Author Topic: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion  (Read 217093 times)

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Offline kalira

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #200 on: August 24, 2008, 12:52:52 pm »
Quote
Well I watched some of the debate, and to me the most solid argument to keep things they way they are was ease of removal.  If someone is hurting the con, they need to be stopped.  I can see how this might be demoralizing.  However, running an event for 3000+ fans isn't easy.  I don't think anyone has that expectation.   

As for the quickness of removal, I think it's a non-issue.  The board has already used it's power to suspend board members.  So, suppose a staff elected board member needs to be removed but only the board knows about it.

They can:

1.)  Suspend said board member
2.)  Put an item in the agenda for the next monthly meeting when it is sent out beforehand
3.)  Make a case at that meeting in the alloted amount of time
4.)  Have a staff vote.

I think the most demoralizing thing would be having to have another election for a replacement.  Not the removal itself.

The board members that were suspended were asked to of there own accord.  We can't force them to step down for any amount of time.  Had they said no, we had not power to stop them from doing anything.  As they were both board appointed the only thing we had to back us up is do it or we will call a vote to remove you. 

Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #201 on: August 25, 2008, 08:44:43 pm »
Those huge long posts are getting really long!  I think I'm finally caught up, but can we start making a habit of putting summaries with our really long statements and outlining them as such please?
moderators gonna moderate </shrug>

Offline Mr_Phelps

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #202 on: August 27, 2008, 07:59:40 am »
We had a serious time crunch in the last meeting that meant we couldn't devote more than 30 minutes to debate.  This was driven by the fact that we were so close to con and still had tons of work to get done.  The next meeting in October we will have more time to discuss the motions before we get down to the actual elections.  Just bear in mind that we also need to get the elections done in a timely manner and not drag things out.

My proposal is that we have an hour to discuss the motion, though we should be prepared to split the motion into two questions.  As was pointed out by the parlimentarian, we can seperate the motion into a vote to make the vice chair staff elected and a vote to make the secretary staff elected.  This would be the most efficient way to move forward.

At the beginning of the meeting we will seek to split the motion and then start with the motion for vice chair.  From what I have seen and heard this vote should be able to occur without tying up too much time.  So we will limit it to no more than 15 minutes.  The motion for secretary looks be more involved and we can spend 45 minutes on just that topic.  Any time that we save from the vice chair discussion can be rolled into the secretary discussion.

Any position can have people nominated for it.  For the positions that are being considered for turning over to staff voting, these nominees should be ready to make thier case to the staff at the elections.  If the motion for either position passes it is this election that those will take place in. 

One of the things we can do to expedite this is to discuss the positions seperately here in the forums and let both sides develop summaries of thier positions that can become part of the motion and help frame the questions during the debate.

This convention has dedicated staff who are at the heart of making Kumoricon the fun and unique convention that it is.  It is the voting rights that the staff earn that make these elections one of the most important meetings of the year.  Make your voice and your vote count!
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #203 on: September 05, 2008, 02:25:21 am »
Should I initiate the motion to sever, or will that be handled by someone else?
moderators gonna moderate </shrug>

Offline Mr_Phelps

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #204 on: September 05, 2008, 07:41:00 am »
I believe you would be the logical choice.   :)

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Offline Deviant Spider

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #205 on: September 05, 2008, 11:36:56 am »
Should I initiate the motion to sever, or will that be handled by someone else?

Personally consitering I saw LOTS of that Idea going around I think it will probably be a good Idea. And yeah since you proposed it at the last meeting I would say 'thats all you man!" unless someone gets to it first. lol.
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #206 on: September 05, 2008, 11:38:04 pm »
Alrighty.  Now, I wonder if I should bring an axe for symbolic purposes. . . ;P

Old Business comes before New Business, right?  I want to bring up my idea of having those 4-page Staff Guidebooks at some point too, and I'm not sure when that should come up.
moderators gonna moderate </shrug>

Offline Deviant Spider

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #207 on: September 06, 2008, 03:26:03 pm »
Alrighty.  Now, I wonder if I should bring an axe for symbolic purposes. . . ;P

Old Business comes before New Business, right?  I want to bring up my idea of having those 4-page Staff Guidebooks at some point too, and I'm not sure when that should come up.

And once again THANK YOU FOR THAT AWESOME IDEA! David and I think its a great idea. I would suggest it to be brought up after elections though.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #208 on: September 16, 2008, 01:13:36 pm »
For the record I have been contemplating this thread quite a bit. I now feel as follows:
Definitely there should be 2 separate motions.
As for Secretary: When I thought it was only someone who took meeting minutes, I didn't see any reason for it not to be staff-elected. Now that I comprehend the magnitude of potential fiduciary responsibility, and the minimal amount of interaction with non-Board portions of the convention, I do not see a need for this to be a staff-elected position, and unless some minimum professional standard were set in terms of credentials, I could forsee potential problems if someone gets elected who is popular, or persuasive, or simply has name recognition on the forums, but who is not actually qualified. The Board needs to be able to trust that Secretary, and Treasurer, are people with superlative (a) professional competence in the requisite capacities and (b) already-demonstrated integrity. I will be voting no on making Secretary staff-elected.

