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meetings:2016-12-04

December 4, 2016

Present: Garrett, Paul, Chris, Ashli, Richard, Corey, Alex, Ryan, Russ, Hannah, Taylor, Molly, Gatlin, Madeline

Meet and Greet

Taylor - First meeting, looking to rent a room, no pet allergies

Review of Minutes

Wiki Updates

Agenda Item 1

(Richard) Eliminate “acceleration” clause from all future leases. No agent of the house may invoke this clause for current leases.

Agenda Item 2

(Garrett) Re-designate 209 as a 2 person occupancy unit and place an occupancy restriction on all La Reunion units to a maximum of 2 persons per unit.

Agenda Item 3

(Garrett) Review of the Membership Review Process, the Yellow Card Process, the existence of a house mediator, and the condition of “good standing” as defined by the by-laws of La Reunion and the La Reunion House manual as pertains to the resolution of conflicts arising between members.

Agenda Item 4

(Garrett) Create separate membership and eviction review processes with the eviction review requiring a membership review to have been conducted and for at least 2 weeks to pass from the date of that review to give the conflict an opportunity to be resolved before an eviction review may be initiated.

Simultaneously retire the Yellow Card system which currently fulfills this role but isn't being used.

Agenda Item 5

(Garrett) Selected readings from books

Agenda Item 6

(Garrett) Review of required membership presence to pass an agenda item at a house meeting as defined by the La Reunion by-laws and the La Reunion house manual, a.k.a. quota

Agenda Item 7

(Garrett) Review of required membership presence to conduct a membership review as defined by the La Reunion by-laws and the La Reunion house manual, a.k.a. quota

Agenda Item 8

(Garrett) Selected readings from magazines

Agenda Item 9

(Garrett) Review of the Fair Housing Act

Agenda Item 10

(Garrett) Review of the Austin Tenant Council's available resources to tenants

Agenda Item 11

(Garrett) Reading of selected poetry

Agenda Item 12

(Garrett) Review of the Texas state level policy on hazing within public housing institutions

Agenda Item 13

(Garrett) Review of the Federal regulations regarding hazing in public housing institutions

Agenda Item 14

(Garrett) Review of the procedure for terminating a membership meeting when the current attendance falls below quota

Agenda Item 15

(Garrett) Selected movie reviews

Agenda Item 16

(Garrett) Review of the legal definition of abuse of authority within public housing institutions as defined by the federal, state, and local government as pertains to La Reunion

Agenda Item 17

(Garrett) Review of the consequences of filing an un-lawful eviction as defined by federal, state, and local law in relation to the penalties which may be imposed on the violating institution by those levels of government if the eviction is found to be unlawful

Agenda Item 18

(Garrett) Review of the definition of “un-lawful eviction” as established by federal, state and local law

Agenda Item 19

(Garrett) Selected court cases relating to un-lawful evictions from co-operatives and selected court cases related to un-lawful evictions in Travis county

Agenda Item 20

(Garrett) Review of the definition of Aggravated Assault

Agenda Item 21

(Garrett) Review of the legal consequences for committing aggravated assault

Agenda Item 22

(Garrett) Reading of selected song lyrics

Agenda Item 23

(Garrett) Review of La Reunion By-laws

Agenda Item 24

(Garrett) Review of the La Reunion House Manual

Agenda Item 25

(Garrett) Review of CHEA organizational documents: by-laws, charter, mission statement, legal policies and procedures

Agenda Item 26

(Garrett) Review of NASCO organizational documents: by-laws, charter, mission statement, legal policies and procedures

Agenda Item 27

(Garrett) Review of Federal, State, and Local law as pertains to the issuance of a license to operate a business

Agenda Item 28

(Review) Selected readings from Oliver Twist

Agenda Item 29

(Garrett) Proposal to restart meeting agenda from the beginning to summarize the information covered

Agenda Item 30

(Garrett) Officer review of Richard Simones:

1) Gross neglect of duties resulting in the inability of La Reunion to properly assess labor fines

2) Uncooperative behavior - Taking action which inflamed a situation that had already been addressed through mediation resulting in instability within the house

Agenda Item 31

(Garrett) Proposal to include an Austin Tenant Council telephone conflict mediator in the discussion of the membership review of Garrett Mosley

Agenda Item 32

(Garrett) Request for the NASCO board representative to clarify NASCO's position on the membership review of Garrett Mosley

Agenda Item 33

(Garrett) Review of the responsibility of a business operating to provide housing to the public to protect the safety of its residents as defined by Federal, State, and local law

