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July 24, 2016

Present: Mel, Paul (facilitating), Russ, Cynthia, Gatlin, Richard, McAllen, Victor, Burgess, Corey, Donny, Marilyn (minutes), Meg, William, Lauren

Meet and Greet


Review of Minutes


Wiki Updates


Agenda Item 1

(Richard) Bump tech coordinator to 2-3 hours (coordinator's choice based on ambitions for the term). (Minutes incomplete, passes by consensus).

Agenda Item 2

(Richard) Require that cooks add their names to labels along with the usual lists of ingredients, allergens, etc. Richard: He has noticed that sometimes not all the dishes are cooked, and he can't identify who missed their labor. CQ: Are cooks required to put the date on their food? No, but it is a DCU requirement. Meg: is worried about how to notify all the cooks? It means more signs. Proposal accepted by consensus.

Agenda Item 3

(Corey) Request reimbursement for utilities left unpaid by Chase totaling $126.07. Corey: his unit (with Robbie) has high utility bills; he recently paid a $300 bill (thinks it was for 2 months). It has been a struggle to get his roommates to share their utility bills. CQ: Have we tried to ask for the $$? There is no way to reach him to ask for the $$. He has not requested his deposit back. Currently the lease does not provide for applying deposits to these bills. POI: We have honored these requests in the past. Concerns: Ryan, as treasurer, doesn't have an issue with taking the $$ from his deposit. Richard: he doesn't think we should do anything illegal (applying co-op deposit monies to personal utility bills). Chase has no deposit to get back because he owes back rent and created maintenance costs. Proposal accepted by consensus.

Agenda Item 4

(Hannah) Determine how to address no-show backlog and accountability for no-shows going back to February. This is a discussion item. Ryan: He thinks everyone should get a month to make up labor and then pay fines for anything not made up. Richard: He had been planning to do a 6-7 month report and offer a generous amount of time to make it up; he would not pursue member reviews for Feb-April. Corey: The default procedure is that once the report is released everyone gets 30 days to make up hours or pay fines. Lauren: six months is too generous, but she supports people with large debt coming to the house to extend beyond 30 days to make it up. Current systems' rolling accumulations that got us into the problem. Meg: If someone never pays or makes up, what happens? Paul: If someone is $100 in arrears that triggers eviction. This would be a good time for a voluntary labor holiday to assign labor for make-up. Victor: He has seen co-op burnout. If people are chronic no-shows they are basically saying “I'm no longer here.” We have good prospective members on our waiting list. He is against amnesty. It's not right for an individual to do a lot of volunteer work. Lauren: She likes the idea of a volunteer labor holiday. Mel: Maybe we could set up a system where people with more hours in arrears have more time to make them up. She would support a labor holiday spread over a week instead of a weekend. Ryan: also supports a labor holiday. Burgess: Labor is rent, so he supports no amnesty. Paul: It is difficult when people have a large labor debt to make it up quickly. Corey: Again – the default is 30 days to make-up; we can create a labor holiday without an agenda item; those who need extra time can ask for it. Richard: his informal system has been to give people 3 months, and they usually do spread the labor out over those months; he considers them in compliance if they do make up the time. Ryan: people may have different opinions after they see the full report. Paul: we need to make sure that people understand how to request make-up hours. Meg: suggests that we defer this till there is a proposal. Richard and Hannah are doing the data entry to complete the report, which may take up to 2 weeks.

Agenda Item 5

(Ryan) Allow one attendee to the Worker Coop conference to spend the night on the couch of the library on Sunday July 31st. Mark Fink from Shared Capital Equity, a Minneapolis firm that finances co-ops. Paul: there was a general request from the Conference asking for housing for attendees. He can have a key and leave it in the rent box when he leaves. Proposal accepted.

