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Perceptions vs Reality

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  • Hilla Hamasdohtor
    I don t often post on this list, save for information needed or giving out, but I do read it extensively and am occasionally minded to voice an opinion. Before
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1, 2008
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      I don't often post on this list, save for information needed or giving
      out, but I do read it extensively and am occasionally minded to voice
      an opinion. Before I get down to that, I just want to make the
      standard disclaimer: my views are my own, and I ask that they not be
      construed as the opinions of any group of people, or indicative of any
      group's opinion.

      I am not planning on commenting one way or the other on my personal
      feelings about an Ayreton barony or of which groups it should be,
      might be, or will be comprised. My concern here is not actually the
      issue of the barony itself, but an issue of difference on how people
      on one side of the issue are treated vs how people on the other side
      of the issue are treated.

      The recent issue with the letter of intent comes to mind, first and
      foremost. A person against the barony proposal asked and was denied. A
      person for the proposal was granted the same request just a few days
      later. I have read the refusal, the letter, the apology, and all the
      other posts. I am not saying that anyone is lying, and I am not
      claiming hostile intent; please let me make that clear. However, that
      said, the refusal itself and the later explanation of the refusal
      seemed like completely different things, different reasons, different
      everything. Whatever the actual truth is, it is easy to understand how
      it looks like the decision to refuse or grant the request had to do
      with the querent's position on the barony issue. Whether it is
      intended or not, there is a perception that people agreeing with the
      barony proposal are treated more favorably than those who are against
      the proposal. (Not everyone has this perception, but it is certainly
      there. People have mentioned it to me.) The letter of intent certainly
      isn't the only instance, just the most public. I have known people who
      were taken aside and talked to or emailed privately when they voiced
      concern or dissent, while those who had ideas in favor were told,
      great idea, let's discuss it, or let's talk about it at the Towne Meeting.

      When things like this happen, even with the best of intentions,
      resentment brews, and divisions are created when there need not be
      any. Perhaps in reality both sides are being treated equally, but that
      is not the perception of all. Unfortunately, it is usually the
      perception that counts, especially when the entirety of reality isn't
      known. Perhaps we are just too suspicious of what we don't know in the
      Land Where The Dead Can Vote, but I don't think i can change human
      nature in one post. (And considering that I asked if I could let y
      ferret vote in the upcoming primary, I guess it would be a tad
      hypocritical of me, too.) What then, can we do? Here are my
      suggestions, surprise, surprise:

      Let's put everything aboveboard. I've looked back and back, and I
      haven't seen any minutes or real agendas posted from/for the Towne
      Hall meetings. As these meetings are held at events where many people
      may be unable to attend the meetings, this makes things difficult. So
      my first suggestion would be to post an agenda of what is hoped to be
      discussed at the meetings. That way people know ahead of time if they
      need to be there or not, or if they can write up a
      question/concern/commentary and/or send someone else. Secondly, it
      would be nice to have minutes posted so that we know what was
      discussed at the meeting. This functions exactly like the minutes for
      group meetings and serves the same purpose. It also will help people
      understand better the process of what is going on, and better
      facilitate their active participation in the process, in events, etc.

      Another part of having everything aboveboard is to keep things public
      as much as possible. So, if an issue is brought up publicly, it should
      be discussed and addressed publicly. If an issue is brought up
      privately that ought to be public, it should be made public. People
      who have issues to discuss should bring them forward. You never know
      but that the person you are sitting next to might have been pondering
      the very same thing. Really, the only things that should be kept
      private is private interpersonal issues. Consistency is also crucial,
      so that everyone is on the same page as much as possible.

      Thirdly, I think that documentation and "official" paperwork should,
      unless specifically prohibited by Corpora, be made available, within a
      reasonable timeframe, to anyone who asks it. I know that links to the
      Baronial process have been given; perhaps a resource folder in the
      Files section of this group, with links to procedure and also with
      pertinent file uploads would be a plausible solution? For some people,
      this information really helps them understand the process going on,
      and helps answer a lot of questions. Heck, maybe an FAQ would even be
      a good idea.

      I am specifically not pointing fingers or naming names because that
      serves no purpose in my commentary, and I do not want to give any
      impression that I am singling out any one person, nor using one person
      or another to further what is my personal opinion and set of
      observations. I think that both "sides" in this issue, indeed, should
      be commended for maintaining, for the most part, a polite and
      restrained demeanor. However, in light of the recent posts and
      reflecting on the underlying issues, I thought that my comments and
      thoughts might be of some use. I hope that they are, at any rate, and
      if they are not, I do apologize for this bit of spam, which I at least
      hope was agreeably written.

      Yours in service,
      Hlafdige Hilla Hamasdohtor, Scop
    • Hilla Hamasdohtor
      I am somewhat sheepishly replying to my own message in light of my own suggestions. It has been brought to my attention (Thank you again, you-know-who!!!) that
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1, 2008
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        I am somewhat sheepishly replying to my own message in light of my own
        suggestions. It has been brought to my attention (Thank you again,
        you-know-who!!!) that the minutes are indeed posted for, if not all, at
        least many of the town hall meetings. So, in light of that, I am
        wondering if future minutes might have "Minutes" in the subject header,
        so that if we have to use Yahoo's spiffy search function (no sarcasm
        here, cough) they are easily findable?

