of the house membership and/or CHEA Board of Directors through collaboration with membership coordinator and/or treasurer.
  • Oversee membership reviews. Ensure that house policies regarding eviction meetings are followed. Inform the membership and the member being reviewed of all relevant policies.
  • Conduct elections for officers and receive resignations of elected members.
  • Make sure that there are regular meetings between officers and that they are doing their job.
  • Encourage and maintain a spirit of cooperation and democratic participation within the house.
  • Train officers in the absence of previous officer to do the same.
  • Act as the official spokesperson for the house.
  • Pick up slack whenever necessary. Catch any important issues that fall through the cracks and ensure that they are dealt with.
  • Register your phone and other contact info with the Austin Fire Department as an emergency point of contact for the coop.

[HM 8-25-13] [HM 12-1-13] [HM 3-8-15] [HM 12-6-15] [HM 12-13-15] [HM 2-7-16]

Membership Coordinator (2 hours)

  • Keep the cooperative as close to full occupancy as humanly possible.
  • Advertise! Post and update our ads on Craigslist. Regularly reach out in other ways to ensure a diverse membership: this can include flyers, Facebook posts, events, contact social services that work with affordable housing etc. It’s always a good thing for more people to know about us.
  • Answer emails/questions from prospective members and give them tours when you’re around. Answer e-mails to the “info” address in a timely manner. Learn to recognize scam emails (bad grammar/punctuation, usually from a foreign country, says “advert,” claims to be a model or working for some altruistic cause, attaches a picture of a beautiful girl, weird email addresses, obviously didn’t read the ad, immediately starts asking about how much rent and deposit to pay, etc). Don’t be a sucker. If you aren’t sure if an email is a scam, send it to the house for advice.
  • Keep the information sent to prospective members updated and thorough.
  • Serve as primary liaison with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. Answer their correspondence promptly. Handle the renewal process for tenants' receiving HCV (Section 8) vouchers. If communication from HACA concerns other coordinators’ areas of oversight promptly inform them and the committees working with them.
  • Keep the originals of all signed contracts. Under no circumstance should the Membership Coordinator let a member borrow the original contract if there are no copies on-hand, or the final copy if for some reason the original is not on-hand.
  • Keep the Member Roster updated on the wiki. Be aware of whose contract is ending soon, and make sure they renew their contract. If, 6 weeks before their contract ends, they will not guarantee that they will renew their contract, start advertising that their room will open up soon. They can renew their contract at any time then, but if someone signs a contract for the room before they do, then they must either move out or, if other rooms are available, switch rooms. If their contract is not renewed a month before the end of the contract period, then advertise their room and let someone else sign for their room (after first giving them a chance).
  • Jack’s Law: Make sure that new members pay their deposit, membership fee, and any pet deposit needed when they sign their contract. If they do not pay their deposit, then they cannot sign a contract. DO NOT let people move in if they haven’t paid these.
  • Make sure that people with no money and no job don’t move in. It is easier to stop them from moving in than it is to evict them once they’re here. People without jobs should pay both the deposit and first month’s rent before moving in. If they cannot do so, then that is firsthand knowledge of a reason that they would be evicted – and therefore a good reason to deny them membership.
  • Keep track of who attended two meetings and when. Keep the waiting list updated. After a prospective member has been accepted, make sure they are added to the email list for when a room opens up. Keep track of what prospective members have pets, pet allergies, and if their preference is for a room or a whole unit.
  • If several people are interested in the same room or unit, decide who gets it. Be very familiar with the Member Acceptance Policy, and follow it faithfully. Update the Member Acceptance Policy, with the house’s help, if you encounter situations that the policy does not adequately handle.
  • Keep extra copies of all of the room keys. Keep them organized. With the maintenance coordinator’s help, make sure that everyone has a key and a functional lock on their door.
  • Determine how much a member’s deposit will be charged upon move-out.
  • Notify the house by email via the house mailing list within 5 business days when membership is newly granted or revoked [HM 3-15-15].

Passed June 23, 2013

[HM 12-6-15]

Labor Czar (2 hours)

  • Plan and post the labor schedule for each week. Maintain running no-show sheet with who was indicted, what for, the plaintiff, and action taken to resolve the situation.
  • Maintain a running tally of each individual house members number of no-shows and make-up hours owed. Penalize no-shows' according to house policy. Maintain a publicly available format of each house member's no-shows', make-up labor hours owed, make-up labor hours completed, and labor fines owed; update this spreadsheet every month when make-up labor is assessed and labor fines are assessed. Follow the any fine policy the house chooses. When assessing make-up labor hours, email them to the house. When assessing labor fines, email them to the house, the Treasurer, and the Bookkeeper. When a member exceeds the evictable limit for no-shows, inform the house.
  • Create and maintain labor descriptions.
  • Mediate between no-show plaintiffs and defendants when possible. Communicate with house via meetings when plaintiff/defendant can’t come to a solution.
  • Work with house officers to plan labor holidays.
  • Ensure that all labor matters are accessible and available to all members of the cooperative in a timely manner, regardless of ability or means of communication.

