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Thread: New proposed GAGB constitution

  1. #1
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Hey, let's get ahead of ourselves.... here, a few days early, is the NEW version of the proposed GAGB constitution!

    It is heavily based on the Charity Commission's Model Constitution, but with all the bits that we talked about last time around. Ok, "aims" are now called "objects" and things like that, but the meat is still in there.

    If there are no major issues, then may I suggest we start the vote NEXT MONDAY EVENING (9th Feb) and run it until approx 9pm on MONDAY 16th FEB?

    As before, I will make sure that anyone who is a member before now is entitled to vote.


    Paul Blitz
    GAGB Committee

  2. #2
    Omally Guest

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    Looks OK to me... is that going to be enough voting time? I should think so, given the time of year, but you never know who'll miss out.

  3. #3
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by Omally@Feb 2 2004, 10:55 PM
    Looks OK to me... is that going to be enough voting time? I should think so, given the time of year, but you never know who'll miss out.
    True... but that's ALWAYS gonna be a problem. (If anyone DOES have a problem, please tell us)

    By the way, in the new version of the constitution, there is a paragraph to do with age for membership: the model constitution said 18 (for legal reasons, for a charity). I changed that to 12: don't worry about that figure... it WILL be discussed when we talk about membership etc, and CAN be changed, but 12 seemed a good compromise for now.

    Other than that, the constitution says little about membership: that will (eventually) end up in the SO's... but after all the discussion.

    (Until then, we'll be "open"...ie if you are signed up *before* we start discussion, you get to vote. I don't think the odd vote either way is likely to make much difference.)


    Paul

  4. #4
    MCL Guest

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    OK, looks pretty good to me, but there are one or two glitches that could bear a second look:

    - Section B: should read "constituted by clauses G and P..."

    - Section C: Liaising not liasing .

    - Section C: "To keep membership of GAGB free of charge." Full stop. "for members" is redundant.

    - Section G(2): "..shall be made during a special meeting.." not "at a special meeting" since at implies location and the meetings are online and therefore locationless...

    - Section G(6): This may require clarification, in that many people might infer from it that, say, a 14 year old could not stand for election to the committee, whereas in fact no such limitation applies.

    - Section H(1): I guess the "reason of mental disorder" disqualifies all of us lot then!

    - Section J(2): Reference to "any other business" could be viewed as ambiguous, since one item on many agendas is "Any Other Business" and that always comes at the end! Better to word it something like "..chairman of the meeting before the first agenda item".

    - Section I(2), J(2) and J(5): "..of meetings" or "..during meetings" instead of "..at meetings". Locationless again, you see?

    - Section L(3): I think we should consider the juxtaposition of the November elections and the January accounts. I would prefer to see the annual accounts just before the elections so "if the last lot screwed it up, they face the music in the subsequent elections." I am not suggesting for one minute that anyone currently elected would engage in anything improper, but in the future it might be a different story. It seems daft to me that the task of compiling the last year's accounts should fall to a brand new committee each year. The "accounting" of a year should be just that ie the committee are giving us an account of their time in office, upon which they may be judged. I say make the accounts end on October 31st. Elections 2 weeks later. New accounts, new committee. Simple huh?

    - Section M(6): We need to discuss this because in order to know if a vote is valid there needs to be a person responsible for declaring an official membership number at each election. How this number is arrived at really needs to be pinned down. Over time, lots of apparent members are going to build up in the database, many of whom may no longer be members either because they are no longer interested in caching and have just forgotten to cancel their membership, or indeed may have died and no-one thinks to contact GAGB to let us know. In years to come I can envisage a scenario where there may be say 100 voters yet the database may consist of over 1000 apparently open memberships. This would mean that no vote would ever be valid any more, including one that tried to remove this problem from the constitution!

    - Section N(2): Please define a "4 month rule". I'm sure it is a good one, but please tell us what it is.


    There remains the problem of the absent chairman. Since the constitution dictates that the EC must comprise a chairman plus others, the post of chairman is not optional. Once might argue that the EC is unconstitutional without it, even with clause P included. Since the post of chairman is so explicitly ordained in the constitution, there needs to be a special clause to deal with replacing ones that resign/die/are expelled.

    Thats it as far as I can see. Now, did anyone murmur something about "he should get out more..." :P

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Sorry to nit pick Paul, but section I (2) needs a slight change. Currently it reads "professional capacity on behalf of the charity", charity needs changing to organisation or association. Dave
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  6. #6
    paul.blitz Guest

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    - Section B: should read "constituted by clauses G and P..."
    yes, agree

    - Section C: Liaising not liasing .
    yes, so it is!!!!

    - Section C: "To keep membership of GAGB free of charge." Full stop. "for members" is redundant.
    If were to introduce "commercial associate membership" then maybe we would want to charge them.... heck, we can sort THAT out when we debate membership, so, yes, lets go with your suggestion!

    - Section G(2): "..shall be made during a special meeting.." not "at a special meeting" since at implies location and the meetings are online and therefore locationless...
    Picky, but you are correct....


    - Section G(6): This may require clarification, in that many people might infer from it that, say, a 14 year old could not stand for election to the committee, whereas in fact no such limitation applies.
    No, there IS a limitation. All current committee are over 18.

    The original CC constitution had membership and exec membership both at 18 (for good legal reasons).

    Whilst I dropped membership to 12 (and have already indicated that this needs to be discussed by the membership), my meaning here was that any committee member MUST BE 18... if exec members are to negotiate etc, then they need to be of legal age.

    - Section H(1): I guess the "reason of mental disorder" disqualifies all of us lot then!
    damn, better call a new committee election right away then!


    - Section J(2): Reference to "any other business" could be viewed as ambiguous, since one item on many agendas is "Any Other Business" and that always comes at the end! Better to word it something like "..chairman of the meeting before the first agenda item".
    That comes straight from the CC model constitution: if they are happy with it, then I see no reason to change it. I don't find it confusing. :-)

    - Section I(2), J(2) and J(5): "..of meetings" or "..during meetings" instead of "..at meetings". Locationless again, you see?
    yep, fair comments, done!


