Re: governance
From: OCC611ng (
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 09:16:05 -0700 (PDT)

   We have adopted a procedure of sending all decisions made in community
meetings to the Board for ratification.  In most cases, this is automatic.
If decision was made by the community that was later considered not in the
best interests of the community, the Board has an opportunity to withhold
its ratification.  This is not likely to happen, but it could in theory.
Since California law expects the Board to be responsible for all that goes
on in the community, this ratification process ensures that any potential
litigation is defended by the Board.

Norm Gauss

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sharon Villines" <sharon [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 8:22 PM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ governance

> 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
> -----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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