Re: Function of Board/ Steering Committee
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 19:13:02 -0600 (MDT)
At RoseWind we are set up so every member is a Director, ie on the Board. 
That's just to satisfy the regulators. Ditto our President and VP, who 
are mere figureheads with no power at all (in an effort to distance 
ourselves from hierarchical traditional expectations). Our Secretary and 
Treasurer do those jobs, the latter as part of a Finance Committee with 
several other members.

For actual governance, we have a Steering Committee of 5, elected 2 or 3 
a year, with overlapping terms of 2 years. Steering does very little 
unilaterally: the whole group, and various committees, have most of the 
powers. Here is a description, in case it's of help to any group wishing 
to set  up such a body.

To facilitate, implement, evaluate, and oversee the ongoing work of 
RoseWind, as directed by the membership. 

Receive and evaluate requests, typically from committees and task forces, 
for inclusion of items on membership meeting agendas.

Ensure that proposals are well defined and appropriate preliminary steps 
have been taken, such as getting community input in developing a 

Make agenda recommendations to the Facilitation Committee, who will 
arrange the agenda and distribute it in a timely way. 

Ensure that proper notification is sent out to the Membership, when 
required, for decisions which require advance notification.

Evaluate priorities, and make additional recommendations, when needed, 
for agenda items, coordinating with committees as appropriate. 

Generally coordinate getting needed work done.

Check that priority work is being handled by committees or task forces. 
If something isn't being handled, try to arrange for it to be done, by 
checking with committees, and if they can't do it, by seeking others to 
take care of it. This may entail creating a task force.

Encourage short-staffed committees to find ways to get more help. 

Respond to requests that do not appear to fit the mandate of any existing 
committee or task force, referring them where appropriate, or acting on 
them if no one else is in charge of the matter and action is called for.

Participate in the Dispute Resolution process as specified in the Bylaws. 
Meet about 12 days prior to RW monthly meetings, and again during the 
week immediately following a RW monthly meeting. 

Minutes of Steering Committee meetings are kept, and distributed by 
email. Periodic reports from the Committee are made in RW meetings, as 
Annually, the year's work is summarized and reported. 

The Steering Committee members are elected by the membership.
A quorum for decision making is three of the Steering Committee members.  
Current members are (names and terms).
Any Member is welcome to attend a Steering Committee meeting and 
participate in discussion, but not in decision making. 

Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature)

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