    - Section L(3): I think we should consider the juxtaposition of the November elections and the January accounts.
    Hmmm... VERY valid & important point.... let me think on it, but will probably do something along the lines you suggest.


    - Section M(6): We need to discuss this because in order to know if a vote is valid there needs to be a person responsible for declaring an official membership number at each election. How this number is arrived at really needs to be pinned down.
    That should be the duty of the returning officer, and should be included in the SO's. Thanks for highlighting that one.

    Over time, lots of apparent members are going to build up in the database.....
    This is one of the things that MUST be addressed in the membership discussions coming up. In fact, the Data Protection Act REQUIRES the database be kkept up to date.

    <shooting from the hip>
    One thought I already had was to require members (at least the VOTING members) to "rejoin" every year, just like in any other "club"... that WOULD keep the database up-to date
    </shooting from the hip>

    - Section N(2): Please define a "4 month rule". I&#39;m sure it is a good one, but please tell us what it is.
    To be defined in the SO&#39;s&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; :P

    There remains the problem of the absent chairman.
    This constitution is really no different from the CC one in that... we can coopt etc Given that we are about to run an election for chair; this occurs in other organisations & is manged withing the constitution, I see no real problem.

    Thats it as far as I can see. Now, did anyone murmur something about "he should get out more..." :P
    You said it, not me&#33;&#33;&#33;


    Many thanks for that feedback&#33;


    paul

  7. #7
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Hi Paul&#33;

    Good work there ... on the whole seems excellent. However, I feel the need to bring up the issue of financing.

    According to the proposed guidelines, committee members are responsible for covering their own expenses ... travel, fuel, food and so on. Also, they are responsible for other GAGB running costs ... currently, I&#39;m not sure what these would be but I&#39;d hazard a guess of website, telephone and stationary. I can see how this is currently needed as the GAGB is, I would imagine, quite brassic&#33;

    However, a huge part of me is uncomfortable with this for a few reasons that I&#39;ll try to get across ...

    1 - Elections are in Nov and accounts come out at the end of Dec ... prospective candidates aren&#39;t going to know the cost that they are going to have to shoulder to keep the GAGB running if they get elected. Would that be £10, £100, £500 or £1000 a year? Currently, I guess that the costs are low, however, as the GAGB grows, so the costs are likely to grow.

    2 - Is the prospect of shouldering increasing costs going to a) stifle potentially good committee members and B) possibly cause committee members to withdraw. Again, I&#39;m not seeing this as a problem in the short term but more in the intermediate term.

    3 - Is it realistic for the association to be funded by the committee? Are we really just going too far of the free lunch thing here for members (because, at the end of the day, the if members aren&#39;t picking up the cheque, the committee memebers are :P )? I&#39;m not advocating a fully paid for membership but the more I look at the objects of the association, the more I feel that it is soon going to need a cash injection. There is only two places that this will come from - Geocachers and donations. Wanting to appear "free" and "non-commercial" is not a bad thing but just look at GC.com ... ads, trinkets, affiliate programs. It would be a terrible shame if opening opportunities with landowners or promotion events were stifled simple because at the early stages there is a instilled a "phobia" to having a revenue stream.

  8. #8
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by Mancunian@Feb 3 2004, 10:19 AM
    Sorry to nit pick Paul, but section I (2) needs a slight change. Currently it reads "professional capacity on behalf of the charity", charity needs changing to organisation or association. Dave
    well spotted, thanks for the nit-picking&#33;

    paul

  9. #9
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Good work there ...
    thanks...

    However, I feel the need to bring up the issue of financing.
    please do... I&#39;ll try & give a "simple" answer.... but please remember that a constitution is NOT set in stone. It is QUITE possible to change it in the future, as needs change.

    The "keep membership free" and "non-commercial" are "objects", or "aims" if you prefer that word. Often "real life" does get in the way of our desires.... doesn&#39;t stop us stating our desires though. With our current "apparent needs" we believe that we can "keep it free" for at least the near future. I can&#39;t predict the more distant future any more than you though...

    ***Let me make it clear here & now: I am ###NOT### using this as a way of suggesting GAGB be commercial or should charge a membership***

    According to the proposed guidelines
    would you mind if we replace that word "guidelines" there with the word "constitution" please. Guidelines are just that: a constitution is FAR more "rigid".

    committee members are responsible for covering their own expenses ... travel, fuel, food and so on. Also, they are responsible for other GAGB running costs ... currently, I&#39;m not sure what these would be but I&#39;d hazard a guess of website, telephone and stationary. I can see how this is currently needed as the GAGB is, I would imagine, quite brassic&#33;
    Just because a committee member is "responsible for" doesn&#39;t mean it actually has to come out of their own pocket. Already there are 2 people who have "schemes" for providing GAGB with some money to cover some of the obvious costs of web-hosting etc.

    1 - Elections are in Nov and accounts come out at the end of Dec (etc)...
    ... already spotted by MCL (although always good to see someone else with their brain working&#33;&#33;&#33. I agree 100%, and that will need to be addressed before we vote on the constitution. I suspect MCL&#39;s idea of accounts to be "published" at end october would seem reasonable... which probably means we run the "accounting year" from Oct to Sept.

    Currently, I guess that the costs are low, however, as the GAGB grows, so the costs are likely to grow.
    There are 2 ways to approach this one (and we&#39;re rapidly getting away from the constitution on this&#33;&#33;&#33... one is to accept that we WILL need to "generate funds".... the other is to "cut your cloth to suit what you have". Lets not worry about this JUST yet, please&#33;

    2 - Is the prospect of shouldering increasing costs going to a) stifle potentially good committee members and B) possibly cause committee members to withdraw. Again, I&#39;m not seeing this as a problem in the short term but more in the intermediate term.
    Again, a very fair comment, but not really relevant here (yet&#33. It *is* something that will need addressing. you go on to say...

