Policy Example: Committees and Teams

Teams - Definitions

Teams: Long standing sub-group of the community authorized by the community to make and implement decisions covered in the scope of their job descriptions.

Nimble squads: Short-term task forces authorized by the community to perform tasks that have an immediate need of implementation. Once these tasks are completed, Nimble Squads are dissolved.

Formation of Teams

Initiation: Any member of the community can propose to the community formation of a new team.

Person(s) with the idea writes a general description of the new team including a name and the proposed scope of work of the team.

Description and request for a new team are sent via email to the community and the agenda planners (Coordination Team) prior to the general business meeting.

At meeting community agrees/disagrees with the need for a new team.

If authorized, the team is recognized as a Start up Team.

Start up Team: A Start Up Team has authorization from the group to recruit members, hold meetings and create a job description for community approval.

Authorized Teams: Roles and Responsibilities

A team job description is the working mandate of the team approved by the community. Job descriptions are written by the members of the start-up team, proposed as agenda items at the general business meeting, and discussed by the entire community.

If the Job Description is approved the Start-Up team becomes an Authorized Team.

Membership: Teams are open to any member of the community to join. If the team has too few or too many members or does not have the appropriate resources (time, information and skills) to accomplish their work the team should notify the Coordination Team. Any member of a team can resign from a team at any time without the need of approval from the team or the community.

Roles in Teams

Convener: The person responsible for convening team meetings and for communicating meetings schedules and agendas to the wider community.

Recorder: Team recorder takes the team minutes at meetings and distributes draft minutes to all team members for revision. Once revised, recorder posts team minutes to the entire community.

Point(s): Point person(s) are members of a team who have taken responsibility of a specific task for the team. The point person agrees to keep the team informed on the progress of the task, to notify the team of any changes in timeline, scope of work, or the completion of the task.

Responsibilities of Teams:

Teams are responsible for focusing on tasks related to the activities in their job descriptions.

Teams are responsible for gathering and including input from non-team members regarding decisions and actions to be taken by the team.

Teams are responsible for proposing decisions and actions for community approval when they significantly impact the entire community.

Teams are responsible for crafting a general work plan with anticipated timelines for completion of tasks.

Teams are responsible for reporting to the entire community in a timely manner their activities, through team reports and minutes.

Teams - Accountability

It is the responsibility of every community member, including members of a team, to note, offer help and a expect improvement when the team is not doing its job. If needed the community can recommend a Nimble Squad be appointed to do the tasks with approaching deadlines. And that the Nimble Squad, be asked to recommend to the team how to resolve the problem.

Reauthorization and Dissolution of Teams

Teams should be reauthorized by the entire community when there is a need for a significant shift or addition in their job descriptions due to changing needs of the community. All teams should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure their missions and tasks fit the needs of the community. Team members can request the dissolution of a team to the community if there is no longer a need for the team’s existence.

Team Meetings

Teams may choose the times, frequency and format of their meetings.

Frequency of meetings will be based on the project load of the teams and member availability.

Formats of meetings include the way the meetings are conducted, whether in person or by conference calls, agenda items and facilitation techniques.

Teams have the right to determine the minimum number of members required at an official team meeting.

Participation: Team meetings are open to any community member to attend. Non-team members may want to attend meetings to see if they are interested in joining a team or to gather information or provide input regarding a specific project of the team. Non-members are expected to request guidelines from the team to how they should participate at meetings prior to attending a meeting. In rare cases, the team may deny a request for non-member participation due to the need for a private meeting.

Team Minutes

Teams will keep and distribute minutes of all official team meetings.

Key Features of Minutes:

• Attendance at meeting

• Agenda

• Decisions and Actions

• Who is the point person(s) on an action

• Timeline of Actions

• Next meeting date, time and location.

What not to include in minutes: Verbatim of conversations, personal opinions or reflections: including comments about other people or teams that, though useful in the discussion, could have hurtful effects when made public.

• Distribution of Minutes

• Process: Recorder will send out draft minutes to team for revision and approval

• Team will attempt to post to minutes to full community 5 days after a team meeting.

