Re: Quorum, Meetings, Email
From: Sharon Villines (sharonvillinesprodigy.net)
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 07:16:01 -0600 (MDT)
We also have class one and class two decisions. Class One is basically
decisions affecting owners (legal and financial obligations) and the quorum
is by household. Class Two decisions are those affecting community life and
the quorum is based on members.

As a new community we  are overwhelmed by meetings right now. My goal is
_one_ meetingless week. Right now it is often 3-5 meetings a week. There is
rarely (if ever) an evening when one team or another is not meeting.

Right now we are having a major focus on "what?" We find ourselves on email
or in a meeting all the time and not having fun yet. The emphasis on cutting
down email has led to a reduction of fun email (jokes, sharing, comments)
and an increase in business email (minutes, team reports, agendas, etc.)

Meetings have become so much of a habit that attempts to make small group
discussions casual by the introduction of pizza resulted in a request for a
summary of the conversation for those who were not there. The small group
discussion topic was -- communications.

On the issue of attending meetings if you care about the issue -- I think
this is fine for large group meetings -- the full membership business
meetings where decisions are made. But if we used that measure (as some of
our members have tried to do) for team meetings all of us would be in
meetings (the same one) 24 hours a day. Teams have to deal with the wants,
needs, wishes of those who are not there.

But on the same note, whenever I find myself in a meeting without a quorum,
I have to question if the meeting is really necessary or desirable. Has the
question been explained to the membership sufficiently so they understand
that it is important? Is it important? Will or can anything really happen at
this meeting? Would I myself be happier not there than there? If not, why
did I show up when others didn't? Do I need to get a life? Are the issues
being considered really of group interest? Should the board be making the
decision instead?

I want more business to be discussed on email and more agreements on
documents and proposals done on email so we can have more show and tell and
just plain pointless conversation and gossip. I have nightmares about lists
of topics with times beside them -- 10 minutes for users fees, 20 minutes
for security codes, 5 minutes for report on leaking basements, 40 minutes
for discussion of ....

All our wonderful expertise and efficiency is beginning to feel like the rat
race I just retired from -- the university. I'm even still working nights
because that is when the "customers" who work days are available.

I love every minute of it of course, but it is wearying and seemingly never
ending. I've concluded that I just have to stop. Just get off the assembly
line and use the parts to make sculpture instead of cars. But then of course
the factory will go into bankruptcy or disuse and .........

Sharon
-- 
Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
http://www.takomavillage.org


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