From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 23:05:01 -0600 (MDT)
At RoseWind quorum is representation in person of over 50% of our 
households (one hh member is enough, which sometimes allows a spouse to 
head off to tend to something, for those who have the luxury of a 

An important factor, too, is that not everything needs a quorum to be 
decided upon. We define issues as "class one" or class two, with "one" 
being spelled out as things like changing the documents, dissolving the 
corporation, incurring debt or selling property, transactions involving 
more than an agreed-upon sum [ie significant amounts of money], annual 
budget approval, election of officers. If a decision is a class one 
decision, it requires ten day notification, and a quorum present at the 
decision time. All other matters can be decided by whoever shows up at a 
regularly scheduled business meeting. 

Not everyone wants to come to all the monthly business meetings, but some 
of the fence sitters will show up when a class one decision is on the 
agenda, which usually means we make quorum of 13 households, though often 
just barely. 

We had extensive discussion and debate about changing our quorum to 
fewer, last year, but never could come to consensus on what was enough. 
One approach was to consider changing the BASIS of our quorum 
calculation, so it wasn't 51% of households, but 51% of [what?]. Thought 
of lowering the basis by the number of households who were too far to 
attend? (we have people who go away for months at a time) or deducting a 
household if the member was dead and the estate or heir had not notified 
us that they wanted to participate, or if the member was legally 
certified incompetent (we're not there yet, but hey it can happen). So if 
of 24 households we had two overseas and one in estate limbo, we'd have a 
basis of 21, and instead of needing 13 households, we'd need 11. But we 
didn't get to resolution, and had to attend to other matters. It WILL 
come back. We take it as a given that quorum may be simply impossible to 
achieve in July and August, due to vacation travel. 

The question also arises of whether you have a mechanism for "emergency" 
or urgent decision making that has an unexpected time constraint, which 
somehow gets to skip matters like 10-day notification and quorum. We want 
such a mechanism, and would appreciate learning what you do in such a 
case. Thanks, 

Lynn Nadeau

Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature)

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