I’ve been looking more and more into this co-op idea, and it seems amazing – even my wife seems super excited at the idea!
The one thing that is still very scary to me is the idea of ending up in a situation where the person enforcing the rules is doing so overzealously – kind of like my HOA has done in the past. I do understand that we could vote to remove the current leadership very quickly, but it would potentially be too late for some of our members, right?
Suppose, for example, that I’ve invested my entire net worth into this project. I’ve got a house, barn, well, garden, and a greenhouse – probably worth a few hundred thousand dollars. Then I come to find out that the fertilizer I’ve been using in my garden for the past three months isn’t approved for organic use. Since I’m a repeat offender (even though it was unintentional), my membership could technically be terminated, right? And if that were to happen, wouldn’t I lose everything, going from self-sufficiency to homeless and destitute overnight?
I very much doubt the current leadership would ever do something like that – but isn’t it a possibility that eventually we’d elect someone that would? And even if we could remove them from leadership quickly, that might only be after our co-op had ruined the lives of some of our friends and (former) co-members.
I’m really hoping I’m just mistaken about something fundamental, and if your membership is terminated, you don’t lose your house or something
Thanks so much, I’m looking forward to coming out to take a tour pretty soon!
To expand on Philip’s response:
The co-op would be more tempted to terminate your membership if you were to become a convicted arms dealer or child molester than if you ignorantly threatened our organic food grower status. The latter can be easily remedied. Either way, you could still sell your share at market value along with all your lot’s improvements. It would be immoral, if not illegal, for the co-op to confiscate your improvements.
Besides, let’s say you’re imprisoned for espionage, your family could still operate your farm while you’re vacationing in San Quentin. 😉
Philip Gleason’s response:
“Removing someone from their property takes way more than just saying that you are out of here. If you knowingly compromise the standing of the whole coop, then it would be necessary [for the co-op] to start trying to remedy the situation. We hope that our interviews exclude any that would continually threaten to hurt their neighbors.”