Agenda Item 34

(Garrett) Review of the legal repercussions for and liability of a housing provider which fails to protect the safety of its residents

Agenda Item 35

(Garrett) Review of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT guidlines issued on April 4, 2016

www.hud.gov espanol.hud.gov April 4, 2016 Office of General Counsel Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions

Agenda Item 36

(Garrett) Safety Notice

I have twice in the last week shat a large amount of blood. The first time I'm pretty sure was a bad hemorrhoid because the blood was dark, as it would be from any cut, and afterward a lump disappeared. This morning the blood had a more clear-yellowish tint, indicative of bleeding higher up in the digestive tract. I have been experiencing abdominal pain for the last 2-3 weeks related a pulled muscle, lack of rest because I was being woken up several times a night, every night, by noisy cats, and a repetition of the muscle injury as a result of tensing up to jump out of the way of an ax before I had fully recovered. The induced stress I have been experiencing for the last 8 days as a result of having a weapon drawn on me and then being threatened with eviction seems to have had a seriously detrimental effect on my health.

I'm not the type to go to the doctor until I need to so I'm informing yall of this in case I pass out or drop dead in the next couple of days. Tell the coroner to check my ass and find out where my head got stuck.

Agenda Item 37

(Garrett) Proposal for Garrett and Corey to re-enact the events of the evening of November the 24th including the belt and ax as critical elements of the conflict so that an informed decision may be made during the membership review

Agenda Item 38

(Richard, Paul, Alex) Member Review of Garrett Mosley. Reasons: 1. Use of physical violence against a housemate's pet. 2. Threats of violence against a housemate. 3. Making false statements to the house that would place another housemate's membership at risk. 4. Threatening to utilize the police against another member if and only if he is member-reviewed.

Garrett: This whole issue was resolved last week. I'm not sure what prompted Richard to put me back up for review. The discrimination shown by the house tells me that it's not capable of making an objective decision about this. I have evidence of my lock being tampered with and my room was entered, I'll have a report and documentation.

Richard: This is the same review as last week plus two additional items. It came about after new information and events came up.

Garrett: (To Richard) I don't think you acted maliciously in posting the membership review, but I think you acted immorally with bad information.

Meg: If we choose to evict Garrett today, I think #3 and #4 are fair housing problems.

Garrett: (Reads from tenantsunion.org on Domestic Violence Protection for Renters)

Alex: I wanted to direct respond as to why #4 is important. The conditionality of the threat makes it blackmail, which is unambiguously blackmail and abuse.

Madeline: Are you being represented by any of the agencies you mentioned?

Garrett: No, but I have a case report with APD. It was the only option for me to document this.

Madeline: You said on the list that you don't feel Corey is a threat to your personal safety, has that changed since?

Garrett: Yes, because he illegally entered my room…For background, I do have an assault background…This has turned into a shitstorm because the house isn't following policy.

Donny: As I understand it, we don't have a key to your bedroom door. Also, legally speaking an eviction is not even on the table with this membership review, it's only legally an eviction if you contest a decision to ask you to move out of the co-op.

Richard: To provide details on #3: Garrett said on the list that Corey brandished an ax at him. Then in a separate meeting with NASCO, he stated that this didn't happen.

Madeline: (Reads from an email from Daniel Miller, which states that Garrett told him that Corey did not make threatening gestures with an ax.)

Garrett: Daniel Miller may have chosen that language, what I actually said was that when I asked Corey if he was going to hit me with the ax, he said no. I was going to let this issue go. I'm being accused by someone who has been dishonest and taken malicious action on behalf of the house. (Gives his account of what happened between him and Corey).

Paul: We now have three different stories from you about what actually happened. I want you to explain why you were chasing somebody else's cat in the unit and why you were using a belt to “train” the cat.

Garrett: I made a mistake. The only way I know how to discourage behavior is to make that cat be in an uncomfortable state–not injuring it. I didn't commit a crime, Corey did. I didn't want this to happen, but now I'm ready to move out. I've contacted the Austin Tenants Council.

William: Legally speaking, if somebody walks into the room with an ax, he doesn't need to be doing or saying anything with it to make it a threat. It's reasonable to assume that.

Garrett: I admit that I fucked up, we already resolved this with mediation. It's Richard's right to bring up another membership review and I shouldn't have responded to him the way I did, because that inflamed the situation.

Donny: Garrett, you know we had to get into your room to let Travis County in. It's within Maintenance's right to do that. Separate from that, I have a significant problem with you just saying it was a mistake to do that. I can't imagine anybody in a rational state of mind going after somebody's cat while they were in the unit.

