From: coho (
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 10:39:32 -0700 (PDT)

Jamaica Plain Cohousing in Boston MA requires that committees be chaired
by equity partners and have a majority of equity partners. It's worked
well for three years and we're now six months from move-in.

Dave Nathan

> 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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