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Friday, 1 May 2009, Teleconference

<--previous teleconference meetingnext teleconference meeting-->

Present: Jan Steinman, Carol Wagner, Shannon Cowan, James Cowan, Susie Anne Bartsch, Mark, Therese Raymond, Dennis Luccarelli.

  • Facilitator: Susie Anne
  • Recorder: Shannon
  • Meeting starts 7:00pm
  • Check in
    • All on the call shared a little bit about their presence level and how the day has been for them. Everyone was fully present or only slightly distracted (ie. 8.5/10)


  • Request for notification to the meeting facilitator of guests attending EcoReality meetings --SA 02:25, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Request for feedback about the meeting in the check out. Roses and Thorns. --SA 03:43, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Susie Anne expressed the request, Shannon backed it up and clarified this was from the Tree Bressen workshop
    • Jan seconded that this is an important piece that is in our template but facilitators have not been practising it
  • Report from Shannon and Mark on Tree Bressen Facilitation Training Series --SA 03:43, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Mark was inspired and very amazed at what was learned by living in community and the role of facilitator has changed for him
    • Mark and Shannon are keen to be a Process Team
    • SA has expressed interest in this team; all are welcome to interact and participate and suggest and give feedback!
    • Next steps – Shannon shared that she and Mark envision creating a “vehicle” for interacting more frequently in an informal way, for purose: to discuss some topics that require more discussion and deeper listening (whether members, on or offsite, visitors, prospectives, etc.) -- Stay tuned!
  • Request for reimbursement of expenses of potting mix materials —Carol Wagner
    • SA asked if this could be Class B share item?
    • James suggested that since there is a garden budget and Carol says this falls within the budget that is already set out, it be simply part of operational expenses in that budget line item
    • James suggested that one or two other members working in a “Team” with a steward of a budget cost center can give feedback and support for these types of expenditures
    • Shannon expressed that she is doing this already for this item, so end of discussion was the
  • Woodshed extension update —Jan Steinman
    • Covered “carport” is what it is to be called
    • Inspector will sign off on the “two separate woodsheds” by removing two trusses (4 ft)
    • The deadline is mid May for this to have been completed
    • Inspector agrees this can be used for Fence as well without complications
    • Meeting was cordial
    • Shannon acknowledged and thanked Jan
    • ACTION: [x] informal work party to remove trusses (Jan Steinman)
    • Mark suggests a place on wiki where we can record what was learned from this structure and have a place to converse about it in the future
    • Jan voiced that he appreciated the tone of Mark’s suggestion, yet wiki may not be a suitable venue for this. Inspector suggested that building code is where it is all recorded, in the short term we can lobby for easier (cheaper) public access to this, long term is perhaps that EcoReality agree to cover expense of purchasing a copy of the building code
    • facilitator moved us on, and requested that any participants contact Jan offline to continue this conversation
  • Request from Brady Hanna to park trailer at EcoReality for his part-time use. —Jan Steinman
    • Jan described who Brady is (videographer who has visited and supported EcoReality in the past) and clarified his intentions
    • Facilitator called on each in turn to give their voice to the issue
    • Facilitator then took off her hat and expressed that she knows little of the issue and has implicit trust in other concerns that were expressed to support those
    • Jan suggested that consensus of the group was not reached regarding this inquiry
    • Facilitator took this suggestion
    • Jan agreed to inform inquirer
    • James suggested that this was actually an inquiry rather than request from a member
    • Jan and SA agreed with this latter distinction and it put forth that it will be a requested practice in the future for members who put agenda items forth that involve nonmember inquiries of the group that they be so worded
  • Introduction of "Website Steward" proposed stewardship page —Mark
    • Introduced that there is a page, requested participation and comments
    • Expressed gratitude for feedback in advance
    • Facilitator reminded that specific feedback can be by phone or email
  • Update and timeline for feedback on Financial statements from 2008 that have been tabled from last teleconference, April 17th and the Members' meeting on April 26th. --SA 02:15, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Statements will be mailed out today for approval at 22 May Teleconference
    • Comments to be sent to Carol by May 20th, please
    • SA queried whether third document would be added
    • James clarified for Carol that balance sheet shows capital expenses and there needs to be a third sheet (Income sheet) with capital expenditures
    • All that will be sent out tonight is to be carefully reviewed by all members and interested parties please as this has been a tricky issue and full group participation is requested so that approval can go forward May 22
  • Discussion and request to rescind the annual Class-A Share dividend reinvestment of 0.96% (change in label by Mark S) declared at the AGM. Tabled from last teleconference, April 17th and Members' meeting April 26th. —Jan Steinman
    • Assessments were up 0.96% this year in Gulf Island for real estate (or simply for Salt Spring, Jan not clear – based on Islands Trust publication in Driftwood newspaper); he then found out that our tax authority has put property value down $1000; in light of this new information since AGM, Jan suggests EcoReality may want to rescind this so as not to unbalance the shares higher than simple rate of inflaction. In principle, from what Co-Op Rules state, shares are to reflect market value and to keep up with inflation.
    • Mark stressed that his very small change in the name was minor, and that he made a page to go deeper
    • Shannon queried Jan’s statement for clarification on how improvements are reflected – and he clarified that when improvements are made, they impact the share values (Class A) and that a dividend does not; indeed a dividend is more intended to reflect the changes in the market, and that given new information about this particular property assessment it would be more prudent financially for EcoReality to rescind the decision to declare a dividend.
    • Mark expressed that he is unsure of wording, main point is dissatisfaction with the process of group understanding on this issue, wants to see this issue allowed for more discussion before coming to consensus
    • Jan voiced that since this was AGM topic and was tabled twice since, he has discomfort with letting it go on, especially that we are now more than one month post AGM
    • Susie Anne requested go round to see where we each member is in the process
    • All were in place to be prepared to agree to the request, except Mark and SA stood aside (Dennis was asleep or absent and Therese stood aside)
    • Jan reminded group that consensus in this case can be reached and those who stand aside may express their reason for the record
    • Mark expressed why standing aside: other people have had more in depth conversation than he, on which to base their agreement, so he honours that and wishes to reflect his discomfort, really wants more thorough conversation before seeking agreement.
    • SA thinks there is a lot more juicy conversation to have and making choice before conversation has happened is not her preference, yet she is not prepared to block
    • AGREED: to rescind the annual Class-A Share dividend reinvestment of 0.96%, see declared at the AGM. Therefore, EcoReality agrees not to declare a dividend for 2008.
    • Mark requests to step away from call because of guests, will return
  • Discuss October 2009 Event James Cowan 23:04, 30 April 2009 (UTC)}}
    • James is willing to take this on for the group, wants to be sure that group is in alignment for possible October event on the island
    • Request for approval is being sought - was clarified by Shannon
    • Mark gave input that he thinks this is a fantastic event, senses a real responsibility is there to put it on a path to success because of effort and costs involved, can’t wait to hear vibe on island already, seems demand is there and putting it out there that he acknowledges that James is the “right guy “ for this job
    • Shannon expressed delight from member perspective, especially for fundraising for the group to be able to do other things we are committed to doing in the next year or so, as James’ wife she is concerned about his overload and wants all members who are not necessarily named on this event to know their effort will be very appreciated to help pull it together and take stress off her family!
    • SA notices her name is not on the page yet, and expressed willingness to participate
    • Jan and Justin have given input off this call and are in agreement (according to James)
    • AGREED: James will pursue agreement from Penny, Carol and Osha individually. If they are in agreement, then EcoReality will pursue planning, hosting and putting upfront financial support into October 2009 Event.
  • SA requested to go over time. Group agreed for 7 minutes.

