Harmony between secretaries

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Christopher Pitt

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Aug 11, 2016, 3:26:59 PM8/11/16
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Hey folks,

Nominations appear to be proceeding well. Given how many people (and diverse personalities) have been nominated, it seems appropriate to discuss the issue of harmony between secretaries. Let me give two examples:

1. Paul and Phil get voted in at the same time. What does that mean for the discussions they are now forced to have? As far as I know, they are not on speaking terms outside of recent threads. I have high regard for their technical prowess, but they just don't seem to get along at the moment, so might this negatively impact their ability to function as an effective team (http://i.vimeocdn.com/video/435660973_1280x720.jpg)?

2. One of Paul's aims (which it pretty good as far as I'm concerned) is to act as a check against secretaries over-stepping the bounds of their role. Could the combative conversational style Paul has on occasion demonstrated* create division between the secretaries? There is currently no documented mediation process or code of conduct which defines appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. How could this be managed? 

* Links in the pre-vote discussion thread. It has not officially been closed, but at this stage it looks like Paul will remain the representative of the Aura project. I don't mention "combative conversational style" as a disqualifier for the position of secretary, as it's clear Paul has enough support to converse as he pleases. It's simply to illustrate a perceived gap in process for how secretaries resolve conflict.

Phil Sturgeon

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Aug 11, 2016, 4:27:50 PM8/11/16
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1. I can but try. :)

2. I'm not entirely sure that Paul's aim of being a Secretary Moderator fits within the role of being a Secretary. IF he wishes to change the bylaws then that sounds like something Adam is campaigning against letting Secretaries do, so that will indeed be interesting. Remember, at this point the secretaries have not overstepped their role in any way, so the need for this might not exist. Plus, the voting members are able to throw random votes on whatever they want at any time, so if a bunch of people say "Hey, I don't like what that secretary just did" and all the secretaries refuse to do anything about it, then a vote could be held about that. That is entirely hypothetical, and exceedingly unlikely. That's why there are three, not one or two. 

I find the whole secretary power paranoia thing to be rather odd and incredibly monotonous. It seems to be based on literally nothing, other than the secretaries doing what they've been asked to do, and that one "Probably ignore Dracony's vote on his own expulsion" thing that was reverted a a few minutes/hours later. I don't think we need to dedicate any more time to worrying about secretarial powers being overstepped.

Moving on, you make a solid point here: "There is currently no documented mediation process or code of conduct which defines appropriate and inappropriate behaviour." A Code of Conduct would have helped the Aura conversation on both sides. People wanted to know specifically which rule he broke, and of course there is none, because we don't have a set of rules for behaviour.  The heavily anti-CoC stance taken when the conversation came up blocked the FIG from having a CoC, so when the same people demand to see a list of rules that are supposedly broken the irony levels really do spike.

If we want to avoid long drawn out conversations about whether somebody is causing a problem to the group, having a list of things that we think are problems would be a cracking start. Mediation would be part of the process, and expulsion a final step. That was exactly how it happened this time, just... way more public and ongoing. 

As the group moves forwards, past this rough and tricky time, maybe re-evaluating the idea of a CoC would be beneficial for everyone to avoid a similar situation arising in the future.
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