Amended April 21, 2013

[HM 12-13-15]

Maintenance Coordinator (4 hours)

  1. Keep a running maintenance request list clearly posted.
  2. Work with people on maintenance team to keep house in running order.
  3. Teach people how to fix basic problems themselves… like clogged faucet, running toilet, etc.
  4. Communicate with treasurer and bookkeeper when larger projects requiring significant funds are being planned. Keep track of how much money is left in the maintenance fund, and budget accordingly. Spend money frugally so that there will be some Minor Maintenance money left near the end of the fiscal year. Be aware of and follow NASCO Properties' policies on spending Major Maintenance money; communicate with NASCO Properties before spending Major Maintenance money.
  5. Turn in receipts to the Treasurer within 24 hours of making a purchase. Use the CHEA Tax ID number to make tax-exempt purchases.
  6. Communicate with house to ensure that the maintenance projects being performed are both wanted and needed. Request house-level input (e.g. emailing the entire house, discussing it at a meeting, or calling an informal meeting for discussion) for non-routine and/or aesthetic decisions. Request and encourage house input, and work to facilitate the needs and interests of the members.
  7. Report weekly to the house on what the maintenance crew is doing.
  8. Work with Labor Czar and Grounds Coordinator to plan effective and efficient labor holidays. Communicate with the house to determine what the house wants to accomplish on the labor holiday.
  9. Ensure that AC filters are changed when needed.
  10. The Maintenance Coordinator is requested to work with The Fixer even more closely than with the rest of the volunteer maintenance crew, since The Fixer has higher expectations and is receiving rent credit.
  11. ​The Maintenance Coordinator must have a clear task list for The Fixer, and be in contact with The Fixer every week to monitor the progress of projects. ​
  12. The Maintenance Coordinator must make sure The Fixer does not spend too little time on maintenance, or too much time on maintenance.​
  13. The Maintenance Coordinator may choose to require public accountability such as a public timesheet for The Fixer in the name of transparency.
  14. The Maintenance Coordinator should keep the house informed of The Fixer’s work during weekly Officer Reports.

Grounds Coordinator (2 hours)

TODO: If list archives are available, look for messages with subject of “Grounds Coordinator's job description” from June. This description has Sasona's description plus Hannah's amendments. I'm unsure whether there were further amendments. -MPG

  • Work with and coordinate grounds crew in weekly grounds maintenance labor.
  • Ensure the regular watering and maintenance of the courtyard garden beds with an eye towards their health and attractiveness.
  • Keep regular maintenance and project/improvement to-do lists up to date and available to house members.
  • Field suggestion for projects/improvements from house members and add them to running list.
  • Plan and manage landscape improvement projects.
  • Communicate with house to ensure that the grounds projects being performed are both wanted and needed. Request house-level input (e.g. emailing the entire house, discussing it at a meeting, or calling an informal meeting for discussion) for non-routine and/or aesthetic decisions. Routine tasks include maintaining the compost pile, raking leaves, picking up trash, and keeping clutter in the yard to a minimum. (Note: If something is potentially useful, it needs to have a place where it will neither be ruined by weather nor be an eyesore.) Examples of non-routine and/or aesthetic decisions include, but are not limited to, the removal and/or disassembly of existing structures and the assembly of new structures. Request and encourage house input, and work to facilitate the needs and interests of the members.
  • Work with Labor Czar and Maintenance Coordinator to plan effective and efficient labor holidays.Communicate with the house to determine what the house wants to accomplish on the labor holiday.
  • Report weekly to house on what grounds crew is doing.
  • Remove sources of standing water – fight mosquitoes!

