Policy Example: Decision Making


All membership meetings shall operate using a consensus decision making process, except, upon a vote of 75% of the voting interests present at the meeting to break consensus, decision may be made by an affirmative vote of 75% of the voting interests of the Association. No decision to break consensus may be made until the group has attempted to reach consensus by all reasonable means, including the hiring of an outside consultant to assist the group in reaching consensus.

General Meetings

The highest decision-making power in our community is the General Meeting. The Meeting also serves as a core community development activity, gathering members together to build and maintain the collective life of the community.

The responsibilities of the General Meeting are to:

* • govern the shared life and property of the community through setting policies and agreements

* • approve decisions regarding the annual operating budget, capital expense appropriations, and community/condo fees

* • see that the work of the community gets done

* • address issues and conflicts that arise as the community grows and changes.

The General Meeting may delegate limited power over certain areas to relevant teams or committees. [Description by Facilitation team 1/03]

Quorum There is no quorum for General Meetings. Decisions are made by those in attendance at General Meetings. (1995 or 1996)

The Steering Committee is responsible for preparing and managing the agenda of General Meetings, and for overseeing the recording of meeting minutes.

Child Care

* • Get a name tag from the childcare person at the beginning of the meeting and put it on your child.

* • Sign your kids in on the new sign-in sheet that they will have.

* • Be sure to check off whether or not they are allowed to go into your house alone, and write in anything else they should know (snack issues, diaper instructions, etc.)

  • • The childcare folks will be asked to come into the meeting to inquire about any youngish unsupervised kids who have not been checked in. (5/98 Kids Committee)

    Decision Board

    Use the decision board for:

    * • Changes or additions to routine procedures

    * • Committee recommendations not complex enough to bring to a GM

    * • New ideas brought by individuals or an ad hoc committee outside scope of standing committees and not complex enough to bring to a GM

    Don’t use the decision board for:

    * • Spending money outside committee budgets

    * • Issues that generate opposing opinions and/or heated emotions

    * • Decisions that alter common areas or infringe on individuals’ property

    * • Gathering opinions for a more complicated proposal

    Steps to follow in using the decision board

    * • 
Contact a facilitator to help as ‘shepherd’ for your proposal and determine if it is appropriate for the Decision Board

    * • Post a clearly written proposal and scheduled meeting to review and affirm proposal at least 7 days after the posting including:

a. author name(s), date posted 

b. meeting date, time, and place.

    * • Disseminate proposal and meeting information to all community members through newsletter or mailboxes

    * • Post a Comments Sheet with plenty of room for writing and signatures (comments must be signed)

    * • Monitor the Comments Sheet

    If there are no concerns listed, the proposal is approved with no review meeting necessary

    If concerns are expressed, call those not in agreement prior to meeting to determine if:

    a. concern(s) requires changing the proposal; or

    b. a modification can be suggested to address the concern.

    If concerns remain, plan and hold meeting with shepherd/facilitator to address concern and attempt approval

    If no resolution is reached at the meeting, remove the proposal from the Decision Board. Work with the shepherd to revise the proposal for re-posting on the Decision Board (following Steps 2 through 5), withdraw proposal, present to a Community Meeting, or take another course of action

    * • Once approved, (either at review meeting or a community-wide meeting), publish the results on the Decision Board and in the newsletter.

    Handling disagreements about proposal or process: If you took part in the Decision Board process and were dissatisfied with it, contact the proposal’s shepherd or any member of the Facilitation Team to request a review and, if necessary, to re-do the process.

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