Workshop ruled
From: David Mandel (
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 04:54:24 -0600
Karen Smith of EcoVillage wrote:

" ... The workshop committee of the
first neighborhood of the ecovillage at Ithaca is working on how to
organize the day-to-day
functioning of our workshop. Would people from communities with workshops
that have been
up & running for a while please send information about how you organize
this: governing
structure, operational procedures, advice, tips, what works, what didn't
work? ... "

This could have been another example in the message I sent a couple minutes
ago about rules in general. Maybe we're weird here, but we're pretty darn
minimalist when it comes to governing structures and operational procedures
for our workshop -- and a lot of other things too, I guess.

We made building a small workshop a high priority for our very small site
because a couple of members had some good woodworking tools. Since they
were losing the garages or basements they had at former homes, they gained
a place to keep the equipment; everyone else gained access to that
equipment and a lot of other tools and supplies that people put in the
workshop. Also,the community bought a power miter saw when a lot of us were
installing wood floors just before we moved in.

Rules? Well, the building is kept locked for safety; if you use it you're
supposed to clean up; if you borrow something you're supposed to put it
back quickly; if you break something you replace or fix it -- but I don't
think any of these rules are really written down anywhere. Does anyone
think that would be necessary?

Otherwise, a committee that meets maybe twice a year removes excess junk
that accumulates and is working on a dust collection system with funds
authorized by the community. The only dispute I can recall resulted without
too much fuss with one end of the building being reserved for work on

I can't think of any more governing structures or operational procedures we
could possibly need. We have too many more important things to argue about,
like stray cats. ... :-)

David Mandel, Southside Park, Sacramento

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