Passed June 30, 2013

Kitchen manager (3 hours)

  1. Observes that kitchen labor crew pool, kitchen and commons cleaning labor is being performed and notifies the Labor Czar(s) of no-shows
  2. Communicates with Kitchen Pool Crew and members performing commons cleaning, fridge cleaning, or other kitchen cleaning labor about any specific concerns
  3. maintains, cleans and organizes commercial fridge and freezer, Cleans-out commercial fridge & freezer in-time for weekly KAF receival
  4. Inspects expiration dates and safety of food, properly disposing of it when necessary
  5. Communicates to Food Buyer about kitchen, towel clean & food preservation supplies needed
  6. Ensures that the commons kitchen is well furnished and well stocked, and that all appliances and utensils are in working order
  7. Ensures the commercial fridge & freezer units' coils are cleaned and that the compressor is blown-clean every 30 days as recommended by the manufacturer
  8. Maintains locations for cleaning supplies and materials
  9. ensures all cleaning chemicals are properly labeled
  10. re-fills vinegar water mixture cleaning spray bottles
  11. re-fills bleach water mixture cleaning spray bottles
  12. takes note when cleaning chemicals running low and adds to food-buyer request list
  13. Helps Communicate with food donation / procurement labor about any specific concerns
  14. Listens to house concerns and communicates clearly about any issues raised
  15. Maintains, posts, and distributes to cooks a list of common, known, and severe food allergens in the Co-Op
  16. Hosts Once a month kitchen management meeting for the kitchen crew labor pool
  17. Works with other officers as necessary

[HM 2-8-15] [HM 2-15-15]

Food Buyer (2 hours)

  1. Keeps fiduciary records of all cooperative food activities.
  2. Maintains a stock of coop's food, spices, condiments, and other appropriate items for member consumption.
  3. Works with Kitchen Coordinator and other kitchen labor to make sure required ingredients are available for meals.
  4. Accepts requests weekly and attempts to satisfy them as allowed by cost, necessity, or other reasonable constraints.
  5. Maintains communication with the house regarding any relevant issues.
  6. Turn in receipts to the Rent-Box within 24 hours of making a purchase [HM 8-9-15].
  7. Use the CHEA Tax ID number to make tax-exempt purchases [HM 8-9-15].
  8. Works with other officers as necessary

[HM 2-15-15]

Treasurer (2 hours)

  • Take a leading role in helping the house create an annual budget. Seek and encourage input from the membership. Create at least three options to propose to the house, by changing the amounts of the food budget, reserve fund, rent, or other variables as needed to provide some options to choose from. The budget should be based on comparisons of actual income and spending compared to the previous budget, and on the coop's income relative to the price of comparable housing.
  • Ensure the house follows that budget by keeping records of what spending occurs in what budget categories, and comparing the actual spending with the budgeted amounts.
  • Keep track of deposits, credits, money owed to us, and money we owe.
  • Ensure that deposits are made in time to pay all bills.
  • Pay all our rent and bills in full and on time.
  • Send maintenance receipts to NASCO Properties as needed to ensure we have enough money in our accounts.
  • Maintain an efficient and convenient bank account for the house. Ensure that the account is as resistant to embezzlement as possible.
  • Answer financial questions from the membership. Encourage input from the membership.
  • Provide a public place for the filing of house financial documents. Ensure that all deposit slips and bank statements are filed in a public place within the house on at least a monthly basis.
  • When handing out checks, ensure that the person responsible for the check is named in the memo slot for accountability. Any checks that are lost or stolen can therefore be the responsibility of the person to whom the check was issued, so make sure that the carriers of checks are aware of this and take care of the checks they are issued. Ensure that the house Spending Policies are followed.
  • Maintain needed publicly accessible calendars of financial deadlines. These should include a monthly calendar for the benefit of the members showing the incoming and outgoing house funds (rent due dates, and due dates of bills). These should also contain a yearly calendar containing information on IRS filing deadlines, the start and end of our Fiscal Year, annual reports due to lenders, the NASCO Properties Fiscal Year (and therefore maintenance expense deadlines) and any other annual information.
  • Cash is never, ever to be accepted from any members. Ever. Cash has no paper trail and is far too easy to steal. Accept only checks and money orders.
  • Ensure that the Bookkeeper sends out Bookkeeper reports twice a month.
  • Get a copy of the books from the Bookkeeper every two weeks (shortly after the 7th and 15th of the month) to ensure that everyone is up to date on their rent payments and payment plans. Examine the books to ensure that they are accurate and complete, checking accuracy of account balances and assuring that late fees and labor fines were assessed, before returning them to the Bookkeeper.
  • Ensure that taxes are filed accurately and on time. Be familiar with tax filing procedures.
  • Uphold the Open Books Policy. Upon request, show any current member the bookkeeping records, bank account statements, deposit slips, and any other financial information that is requested, including how money is spent and what members owe money, who is facing eviction, who is on a payment plan, etc. (House vote, 8-15-10.)
  • Report monthly on utilities expenses, including comparisons with previous year and with budgeted amount.
  • Ensure that NASCO membership dues are paid on time.
  • Write deposit return checks to members who are moving out, after being informed of the amount by the Membership Coordinator.
  • Communicate with the Labor Czar every month to ensure that labor fines are being assessed in a timely manner. If this job is not being completed, no-show the Labor Czar.
  • If a new Bookkeeper is elected during your term, help to train them.
  • When stepping down from the position, train the new Treasurer. Do whatever needs to be done to assist in removing yourself as a signor on the bank account. If you are moving out, your deposit will not be returned until you have removed yourself as a signor.
  • You are not allowed to be bookkeeper while you are treasurer.

