Decision Making: who decides what?
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 15:23:01 -0600 (MDT)
 how other communities define &/or 
>delineate the decision-making authority of committees/teams.  

RoseWind Cohousing is in our 14th year, and for the past 2  years has had 
all 24 families. 
We have, as I think about it, several layers of kinds of decisions:

a) Class One decisions are defined in our Bylaws, and essentially are the 
biggies of finance and governance- changing our documents, annual 
budget/officers/Steering Committee elections, spending more than some 
given amount ($1000?) on something that's not in our budget already, 
entering into legal actions, selling or buying land, etc. 

b) Other decisions that come to the whole group (now monthly) meetings, 
but which, unlike Class One decisions, require neither 10-day notice, nor 
a quorum of 51% of our households. Whoever is at the meeting can consense 
upon such decisions.

c) Items delegated by the whole group meetings, to a committee, task 
force, or individual- OK go ahead and do X, at the best price you can 
find, not to exceed Y. 

d) Stuff that's committee business, according to the written guidelines 
describing the mandate of each committee, sometimes still gets run by the 
community via email and sometimes optional discussion circles, to give 
the committee input on which to base their decisions. Examples: 
Facilitation can decide whether to limit monthly meetings to business 
decisions, or to allow discussions, process practice, etc etc as well. 
But they first want to "take the temperature" of the group about how many 
people want what. Or Common House Operations, which is empowered to set 
up systems for meal accounting, CH uses and fees, and other CH policies, 
has periodic discussion circles to evaluate what we've been trying, and 
to get input on new ideas or proposals. 

e) Each committee can spend their annual budget items, once they are 
determined, without additional discussion or decisions. 

And, to tell the truth, we also have stuff that is done in "guerrilla" 
fashion - not to everyone's pleasure - as eccentric art works appear in 
odd places, miscellaneous trees get planted in odd spots. But that's a 
future thread!

Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend WA
Two houses available - a sunny artistic 2-story dome, and a more 
traditional 2 story house with a Victorian-style exterior. Both high 
quality construction with many custom features. See our website for more 
information, or contact us to learn of future resales. 
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