    3 - Is it realistic for the association to be funded by the committee? (much deleted)
    I think we will see certain "donations" coming our way, by willing cachers who do things to raise some funds (O&#39;mally selling ammo boxes, also Cat has indicated a possible donation from his next charity foxhunt or similar).

    It IS something that we will need to watch...

    I agree with a lot of what you have said, but this current discussion is about the constitution. In the future, we CAN change it...(we = 2/3 of membership voting)


    (Paul&#39;s personal thoughts follow...)
    Keeping GAGB "free to members" is much a "frame of mind". If the decision were taken to go the other way, and charge membership fees, have adverts on the website, directly sell GAGB merchandise, then we would (possibly) have lots of money, which would end up being spent almost just for the sake of it. Such an attitude would greatly, maybe COMPLETELY, change the "mindset" of those in GAGB.

    Yes, things cost, but there are many things you can do to minimise the costs... and if the money is very restricted, then you WILL watch what is spent.

    Geocaching will never be "free". I buy maps. I buy welly boots. I buy bits to go into caches. Heck, I buy caches too&#33; I buy batteries (even rechargables need initially buying & then replacing). I need food & drink. Luckily, at the moment, my petrol is "free".

    But there IS a difference between THAT and having to pay 50p for each cache page I want to look at. Or even paying a £30 membership fee.
    (end of my thoughts)


    The whole issue of "paying the running costs" is, whilst an important topic in its own right, it is at the moment, getting rather away from the issue in hand.... agreeing on a constitution&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;


    Paul

  10. #10
    paul.blitz Guest

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    OK, new updated version of the constitution is online (same place as before, same name):

    - various typos / cockups fixed in paras B, C, G2, I2, J2, J5
    - accounting year ends 30th Sept (it was NEARLY 31st Sept&#33;&#33;&#33 in para L3
    - accounts to be submitted to membership by end of October in para L2


    Paul

  11. #11
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Thanks for clarifying Paul.

    I wasn&#39;t meaning that any change was needed to the constitution as it stood for now but wondering if there had been some planning for the future - and I see that there has been planning&#33;

    Well done&#33;

  12. #12
    Teasel Guest

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    I think M6...
    6. A vote will only be deemed valid if at least one tenth of the ?voting members?, or 10 members of the GAGB, whichever is the greater, cast a vote.
    ...should be removed. Alternatively, we could change the word "greater" to "smaller" (just in case membership should ever fall beneath 100 members).

    There are currently 394 accounts registered on the GAGB forums. Even after removing admin and sockpuppet accounts, that would mean that the recent 32:2 acceptance of the GAGB guidelines (which I regard as a resounding endorsement&#33 would have been declared invalid.

  13. #13
    MCL Guest

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    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Feb 3 2004, 09:14 PM
    No, there IS a limitation. All current committee are over 18.

    The original CC constitution had membership and exec membership both at 18 (for good legal reasons).

    Whilst I dropped membership to 12 (and have already indicated that this needs to be discussed by the membership), my meaning here was that any committee member MUST BE 18... if exec members are to negotiate etc, then they need to be of legal age.
    Ah. I think, read literally, there isn&#39;t, so perhaps one should be put in.

    My reasoning runs thus:

    The constitution says that "Nobody shall be appointed ...who is under age 18...". The key here is the word appointed. If you think about it, committee members are only appointed by co-option. Most committee members are elected.

    I can find nowhere in the text that says no-one can stand for election unless they are 18. Therefore, there is no limit on election to committee, apart from the obvious one of minimum age for membership.

    All that the current text says is that the committee cannot co-opt anyone under 18.


    Now I do actually think that is fair. To place a limit on co-option is fine by me, since for co-option purposes the whole membership is not consulted. However - and this goes back to our old debate about democracy and the will of the membership - if the membership decide that they want to elect a 14 year old one day, then I think they should be free to do so. The election process itself is a good enough regulator without having an extra one built into the constitution. I say if a 14 year old has the ability to get enough people to vote him or her into office then I see no reason why we "constitution-writers" should gainsay their judgement. It goes against all the tenets of democracy that I hold dear.

    Trust the electorate to decide each case on its merits.


    Having said all that, if you still want a limit placed on standing for election, then you must realise that as it is currently written, there is no limit. So please write one in.

    I just knew that people would get confused by that clause. Even the writers&#33;


    There is a further alarm bell that has just rung in my head. Nowhere does it say that a committee member has to be a member of the organisation&#33; So in fact, even the minimum membership age does not preclude someone younger from standing for election as the text current reads. I suspect the reason for this is that for the CC version, they don&#39;t envisage a membership organisation for their charities. Most small charities don&#39;t have members, just people who turn up and help out. In fact, normally the hardest bit is getting anyone to turn up for the AGM and vote, let alone stand for committee...

    Anyway, this whole mess needs to be cleaned up one way or the other.

  14. #14
    Teasel Guest

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    Nowhere does it say that a committee member has to be a member of the organisation&#33;
    Clause G1 states: "The Executive Committee shall consist of not more than 7 members being"
    So the committee is made up from members. (We should probably insert a &#39;GAGB&#39; in there if it makes it clearer.) Any age rules that apply to membership therefore automatically apply to committee members also. Personally, I believe we need some sort of age restriction on membership (otherwise my 16mth old son could join up and vote&#33.

    So, two questions remain:

    - What age we should allow people to participate in the gagb democracy? (birth if you wish, but I&#39;d argue for somewhere in the teens)

    - Is there any reason we should have a higher age limit for election to the committee? If there are legal reasons, then the decision is made for us, but otherwise it is for us to decide.

