Author Topic: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion  (Read 179803 times)

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Offline Radien

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*Update 8/15/08*

Click to download the finalized copy of the proposed amendment

The rest of this post is old and the proposal text is NOT updated, but I am going to leave it as it is since I don't have time for more changes.  For the most up-to-date info, download the above file.  If you want to follow the discussion that has taken place here, then read on...


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For those of you who attended the meeting today (Sunday August 3rd), you may have been there when I proposed a change to Kumori Con's bylaws. It specifically affects the general staff and what they can vote on.  The board requested that I post it on the forums so everyone has a chance to discuss, ask questions, and make suggestions.

I decided to post in the public General Discussion forum. This seemed appropriate, because my purpose with this amendment was to make the election process more open to the public, so why not do the same with the proposal itself?  Non-staff may not be able to vote, but their voices can certainly be heard.  To start off, here is the proposal in its current form (it has received changes since the original was proposed at the last meeting).  There is a summary at the end for those who need it.

This proposition will be put to a vote at the final pre-con general meeting on Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at the Doubletree.

Quote
Proposition to Extend Staff's Right to Vote in Elections


This proposition would amend Kumori Con's bylaws with the following changes:

All previously board-elected positions will become staff-elected positions, following the exact same election procedure as the regular staff-elected positions. *

**

The Board will initially have the exclusive right to nominate candidates for Facilities Liaison and Treasurer before the election begins (and before a new board is elected). For each of those two positions, if less than two candidates are nominated by election day, the right to nominate will be extended to the staff membership.

Since this amendment would remove most of the voting boundaries between elected positions, both the Board and the general staff would be awarded the ability to remove an individual from office. Removal by the staff would still require a simple majority vote. However, to balance the Board's newly given ability to remove any officer regardless of election procedure, the 2/3 majority requirement would be increased to a 3/4 majority.



Summary:

As it currently stands, there is a separate, private meeting that takes place after the public elections, giving the board a chance to consider applicants for the four board-elected positions and vote on them.  Regular staff are not currently allowed to attend or vote at this election.  This amendment would effectively make that meeting public, extend the right to vote to all staff, and give staff the opportunity to hear all candidates.  The board would retain the right to nominate for Facilities Liaison and Treasurer, since those two positions deal with sensitive materials.

------------------------

This document does not yet represent the exact wording that would be used in the bylaws themselves; I am not an expert in legalese and wanted first to write it in a way that everyone could understand.  Suggestions for clarity are welcome, but first I would like to hear what people think about the intent of the proposal.

Please discuss!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update:

I've created a change log to keep track of changes to the proposal. If this part confuses you, please disregard it for now.

Since this is my proposal, I'm going to freely make changes to address the contributions of people who have taken part in the discussion.  I'm going to try to flow with what the public wants, since we're all voting on it a week from Saturday. Asterisks = ommissions, underlined = additions.


* Change #1 on 8/5/08 @ 10:54pm. Removed:
Quote
(except the Vice President, which will be noted below).

The Vice President's election will be merged with the President's election.  The first runner-up in the President's election will be appointed to Vice President. Consequently, the President's election will always require at least two nominated candidates."

(On 8/6/08 at 9:22pm, I changed the quote tags to make sure no one mistakenly thinks that the summary is part of the actual proposed amendment)

** Change #2 on 8/10/08 @ 5:52pm. Removed:
Quote
The elections for the previously board-elected positions will take place at a separate public meeting at least two weeks after board elections.  There should be enough time between the two elections for additional nominations to be considered.

Change #3 on 8/10/08 @ 5:52am. Added the passage beginning with:
Quote
The Board will initially have the exclusive right to nominate candidates for . . .
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 03:55:09 pm by Radien »
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Offline Radien

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2008, 11:18:02 pm »
Apologies for the double-post, but I wanted to separate my opinions from the proposal itself.


So, here are my thoughts on this:

This proposition came about because a number of us believe that the current election process for board-elected positions is not working very well, and it's time for a change. Turning it into a general election would not only increase staff involvement in the election process, but also allow staff to learn more about the people who take on these positions, their goals, and what they plan to do (and have already done) to meet those goals.

In short, even if the results of the election don't change much, this should produce better communication between the board and the staff, and bring a wider variety of viewpoints to attention. I am also hoping that it will encourage there to be more candidates for these positions, increasing our pool of skills and talent, and taking some of the burden off of board members who are taking on too many responsibilities.

I encourage everybody to give this a lot of discussion in the next two weeks.  If some really good points are made, I might amend the above proposal before it is put to a vote.

Also, the board would like me to remind you that anyone who has registered as staff can present a similar proposal if they think they know of a better method, either now or later.
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Offline JeffT

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 12:32:37 am »
I see lots of benefits to this. However, I am wondering, why have the vice chair election done differently than the other positions? The chair and vice chair have different roles, and a person may want to run for one but not necessarily the other. I especially see this in somebody just wanting to run for vice chair.

Even besides that, this means that a single staff vote will have two consequences and it doesn't allow people to differentiate the purposes for their votes. For example, what if a candidate for chair is very popular, and gets a landslide vote? That means only a small minority of the voters will have "participated" in the vice chair vote. Not only that, but it's arbitrary--it's like saying, if for some reason you do not agree with the majority who will vote for the winning chair, then you get to influence the vice chair position, but otherwise, you don't? It leads to weird strategic voting situations.

Why not just include the vice chair as one of the staff-elected positions like all the others, and do that vote after the chair? That way, a candidate who runs for chair can then run for vice chair if they don't win. And, a candidate can run for only vice chair specifically. And, all the staff members get to cast a meaningful vote for both. I see that as much more effective at selecting the best candidate for each, than having the vice chair selected almost by "accident".
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Offline superjaz

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008, 07:00:06 am »
First off I think this is a great idea, the position that are proposed to be added to staff vote are all one that have had trouble being filled in the past, by making it somthing that staff can vote for, I feel it will bring the positions to more to light and more interest, and the con can chose better who they want to represent them.

(in no way is this a diss at the current staff I know you guys work hard)

I agree on the vice chair thing, I'm not sure I just want it to be a runners up thing cuz it seems most years we are very lucky if we have 2 con chair nominations,
I feel that sinces it is such a position that needs to work with the chair  such a way might not be best
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 04:22:47 pm by superjaz »
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Offline Radien

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008, 10:36:03 am »
JeffT:

When I was discussing ideas Vallie prior to typing this up, she and I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the vice chair would be willing to take on the chair position by combining the two races. However, that was under the assumption that our vice chair position is more similar to the chair position than, for instance, Vice President of the United States to the President of the United States.

Your suggestion makes sense.  Since there is a gap between the two elections, anyone who runs for chair and doesn't get it would have time to decide whether they want to run for vice chair. (assuming they are nominated again, of course)

Your second suggestion is a lot like a "two-round" election.  After the chair is elected, the runners up would compete for vice chair. However, I like your first suggestion best (partially because it's simpler).

Superjaz:

You're right; the prospect of becoming con chair right off the bat might scare off somebody only wanting to be vice chair, even if they totally understand that vice chair may succeed the chair if s/he has to step down for whatever reason.

