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[council] Re: NC Chair Election

Quoting Caroline:

> The question to me is do we have a candidate that has shown
> through their activities on the NC and in the DNSO their
> commitment to the cause, has the time needed to do a good job, and
> has the objectivity necessary to be a good leader.

I certainly agree that these are desirable attributes. If there is
someone in office who possesses them, there is little reason to do
anything other than express gratitude for their willingness to tend
to its duties for as long as that willingness might exist. Indeed,
this is a prime basis for filling both non-elected positions and
elected positions that are not subject to limitations of term.

The NC Chair is, however, an elected position with a fixed term that
is clearly stated in the NC Rules of Procedure. I wasn't around when
these were drafted and know nothing of the discussion behind them.
If subsequent experience suggests it reasonable to modify them, it
is equally reasonable to take commensurate action. It seems to me as
though the current debate was triggered because there are no clear
rules for changing the rules and that our notions of appropriate
action are divergent.

> The reason that we even started talking about the NC election at
> all is because I raised it as an AOB at the last meeting.

The NC election is a mandated event. The initiation of its
discussion should be a periodic matter of routine business.

> I made clear at the last meeting that my intention was to come up
> with a way to allow Philip to rerun.

A further component of the current debate is the need for separating
action intended to modify the terms of the office, from action
related to a specific individual. One common means for avoiding
difficulty resulting from lack of clarity in such situations is by
bringing procedural changes regarding elections into effect first
subsequent to an intervening election.

> I personally would have preferred not knowing who the other
> candidate(s) might be before voting on the motion

I agree completely. At one point, we were spitting distance from
effectively saying, "let's see who the candidates are and then
decide if we want to hold the election". I waded into this
discussion extremely reluctantly after I was convinced that the vote
on the motion might also be biased by the belief that nobody new
would be available for nomination, anyway. (Yet another in the
series of dilemmas to which I referred in my previous posting.)

> Moreover, people could now read into anyone voted in favor of the
> motion as some indication that they were not in favor of your
> running, even though that may not be the case at all.

You have clearly stated that the purpose of the motion is to keep
Philip in the running. You continue:

> Philip would have a slight advantage over other candidates because
> he is the incumbent, but this is always the case in such a
> situation (at least in the case where people feel the incumbent
> has done a good job).

Since Philip has been doing a good job, and the office has little
intrinsic allure, I don't think that his advantage as an incumbent
would be slight. It would likely be decisive; at least nearly enough
so for potential candidates to wonder if it would be worth the time
and effort to protract the discussion by even announcing their

I sincerely feel it unfortunate that the procedural and personal
issues have been intertwined. It would have been possible to
separate them, for example, by moving to postpone the election by
six months with reference to the DNSO review, during the course of
which it would be natural to consider revision of the NC Rules of

> Regardless of the rotation issue, I think everyone is most
> concerned at this critical stage about getting the candidate with
> the right qualifications to run.

For what it's worth, I feel that a robust procedural basis for
rotating the chair is one of the things that remains to be


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