RE: Managing initial public meetings
From: Denise Meier and/or Michael Jacob (
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 10:41:45 -0500
We actually had an interesting problem where some neighbors to the
property, who couldn't come to the informational meetings we'd had with
the neighborhood, came to one of our recruiting meetings and began asking
very hostile questions. I answered them as politely as I could but it was
frustrating, to say the least!

Denise Meier
Two Acre Wood
Sebastopol, CA 

On Fri, 25 Apr 1997 BlairDrums [at] wrote:

> Rob Sandelin wrote:
> >I have never heard of a heckler at a cohousing meeting yet, but it may have 
> >happened. Its hard to make a presentation with somebody giving you grief, 
> >and you can simply say that to them, maybe they will back off. It's worked 
> for 
> >me in other circumstances.
> I like this suggestion, Rob. Very clean and direct.
> We had a one particular guest at our first or second public meeting that 
> gave us a hard time. I was 3 or 4 minutes into the presentation, when a 
> 50-ish gentleman in the audience announced that he was an attorney, and 
> HE KNEW there would be legal problems with this whole arrangement, and 
> blah, blah, blah, and he had to leave early so he wanted an answer, and 
> blah, blah, blah.
> It took a couple of firm verbal "throws" to redirect his energy (aikido 
> reference, not masked aggression), and assure the group that there were a 
> number of existing projects that were lawfully organized. I told him that 
> his question would be answered later in the presentation, and "since you 
> can't stay, please speak to another group member out in the hall on your 
> way out."
> I talked to my brother, then a city council member in Eugene, Oregon. I 
> told him about our meeting. "A heckler at a cohousing meeting?" he 
> exclaimed. "You've got to be kidding!"
> I'm glad to hear Rob's never heard of other groups having trouble with 
> this. I have not encountered any other guest like this fellow (who, 
> naturally, showed no further interest).
> Blair Hornbuckle
> Rochester, NY

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