I'd be fine with changing that passage. Anybody else have an opinion on that (or anything else, for that matter)?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 10:37:14 am by Radien »
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Offline babysugarbear28

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2008, 01:12:15 pm »
As is stands right now the Con-Chair appoints someone to be his vice doesn't he/she? Funny thing is the vice job isn't as much like the con chair job as people would like to think. The vice takes care of all the little things that aren't being done by the departments while they lack people so things like staff hotel room rates were first taken care of by dawn then handed over to someone else when he filled the position. Vice does a ton of small things like that and the big question is...

What if the two people running for con-chair don't get along and one person wins chair and the other takes vice? It helps no one to have a con chair and a con vice that can't work together especially as much as the two positions have to deal with eachother.

I don't like the idea of combining the two races though I do like the idea of making the second election more open to the staff members so that we do have a better idea of who is doing what and who they are. Even if the first step on the second election isn't to open the voting to the staff members just yet, just knowing more about the candidates and why they were chosen for a position helps us all out and makes the board members seem alittle more personable and not so "scary". It makes it a tad bit easier for us all to interact with these people when they don't come off as the mysterious big bad board members. I don't find these weirdos scary but I know alot of people who do just because they aren't as involved in this process.

Offline Jamiche

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 02:40:18 pm »
Currently, the vice-chair is voted on by the elected board members (the four directors and the con chair).  The chair can make a recommendation, but they do not have the only say in it.

As it stands in the current by-laws, while the general staff doesn't get to vote, they are the ones who nominate the candidates for the position... we didn't just pick anyone we wanted.  It was the same process as the elected positions, the only difference was it was the board who did the final voting.


« Last Edit: August 04, 2008, 03:15:55 pm by Jamiche »
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Offline Radien

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2008, 02:59:01 pm »
What if the two people running for con-chair don't get along and one person wins chair and the other takes vice? It helps no one to have a con chair and a con vice that can't work together especially as much as the two positions have to deal with eachother.

I have a rather unforgiving answer to this:

Anybody elected to the position of con chair or vice chair should be ready and willing to work alongside people they disagree with, without acting on personal grudges. If you don't know how to compromise and mediate, you don't belong in a position of such power as chair or vice chair. The highest ranking person at the convention should be someone who can interact diplomatically with any other board member (and, ideally, any staffer).

If they can't, then the board and/or staff may very well enter gridlock, and if that ever happens, it really doesn't matter what other skills they brought to the table.


...Beyond that, Babysugerbear, I agree with everything else you said. :)


(Gotta go; I'll respond to Jamiche later today.)
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Offline JeffT

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2008, 08:03:07 pm »
JeffT:

When I was discussing ideas Vallie prior to typing this up, she and I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the vice chair would be willing to take on the chair position by combining the two races. However, that was under the assumption that our vice chair position is more similar to the chair position than, for instance, Vice President of the United States to the President of the United States.

Your suggestion makes sense.  Since there is a gap between the two elections, anyone who runs for chair and doesn't get it would have time to decide whether they want to run for vice chair. (assuming they are nominated again, of course)

Your second suggestion is a lot like a "two-round" election.  After the chair is elected, the runners up would compete for vice chair. However, I like your first suggestion best (partially because it's simpler).

Oh, I wasn't aware I had posted two differing suggestions. :P

Basically, I was simply suggesting that the vice chair is just like all the other staff-election board positions. And, like all positions, candidates can run for more than one. You could run for both chair and vice chair. You could run just for chair. Or you could run for just vice chair. In other words, the runners up for chair can run for vice chair, but would not automatically be nominated as such. Also, nominees for vice chair would not automatically be nominees for chair. And, the chair election would be held first.

The only thing this doesn't allow for is if a candidate wishes to run for both positions, but would prefer vice chair even though they are willing to do chair. For this to work, and presuming that the candidate didn't want to sacrifice the possibility of being chair just for a shot at vice chair, the candidate would run for chair, perhaps get elected, and then remain in the nomination for vice chair. If they won, they would step down from chair. Then we would re-do the chair election. But I don't see that as being very common.

One general thing to keep in mind is that if the chair position becomes vacant, the vice chair does not fill it for the duration of the year; only until the special election for a new chair.

Anybody elected to the position of con chair or vice chair should be ready and willing to work alongside people they disagree with, without acting on personal grudges. If you don't know how to compromise and mediate, you don't belong in a position of such power as chair or vice chair. The highest ranking person at the convention should be someone who can interact diplomatically with any other board member (and, ideally, any staffer).

If they can't, then the board and/or staff may very well enter gridlock, and if that ever happens, it really doesn't matter what other skills they brought to the table.

I definitely agree with this. Since this was in response to Rachael's comment, let me elaborate a bit.

Not speaking for Rachael, but when I read her comment, what came to my mind is something like the following situation: Two people are running for chair and vice chair (one of them preferring chair and the other preferring vice chair) and both have a good expectation of winning, and would like working together. (Or they are running for "chair" if it is a combined vote.) The staff membership may prefer this chair/vice chair pairing but if the vice chair is determined by the second-place winner, then who should the staff vote for? If they vote for the person who prefers chair, the person preferring vice chair may get few votes, leaving a third candidate who may not have majority approval to get the vice-chair position. It leaves people having to think about strategic voting rather than just voting their preference. (Although in a majority vote system where there are more than two candidates, strategic voting situations can still happen, it is far less common and is only rarely a significant issue.)

If the vice chair election is separate, it allows the winning chair to endorse a vice chair, while letting the staff decide.

Those are some of the reasons I don't like the second-place vice chair system, but I think that that can be separated from the proposal of having the vice chair be a staff-elected position.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 12:33:20 am by JeffT »
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008, 09:41:42 pm »
I always vote strategically. Then again, I do most things strategically.  ::)

Now that I've read the arguments for and against it I'm just not sure about the unified election for chair and vice chair. Vice Chair is a hard position to define due to the WIDE variety of stuff they've done in the past. The only thing we haven't asked of a Vice Chair is to literally take over because the Chair quit. Sure Dawn stepped in but we all knew Mike was coming back.

I also worry about the perpetual lack of candidates. Look at our elections the last couple years. Brownie vs Mike, Meg vs Waffles, **self-censored**.... a lot of the people who run tend to do so out of a spirit of competition. This would assuredly put an end to casual candidates but I'm not sure how much that'd help.
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Also, just checking since there was never a new org chart made >_>
but the Facilities Liaison is currently appointed by the board but does not receive a vote in board decisions. Correct?
.
.
.
I hope that the Board has time to discuss this and actually comes here to post complaints/suggestions so we can have a REAL VOTE at the next General Meeting.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16th.
That's plenty of time to modify and sharpen this thing into a finely honed piece of legislature!
This isn't something that should be twisted into a "suggestion" or "request". It needs to be decided,
very clearly, so that we can all drop the discussion and get on with the con. If this isn't settled there'll be afar too much drama and distrust at the convention itself.
(sure people may be sore losers but that's the way votes work, the people with the least votes lose)

Yay or nay, we need an answer because during con we need to focus on con, then focus on nominations, then focus on platforms, then focus on votes. Definitely in that order.
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Offline JeffT

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2008, 09:52:32 pm »
I always vote strategically. Then again, I do most things strategically.  ::)

Sorry, it's voting jargon. :) If you want more, check out the thread where I discuss the mascot voting.

Also, just checking since there was never a new org chart made >_>
but the Facilities Liaison is currently appointed by the board but does not receive a vote in board decisions. Correct?

