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encouraging participation-your opinions?Aug 31, 2007


Interested in feedback on this idea:

"To join our coop, you must run for election to the board one year out of every five, or else pay a $500 fee in lieu of your year of service."

First a house rule and, depending on the results, perhaps later a bylaw (with the sum left open).

Thoughts?

--Curious


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Encouraging participation - BP Sep 01, 2007


Per Curious -> "To join our coop, you must run for election to the board one year out of every five, or else pay a $500 fee in lieu of your year of service"

That doesn't encourage participation, that requires it. I assume by joining the coop you mean buying into it. You'll lose buyers if board service is a condition of purchase, and not everyone has the time/interest to serve on a board. You also run the risk of getting board members who aren't qualified/capable and may manage things badly and do your coop great harm. That's always possible but moreso here.

And why make Shs pay $500 in lieu of board service? Help us run the coop or if you won't do it, pay us money - one has nothing to do with the other.

Forcing Shs to serve on the board won't foster cooperation or enthusiasm for the task. Shs will resent the demand, and those who don't want to will serve halfheartedly and not do a good job. It's also very unlikely you'd ever get your Shs to vote in an amendment to the by-laws that requires board service or paying a fee. I can't see that happening.

You want to encourage more Shs to run for the board? Get to know your Shs. Keep lines of communication with them open. Search out those with particular skills (accounting, mgmt, marketing) and tell them what an asset they'd be for the coop if they were on the board. Let Shs know that you want their ideas and welcome their participation in making your coop a stable, secure, desirable place to live for all.

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Re: Encouraging participation - GK Sep 01, 2007


Absolutely agree 100% with every single thing BP said. Wise words.

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No way for us - TedT-NJ Sep 02, 2007




Perhaps in a small complex, compelling participation is useful or necessary.

But, in our coop we would rather not have 85% of the residents at shareholders.

Most have no view as to how to run a corporation and yes, the coop is a corporation, and not a social club wherein board members run on a popularity ticket.

Sorry to be so acrimonious, but most folks would destroy the good order of a well-run corporation.

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encouraging participation - encouraging participation Sep 02, 2007


Sounds like we're hearing just from the well-run corporations...how about the badly-run ones?

Think of jury duty, where such changes were made to get better-qualified jurors (it worked); cooperatives of all kinds (e.g. the Park Slope Food Coop) that require a modicum of labor in exchange for membership.

I'd be willing to reject new applicants I didn't think qualified to serve on our board.

Our board operates FAR beneath the level of any entity in my professional or social life. There must be a better way.

--Need more participation

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Re: encouraging participation - GK Sep 03, 2007


"Sounds like we're hearing just from the well-run corporations...how about the badly-run ones?"

I was the first to respond and I wouldn't exactly consider our co-op to be run well. Our co-op is run much like a monarchy.

"Think of jury duty, where such changes were made to get better-qualified jurors (it worked) . . . "

That's a very interesting point and now you've got me thinking. In fact I've always considered board service to be quite similar to jury service: it's a duty AND a privilege. (Most people don't view jury duty as a privilege. What can I say? I do.) I'm curious about how that might work in practical terms. With jury duty there is quite an elaborate selection process in place, culminating in voir-dire, with an effort to construct a diverse and neutral pool; in a scenario where people are being elected, I'm not sure how that would work, exactly. Interesting, though.

"I'd be willing to reject new applicants I didn't think qualified to serve on our board."

This would require some fairly complicated legislative changes, would it not? At least, if you wanted to do it legally?

"Our board operates FAR beneath the level of any entity in my professional or social life."

Yep, so does ours.

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Re: encouraging participation - GK Sep 03, 2007


Oops, it just occurred to me that in the system you propose, GM, people would not be elected since board service would be mandatory.

How would that work, practically speaking? One would need to come up with some sort of schedule. I think that your idea is probably a bit Utopian and would be difficult if not impossible to implement, but I'm very interested in hearing how you think it COULD work.

Implicit in your idea is the notion of term limits, which I'm extremely interested in pursuing. Another thing that might be considered is not requiring anyone who has lived in the co-op for one year or less to serve. That way people could get the lay of the land a bit before plunging into building governance. But, beyond that, how would the cohort be selected? and by whom?

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just a funny thought.. - AR Sep 14, 2007


I used to know of some companies that had that "use our garbage removal service, or you can't do business.." motto.

I dont think they are around anymore... (in the way ther were anyway!)

~AR

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