Consensus decision making with and without a voting override provision
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 18:50:39 -0700 (PDT)

Here's part of an email exchange I had with Tim Mensch about his recent post on this subject:

A good agenda or steering committee will only put on the table/agenda for general community meetings, items of some significance that really need community buy-in to be effective. In the example you gave (leaky roof damaging some of the common property), a committee (Maintenance, perhaps) can have blanket authorization in advance to arrange a repair in such an emergency.

Here at Swan's Market Cohousing (Oakland, CA), individuals and committees are authorized (by consensus) to make decisions about all manner of things after there has been an opportunity in the general community meeting for a variety of views on the proposal to be presented, and sometimes a straw vote to get the "sense of the meeting." This seems to work fine, giving everyone who has an opinion, a chance to have their say on the matter (and to be respectfully heard), and not tying the whole community up on matters where it really doesn't matter if one or two people object, even strongly object, to what will probably be the decision made by the individual or committee that's been authorized to make that decision.


Joani Blank
land line : 510-834-7399 (preferred)
cell: 510-387-1315
Swan's Market Cohousing.

P Save Trees ...please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.