The Facilities Liaison does have a vote, the same as the other 3 board-elected positions on the board. The org chart online had this shown incorrectly, which was an error (nothing was changed in the bylaws)...however, the error in the org chart diagram was fixed 9 months ago. :)

I hope that the Board has time to discuss this and actually comes here to post complaints/suggestions so we can have a REAL VOTE at the next General Meeting.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16th.
That's plenty of time to modify and sharpen this thing into a finely honed piece of legislature!

Don't worry, I have brought this thread to the attention of the board on the directors mailing list (for those who weren't at the meeting Sunday). We realize the timeline and I hope we all do attend to it. :) This isn't out of the blue as working on problems in the bylaws has been something on our plate for a long time, which unfortunately has continued to be delayed, so I can understand the need to bring up this proposal (or others) at this time.
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2008, 10:01:02 pm »
Don't worry, I have brought this thread to the attention of the board on the directors mailing list (for those who weren't at the meeting Sunday). We realize the timeline and I hope we all do attend to it. :) This isn't out of the blue as working on problems in the bylaws has been something on our plate for a long time, which unfortunately has continued to be delayed, so I can understand the need to bring up this proposal (or others) at this time.

Two of you is a very good start. I can understand the bylaws getting pushed aside for other issues since the issues have been MASSIVE in some cases. This is the first time that there's been such an emphasis on speed since bylaw amendments became a thing to put together at this con. Hopefully the other "big issues" will be taken care of so next meeting can feature good news from each director and then a nice block of discussion, debate, and voting!

...and Jaki was quick to dodge my lurker bullets on an important issue like this. ;)
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Offline babysugarbear28

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2008, 12:22:25 am »
*sniffles* my name is spelt Rachael...

Anyway thank you Jamiche for clarifying that for me. I wasn't sure about it.

Still though the vote for chair and the vote for vice should be two separate votes though you have the ability to run for both. Also I hope to see more staff activity when it comes to the run for vice and chair and alike... though me personally I will stick with reg for a year or two more...

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2008, 12:33:29 am »
*sniffles* my name is spelt Rachael...

Oh sorry, I spelled it right in one place, wrong in the other. Sorry :( (fixing...)
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2008, 12:45:27 am »
*sniffles* my name is spelt Rachael...
It's funny, because I know 2 Rachels and they always complain that everyone always spells it Rachael, and today alone I've seen multiple occasions where you've had to correct people. :P

Anyway, on subject, this is a really major subject, one that must be handled tenderly for the sake of the convention.  I do think, however, that it would be better resolved after the convention, rather than trying to cram it into the final general meeting before the con.  It's quite necessary to debate the subject patiently; if we don't share views verbally, it could wind up with regret if the wrong decision is made.  If we try to rush the discussion, people may blunder through it and create rifts.
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Offline melchizedek

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2008, 01:33:54 am »
I likey the idea of less board appointed positions.  Though not sure about the detail, hopefully if this goes through it'll make for a smoother 2009 than 2008.
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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2008, 03:04:42 am »
Wierdly, I don't have a problem with Vice Chair becoming more openly voted on.  Since Mike and I are both new to the con and work together alot, it may have discouraged people from coming to me with questions and concerns.  Alot of people see us as kinda one unit (which I find very odd.) 

Vice has to get along with every director.  Most of my work as vice has been dealing with interdepartmental matters.  I've actually done work for every Directorship except Relations this year.  Oh wait, I lie.  I did a little with Relations, but not much. 

Facilities has a vote, but no department.  I like keeping that board appointed.  Facilities Liasion makes no decisions about the hotel.  The Board makes all decisions and the liason does their best to carry out that will.  While I prefer having it Board appointed, I am not going to lose sleep if it changes.

Secretary ... I have no opinion on that at this time. 

Treasurer ... I am too tired to post coherently about right this one right now.  I tried to write it twice and, yeah, maybe in the morning :)
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2008, 07:03:15 am »
I think that if you have a vote on the board then you should be elected by the staff.
I didn't used to care because the Founders used to have votes. Once they stepped back to advisor status I felt that the rest of the board positions should be put on the same level. If the Facilities Liaison didn't have a vote then I'd be just fine with him being appointed by the board.

As for Tofu's comment about this waiting until later, there is no later. There is the next meeting, then the convention, then the elections.

One more thing in this proposition's favor that just came to mind, it sets a specific and public turn around time for the selection of the "secondary" positions. Two weeks is pretty safe, it gives people a chance to think over their being nominated.

Also, I have a feeling that the election will get the usual amount of people but the second election will get much less press. So it might end up that instead of the board alone making the decision, it will be the board and the dozen or so most interested staffers.

Remember, if this gets voted into the bylaws and doesn't work, it can be amended back the way things were at any point during the year.
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2008, 09:40:42 am »
...and Jaki was quick to dodge my lurker bullets on an important issue like this. ;)

I post when I have something to say, so they are more meaningful :P

The post I made above was to clarify the process, not my take on the issue.  I think making the Vice-chair position open for staff vote is a great idea, but make it separate from Chair (as has been stated by others).

Secretary and Facilities - I can see both ways.  They have a certain amount of responsibilities (records, contract negotiations. etc), that makes me leery of a general staff vote (during general elections, there isn't much time to really question, discuss and think about a candidates qualifications), but it could be made to work.  It's something to think about, anyway...

Treasurer - personally, I don't feel this should be open to vote.  This position takes a lot of thought and discussion as to who we feel is responsible enough to handle it. and honestly.. I don't see that happening in a general election.  Usually, the election drags on, and by the end, people just want to get it over with (I know I do).

Like I said before, it's the general staff who nominate those for the board appointed positions.. we didn't just go out an pick them.  So, there is staff input there.  Staff were allowed the same opportunity to post questions for them to answer, and those who wanted to be involved in the process did so.  The only thing they weren't involved was the decision making process, and that was not done in one meeting... it was discussed for awhile before the appointments were made.

My 0.02 anyway.
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Offline Rathany

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2008, 10:17:29 am »
As for Tofu's comment about this waiting until later, there is no later. There is the next meeting, then the convention, then the elections.



True, but I don't think the propsal works as it stands.  It needs revisions.  In my previous comment, I did not point out that I think that the new way to vote in Vice Chair is a bad idea.  Others have already stated so.  But I will toss my two cents in a say that under that system I would never have become Vice.  I would never have run for Con Chair.  (Ok, wait, maybe that isn't a problem for some of you ;))  However, as has been demonstrated, I was willing to take over Chair.  I would've been Chair for the rest of the year if it was needed of me.  (I liked the way the power went to my head.)

If he gets this re-worked for the next meeting, then it's a different proposal with different implications.  It may just be that he got started on this too late in the year for this change to happen.  Or, it might need to be something voted in just before elections for it to happen this year.  Though, that would cause alot of confusion at that meeting.

I don't mean to sound like I am saying 'too late, so sorry'.  I am not saying that it's impossible, I am saying that it is tricky.  If staff want some changes we should try to make this happen.  But, it's kinda crunch time we don't have many more chances for votes.  A less sweeping version likely has a better chance to getting the support it needs to get passed at this point in tha year.  And, also I like slower change.  If we want to move towards an all-member-elected-board, I'd rather see us convert just two seats this year and go from there.  

Oh, and @Superjaz:  The staff can nominate for Board appointed positions.  

« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 10:21:55 am by Rathany »
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2008, 11:13:13 am »
The Vice Chair election is one of the ones where I'm very undecided on.  The problem is that I don't think it's really possible for anyone except the board to elect the best Vice Chair, simply due to the ambiguity of the position.  It's the responsibility of each individual board to define what that particular year's Vice Chair will be, because, if my understanding is correct, the Vice Chair serves as the position that fills in all the little cracks and keeps everything running smoothly. 

Think of it as a Train Engine.  The other Board members are like components, which combine to form a machine that should bring its 3800 passengers comfortably through the convention, going quickly and efficiently through the unwanted portions of the trip and highlighting the landscape of the situation.  The Vice Chair would then serve as the conductor; not a moving part of the machine, even when he/she is shoveling coal into the furnace, but always having a vital role in making the train operate properly.

Because a smooth con relies on a compatible board, I'm hesitant to take up a side on this.  It thus becomes questionable whether the staff would be able to consistently elect compatible members to the board.  No matter how qualified someone is, if they aren't compatible with the rest of the board, there will be time wasted, rifts formed, and progress lost.  I think that it is far too late in this con year to try to make a change this big.  It needs to be mulled over in depth by everyone independently and collaboratively. 
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2008, 01:05:40 pm »
The Vice Chair election is one of the ones where I'm very undecided on.  The problem is that I don't think it's really possible for anyone except the board to elect the best Vice Chair, simply due to the ambiguity of the position.

I'll give you the point that Board members are more familiar with ambiguity than the general staff.

I think that it is far too late in this con year to try to make a change this big.  It needs to be mulled over in depth by everyone independently and collaboratively. 

I don't care how much you don't like it, it needs to be voted on. Closure is a very important thing and getting the vote over with will give people that.

Make more arguments against the proposal and convince staff members to vote against it.
Don't try to brush it under the rug like so many other proposals.

Also, we can revise it! I could got edit the post right now! If you're on the fence on how to vote don't just put it off for another day. Procrastination has caused enough problems in the last month.
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Offline Rathany

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2008, 03:20:41 pm »

Also, we can revise it! I could got edit the post right now! If you're on the fence on how to vote don't just put it off for another day. Procrastination has caused enough problems in the last month.

Tom you are not the OP and not the one who made the proposal.  Also, editing it will cause confusion.  It will make the comments on it not make sense.  Make your own version or have the OP post a revised version.  Then we can comment on the revised version.  Please do not edit the post. 
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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2008, 04:21:55 pm »
Oh, and @Superjaz:  The staff can nominate for Board appointed positions.  
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2008, 04:25:58 pm »
Geeze guys, it wasn't a threat. Don't insult me.
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2008, 04:36:56 pm »
I think that it is far too late in this con year to try to make a change this big.  It needs to be mulled over in depth by everyone independently and collaboratively. 

I don't care how much you don't like it, it needs to be voted on. Closure is a very important thing and getting the vote over with will give people that.

Make more arguments against the proposal and convince staff members to vote against it.
Don't try to brush it under the rug like so many other proposals
That's the thing - if it's simply shot down, it can't mature.  I'll be voting against this because it's too general, but if we simply rush and get it done with, it has no chance to develop.  I do strongly feel that the voting process does have problems with dealing with a convention of this size, which is why I precisely don't want this brushed under the rug.  I don't want there to be a sense of closure because it's not ready for closure - and I don't foresee it becoming ready before the next meeting.

I have been proposing that we schedule a meeting specifically to discuss and vote on this crucial amendment.  I'm certainly not trying to brush it under the rug or procrastinate; I'm trying to plan.  "Proper planning prevents piss-poor performance."
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Offline Rathany

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2008, 05:20:59 pm »

I have been proposing that we schedule a meeting specifically to discuss and vote on this crucial amendment.  I'm certainly not trying to brush it under the rug or procrastinate; I'm trying to plan.  "Proper planning prevents piss-poor performance."

That is likely the only way an admentment could pass when it's proposed at such a late date.  But still, it needs revision and support.  One possible way to show support for this to the Board would be a poll or petition.  We are not going to hold a meeting without people saying 'I will vote for this as-is'.

How I would go about it?  Make two proposals, each with it's own poll.  One would be to make all 4 positions staff elected.  The other would be a comprised version where Vice, and possibly one other director, would become staff elected.  In both, axe the whole '2nd place Chair becomes Vice' thing. 

Since this was introduced so late in the year, this is going to need active and organized effort to get to a vote. 
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2008, 06:12:33 pm »
I would suggest that it be divided and voted on for each argument separately.


Thus, 5 amendments:

Amendment: Vice Chair becomes a membership-elected position.

Amendment: Secretary becomes a membership-elected position.

Amendment: Treasurer becomes a membership-elected position.

Amendment: Facility Liaison becomes a membership-elected position.

Amendment: Vice Chair is the runner-up in the Chair election.
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2008, 11:35:34 pm »
Well, so far it's been two days, we're only up to two pages of discussion.

Tofu, what do you mean it can't mature? You think that people forget about proposals that people made just because they were voted down? The only reason that the other proposals this year were not resubmitted is because they were rescinded by the people who made them.

It can be changed before the meeting, but that is the job of ONE person.
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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2008, 12:18:32 am »
Just to weigh in on it all...

I've liked Steve's idea since I first heard about it, and I'm very happy all around on the response to it. 

The proposal itself is a fluid thing.  When helping flesh out the proposal, both Steve and I saw a lot of room for compromise with the entire proposition.  Steve has already edited out the different treatment of the Vice Chair selection so it is elected the same as the other positions.  No big deal.  :)
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Offline Radien

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2008, 12:46:44 am »
I've been a little busy for the past 36 hours, so I fell behind with replies.  My apologies.

I've read your responses, and I agree that one passage needed to be removed.  I've decided to strike the special clause for the Vice Chair from the proposal.  It was complicating the matter, and omitting it eliminates a number of problems. After hearing the discussion, I propose that we elect the Vice Chair in the same way as every other position. Since it's a previously-board-elected position, the election for Vice Chair would occur during the meeting following the Chair's election.




Since this was introduced so late in the year, this is going to need active and organized effort to get to a vote. 

I find this rather irrelevant, as I expect the proposal to go to vote regardless. "Because no one will vote for it" is not a valid reason for anyone to reject a proposal. If I thought the same, I could rescind the proposal, but I've quietly watched how con staff functions since '02, and I strongly believe that this format will benefit the con.

it needs revision and support.

Well, that's what this thread is for: two weeks of solid discussion, more than we'll ever get done at a general meeting.  Responding to that discussion is my responsibility. If I don't do my job of creating a proposal that will be accepted by the majority of eligible voters, it doesn't pass, and it's water under the bridge, until the issue resurfaces of course.

One possible way to show support for this to the Board would be a poll or petition.  We are not going to hold a meeting without people saying 'I will vote for this as-is'.

How I would go about it?  Make two proposals, each with it's own poll.  One would be to make all 4 positions staff elected.  The other would be a comprised version where Vice, and possibly one other director, would become staff elected.  In both, axe the whole '2nd place Chair becomes Vice' thing.

If someone else wants to make an alternative proposal, they are quite welcome, and have my blessing and possibly support. :)

However, I do not want to leave any major decisions left up to a forum poll. Forum threads are great for discussion, but a forum poll has no visible paper trail, and it's far too susceptible to ballot-stuffing from any old joe who comes across this thread. Trust me on this one; I've been frequenting internet forums for years, and admin'ed on two of them.




