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Sunday, 3 May 2009, Residents' Meeting

<--previous residents meetingnext residents meeting-->

Present: Jan Steinman, Carol Wagner, James Cowan, Susie Anne Bartsch, Shannon Cowan, observer Therese

  • Facilitator: Susie Anne
  • Recorder: Shannon
  • Meeting starts 8:09 pm

Carol: 7 physically and mentally exhausted Jan: 8.792 Therese: 8:95 here and yay for first rez meeting James: 8 present, yet sleepy after putting kid to bed Shannon: present except for taking minutes Susie Anne: presence affected from anxiety about recent emails, will rally best she can

  • Approved last week's minutes.
  • Added item at end of agenda
  • Biodiesel discussion — Jan Steinman
    • Who would like to be involved to make biodiesel? Jan is unwilling to do it all alone, as he has done in the past
    • Query: what amount of time is required? – A: 8-10h per week
    • Collection sources and availability is unknown, but could be 4-5 restaurants from 2007-8 months Jan did it (Research needed)
    • Equipment maintenance and repair is additional time on project
    • Jan would be really happy to be engineer and consultant and have someone else champion and lead or manage
    • Zholt (sp?) across the street may be interested in helping out
    • Is this necessarily a one person job? Jan says no, if well coordinated this could be multiple committed parties sharing the tasks
    • Pickups from sources typically need to happen early in the day before customers park
    • James (has been involved peripherally in past) and Shannon and Carol and SA willing to help (when not offsite)
    • Jan indicates consistency is important to him– does not want a lot of rescheduling
    • Jan suggested that each resident be a scout –cultivate awareness – practice drivebys at Harbour House, Dagwoods Chinese Restaurant, SeaView (Vesuvius) and Fulford Inn, or others? (ea about 30 L) – to ascertain amount of oil available looking for four per week ideally (120L weekly)
    • How realistic would it be to ask restauranteur for a phone call? – Jan replied that we need to rekindle relationships – in past most have expressed desire to have the value in “giving away their oil” so that they don’t have to worry about it and likely a phone call is too much trouble
    • ACTION: [x] Susie Anne Bartsch will add further biodiesel discussion to next week’s resident’s meeting agenda (Susie Anne Bartsch)
  • Discuss co-op ownership of livestock — Jan Steinman
    • Jan requested this be limited to goats for now
    • Suggestion from Jan that another member step up to take on the task of coming up with a plan for stewardship of the goats so that it avoids conflict of interest that he has as current owner and steward of goats
    • James (reluctantly and excitedly at once) raised his hand to agree to steward the process of bringing forth a proposal
    • James expressed that he has a (mostly unbiased) perspective and will bring forward the information part of it, and recognizes that his strengths are information and logistics and does not want to take on the whole “group process” of resolving whatever conflicts are already present in the group around stewardship and ownership of livestock
    • Jan and Carol expressed that the “process” of making a plan first so as to avoid designing by committee is their preferred (and follows EcoReality’s first principle of governance)
    • SA wants to see a meeting (not members meeting) about this topic (perhaps one of the “hot topics” in the group) on May members weekend
    • In addition, Shannon wishes to create conversations (not business meeting style) so this can be explored by those who wish to do so before May members meeting
    • ACTION: [x] James Cowan will work with Carol and Jan to craft a plan to bring forward about goat stewardship (James Cowan)
    • ACTION: [x] Shannon Cowan will steward themed conversation about process/conflicts involving goat management/planning (Shannon Cowan)
    • ACTION: [x] Susie Anne Bartsch will steward item during members weekend for further exploration (Susie Anne Bartsch)
  • Discussion and request for Dennis Lucarelli to become resident at EcoReality
    • Background from Jan: Dennis made this request on Friday evening May 1st to Jan and Carol who agreed to bring it up at Resident’s meeting as per the agreement that EcoReality residents discuss and agree to any potential long term guests (>2week stay). Dennis is also a potential EcoReality member. He has requested that Jan be his member guide.
    • Q: How much rent? A: about $300/month beginning June 1st
    • Dennis favours first room on the left
      • Discussion of room continued…clarification about that same room for China the cat (Morris’), and SA may be bringing the cat next week. May be in need of working out with Dennis regarding number of rooms and potential for shared use of space for other guests. Tbd.
    • Shannon acknowledges that nonresidents may have unexpressed emotion/thoughts and ideas about residents being responsible for agreement to any new residents who stay longer than 2 weeks. She really wants to facilitate theme conversations to bring deep listening on this topic as well as goats.
    • James and SA both voiced that they think this issue needs to go to whole group, this time…they stated that this is the crux of what is “ailing” the group at the moment, and that the input of nonresidents is very valuable to the group.
    • James suggests that voices of nonresidents via email on topics is difficult to process. It is too easy to be in downloading and debate rather than a space of deep listening and compassion.
    • We all agree EcoReality as a whole needs to have a lot of dialogue about this topic – Jan thinks there needs to be full and thorough discussion and agreement about what items are resident agreement-making responsibilities and at what level we agree to function at full membership level. Otherwise it can be micromanagement.