Agenda Item 6

(Carey, Cynthia, Meg, Anne) Officer Review of Richard Simoes: Multiple months behind on labor reporting, consistent failure to post labor report in commons, failure to address long-standing issues around labor. Meg: her concern is that the lack of no-show reports undermines progress Richard had made in the labor system. Also, Carey has not seen the reports posted in paper form in the Commons, so he has not been able to see his labor. Richard's response: the basis for the report is fair. he is working to finish the report. There have been reasons for the deficit in his work. Donny: Are those reasons resolving? Richard: Yes, and he thinks he can get the reports back next week. Would you feel comfortable asking for help sooner? Richard: Yes. Are you aware of the impact this has had on the house? Richard: Yes. Melissa: Lauren had suggested two people sharing the Labor Czar position. Richard: That option is available, but it comes with many problems, e.g., if one person doesn't do their part, the other person may be unwilling to pick up the slack. Gatlin: concurs with Richard's point. CQ: Are you motivated to keep doing the job? Richard: Less so than in the past, ran this time thinking he was the best option, would like to finish the term, hope someone very enthusiastic will run next time. Megan: A lot of people are interested in this position. Do you think you can get back to doing this every month? Richard: He thinks he has a better chance than others who ran. Corey: Suggests that future labor reports be posted on everyone's doors. Richard: That would make the job more difficult, but he can promise at least to post them in the Commons. Burgess: Maintenance Guru and Labor Czar jobs take 4 hours a week to do moderately well. Ryan: Many of these problems came at a time when there were only 2 hours allotted per week; now there are 3 hours; will it be easier to keep up with the new system of 3 hours credit? Meg: Labor is worth money, which is another reason for the the Czar keeping up on the reports. It may be better to split the job between communication and data management. Gatlin: the data was being collected and we have the ability to construct the reports. If asked directly where someone stood with labor Richard was able to answer. He was doing 75% of the job. Ryan: Agrees with Gatlin, thinks the system needs reform. Lauren reads written questions from Carey, e.g., why was report not posted in Commons? Richard: He did not receive that request. Donny: Acknowledges that we are raising these questions because in his 2 previous terms Richard showed us what good Labor Czar performance looked like. With Richard out of the room there was a straw poll and a decision not to vote for removal of the officer.

Agenda Item 7

(Lauren, Corey, Melissa, Meg) Membership Review of Jesse Mabus for nonperformance of labor, esp. DCU. POI: The outcome of this may depend on the outcome of Agenda Item 4. Richard reads the charges: Jesse has not signed off any DCU or Commons labor since May 23; he has not signed off any grounds tasks since the 4th week of June. In other months he was doing enough to avoid review. Three people have said that Jesse was signing off grounds labor without doing it, which is why he was assigned to DCU and Commons labor. Jesse's reply: he was unaware of the change of assignments; there was no discussion of his availability and did not receive updated schedules (he is not on the Threadable), he was not being informed that the labor was not performed; he has been avoiding the co-op because of AC unit problems; has not had f/t work for 2 years, has a variable schedule, so needed flexible labor schedule. He has given MemCo notice to vacate August 15. Meg: we signed a contract to do labor, and he has been here a long time, and we all have access to the labor schedule. Gatlin: quotes from lease that the residents are responsible to discuss their complaints and potential problems, and he appears not to have done this. This gives CHEA to right to terminate his lease. Ryan: We can accept his notice to vacate. We can issue a document stating that we have accepted his notice and issue a notice to vacate. This will give us the ability to evict him on Aug 15. This would be a proposal to evict, which is within the membership review process. Donny: When he recently became maintenance coordinator he went through the past Maintenance notes and thinks that the repairs on Unit 103 was not done when they first had notification in September, but he could have complained sooner and installed a portable AC unit. He did not report inability to do his labor based on lack of AC. These are not valid reasons not to do labor. Corey: Portable units have been made available for 103 this month. He understands not always noticing changes in the labor schedule, but he gets the same treatment as the rest of us. Also he is not sure there is a July rent payment from Jesse, will know tomorrow. Richard: He has found an e-mail that he sent to the house re: changes in labor assignments, specifically addressing Jesse. Straw poll options: evict, behavior contract, no action. Unanimous acceptance of eviction. (Closed discussion.) Proposal: Pursuant to lease sections 7 and 13 we are revoking his right to occupancy within 30 days. Alternate proposal: accept his Aug 15 date, making it clear that we are accepting his request, not evicting him based on lease revocation, because our lease terms would dictate different time frames. Proposal: Give 3 day notice if bookkeeper finds that Jesse has not paid rent and does not respond to additional contact from the bookkeeper to ask for payment. Accept Aug 15 date if he has paid rent on time.

