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Saturday 14 April 2007: Members Meeting

  • Meeting brought to order:: 1007
  • Present: James Cowan, Shannon Cowan, Jan Steinman, Carol Wagner.
  • Facilitator: Carol
  • Recorder: Shannon
  • Circle Check-in
    • Carol - 7, fuzzy, try to be present, 7
    • Jan - 9, stressed as usual, not enough time, taking on more than desirable, yet ack that humans seek the level of stress in their lives they are accustomed to having
    • Shannon - 9.5, grateful, unstressed, present, bring clarity and unburdened from clearing the air and self-thinking
    • James - 9.5, despite recent large personal financial challenges, feeling challenged yet ready to meet them with Shannon
  • Old business
  • Finance report
    • $1904.71 - balance, does not incl. $875 in restricted funds
      • Insulation capital improvement breakdown:
        • $1200.00 class A shares (restricted funds) bought by Shannon and James
        • Insulation total: $1021.95 + $250.00 audit fee = 1271.95
        • Reimbursement from Govt program: $942.00. 1271.95-942 = 329.95 (paid out of restricted funds for capital expenditures, $870.05 remaining in restricted fund category)
    • Bills expected:
      • Agreed to pay bill immediately for Property Insurance = $533.00
      • Property Tax in July looming = $2600 ++?
      • Potentially will be in deficit if rent payments do not come through ($1200 or so)
      • James and Carol agreed to look at cash flow when this months' expenditures are input to see what will be the projected balance in July at time of assessment of property tax fee
        • James and Carol to report back to all members whether there is a projected shortfall in July or for remainder of year considering all new financial items planned (both income and expenditures)
    • WWOOFer costs to the Co-Op were $623.00 for 3 weeks, 3 WWOOfers, in March.
    • One WWOOFer is $300/month. We have confirmed WWOOFer end April. Number and frequency of WWOOFers at EcoReality still under discussion.
    • 'Agreed' this is ongoing topic for C&J to find best fit for them and the farm.
  • Open action items
    • Review to do list.
      • Tabled in lieu of agenda for today taking precedence - Jan
  • New business
    • 'Agreed to a new quarterly rotation for meeting roles: -Jan
      • e.g. 1 month in training, 2 months on own, then spend time training next person for beginning next quarter
      • Shannon suggested that within meetings could be onerous, training could happen before meetings
      • Jan suggested any member use a red card (ie. point of facilitation) during meeting flow for suggestions and help to those doing roles
      • Agreed to new quarterly rotation
    • AGM requirements reviewed:
      • section 109 states Co-Ops must either officially waive appointment of auditor, or appoint one; if have not done either, the Province can appoint one, the cost of which will be billed to the Co-Op.
      • Annual report needs filing w/in two months of AGM sect. 126
      • Information for AGM: sect 153. Statement of profit and loss, statement of surplus, balance sheet. Jan will give this to Carol in writing and Carol agreed to take action to produce said statements for AGM.
      • AGM to be held not more than 4 months after end of financial year.
      • Agreed EcoReality this year to keep date for AGM May 5.
      • Agreed for next year will move AGM earlier to April - combined with monthly general meeting.
    • Possible open house suggested - Carol.
      • Agreed on EcoReality Open House Sunday May 6 1-4pm in lieu of Adv Council on May 5.
      • Open House Actions:
        • Jan Cancel the Adv. Council mtg on Sat.
        • Carol Send paper invitations to neighbours, including SPCA, all Sharp Rd. If any member thinks of others who need to be on list, send to Carol.
        • James will manage rsvp's off island.
        • Shannon do food plan and groceries - appetizers, snacks.
        • Shannon to call Michael Ableman, Dan Jason specifically.
        • Jan to send to ING list, to send to Adv Council.
        • Jan to make a brochure. Any ideas for content, send soon. Will circulate a draft for comment.
    • Discuss proposed labour policy
      • Agreed to put time guidelines on approved projects that are specific priorities (ie. planting and weeding, menu prep and shopping, administration) rather than having a list of broad areas where labour can be done (ie. stewardship areas in general)
      • Agreed that prior to May 5 members meeting, each member to suggested labour projects and time budget for coming month: place a project(s) on the wiki under projects page (including budget for hours) for labour requirement
      • Agreed members to discuss projects and proposed allotted time, then to agree on list of approved projects for the month
        • NB: Can place "ongoing projects" differently from absolute # hours for that month for finite projects
    • Setting monthly labour requirement
      • Agreed