Team Finances

Teams have authority to determine how to spend money in their budgets without going through the Board. A team should notify the Board if expenditures may result in a request for more money later in the year. 7-26-09

Every team that has a budget allocated by the village must have a Financial Officer. All teams should have designated Financial Officers by 09/01/09 or when formed if creation of the team is past that date.

Roles and responsibilities of the Financial Officer:

• Manage receipts and team reimbursements in communication with the treasurer.

• Have an understanding of their team’s financial situation

• Can have access to Petty cash, and take withdrawals up to $200 from the CEV Petty cash for a Team Petty Cash

• Can have access to CEV Credit Card. May be a Card Holder*

The following team financial officers MUST be card holders:*

Landscape, Maintenance, Food, Common Interiors

Designate accounts for all team expenses from list generated by Treasurer, including:

Petty Cash Purchases

Credit Card Purchases*

Check Purchases

*: This is only for when / if we end up with a credit card August, 9, 2009

Team Job Descriptions & Authority

Facilitation Team

Members of the facilitation team serve the community in the following capacities:

• Agenda setting for Village and Board meetings in coordination with the BOD agenda planner.

• Assist teams/board in creating agenda presentations or discussions and in designing proposals with clarity to support our community consensus process.

• Facilitates village meetings

• Facilitation of team and BOD meetings if requested.

• Identify training and mentoring resources of the facilitation process. 8-29-10.

Neighborhood Relations Team

The mission of the Neighbor Relations Team is to support the health, safety, and harmony of our community by fostering caring and respectful interactions between CEV and its visitors and neighbors. The NRT mission includes helping Team and CEV members to increase our capacity to engage with visitors, neighbors, and the surrounding community in effective, culturally thoughtful ways. 10-25-09

Events Team

Organizes and implements one-time and ongoing events in collaboration with the community to cultivate supportive relationships and provide opportunities for engagement, fun and enjoyment. Events Team maintains community traditions so these traditions continue from year to year. Please note: Events at Columbia Ecovillage are not the sole domain of the Events Team. We encourage all Villagers to create events, large and small, spontaneous and preplanned. The Events Team will be happy to assist in these endeavors if needed. 11-8-09

Build It Team

Focused on expediting the planning and construction of the new dining/kitchen common area.

Areas of work assigned would include:

• Developing a time line/critical path schedule of a complicated process stretching out over a 12-15 month period. Make a chart of this for all to see.

• Communicate with the entire Village about project progress and the need of members to make timely decisions at various points along the way.

• Screening and recommendations of candidates for contractor and project manager.

• Work with the professionals we hire to assist them in the completion of the building.

• Other related items - Team will terminate with the completion and opening celebration of the new building. 8-17-08

Maintenance Team

Insert Job Description

Secretarial Team

The Team’s responsibilities will include determining records needed by the Columbia Ecovillage Condominium Homeowners Association and Board, setting up and maintaining systems of record keeping, establishing a template and procedures for note taking at meetings, ensuring minutes of meetings are completed properly and filed, providing trainings as needed related to secretarial tasks (e.g., training in CEV standards for minute taking and processing). 7-19-09

Process Team

Will generate a list of internal mediators (list will be stored on Yahoo Groups). Who agree to act as a neutral party to meet with all involved in the dispute. The Neutral Party will pledge confidentiality and impartiality. 5-31-09

Children’s Team

The mission of the Children’s Team is to foster the creation of a healthy environment for raising children in Columbia Ecovillage and to implement strategies that support effective community engagement by parents and children. The Childrens Team is responsible for:

• Scheduling and coordinating childcare for meetings

• Developing budgets for childcare and other child related expenses

• Coordinating with other teams on issues that impact childrens’ health, safety, and well-being

• Ensuring that impacts to families are considered in the planning of community activities

• Facilitating cross-generational connection

Common Interiors Team

Our goal is to help the community create welcoming, functional and orderly common interior spaces in ways that met our needs, maximize our shared resources, provide a pleasant aesthetic experience, and are suited to the diversity of interests, styles, and ages of our community.

Tasks include:

• Facilitating group decisions around the furnishing and use of the common interior space;

• Developing processes for the inventory and selection of furnishings, house wares, finishes, art and decorations. Including donated and purchased items.

