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Member Spotlight Series: Episode 2

Our new Member Spotlight series debuts with videos focusing on those who are active in Members United.  Learn more about who we are and our backgrounds as members in GHI. Future videos will feature interviews with other members of GHI and the Greenbelt community.  

Missed Episode 1?  Watch it on our YouTube channel here.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to get notified when future videos are released.

Interested in becoming more active with Members United or being featured in a future video?  Reach out to us at wearemembersunited@gmail.com to find out how you can become more involved.

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GHI Board of Directors Requests Member Comments on Three Proposals

Introduction

The GHI Board of Directors has requested member comments on three proposals before the Board. The proposals are briefly explained below with links to PDFs that contain more detailed discussions of each proposal. Member comments should be sent to the manager’s office at 1 Hamilton Place, Greenbelt, MD 20770 by paper or e-mailed to mgmtoffice@ghi.coop. The due dates for each proposal are different, and are provided in each of the summaries below.

Item 1: Catch-up Contributions Paid by Members at the Time their Additions are Enrolled in the Addition Maintenance Program

This request for comments concerns proposed catch-up contributions to be paid when a member enrolls their addition in the GHI Addition Maintenance Program. Comments on this proposal should be submitted by Monday, January 13, 2020. See above for where to send comments.

The Board proposes that with effect from March 1, 2020, members should pay catch-up contributions at the time that their additions are enrolled in the AMP, towards the future repairs of plumbing, electrical, and miscellaneous structural components, and that these rates would increase by 2.5% per year for every year after 2020 [emphasis added]. The AMP task force computed the catch-up contributions based on cost data obtained from an addition maintenance reserve study report that a consultant prepared in 2018.

The PDF containing the table of charges can be found at:

https://www.ghi.coop/content/table-catch-contributions-towards-future-repairs-plumbing-electrical-and-miscellaneous

Item 2: Proposed Revisions to Section X: Improvements and Alternatives to the GHI Member Handbook

While some of the proposed changes are to make the existing regulations clearer and more succinct, these proposed revisions do include substantive changes to existing regulations. Anyone considering adding an addition or other home improvement should read these proposed revisions carefully. Note that there are proposed changes to several of the definitions of terms used in Section X. Comments should be submitted by Friday, February 7, 2020.

The proposed revisions to Section X can be found in a PDF at:

https://www.ghi.coop/content/member-comments-requested-re-proposed-revisions-section-x-improvements-and-alterations-ghi

Item 3: Finance Committee’s Recommendation to Install Doors on 47 Open Garages

This proposal would most directly affect members who currently rent open garages and members who want to rent a closed garage for parking. Comments should be submitted by Friday, February 7, 2020.

At present, there are 277 rental garages (excluding those owned by the Parkway Apartments) within our community. Forty-seven of those garages are open. GHI’s Board of Directors requests that members submit comments regarding the desirability of installing doors on all open garages, as the Finance Committee recently recommended.

To review the basis of the Finance Committee’s recommendation, read the PDF found at:

https://www.ghi.coop/content/member-comments-requested-re-finance-committee%E2%80%99s-recommendation-install-doors-47-open-rental

Member comments should be sent to the manager’s office at 1 Hamilton Place, Greenbelt, MD 20770 by paper or e-mailed to mgmtoffice@ghi.coop.

 

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Tips for HIP

gray nails beside beige wooden planks and hammers
We were part of the 2017 HIP cohort for our frame home. After our experience and listening to those of other members, I have compiled a list of Tips for HIP.  Please join in the chat to share additional tips and suggestions.

