Re: Consensus and multiple candidates
From: Jessie Kome (
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 17:24:34 -0700 (PDT)

At Eastern Village Cohousing, we use a sociocratic process facilitated by John Buck to select our board. Each member can nominate anyone in the community (during the board selection meeting) using a paper form that is given to the facilitator. The names of the nominator and of the nominated are on the paper. Then the facilitator looks over all the pieces of paper, groups them, and starts by asking one of the nominators to discuss the nomination s/he made. After that the group is asked if they have any questions or information to add. The person nominated doesn't speak yet - they listen to the discussion. Then the facilitator asks if anyone has a paramount objection to accepting the nomination. At this point, the candidate may withdraw if s/he really cannot serve (that's one form of paramount objection). If a member raises and supports a paramount objection why s/he cannot consent to the selection, the nomination is withdrawn. Usually, the person is selected. The facilitator looks over the papers and raises another name for discussion. And so it goes until the whole board is selected.

It was very very hard to do this process the first year, but with practice and the trust that comes with living as a community for a while, the process has worked better and better. You need a focused facilitator who will not accept anything except a paramount objection, and who can keep very emotional discussions neighborly.

-Jessie Handforth Kome
Eastern Village Cohousing
Silver Spring, MD
"Where it looks as if two units have just sold, and the community has four babies on the way."

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