Re: Troublesome Community Members: What's a Board to do?
From: Lautner, Patricia (
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 05:08:47 -0700 (PDT)
We've been advised to develop one or two 'elders' in the community who will 
take on the TCM's of the world.  The Elders are not necessarily older people, 
but Elders in the sense that they are considered by most to be Wise, Kind, and 
Worthy of Respect.  The Elder might be able to pull the TCM aside and get to 
the root of the issues - or at a minimum, let the TCM know that they are 
causing a lot of conflict (which might not even be obvious to the TCM.)

Patti - JPCohousing, Boston MA

-----Original Message-----
From: Liz Ryan Cole [mailto:lizryancole [at]] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:59 AM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Troublesome Community Members: What's a Board to do?

Please reply to this list to the extent possible as I am sure many will want to 
hear the wisdom of the group.

We (and while we have been working together running a hospitality business for 
7 years no one yet lives at Pinnacle Cohousing) have a modest (will probably 
begin at 2 hours per week) work requirement.  We hope that serves as a filter 
against troublesome members, and will explore whether failing to comply with 
the work requirement might be grounds to ask someone to leave.

Also - we see a difference between rental and ownership and wonder how that can 
play out with the TCM.

looking forward to the conversation. thanks  liz

On Aug 8, 2012, at 1:02 AM, Holly McNutt wrote:

> 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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Liz Ryan Cole
lizryancole [at]
Pinnacle Cohousing at Loch Lyme Lodge
Lyme, NH
Home 802.785.4124
Work 802.831.1240
Lodge 603-795-2141

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