Re: governance
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 13:22:54 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 13, 2005, at 10:38 PM, Elana Kann wrote:

I'm curious how other communities have handled this dual aspect of your
affairs? And most importantly, how do you handle them both SKILLFULLY, and
what are the results?

The total separation is practically impossible. We have a board and three teams: Community Life, Facilities, and Legal and Administration, The idea is that the three teams handle the actual work with the board sort of coordinating. We do not in general view the board in the same sense that the condo docs do but having one makes the banks happy and does serve as a back up if things got tough. Legally they are enfranchised to make decisions.

To some extent anything that is "trouble" in the community can end up being a legal issue that the board will have to deal with. That's why it's better, perhaps, to have a more integrated and hierarchical relationship between the two. That also gives credence to both -- the Board isn't seen as heartless and the community team as unrealistic and unofficial. But change in a community takes time.

Even in our community which was intended to be a cohousing community from the start we still, after 5 years moved in have people who see things the same way they saw them in their old condos. The Board Decides!

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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