Questioning Nominated Members
Originally expressed in the Council email list, then copied to the Council's first meeting agenda discussion page, but perhaps this question is best placed here, in the context of what it is questioning. It is my hope that this Policy being a draft and all, and that the first Council Meeting is yet to happen, and that Nominated Members are not yet present in the Council, that the first meeting be the best time to review this part of the Policy, or that the first meeting be the best time to review the DRAFT Policy and develop it further into a final Policy for the first term...
- I just reread the policy. Things mean more when they have meaning in the present for me. Back when it was being formulated, I had neither experience of perspective on what was relevant and what was not. I guess, I am task orientated a lot of the time, and my task this time was to find out the history and rational behind "Nominated Members".
- The notion of nominating members other than elected members from the community, who will hold a position in the Council (equal I assume to elected members) for 1 year, and/or consecutive years indefinitely, strikes me as entirely odd. The only other Council I have experience with is local City Council's in the towns I have lived. They have Elected Councilors, and then Public Servants. Public Servants do not participate in voting, debating, and deciding on proposals etc. (Although, truth be told, Public Servants carry a lot of behind the scenes power over elected representatives). So it is this experience and perspective that I bring to the experience of the Wikied Council.
- It seems to me that the intention behind Nominated Members is part Public Servant, part consultant. I can't see why consultancy is not just called on when needed, and I think the skills of the elected members covers most of the administration needs normally covered by Servants.
- I see a risk in the Nominated Members aspect of the Policy, and I'm surprised/concerned that I appear to be the only one seeing it. An influential Elected Member could effectively stack the Council with Nominated Members. This might happen either intentionally, or more likely unintentionally. For example, the Policy referred to as "developed openly and transparently by the community" was in fact developed openly and transparently by Wayne, with some input from Steve and 1 minor edit from Randy. This is on the one hand testament to Wayne's hard work and forward thinking, but on the other hand a concern as to the influence Wayne has over the Council. If I were Wayne, I would be the first to acknowledge this, and me being me, I would be the first to acknowledge that some Council members will need to now start taking more responsibility for such developments and take some of the load off Wayne.
- So I hope my message comes through clearly. It is that we must be watchful for UNINTENTIONAL stacking of the Council in favor of the more influential Elected Member at any given time. We must work hard at insuring that all the Elected Council Members have a equal sense of ownership and responsibility to the role, BEFORE we start appointing Nominated Members, if at all. This message comes from my own confusion as to the reasons we need nominated members beyond consultants when needed, and concern that the Policy (due largely to necessity at the time) has been developed up until now by one Elected Member.
I agree and support your point Leigh. Just want to add more facts. 5 edits from steve out of last 500 is just not good enough to call it a 'community driven' policy. It needs to be repealed and redesigned.
Tracking that community consultation record is difficult. Right here on the Policy there is evidently little. Wayne has uploaded a PDF to the Council email group that seems to have been generated from these LQTs. No doubt there is other discussion on the Wikied email forum as well. In that record that Wayne has loaded, there appears to be around 4 more contributions to the discussion behind the Draft Policy, but again that consultation period is dominated by the authors.
Regardless, I would like to hear a response to the concerns we have over Nominated Members. If they are legitimate concerns then we should address them. Just because there has been a consultation period should not mean we proceed if the Draft Policy has cause for legitimate concern. It seems to me that rather than pointing out the evidence of a consultation period, addressing the concerns directly would be more productive. I have already admitted to not participating in the original consultation period for reasons I can't rightly remember. Now that I have reluctantly (as you know Minhaaj) taken on the responsibility of Elected Council Member, I just want to know that the Policy (that increasingly appears to be our constitution) is fair and right and one that gives me confidence to work on this Council. If it is, it really shouldn't take too long to explain. At least half the time of collating the discussion threads of a consultation period.
I can't be sure what the issue is. I think the main one is that the election has already taken place based on the Draft Policy and editing it after that election would somehow be a corruption. I struggle to see this point to be honest, as the concerns we raise are potentially more of a corruption - not to mention that the Policy we worked with was always a draft which would imply further changes. Another point against editing the Draft Policy that I have not heard but suspect to be partly the case is because it would potentially delay the formation of the Council. But if all that is proposed it to take out Nominated Members and replace with a process of bringing in consultants when needed, then that should be relatively quick. I guess there is a chance for it to become a prolonged debate, especially when contenders do not directly address the issues raised.
Thanks for your expression of support Minhaaj. I hate to be the one to be causing a problem so soon in the Council, especially as a result of my own apathy toward the Policy when it was being written at the time, but now I have perspective on it, this issue strikes me as important to the future of Wikieducator.
I was aware of the possibility of nominated members prior to the election, and although personally I do not have a problem with this process I realise that others do. The issues which have been voiced are real and need to be discussed.
Should nominated members have a vote, should they be nominated on to council or contracted as a need arises? I do have a problem with going ahead with this aspect of the draft policy if any of the elected council members feel uncomfortable with a process of nomination. Surely we do need to reach agreement on this as an elected council before inviting non-elected members to the council. I am also not in favour of breaking off into a smaller executive committee.