Who is responsible for cooperative democracy?

This week I will attend a special meeting of the members of a coop in which I participate. The purpose is to approve a change in the bylaws prior to the annual meeting. The change will reduce the number of board members from 15 to 12.

The bylaws have not been updated in 20 years. All changes must be approved by the members. Some background for the change was sent in advance:

“While there’s no fixed rule on the number of Directors a Board should have for a group like ours, what makes sense is to have a size that’s both large enough to bring sufficiently diverse viewpoints and skills to bear on accomplishing the work of developing, guiding, and managing the organization, and also small enough to function effectively.

Given that Board service is a three-year commitment, it has also become more difficult to find members willing to stand for election each year. Twelve members will still assure that the Board is flexible and diverse, and provide enough hands to do the work required, while not overtaxing our use of member volunteers.


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