Working Government - Dandelion

Tags: Dandelion, Decision-making, Government, Manager-Planner System

Working Government

Working Government DN-A2

Dandelion Community Cooperative Inc.

Article 1. General Plan

The community shall be governed by a body of the full members, advised by a board of three planners, and by as many managers as may be deemed necessary and appointed by the governing body, all acting under the guidance and limitations of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the Cooperative.

Article 2. Powers and Duties of the Governing Body

A. To establish and approve general policies;
B. To approve the use of Community resources, allocating money and labor to areas of work of other community activities;
C. To arbitrate all disputes between members and managers, between members and members and between managers;
D. To decide issues which do not fall within any managerial area;
E. To settle disputes about the interpretation of the Articles of Incorporation, the By-laws, this document on the Working Government, and other such legal and quasi-legal documents.

Article 3. Powers and Duties of the Planners

A. To keep in mind the goals of the Community as set out in its By-laws, visions and long-term strategies and take a leadership role in making sure that these goals and the long-term survival and growth of the Community are considered by the governing body when making decisions;
B. To meet regularly, along with the alternatives whenever possible, before Community decision-making meetings and the Community's semi-annual planning meetings to consider the impact of existing proposals on the Community's survival and growth, and to formulate new proposals promoting the Community's growth and survival;
C. To make recommendations to the governing body on any proposals affecting the Community's long-term survival and growth and on the appointment of new planners and of managers, and to perform managerial duties which may be left unattended by a resigning or recalled manager in the interim while a suitable replacement is selected;
D. To oversee the Community's decision-making process, making sure that regular meetings are held and facilitating or arranging for someone to facilitate those meetings;
E. To represent the Community in its dealings with the outside world where officers are required to sign documents or in other such matters.

Article 4. Community Meetings and the Decision-making Process

A. "Community meeting" shall hereafter refer to any Community decision-making meeting dealing with anything referred to in Article 2;
B. Such meetings shall occur regularly once a week whenever possible, and at whatever other times may be deemed necessary. An agenda shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to regular meetings and as early as possible for other meetings.
C. All Community meetings shall be open to members and shall be announced in such a way that all members present in the community are likely to know of their occurrence.
D. Quorum: It shall be necessary for the three planners, or their alternates to a total of three, or two-thirds of the full membership and one full planner, to be present for decisions to be made.
E. Except where otherwise specified in the Bylaws, decisions shall be made by a 2/3 majority of the full members present at the meeting following a discussion allowing all opinions to be heard. Each full member has one vote and at no time may have more than one vote. Neither proxy nor absentee votes shall be cast except in the case of membership votes.
F. Process: The Community shall attempt to conduct meetings in such a way as to encourage the participation of all members and provisionals present, and to make meetings as positive an experience as possible for the group as a whole and for each individual present. The following specific practices shall be used at each meeting:
1. A facilitator or facilitators shall:
a)help the Community decide what it wants to accomplish in the meeting and then help the meeting achieve these goals;
b)help meeting participants be aware that each person has contributions to make to the group;
c)help integrate the functions or roles of the planners with those of the larger group.

The facilitator(s) at no time make(s) decisions for the meeting or take(s) on functions which are the responsibility of the group as a whole.
2. A working agenda for the meeting shall:
a)be easily visible or accessible by everyone at the meeting;
b)include proposed time limits for each item;
c)include an agenda review during which the meeting can make changes in the agenda.

(See Resource Manual for a Living Revolution by Coover, Deacon, Esser & Moore)

G. The membership at large shall have access to the minutes to any Community meeting within one week of the meeting in question.

Article 5. Terms of Office of Planners, Method of Selection, etc.

A. Term of Office
1. Under ordinary circumstances, the term shall be 18 months.
2. The term may end sooner only by reason of resignation, taking up residence as a dual member in another community, death or recall (see Bylaws, Article 4 ©).
B. Time of Taking Office
1. Terms of office shall begin each April 12 and October 12.
2. Terms of office shall be staggered so a new planner takes office every six months.
C. Method of Appointment
1. A new planner shall be recommended by the present board of planners, including the planner whose term of office is ending. The recommendation need not be unanimous on the part of the board; a majority (two planners out of three) shall suffice.
2. The planners shall make their recommendation at a regular Community meeting where it shall be voted upon.
3. If the recommendation is not accepted by 2/3 of the full members present at the meeting, the planners shall select another candidate and the process shall be repeated until:
a) a candidate is approved by the membership, OR
b) all eligible candidates are proposed and rejected by the membership. Then the planners are free to re-select any one of the eligible persons who is then automatically the new planner without needing further approval.
4. Two alternate or stand-in planners shall also be appointed in the same manner every six months for a six month term. There is no obligation to appoint one of the alternates to the next vacancy on the board, but the alternate position may be considered a position of apprenticeship.
5. If a planner's position should become vacant before the completion of a regular term, a new planner shall be appointed to serve only until the end of the un-expired term and may be re-appointed to only one succeeding term, provided that the un-expired portion of the term to be completed is six months or longer. In the event that a person shall take an unfinished term of which there remains less than six months to serve, that person shall be eligible for reappointment to as many as two succeeding 18 month terms.
6. Criteria for Choosing Planners: Planners shall be at least 18 years of age (see section 89 (1) Cooperative Corporations Act, 1973, of Ontario), Full members of the Community, and shall have been in attendance at at least half of the Community meetings held in the preceding six months.
7. No planner shall serve more than two successive terms on the board (except as mentioned in section 5 above). Any member may be appointed to serve more than two terms on the board of planners so long as that member does not serve more than two successive terms. (Non-succession may be taken to mean any period of time between terms.)

Article 6. Powers and Duties of Managers

A. Managers shall be appointed by the governing body of the Community upon the recommendation of the planners, and may be removed by a similar process.
B. Managers shall ordinarily retain their positions until they should choose to resign or until the governing body should choose to replace them.
C. Criteria for Choosing Managers: Managers shall be those persons best qualified to do the job. "Qualified" may mean technically qualified, or qualified by personality, or it may from time to time mean the only person available.
D. The authority of a manager shall ordinarily extend until it conflicts with the authority of another manager, that of the planners or the governing body, or the objection of some member, in which case the conflict shall be referred to a Community meeting for a decision. Managerial authority does not include the spending of large sums of money without the approval of the governing body.
E. Members, provisionals or non-members may become managers. No member shall be barred from a managership for any reason except lack of capacity and willingness to do the job.