Steering Committee Mandate

Steering 2014-11-17


The Steering Committee is responsible for making critical decisions for the Great Oak community in time-urgent situations when a community meeting cannot be scheduled in time. The committee is made up of one representative from each standing committee and will operate by consensus, with four members as a quorum necessary to make a decision.


Steering committee is empowered, as per the Master Deed, to make critical decisions for the full community in those rare time-urgent situations when a community meeting cannot be scheduled in time to address the issue.

Steering is comprised of one representative from each standing committee (currently Finance & Legal, Grounds, Membership, Common House, Process, Meals, Buildings, Work).

The convener of each committee is the default Steering representative unless the committee designates a different member. Steering members are expected to have email access. Steering members other than convener will not get any additional work credit.

Steering committee has a convener who gets work credit for this position. The Steering convener does not have to be a committee convener.

Steering committee has an email group, <>. The Steering email group is open to ...listeners... of Great Oak community members.


The Steering committee will meet only as necessary, when a critical decision for the full community is needed, in those rare time-urgent situations when a community meeting cannot be scheduled in time to address the issue.

Four Steering members will be considered the quorum necessary to make a decision, and they will discuss and decide the issue in person. Effort will be made by Steering to include as many Great Oakers as possible, to apprise the community of the situation and enable input and participation in the decision.

Steering meetings and agendas are announced ahead of time (recognizing that in many cases Steering may not know much about its agenda ahead of time).

Whenever Steering committee makes a decision for the community, the Steering convener (or another designated member of Steering) will communicate to the full community what they have decided, over email and at the next community meeting.

Steering Committee operates by consensus. Steering has been small enough that it has generally self-facilitated in the past, but any member can request that someone step into the facilitator role or arrange for an outside facilitator ahead of time.

The Steering convener does the following:
- announces Steering meeting
- collects agenda items
- emails out all known agenda items to the community ahead of time
- makes sure that minutes are taken at meetings and that the minutes are distributed by the minute taker to the full community after editing
- makes sure that decisions made in lieu of the full community are communicated to the community via email and in person at a community meeting.

The Steering convener is also, by definition in our bylaws, the President of the Great Oak Cohousing Association. This does not provide any extra decision making power for that person. It only means that their signature may be the requested on official documents such as easements.

It is the expectation that the convener not hold the role for more than 2 years. The current convener will talk with the Steering committee in considering an appropriate replacement, and will approach suggested members to consider the role.


November 2014 (consensed upon at the 2014-11-17 community meeting), the agreement was not entered at the time, so the above date does not reflect time it was consensed.

Process Comments:

No known blocks or stand asides