Some of you may have heard that at the AGM there was a vote on whether the space gets CCTV installed.
It seems that at the meeting, the options available to vote for changed at the last minute from what was advertised on the forum. This meant that there was an option advertised on the forum that wasn’t asked in the actual votes (delay).
This also meant that those who had sent votes in by proxy didn’t have time understand what the new votes were, and cast their vote accordingly.
People may have voted by proxy for a number of reasons, including being away or being at work and thus unable to attend or respond instantly. This puts them at a disadvantage to others, which isn’t right.
In my instance, the vote cast by my proxy was not what I’d have voted for. This is not a criticism of my proxy, they were put in a situation where they felt they had to say something with little warning and did their best. But that’s not a legitimate way to host a vote and the chair of each meeting needs to ensure that hackspace business is conducted with integrity.
I understand there will be another vote at the next members meeting on the final implementation anyway, so I’d like to include a clarification vote where people who weren’t there can have their votes recorded accurately.
Votes I propose:
- Do you vote FOR or AGAINST CCTV in the space at all. If FOR wins, proceed to vote 2.
- Do you vote FOR or AGAINST the plan proposed by the board.
If FOR wins, proceed with implementation. If AGAINST wins, refine the plans for a vote at the next meeting.
The board should present their finalised plans at least a week before the vote so any tweaks and amendments can be suggested and responded to, to increase chances of the plans being accepted formally.
I ask that the votes, once agreed, don’t change again at the meeting, and if they do, then time is given for people to respond accordingly.
I apologise the votes changed during the meeting. I too find it frustrating when things change last minute, I sent out the voting form 11 days before the AGM, and no one made any comments on anything until the day before the AGM itself.
The change to the vote for the CCTV was based on general agreement (of all opinions) from the majority of the near-thirty people room that the proposed change made sense, and gave the membership a better range of choices to represent opinion. The vote I had designed (in hindsight) unfairly split the ‘no’ vote into those who were adament it was a no, and those who conceded yes would win and voted entrances only. This was only raised shortly before the vote.
The Board try our best to always act with integrity, and I believe we have made great progress this past year in making the functioning of the board and how the space spends it’s money more transparent to the membership. Unfortunately we aren’t expert ballot designers, and sometimes we do have to think on our feet and respond to suggestions in the moment.
The vote was not at all close. Had it been a closer tie between choices then we would have postponed the vote. But even if every proxy had voted differently, it would have made no impact on the outcome of the vote.
The space will proceed with implementation of CCTV, subject to the membership approving the paperwork before purchase of any equipment, with the option for redrafting the design/data protection policies until they are approved.
It’s good to hear there was consensus - that’s really the main thing that matters. Democracy needs to be respected, and it’s good it’s acknowledged that the process wasn’t the best at the meeting.
Next time I’d say it is worth taking things a bit slower, unless there’s an emergency and it warrants snap decisions. So if there’s an agreement to change the votes then it needs to be pushed back to the next meeting.
I look forward to seeing the final plans and paperwork for approval at the next meeting. Hopefully comments on it can be made on the forum in advance so that amendments and questions can be dealt with.