    FWIW, my personal opinion is that I&#39;d be happy for a 13 year old to be allowed to have a say in the running of their sport, and to be voting members of the GAGB. However, I&#39;d be much less happy for that child to take time off school to negotiate land access agreements on our behalf with their County Council. So much less happy, indeed, that I&#39;d be willing to forgoe a little "democracy" and ban it under the constitution. In an online environment, the subject of age rarely comes up. I don&#39;t think it&#39;s particularly unlikely that a mature 13 year old could win a seat on the committee without anyone suspecting how old they were. But should that person present himself in person to a landowner, there&#39;s a good chance they&#39;d not be listened to, no matter how good their rhetoric.

  15. #15
    paul.blitz Guest

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    The constitution says that "Nobody shall be appointed ...who is under age 18...". The key here is the word appointed. If you think about it, committee members are only appointed by co-option. Most committee members are elected.
    Bearing in mind that the constitution comes from CC model...

    I would argue, quite simply, that an election is a mechanism via which the membership appoints exec committee members.

    If we accept that, then your next comment:

    I can find nowhere in the text that says no-one can stand for election unless they are 18. Therefore, there is no limit on election to committee, apart from the obvious one of minimum age for membership.
    is covered

    However - and this goes back to our old debate about democracy and the will of the membership - if the membership decide that they want to elect a 14 year old one day, then I think they should be free to do so.

    As I&#39;ve said before, we want to discuss all aspects of membership after the constitution / SOs are accepted & a chair elected... this discussion needs to happen there, and not here.

    But, from a purely LEGAL perspective, I would be urging members to allow only 18 year olds to the committee. We are delegating the running of our organisation to the committee, and that implies certain legal obligations (eg we want these people to go & talk to outside organisations).... only an 18 year old plus has the "legal status".


    If it helps, I&#39;ll rweword the relavant bit to make things 110% clear.

    I just knew that people would get confused by that clause. Even the writers&#33;
    to be honest, you&#39;ll find that maybe 90% of people get confused by something in a constitution&#33;&#33;&#33;


    There is a further alarm bell that has just rung in my head. Nowhere does it say that a committee member has to be a member of the organisation&#33;
    Oh for heaven&#39;s sake&#33;

    It doesn&#39;t say that in the CC one either, but I think you&#39;d find, in law, that an exec commitee member MUST be a member of the organisation.


    ....I suspect the reason for this is that for the CC version, they don&#39;t envisage a membership organisation for their charities. Most small charities don&#39;t have members, just people who turn up and help out.
    The CC model constitution states that members must be 18, as well as exec.

    And no, the huge majority of charities DO have members.... more so now than historically, as charities will need to have suitable insurance to cover "their members".... if they ain&#39;t members, then they don&#39;t get cover. At WHR, we have a rule that sub-18, and non-members are NOT ALLOWED onsite unless accompanied by a member.


    If there is going to be an issue with the age restrictions, then IN THE SHORT TERM until we discuss it further, in keeping with the CC model constiturion, I&#39;ll set the membership age to 18.



    Paul

  16. #16
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Feb 3 2004, 10:47 PM
    I think M6...
    6. A vote will only be deemed valid if at least one tenth of the ?voting members?, or 10 members of the GAGB, whichever is the greater, cast a vote.
    ...should be removed. Alternatively, we could change the word "greater" to "smaller" (just in case membership should ever fall beneath 100 members).

    There are currently 394 accounts registered on the GAGB forums. Even after removing admin and sockpuppet accounts, that would mean that the recent 32:2 acceptance of the GAGB guidelines (which I regard as a resounding endorsement&#33 would have been declared invalid.
    erm, yes, well spotted&#33; I&#39;ll work in it&#33;&#33;&#33;


    Paul

  17. #17
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Feb 4 2004, 10:55 AM
    So, two questions remain:

    - What age we should allow people to participate in the gagb democracy? (birth if you wish, but I&#39;d argue for somewhere in the teens)

    - Is there any reason we should have a higher age limit for election to the committee? If there are legal reasons, then the decision is made for us, but otherwise it is for us to decide.
    Please, can we not let discussions of AGE levels take over this thread.

    I have clearly stated, several times now, that we WILL BE HAVING an extensive discussion on ALL aspects of membership, including ages of members (heck, maybe we need an upper age limit too :-) ) within the next month or so (this was agreed at the recent committee meeting)

    As a result of that discussion, the constitution will be updated, if needed.

    So anything in the current constitution regarding membership definition is "up for grabs". Yes, we need *something* in there.... and from my perspective, as long as it is "reasonable" then it&#39;s good enough.

    Maybe I should revert, for the time being, to the CC model constitution values, where you need to be 18 to be a member.


    paul

  18. #18
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    I agree with you Paul that discussing how the GAGB will fund itself is somewhat getting in the way of discussing the constitution at hand, however, I&#39;m sure that you will also agree though that since financing is discussed in the constitution, it&#39;s discussion is as valid as discussing the age of members and committee members and so on - after all, the scope here is what&#39;s in the constitution&#33;

    However, if you think that this is getting in the way, feel free to split this thread off and it can become a separate discussion.

    Personally, I&#39;m questioning why have the non-commercial object in the constitution (note that I consider this separate to fee paying membership - I don&#39;t think most of the membership are ready for this yet&#33; ). I understand why caching should be kept non-commercial but if we look at the GC.com site as an example, they have an absolute ban on commercial caches but their site has many commercial elements to it (even going as far as promoting the Magellan Treasure Hunt - which were commercial cacher&#33. The two are not mutually exclusive. I fail to see why it should be here.

    (This site already links to GC.com. - by far the most commercial of all the cache listing sites I can find - which, if you just take a quick glimps at the front page, is a very commercial site. If the GAGB are to be non-commercial, how can they retain ties with a commercial site?)

    Affiliate schemes are one example of how the GAGB could cover some of it&#39;s running costs without burdening the membership, without directly becoming commercial and without charging membership.