• Identify temporary storage opportunities for donated items (until their new home is completed).

• Facilitate interior decoration.

• Facilitate standards of use and maintenance of common spaces.

Coordination Team - Inactive

The Coordination Team is responsible for the coordination of the ongoing work of the community including:

• Coordinate community tasks implemented by teams, nimble squads, and individuals

• Business Meeting Agenda Planning

• Propose structural tools for community organization including Team formation, decision-making protocol, and record keeping.

• Act as Liaison between the Developers and the Community. 8-17-08

Food Team

The food Team is charged with developing food programming that meets the diverse needs and interests of our community while also fulfilling the community’s visions and values. The team will deal with a range of food related issues and tasks including budgeting; menu planning guidelines and suggestions; food, equipment, and supplies procurement; and scheduling cooking, service and clean-up. The team will make recommendations to the community that are informed by Village member and team input, lessons learned from other communities, and research. 11-9-08

Finance Team

The Finance Team’s primary responsibility is to assist the HOA treasurer in the creation and maintenance of all budget proposals, reports, financial records and financial procedures. The team acts in an advisory role to village entities regarding financial questions and decisions as requested. 9-13-09

The Treasurer has authority to authorize non team related expenses to be charged to the Association Operation Expense Account. No single transaction greater than $50 and no more than a total of $100 / month. 8-9-09

Landscape Team

Or a sub-team, is responsible for the creation, location, allocation and management of all garden plots at the Ecovillage. This includes delegating responsibility for specific plots to members (individuals or groups), who wish to garden community land for community purposes as part of their cohousing participation commitment. In addition, the Landscape Team has the option to designate specific plots for use by member households for their exclusive use as household garden plots as long as doing so does not negatively impact community need. No community participation hours will be credited for work on these plots, known as “Harvest Plots”. 12-20-08

Planning the common outdoor areas, with these objectives:

• Creation of functional outdoor activity areas

• Production of food and other needed goods (e.g., animals, wood, bamboo, medicinals)

• Restoration of the native ecosystem

• Beautification of our environment

• Efficient circulation and integration of buildings and other features on the land within the context of our community life

• Establishment of positive relations with the broader community. (For example, by creating facades, entrances and other public areas that are assets to the Cully Neighborhood and to Portland.)

• Constructing, planting and grading these areas as needed.

• Identifying practices for caring for these outdoor areas.

• Monitoring, managing and maintaining these common outdoor areas.

Tasks include:

• Managing and maintaining various farming operations

• Maintaining landscape features and plantings

• Minimizing harmful environmental impacts

• Organizing the labor needed to accomplish this work.

• Providing the community with training and educational resources on landscape planning, permaculture, horticulture, plant materials, the native ecosystem and landscape construction.

Decision-making will be by consensus within the Landscape Team, referring very important or unresolved questions to the whole community. It is particularly valuable to have a large, diverse membership in this team so that the diversity of opinions can be heard within the team, so that the team can model and demonstrate the large number of physical tasks it will be passing on for wider participation, and so that the many management tasks can be sub-divided. 4-19-09

Membership Team

Interacts with people interested in knowing more about Columbia Ecovillage. This includes overseeing the path to membership, interviewing potential new residents and orienting them, as well as assisting the developer in maintaining a waiting list. 11-9-08

Participation Team

Mission is to develop and implement a system in which the Columbia Ecovillage residents joyfully and equitably share the work necessary for a functioning community. The participation system is important for getting the work done, building community through working with our neighbors, and minimizing Homeowner Association dues. The Participation Team works with other teams to define tasks and works with residents to ensure participation requirements are understood and fulfilled. The Participation Team will conduct periodic reviews to ensure that the participation system is working well for individuals and for the community as a whole, suggesting modifications when appropriate and interfacing with the Process Team should the need arise. 12-7-08

Bathhouse Team.

3-15-09. Insert Job description

Reserve Study Group Task force 8-23-09

Farm House Lead Squad

To assess potential lead risks in the Farm House, recommend solutions to the village and coordinate the implementation of the agreed solutions. 8-30-09