As for Vice Chair--If it were only a position that was a personal assistant to the Chair, I would want the Chair to appoint it, and the Board to only veto if there were evidence the selected person were not qualified in terms of competence or in terms of integrity. But given that I'm hearing that many separate levels of work are entrusted to the position beyond simply being a backup for the Chair, I can see some validity in having this be a staff-elected position.
That is to say, in the absence of a job description, I can't really say whether I feel it will be helpful or a hindrance to have VC be staff-elected. If it's truly an entirely separate position, and a well-defined one, then I could certainly be open to a staff vote on it, but I do not feel attachment to making that be the case.

However, I personally now believe that for this position to be voted upon with any degree whatsoever of meaning:
(1) Those who are presently listed as recommended in the board-elected thread (for vice and secretary) should identify whether or not they are interested in the position.
(2) Forum threads should be present for those two categories, identifying their job descriptions, and allowing candidates to introduce themselves and to be asked questions about what they think their roles would be and how they'd envision fulfilling them, etc.
(3) If there are not presently minimum requirements for each position, the present board should define some for consideration prior to any potential staff vote.
(4) If the Vice Chair becomes a staff-elected position, and the staff-elected VC & Chair do not see eye to eye or do not get along, an outside moderator should be brought in to facilitate dialogue, and this should be done privately in executive session, without involvement of non-board staff.

I've had both positive and negative experiences at all points along the spectra, from rigid hierarchies to radical anarchist collectives to cooperatively owned businesses. The short version is: There is no direct link between the number of people involved in making a decision and the likelihood that it will be the one most beneficial for the whole, most efficient, most trustworthy, etc. But imho there may be a direct link between how hard it is to get anything done, and how appreciated vs. distrusted anyone feels while they try to work for the good of the whole, and the likelihood that they stick around to do it, and enjoy doing it, and feel respected while doing it.

I really enjoy, respect, feel respected by, trust, and feel trusted by, KC as it is. While there may be some benefit, within the board, to looking at which job descriptions fit under which departments, etc., that's something for the board to decide. I currently would rather just steer clear of anything that disrupts that natural flow and joy and growth the con is experiencing. Some modicum of formality and professionalizing of positions is natural with that level of exponential growth. I'm personally comfortable not having to be in the loop about all of it. Perhaps there could be a Board Liason to Staff position, or a Staff Liason to the Board position--sort of like how the City of Eugene has a Chief Information Officer (though don't get me started on how often he used to lie)......

With just under a month to go til elections, I have no idea how much momentum this proposed measure or pair of measures actually has, and I'm not even entirely sure of all the motivations behind it, but I do know that having faith in the Board is helpful, and electing to the Board people in whom we have faith is helpful.

Brainstorming about long-term strategic planning can be a healthy process when it is genuinely undertaken with the good of the whole as the priority, and without factionalizing. Sometimes the best way to move forward in certain circumstances is to find individuals experienced in the fiduciary, legal, pragmatic, and/or mediating aspects of long-term strategic planning processes, who are not looking to become stakeholders, and who can be trusted to uphold confidentiality, who can avail themselves on an as-needed basis for consulting purposes.

[Last paragraph is new today. Preceding paragraphs include substantial revisions.]
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 04:23:34 pm by RemSaverem »
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Offline valliegirl

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #209 on: September 17, 2008, 01:22:54 am »
One thing I want to provide clarity on, all the positions we're discussing are elected positions.  The matter at hand is who elects them.

Specifically, in the case of Vice Chair, I want to make sure everyone knows that Vice Chair is not an "appointed" position, no matter how this vote turns out.  The con chair gets a vote in the matter, but only as much as anyone else does.  Of course, if it's a board elected position, then it's a one out of 5 vote, instead of 1 out of x as it would be with a staff vote, where x is how ever many staff actually show up. 

But none of the Board ELECTED positions are appointed by the chair or any other member of the board.  There is a difference, even if people have been using the terms interchangeably.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 01:24:46 am by valliegirl »
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Offline modab

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #210 on: September 21, 2008, 10:34:53 pm »
Anyone who is going to bring a proposition to for the general meeting regarding voting rights, please PM me immediately! I need to know the details, what happened previously, what you expect to happen this meeting, etc. so that I can create appropriate election threads and contingency plans. You know who you are!! The time for discussion is now :-)
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Offline Radien

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #211 on: September 30, 2008, 10:03:54 pm »
Okay, PM sent. I'll try to get that business taken care of by this Friday. Hopefully we can touch base soon, Modab.