Garrett: I understand that, I'm trying to work on myself as a person. I'll agree to sign a contract saying I won't do anything like what happened.

Garrett: When I talk to the Travis County person, he'll tell me that getting into my room was illegal.

Garrett: Tells Corey tha if he keeps sitting there staying silent, things will go bad for him.

Garret: And to clarify, this is an eviction process. You're coercing me by way of eviction with this process.

Alex: I want to add to this: (Gives an account of Garrett slapping a cat). This is about a defenseless creature being attacked, and when it comes to animal abuse, it threatens all of us. This is not a property dispute.

Garrett: I can't just tell a cat to be quiet. In a strict legal sense, this is animal harassment, not animal abuse. I didn't touch the cat. I'm not heated because I'm trying to play down what I did, but because there's been a series of harassment by Corey.

Molly: I don't think we're going to get anywhere if the conversation keeps meandering like this. I thought the hoped-for outcome of this wants to create a behavior contract related to Garrett and the animal residents of the co-op.

Garrett: As part of the mediation, I was going to move into a unit without cats.

Paul: In the same email, you said that you were going to break Corey's neck if he swung the ax. Can you tell me how much you'd been drinking that day, because you told me that you'd had 13 beers.

Garrett: To clarify on the alleged threat that was made, I was brought up that anything you do after you've been threatened is legally excusable. Anything I did in that situation that prevented me from getting hit by an ax, I take legal liability for.

Richard: To give background on #4: After the mediation, Garrett said he wasn't going to press legal charges against Corey after the mediation. After I posted this membership review, Garrett said that in the event that he was put up for review, he'd continue to pursue charges against Corey.

Garrett: To be clear, it would only be blackmail if I'd followed through, and I didn't.

Russ: I think people are using this term, animal abuse, and I'm not sure how people are using this term. But there's a way that the legal system understands it. I haven't heard of abuse at the legal level.

Madeline: I can't speak directly to laws about animal abuse, but it's within the co-op's discretion to take action against somebody's uncooperative behavior against a pet.

Russ: The term 'abuse' is exclamatory and brings out emotion, it's not rational language.

Paul: To be clear, we've used the word 'abuse,' what's in the membership review is 'physical violence against a housemate's pet.'

Garrett: (Reads from law, then states his actions did agree with the legal definition of a crime of violence).

Madeline: (Reads from email from Daniel Miller saying that Garrett said he wouldn't press charges against Corey if Corey admitted he was in the wrong at mediation). Did you make that statement?

Garrett: That sounds right.

Madeline: (Reads from an email by Daniel Miller saying that he felt the results of the mediation were obtained through coercion on Garrett's part.)

Garrett: Richard even said that this is a continuation of last week's membership review.

William: Garrett has the right to contact the police about an incident.

Madeline: But not to make it conditional.

William: In the same way that we're showing empathy with Corey's cat, we should show empathy with Garrett, who's owning up to his mistake, before flexing our muscles as a co-op.

Garrett: Once a process of eviction against me began, I had to take legal steps to defend myself. All I've done is to document.

Gatlin: To reiterate, this is not an eviction. This is a review of membership. An eviction is something that somebody in uniform does. This term keeps coming up and it only escalates things.

Garrett: That the co-op didn't take every step to resolve a problem before starting an eviction process, it won't look good to the people who give the co-op a license to operate.

Gatlin: Point of Information: We haven't initiated an eviction process against Garrett.

Richard: After hearing that Corey felt coerced, you questioned why Corey wasn't participating in the meeting. That speaks to me of tone-deafness, and I'm afraid you're going to do something like this again.

Donny: The reason I don't find your statements credible is because even what we've heard tonight differs from what you wrote in your own email. You lied to the co-op by omission about your drinking that day. I have issue with how you've attempted to manipulate house processes with 37 agenda items.

Garrett: I'm just exercising my right as a member, before the house does something that could come up in court. You're trying to sweep under the rug criminal action against me. If this comes before a judge, I'll be able to establish pre-existing bias.

Gatlin: Point of Information: It wasn't swept under the rug, it was addressed here and you were given the opportunity to speak about it.

William: Garrett, I'm here to support you, but it's in the lease that the co-op can enter your property. It's completely legal.

Ryan: We're here membership reviewing Garrett, so what Corey did or didn't do isn't germane. If Garrett wants to make a membership review of Corey, he can do that.

