Re: Non Participating Households
From: Jim King (jimkgigsville.org)
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 18:04:57 -0600 (MDT)
> But we have not had a case where a family formally stopped 
> participating and didn't leave. I think you are well within 
> your rights to charge them more money. Maybe it will cause bad 
> feelings, but what the hey-they agreed to be a part of the 
> community, and they are reneging on the deal. I'd be plenty
> mad if they didn't leave. I say, make them want to.

We all start out thinking we're doing this with good people who will
always agree with each other, therefore strict guidelines aren't needed.
That's only true for a short period of time. People change, and so does
the membership. After five or ten years you'll find you're living with a
very different group, and the only commonalities are what was put in the
bylaws ahead of time that caused the group to be self-selecting. My group
is still in the formation stages, but we realized early on that we needed
guidelines in our bylaws and in the association contracts that everybody
signs that have reasons for kicking people out. 

The reasons for such go in both directions -- we wanted to be sure that if
someone stopped pulling their share we could get rid of them and get
someone in who would. But we also wanted to make sure people know what
they're getting into -- that it's clearly marked out that they'll be
required to participate... and perhaps people who aren't willing won't
join. Also it's important for people's peace of mind to know that there
are clear, not random, reasons for being removed.

We'll not be running for a while, but seeing this thread I'm glad we
thought ahead about this. Hopefully it'll help avoid the things you're
seeing.

As to how to fix it -- I have no experience to tell me. But once you've
solved the current crisis I'd look hard at how to prevent the next one.
Perhaps a new clause that defines an acceptable level of participation,
and consequences for failing to meet it. Once it's in the bylaws and
people sign off on it they are legally obligated to adhere to it, and
you've got another way to get rid of someone who shirks.

 Jim
 IBC Co-op in Los Angeles


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