        My apologies and thanks,
        Hilla
      • Christian Fournier
        Thanks, Hilla, for your comments and suggestions. I think that we could benefit from both a greater certainty that someone s taking minutes at any Towne Hall
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1, 2008
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          Thanks, Hilla, for your comments and suggestions. I think that we
          could benefit from both a greater certainty that someone's taking
          minutes at any Towne Hall (maybe Da Lord Mayor needs a new Goon?) and
          from clear subject lines indicating when those messages are publicized.

          One thing that you and Andrew and Grimkirk have all raised is the
          desirability of openness in the process. I thought it might be worth
          noting that, at some point, there are limitations to the openness
          that is allowed by Kingdom and Society Law. Now, we're very far from
          reaching those limits, at this point, but there ARE some aspects to
          Baronial Transition (and, indeed, all Society reporting) that are
          required to be kept confidential (including, specifically, the
          results of the Official Poll of the populace, and any personal
          commentary included in any official report).

          I can't speak directly to why the Kingdom and the Society chose to
          require secrecy on certain issues of interest to the Populace, but
          they do. As such, I think it's important to know what we can and
          cannot expect to be given.

          And, like I say, everything we're doing at this point is allowed to
          be done in public, and I think ought to be. I'm just trying to give
          a heads-up, so that nobody is surprised later, when we run into the
          required secrecy that inevitably lies ahead of us.

          Christian
        • Jen Small
          Yes, and as the Towne Cryer, I will make a separate file posted in the Yahoo Group with the minutes from any future meetings, so they are easily and quickly
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1, 2008
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            Yes, and as the Towne Cryer, I will make a separate file posted in the Yahoo Group with the minutes from any future meetings, so they are easily and quickly accessible.
             
            I'll see how many of the old ones I can find and post this way.  Look for more posts when I find em.
             
             
            --Gianetta, in the official capacity of Towne Cryer

            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Hilla Hamasdohtor <hilla@...>
            To: Ayreton@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 5:43:43 PM
            Subject: Re: [Ayreton] Perceptions vs Reality

            I am somewhat sheepishly replying to my own message in light of my own
            suggestions. It has been brought to my attention (Thank you again,
            you-know-who! !!) that the minutes are indeed posted for, if not all, at
            least many of the town hall meetings. So, in light of that, I am
            wondering if future minutes might have "Minutes" in the subject header,
            so that if we have to use Yahoo's spiffy search function (no sarcasm
            here, cough) they are easily findable?

            My apologies and thanks,
            Hilla


          • Patricia E. Chadwick
            Hi Gianetta, Is it OK to republish, these minutes in our shire newsletter? I ask for a two fold reason. One our Chronicler is always wanting articles. :-)
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 2, 2008
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              Hi Gianetta,

               

              Is it OK to republish, these minutes in our shire newsletter?  I ask for a two fold reason. 

               

              One our Chronicler is always wanting articles. J    This might make for interesting reading and well I’m just trying to help her out with article recruitment.  By the way, if anyone would want to send an article or two for the newsletter.  It would be very welcome!!!  (Note: She has not asked for me to post.  I’m posting independently, just to be nice and help her out.  Speaking as a former chronicler, I recognize that getting material can sometimes be a hard thing to do.)

               

              Two, I know of at least one of our shire members who does not have electronic communication.  He does get the newsletter and stays informed of our group activities this way.

               

              Three, it would just promote additional communication for those who do not follow the e-group and there by could be informed of upcoming meetings and happens.  In short, it could get more people in the know.

               

              Ok so I can’t count but I haven’t had my tea.  Now I need to get back to work.

              Have a great day!

              Akiko

               

               


              From: Ayreton@yahoogroups.com [mailto: Ayreton@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Jen Small
              Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 8:11 PM
              To: Ayreton@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [Ayreton] Perceptions vs Reality

               

              Yes, and as the Towne Cryer, I will make a separate file posted in the Yahoo Group with the minutes from any future meetings, so they are easily and quickly accessible.

               

              I'll see how many of the old ones I can find and post this way.  Look for more posts when I find em.

               

               

              --Gianetta, in the official capacity of Towne Cryer

              ----- Original Message ----
              From: Hilla Hamasdohtor <hilla@wild-onions. org>
              To: Ayreton@yahoogroups .com
              Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 5:43:43 PM
              Subject: Re: [Ayreton] Perceptions vs Reality

              I am somewhat sheepishly replying to my own message in light of my own
              suggestions. It has been brought to my attention (Thank you again,
              you-know-who! !!) that the minutes are indeed posted for, if not all, at
              least many of the town hall meetings. So, in light of that, I am
              wondering if future minutes might have "Minutes" in the subject header,
              so that if we have to use Yahoo's spiffy search function (no sarcasm
              here, cough) they are easily findable?

              My apologies and thanks,
              Hilla

               

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