Paul: (To Garrett) Would you be willing to formally apologize to the house for actions and sign a contract saying that I won't act aggressively towards anybody or their animals.

Garrett: I'll sign a behavior contract and I'll apologize privately to individuals.

(Garrett leaves for decision portion of membership review

Meg: I think Garrett showed remorse for his actions. I don't think he was threatening us, he's just aware of his rights.

William: I've spoken to him throughout the week. I've heard remorse, understandable frustration and anger.

Richard: He has borderline delusional grievances against people. He apologized twice for, in his own words, yelling and screaming at people.

Gatlin: I'm also concerned about the constant threat of legal action against the co-op. He showed up not wanting to work with us and it made me less interested in working with him. If we are doing something against process, we should be discussing that, but I haven't seen or heard that tonight.

William: I don't think it's fair to bring up additional information about him. I've seen him as somebody who actively engaged with the co-op, who has the right mentality. I'm not at all okay with what he did, but it's a difference of values. He has a different idea of how an animal should be trained. I don't want us to assume the worst about him. We're allowing ourselves to empathize with the cat more than him.

Ryan: I have two things to say, one about the threats of violence. I've heard him say his threats were justified by how Corey was asking. I think if a membership review of Corey came up, Corey would have a solid case of self-defense. Garrett was wielding a belt. I am concerned about this membership review being like a case of double jeopardy.

Donny: I think he's good on Maintenance, he's a good co-oper, but he's got a bad temper. He made up the stuff about his room being vandalized, as far as I can tell. I'm concerned about the threats he's made.

Paul: Even more than his words, I was disturbed by his reaction to what was said and how he acted towards Corey.

Madeline: One of the suggestions made by Daniel Miller was to offer him a termination of contact with no obligation to keep paying rent after he leaves, with a refundable deposit, effective as soon as he leaves the premises. We would pay out of our vacancy reserve to fill the gap.

Ryan: I think that if we offer him a contract break at no charge, we should set an earlier date, for example until the end of January.

Paul: To be clear, we'd be revoking his membership immediately but allowing him to stay as a resident for some time.

William: I want to argue for a behavior contract. If really is as volatile as yall think he is, then if we give him a behavior contract he'll break it quickly.

Donny: I hear you, but this is more than the cat incident. He tried to get Corey arrested.

Molly: I want us to consider that it's winter and we don't want to make him homeless by asking him to leave before he has a place to go. With that said, this co-op has a pattern of giving second chances to aggressive and abusive people and it needs to stop.

Madeline: I want to propose we terminate his membership, effective immediately, with permission to remain as a resident until the 21st. The membership termination means he won't have access to the commons.

Madeline: I want to propose: 1) Garrett can't display or threaten violence to any person, animal, or members' property: violence including wielding any kind of instrument in aggression, using his size or raising his voice in aggression, or directing any kind of written threat at someone. 2) In any future unit-sharing situation, Garrett has to write out a Dispute Resolution process with the Membership Coordinator, present it to the potential roommate, and follow it. Failure to follow it is a violation of this contract.

Ryan: I propose: Garret won't be allowed to do maintenance in anyone's unit without their permission, he won't be given a key to the keybox, and he won't be allowed to make purchases on behalf of the co-op.

Richard: I propose: Garrett may not be on the Maintenance Crew or in any other position giving him access to residents' units or to make purchases on behalf of the co-op.

Ryan: I want to still include a provision stating he can leave at any time during this contract period, that is, prior to February 2017, without incurring any penalties for breaking contract.

Joshua: I propose: This behavior contract will be an addendum to any current and future contracts signed with CHEA.

Paul: I want to make everything in the behavior contract for the duration of his stay here, throughout any contract period

Behavior Contract: 1) Garrett can't display or threaten violence to any person, animal, or members' property: violence including wielding any kind of instrument in aggression, using his size or raising his voice in aggression, or directing any kind of written threat at someone. 2) In any future unit-sharing situation, Garrett has to write out a Dispute Resolution process with the Membership Coordinator, present it to the potential roommate, and follow it. Failure to follow it is a violation of this contract. 3) Garret won't be allowed to do maintenance in anyone's unit without their permission, he won't be given a key to the keybox, and he won't be allowed to make purchases on behalf of the co-op.
This behavior contract will be an addendum to any current and future contracts signed with CHEA.
Garrett will be allowed to leave his unit at any time during this contract period, that is, before February 2017, without incurring any penalties for breaking his contract.

New business

meetings/2016-12-04.txt · Last modified: 2016/12/05 05:19 by Ashli Peterson