Re: Quorum
From: Racheli&John (
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 10:13:00 -0600 (MDT)
** Reply to note from "Barbara M. Kelly" <Barbara.M.Kelly [at]> 
Mon, 04 Jun 2001 11:44:18 -0400
>From Racheli
Sonora Cohousing, Tucson.

Hi Barbara,
I sounds to me that because of the unusual nature of your community
you need a different set of rules regarding how and when meetings
take place.

We don't have a quorum requirement, for the reason mentioned
by others.
To me a more serious question than how many people are present
for a consensus decision is: Does the community process and culture
allow for everyone to express their views comfortably, without
being put down (or ignored) in cases where the majority strongly
If people feel encouraged to express their opinions, and the process
is truly inclusive, and if decisions aren't made on the spur of the
moment  (ie: there is always sufficient warning that a consensus
decision on a given topic will be attempted at an upcoming meeting),
then I don't think that how many people are present is all that crucial.

Another issue which I think is important is to take sufficient time for making
any decisions which are not trivial.  I remember cases where we
"fast tracked" a decision, and consensed.  By the time I was 
going home additional questions started coming to mind...  This is less
likely to happen if decisions aren't rushed.

I liked what someone said about knowing there is a consensus 
even before calling for it.  It seemed to me that if serious work
is done on contentious issue, eventually this moment comes.
All too often, though, I feel that we don't work hard enough
to achieve real consensus.  Rather, we go for compromises
hoping that people who aren't truly happy (but perhaps
aren't truly unhappy either...) wouldn't raise a fuss.


> While I agree with you in principle, I have to point out that one of our late
> lamented boards was headed by a guy who preferred to do things his way and saw
> input from the other members as a nuisance to be avoided.   

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