I had two extremes of work yesterday: three hours in the garden, four hours of meetings.  I enjoyed the balance of using my body and using my mind.

My two two-hour meetings were in my capacity as Planner, which I realize I haven’t written much about here on the blog.  We’re looking at some difficult decisions right now about communal resources vs. individual resources, in this time of “austerity” since we lost Pier One as a hammocks customer.  We’re having to make even more budget cuts than we did last year, and it really falls on the shoulders of the Planners to decide where all the cuts are going to be made.  (and all Planner decisions can still be overridden by a simple majority of the members here)

My morning meeting was with the Transportation Council, about some recent decisions they posted about changes to the vehicle policy as attempts to save the community some money.  In order to make our cars last longer, they decided to limit the mileage for all the cars to 500 miles round trip; if someone wants to take a car farther than that, they have to rent one.  They also decided that the community should stop subsidizing one of the trips into town each week, the Friday night “fun” trip (it’s been a free trip for a few years, and now anyone who wants to take a car in will have to pay for it).  Both decisions were appealed to the Planners (any council decision can be appealed by anyone, and then the Planners decide whether to uphold the council decision or overturn it).  The Planners all met with the Council to hear why they made the decisions, and to communicate the concerns of the people who made the appeal.

We talked about all kinds of community issues: primarily, the balance of communal  vs personal responsibility for resource use.  We’re looking at cutting allowances by $10 a month next year (bringing the personal spending allocation down to $61 a month), and we’re also talking about raising vehicle rates by 10% (22 cents a mile for small cars).  When we’re making it more expensive to take a car into town AND cutting down on the money that’s available for people to spend, is it really worth it to cut back on the communal trips into town?  Cutting the Friday trip would save the community about $1000 over the course of a year.    There’s a small (maybe 5-15) group of people who use the free trip on a regular basis, and the rest never or rarely use it.  The folks who do use it can still go in, and just split the cost of the car amongst themselves.  More incentive to carpool… I don’t know what we’re going to decide on this one.  If we uphold the Council decision, there’s likely to be a community override posted.

After this meeting, I worked in the garden for 3 hours, soaking up the Noveber sun.  I whacked dried asparagus stalks with a machete, grunting and growling with the pure delight of rampant destruction.  After finishing and throwing the decapitations off the Edge of the World (a treeline where we throw weeds and other undesirables of the garden), we weeded leeks and transplanted kale.  Ahh…

and then right off to another meeting!  This one was an ad hoc group that we scheduled for exploring the possibility of developing an “Income Quota” policy, which would require each member to do a certain amount of “income-producing” work each week.   Right now, anyone can do whatever work they want to do, as long as it totals to our quota of 43 hours a week.  We’re looking at this new possibility because we’re currently having trouble getting enough hammocks and tofu made.   All kind of questions came up in the meeting, including:

ahh… I’ll write them later.  I have a date to go play on the Playground of Death, the “adult” playground here.  It’s quite treacherous, and lots of fun…