I would suggest that it be divided and voted on for each argument separately.

Thus, 5 amendments:

<etc.>

Personally, I believe that the essence of my proposal is the belief that board-elected positions do not produce a more reliable gauge of merit than a more general election, due to the current small size of the board and the frequency with which its members change.  We may find a better determinant at a later date, but right now I believe we *need* a general staff election for every role.  Fragmenting it would only confuse the issue.

The proposal also takes into account that the board does not lose their vote. It simply provides the rest of the staff the option to take part in the vote. Now, if the entire board shares similar opinions about a candidate, they may very well tip the scales.

Also, in considering the two voting bodies at the convention, remember that "no man is an island." Yes, we all make individual decisions, but the criteria on which we base our decisions are subject to a limited amount of information. This is why the general staff AND the board both turn towards our senior staffers (and sometimes ex-staff) for advice.

You see, the average convention voter only has time for a certain amount of research, so in most elections they listen very closely to the endorsements of past officers.  We only get a short time to learn about new faces, but past officers have had months or even years on the job to assert their reliability.  In this respect, the board holds a significant amount of sway, assuming the endorser already has the staff's vote of confidence.



That is why I think a general staff election will fly. After all, the board themselves owe their positions to our vote. So in a sense, their reliability is derived from the staff's reliability. The current system does more to complicate the issue than it does to provide protection.
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Offline babysugarbear28

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2008, 04:51:47 am »
Jamiche has a point about the treasurer position though. You can't just throw anybody into a position that involves money.

At this point in the year I actually do feel it is too late to be considering something with such a mad dash to have it recognized and enforced. Had this proposal come up earlier this summer then I would have no problem with it being decided on by the last general meeting before the con.

I feel that with the lack of people commenting on this subject it has not matured enough nor has enough staff actually having looked into it to consider it wise to place this proposal before the other staff members and tell them "Vote now!" Also you are getting less of the staff's actual view on here as a large number of the staff hardly troll the forums as much as any of us if they even have a screen name on the forums at all. Regardless of all that most people don't even know the full extent of the four jobs that are in question.

As of this point in time I think it would be wise to open up the secondary voting by the board members for public viewing and questioning (as a lot of great questions can come up this way that would otherwise be brushed over or forgotten) but not open it up yet for the staff as a whole to vote on.

OR

Your other option is to have a smaller general meeting in October (before the election meeting in November) to discuss this issue and have it voted on then, when there has been enough time for proper consideration. There is no need to rush your proposal straight to voting at the next general meeting. Let the members of the staff have time to mull over it and give it consideration of their own before voting on an issue that you feel is so important. If you don't have time to chew your food before you swallow you might end up choking on it. I would much rather see this issue given time to be considered rather than rush it and watch it die or on the other hand be swept under the rug at the next meeting because there isn't enough time to give it proper consideration that I do believe it deserves.

Also Tom, no one here is trying to shoot down the idea or sweep it under the rug. Those of us who are really looking at this idea would like to have more than ten days to look it over and consider our options and the consequences/benefits of our actions in full.

Waiting till October gives you the ability to cover all your bases, have a great deal more involvement, allows people the ability to understand even more about the positions in question and decide for sure if they really do want such important decisions decided completely by the general staff. Not only that but having a meeting called in October ensures that the subject that you want discussed, deliberated and doesn't get swept under the rug especially with the high tension we are ALL dealing with right now trying to get everything in place for the convention itself.


The proposal also takes into account that the board does not lose their vote. It simply provides the rest of the staff the option to take part in the vote. Now, if the entire board shares similar opinions about a candidate, they may very well tip the scales.

Also, in considering the two voting bodies at the convention, remember that "no man is an island." Yes, we all make individual decisions, but the criteria on which we base our decisions are subject to a limited amount of information. This is why the general staff AND the board both turn towards our senior staffers (and sometimes ex-staff) for advice.

You see, the average convention voter only has time for a certain amount of research, so in most elections they listen very closely to the endorsements of past officers.  We only get a short time to learn about new faces, but past officers have had months or even years on the job to assert their reliability.  In this respect, the board holds a significant amount of sway, assuming the endorser already has the staff's vote of confidence.


My only real questions for you now... how would you weight the vote of the board vs the weight of the vote of the general staff? And would you need to meet quorum at this secondary election like we do with anything else we vote on? (seeing as it is hard enough to get most of our people together just once a month especially those on the outer lying areas, getting enough people together two weeks later would be a bit more difficult)

I've spent a while trying to think this all out... I hope that this early in the morning it makes sense to someone.

Offline Jamiche

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2008, 07:41:24 am »
Few points:
  • General elections are slated for October.
  • To do the vote as suggested, with the director vote first, followed by the other positions, in two separate meetings, will still require the 2/3 of staff being present.  That's 2 meetings in a row that a majority of the staff will need to attend.
  • For us to vote on this at the next general meeting, it will require 2/3 of the staff being present.

I'm not trying to discourage this, I'm simply stating facts.  This close to con, a lot of people are getting ready for con, saving up to be able to go.  And as BSB said, how many troll the forums?  If you're serious about this, take it to the mailing list, direct them here... get people aware of the issue.  Otherwise, you run the risk if it failing simply because there wasn't a majority of staff.  You may also get more input, as more people are aware.
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Offline valliegirl

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2008, 08:44:10 am »
I know that in "internet time" it seems like forever since the general meeting.  It's been three days.  We're already on the third page of discussion.  It's been replied to 32 times and viewed 140 at this point.  I don't see that as a lack of response...  A page a day is pretty decent response.  And the people responding all seem really passionate on the topic, which I'm impressed with as well. 

We still have ten additional days to discuss this here.  That's in no way pressuring people to VOTE NOW.  As it currently stands the proposal will be revisted at the next meeting on August 16th, and voted on at that point.  I'm sure much more discussion will occur between now and then, and I believe that this time frame is enough for the discussion. 

Also, a staff member cannot call a general meeting.  General meetings are called for and scheduled by the board.  I wish Steve had this idea earlier in the year.  He didn't.  He has it now, so now is when we're discussing it.

I do agree with Jaki that Steve should email the staff email list with a link to this thread, that way all staff are made aware of this discussion and can stop by when they have a moment to review. 

As far as worrying about turn out to the next general meeting, it's the LAST MEETING BEFORE CON!!! (read as happy excited!!)  Last meeting before con is historically the biggest turn out for staff that we ever get.  So, I'm really not worried about covering quorum.  If it doesn't happen, then something is wrong.

As far as getting enough quorum for two separate elections, if you tell them about it, they will come.  I don't believe we've ever had a problem with quorum at an election because if you tell the staff to show up and vote for their leaders, they'll be there...  Unless they have to work that weekend or something, but still the majority will show. 

I've found that we don't have a problem with finding people who want to vote.  In fact, usually the issue is deciding who does and does not have the right to do so. 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 10:17:45 am by valliegirl »
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Offline JeffT

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2008, 08:59:22 am »
    • To do the vote as suggested, with the director vote first, followed by the other positions, in two separate meetings, will still require the 2/3 of staff being present.  That's 2 meetings in a row that a majority of the staff will need to attend.
    • For us to vote on this at the next general meeting, it will require 2/3 of the staff being present.

