Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Westercon 71 Day 3: Giving Ourselves the Business

I spend a while this afternoon moderately relaxed sitting behind the Worldcon 76 table.

San Jose Table at Westercon

I and Ron Oakes were able to spend this part of our afternoon here because we were not at the "overflow" Westercon Business Meeting, scheduled for this afternoon if the initial hour (really 50 minutes of course to allow room changeover) had not been enough. I chaired the Business Meeting, while Ron was videographer, using Lisa's small camera gear to record the meeting inasmuch as Lisa was able to attend for a variety of factors.

We just barely managed to complete the agenda this year within the 50 minutes. We got started very shortly after 11, and I adjourned the meeting sine die at 11:50 after we disposed of the last item of substantive business on the agenda.

This is the start of the playlist for the Business Meeting recordings. I had Ron to an in-camera cut (segment break) between each of the items of business to make it a bit easier for me to manage. That means that there is one segment for the site selection results and one for each of the four pieces of substantive business introduced this year.

Seattle (SeaTac Doubletree Hotel, perhaps best known to fandom as the long-time home of Norwescon) won their unopposed bid for Westercon 73.

The four items up for debate this year (the longest agenda we've had in years) were:

  • Membership Numbers: Would have more tightly defined how committees use members' membership numbers. Failed

  • Defining "First Full Day": Would have imposed a technical definition of "first full day" of the convention, a term used in the Bylaws for certain required programming items. Failed

  • Bidders at the Site Selection Table: Explicitly requires that eligible bid committees (that is, those that have filed bids, regardless of whether they are on the ballot) must provide at least one person to work at the Site Selection desk during at-con voting. Passed, but must be ratified at Westercon 72 in Utah next year to take effect.

  • Westercon for All North America: Would have expanded Westercon from a Western North American convention to a all-of-North American convention. Postponed Indefinitely, which killed the proposal for this year without taking a direct vote on it. Like any other proposal, it can be re-introduced at a future meeting.

I do take some care to make a distinction between "failed" and "postponed indefinitely." While both mean that the proposal did not pass, the former means that the meeting voted directly to reject it, while the latter means that the meeting decided to not vote directly on the proposal at all. "Indefinitely" is a term of parliamentary art. It does not mean "forever," but rather "for the duration of the current Westercon." Both proposals voted down or postponed indefinitely can be re-introduced at a future Westercon, because the Business Meeting can't tie the hands of future Business Meetings other than by amending the bylaws.

We did have to push pretty hard to go through these items in such a short time. I'm grateful that the members agreed to time limits similar to those adopted for WSFS meetings. (Westercon doesn't have the same debate-time-setting mechanism as Worldcon; however, the meeting here voted to adopt such a practice for these proposals, and stuck with my recommendations.) I did my best to let the makers of the proposals have their say, for opponents to have an opportunity to speak, and to provide for some fair debate, but not an unlimited amount of it. I hope that nobody went away from the meeting thinking that they were treated unfairly. [Thanks to [personal profile] lindadee for spotting the unfortunate typo in this sentence as originally written.]

All votes were by uncounted show of hands or by unanimous consent, except for one vote (on an amendment to the wording of one of the proposals) where it was close enough to require a counted serpentine vote (the amendment lost 14-16).

With all business disposed of, we adjourned and managed to pack out of the room in time to hand it over to the Noon panel. I thanked [personal profile] lindadee (Secretary) and Ron Oakes (Videographer in Lisa's absence) for their help and carried my gear upstairs, where I set to work getting the video online and as many documents updated as I could. I also used the hotel room coffee maker to boil enough water to heat up some pot noodles that I bought earlier. I couldn't find the fork I'd brought back with me from 7-Eleven, so I used a couple of stir sticks from the coffee maker as chopsticks.

After dealing with getting the Westercon Business done, I changed back into my Worldcon 76 shirt and went down to our table. I was happy to spend time at the table talking to anyone who came by about Worldcon this year. Who knows? I may have even talked some folks who weren't planning on attending into making the trip to the Bay Area next month.

Costumes at Westercon

This is the only costume photo I've managed to take this weekend, but not due to a lack of people in costume. I simply haven't been sufficiently on the ball to take photos, even though a fan table is often a great place to watch the convention go by. There was a woman dressed at Sailor Mars yesterday who I really liked (and told her so, but forgot to photograph), for example, and lots of other people whose outfits I admired. Sometimes, when they stopped long enough for me to do so, I even got to tell them so.

Amazingly, I've had enough time available to get out for dinner all four nights (counting Night 0). Tonight I walked with a group down to Il Fornaio for a good Italian dinner. All and all, I've had a really good time socializing with my friends, meeting new people, selling Worldcon memberships, and helping keep Westercon business ticking over.

Tonight is the final night for me here in Denver (my flight back to Reno is late tomorrow, so I'll be around until Closing Ceremonies before heading back to Denver Airport) and there are a couple of parties open tonight, I understand, so I'll go sample them before turning in. While I've slept well here, I am starting to feel the time catching up to me.
Tags: busienss meeting, westercon, worldcon

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