Passed September 22, 2013

[HM 12-13-15]

Bookkeeper (2 hours)

  • Maintain Accounts Receivable bookkeeping system, tracking all charges to, payments from, and outstanding balances carried by La Reunion members.
  • Cash is never, ever to be accepted from any members. Ever. Cash has no paper trail and is far too easy to steal. Accept only checks and money orders.
  • Provide older financial data to members regarding their balances, upon request.
  • Give the books to the Treasurer shortly after the 7th and 15th of the month. Make sure the Treasurer is aware of any member that is falling behind on rent payments. Be aware of all payment plans, and alert the Treasurer if someone has fallen off their payment plan schedule.
  • Ensure that overdue member balances are sent to the Treasurer for the creation of a payment plan or, in extreme cases, eviction. Rent is due each month on the 1st, is late on the 8th, and is delinquent on the 16th. If a balance is over $100 by the 16th, send this person's balance to the Treasurer for action.
  • Enter all member late fees and labor fines into the accounts of members in the books, noting the date and purpose of the charge being entered. Communicate with the Labor Czar every month to ensure that labor fines are being assessed in a timely manner. If this job is not being completed, no-show the Labor Czar.
  • Coordinate with the Treasurer to assist in depositing checks received into the appropriate bank account. Depositing checks is a responsibility shared by the Treasurer and Bookkeeper, and they should work together to make sure deposits occur in a timely manner.
  • Collect maintenance receipts from the Maintenance Coordinator.
  • Help La Reunion members avoid late fees by sending out timely reminders via email and/or by posting signs in the house indicating when payments are due.
  • Our tax filing date is November 15. Help ensure that our tax return is filed well ahead of this deadline. This entails helping to ensure that the Treasurer compiles the necessary records and reports needed by our outside, independent bookkeeper by August 1st and CPA by September 15th.
  • When stepping down from the position, train the new Bookkeeper. If you are a signor, do whatever needs to be done to assist in removing yourself as a signor on the bank account. If you are moving out, your deposit will not be returned until you have removed yourself as a signor.
  • If a new Treasurer is elected during your term, help to train her or him.
  • You are not allowed to be treasurer while you are bookkeeper.

Passed September 22, 2013

Tech Officer (1 hour)

  1. Build, implement, and maintain the network, including the Internet connection, the house computers, and the wireless network.
  2. Build, implement, and maintain house software and services, including the website, wiki, inventory and labor tracking software, and so forth.
  3. Increase community participation and individual empowerment by using open, transparent development processes. (Clarification: open-source solutions).
  4. Seek efficient use of house technologies.
  5. Maintain an inventory of house technology.
  6. Document common setup and maintenance procedures.
  7. Work with financial officers to ensure continuity of necessary services.
  8. Listen to house concerns and communicate clearly about any issues raised.
  9. Appoint a Wiki Maintainer
  10. Work with other officers as necessary.

[HM 2-15-15] [HM 3-15-15] [HM 12-13-15]

Events Coordinator (2 hours)

  1. Organize and supervise a minimum of one well-organized house event a month.
  2. Events should bring people together and build community (Examples: Movie screenings, Discussion groups, Guest speakers, Game nights, Craft nights, Parties).
  3. Events should be advertised via e-mail and print.
  4. Larger events should be advertised on Facebook, with smaller events being advertised on Facebook at the Outreach Coordinator’s discretion.
  5. Connect and foster relationships with the wider community on behalf of La Reunion (Example: Attend neighborhood association meetings).
  6. Plan La Reunion's annual birthday party sometime in March-May. This includes advertising the party, ensuring food and beverages are available, and organizing party clean-up.
  7. Once per term organize an event that brings together members from La Reunion and Sasona with the intention of expanding intercoop familiarity amongst members.
  8. Work with other officers as necessary.

