EQUITY PARTNERS & DECISIONS IN COMMITTEES
From: Linda Gluck/Treehouse (treehousenetstep.net)
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 07:47:50 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,
Our community-in-formation is struggling to draft our membership structure.
The question of whether only Equity Partners should participate in decision
rounds has inspired strong controversy. After lots of exchange, we have
managed to agree that full group decisions should only be made by Equity
Partners, mainly because they are taking the financial risk.

Now the question is - What happens in committees? Is decision-making
reserved for EPs there also? In very active committee work, each participant
takes on particular issues: does the research, legwork, and thinking about a
particular question and makes a summary report to committee. That person is
the best informed. Shouldn't they be part of decision round even if they are
not an EP? If there's only one EP in a committee of 6, is it sensible for
that one person to make all committee decisions?

One idea we had was to then take that whole committee decision to the
General Meeting, where only EPs would make the final decision. So EPs would
be guaranteed the last word.

But that can become cumbersome to the point of paralysis. In a busy
committee, 8 or 10 small decisions may be made at one meeting, which will
allow work to proceed. If those have to be ratifed in General Meeting, then
work is interrupted. When dealing with land purchase details, planning board
schedules, coordination between professionals and such, the decision can't
wait.

What to do?

Linda Gluck
Ulster County Cohousing


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