    Actually, only one fifth of the staff must be present--the general quorum requirement. The 2/3 requirement, I believe, refers to the makeup of the actual vote. (Board quorum requires 2/3 of the board.)
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    Offline leashy

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #35 on: August 06, 2008, 09:19:58 am »
    Jamiche has a point about the treasurer position though. You can't just throw anybody into a position that involves money.

    Facilities, Treasurer, Secretary.. These are not "fun" positions... In the past we have had people run for con chair because they thought it was "cool" like a class presidency, they ran for the novelty of running rather than researching and putting thought into if they want the job or can do it.. Guess what, the staff DIDN'T vote for them.

    Kumoricon elections are not a popularity contest.  People are serious about them and really think about their voting decisions.  This is why we have time before the election both in the forums and in the meetings to nominate and hear why a person wants to run, what they bring to the table, and if can they do that job.  Don't underestimate the general staff, they are not going to nominate someone for treasurer just because they thought it sounded like a "cool" position and if they do and that person has no qualifications then guess what, they will probably not get voted in because as a whole we do not want to see the con fail or have it struggle in any way.

    I feel that with the lack of people commenting on this subject it has not matured enough nor has enough staff actually having looked into it to consider it wise to place this proposal before the other staff members and tell them "Vote now!" Also you are getting less of the staff's actual view on here as a large number of the staff hardly troll the forums as much as any of us if they even have a screen name on the forums at all. Regardless of all that most people don't even know the full extent of the four jobs that are in question.

    Then let's e-mail it to the entire staff.  Who knows maybe it will make more people passionate about the issue and want to show up and vote.  Because *gasp* there is someone who made a proposal that makes sense and is not out of spite and OMG is willing to stand up for it and have it go to a vote rather than back down as soon as someone tries to pressure them.  This is not a mad dash.  Yes there only happens to be 2 weeks between these meetings as opposed to a month but that is mooore than adequate time to discuss a proposal that is fairly solid to begin with.

    Waiting till October gives you the ability to cover all your bases, have a great deal more involvement, allows people the ability to understand even more about the positions in question and decide for sure if they really do want such important decisions decided completely by the general staff. Not only that but having a meeting called in October ensures that the subject that you want discussed, deliberated and doesn't get swept under the rug especially with the high tension we are ALL dealing with right now trying to get everything in place for the convention itself.
    Personally, I think it makes a lot more sense to vote on this now then scrambling to do it before the election.  If we do it right before election we will have to find another place to hold and additional meeting just for this issue when we are able to discuss it here, figure out the flaws, and then put it to an "official" vote next meeting in time to have everything settled by election so people can start to nominate and consider what they want to run for without a hiccup

    « Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 09:24:46 am by leashy »

    Offline Rathany

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #36 on: August 06, 2008, 09:29:53 am »

    Since this was introduced so late in the year, this is going to need active and organized effort to get to a vote. 

    I find this rather irrelevant, as I expect the proposal to go to vote regardless. "Because no one will vote for it" is not a valid reason for anyone to reject a proposal. If I thought the same, I could rescind the proposal, but I've quietly watched how con staff functions since '02, and I strongly believe that this format will benefit the con.


    No.  This is not irrelevent.  Is it reasonable to walk into the next meeting with a new proposal and expect an immeadiate vote?  Our SOP is to introduce at one meeting and vote at the next.  To pass this might require a special meeting, which means extra work for the Board and possibly financial cost to the convention.  I am not in favor of making a special arrangement, either breaking SOP or calling a special meeting, without a show of support.  I am not saying this to shoot anything down.  I am just showing what needs to be done to get this passed at this late date in the year.  Show me a proposal with support and I promise I will help make the vote happen.  

    To walk into our next meeting and expect full discussion and vote would mean putting off breakouts by at least an hour.  Maybe longer.  Also, we are doing bag stuffing.  We will likely have that going on concurrently with the meeting.  We have tons to do at that finale meeting without adding in the potential of hours of debate on this topic.  I must say that if this is to happen I favor a special meeting on the 23rd.  Introduce on the 16th, think and forum debate for a week, then vote on the 23rd.  

    As for forum ballot stuffing, check with Jeff but I am pretty sure we can check on the accounts voting in a poll.  This would be a staff vote, so one good way to control it a bit would be to put the polls in the staff only section of the forums.  I am NOT saying you have to do this.  I am just trying to find you ways to make this happen.  Anyway, I am sure Jeff will jump on this and soon as he is able ;)

    Saying that 'no one will vote for it' is not a good reason to reject a proposal.  I totally agree.  No one is talking about rejecting it.  We are just talking about whether this can get to vote in time for the next set of elections, which we are assuming that you want.  
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    Offline leashy

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #37 on: August 06, 2008, 09:50:11 am »
    No.  This is not irrelevent.  Is it reasonable to walk into the next meeting with a new proposal and expect an immeadiate vote?  Our SOP is to introduce at one meeting and vote at the next.  To pass this might require a special meeting, which means extra work for the Board and possibly financial cost to the convention.  I am not in favor of making a special arrangement, either breaking SOP or calling a special meeting, without a show of support.  I am not saying this to shoot anything down.  I am just showing what needs to be done to get this passed at this late date in the year.  Show me a proposal with support and I promise I will help make the vote happen.  
    He is not walking into next meeting with a proposal out of the blue and expecting it to be voted on.. Last meeting he walked in the with proposal, then presented it, submitted a copy in writing to the board and con chair and anyone else who wanted a copy.  Then, as prompted to by Jeff and Mike, he posted it on the forums immediately for discussion and revision.  Now at the next meeting, Saturday August 16th, it will be put to a vote.

    This is the proceedure (we learned it well from Michael Evans), this is what he was asked to do by the con chair himself. Now it gets voted on.  I don't see where you are saying he went wrong and why you think it is supposed to be granted more time.  These proceedures are set in place for a reason and as long as they are followed you or anyone cannot deny this issue from going to vote at the next meeting.

    And for that matter I cannot see why anyone is getting all up in arms in the first place.  THIS IS NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK, not on anyone, so stop trying to make it out to be.  This is a recognized flaw in the election process by an informed and long time staff member who wants to help the con function better in the next year as well as keep the staff more involved in the important decisions being made for the betterment of the con. Yes it is the last meeting before con, ok well maybe it will push back breakouts. BUT TOUGH COOKIES. We cannot deny a proposal because "it may take an extra hour" of meeting time not if it done correctly according to the bylaws.

    Sorry Dawn but it is not your decision to make whether it goes to vote or not.
    « Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 09:59:25 am by leashy »

    Offline Rathany

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #38 on: August 06, 2008, 10:20:19 am »
    No.  This is not irrelevent.  Is it reasonable to walk into the next meeting with a new proposal and expect an immeadiate vote?  Our SOP is to introduce at one meeting and vote at the next.  To pass this might require a special meeting, which means extra work for the Board and possibly financial cost to the convention.  I am not in favor of making a special arrangement, either breaking SOP or calling a special meeting, without a show of support.  I am not saying this to shoot anything down.  I am just showing what needs to be done to get this passed at this late date in the year.  Show me a proposal with support and I promise I will help make the vote happen.  
    He is not walking into next meeting with a proposal out of the blue and expecting it to be voted on.. Last meeting he walked in the with proposal, then presented it, submitted a copy in writing to the board and con chair and anyone else who wanted a copy.  Then, as prompted to by Jeff and Mike, he posted it on the forums immediately for discussion and revision.  Now at the next meeting, Saturday August 16th, it will be put to a vote.

