Greenbelt Housing Co-op Passes Non-Smoking Directive
GHI housing co-op members give their board the nod to come up with a proposal that would allow them to decide row by row to deny smoking.
Greenbelt Homes Inc. (GHI) members voted in favor of paving the way for the creation of non-smoking rows in their housing cooperative. At GHI’s recent annual membership meeting, voters authorized their board of directors to develop such a proposal.
After debate and amendment, members voted that they would have the last word on whatever proposal the board developed and that a row’s non-smoking designation could only come about through the unanimous agreement of members on that row.
The ball is now in the board’s court.
“I’m sure that they will take it up shortly, “ GHI General Manager Eldon Ralph said in an interview on Monday.
GHI Board Vice President Bill Jones said he is likely to bring up appointing a task force at the board's next meeting on Thursday.
In March, a row of cooperative members on Ridge Road's 13 Court started the drive to create smoke-free housing, row by row. Court members Judy Bell and Linda Curtis eventually collected 52 members' signatures and won the right to take up the issue at GHI's annual meeting.
Their petition read:
"We, the membership, direct the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Homes, Inc. to develop and implement a policy that would allow members of an entire row of units to revise their Mutual Ownership Contracts to indicate that smoking inside these units is not allowed."
But at Thursday’s meeting, members complained that the “develop and implement” language did not give them the final say. So they voted to approve both a primary amendment striking the word “implement” and a secondary amendment inserting “to develop a proposal for consideration by the membership.”
Bell also prevailed with her own amendment to add the word “unanimously” before “agree to revise.”
The final motion passed by a yes vote.
The approved motion states:
"We, the membership, direct the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Homes, Inc. to develop a proposal for consideration by the membership that would allow members of an entire row of units to unanimously agree to revise their Mutual Ownership Contracts to indicate that smoking inside these units is not allowed."
GHI members may not have hold their breath until next year’s annual meeting to say yeah or nay to the board’s proposal. It could wait until then, but the proposal may also be presented to members in a special meeting, Jones told members on Thursday.