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Thread: Candidate Chair Discussions - Public Copy

  1. #1

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    Post Candidate Chair Discussions - Public Copy

    I have accepted my nomination in the election for GAGB Chairman.

    One of the key things I would like to improve, if elected, is transparency of our organisation. In this regard, I asked the other candidate if we could move the hustings into this section of the forum, since anyone joining GAGB now won't be eligible to vote this year. The other candidate does not share my view and did not agree to the move. I respect the other candidate's right to privacy and request that anyone adding to this thread does not mention them by name or moniker either, unless and until they choose to join this discussion themselves, which I would of course welcome.

    Transparency is so important to me that I feel it is necessary and appropriate to put what I say into practice from the outset. To that end, I am re-posting my election statement and my answers to questions that have been asked, from the members-only forum to this thread which is in public view. However, I will only re-post my replies if the questioners consent to me re-posting their questions too, so thanks to those who agree to this. (The order of postings might thus be different.)

    I hope this openness will be received well by our wider Geocaching community. I am willing to field questions from non-members of GAGB, on the understanding that my replies can also be posted here. As you cannot post your questions here, please send them by email to caching at sandvika.co.uk

    Thanks and rest regards, Roderick Parks (Sandvika)

  2. #2

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    Thumbs up Election Statement from Sandvika

    Who Ďownsí Geocaching? In my view, it is all of us, the geocachers who make up our Geocaching community. We all contribute our endeavours to our community, for the benefit of our fellow members. Itís all about give and take, with the capacity to bring out the best in us.

    Who represents our Geocaching community in the UK? GAGB. I donít believe there is any other contender! I feel disappointment that GAGB seems to fall short of being at the heart of Geocaching in the UK. It feels rather like a project that kicked off to meet a specific need, namely landowner consent, but has not yet developed to anywhere close to its full potential. This is not a criticism of anyone or anything: GAGB is just not there yet.

    When I stood for election to the committee in 2008, it was through sincere desire to help take GAGB to the next level (http://gagb.co.uk/forums/showpost.ph...7&postcount=85). Unfortunately, my aspirations barely started to be fulfilled when I lost my job and by mid-2009 I was dealing with the corrosive effects of unemployment on my nearest and dearest. Out of necessity I stopped caching and ceased to be an active member of the committee. With no improvement in my circumstances, I did not stand for re-election in 2009.

    Iíve now been back in work for several years and my situation has normalised. I know Iím ready to give this a proper go now. Although GAGB has improved significantly, and ďSeekerĒ magazine is an outstanding production to be proud of, my feeling is that our still-young Geocaching community has grown rapidly over the past four years whereas GAGB has not matched the pace and has lost ground. I believe GAGB stands at a juncture where either it can reinvent itself and seize the opportunity to become the focal point of our Geocaching community in UK, or else it will become marginalised and irrelevant to an increasing majority of our community.

    I sincerely wish for GAGB to reinvent itself and become the pre-eminent Geocaching organisation in the UK.
    With this ambition for GAGB, when presented by Tony with his nomination for me to be Chairman, I realised I had to accept, because it offers me the chance to help make the crucial difference. I donít have the capacity to do this alone, so I invite you all please to vote for me on the understanding that we will chart a new course together and that all of you will have a role to play in helping to achieve new goals.

    If elected, Iíll need a committee that also seeks this pre-eminence for GAGB and is determined to achieve it. I am sure many of you have a great deal to offer, your enthusiasm, skills and commitment to GAGB will be what drives our reinvention. Donít hesitate to be nominated for the committee! If we have a surplus of candidates and not all can be elected, I will ensure you have opportunities for active participation in other ways.

    More about me: I have been caching for 5 years and recently found my 2000th cache: I definitely prefer quality over quantity. I embrace almost the full spectrum of listing sites: OpenCaching.org.uk, TerraCaching, Navicaching, Munzees and even Garminís OpenCaching.com, to augment the ubiquitous Groundspeak. To my chagrin, I canít yet claim a find on GPSgames.org! Iím a father of four children aged 12 to 21 and an active non-partisan parish councillor. Iím chairman of the Planning Committee and am dealing with the prospect of 2200 new houses being built on my watch, negotiating with developers and planning officers. Iíve worked in computer software for 28 years, supporting sales for the last 15 years.

    Many thanks for your attention and support.
    Roderick Parks (sandvika) caching@sandvika.co.uk http://caching.sandvika.com/

  3. #3

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    Thumbs up Questions from Mongoose39uk (part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    I Note from the CVís that the ďpro active committee of the last year moved things forward. We got a newsletter which while good is limited, a facebook page which is doing well and a twitter account which is barely used. I have to say though that looking back the amounts of useful information in the facebook page appear to have dramatically increased in the last few weeks.
    At the risk of provoking Tony, who usually likes brief answers, I'm going to answer in detail, since this is what hustings are about.

