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Member's meeting minutes, Saturday, April 1, 2006

Present: Shannon Binns, James Cowan, Carol Wagner, Jan Steinman.

  • Meeting brought to order at 1037.
    • Facilitator: James
    • Recorder: Jan
  • Check-in:
    • Shannon: 10, even though exhausted, open for influx of energy building, lots to keep track of, we have chosen to continue, that's great!
    • James: 10, so excited to be seeing this come together
    • Jan: 8, somewhat distracted by details of what has to get done
    • Carol: 10, on high dive, jumping off into a wonderful future, so excited, no reservations or apprehensions
  • Agenda discussion:
    • move coop rules discussion/approval to new business
    • add planning for coming Advisory Council meeting
    • modified agenda approved
  • previous meeting's minutes approved
  • Old Business:
    • [x] ACTION: James follow up with Renee: James has contacted her and received a reply via email, forwarded to members. Renee will email us the notes from that meeting so they can be entered. (James Cowan)
    • [x] ACTION Jan to update values with info from Advisory Council meeting (Jan Steinman)
    • [x] NEW ACTION: Jan will follow up on property acquisition for the record, writing a property acquisition page for the wiki (Jan Steinman)
    • [x] ACTION Carol to follow up with Brandy on Cowichan Valley property (Carol Wagner)
    • [x] ACTION Jan to update coop rules based on latest work by Marty Frost for SEEDS (Jan Steinman)
    • [x] ACTION: all to get familiar with and refine coop rules -- work done on coop memorandum, some more checking to be done on coop rules (All)
    • Disclosure of potential conflict of duty: Carol has accepted a position as a board member (director) for Our Community Association (OUR Ecovillage) and will notify EcoReality of any situation in which this may cause a conflict, so that she may either recuse herself from that particular situation, or may resign from one or the other board, as appropriate. AGREED by all members that this was a synergy situation, and likely to produce more positive benefits than conflicts.
  • New Business:
    • AGREED to the initial slate of officers for EcoReality Sustainable Land Use and Education Cooperative:
    • check-in with Advisory Council:
      • racap: we split the AC list among us, and were to personally contact each person to see what their level of interest was, and if they wanted to stay on the AC
      • Jan: regrets that this task fell off the bottom of his priority list, and he did not formally contact anyone on his list.
      • Brad Neumann: Shan: no replies to multiple attempts to contact
      • Brandy Gallagher: Jan: did not contact specifically, but knows she is willing to be involved peripherally, not really willing to come to meetings or to be involved with wiki or group email, but would gladly be involved in matters of her areas of expertise or areas of liaison between OUR Ecovillage and EcoReality. Several others fit this category of "luminary advisor".
      • Carol Sykes: Jan: did not contact
      • Caroline Ashekian: Shan: emailed, interested in our programs
      • Charris Ford and Dulcie Clarkson: Jan: did not contact
      • Colin Hamilton and Wendi Lopatecki: James: talked to Wendi on phone, they hope to stay involved and attend meetings, workshops, etc. on Salt Spring
      • David x: Jan: did not contact
      • Diana Leafe Christian: Jan: luminary, similar to Brandy, above -- willing to be involved on specific issues, but unlikely to be routinely involved.
      • Dick McManus: Jan: started Democratic Peak Oil caucus in WA state, luminary, similar to Brandy, above -- willing to be involved on specific issues, but unlikely to be routinely involved.
      • Dolphin Kasper: James: he's in Central America, no contact
      • Greg Greene: Jan: luminary, similar to Brandy, above -- willing to be involved on specific issues, but unlikely to be routinely involved.
      • Jean-Claude Catry: Jan: did not contact
      • Jeremy Binns and Jill Lance: Shan: very interested in long-term involvement, but unlikely to come just for meetings, willing to do work parties, etc. Jill should be considered a luminary, similar to Brandy.
      • Jerry Flexer: Jan: did not contact
      • Jesse Weise: James: wants to stay informed, works weekends, can't make meetings
      • Keith Jardine and Robi Smith: James: luminary, similar to Brandy. Knows about coops, will try to take a look at rules, can count on for time/expertise when asked.
