RE: proxies
From: Rowenahc (
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 17:32:01 -0600 (MDT)
At CambridgeCoho we allow proxies but only for a specific item and for a
limited period of time, not a general "this person speaks for me for all
purposes."   In practice, the only time anyone thinks to arrange for a proxy
is for such times as the annual meeting when we really do need a formal
quorum count and consensus for budget approval.  At one time we had a "rule"
that an important issue could not be decided at the first meeting at which
it was raised. Of course, we used to have a lot of general meetings in those
days.  Now we only have general meetings once a month and keeping to that
rule is sometimes impractical.  However, at this point (after 3 years) most
people do trust others to do their best for the community and we make a
point of publicizing major proposals in every media  (email, committee
meetings, copy on decision board, copies in mail boxes, even special
displays on easels in the entry way) so that differences have usually been
hammmered out and consensus reached on serious issues long before formal
approval is sought and the actual count tends to be something of a
formality. If we don't have a quorum we ask for a "sense of the meeting" for
things that don't involve real money and go with that - maybe adding a time
limit, e.g. let's try it for six months and see how it goes.

Cambridge Cohousing

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of pattymara [at]
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 1:16 PM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_proxies

Now this is a new concept to me.  Establishing quorum by proxy.  Hmmm.
Does this mean that someone can not attend a meeting but send a proxy
(written?  verbal?) that essentially means "Go ahead without me, I I
trust the group to make decisions"?

Patty Mara
Tierra Nueva, Cen CA Coast

On Sat, 2 Jun 2001 21:49:42 -0700 "Eileen McCourt"
<emccourt [at]> writes:
> We don't use proxies to decide issues, because we also use consensus,
> so
> only those who are present at a meeting can make decisions.  There
> is no
> voting, with or without a proxy. We use proxies to determine quorum
> only.
> --eileen
> Eileen McCourt
> Oak Creek Commons
> Cohousing in Paso Robles, CA
> emccourt [at]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
> [mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Lynn Nadeau
> Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2001 4:01 PM
> To: cohousing L
> Subject: [C-L]_proxies
> At RoseWind, proxies can neither satisfy quorum nor block. The only
> time
> they are relevant is in the theoretical case that we use our
> fallback
> voting system.
> Why? Because we operate by consensus, and only by being physically
> present can one have the opportunity to evolve and synthesize based
> on
> the unfolding "group mind". This does not mean that one cannot have
> input: on any significant issue there are multiple ways to give
> input to
> the relevant committee, in fact they solicit it via email,
> discussion
> circles, and generally letting people know what's in the works and
> whom
> to contact. This also makes the official discussion of the issue at
> a
> business meeting happen more efficiently. But we still see that we
> can,
> as a group, productively "take it from there" and refine and evolve
> in
> the final discussion at the meeting.
> An absentee may even occasionally send a written comment to the
> meeting,
> asking a friend, or the secretary, to read it to the group, as part
> of
> the input to discussion.
> A room full of "proxies" aren't going to come up with anything
> creative!
> Lynn Nadeau
> Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
> Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature)
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