We selected only one optional improvement – covering and sealing our trash door which was already sealed by a previous owner, but the unusable door remained. With a comparison of winter 2016-2017 versus winter 2017-2018, our house maintained 8 degrees warmer (we only use 3 of our 5 baseboard heaters) while our electricity bill averaged plus or minus $15 from the previous winter. With a bill that was relatively the same, our house was warmer and we were significantly more comfortable. Continue reading “Tips for HIP”

In This Time of Covid-19

In this time of Covid-19, a female comedian sheltering-in-place in NYC admits that she has become infatuated and obsessed with Governor Cuomo, and eagerly awaits his daily news conferences.  A tv co-host shares her virtual social life these days, recounting cocktail parties, movie-watching parties, and virtual celebrations of key life events. My friends recount how much they are enjoying Facetime and Zoom with their grandchildren and other loved ones. Even my canceled SAGE exercise classes have been reborn on Zoom much to my delight. Although I could have done without the experience of being Zoom bombed.

For those who have not heard of the practice of Zoom bombing, it’s when uninvited people decide to crash your Zoom meeting and download pornographic and/or racist images and/or make sexual or racist comments. In the case of my Yoga class, we got hit with all of the above during our closing meditation! Before you give up on Zoom, there are things the host can do to prevent this from happening.  

Continue reading “In This Time of Covid-19”

GHI Board to Hold Meeting via Conference Call

GHI has announced on their Facebook page that tonight’s Board of Directors Meeting (March 19, 2020) will be held via conference call.  Read the post below for more information (Credit: Greenbelt Homes Facebook page).

Screenshot_20200318-191349_Facebook

Link for conference call: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/536171877

Credit: Greenbelt Homes Facebook page

It’s That Time of Year Again

person dropping paper on box

It’s that time of year again: The GHI Annual Meeting is just around the corner.  On Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:30pm, the Annual Meeting will commence.  Elections for the GHI Board of Directors and Audit Committee will take place during the annual meeting, as well as the presentation of member agenda items.  Here are some upcoming dates to mark on your calendars:

  • Tuesday, March 10: The Nominations and Elections (N&E) Committee makes their first announcement of candidates
  • Thursday, April 9: Members may propose an agenda item by petition to Secretary Ed James or GHI office
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30pm: Candidates’ Forum in the City Council Room, Greenbelt Municipal Building
  • Thursday, April 30 by 5:00pm: Candidates must submit consent forms (found here) to GHI office or N&E Committee member
  • Thursday, May 5: Final deadline for candidates to submit nominations by written petition
  • Thursday, May 7 at 12:00pm – Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00pm: Members may pick up applications for absentee ballots at GHI office
  • Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00pm: Deadline to submit applications for absentee ballots
  • Thursday, May 14 at 7:30pm: GHI Annual Meeting at the Community Center Gym; read about Roberts’ Rules of Order here.
  • Thursday, May 14 after meeting and Friday, May 15 from 7:00-10:00am & 5:00-8:00pm: Polls open
  • Friday, May 15: Election results announced

For complete information, see the GHI Elections page and the Candidates’ Packet.

In Memoriam: GHI Tree Stump Rings Dated

It seems to me that over the last few years, GHI has been forced to remove more larger trees than usual in close proximity to my North End home. A beautiful, large tree in the common area just outside of my garden side yard was one of these larger trees. I am a little sad every time I look out and notice its stump after more than 20 years of watching it grow and mature.

As I was walking my dogs one day, I observed tree removal workmen struggling to remove pieces of what must have been a large tree to a nearby truck. I did not arrive in time to see the tree before they cut it down and removed its limbs.  The circumference of the these tree sections was large enough to make me curious about how large a stump remained, especially as I saw prodigious amounts of sawdust left near the inner walkway. Some workers were still clearing up brush and smaller pieces of wood, and I had to keep moving, so I decided to find the stump another day.

Continue reading “In Memoriam: GHI Tree Stump Rings Dated”

2nd International Co-operative Principle: Democratic Member Control

Introduction

The second international co-operative principle is democratic member control:

“Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.”*

Since the earliest days of the co-operative movement, democratic member control has been a defining characteristic of co-operatives. From the founding of the first co-operatives, democratic member control applied to all members of the co-operative, which was a very radical idea in the mid-nineteenth century. Even more impressive, this principle applied to women as well.

Continue reading “2nd International Co-operative Principle: Democratic Member Control”