Re: Michael Barret's comment re creating restrictive fees for lower participation
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 18:29:01 -0800 (PST)
Stuart captures my thinking very well, and I applaud everything he says,
though even he appears (like others, though not tricia) to have assumed that
I used the word "participation" as an euphemism for "work". Participation
certainly may include work, but I was thinking about participation, much
more generally, in any or many aspects of community life.

None of the activities I give below as examples is going to appear on any
community "work sheet" or "task list". But anyone who performs them is, to
me, participating and contributing to the community.
An elder member who sits on her/his porch, with a phone nearby, watching the
children (not the very young) at play. The member who enjoys small group
conversation and keeps all the other "small groupers" up to date with the
big (large group) meeting topics (and the nuances that don't get into the
minutes).  The member who attends an unrelated child's music recital, or the
house concert, rather than sitting at home.  The member who has knowledge
and/or contacts and shares them with the "doers".  The member who comes to
the community meals and then lingers a while afterwards.

Because I so much like what Stuart said I have left most of his words
attached below - even though I know we want to avoid long "tails".

Michael Barrett
Shadowlake Village
Blacksburg, VA  - where the Common House refrigerator popped its breaker
sometime in the past couple of days and the leftovers from Sunday night's
meal were (sadly) not useable for tonight's potluck.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Stuart Joseph" <stuart [at]>
I have come to the conclusion, and my group feels the same way, that
participation may take many forms. I might not be able to do physical
labor, unmaintained, gardening, etc., but I can do other things: taking
care of the website, arranging things, office type tasks, finding deals
for the group, making the calls and scheduling repairs, and other things
that will occur to us as they appear. It is a matter of finding things
that you are capable of doing and that your community needs.

IMHO, any group that has reservations about your joining them because of
your disability and isn't willing to find a way for you to fulfill your
obligation, even if it is outside the box, is a group that I wouldn't
want to join.

I do feel that if something needs to be hired out because a person can't
do it, or chooses not to do it, and they can't fulfill their part of
what needs to be done, they should contribute monetarily to make up for
my unwillingness to do it or that I can't find something else as a
substitute. This might also apply to renters, or their landlords, that
don't participate.

It seems to me that the fairest way of working these things out is by
making a list of community needs and some type of time allotment
required of the members (per week, per month, per year). They could then
choose which they would like to work on and apply their hours as they
completed the job.

This would also mean that they could bank their hours depending upon the
time spent doing their chore and apply it against future tasks.


Stuart Joseph, 802-463-1954

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