Troublesome Community Members: What's a Board to do?
From: Holly McNutt (
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2012 22:02:10 -0700 (PDT)
Hello coho communities everywhere! 

The board here at Nyland cohousing (Lafayette, CO) has a question for those 
communities out there with an active board of directors. (Not all coho 
communities use that structure.) 

What, if anything, can a board do to reign in, or at least contain the damage 
caused by, a particularly Troublesome Community Member? (TCM)

We're not talking about your garden-variety TCM.  We've all got those, don't 
we?  Rather, we're talking about those extra-special people who only come along 
once in a while and can really poison the well. The kind who threaten to sue or 
press charges about things that no one else thinks are big deals.  At worst, 
possible litigation becomes a financial risk to the community, which is in part 
why the board is concerned.

We realize that the Board's (and the full community's) power is pretty limited 
here. We can't make someone move, and we can't prevent them from ranting, 
suing, or calling the police. But are there measures, either formal or 
informal, that others have taken in similar circumstances that have helped? 
Mediation isn't much of an option here; what's coming from TCM seems much more 
impulsive than that.

Fishing for ideas... Anyone got some to offer?

- The Nyland BOD

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