Re: Question about Consent Governance
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:25:53 -0700 (PDT)
> On Jul 20, 2018, at 3:32 PM, David Heimann <heimann [at]> wrote:
> Just because the objection has been resolved or bypassed in some way, shape, 
> or form, doesn't mean that the community can simply move on.  Hard feelings 
> can persist for months or years and pop up again in the most inopportune 
> circumstances.

In addition to the processes that David’s community is using now, I would 
suggest not pushing decisions. Take some time for decisions to make themselves, 
for people to adjust to adjust to diverse opinions and desires, and for the 
diverse to meld. 

The impulse to say we only discuss a topic 3 times before we go to a vote 
sounds expedient but in the end it isn’t usually necessary and contributes to 
hard feelings. Maybe once every 10 years or in extreme emergencies when 
immediate action is required it makes sense. But taking time for a decision to 
work itself out puts the focus on the purpose of the community and the decision 
— on the content, not the people who object to what others want.

We don’t put time limits on decisions and often roll them over to another 
meeting, even skipping a meeting or two before discussing it again. While 
everyone gets impatient or bored with one issue or the other, the lack of 
pressure mellows things out. 

Some discussions take years but they require that much time to define the 
options, sort out the possible ramifications, and fully understand their 
implications in building a stronger community. 

Our best meetings have been when we discuss issues without expecting any 
decisions. Everyone is relaxed and comments aren’t viewed as being made to 
influence anyone. We just talk and there is time to enjoy it.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.