My apologies for not posting more actively in this thread as of late. Unfortunately, I haven't seen much in the way of posts from incoming staffers who wanted to take advantage of the belayed vote by asking more questions. I hope that this will change now that the election is less than two weeks away.  I find it more appealing to spend time addressing people's concerns than to campaign my own preferences; I know not everyone prefers that mode of functioning.

Valliegirl:

I do agree that it is misleading to use the word "appoint" at all, even for the board-elected positions. I prefer to use the terminology we've been using all along. Even if the board positions end up being effectively appointed (since they prefer to function with consensus whenever possible), it's important to note that it could always end up as a split vote if worse came to worse.

It's a matter of size, really. It's a lot easier to get a consensus in a small group.  Also, the consequences of disharmony between a few members within the board are much worse than they would be between just a few members of the general staff membership.




So, everyone who attended the pre-con meeting: if you voted to belay the vote on this proposition because you wanted to know more about it, now is the time to start asking questions. The more questions we can anticipate before the general election meeting, the more time we will have for new questions and discussion. :)
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #212 on: October 06, 2008, 11:27:44 pm »
To avoid further MISinterpretation, I have removed this post.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 01:02:05 am by RemSaverem »
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #213 on: October 06, 2008, 11:47:36 pm »
Reading a VAST amount of significance to that comment. He being agreeable.

I am glad that you feel that our board of directors is a group that is more likely to argue amongst themselves more than the staff does since that is the examples you brought up. you tell him not to over generalize. I tell you not to attack him for something he said last week and nobody else felt the need to "call him" on.

You make a lot of statements at the end of your rant to tell him to not generalize. I'm telling you not to be so quick to over analyze people's statements.

I'm glad that we can continue to go around in the same circles we were back in the last meeting. It is important to show that those of us that feel strongly about this still feel strongly enough to keep on arguing our points.

Is there anything that can be added to this discussion that is from the people we haven't heard from yet? the people that we put off the vote for?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 11:55:18 pm by TomtheFanboy »
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #214 on: October 06, 2008, 11:53:46 pm »
Under no circumstances would I ***EVER*** have alleged that the present Board was more likely to be contentious than the staff. If anything, how staff treat the Board, and other staff, on the forums would indicate to the contrary. I genuinely trust and love the Board and those Founders who have remained active.

There was absolutely NOTHING WHATSOEVER negative towards the Board in my post. Quite simply I felt an uninformed and untrue over-generalization had been made, about how easy it is or isn't to build consensus based on the SIZE of a group, and I gave simple examples from my lived 7 and 8 years' experience in 2 settings of consensus-based meetings to demonstrate that. Since the given proposal does nothing to change the size of the board, it was in no way a reflection on the given proposal, let alone a burn on the board, for me to try to say something educational about what can prevent consensus.

Yes, I pointed out that at some meetings with over 100+ consensus came more easily than at some with only 4 people (in a different setting), because in the smaller meeting, people were more attached to their personal agendas. But this was NOT a statement about the Board, and, quite the contrary: the point was that the more people are attached to their agendas, rather than to a common good, THAT is what determines how unlikely consensus is to form, NOT the size of the decision-making body.

Honestly I am considering not even bothering to spend the money and 5 hours in the car to come to the meeting because I just don't want to deal with drama, especially in the form of being taken way the heck out of context. If I could vote over the internet and not drive up I would. It's particularly ironic given that the drama that is alienating me is in a thread in which I was one of the very few people paying attention and going on record as giving (albeit only partial) previous support.

*Shrugs*

Peace. I'm out. Honestly I just can't wait for the meeting to be over.
 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 01:37:06 am by RemSaverem »
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #215 on: October 07, 2008, 06:19:37 am »

Peace. I'm out. Honestly I just can't wait for the meeting to be over.
 

I can definitely agree with that.

Staze has laid down the conditions for proxy voting, you could very likely send a signed form up with someone from Eugene who will be attending the meeting. there are several candidates from Eugene so it shouldn't be too hard to find a proxy. It would save you the stress of the trip as well as the stress of the meeting itself.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: A proposition to change staff's voting rights - open discussion
« Reply #216 on: October 07, 2008, 10:52:47 am »

Peace. I'm out. Honestly I just can't wait for the meeting to be over.
 

I can definitely agree with that.

Staze has laid down the conditions for proxy voting, you could very likely send a signed form up with someone from Eugene who will be attending the meeting. there are several candidates from Eugene so it shouldn't be too hard to find a proxy. It would save you the stress of the trip as well as the stress of the meeting itself.

There is some Creation Station-related business that I hope to accomplish during the aftermath of the elections (and in fact if you want to talk about the next Pocky Club Mascot contest, that would be fun, I actually had this idea what if people could turn in 3-D renderings, either computer generated or sculpted/dollies). And my boyfriend will be out of town so I might as well (if I have the gas money). But thank you for the reminder about proxy voting, and btw, you ask very good questions to clarify that process in the FAQ thread.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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