      • Kimberly Bauer: Shan: did not contact
      • Lauren Goldman: Shan: coming today, very interested
      • Melissa Weiss: Jan: did not contact
      • Michael Hale: Jan: founder of Yarrow Ecovillage Society, luminary, similar to Brandy, above -- willing to be involved on specific issues, but unlikely to be routinely involved.
      • Michael Steward: Jan: received email, coming today with wife Kerri Jo and two-year-old Emma
      • Natasha Sara: Shan: left message
      • Owen Thomas: Shan: left message, always interested, but more interested in city life, concerned about isolation
      • Patricia Kambitsch and Peter Jones: Jan: they are in Dayton, OH, and unlikely to attend meetings. Immigrating, may eventually visit.
      • Rick Durkee: Jan: did not contact
      • Ruby Li: Shan: did not contact
      • Sarah Joy Hopkin: Shan: in grad school every Saturday, so can't come to meetings, but very interested
      • Sarah Martz: Shan: will be away this summer, will contact further
      • Sean Clancy: Shan: won't make meetings, but maybe work parties
      • Stacy Friedman: coming today
      • Tara McKeigan: coming today
      • Terry Lavender: Jan: did not contact
      • Vicky Combs: Jan: may house-sit, but has many conflicts, won't make meetings unless house-sitting for summer
      • Vivienne Grace: Shan: did not contact
      • Vladimir Rubenstein: Jan: did not contact
      • General: all agreed that the Advisory Council mechanism is working well as an initial contact point, and we should keep doing it. Flexibility in level of involvement seems to be working.
      • We need to test-drive our application procedure for next month.
    • Guidance documents:
    • Approve coop memorandum and coop rules
      • coop memorandum thoroughly vetted, looks complete, fill in final values and add signatures.
      • AGREED that we want to submit incorporation on Monday
      • Questions to answer before filing: What do we need to file on Monday? What format, etc.? Shan will look up in the Coop Guide.
      • AGREED that we will all review rules against Coop Guide by 3PM today -- final review
      • AGREED to accept coop rules (pending final review)
    • [x] ACTION all to prepare Steward's statements for wiki and for press releases (All)
    • House plans for EcoReality Lite:
      • [x] ACTION Jan & Carol will accept "loan" from James & Shannon for their coop shares, so all the money will be in one place prior to coop funding and land purchase. Carol will prepare promissory note; Shannon will write post-dated check. The purpose of this is in the case of death between now and closing, so estates will have record. (Carol Wagner)
      • [x] ACTION Jan: check with Henri about the bottom line -- exactly how much moolah is needed on the 28th for closing. (Jan Steinman)
      • AGREED that operating costs (phone, hydro, water, property taxes) for non-shared space will be divided on an area basis. Areas exclusively for one person's use will be prorated against total non-shared space. Operating costs for shared space (kitchen, bath, common areas) will be divided on a time-of-use basis, prorated by the time spent on the site.
      • need caretaker/house-sitter by June 1 or so
      • Shan/James get "hobby room"
      • Jan/Carol get middle bedroom
      • Carol gets one front room for her craft
      • Other front room is common guest room
      • debate over use of main bedroom and family room: which will be office area?
        • Jan: really wants MBR for office area, will be spending a lot of time there, wants light, view
        • Carol: FR would be better for office
      • dining/living room will be main meeting/common area, with piano and library
      • AGREED we are willing to take anything left on the property, specifically, murphy bed
    • planning for afternoon Advisory Council meeting
      • briefly cover consensus, coop stuff, membership procedure
      • go into new property in as much detail as needed
      • resource investment game:
        • brainstorm capital things you'd like to see in an ecovillage (assume bare land)
        • then "vote" with play dollars, to prioritize effort
    • [x] ACTION: James to come up with a program for the May AGM on Salt Spring (James Cowan)
  • Check out:
    • Shannon: 8, then back to 10, appreciates everyone's passion, commitment, and listening
    • James: still 10, still present, possibilities still sinking in
    • Jan: 9 or so, sometimes intimidated by number of things to be done
    • Carol: 9, distracted, but will re-connect, very grateful for the four of us

