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Re: [mythsoc] Ballot vote

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  • David S. Bratman
    Joan Verba writes that the reasons for increasing the size of Council are to open up additional slots and to enable the Publicist to sit on Council. Those are
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 16, 2001
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      Joan Verba writes that the reasons for increasing the size of Council are
      to open up additional slots and to enable the Publicist to sit on Council.

      Those are good arguments. My responses are:

      1) I believe, based on my experience on Council, that both the Council and
      some individual departments would benefit by these departments being folded
      in under other departments which would represent them on Council. I do not
      wish to discuss specifics in a public forum.

      2) For several years, a Publicist _did_ sit on Council. This post was
      allowed to lapse, and a non-Steward publicist eventually appointed in its
      stead. Why was this? Because, frankly, the level of activity of our
      Publicists was never worthy of a Stewardship.

      I know most of the Stewards, and I know they are quite capable of designing
      a shiny new Publicity Stewardship without fully considering whether it will
      attract anybody willing, let alone capable, of doing the job. Or fully
      considering the long-term impact of a mandated higher minimum size. And
      those Stewards I don't know may well not know the previous history of the
      position, on account of not having been around then. (Of course it might
      have been explained to them.)

      Regardless of Council size matters, were I a Steward I would argue against
      the re-creation of a Publicist unless and until we have full confidence
      that we can find someone with the talent and skills to do the job. And
      unless something's happened that I don't know about (which is quite
      possible: see below for other things I didn't know about), we most
      certainly do not.

      If you're just interested in the ballot arguments, stop here; the rest of
      this post discusses a different but related matter.

      Joan writes that the increasing of Council size was discussed at the 1998
      Members Meeting. I have no recollection of this, nor am I certain whether
      I was even present at that meeting. I was rather busy at that conference.
      (And if I wasn't present, that would explain why I don't remember it.)

      In any case, proposals for Council size enlargement were not under active
      consideration by Council at that time. If it was discussed at a Members
      Meeting where I was present, I would have felt it inappropriate for me as a
      Steward to argue in public against something being merely mooted as a
      future possibility.

      This enlargement proposal never did come before Council as an active or
      formal proposal while I was still a Steward. I heard well over a year ago
      (after my resignation) that Council was considering such a proposal, and I
      did make my suggestion (no. 1 above) informally to whichever Stewards I was
      talking to at the time. However, it was made very clear to me that
      enlargement was not a pressing need, but a matter that might be brought up
      soon in view of future needs. (No specific reference to a Publicist was
      made.) I felt it would be overkill to marshal formal arguments against the
      idea until it was active and put before the members, so I decided to wait
      until then.

      I tried to keep aware of the situation. Thus, soon after Mary Kay Kare's
      appointment as Secretary for Mythcons (someone else will have to tell me
      exactly when that was), I specifically asked a certain Steward the status
      of Council size, as with Mary Kay's appointment we appeared to have 12
      Stewards on a maximum roster of 11. This Steward told me exactly what Joan
      wrote here, that Mary Kay's appointment was being left unofficial until an
      imminently expected vacancy occurred.

      This Steward said nothing of any enlargement proposal, and I assumed the
      matter had been dropped.

      The first I learned that it was being brought before the members was when
      the ballot arrived late last month. That I waited a couple weeks after
      that is nobody's fault but mine, but that I did not learn of it until then
      is not my fault at all. I did not attend the Members Meeting at Kilauea
      because I had to leave to catch my plane home. Many other Society members
      were not present at Mythcon at all -- more than usual, as it was a small
      and distant conference.

      Thus, if any Stewards or others regret that I took this time and manner to
      raise my arguments against -- and indeed, one Steward has told me privately
      that had I had an opportunity to raise objections I could have been invited
      to write a "No" argument for the ballot, an invitation I would have
      accepted -- the fault lies in Council's insufficient communication with
      members.

      Members Meetings are a great sounding board for discussion, but they are
      very faulty as a way of gathering solid knowledge of members' preferences
      (as I learned while on Council - I have one great anecdote on that relating
      to the membership proposal), and as a means of communicating to the members
      they are completely insufficient.

      During my tenure as editor of Mythprint, I occasionally suggested that part
      of the Recording Secretary's duties should be to prepare brief write-ups of
      Council and Members Meetings for Mythprint. Nothing ever came of this. I
      would like to repeat this suggestion now. Most Societies -- The Tolkien
      Society, for instance -- report their formal doings in their bulletins. We
      should too.

      For reasons of my own background which I'll spare you here (this is too
      long a post as it is), I think I have the right to say that Council should
      communicate better with Society members.

      David Bratman
    • Trudy Shaw
      ... From: David S. Bratman To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday, February 16, 2001 12:42 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Ballot vote During my tenure as editor
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 17, 2001
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: David S. Bratman
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, February 16, 2001 12:42 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Ballot vote

        During my tenure as editor of Mythprint, I occasionally suggested that part
        of the Recording Secretary's duties should be to prepare brief write-ups of
        Council and Members Meetings for Mythprint. Nothing ever came of this. I
        would like to repeat this suggestion now. Most Societies -- The Tolkien
        Society, for instance -- report their formal doings in their bulletins. We
        should too.


        David Bratman

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

        I can't really comment on the ballot item, as I don't know anything about it except what came with the ballot and what's been posted here (maybe that's a symptom of what I'm going to say). But I would like to voice my support for this one paragraph of David Bratman's post (above).

        Except for a lapse when I moved one time too many and we lost track of each other, I've been a Society member and a Mythlore subscriber for over 15 years. But as a chronically "funds-challenged" person (last time I bought a plane ticket was 16 years ago when I flew to California for my brother's wedding), I've never made it to a Mythcon. I registered for the one in Colorado, as that was one day's driving distance, but then changed jobs shortly beforehand so, of course, had no vacation time to take off in order to attend (the organizers very graciously refunded my deposit).

        Anyway, I'm sure there are other members who, for various reasons, can't get to Mythcons regularly. For a nationwide--even worldwide--organization, I think it would be essential to publish at least an abbreviated form of the minutes of any members' meetings. If this were done in Mythprint, which has a much shorter lead time than Mythlore, I'd certainly start subscribing to that publication again. I subscribed to it for awhile, but didn't find that much of interest to me, so have subscribed to only Mythlore since then.

        Getting hooked up to this on-line group has made me feel a little more "connected" out here on the plains, but knowing more about what's happening at the members' meetings would be a great help.

        -- Trudy Shaw



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