Re: Work participation success stories
From: Martie Weatherly (
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 11:52:59 -0800 (PST)
We don't have building maintenance as we all have free standing homes. And we 
have hired people for jobs we cannot do such as some of the lawn mowing as we 
have a lot of that. 

It sounds like you are handling most of your work by volunteers and the Common 
House Maintenance by hiring it out and that works for your community. 

We have our few owners who grouse about not enough work being down by others. I 
think the most important action to take is to keep going back to the basics of 
consensus and educating and re-educating your community in what is needed to 
make decisions that are best for the community at that time, to cut down on the 
complaints, for one thing!

Health and Wellness Coach
Consensus Coach

-----Original Message-----
>From: Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]>
>Sent: Dec 30, 2020 11:27 AM
>To: Martie Weatherly <martiew [at]>, Cohousing-L <cohousing-l 
>Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Work participation success stories
>It's a fascinating way to handle the question of work.
>Honestly, everything except our meals and common house cleaning is done by
>the "we all should do stuff to make this work" method.
>That method was a failure on the building maintenance and so some folk got
>themselves together and wrote an rfp and hired a contractor and a volunteer
>manages the contractor. So that appears to be working fine, it took 10
>years to get there, which is short enough time that there probably isn't
>lasting damage to our buildings, although some homeowners were frustrated
>with the time it took to get stuff that was built wrong repaired, and some
>things will cost us more to fix than if we'd got to it right away.
>Everything else we do (landscaping, mowing, hot tub, painting and
>decorating common spaces, garden, socials, parties, meetings, etc.) is done
>with the "everyone should help" strategy. And it works.
>The trick to that working is to not get upset if something that you think
>should be done, but don't want to do, doesn't get done. Also can't get
>upset that other people don't help you with a task you feel is important.
>So it works for me and there are people who feel it doesn't work.
>It is hardest on the people who are upset that someone *else* isn't doing
>as much as they "should" be. (Which was my personality until I had a
>concussion and couldn't do anything for a year and lo-and-behold the world
>didn't fall apart without me doing all-the-things and I became, in one
>small way, a new person.)
>Mosaic Commons Cohousing in Berlin, MA
>On Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:08 AM Martie Weatherly <mhweatherly [at] 
>> My community Liberty Village in Frederick MD has used volunteer work for
>> 20 years. One of our agreements from the very beginning was to have few
>> rules and to work together as a community. We expect everyone to contribute
>> to the community in the way they can. Our Community Facilities team has
>> workdays periodically where everyone who can participates. We never charge
>> for meals but buy and cook when it is our turn and eat freely otherwise. So
>> far it has worked.
>> Martie Weatherly
>> Health and Wellness Coach
>> Consensus Coach
>> -----Original Message-----
>> >From: Allison Tom <allisonrtom [at]>
>> >Sent: Dec 29, 2020 12:53 PM
>> >To: cohousing-l [at]
>> >Subject: [C-L]_ Work participation success stories
>> >
>> >Good morning,
>> >
>> >I am responsible for pulling together reading materials for my community's
>> >reading and discussion group.  This week (yikes! I'm behind!) we will be
>> >discussing the challenges of work participation.  So far, I have a good
>> >collection of stories about participation gone wrong and about systems for
>> >managing and tracking participation
>> >
>> >Are there any stories about participation going well without management
>> and
>> >tracking?  Are there communities where the work gets done without much
>> >hassle, supervision, or dissent?
>> >
>> >I would really appreciate hearing from anyone with a work participation
>> >story to share with my in-construction community (Driftwood Village
>> >Cohousing, North Vancouver).  I'm particularly interested in experiences
>> in
>> >communities where there is an assumption that people will pitch in and the
>> >work gets done, but I'm open to any stories you care to share.
>> >
>> >Thank you, Allison Tom
>> >_________________________________________________________________
>> >Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
>(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
>Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
>Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries
>Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

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