    If the decision were taken to go the other way, and charge membership fees, have adverts on the website, directly sell GAGB merchandise, then we would (possibly) have lots of money, which would end up being spent almost just for the sake of it.
    Hmmmm. This always seems to be the cry of small charities, small organizations and too many small businesses. The idea that "if we had too much money, we&#39;d just have to find ways to spend it, and that would be a pain". Well, there&#39;s a difference between small throughput and abundance (or too much&#33; :P )
    I think that by simple going for "non-commercial" in it&#39;s entirety the GAGB is going the wrong way.

    But there IS a difference between THAT and having to pay 50p for each cache page I want to look at. Or even paying a £30 membership fee.
    I think that these are both unrealistic. I doubt you&#39;d get anyone to pay for either really&#33; However, with an affiliate scheme (such as Amazon.co.uk) you could sell maps and GPSrs at not extra cost to everyone without it costing a penny extra. This is a Win-Win situation. Cachers recommend kit, users buy it at a good price and the GAGB gets a little back. Commercial? Yes. Harming anyone? No. Benefitting members and non-memebers alike? Yes. Allowing the GAGB to slowly grow? Yes.

    Keep caching non-commercial by all means, but why stifle an embryonic association with this suffocating object without need&#33;

  19. #19
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Feb 4 2004, 12:57 PM
    Maybe I should revert, for the time being, to the CC model constitution values, where you need to be 18 to be a member.
    Any ideas how many existing members are under 18? How many existing members would this affect and how would we go about revoking their membership? Even reverting to this "for the time being" would mean that once the constitution was voted on and accepted, anyone why signed up who was and still is under 18 is kicked out.

    Again, i think that this has severe implications as I wouldn&#39;t like the idea of anyone being discriminated against, not matter what age (especially since out team consists of 3 members under 18&#33;&#33;&#33; )

    This age isssue if a tricky one indeed <_<

  20. #20
    Teasel Guest

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    If the GAGB are to be non-commercial, how can they retain ties with a commercial site?
    The aim of Groundspeak Inc. is to maximise profits by promoting geocaching. The aim of the GAGB is to promote geocaching. Now, we can sit around the fire, debating how nice it would be if the guys at Groundspeak provided all their services free of membership fees, sponsorship, merchandising, advertising and other commercialism. But the plain fact is that nurturing ties with GC.com furthers the aims of the GAGB. But just because the most popular cache listing site has costs so large that it feels it must raise money commercially, that&#39;s no reason that a local association like GAGB should follow suit. Where&#39;s the logic in that?

    However, with an affiliate scheme (such as Amazon.co.uk) you could sell maps and GPSrs at not extra cost to everyone without it costing a penny extra.
    Personally I&#39;d find that quite grubby&#33;

    I&#39;d far prefer that we licenced people like Amazon to use our logo, in return for a share of any profits they made from GAGB branded merchandise. They should be advertising us, not vice versa&#33;

    Besides the cost of the website and miscellaneous expenses such as phone calls, sending letters etc, there&#39;s nothing else we need. OK, it would be nice to have a little spare cash slopping around. For example, if the outcome of future debates is that we ask for addresses, then the least we can do is pop a nice laminated membership card in the post. But if the cost of doing that sort of thing is that GAGB sell product endorsements to companies such as Amazon, then yuck, not for me&#33; Let&#39;s stick to semi-anonymous voluntary donations.

    If the committee and membership of GAGB can&#39;t voluntarily cough up the cost of a website, phone calls, letters and maybe some fuel between them, then I&#39;d be both surprised and dismayed.

    But at the end of the day, this constitution will not be unchangeable. Someone can always come up with a proposal saying that if we sell advertising space to X, we&#39;ll raise Y amount of money, which will let us do Z. If they can persuade 2/3 of the membership that the benefits of Z outweigh the grubbiness of X, then that&#39;s democracy&#33;

  21. #21
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Teasel@Feb 4 2004, 02:33 PM
    I&#39;d far prefer that we licenced people like Amazon to use our logo, in return for a share of any profits they made from GAGB branded merchandise. They should be advertising us, not vice versa&#33;
    Remember that here I&#39;m talking about the non-commercial clause, not membership fees&#33;
    Booo&#33; Hissss&#33;


    Actually, I think you can do that and have a store. And as far as I remember with Amazon, an affiliate program with the likes of Amazon is no endorsement either way ... I&#39;m talking here of simply listing a few items that geocachers might want to buy and getting a commission for the sale, not turning the GAGB site into a shrine to a big corporation&#33; As to grubby, I see it no grubbier than linking to GC.com&#33;

    Maybe the likes of Amazon should be advertising the GAGB, but remember, outside of a small group of geocachers, few know who/what the GAGB is&#33;

    You also raised the issue that:
    the most popular cache listing site has costs so large that it feels it must raise money commercially, that&#39;s no reason that a local association like GAGB should follow suit
    . Well, I&#39;ll tell you that what we are getting into here - ultimately politics - is expansive. Looking professional to landowners and prospective members also costs (although the costs don&#39;t have to be too high). Looking at the proposed GAGB constitution, I can see that it has some pretty big hopes - so far without any clear way to fund them. Sorry, but there is a bottom line here.

    Basically, I just don&#39;t understand the logic of having this non-commercial clause in the constitution (unless, again, it is bowing to external pressure) when, in months or years, we will probably have to vote on changing this or lose valuable opportunities.

    Not having a limiting object in the constitution doesn&#39;t mean that the GAGB has to all-out commercial - it&#39;s just means that it has the option if it wants to&#33;

    My closing questions are:
    1 - Who does it harm by removing the "non-commercial" object?
    2 - Why do we need this object?

