Transition Town Putney – Group Minutes April 23, 2013
Attending: Tiffin, Daniel, Robyn, Jonathon, Alice, Steve, and Claire
Location: Tiffin’s house at 4:00pm
1. Check in time and minutes
2. Old business
3. Update on intern
4. Chair and secretary positions
5. New business
1. – “Go around” time for each attendee.
– Welcome Jonathon as new Transition Putney member.
– Recap and discuss minutes from 4/9/13. (Not sure if they were ever formally approved and accepted)
2. – Who can join? – Anyone!
– Discussion continued regarding who has voting rights for those attending, especially newcomers. Jonathon expressed the idea that the more people who voted, the more inclusive the group would be. Daniel noted that although this was true, perhaps the “core” group should be of a certain size (at least initially) to be able to make decisions about where Transition was headed. Because the “core” group would be attending most often, they would be abreast of all of the issues thereby able to make the best-informed decisions. If minutes were taken and posted on the Transition website, therefore available to all, prospective new participants could ‘catch-up’ on current issues and then be able to further participate.
**1 I mentioned when adding new members to a collective house, the new folks usually wanted to do dishes differently etc. It was discovered that, for a house to continue to function evenly, it made sense for new members to wait a given length of time before being given decision making power, i.e. the power to block consensus.
2.MNS granted decision-making power to members of collectives. Any one could make the case for his/her position to persuade others, but only collective members could decide. Some one else at our meeting mentioned that if we were to do something similar, we would want the same person to be the decision maker – someone who had consistently attended meetings.
3. Agent provocateur- I agree that everyone should be invited to attend core group meetings. And I believe firmly that we need to come up with explicit, transparent rules for who is qualified to be a decision maker.
A group can be rather easily led astray when anybody can be a decision maker. Every person has a right to be heard, to be able to make the case for his/her position. However only the recognized decision makers are empowered to make decisions.
– This item was tabled for further discussion.
– A grid, which was created last year, was passed around for inspection. This grid explains the criteria for a “Transition Town” event that can be posted on the website and emailed to the larger group. Daniel will email this to “core” group members for further inspection and a decision will be made at next meeting if anything in it should be reevaluated.
3. – Paul sent out older intern advertisements. Claire forwarded these to Marion so that she would have a better idea of what has been done in the past. With this, Claire and Steve will discuss with Marion to develop something to suit her needs and ours. (One item, for example, is that starting in June, one of Marion’s duties will be to take minutes.)
4. – Tiffin suggested that if we are to rotate meeting Chairs and Note-takers, we should set up a three-month schedule. The Chair will send out meeting reminders along with the agenda. The Note-taker will take notes (minutes) and send them out to the “core group” in a timely manner. They will then be posted on the Transition Town website.
Date Chair Note-taker
May 14, 2013 Daniel Alice
May 28 Claire Jon
June 11 Alice Marion
June 25 Steve Marion
July 9 Jonathon Marion
July 23 Robyn Marion
5. – Signs have arrived, Daniel not impressed with them. He will assemble one so that we can all have a look and decide if we’d want to send one back.
6. Tiffin received a renewal notice from the Post Office about holding the key for the TT P.O. box. Because she no longer lives on main-street, we would have to pay for a PO box. Daniel, who’s on main-street, will check with the PO to see if he can hold two keys (he already has one for his business). If so, he will be the new TT PO Box key holder. If not, he will see if there is a way of sharing one of his mailboxes with another group. (I missed the name of the other group as well as the box number.)
7. Should TT Putney use Quick-books? Many advantages: ease; ability to print out official checks; compatible with other software for grant writing, etc. Potential disadvantages: What if power goes out; others will need to be trained in its use. Decision: Use Quick-Books with a quarterly hard-copy back-up. (Did we officially vote/decide on this?)
Also, a question came up as to what kind of entity TT Putney is. Are we a non-profit, or a 501C4, and then a corporation? (Alice said that if we were indeed a corporation, we would need to have minimum three officers; President, Secretary and Treasurer.) Need to check with Paul L. if he has the answer.
8. Projects: Local currency: Hopefully will start up again. Daniel will check to see if there is a possibility with River Valley Credit Union.
Bike Project: Applied for $1000 grant (NGEF) hopefully to include Bellows Falls also. Claire is working on seat covers. There is space the project was loaned for work on bicycles in the old can and bottle recycling shed by Town Hall.
Grant for Transition Town Workshop. Good for eight people. Two day training.
Tiffin will find out when and which trainers are available. Hopefully set up a
time in May as the grant will expire soon. We should include Marion in this
Allow time in each meeting to focus on projects.
Draft minutes respectfully submitted by Steve Hed (4/23/13), amended 5/4/2013. Next Meeting 5/14/13 @ noon. Location to be Putney Cares building unless Fire Station becomes available.