Re: Fiduciary Responsibilities - Taking Care of the Community
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2012 08:55:49 -0700 (PDT)
On 9 Jul 2012, at 1:12 AM, Norman Gauss wrote:

> Unless we make the community meetings palatable, our
> attendance will be below quorum.  I have actually been told by community
> meeting attendees that what I am talking about is boring and that the Board
> should handle it.

There is a very deep systems trap here called Dependence and Burden Shifting.

It raises questions of how much self-governing is important to building 
community. Those members who are not participating in tough decisions and don't 
even want to hear enough to understand them are shifting the burden and 
assuming the dependence of children. 

Delegate decisions should not be avoidance.

The whole group can set a policy that is executed by a team or the board, but 
the whole community needs to understand the ramifications of the policy if they 
are going to live subjected to it. How else can they participate responsibly in 
governance? It's not possible to do a crash course when there is an emergency 
and they have to decide at the last minute because the board can't or doesn't 
want to.

There are millions of board-run condominiums in which many people live very 
happily — or sort of happily — avoiding the responsibilities of governance. How 
little involvement with governance can be had and still create a strong 
community? The board-run condos I know of have very little and don't expect any.

"Fun" can be addictive, just like everything else. An easy substitute for 
dealing with reality.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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