    I could list here at least 5 other associations/leagues/groups that tried the non-commercial route, deciding to rely solely on donations that either had to change within 2 years of actually starting to do something or are no longer with us - fact and reality. Donations are great. Having a committee foot the bill is great, but I&#39;ve seen small organizations be really shocked when the true costs are totted up at the end of the year.

    Wait until the workload starts to build, more members want more things done, the GAGB is spread thinner and thinner dealing with both landowners that it has contacted and those that have contacted it and a little bit of cash might just come in handy&#33;

  22. #22
    Silkman Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Feb 4 2004, 12:48 PM
    There is a further alarm bell that has just rung in my head. Nowhere does it say that a committee member has to be a member of the organisation&#33;
    Oh for heaven&#39;s sake&#33;

    It doesn&#39;t say that in the CC one either, but I think you&#39;d find, in law, that an exec commitee member MUST be a member of the organisation.
    Not true... I know of an organisation that has a clause in its constitution wherby the company who&#39;s land they are on may replace the committee if they so desire. This can be done, and control handed to people the company nominates, regardles of the will of the membership or the membership status of new committee members. Couldn&#39;t see them ever actually doing it, but the power is there. So it would seem that there is no LEGAL requirement to be a member of an organization before being on its committee.

  23. #23
    paul.admin Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by BugznElm&#39;r@Feb 4 2004, 01:04 PM
    Personally, I&#39;m questioning why have the non-commercial object in the constitution (note that I consider this separate to fee paying membership - I don&#39;t think most of the membership are ready for this yet&#33; ).
    The answer to that is actually quite simple: it was a request from the founder members of the GAGB, to indicate the "ethos" of the GAGB.

    And I believe that we on the committee have no problems with it either.

    Non-commercial, from my point of view, means WE (GAGB) don&#39;t have an online shop. It means the website stays advert free & pop-up free.

    There are, and there will be more in the future, links to external web sites that may be commercial eg GPS manufacturers, mapping software companies. (note that we&#39;ll be carefully highlighting that they are links to commercial websites, and that they are provided purely as assistance for members, and there is no endorsement).

    Licencing (where we allow others to use our logo, in return for a fee) is probably a lot more acceptable... but I&#39;m sure some will have problems with even that.

    But at the moment, there are no immediate plans for any of the above (oh, except web links&#33, and I suspect members ought to have a debate on that before any actions are taken.

    Paul Blitz
    (oops, sorry, just realised I&#39;m logged in using my admin account&#33;&#33;&#33

  24. #24
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    Another update to the constitution, to include:

    - Para G1: committee should be 5 + chair, not 6 + chair (what an unobservant lot you all are&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33

    - para G7 added: "All Executive Committee members must be voting members of the GAGB."

    - Para M6: "A vote will only be deemed valid if at least 10 “voting members” of the GAGB cast a vote."

    - Para N2: spelt out the 4-month rule

    - Para X1: introduction of £50/yr "voting membership" fee (ok, only joking on that one&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33

    ... its in exactly same place as last time... and the time before...


    Paul Blitz
    (logged in on the right account this time&#33;&#33;&#33

  25. #25
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by paul.admin@Feb 4 2004, 08:58 PM
    The answer to that is actually quite simple: it was a request from the founder members of the GAGB, to indicate the "ethos" of the GAGB.

    And I believe that we on the committee have no problems with it either.
    Thanks for the honest reasons paul.

    Which is where I&#39;ll be leaving the debate on commercial vs. non-commercial ... for now at least&#33;

  26. #26

    Join Date
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    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne
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    Default

    What is it with folks&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

    I have accepted the Constitution.

    Why do you have to be so destructive rather than constructive.. At this rate there will be a committee of five with a membership of five.

    In a nut shell, the constitution as it stands is sound and yes that includes membership fees... If I am willing to accept some things.. that I feel strongly about then lets just vote.

    ROME WASN&#39;T BUILT IN A DAY.

    Paul .. put it up on Friday .. if those that don&#39;t like it .. then they can vote against it.

    PS. Please Email All Members to inform them of the Poll so the majority can decide.

    One of the Secret Seven - 1 h34r:

    Ta
    Moss The Boss... Sorta

  27. #27
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    Another change, as a result of rereading the old propsed constitution... I had said that I was going re-include the bit to do with calling exec meetings in J1:

    "Whilst there is no formal notice period to call a meeting, the business of any meeting held with less than 6 days notice should be ratified at the next meeting"

    If you remember, we did that so that we can hold a meeting at short notice if required (eg related to landowner negotiations).

    Hopefully there&#39;s not a big problem... we did discuss it last time around&#33;


    Paul

  28. #28
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Moss Trooper@Feb 4 2004, 11:17 PM
    Why do you have to be so destructive rather than constructive.. At this rate there will be a committee of five with a membership of five.
    Who&#39;s being destructive Moss? Which of the comments made do you feel are destructive?

  29. #29
    MCL Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Feb 5 2004, 12:18 AM
    Oh for heaven&#39;s sake&#33;

    It doesn&#39;t say that in the CC one either, but I think you&#39;d find, in law, that an exec commitee member MUST be a member of the organisation.
    Of course it doesn&#39;t say that in the CC one, because it isn&#39;t true and they know it&#33;

    I can give you a list of 438 such organisations in this country that don&#39;t have to have the exec committee being "members". Mainly because they don&#39;t actually have such a thing as a member. I do voluntary work for two of them. And I&#39;m on the Committee of one of those. And no I&#39;m not a member.

    I *am* a trustee, in the legal sense of the word, but since we don&#39;t have any kind of registered membership, I am not a member. And neither as it stands at present does a GAGB EC bod need to be unless we actually write it into the constitution.

    In the case of GAGB I think it would be a good idea to make it clear that only registered members can be elected/appointed, so I was asking for it to be put in. But it is NOT something that Parliament has legislated one way or the other.