Advisory Council Minutes, April 1, 2006

  • Present: four members, four advisors, one guest: Shannon Binns, James Cowan, Stacy Friedman, Lauren Goldman, Tara MacKeigan, Shiraz, Jan Steinman, Owen Thomas, Carol Wagner.
  • Facilitator: Jan
  • Recorder: Lauren
  • Circle Check-In: presence level: 0-10 & a Value you hold dear
    • Values: Ongoing education, multi faceted, multi generational community, compassionate truth telling (honest and present, no games, no holding back, sensitive to others), not taking anyone/ anything for granted, being present, grateful and thankful in the moment, accepting & graceful, inspiration (being inspired and inspiring others), diversity, connection, focusing on other’s needs and feelings (what is really going on for others), honest communication, authenticity, guidance (by peers, teachers, and to guide others as well).
  • AGREED approved agenda
  • AGREED previous Advisory Council minutes approved
  • Members' Report:
    1. Property*:
      • How the members got from November to now (having an offer accepted on a property on SI):
      • Hope to get farm up and running to receive discount on property taxes: Need to make $2500 a year from sales of vegetable, flowers, or value-added products to save money on taxes (to clarify: it needs to be agricultural products). (Stacy mentions that she has a friend based out of Vancouver who makes lavender eye pillows, if there is any interest).
      • If anyone wants to give input on future land criteria, it is welcome (can look at existing criteria on the website).
      • There are vehicles available for pick up and delivery to the ferry for visits.
      • Jan and Carol have met the neighbours and they are “delightful”.
      • Plan is to get farm up and running, gardens beautiful (improvement)… and then use this investment as ‘seed money’ for the next, bigger property.
      • Pond and stream could use some restoration… maybe there’s a beaver.
      • If we don’t end up renting the cottage or getting care takers that are in-line with values, there is the possibility of people doing some care-taking with lowered rent. Shiraz expressed interest in this, and would like to speak more after the meeting.
      • Owen mentions (on the break) that in light of the current demolition at UBC, it may be possible to get lots of free equipment and supplies (glass, green house tables, hoses, etc etc etc.) Both he and Stacy may have contacts that could be helpful.
      • During the meeting (about 4:20 pm), Chuck phoned Carol and said he wants to sell the hangar. He mentioned that maybe Dave would want a place to park his equipment. Carol’s interpretation is that he wants to be paid $10,000 for the building. Jan says “No, not going to happen, it’s a used building”. So it seems there will not be a hangar on the property. There is discussion to have the realtor write into the agreement that the hangar will be removed by April 29th, 2006 (since agreement may not be able to be reached).
    2. Incorporate as a co-op*:
      • For profit co-op to hold the property. Provides services to members, and each member gets an equal say. Member shares (usually one per person) and investor shares are the two ways to put money into a co-op, although investor shares have very little voting rights. Trying to become a “consensus-based” organization (vs. voting- based). Investment shares would be used to finance capital projects. Member shares would be used to cover operating expenses.
    3. Values:
      • The core of the community. They are dynamic, especially when there is a significant turnover of members.
    4. Workshops:
      • Diane Leafe Christian: weekend workshop 18, 19, 20 August 2006. Open to public. Friday will have a cover and be open to the public. Hopefully this money can be used to make the workshop cheap or free to advisory council. Program is not yet set.
    5. Future meetings:
      • Will be on SI from now on. May 6th, is the first annual AGM.
  • Five minute break (turns into 12 minutes)
  • Investment Game ($100,000)
    • Goal is to imagine what we can do with development funds- what are the top priorities. Express our values in terms of artifacts and capital.
    • Participants found not knowing the actual value of the items/projects a challenge, as they would likely allocate their money differently in ‘real life’.
      • Nice to be dreaming
      • Wanted more information about the practical aspects of it
    • results of exercise to be transcribed from flip-chart pages
    • Next meeting:
      • Jan volunteers to be facilitator at the next meeting (May 6th, 2006).
    • Check out:
      • Happy, relieved, grateful, excited and hungry people.
      • Lots of appreciation for the opportunity to dream.
      • Grateful to have questions answered and clarified.
      • Relief around the group process.
      • Lots of appreciation for the grounding in reality (not ‘just about the dreams’).

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