Re: an executive board for a coho community? -- dealing with closed or executive session material?
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:55:11 -0700 (PDT)
Piggybacking on this question, for those of you who have an executive board and 
especially those of you who don't, how do you handle closed or executive 
session issues, such as lawsuits, contractor issues, or owners with unpaid 

Our lawyer recently advised us to include a brief note in the regular board 
minutes (e.g. "The Board went into closed session to discuss unpaid member 
assessments"), and to keep separate minutes of the closed sessions, which are 
accessible only to Board members and legal counsel.  
 --sueWestwood Cohousing in Asheville, NC

Sue Stigleman
sstigleman [at]
      From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah <welcome [at]>
 To: cohousing-l [at] 
 Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 12:14 PM
 Subject: Re: [C-L]_ an executive board for a coho community?

At RoseWind Cohousing, long-built in Port Townsend WA, we do not have an 
"Executive Something", but we do have a Steering Committee. This is selected by 
a Nominations task force, which annually questions each member as to (a) their 
willingness to serve either as an Officer or on the 5-member Steering 
Committee, and (b) who they would like to see in those positions. From this, a 
slate is formed, for President and VP (titular only, with no powers other than 
being a legal signature if needed), for Treasurer,  and Secretary, and for the 
2, or 3, new members rotating into Steering on 2 year terms. The slate is then 
affirmed in a business meeting. 
Steering meets twice a month. Their only powers are "as directed by the 
Membership", or in time-urgent unforeseen situations. Typically they track the 
progress of various proposals and issues in the community. This may involve 
legal matters, scheduling a discussion circle, dealing with committees that 
have internal difficulties, fielding concerns that don't clearly belong to 
another committee, and deciding when issues are sufficiently seasoned to go to 
a business meeting. The latter are forwarded to the Facilitation Committee, 
which constructs a sensible agenda from among items ready for next steps. 
Steering also supervises notification of meeting agendas and upcoming 
proposals. This system has worked well for many years now. 

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
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