|Re: No Quorum||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Heimann (heimanntheworld.com)|
|Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2019 08:52:33 -0700 (PDT)|
Hi Sharon and everyone,We (JP Cohousing) as a rule have quorum for our general meetings (attending general meetings is one element of our three-fold work requirement, the other two being active on at least one committee and putting in (four) hours of work a month. While people can grant a proxy not to come to a meeting but to count towards quorum, thus indicating that they will go along with the decisions made, this rarely happens.
As far consensus goes we don't need unanimous agreement to consense; it's a majority of thumbs-up (approval) and no thumbs-down (block). So with 30 people at a meeting we don't need 30 approvals, just 16 or more approvals and no blocks. A thumbs-sideways (stand aside) would not block a proposal unless there were 50% or more of them, which hasn't yet happened in our existence.
Also, in order for a decision to be made it has to be announced in the meeting notice that this will come up, so people will tend to attend such a meeting (though as I've said we routinely get quorum anyway).
Regards, David Heimann Jamaica Plain Cohousing Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 14:52:47 -0400 From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com> To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> Subject: [C-L]_ No Quorum Message-ID: <EA884E5F-5B63-4280-B8EC-1BB3F420FFD0 [at] sharonvillines.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 We had a discussion a few years ago about the community in Blacksburg, I think, that dropped their quorum requirement. Has anyone else done that? We discussed because I think our quorum count is fake because people are counted even if they show up, check in with the minute taker, and leave. But people felt that they were giving permission for any decisions that come out of the meeting in a positive way. Not just not showing up. But now we are getting a lot of resistance from new people. No meetings. They enjoy living here and participate fully in the work and meals but are not interested in governance or resolving issues. We have one 2-hour meeting a month but it isn?t enough to do any discussion about a serious topic that we need to understand and make a decision. The current issues are paying for LCEs, Bylaws amendments, and Declaration amendments. When meetings happen once a month it's like children returning to school? we have to spend time reminding people what we did last time and bringing people who missed that meeting up to speed. We need a series of meetings every two weeks to complete these discussions and involve even half the residents. I realize that people are interested in different aspects of the community (we have rabid weeders just now). But refusing to schedule meetings because ?no one? wants to talk about bylaws is incredibly frustrating for those who realize that for legal issues and avoiding future risk, they need to be updated. Expecting to reach consensus on issues requires that people be informed and contribute their knowledge to the discussion. If people really are happy with whatever the group decides, then there has to be official time for those interested to sort out issues. If there are 15 people interested in the bylaws amendments, why can?t they meet and decide? One of our members pointed out that compared to groups using parliamentary procedure our requirements are very high. For a membership of 60, Robert's requires 31 people to show up. And decisions pass with 16 people. Less than 1/3 of the membership. Some quorums are lower than that. With consensus 31 people have to show up and all 30 have to consent 50% plus 1. So to schedule a meeting the board and facilitators say the topics have to be of interest to at least 31 people. That it is their job to protect residents from unproductive meetings. Having no quorum but (1) requiring strict notification of the agenda and decisions to be made and (2) the ability of members to have a topic delayed when they can?t attend a meeting. I feel that people should be expected to attend all meetings and to read documents ahead of time. But I?m feeling like it?s herding 9th graders and just turning them off to governance. No quorum would work better now that the community is established and decisions are neither emergencies nor will they change the lives of everyone here.
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