Re: How many community meetings to make a decision?
From: Martie Weatherly (
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2021 19:18:39 -0700 (PDT)
Our community which has been here for 20 years has meetings once a month. Our 
pathway to consensus requires the proposal to be brought up at two consecutive 
meetings to give time for people not at the first meeting to have input and for 
the team to make any tweaks that the community wanted. 

Our bylaws do have a procedure for an emergency meeting for an urgent matter. 
Very rarely used. 

I am finding that the key to keeping plenary meetings from being too long and 
too tiring is to be clear how we delegate to our teams. If we take an issue and 
clearly delegate how much money they can spend and what decisions they can make 
on their own, and then leave them alone, we keep a lot of minutiae out of our 
plenary meetings. 

This takes constant training of the community and creative thinking for what 
works best for your community. Consensus is not unanimity or making all 
decisions together. Understanding this will take a lot of the tension out of 
your decision making. 

Martie Weatherly
Liberty Village, Maryland

Health and Wellness Coach
Consensus Coach

-----Original Message-----
From: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Jul 14, 2021 1:09 PM
To: Cohousing-L Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ How many community meetings to make a decision?

On Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 10:26 PM Muriel Kranowski wrote:

> It depends on the issue you're trying to decide about -- it might be very
> important but simple enough to agree about in one meeting, or it may be
> complicated or it may have some big emotions associated with it that have
> to be worked through in the course of two, three, or more meetings. And it
> depends on your community's style and method of making decisions.

I'm asking about your community, so that's what I'd like to hear about.
Whatever style and method your community uses, it sounds like you are able
to make a decision in one meeting, which is different from the way many
cohousing communities who use consensus work. How would your community
decide to make a decision in one meeting? How often does that happen?

> As for "how many meetings" -- if you mean plenary meetings, our standard
> schedule is one a month but if there are multiple requests for plenary
> agenda time for the current month, we might have a 2nd one.

Thanks! How would your community go ahead with planning a second plenary in
a month? How quick is that turnaround (finding a facilitator, deciding on a
date, etc.)?

But in the early years we met once a week. (Ouch.)

For most of the last twenty years, we met twice a month, but recently have
gone to once a month, and it's definitely impacting the speed of our

Maggi Rohde
Touchstone Cohousing
Ann Arbor, MI

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