[HM 5-24-15] [HM 10-18-15]

Outreach Coordinator (1-2 hours)

This position has been abolished with a sunset clause of one election cycle. [HM 1-8-17]

House Mediator (1 hour)

  1. Mediate disputes upon request.
  2. Work with participants to resolve the issue(s) and reach agreement between the parties.
  3. Respect the confidentiality of mediated discussions.
  4. If the mediator cannot adopt a neutral stance in mediated disputes, the mediator should recuse themselves and suggest another mediator.
  5. A member in a dispute can request another mediator. If the mediator is not acceptable to one of the disputing parties, suggest another mediator.
  6. If a suitable replacement mediator cannot be found in-house, work to find one from outside. This may require a house request if money is needed.
  7. Work with other officers as necessary.

[HM 12-6-15]

Fixer (5-10 hours)

Selection

Chosen: A co­op member may bring an agenda item to a House Meeting requesting to take on the Fixer position for a specified number of months, and how many hours per month that they plan to use. During the meeting the member may discuss their maintenance skills as well as what they plan to accomplish while they are Fixer. The house may then use the consensus process to handle the proposal.

Limitation: There is no requirement for the house to have a Fixer at any given time. No more than one member may be Fixer during any given month.

Accountability: This position can be officer reviewed.

Term: A member may not hold the Fixer position for longer than 6 months concurrently. A member may not hold the Fixer position for more than 6 out of every 12 concurrent months.

[HM 8-30-15]

Expectation and Compensation

While co­op officer positions do not receive compensation, The Fixer will receive a monthly rent credit equal to 1/40th the monthly cost of a single room's rent, per hour worked on maintenance as fixer [HM 3-29-15]. Labor fines from no shows for Fixer hours will equal the hourly rent credit given by the house for Fixer Labor [HM 3-20-16].

Accounting

The cost of a half rooms rent will be set aside per month until a maximum of 1 full years wort of rent for a single room is held in anticipation of a Fixer. Should any income allocated to this fund in a given month exceed this limit the additional balance will be returned to the general house fund for use at the houses discretion. [HM 8-30-15]

Background

The Fixer is a labor position created out of the hard­won realization that for the foreseeable future, our co­op will need a more focused labor effort on maintenance than the traditional group of volunteers can provide. We need someone to give more time than we ask from the maintenance crew, and we need that from someone on a consistent basis, and we need to make it not put undue stress on the remainder of their lives.

Details

The Fixer can be thought of as the hired gun to take the heaviest day­to­day burden for maintenance. The Fixer is NOT the Maintenance Coordinator, but can be thought of more as the Commander Riker to the Maintenance Coordinator’s Captain Picard. The Fixer does not generally need to focus on evaluating priorities, worrying about budgets, or managing the rest of the crew ­ that’s the Maintenance Coordinator’s job; The Fixer is expected to focus on solving maintenance problems pointed out by the coordinator.

Expectations and Accountability

For The Fixer

The Fixer is expected to perform a minimum of 5 hours per week of maintenance, with a maximum of up to 10 hours a week [HM 3-29-15]. This number may fluctuate but the time spent is expected to average out.

The Fixer is responsible for communicating with the Maintenance Coordinator about: * Schedule of availability * Labor time spent and labor time remaining each week * Materials required to perform the tasks assigned * Roadblocks in the way of completing projects.

The Fixer is first accountable to the Maintenance Coordinator for his/her work and hours, and then to the house at large.

The Fixer can be officer reviewed The house must take into consideration that a negative outcome in such an officer review is very serious in that it affects the income stream of The Fixer.

For The Maintenance Coordinator

* The Maintenance Coordinator is requested to work with The Fixer even more closely than with the rest of the volunteer maintenance crew, since The Fixer has higher expectations and is receiving rent credit.

* The Maintenance Coordinator must have a clear task list for The Fixer, and be in contact with The Fixer every week to monitor the progress of projects. * The Maintenance Coordinator must make sure The Fixer does not spend too little time on maintenance, or too much time on maintenance. * The Maintenance Coordinator may choose to require public accountability such as a public timesheet for The Fixer in the name of transparency. * The Maintenance Coordinator should keep the house informed of The Fixers work during weekly reports.

Passed August 25, 2013

Other Officer Positions

  • Board Representative (1 hour)
    • CHEA Treasurer (+1 hour)
    • Board Secretary (+1 hour)
    • Board Chair (+1 hour)

[HM 1-10-16] [HM 4-19-15]

documents/officers.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/29 23:06 by Paul