Making changes in our decisions
From: David Heimann (
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 11:06:10 -0600 (MDT)


        I am looking for information on your experiences in changing
previously-made decisions.  We have a rule that to change a past
decision, 75% of the equity households first need to agree to reconsider
it, after which the normal consensus rules apply.  We were urged early on
in our history to adopt this so that an item such as a pet policy could
not be easily and often changed just because one or several
households in the community wanted to change it.  Recently, however, we
had a proposal to change the time of our general meeting, and some people
claimed we needed to get 75% of the membership to agree to reconsider the
decision first.  Eventually, though, we all agreed that changing a meeting
time was a routine administrative issue for which doing a reconsideration
vote was an unnecessary piece of bureaucracy, and we went ahead with a
direct proposal.

        The question I have is twofold:

        1) What procedures do you have for changing past decisions?  Do
you simply pass a proposal for the change, or do you have to pass a motion
to reconsider first, or do you have some other process?

        2) If you have special procedures for changing past decisions,
when do you use them?  I presume that one wouldn't use them to change a
routine, administrative, or small-scale decision, but would use them to
change material decisions.  I also presume that changing the date/time of
the general meeting would be routine, while changing the pet policy would
be significant.  But what about ones that are "in between", like changing
the provision/reimbursement of childcare at general meetings, or
adding/changing/eliminating committees?  Are they "significant" or
"routine"?  Are they "material" or "administrative"?  Are my presumptions

        Thank you very much for your help and information.

David Heimann
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

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