        • $50 member assessment per member per month payable to EcoReality Co-Op
        • 12 hours labour requirement
        • Hourly rate in lieu of hours worked: $15/hr (after much discussion, wish to remain within the economic picture of SSpring)
    • James suggested a new proposal, which J&C had also thought about: that the farm operations center of EcoReality be leased to Jan and Carol and Co-Op be the property holder and administrative entity
      • [x] Jan and Carol agreed to draft a proposal for May 4 meeting to outline the details of this arrangement (Jan Steinman)
        • some options discussed but not agreed upon this meeting were:
          • S&J could contribute a donated amount for accomm and meals, rather than divide costs to the farm and residence by ratio agreed in November 4 2006 meeting minutes.
          • Membership dues still suggested as a good monthly assessment (at agreed rate).
          • J&C take over farm operations, and house operations.
          • Potentially farm leased (e.g. for $1/yr to J&C)
          • Percentage of farm income goes to J&C and part could go to Co-Op
    • Discussed banking hours or borrowing hours in labour requirement for members.
      • Banking hours on six month slots for particular projects
      • banked hours can apply to projects not to people. ie. AT each members meeting the project budget may include hours banked if there have been hours banked in past on that project.
    • Projects may need to be in categories: private enterprise (farm) and coop enterprise
      • Labour requirement of 12 hours - all need to go towards Co-Op approved projects only
      • Private enterprise project hours spent will be wwoofered hours. (ie. if S&J work on farm they will deduct from room and board fees)
    • Discuss proposed expenses policy
      • Agreed Jan and Carol to draft a proposal for May 5 members meeting to outline the details of this arrangement
    • Discuss suggestion of freezing issuing Class A and Class B shares (added by James)
      • Members acknowledged the potential for a 'power imbalance' on paper with an unbalanced issuance of class A and B shares to any given member of the Co-Op, and the members agreed that in effect/reality, the only potential power imbalance that matters is an energetic one, and this requires not a freezing of shares, but process and communication
      • since all members must agree on issuance of any shares there is no potential for any voice to go unheard
    • Discuss work exchangers- The costs, the benefits, timing, living options (added by James)
      • if the Coop were to take a wwoofer, it would have to be agreed by all members and the costs and benefits weighed.
      • in short term, J&C are to make any WWOOFer decisions according to their needs and after May 5 meeting, all farm-related activities (such as WWOOFing) may be under complete jurisdiction of J&C only
    • Propose a meeting regarding community space (added by James)
      • recommended by other communities to get more facilitation at meetings
      • would be good to have outside facilitator, but separate than the issue of discussing space allocation
    • Discuss compensation for previous months labour imbalance (added by James)
      • all agreed to move on and continue to track it in future
      • J&S thanked J&C
    • Agreed petition for returning Class B shares for biodiesel processor. --Jan Steinman
      • Carol agreed to erase those shares and return ownership to Jan
      • James asked about electricity to biod processor
      • Jan will soon have way to meter it and thus pay for electricity to processor
    • Newsletter reminder: article deadline Wednesday, 25 April 2007; theme is [Water management]
      • Shannon - healthy stream ecology
      • Carol - new pond and trench? water catchment
      • James - fertigation?
    • Advisory Council meeting planning
    • Work party planning
      • Workparty: fill hole in NE corner house
      • Manure pile transfer to garden
      • Staples pulled off lower fence
        • Fence:
        • Farmland Fence Preservation Program - Carol to investigate, potential to get costs reimbursed
        • J&S questioned priority of this large project
  • 12:05 Closing
  • next meeting
  • Circle Check-out/Feedback/Appreciation
    • Carol - expressed gratitude for tenacity in working through everything, 9.5
    • Jan - guesses he's a 9.5, feel a lot got done, appreciate willingness to work together
    • Shannon - 9, inspired, no fear, feel good with what the new changes look like, on paper at least, appreciated Jan and Carol for the wisdom and expertise they bring and commitment and dedication to Community
    • James - 8, feel a weight, appreciates the strong opinions, overwhelmed with the conflict between head and heart, desires to take more look into heart to make the two coincide# 12:00 Working lunch

-- respectfully submitted, Shannon Cowan 1:43 April 16, 2007(PST)

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