Re: specifying the location of business meetings
From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2018 22:50:48 -0800 (PST)
> On Feb 5, 2018, at 11:50 PM, Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at] vt.edu> wrote:
> 
> The proposer strongly feels that community business should not be done in
> people's homes, and also preferably not during the day. The "community
> need" (part of our standard request form for plenary agenda time) that
> would justify making this change is described as: 1. All community members
> need to feel like they have an opportunity to attend, contribute, and be
> heard. 2. To establish and maintain clarity, openness, and trust with all
> members of the community.

I’m sympathetic to these concerns. We had a team years ago that always met in 
the same person’s home. Not everyone was comfortable going to that home. Plus 
the team then had a party at the end with drinks and gossip. Finally people 
objected and now they meet in the CH. It’s much better for the reputation of 
that team.

It has been fine when a team met in someone’s home when there was a reason—all 
the meeting rooms were full or someone had to stay with their sleeping 
children. Or sometimes teams have gone out and met over lunch— but only once or 
twice a year. When my dear neighbor Ann Zabaldo was in rehab recently working 
on her pecs, her team went to the rehab center so they could all meet together.

But it isn’t welcoming when a team becomes a clique and meets “in private.” And 
it isn't comfortable to go to a meeting in a home when you have a potentially 
contentious topic to discuss. The CH Is neutral territory in which everyone is 
equal, and when issues are raised they are raised in the context of the 
community, not in the context of the host serving tea and cookies.

Meeting during "business hours” is actually a vague definition since people 
have all kinds of business hours. Some go to work at 10:00. Others work 
weekends. Others evenings. Others a rotating schedule. “Business hours” have 
changed radically.

Approx. half of our adults are at home during the day — some “retired” and some 
on flex schedules and some telecommuting. It can be frustrating to have to meet 
at night because someone “might” want to drop in. Our teams have always been 
willing to change a meeting time for someone who can only meet at certain times 
and wants to attend a meeting. They meet later at night or on weekends. Or 
earlier in the day.

All groups are expected to publish notice of meetings and the agenda so 
arrangements can be made to accommodate schedules.

A funny story: The members of one working group discovered that the only time 
all of them could meet was 9:45 in the evening. It worked very well for 
everyone except the one who was asleep at 10:00. She attended in her pajamas 
and a robe.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
http://www.takomavillage.org




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