Re: Voting backup - help with fine print
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 11:15:55 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 28, 2008, at 7:20 PM, Jenny Guy wrote:

*"All decisions concerning the management of the Company's business shall be
made by a consensus of the Members.  However, if the Members are
irreconcilably deadlocked, the matter shall be put to a vote of Members. The Members shall be deemed irreconcilably deadlocked if they have attempted to
reach consensus at a meeting of the Members without success."*

I think one meeting is definitely too few. I'm not sure how many would be workable, but groups rarely reach consensus in one meeting on any issue on which a group might have strong differences. Don't trust that no one will ever invoke this provision. Absentee owners might do this. New residents who disagree with consensus anyway. Some of our residents have not agreed with consensus decision -making when push came to shove.

But the phrase "Irreconcilably deadlocked" is the most problematic. Who makes this decision?

We have a subject on which some people think we will never reach agreement and that we have discussed many, many times and some people are just refusing to resolve. In fact, in every discussion, the objectors have asked for information that has still not been produced by the people making the proposal. Is that being "irrevocably deadlocked"?

So I think the measurement or determination of "irrevocably deadlocked" needs to be defined. Do you vote to make this decision? Who calls for the vote? Does going to a vote on an issue require a supra-majority vote like 90%? 80%?

Or does the decision to go to a vote require consensus? This is problematic because the people who disagree will, in all likelihood, refuse to agree to a vote.

And who votes? Homeowners or all residents. We have Class I and Class II decisions. This has been very helpful.

Class I decisions are those that affect homeowner's financial obligations -- budgets, primarily. Class II decisions are decided by all members, which includes all community members. Anyone who is a full time resident can join as a member.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC

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