Feedback: Roses and Thorns

    • James: Great job to SA being on the hotspot. Improvements pointed out regarding teleconferencing errors and episodic nature of the call – really likes teleconferencing format for staying in touch, yet had a feeling that tackling the financial agenda items on the phone is so hard, would like to see such items on face to face agendas.
    • Mark: Twinkles that SA is a natural as a facilitator, has humility about being in territory that she did not know how to navigate and asked for help and input both generally and specifically. SA has both take charge nature and grace to step out of the way appropriately. Improvements could be made around more opportunities being taken to request greater clarity and reflect back what voices she heard.
    • Therese: SA did a great job. Agrees with James that some issues are better settled face to face. One needs to see some of what is being said right on the call actually in writing when it is about finances in order to agree to it. Roses to all of you.
    • Shannon: Process was clear and especially felt connected to all on the call, despite technical difficulties. Improvement is needed around not overloading agendas and choosing to raise finance items in face to face meetings using innovative methods, or carefully ensuring that group has full discussion before coming to any agreement request for consensus, and/or using written record of what is discussed as a tool to allow for deeper understanding and connecting - waiting to get agreement at another meeting, even if calling an adhoc meeting is practised to do so.
    • Jan: Has a big thorn for the teleconf technicalities. Big rose for SA facilitation for a tough technical call and heavy agenda.
    • SA: Deep appreciation for patience of all. Bit of a thorn around not having all the tools honed yet for facilitation.
    • Next teleconference May 22, 2009. Shannon to record. Susie Anne to facilitate.
    • Meeting ended at 8:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted by Shan 04:07, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

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