Re: Meetings
From: Berrins (
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2001 21:50:02 -0600 (MDT)
In a message dated 6/7/01 12:07:31 PM, rarjet [at] writes:

<< I guess what's at the bottom of my curiosity is this: do other people

consider meeting attendance a central requirement of living in a

consensus-based community?  If so, then why is there so much trouble in

getting people to show up? What are those instructive reasons for people

not showing up, and do they generally hold water?


Robert Arjet >>

When the group is forming and there are a million decisions to be made, often 
in haste because the builder is finally ready with your floor choices and 
needs a decision yesterday, attendance should be a central requirement.  
First, because it helps you to get to know one another.  Second, because you 
will continue to meet after move-in and its good to get into the habit.  
Three, because it isn't fair to make other people so all the work.  Four, 
because members who attend randomly often don't know what's going on, so when 
they finally show up the group has to spend time getting those members up to 
speed and then spend more time discussing the issue yet again.  I'm sure 
there's more, but that's plenty for now.

At Pathways we didn't have much of a problem getting people to show up during 
the development phase.  Once you've invested a few thousand dollars you'll 
find your interest in getting things rolling pick up.  Plus, we made many 
decisions that physically and socially shaped our future lives; house 
designs, rules and regulations, pet policy and many more.  If people can't 
get to a meeting to discuss these major life decisions, then they probably 
won't show up for the minor ones and won't be very interactive neighbors.

To best use your meeting time, get out as much information ahead of time as 
possible, and be sure to read it!  Let your committees organize the 
information and get proposals together.  Well run, efficient and fun meetings 
are your best way of getting folks to come regularly.

Excuses? Children, work and distance are some of the more common ones.  Many 
are legitimate.  If people truly can't get to general meetings, they can 
always do committee work- information gathering, contact for prospective 
members, arranging childcare, work on retreats; anything that doesn't require 
actually being there.

Good luck!

    Roger Berman
    Pathways Cohousing
    Northampton, MA

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