Agenda Item 8

(Cynthia) Discuss members non-performance of labor.(tabled)

Agenda Item 9

(Gatlin) Present roof solar system option by Speir Innovations, presentation by Mike Y. (This presentation will be available on Threadable.) Local company, has worked with College Houses and another nonprofit housing veterans. Proposing solar photovoltaic system; has a partnership with Remedy Roofing, and understands that the roof is our prioirity. Solar advantages: reduced costs for residents; positive community and environmental impacts. He can train people in fund-raising. Estimate: reduce power use by 15-30%; there are rebates from Austin Energy. He has a list of grants we qualify for. Design: 41.85KW system (large); total cost for solar $121,365 less incentives $33,480; warrantied for 25 years but may last as long as 50 years. Current monthly energy costs: about $!0K, should come down to $1.5K. We should get a grant writer ($2K-100K grants available), establish a fund-raising team, apply for Pace financing. Solar system could be smaller depending on budget. Roofing plan: strongly recommends Remedy Roofing; rebates available from Austin Energy. Questions: how to create this for individual units: the Commons and laundry room and each unit will have its own PV array, meter and photovoltaic meter and residents will have to file individually for the rebates; Speir will need to see our individual bills. We will be tied into the grid. In months that we overproduce compared to consumption we will get credit to the next month. Bills will come down consistently. No cash pay-outs available, so a marked reduction in usage will actually reduce our return on investment. Will try to create a system to create 80% of the lowest cost unit; with more data he can get more specific. Question: if we overproduce, could any credits go to our CHEA partner, Sasona? Mike will look into it.

Agenda Item 10

(Cynthia) Request financial assistance with electric bill approximating $210.00 due immediately. She has not come to the house in the past for money, but she is not working. Richard: we have faced similar issues in the past that we resolved by making individual contributions to the person in need. He suggests tabling the proposal; he is willing instead to front the amount and take donations through a payment company, Venmo, or with cash.

New business

Meg: She and Lauren are interested in partnering as Labor Czars in the past. She wants to point out that people are not thoroughly cleaning their dishe after dinner. Wants to know when we can have a movie night. Corey: among other equipment his laptop was stolen, so he has to replace that first.

Donny: There is easy make-up labor to do in some units, including a bathroom that is unusable, and he invites people to come tomorrow, Monday, at 8 p.m., to help; other times are also available, and Corey will train anyone who wants to learn the skills.

Corey: Our Steward has not responded to the thread to create the date for the Coordinators Meeting, so he volunteers to do make it happen.

Paul: He has acquired a stand and will ask for tools from Yellow Bike Project in order to get the bike repair program started here.

Meg: Daniel Miller of NASCO says we are required by the city code to have more parking spots [amended by Meg to read: Daniel Miller of NASCO says we have one Extra parking spot than required by city Code, mv, 7/26/16]. Ryan: We are currently sacrificing spots for compost and yard.

Corey: There is a thread about the roof; if you are interested in helping us apply for grants, talk to Paul, Gatlin, Ryan, Donny, or himself.

Ryan: There are jobs available to canvas for candidates for City Council.

meetings/2016-07-24.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/26 13:20 by Marilyn Vache