Re: Per Household or Per Person
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 05:09:03 -0700 (PDT)
Cornerstone formerly operated under a unique form of consensus (more like 
unanimity voting than anyone cared to admit) that compelled each household to 
act in unison.   For the time being, we are now working more like classical 
Butler consensus, where the object is to improve the outcome by identifying and 
resolving objections.  So I agree: With classical consensus, the individual, 
not the household, is the critical unit.  But and however, we still define 
quorum -- the minimum level of participation needed to legitimize the plenary 
-- as at least 14 *households*, out of a total of 32.  Not as a portion of the 
total number of names on the deeds (which is about 50±).  Eh?

We welcome and encourage opinions from each and all of our member/owners, but 
not necessarily from the ten or so adult rent-payers squirreled away in various 
units.  You ask, Should we tolerate those who have no capital investment 
forcing assessments on us?  My responses to this would be ...

  -- Consensus, for better or worse, is a system that favors the status quo.   
My worry about consensus is not that a minority will compel the majority into 
undesired action, or that we will get bad decisions.  Quite the contrary, my 
worry is that we will get no decisions, and nothing new will happen.  Ever.
  -- You appear to believe community participation is validated by owning 
something.  There are three significant problems with your view.  (1) Costs of 
assessments are normally passed on to tenants, like the property tax; so 
tenants are like owners, paying for benefits, but without developing equity.  
(2) A resident's interests in the community are more than financial; they are 
also social, cultural, and political.  In fact, these latter interests are, for 
some or many, more important than the bean-counting.  And (3) denying the 
franchise to citizens who don't own real estate is un-American, and now 
discredited throughout most of the modern world.  Which returns us to the 
bedrock question ...

Why should tenants be excluded from coho membership?


Sent from my iPad

On Mar 19, 2013, at 7:15 AM, Thomas Lofft <tlofft [at]> wrote:

> I reflect, If you are seeking consensus, how will it matter if a household is 
> counted as one household or two (or more) member voices? Actually, a 
> household of multiple members may have multiple opinions, one (or more) in 
> accord, one (or more) in disagreement. A true search for consensus shou
> ld seek to have every opinion expressed, not to force a supression of 
> contradictory opinions. So much for determining policy. When it comes to 
> tallying up and sharing the bills, only the property owners may be assessed 
> for fees through the typical condiminium laws of every state. Should renting 
> tenants who have no capital investment at risk in their lodging be able to 
> force an assessment to create benefits for themselves at the expense of the 
> property owners? As to public policy of our non-democratic federal republic, 
> property owners don't get any vote by virtue of property ownership. Every 
> citizen (or other human who manages to get themselves registered) gets to 
> vote, except those excluded by felony conviction (in some states?) or by lack 
> of verifiable citizenship (in some other states?) In my personal opinionTom 
> LofftLiberty Village, MD                            
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