    This is the proceedure (we learned it well from Michael Evans), this is what he was asked to do by the con chair himself. Now it gets voted on.  I don't see where you are saying he went wrong and why you think it is supposed to be granted more time.  These proceedures are set in place for a reason and as long as they are followed you or anyone cannot deny this issue from going to vote at the next meeting.

    And for that matter I cannot see why anyone is getting all up in arms in the first place.  THIS IS NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK, not on anyone, so stop trying to make it out to be.  This is a recognized flaw in the election process by an informed and long time staff member who wants to help the con function better in the next year as well as keep the staff more involved in the important decisions being made for the betterment of the con. Yes it is the last meeting before con, ok well maybe it will push back breakouts. BUT TOUGH COOKIES. We cannot deny a proposal because "it may take an extra hour" of meeting time not if it done correctly according to the bylaws.

    Sorry Dawn but it is not your decision to make whether it goes to vote or not.


    I am trying to help make this happen.  How are you taking this as an attack?  At the next meeting there will be a revised proposal, not the original one.  I did not say that we 'went wrong' I am saying that we are short on time to get sweeping changes made in time for elections, especially with plenty of time for debate and discussion. 

    How is agreeing that a special meeting for this is a good idea an attack?

    You are right that it is not my choice whether this goes to vote.  If the OP doesn't want my help in this matter he is free to say so. 
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    Offline leashy

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #39 on: August 06, 2008, 10:27:16 am »
    I am trying to help make this happen.  How are you taking this as an attack?  At the next meeting there will be a revised proposal, not the original one.  I did not say that we 'went wrong' I am saying that we are short on time to get sweeping changes made in time for elections, especially with plenty of time for debate and discussion. 

    How is agreeing that a special meeting for this an attack?

    You are right that it is not my choice whether this goes to vote.  If the OP doesn't want my help in this matter he is free to say so. 

    I know you are trying to help and thank you.  You said yourself though that "Our SOP is to introduce at one meeting and vote at the next."  so since it has already been introduced, why would it not be able to go up for vote at the next meeting?  Yes there will be revisions, that is what discussion is for, but not so major that it will need to be introduced again, that can be done on the forums and via e-mail by just submitting the final revision of the already introduced item before the next meeting.
    « Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 10:29:21 am by leashy »

    Offline valliegirl

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #40 on: August 06, 2008, 10:42:34 am »
    One thing I want to bring up, as multiple people have been discussing it, no matter what position, an election really is only as good as the nominees we have available.  If you have an election for Treasurer and five people who suck at math are the nominees, it doesn't matter whether its the board or the staff voting, our options suck.  

    What I would really like is an entire "revolution" within the convention.  I want for the people who love this convention and give a damn about it to stand up and run for a position next year.  Take a look at your own strengths and weaknesses, think about what position you may be best suited for, figure out if you've got the time and energy to take on this sort of responsibility, and if you are seriously wanting and able to do this, throw your hat in the ring.

    I do not want another year where we have one main contender for a position running either unopposed or against another person who doesn't want the job and is running on a lark.  Maybe a little rabble-rousing will wake up some people and make them really think about what needs to happen before the election for 2009.  

    However, I don't think the availability of options, or lack there of, should effect the discussion of who gets to vote in the election.  Maybe the conversation taking place will garner more options, maybe it won't.  But this is a discussion about who among us should be allowed to make the decision, not how nominations are made to begin with.

    Oh, and yes, I do intend to follow my own advice.  ;)
    « Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 10:45:52 am by valliegirl »
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    Offline valliegirl

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #41 on: August 06, 2008, 11:04:05 am »
    To walk into our next meeting and expect full discussion and vote would mean putting off breakouts by at least an hour.  Maybe longer.  Also, we are doing bag stuffing.  We will likely have that going on concurrently with the meeting.  We have tons to do at that finale meeting without adding in the potential of hours of debate on this topic.  I must say that if this is to happen I favor a special meeting on the 23rd.  Introduce on the 16th, think and forum debate for a week, then vote on the 23rd.  

    Considering that on a regular basis meetings start a half an hour to an hour late anyway, if everyone gets there and gets their stuff together early enough that we can actually start a meeting on time, maybe we could use that extra cushion of time to fit in this extra issue.

    Quote from bylaws:
    Per Article 5:
    E. Meetings and Notice

    Meetings of the Voting Members generally shall be held monthly, but may be held less than monthly. The annual meeting for the election of Officers shall be held in the fall of each year. Notice for the annual and regular meetings shall be given not less than seven days prior to the meeting or more than 60 days, and if notice is mailed it must be by first class. Quorum for meetings of the membership shall be one fifth of those eligible voting members.

    Per Article 8:
    A: Amendments

    A two thirds vote of the Board and a two thirds vote of the Membership at a meeting that meets quorum and notice requirements as defined in these bylaws shall be required to amend or replace the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws.


    I don't see anything in the bylaws that an amendment even needs to be proposed at one meeting and then voted on at another.  The next meeting meets the notice requirements, so as long as there is quorum, we can propose and vote on the amended proposal next meeting.

    We don't need a special separate one.
    « Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 11:06:56 am by valliegirl »
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    Offline Rathany

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #42 on: August 06, 2008, 11:38:22 am »
    I am trying to help make this happen.  How are you taking this as an attack?  At the next meeting there will be a revised proposal, not the original one.  I did not say that we 'went wrong' I am saying that we are short on time to get sweeping changes made in time for elections, especially with plenty of time for debate and discussion. 

    How is agreeing that a special meeting for this an attack?

    You are right that it is not my choice whether this goes to vote.  If the OP doesn't want my help in this matter he is free to say so. 

    I know you are trying to help and thank you.  You said yourself though that "Our SOP is to introduce at one meeting and vote at the next."  so since it has already been introduced, why would it not be able to go up for vote at the next meeting?  Yes there will be revisions, that is what discussion is for, but not so major that it will need to be introduced again, that can be done on the forums and via e-mail by just submitting the final revision of the already introduced item before the next meeting.

    Well, I guess I am being a little presumptive here.  Until we see the new proposal, who knows how different it will be.  Technically, it will be a new proposal, but we may be able to work around that to shorten the process.  

    For what it's worth, I think the idea of breaking it down into a separate proposal for each seat is the only way anything is going to get passed.  Most of the people I have talked to, including several board members, agree that Vice Chair should be elected differently.  (Seriously, have you met this year's Vice Chair?  Fer cryin' out loud...)  Other positions are more contraversial.  

    Also, amendements need to also get a 2/3rds Board Vote as well as Staff Vote.  Next board meeting is August 13th.  If people want a vote at next general, my recc is to make sure that the final proposal is posted at least a few days prior to the board mtg so we can talk about it and have the board vote done before the general meeting.  A final version by Saturday would be good.  Usually, the between meeting mulling and thinking and revising time would be a month.  In this case, it's more like a week.  This why we are all "OMG ... No time!  No time!"

    One thing I want to bring up, as multiple people have been discussing it, no matter what position, an election really is only as good as the nominees we have available.  If you have an election for Treasurer and five people who suck at math are the nominees, it doesn't matter whether its the board or the staff voting, our options suck.  

    What I would really like is an entire "revolution" within the convention.  I want for the people who love this convention and give a damn about it to stand up and run for a position next year.  

