Policy Example: Decision Making Policy: options during a consensus decision

The following policy will apply to all consensus decisions made by the community and the Board of Directors. 
 
Participation: From Bylaws section 2
Members of the Association or the Board physically present or present via telephone at a meeting may participate in consensus polling during the course of such meeting.
 
Decision Options
There are four positions a member may take during a consensus decision.
Agree
Abstain
Stand Aside
Block
 
Agree:  Member agrees with the proposal
Abstaining:
Abstaining from a decision indicates that the member has no opinion or an unformed or ambivalent opinion about the proposal.   They do not need to state their reason for abstaining. The minutes of the meeting will reflect the abstaining positions.
Stand Asides and Blocks:
Members have two options for showing disagreement with a community proposal.   Prior to using these options, the members have the responsibility to bring up concerns during the discussion about the proposal.   In addition, the person considering blocking or standing aside, may request that a special committee be convened prior to the decision to discuss these concerns.
Stand Asides:  A stand aside indicates that the member does not agree with a decision but will not stop the community from making that decision. Reasons for standing aside will vary. Example of reasons include that the member believes the proposal is:
Too narrow/not holistic
They see a better way
Harmful  to individuals
Violates personal beliefs and values
Expectations of Stand Aside:
It is expected that the person will state the reason for standing aside to be reflected in the minutes. In the event of a stand aside, the Board will convene a meeting with the person to decide their level of participation in the implementation of the decision.
Blocking: A Block indicates the person disagrees and wants to stop the community from proceeding with a decision. 
Two Criteria for Blocks:
1. Violation of Community vision and values
2. Severe Harm to the entire community
If a person presents a block, the facilitator will remind the person of the two valid criteria for blocking, and ask him/her to review whether he/she believes the reason for the block meets this criteria.  If, upon reflection, she/he still wishes to block, the following process takes place.
Post Block Procedure
Meeting: A committee will be created to discuss the position of the member blocking. Committee will consist of 2 members selected by the Board of Directors, one member selected by the person blocking.  The Board will create a timeframe for the meetings.   If the person blocking is a member of the board they will not participate in determining this timeframe.
Decision Re-Proposed: The decision is brought to the community either amended or not for a second round of decision.
“If consensus cannot be reached on an issue after two meetings…a third meeting may be called and voting may be used. A decision to hold a third meeting and to shift from consensus to voting shall require an affirmative vote of 50 percent of the voting power present at the second meeting. A decision on such issue at the third meeting shall require an affirmative vote of 67 percent of the voting power present for the vote.”  From Bylaws section 2
Non-Quorum Meetings:
See Section 3.11 and 4.6 of the By Laws.
In the event that there is not a quorum at meeting, a person absent from the meeting may sign the minutes of that meeting, and will be counted as present for the purpose of achieving a quorum.

Tags: