Twin Oaks Intentional Community
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1. If during the three-month input process or after a provisional member receives an EXTEND outcome on their six-month poll or on a poll on a returning ex-member, the members of the community make it known to the Membership Team that they wish co to have a contract as a condition for cos membership, the following procedure will be followed.

2. A public feedback will precede the decision to make a contract through the membership process (groups such as the Health Team may decide to make particular types of contracts that do not require a public meeting). Members of the contract team (or the CMT in the case of returning ex-members) will attend the feedback.

3. The period for community input is from the time a feedback is announced until the contract team meets with the focus person to negotiate the contract. Ordinarily, at least 7 days will be allowed for this. At the feedback and through individual input, members should communicate their concerns about the focus person and any specific conditions they wish to see in the contract if there is to be one. The feedback group will recommend to the CT (or the CMT in the case of returning ex-members) whether or not they think a contract is appropriate. This is to encourage participation in the meeting process. The feedback group is encouraged to come to a unified recommendation. The idea of this process is to involve more members in dealing with problems and difficulties. The CT will consider the feedback group’s recommendation and any other pertinent information in determining whether or not the contracting process is the best option, and what terms the community wishes to have included in a contract.

4. When the feedback is scheduled, a meeting of the Contract Team will also be scheduled to occur as soon after the feedback as possible. At this meeting, the Contract Team will decide whether a contract is an appropriate and desirable option and will discuss what terms the community wants to have included in the contract. (In the case of returning ex-members, the CMT will determine within two days after the feedback whether a contract is desirable. The Contract Team will not be convened unless the CMT decides to pursue the contract option.)

5. If the CT decides to use the contracting process, the focus person is informed and a meeting is scheduled. Public notice to the membership is made announcing that a contract will be negotiated and soliciting any input from all members, whether or not they were present at the feedback. It is up to the focus person to arrange for an advocate if they want one. It is up to the CT to make sure that a meeting happens in as timely a manner as possible and that any relevant information needed to make the contract is gathered prior to the contract meeting. Once the feedback is announced, it is the responsibility of the membership at large to give input to the Contract Team ASAP so that the contracting process can be completed in as short a time as possible.

6. The focus person may choose not to be part of the contracting process and instead have an advocate present in cos place at the contract negotiating meeting although it is preferred that co participate in the meeting. Co will be reminded prior to the contract meeting specifically what the issues of concern are so that co can think about what co is willing to agree to.

7. A decision by the Contract Team to pursue the contract option does not obligate the team or the community to enter into a contract with the focus person if the CT and the focus person are unable to settle on mutually agreeable terms for the contract.

8. A contract is made between the focus person and Twin Oaks Community and is signed by the focus person and a member of the Contract Team as a representative of the community. One condition that will be part of every contract will be that the focus person agrees to drop cos membership if the CT determines that co has broken the contract irrevocably.

9. After the contract has been negotiated, it will be available for review and input for one week. The CT will re-negotiate the contract if, in their opinion, there is significant enough input that this should happen. This re-negotiation will be final. After the final contract has been agreed upon, there will be a poll on which the options will be: EXTEND WITH CONTRACT and REJECT. If 15% or more of the voting members vote REJECT, the person is rejected and cos membership ends when the results of the poll are tallied. At the discretion of the CMT, co may have one month to leave the community. In the case of returning ex-members, the poll options will be ACCEPT WITH CONTRACT and REJECT.

10. Once the contract is agreed to between the CT and the focus person, community members cannot ask for amendments without good reason (new problems arise, the focus person does not meet the terms of the contract that co signed, etc.).

11. A copy of the completed contract is kept in a mailbox so that members may refer to it if they so choose.

12. Any member can approach the CT if they feel that someone is not abiding by the terms of cos contract. The CT may solicit input from the community to see if more members have concerns and a public meeting may be called. The CT may call a public meeting if in the course of monitoring contract compliance it feels that a condition or conditions of the contract have not been met.

13. The purpose of such a meeting will be to talk about how the contract was broken, whether or not it needs to be adjusted or if it should be considered to have been irrevocably broken. The public meeting is encouraged to come to a unified recommendation. The CT will meet soon after the public meeting and will consider the recommendation of the public meeting and any other pertinent information in deciding whether or not the contract needs to be amended or whether it should be considered irrevocably broken. If it needs to be amended, the CT and the focus person will meet and negotiate an amendment and a copy of the new contract will be placed in a mailbox. The focus person is expected to honor the terms of the contract, in which co agrees to drop cos membership if it is considered irrevocably broken. If the focus person refuses to drop cos membership, the CT may cancel the contract (regardless of its stated expiration date), at which time a full member poll will be issued by the Membership Team. In the alternative, expulsion proceedings may be used.

14. Before a contract expires, a card will be posted asking the community if it wishes to have a public meeting regarding closure of the contract.

15. The Membership Team will issue a full member poll upon the expiration of a contract, in accordance with the procedures for first-time (six-month) provisional-to-full transition. (See Section II.B.)

16. The Contract Team will evaluate the effectiveness of each contract.

17. The Addressing Conflict policy is available to members if problems/concerns surface with the focus person after the expiration of cos contract.


It is a stressful experience to be a focus person in a conflict. We want to have a process that is sensitive to that fact, but that is also an effective tool for the community to deal with concerns about individual members. We want to have an atmosphere and a general community attitude that creates the possibility for people with as many differences as possible to live at Twin Oaks, balanced by the reality that it doesn’t always work out. When it is not working out, we need a process that allows and encourages everyone to be involved, balanced by a sensitivity toward the focus person’s position. We feel that the process should move along as quickly as possible and maintain a sense of privacy for the focus person. In order to help preserve privacy:

1. Contracts are not posted on the O&I or other "highly public" locations. They are a mailbox issue available to members only.

2. "Members Only" 3X5’s are posted with contract info on the back.

3. Contract meetings are held in a space that affords a level of privacy and an appropriate level of focus to the topic (no meetings over meals, etc.).