    Yes, we need more people who want to take Board seats and also upper management positions.  I'd talk more about this, but don't want to get too off topic.  Though, I will say that finding people who might want to run next year, talking to them about what the job entails and offering support is something the current Board has been working on.  Maybe we should all wear "Want My Position? Ask Me How" Tshirts next meeting;)


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    Offline Jamiche

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #43 on: August 06, 2008, 12:04:17 pm »
    Thank you, Vallie... that info is very helpful :)

    No one thinks this is a personal attack.  We are not being defensive, or trying to discourage this.  We are simply debating the matter.. isn't that what this thread is for?

    Yes, Steve presented this motion at the last meeting.. that meets the notice requirement if it is unchanged.  There have already been suggestions on changes to the proposal.  I would think that a small change, like the one in regards to the vice-chair election, would be minor enough to not have to resubmit the proposal.  But other suggestions, like Tofu's, differ significantly from the original proposal.  Obviously, he would need to propose it at the next meeting, and have it voted on the following.

    So, this is an open discussion to change staff voting rights... which change is it going to be?  Steve's?  Tofu's?  Or someone else's?  Right now, we are discussing all the options... a final consensus is going to need to be reached soon, or we are going to be debating all of this at the general meeting.

    The meetings have been getting more attendance, but how many have been staff, and not just interested attendees?  Keep in mind, this is a bylaw amendment, and that's a 2/3 vote.. we've had what, 8 or 9 people posting in this thread?  I'm pretty sure that's not a majority.

    I don't disagree that we need a change.. we need more people that are wanting to get involved in upper management, and yeah, the vote process could use re-vamping.  IMO, the vice-chair should be an elected position.  The other 3... right now, no.  And I disagree that a separate election should be held... if we are gonna do it, I say we do it all at once.  Yeah, dedicated staffers will do their best to show up it the meetings, but finances, previous commitments, work.. all of those can keep them away.  I applaud those who take the time and make the arrangements to come to the important meetings... let's make it easy on them and only ask them once.
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    Offline TomtheFanboy

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #44 on: August 06, 2008, 12:40:52 pm »
    .
    ..*omitted for space*
    .
    This proposition will be put to a vote at the final pre-con general meeting on Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at the Doubletree.

    Quote
    Proposition to Extend Staff's Right to Vote in Elections


    This proposition would amend Kumori Con's bylaws with the following changes:

    All previously board-elected positions will become staff-elected positions, following the exact same election procedure as the regular staff-elected positions. *

    The elections for the previously board-elected positions will take place at a separate public meeting at least two weeks after board elections.  There should be enough time between the two elections for additional nominations to be considered.

    Summary:

    As it currently stands, there is a separate, private meeting that takes place after the public elections, giving the board a chance to consider applicants for the four board-elected positions and vote on them.  Regular staff are not currently allowed to attend or vote at this election.  This amendment would effectively make that meeting public, extend the right to vote to all staff, and give staff the opportunity to hear all candidates.


    .
    .*omitted for space*
    .
    Update:

    Okay, I've started a change log to keep track of changes to the proposal. If this part confuses you, please ignore it for now.

    Since this is my proposal, I'm going to freely make changes to address the contributions of people who have taken part in the discussion.  I'm going to try to flow with what the public wants, since we're all voting on it a week from Saturday. Asterisks = ommissions, underlined = additions.


    * Change #1 on 8/5/08 @ 10:54pm. Removed:
    Quote
    (except the Vice President, which will be noted below).

    The Vice President's election will be merged with the President's election.  The first runner-up in the President's election will be appointed to Vice President. Consequently, the President's election will always require at least two nominated candidates."

    OK, there.
    Now we all can see his edit of the post. He was even nice enough to write his own time stamp on it.

    So right now, I think this is what is being voted on. Tonight we will hear from Radien to see if there are any definitions he'd like to add or changes he'd like to make. I don't think there will be much else though.

    Now I did some number crunching and according to my estimates we need 25 people to reach quorum.
    If 25 people show up we need 17 people to vote yes on it.
    We also need 6 of the board members to vote yes (out of the 9).

    Does the board have a form of quorum? I thought I heard something about 2/3 of the board being present. We need that much to vote yes so it's more important than usual that all the board members be present at the next meeting.

    I know that last meeting there were some unexpected problems, but I'm hoping that nobody on the board has other plans that weekend.

    One other note: It seems that so far we're about tied on the vote, but we also don't have very clear opinions from everyone.
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    Offline gemineye42

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #45 on: August 06, 2008, 01:28:05 pm »
    Alright.

    So, I haven't been back to these forums for several months since the drama with the current board and meg/myself/rian/etc.

    I had considered possibly coming back to the con for 2009 pending how the elections go this year. I can say with 100% certainty that if the Staff is allowed to appoint all Board positions, I will have no issue returning to the con for 2009 and continuing to volunteer my time and energy into making the con work and work well.

    The current amount of bureaucracy, crony-ism, and general BS with the entire structure of power within the con is just too ridiculous for me to handle right now. The staff needs rights and and most importantly the right to choose who they want to lead them. I fully support this motion and would be happy to attend any meeting at which it may be voted on.

    Thank you.

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    Offline Hawkeye

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #46 on: August 06, 2008, 03:53:48 pm »
    I agree with most of the points on both sides of the spectrum here.  I do agree that with the con coming up so close, I do not think it would be given proper consideration, and as such we should vote on this before the elections but not until after the convention is over.  I understand that some people think we will get shot down, but I actually disagree.  We have a board this year that is more open to discussion than boards in years past.  I also would like to remind everyone here on both sides of this argument that we do need to be mindful of not coming across as bitter or combative.
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    Offline DancingTofu

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #47 on: August 06, 2008, 04:48:09 pm »
    For the sake of having a decisive view out there, my current vote would be nae.

    This amendment is four amendments; thoroughness is important.  If divided into separate amendments, I would vote yae on some and nae on others.


    In the case that this amendment comes to vote and passes as-is:
    I will abstain from the vote when I don't have factual records that qualify them for the position.  I would advise that others do the same; certain positions shouldn't be determined by appeal.


    In the case that this amendment comes to vote and does not pass as-is:
    I will propose all five amendments as listed and vote differently on all of them.
    « Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 09:08:35 pm by DancingTofu »
    moderators gonna moderate </shrug>

    Offline superjaz

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #48 on: August 06, 2008, 07:17:41 pm »

    I will abstain from the vote when I do not KNOW that one of the candidates is fully-qualified from knowing them personally.  I would advise that others do the same; certain positions shouldn't be determined by influence.

    If that were the case no one would ever be elected, just because you work with some one at a con dosen't mean you know them personaly.  I know people who voted, and if this were the case they could not have voted for anyone.

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    Offline DancingTofu

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    Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
    « Reply #49 on: August 06, 2008, 07:59:49 pm »

    I will abstain from the vote when I do not KNOW that one of the candidates is fully-qualified from knowing them personally.  I would advise that others do the same; certain positions shouldn't be determined by influence.

    If that were the case no one would ever be elected, just because you work with some one at a con dosen't mean you know them personaly.  I know people who voted, and if this were the case they could not have voted for anyone.
    Yes it does; it means you know what they are capable of.  This isn't a restriction, it's an advisory; by voting based on appeal, you distort the value of an informed vote, but that is entirely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.  I am stating my position on the issue because Tom pointed out that nobody was simply stating their positions.
    moderators gonna moderate </shrug>