Re: Rejecting New Members
From: Buzz Burrell (72253.2101CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sat, 15 Jun 1996 21:31:00 -0500
Re Valley Oaks Village - 

That was a tough story;  I can only imagine how heart-wrenching it must have
been.

>Does any other group have the ability in your bylaws to reject someone?  >On
what objective basis can you reject someone?  Could rejecting someone >be
construed as discrimination?

Specific responses - 

Geneva Community can reject someone, but that is not in our By-Laws (which are
only for the legal and financial affairs of the development corporation).

There is no objective basis for doing so.  As long as they have the money, and
commit to the Mission Statement and Agreements, then they can legally join.

The word "discrimination" in my mind has a legal meaning.  Thus, rejecting
someone for non-objective reasons could definitly be construed as
discrimination, *depending entirely on the legal framework of your
organization*.  Some legal entities can make subjective decisions on who joins
and some can't.

Overall responses -

My initial reaction is if something like you describe happenned here, we would
want to halt everything and figure this out.  At least I hope we would do that;
in the midst of construction, the pressure would certainly be on to put it aside
because the construction required all available energy.  But building community
is about dealing with the issues you raised, not really about building houses.

Regarding rejection of new members, we have no formal process for it.  We talked
about it, and our method would be for the individuals who are experiencing
difficulty to work it out together.  If that is not possible, then a third party
member would participate.  Its hard to imagine a problem going past that point,
but if it did, we decided the issue would have to be brought before the group.
There is no rules, committee, or other infrastructure set up to deal with it;
our approach is based upon emotional maturity, communication skills, and our
Mission Statement and Agreements.  

>From what I've seen so far, this works real well.  What would happen if a 
>person
came along who wanted to join, but (in our eyes) lacked "emotional maturity"?
I'm not sure, but somehow I don't think they would ever want to join in the
first place.  When a group is real clear and positive, then assorted wierdnesses
can't get a toehold.  Hopefully.

Take Care!

Buzz Burrell
Geneva Community
Boulder, CO

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