    • Carol wonders if offsite members have talked with James and Shannon about the perceptions and challenges they had for so long as nonresident members? Would it help? ** J and S replied that indeed they’ve had many conversations about being nonresident members with all current nonresident members. It seems there may be some similar feelings that J and S have had in the past, and more.
    • Conversation took off from here about group process in general, and the culture of meetings and challenges of separation physically for 30 minutes and SA brought us back in at 9:10 to the topic of Dennis.
    • Under the surface was a pile of stuff…and SA suggests from her experience that until getting to the heart of the thing under the pile of stuff, we may not resolve it
    • Q? What kind of feeling do we want to be left with:
    • (Susie Anne as summarizer) Enabling Dennis to commit to living here so we can all get to know him better and see if his membership is a possibility (residents all want it)
    • (SA) Do not wish to lose any existing members over the choice/agreement residents are willing to make, and residents are empowered to make according to existing EcoReality agreements and policy.
    • (SA) Translate tonight’s conversation to reflect what is really there in hearts of residents – which is: acknowledgement of the importance of process and deep listening so all voices are heard and that the group has ownership of the Co-Op. To connect at heart level as a full group so that the founders or current residents are not perceived as having any power imbalances.
    • Jan: Also to bring forth within full group reminder that EcoReality has (in past) valued stewards being empowered to make choices and act on them, so that consensus is not bogged down by dealing with every issue as a group (see Governance).
    • Jan: Wants EcoReality to have members who are valuable “doers” who he thinks may be “turned off by process everything”. Really emphasized how important he thinks it is to have strong group interpersonal relationships so that trust is there to empower autonomous actions by skilled and knowledgeable members.
    • Shannon expressed that (again) she is standing for deep conversation and listening about mission and plan for EcoReality as an organization as a vital way to bring alive the paper agreements and have full group buy-in, such that not all agreements require all-member consensus if there has been consent to the plan and mission and principles on which stewards (or in this case, residents) are empowered to act on the group’s behalf.
    • Therese: looking at the whole is important – sees that in time, with enough care, the nonresident members will feel part of the process because they will have contributed their voices to the planning (which has not happened enough yet as a function of circumstances and short stays and little long distance involvement). Therese believes in future when a resident acts autonomously, there will not be resentment from others in the group as nonresidents will have been more a part of planning process and will feel more ownership.
    • AGREED: Dennis is welcome to move into the yellow house and work out a rental with Jan and Carol as yellow house stewards
    • AGREED: Larger topic of how such agreements are made will be opened for all members at a “process” meeting soon stewarded by Shannon Cowan
    • ACTION: [x] Shannon Cowan will create means and space for this conversation (how agreements are made at Residents level regarding any long term guests with intentions of membership) with the whole membership (Shannon Cowan)
    • Jan suggests that Process Team (Mark, Susie Anne, Jan and Shannon) go to Diana Christian’s site and read three part article on consensus, as she warns about some of these issues
  • Discussion and request for my mom, sister, and niece to visit in July and August—Jan
    • there was some discussion about room for other guests
    • AGREED: Jan’s family will come for some length of time during July and August tbd and will endeavour to share space with guests as needed in yellow house
  • Discuss current top priority garden and farm needs, including irrigation of berriesShan 02:33, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Quick conversation did not go into details, yet determined that all residents wish to continue to give Carol and Shannon co-stewardship of the garden and farm, actual task items not discussed at this time – was considered overly onerous for whole rez group
  • Discuss who will update yellow house whiteboard task list for farm/garden issues (is this optimal location for all residents?)Shan 02:33, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • water pressure and sulfur taste – James
    • maybe Meg is irrigating to cause low pressure?
    • Jan and James discussed making distinction between pressure and sulfur, choosing to address pressure for now
    • ACTION: [x] Jan Steinman Jan will look into replacing paper filter (Jan Steinman)
    • ACTION: [x] Shannon Cowan will have conversation with Meg about getting her well plumbed into her system (Shannon Cowan)
  • Guest arrivals and departures:
    • SA and Jessie leaving May 8 returning May 13 evening
    • SA’s uncle Ted arriving May 6 or 7 and leaving May 8
    • Therese leaving May 9 after market
    • Dennis may return Thursday May 7
    • James away all day Tuesday May 5
  • Next meeting Sunday may 10th
  • Facilitator: Carol Wagner
  • Minutes: Shannon Cowan
  • Check out:
    • James 9, almost a 6, challenged by not having times for agenda items, thinks that meeting was too long but that topics needed (and continue to need) conversation
    • Jan- 9 – thank you this was fun
    • Carol- more present than she was
    • SA- 9, in a good space, has a propensity for overtime meetings
    • Shan – twinkle James

respectfully submitted by Shan 04:18, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

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