quorum
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 12:07:13 -0700 (MST)
This is about quorum, the legal minimum number for making a binding 
decision. We are undecided about whether or not to reduce the requirement 
for quorum. 

At RoseWind Cohousing in Port Townsend, a long-built community, some of 
the decision making is delegated to committees, and many sorts of meeting 
decisions don't require a quorum. Except important decisions which are 
defined as "Class One." This would be matters like policy, change in our 
governing documents, approval of the annual budget. These require the 
presence in person of someone from 51% of our households, thus 13 of 24. 
Maybe 6 meetings a year have this need. 

Our business meetings are one Saturday morning a month. Our process stuff 
is fairly smooth and those who attend meetings are generally positive in 
their evaluation of the experience.
And yet, when there is a decision requiring a quorum, our Facilitation 
team has ended up twisting arms and calling in favors, to get 13 
households to show up. They are sick of this and want us to reduce the 
quorum requirement. 

Why don't people come? Five households are unavailable for various 
reasons, like not being on site. Still that leaves 19 households on site 
from whom the 13 attenders could come. 

My fear is that if we reduce our quorum, we are reducing our expectations 
and making greater participation even less likely. We don't want a 
downward spiral in participation! There is enough diversity in our group 
that not every group of 10 people, for example, would be representative. 

The alternative is raising voluntary meeting attendance, but that's 
easier said than done. Our membership is highly involved in dozens of 
"outside" projects of all sorts, and also includes people who travel, 
both for pleasure and for work. Any ideas?
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