From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Thu, 16 May 1996 10:13:05 -0500
One of my interests is in cohousing management, governance, organization 
structure ­ whatever you want to call it.  There hasn¹t been too much 
talk here about what groups have learned in these areas and how they go 
about taking care of the business of the community in the most efficient 
and satisfying manner possible.  Since every group must deal with this, 
I would think that we could learn quite a bit from each other.

As our organization evolves, I¹ve been checking some past coho-l 
postings to see how other cohousing organizations have evolved in terms 
of governance.  There seems to be general agreement that the use of 
consensus in no way precludes the use of delegation.  I¹ve also noticed 
that a few groups (Southside, Nyland, and Sharingwood) have consolidated 
their committee structures.  My understanding is that there was a 
problem with too many committees all responsible for different 
miscellaneous activities and some activities perhaps falling between the 
cracks and being the responsibility of no committee.  In consolidating, 
the group created an oversight body of some sort and created just a 
small number of committees to whom ALL activities were distributed.

Here¹s some questions to stimulate some discussion:
Is my explanation of what happened with these groups somewhat accurate?
Have other groups gone through similar consolidation?
Who has a system that they think works particularly well?  Particularly 
Does the construction period require the same type of governance 
structure as when you¹re actually living in cohousing?
How many hours per month does the average member spend in meetings?
           Mac Thomson                   San Juan Cohousing
           ganesh [at]                Durango, Colorado

"Between whom there is hearty truth, there is love."
                         - Henry David Thoreau

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