Re: "contract it out"
From: Bitner/Stevenson (
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 00:03:03 -0700 (MST)
To be sure, it is a slippery slope. It can go too far. There is real benefit
in working together to get things done, as well as saving money. But when
there is so much work that it can't get done, then the community becomes a
burden to the members. I' pretty sure every group wrestles with this. I know
we have and probably always will. That's not necessarily bad. It means there
are alot of people here who care about  community.

>From: Howard Landman <howard [at]>
>To: lilbert [at]
>Cc: cohousing-l [at] (Multiple recipients of list)
>Subject: "contract it out"
>Date: Sun, Jan 2, 2000, 3:30 AM

>> when it gets to a point where the work is not getting done
>> because there is no one willing and able, contract it out. Life is too short
>> to be "cohousingly correct". What works for your community is what makes
>> your community work.
> I wish everyone had that attitude, but the issue of whether members are
> going to be allowed to "buy out" of work is still mildly controversial
> at our place.  Some people seem to feel very strongly the Gandhian ideal
> of "there are no untouchables here" and want every member to participate
> personally in the less pleasant tasks like cleaning.  My partner and I
> don't even do the heavy cleaning of our own house - we have someone who
> comes in every couple of weeks to do that.  We might like to hire the
> same person to, say, help clean the common house a few times a year.
> It is still being debated whether the community will allow this, or whether
> everyone will be required to do the work themself.  (The issue of elderly
> members has not been raised even though we have several.)
> I'm not opposed to heavy work - on 12/31 I spent a couple of hours helping
> cut down the leader of one of our elm trees, and set up the lights and
> the sound system for our New Year's party, and DJ'd for 5 hours.  But I
> believe that some people have more time than money, and other people have
> more money than time, and that both can benefit by exchanging one for the
> other.  For some reason, this notion seems to upset some people.  To me,
> it's no different from hiring a babysitter sometimes.
>  Howard Landman
>  River Rock Commons, Fort Collins CO

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