    It is also another myth that in order to negotiate a person has to be of "legal" age. I know personally two millionaire kids who made their money in the business world before the age of 17, and they did it by going into complex business and legal negotiations themselves, and if you suggest to them that you will only deal with their daddy they will quite happily sue&#33;

    Having said that, it may be the case that a particular body decides that it doesn&#39;t want to talk to an under-18 (that is its prerogative), but it is not a legal issue.

  30. #30
    MCL Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Feb 5 2004, 12:18 AM
    Maybe I should revert, for the time being, to the CC model constitution values, where you need to be 18 to be a member.

    I would think that a very bad idea. The CC model constitution wouldn&#39;t do for the Scouting movement would it? Or the Boys Brigade or the Puffin Club?

    For now, till we do the proper discussion, don&#39;t do anything rash and keep it at 12.

    I&#39;m saying this partly in defence of your son who on one of his old taglines only asks to be treated fairly, and I for one would miss his contributions to our debates. Setting the constitution to 18 at this point would require the admin team to terminate his membership and I for one don&#39;t want to see that.

    :huh:

  31. #31
    MCL Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Teasel@Feb 3 2004, 11:47 PM
    Clause G1 states: "The Executive Committee shall consist of not more than 7 members being"
    So the committee is made up from members. (We should probably insert a &#39;GAGB&#39; in there if it makes it clearer.)
    Yes I think we should. I see your reasoning now and therby expose a risk ofconfusion.

    I had assumed that the word "member" belonged to the subject of the sentence which is the EC. If the word actually belongs as a label to a different subject, not in the sentence, then what we have is a case of a dangling noun, which as you say, only needs "GAGB" inserted in order to undangle it.

  32. #32
    Silkman Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Moss Trooper@Feb 4 2004, 11:17 PM
    What is it with folks&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

    I have accepted the Constitution.

    Why do you have to be so destructive rather than constructive.. At this rate there will be a committee of five with a membership of five.
    Well that&#39;s that then. If you&#39;ve accepted it, it&#39;s good enough for me&#33;

    As this is the most critical document that we will ever have, I think it is admirable to consult us, the voting members, on this one. We NEED to find the ambiguities and iron them out, otherwise the GAGB could be subject to abuse, as it was until recently... with founder members knowing who voted for whom in elections, founder members being privvy to committee discussion and leaking things selectivly to the membership etc.

    We&#39;re moving forward Moss, and after this document is ratified we&#39;ll have achieved enough that we should all be able to get on with finding lunchboxes and allow the committee that WE elected to do the job WE elected them to do, within the constitution that WE wanted them to work within. Democracy will then have full control, and entrusted that control to our elected committee, as it should be.

    As it stands, without putting things into the constitution that we feel important, the committee could do anything that they wanted. Not saying that these good people would, but we have seen in the past a reluctance to go with the view of the membership from the non-elected SS. I for one want to see us avoid that mess again.

  33. #33
    DeputyDawg Guest

    Default

    :huh: Sorry to be pedantic, but the term Great Britain and Northern Ireland in ( C )of the constitution may offend people in N.I. as they regard themselves part of Great Britain anyway&#33; Most dictionary&#39;s refer to N.I. as part of Great Britain, without highlighting that fact.

    Also, Scottish legislation is different, as regards land rights and access to and from same. I can&#39;t speak for Wales.

    I also observed that there was no mention in the constitution regarding supporting saftey for all cachers, at all times, when either creating or seeking a cache and making the pastime as safe as possible, and to the impilcations of a member causing harm or injury to themselves or others, due to thier irresponsibility.

    This may be wise to include&#33;

    To continue, If I were a married 17 year old .com millionare and wanted to be on the committee, am I excluded through age....please clarify the reasons why.

    Anyway, just my observations for thought&#33;

    DeputyDawg

  34. #34
    Teasel Guest

    Default

    Most dictionary&#39;s refer to N.I. as part of Great Britain
    Do they?&#33; If so, they&#39;re [FX: Tony Blair accent] "100% wrong. Now let&#39;s be clear about this, not &#39;nearly right&#39;, but..."&#33;

    Great Britain is a lump of rock which is divided into three states (England, Scotland and Wales). The Island of Ireland is a lump of rock which is divided into two states (NI and the Republic of Ireland). The "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (aka "the UK") consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The British Isles consist of Great Britain, the Island of Ireland, plus a number of smaller lumps of rock nearby (eg Isle of Man).

    If any Northern Irish regard themselves as being part of Great Britain, then they&#39;re mistaken. Ditto anyone in the Republic of Ireland who believe they don&#39;t live on the British Isles&#33; :P

    If I were a married 17 year old .com millionare and wanted to be on the committee, am I excluded through age....please clarify the reasons why.
    Certainly the CC sample constitution suggests that there would be legal reasons for charities, but I don&#39;t know about non-incorporated bodies. Anyone know any reason why minors could not hold office in a non-incorporared body? Would they be allowed to be responsible for funds and other GAGB resources?

    Now, even if there are certain things a minor would not be able to do, that&#39;s not necessarily a reason that they could not be on the committee&#33; But if we&#39;re going to need at least one adult on the committee for legal reasons, then that needs to be added to the constitution.

  35. #35
    Chris n Maria Guest

  36. #36
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    :huh: Sorry to be pedantic, but the term Great Britain and Northern Ireland in ( C )of the constitution may offend people in N.I. as they regard themselves part of Great Britain anyway&#33; Most dictionary&#39;s refer to N.I. as part of Great Britain, without highlighting that fact.
    Already covered this: GB = England, Scotland & Wales. UK = GB + NI. That&#39;s why you will often see (I think its on passports, isn&#39;t it?) "United Kingdon of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

    Also, Scottish legislation is different, as regards land rights and access to and from same. I can&#39;t speak for Wales.
    Don&#39;t see a problem here. GAGB represents its members. The members place caches, and even in Scotland, they are going to need permission to place caches (note that the Scottish law gives rights to access land (ie like the rights of ways on paths in england / wales), but do NOT give permission to place caches&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33

    I also observed that there was no mention in the constitution regarding supporting saftey for all cachers, at all times, when either creating or seeking a cache and making the pastime as safe as possible, and to the impilcations of a member causing harm or injury to themselves or others, due to thier irresponsibility.
    First of all, that is NOT the sort of thing that goes into a constitution. Rules, yes. Maybe SOs, but not in a constitution. (Take a look at the CC Model Constitution).

