Community Conflict & Defiance of Community Rules [was Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 85, Issue 7]
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 10:36:39 -0800 (PST)
On 6 Feb 2011, at 1:20 PM, Martha Lee wrote:

> Overruling decisions without a rationale, Sabotaging team efforts, Demeaning 
> others, Verbal intimidation, Harassment, Incivility, Teasing, Gossiping, 
> Purposely withholding business information

I think you desperately need outside help. You probably won't be able to get 
approval to use community funds for this because if people won't step up to 
correct the situation, they won't vote to use money to do it.

I would get as many people together as possible who will help pay a consultant 
and hire someone. The argument that it won't be effective unless everyone "buys 
in" is neither true nor helpful. Accepting it will only result in no action and 
further deterioration of community governance.

The argument that you don't want to give cohousing a bad name by asking public 
agencies, including the police for help is also not helpful. If nothing else, 
cohousers are citizens of the world and law abiding citizens. This doesn't 
sound like smoking pot after dark; it sounds physically and financially 

How you find the right person? Others on the list will know better than I do 
and will probably contact you off-list to offer suggestions. The best you can 
do is describe your situation to those who are recommended and see if their 
responses seem workable to you. A local person, obviously, would be best since 
this will take time resolve, plus ongoing support and refreshers so you will 
need to avoid travel costs unless the exact right person happens to live far 
away. Or they will move in for a few months.

I'm sorry to hear things have gotten to this point. Freedom is not always what 
it is cracked up to be.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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