|Re: How many meetings a month after move-in?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lori A Llewelyn (lorillewelynjuno.com)|
|Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 22:23:28 -0500|
At Muir Commons we continued to have general meetings twice a month (meetings are one hour and forty-five minutes long) for five years after move-in. For the last year or so, we've been having meetings once a month (same length), and that seems to be working. Our general meetings are usually attended by at least one person from at least half of all households; at the last meeting (where a revised decision-making process was up for consensus), we had 18 out of 26 households represented in person and two more represented by proxy. (And we consensed the new dec-making process!) In my opinion, the keys to shorter, better meetings are 1) having a very specific decision-making structure, with an alternative to consensus available when needed, 2) offloading as much as possible to committees (all interested members invited to committee meetings), 3) getting people to plan and get organized as much as possible before bringing issues to general meetings, and 4) good facilitation. In my opinion, good facilitation by itself is definitely not enough. Believe me, there is no lack of issues to discuss after you move in. If you are like us, your decision-making process will be revised numerous times (I do think it's improving over time). We periodically "reprogram" our Common House - review and sometimes change how the various rooms are used; needs change as kids grow up, new interests develop (business, hobby, exercise, etc.), etc. Distribution of work within the community is another issue that comes and goes. Kids' issues (rules, standards of behavior, conflicts with adults and with each other, kids' self-governance, community chores, noise level at meal times, and more) come up periodically. The budget comes up at least once every year. Restructuring the dues structure, how to pay for things that some people want and some don't .... It took us five years, after move-in, to finish buiding our shop, two bike sheds, common house trellis, and hot tub, and all those things involved planning decisions, and we spent a fair amount of time on a use policy for the hot tub (when are suits required, etc.) We also try to have at least one meeting a year for a community check-in, when we review what's going in our lives, what we like and don't like about our community, ideas for making our community even better. And there're a lot of little questions, like... Shall we plant some redwood trees at the edge of the common lawn? Should we use poisons to deal with ant invasions? With regard to the care of our landscaping, how good is good enough? What kind of art work do we want in the Common House? Should we increase the washer/dryer use fees? We need more play equipment for the kids; where shall we put it? The sandbox has cat poop in it; how shall we deal with this? I think you get the picture. This is partly what living together is about. At home, you have to work these kinds of issues out with, at most, a spouse and/or kids or housemates. In community, we all work them out together. Occassionally, it's onerous, but most of the time it's a generally positive process that allows you to get to know your neighbors better. It's one of the things that holds the community together and makes the fabric of the community richly textured. >Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 11:12:16 -0400 (EDT) >From: MartyR707 [at] aol.com >To: cohousing-l [at] freedom.mtn.org >Subject: Meetings after move-in >Message-ID: <970612111156_1890919355 [at] emout06.mail.aol.com> > >Some of our members are dismayed to hear that most groups continue to >meet >twice a month after move-in. (I'm not surprised myself) Many had >thought >that once we're in, life returns to normal and meetings won't be >necessary >(very many anyway). We'd love to hear from those of you who are in, >what the >topics for these meetings are; what kinds of issues come up that >require >meetings, etc. Do all members attend as a rule? > >Our Community Life Com. is gearing up to address "life after move-in" >and >this would be very helpful to us. > >Marty Roberts >Two Acre Wood - where yet another delay has put our construction start >date >up in the air - AGAIN!! > >------------------------------ >
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