RE: Who sets the agenda for the General Meeting?
From: Casey Morrigan (
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 19:05:33 -0700 (MST)
Becky - here is how we do it.

We have a Coordinating Committee (probably like your overview?) set the
agenda for full membership mtgs.  Reps from all committees --plus whoever
else wants to come--come to the Coord committee, so theoretically everyone
gets the chance to say what and how is on the agenda.  Included in that
meeting is a rep from our Facilitation team, who takes the agenda items to
their team meeting and they figure out how to get the items dealt with -
they work their magic and structure the discussion.

So that sounds bureaucratic and process laden - which it is. And it only
happens once a month.  So we figured out a way to give space to issues that
arise spontaneously - we have some time at our full member meetings called
"Open Agenda."  People can bring up whatever they want.  Decisions made at
open agenda don't carry the full weight of consensus.  Occasionally, people
use this time to vent or go ballistic, but it's shooting themselves in the
foot to do it that way - there's never enuf time in Open Agenda to really
solve whatever is on their mind so it just looks bad and feels ugly.  And it
doesn't happen often.

So this works pretty well.  I've heard third hand that there is occasional
dissatisfaction, but for someone who wants to be "in the solution" rather
than in the problem, there are lots of avenues for getting business done and
solutions reached.

I am someone who has a high need for very structured membership meetings and
efficient decisionmaking.  For a long while I was concerned about making
sure that things didn't intrude on the agendas that were set.  Now I don't
worry that much about it. If it is important, we'll get to it as a
community. If something is a "breaking issue," well, maybe we can make some
time for it.  If it's a Big Issue, it is likely we can't resolve it in one
meeting anyway so we will get a chance to address it methodically

Casey Morrigan
Two Acre Wood
Sebastopol, California

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Becky Schaller
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 5:29 PM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_Who sets the agenda for the General Meeting?

I have a question about the practical aspects of who should set the agenda
for a general meeting.  We have a Faciliation Team and one of the tasks of
this group is to facilitate the agenda.   At the beginning of this meeting,
one person from both Process Committee and Overview Committee comes to
represent these committees for setting the agenda.   Planning the meeting
after the agenda is set and facilitating are done by the Facilitation Team.
Usually, the two representatives from these two committees leave after the
agenda is determined.

We've been told it would be better if we had a group separate from the
faciliation team set the agenda.  That way if someone has a problem with the
actual agenda, they won't start off the meeting having a problem with the

We've been having some difficulty figuring out practically how to do this.
First there is the concern that no one else seems to be jumping at this
opportunity to set the agenda.  Second, it does seem like the facilitator
should have a large say in setting the agenda so that they end up
facilitating an agenda they are comfortable with.  Third,  there is the
timing problem. First you have to have an agenda setting meeting.  After
that and before the general meeting, you have to have a facilation meeting
to help the facilitator plan each item.

So I'm wondering how  other communities set the agenda and suppport the
faciliator in planning the meeting.  If you're willing to let us know, I'd
appreciate it.

Becky Schaller
Sonora Cohousing
Tucson, AZ

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Cohousing-L mailing list
Cohousing-L [at]  Unsubscribe  and other info:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.