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Friday, 19 June 2009, Members' Teleconference

<--previous teleconference meetingnext teleconference meeting-->

Meeting called to order at 19:01

Present: Jan Steinman, Carol Wagner, James Cowan, Susie Anne Bartsch, Shannon Cowan, Dennis Lucarelli, Morris Lamrock, Mark Stiffler, Osha Roller, Justin Roller, Penny Pobiecke

Facilitator: Susie Anne Bartsch Recorder: Shannon Cowan

  1. Check In:
    • Morris: Present, Listening, Not intending to contribute, Doing childcare
    • Shannon: Almost completely present, Overwhelmed by business to do in the meeting
    • James: Present, Grateful to Diana Leafe Christian
    • Jan: 9, Present, Less prepared than he would like
    • Carol: Present, full of pesto
    • Dennis: Present, good swim
    • Justin: Full of piss and vinegar! Present and ready to go!
    • Mark: Present, re-met their cat they thought they lost!
    • Penny: Present, had major car accident outside her house recently, doing well
    • SA: As present as can be, breathing and this is good, presented reading from I Ching as opener. All about preparedness for learning through open and receptive listening.
  2. Agenda for this meeting was approved
  3. Last teleconference minutes were approved.
  4. Discussion and request: strategic metaplan. — Jan Steinman 10 minutes
    • Jan clarified that all had read the strategic metaplan page
    • Jan introduced the idea by reading the full page aloud
    • Jan reflected to the group some concerns Penny raised (namely, that she wondered if his intention in this proposal was to exempt offsite members from inclusion in this process)
    • Jan reiterated for the record that was not his intention, yet allowed that the timeline was rigorous and described that this as a central necessity for the Co-Op
    • No clarifying questions were raised
    • In a straw poll, all identified thumbs up
    • Two members named concerns:
      • Penny said that based on past experience, questions from offsite members (when reviewing proposals) have been met with failure to acknowledge or act on them. This is a concern for her.
      • Mark feels that he is disinvited from being on the Planning team due to being offsite, potentially other points to add later
      • Both Mark and Penny would be willing to be on Review Team when pointedly asked by facilitator
    • Dennis commented that face to face is essential to a planning team
      • In favour of planning team formulating proposals in an area we have not yet done work at all and review team having impact and influence through review before policy is made
    • Jan clearly stated that any nonresident member is welcome to attend weekly Strategic Team Planning Meetings
    • ALL AGREED: that strategic metaplan will go forward as planned.
  5. Presentation and discussion of Dennis' findings on provisional membership for other communities. See Dennis' email of Wednesday.
    • Dennis summarized his email. He thinks that getting group’s wisdom on this topic is next step because more research of this type is definitely possible, yet there is a lot of experience of other communities perhaps in our group
    • Comments about how this might affect our group?
      • Mark: noticed some have higher financial commitment than EcoReality does, could be a better gatekeeping function than we have – the more the financial requirement perhaps the more the new member might be fully committed in other (all?) areas
      • Jan applauds Dennis’ efforts
      • Dennis reiterated that we have a real need to revisit our membership procedure to help those coming in to understand what to expect. Believes we need more physical time on the site in our provisional membership process – need a structured learning familiarization process. Thinks this will be addressed by planning team.
  6. Discussion: replace provisional membership entirely with a change in the definition of director (3rd discussion).
    • Jan shared that he has had experience in directorship of Cooperatives since age 19 and identified that at beginning of EcoReality, we thought there was no need for formal directors
    • Jan proposed this item out of desire to address the provisional membership issues on the table, also the resident/non-resident dichotomies present among members in the group
    • Jan identified that stewards are perhaps not acting with full authority given them in all instances
    • Osha: How would one become a member? Would it be based simply upon the acceptance by all members of one's application? At that point would it be okay for someone to move onsite?
      • Jan answered: One would process of increasing involvement as part of membership procedure (that strategic team can take on to formalize: eg. Email list, visitor, become prospective member, rent living space and come onsite)
      • Prospective membership: Jan pointed out that a lot more discussion may need to happen and steps in policy for the member guide to use.
    • Dennis wants membership procedure to include getting input from all current members (off and onsite) to determine what will teach prospective members about ecovillage and how it operates.
    • Jan stated that he wants to divorce membership from management. Apologized for the legalese way this was written…may be inaccessible to some.
    • Go round:
    • Carol: noted that Diana’s insights to our group this morning in meeting affirmed what is happening here
    • Dennis: suggested that James help Shannon to fill in minutes later
    • Mark: glad for space to have discussion ongoing. This feels like it is occurring as a solution in a vacuum. This might be part of a larger membership process revamp rather than a separate item.
    • Penny: This is needed structural change as Co-Op grows and needs to attract more members.
    • Justin: Not clear yet. Thinks this is a necessary addressing of issues we are facing. Needs to chew on it longer.
    • Osha: Has been out of the loop. Please everyone send email to her personal email because not receiving members emails. Feels this is a little bit shortsighted to exclude nonresident members from having stewardships. Understands the spirit of it – residents want to be able to run day to day operations. Doesn’t think offsite members have ever expressed desire to be part of day to day minutia.
      • Thinks that there could be some stewardships that could be done by offsite members.
      • Appreciates the simplicity of this proposal, yet suggests that a bit more complicated (distinguishing which areas could be managed by offsite members) process might be worthwhile.
    • Jan and Osha reviewed some of her questions on Coop_rules/16_Directors/Change_to_Rule_85.
    • How can this proposal include balancing management/stewardship between residents and nonresidents?
    • Further Discussion: would a small group of interested people form a dialogue and improve proposal please?
    • Jan prefers that people email Jan their comments and questions. Coop_rules/16_Directors/Change_to_Rule_85 is the place to do it directly on wiki
    • Penny thinks it would be more beneficial to utilize the discussion page. Two twinkles were expressed.
    • Jan would like group to come to agreement on this at Member’s meeting Jun 28th.
  7. Introduce proposed action plan and timeline for communications model development (see email June 5)
    • ’’’ACTION:’’’ [x] Shannon Cowan will revise Process and Communication Guidelines wiki page for July 10 teleconf. (Shannon Cowan)
    • ‘’’ACTION:’’’ [x] Shannon Cowan will translate her communications model proposal timeline to a table on a new wiki page. (Shannon Cowan)
    • Please view this and get comments on discussion page and/or to Shannon directly.
    • Will be on agenda for discussion June 28th
  8. Reminder about the to do list for the members weekend coming up.
    • All members to review to do list and check off items.
  9. Member’s Weekend Plans for June:
    • Justin having surgery on Tuesday on his nose but will be here!
    • Osha is birth partner for her friend and is requesting flexibility from us to come last minute if possible but not count on her.
    • Penny and Mark are working on financial budget and have not made choice yet. Will reply on this in the next couple of days.
    • James will not be here for the meeting.

Roses and Thorns:

  • Roses: Incredible facilitation, relecting back, asking for what happens next, tracking the discussion and following who may need to speak next, rose to participants for good clear process on indicating needing to speak and giving space to facilitator, rose for great participation, appreciation that full group showed up
  • Thorns: no MO!, technology a downer (hard to hear, feedback, echoes), Osha missed 25% of conference
  • Checked out and closure at 20:26 pm

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