    Next, remember that GAGB *represents* cachers. As such, we have some guidelines, we hope to help cachers to negotiate with landowners to get permission for placing caches.... but apart from that we are NOT really responsible for what cache placers / seekers get up to. Nor do we have anything to do with the cache approval process.

    Unlike a charity, like Hospital Radio, where members actually do things for the charity (and thus the charity is deemed to "employ" them, so need to hold insurance), GAGB is the other way around: we exist to help the members.

    To continue, If I were a married 17 year old .com millionare and wanted to be on the committee, am I excluded through age....please clarify the reasons why.
    As a 17 year old millionaire, there would be MANY things you could not do. You could not sign a contract in your own name. You could not, I believe, own a house in your own name. At 17, in the eyes of the law, you are still not deemed to be an "adult". And who are we to argue with the law?

    Part of what the committee will be doing is negotiating with landowners: for legal reasons, we feel it better that the formal negotiators be of legal age. That would not stop you also going along.


    Paul

  37. #37
    DeputyDawg Guest

    Default

    Fair Comment, Teasel et al,

    I have just realised that there was a lengthy debate about this in forums somewhere a number of months ago, and which basically seemed to show the various interpretations and understanding placed on the term &#39;GB&#39;.

    Great Britain is a lump of rock which is divided into three states (England, Scotland and Wales).
    I just wondered why N.I. is not incorporated in the name/title, &#39;GAGB&#39; in other words &#39;GAGBaNI&#39; yet mentioned separatley at the start of the constitution as per passports?. quote....

    C Objects

    The GAGB’s objects (“the objects”) are:

    To enhance geocaching and to progress it as an activity within Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Will just leave it at that, and not kick this debate off again &#33;


    Anyway, thanks for covering my points, the constitution is looking fine, and wish all, every success in the future

    Regards, DD

  38. #38
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    OK, I have started a poll (over in the "polls" area&#33;&#33;&#33 to let everyone vote on whether they wish to accept the (proposed) constitution.

    There are 3 options: Yes, No, and Abstain. Abstain is a "no vote", but DOES count towards the number of votes cast.

    Don&#39;t forget, if you view the results before you vote, then you won&#39;t be ABLE to vote

    In keeping with the feelings expressed in the Constitution, where it requires 2/3 of those voting to accept changes to the constitution, I think it only fair that we ask for a 2/3 majority of those voting to ACCEPT the constitution in the first place.

    The poll closes next monday (16th Feb) at approx 9pm.


    Paul Blitz
    GAGB Committee

  39. #39
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    Well, thank you all for voting&#33;

    With a 49 to 4 vote, with 1 abstention, giving a majority of over 90% of total votes cast, I&#39;m sure you would all agree that we have enough votes to declare the constitution accepted&#33;

    Paul Blitz
    GAGB Committee

  40. #40
    NattyBooshka Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Feb 16 2004, 09:13 PM
    Well, thank you all for voting&#33;

    With a 49 to 4 vote, with 1 abstention, giving a majority of over 90% of total votes cast, I&#39;m sure you would all agree that we have enough votes to declare the constitution accepted&#33;

    Paul Blitz
    GAGB Committee
    Err... small issue... the main page is still saying that the poll closes at 9pm TOMORROW&#33;

  41. #41

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne
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    134

    Default

    Says Monday 16th on my screen&#33;&#33;
    Moss The Boss... Sorta

  42. #42
    NattyBooshka Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by Moss Trooper@Feb 16 2004, 10:36 PM
    Says Monday 16th on my screen!!
    on the HOMEPAGE... it says "The vote ends at 9pm on Tuesday evening." on my screen. I'm talking about the text at the top that welcomes you and chenges... on https://www.gagb.org.uk
    Last edited by Sharon - Sharant; 27th April 2021 at 11:18 AM.

  43. #43
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by NattyBooshka+Feb 16 2004, 10:54 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (NattyBooshka @ Feb 16 2004, 10:54 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Moss Trooper@Feb 16 2004, 10:36 PM
    Says Monday 16th on my screen!!
    on the HOMEPAGE... it says "The vote ends at 9pm on Tuesday evening." on my screen. I'm talking about the text at the top that welcomes you and chenges... on https://www.gagb.org.uk [/b][/quote]
    You just can't get the staff these days, can you??!!

    Apologies for our webmaster, who has been suffering a dose of the (chicken) pox! Obviously his brain wasn't working 100%!

    It was definitely supposed to be Monday... that's what I put in the poll, and in the email I sent out!

    Mind you, it would have needed a substantial swing to make a difference!


    paul
    Last edited by Sharon - Sharant; 27th April 2021 at 11:18 AM.

  44. #44
    DeputyDawg Guest

    Default

    To all,
    "Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991"....which is sixteen, and maybe worth a look&#33; ... just for your info, and perhaps worth some consideriation.
    Regards DD.

  45. #45
    paul.blitz Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by DeputyDawg@Feb 17 2004, 06:41 PM
    To all,
    "Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991"....which is sixteen, and maybe worth a look&#33; ... just for your info, and perhaps worth some consideriation.
    Regards DD.
    Ah, ok... useful information

    Maybe you&#39;d like to post that info again over in the new discussions going on in the new "Membership discussions" forum? Its certainly something that should be considered.


    On another issue, now that we have a constitution, I&#39;ll close this thread, and un-pin it.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to the constitution debate&#33;


    Paul

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