    Seeker is an enjoyable read but its depth and breadth is limited by the present scope of GAGB. As GAGB spreads its wings, Seeker should extend its scope and should be the means by which all members are kept informed of developments. It should be the back stop that ensures those who don't consume GAGB news from other sources still have access to it in a reasonably timely manner. However, the absence of a feedback loop is a problem. Maybe SurveyMonkey can be used to solicit feedback from each edition?

    Regrettably, there's a seismic shift away from Forums and onto the poor substitute of Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages. This affects not only GAGB, but also regional caching forums and many forums beyond Geocaching. This is due to the convenience factor of Facebook - the loss of functionality, history, self-regulation and traffic from the respective web sites is regrettable. Facebook is doing to forums what the major supermarkets did to butchers, bakers, grocers, greengrocers and convenience stores. Not everyone wants Facebook, but languishing forums provide no reason for non-Facebookers to stay.

    The lure of Facebook can't be avoided (at present) but can be mitigated through intelligent use of social media to draw members back into the fold for matters that concern them. The immediacy of Twitter and Facebook is compelling and needs to be harnessed in the right way: GAGB needs (semi-)automated tools to facilitate this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    So that leaves me with the four main areas in which I would like clarification. The constitution which was reviewed put out for suggestions yet is still not out for a vote. How do you propose to move that forward?
    I responded to the consultation and suggested the proposed changes be dropped. In my opinion, those changes are regressive as they make GAGB less accessible and less accountable at a time where these are perceived to be its problems by some sections of our Geocaching community. Changes to the constitution have to support GAGB's future direction, not entrench the status quo.

    I think membership must be an affirmative action through annual renewal. In the future, once GAGB membership is perceived as having intrinsic value by a much greater proportion of our Geocaching community, we should consider a membership fee, even if only nominal. This is because paid membership increases the credibility and standing of organisations and thereby enables much more effective lobbying. GAGB needs to be prepared and effective in this regard to counter any threats that might arise - like blanket bans on public land in certain areas.

    The current constitution was the most significant achievement during my year on the committee and was a great improvement on the previous one. Some of my suggestions did not receive enough support to make it into the constitution, but as a team player I stuck with it and advocated its adoption.

    Tony has touched on one of my pet peeves with the present constitution so I'll address that on the pertinent question. In general, my view is that the constitution should be slimmed down, where possible, with principles remaining in the constitution, but policy being returned to the committee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    The ďguidelines,Ē which were reviewed put out for suggestions yet is still not out for a vote. How do you propose to move those forward?
    I would like to see the the guidleines slimmed down: they are a means to an end: to support our requests for caching permission by demonstrating responsible behaviour.

    If listing sites wish to wrap themselves and their subscribers in cotton wool, bubble wrap and miles of red tape then that's their perogative, though GAGB should advocate the removal of much of that too. However, GAGB should not adopt any such excesses as its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    The GLAD (landowner database) has been out of date for a considerable period of time. This has been commented on by members, none members and reviewers. Groundspeak reviewers appear to be updating this and moving it to the groundspeak servers. What are your thoughts on this? As it is and should be a resource for cachers on all listing sites how do you propose that this is updated and kept up to date.
    Given that consent for caching is the original reason for GAGB's existence, the deterioration of GLAD is lamentable. I would advocate that a team of members be constituted to bring all agreements up to date, and that processes be put in place to ensure they are reviewed and maintained in a timely manner in future. Each agreement needs a champion, particularly where the originator of the agreement is no longer active in GAGB. I think it is contrary to the interests of our Geocaching community to have caching consent agreements associated with any specific listing site, though I can understand that Groundspeak reviewers might have felt compelled to act, in the absence of action from GAGB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    The website, is it now around 15 months since we were told that this would be overhauled? What progress has been made? How do you propose to move this forward?
    I can't comment on this specifically, though it has echoes of 2008/9 when the move to WordPress was glacially slow. The promise of WordPress was easy maintenance of dynamic content, so should have allowed the front page of GAGB to become more news-focused and for the sub-pages to be dynamic and updated regularly. The GAGB web site appears pretty static, so it is clear that the reality has fallen short of expectations. For GAGB to become the vibrant hub of our UK Geocaching community, the web site must be current, relevant and an invaluable source of news and information. This is an ongoing process, not a one-off task, so it requires a team of contributors and editors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    On other issues.

    There have been recent interactions with external organisations such as ACPO, some of which it appears were done without the full consent of the organisation and without contact with cache listing sites other than groundspeak. Would you continue with this method of interaction? If not, why not? How would you move forward if not?
    Without open transparency within the committee and with the members and non-members alike, GAGB sets itself up to be maligned, whatever the rights and wrongs of a particular situation. I think the ACPO / Olympics saga was deeply regrettable and I think what happened was wrong and a golden opportunity to get Groundspeak to change its stance was lost.

    There will be rare cases where discretion and confidentiality are required, but this should not exclude committee members or proper decision making processes. The confidentially should be ended upon conclusion of any such matter and the membership be informed of what has occurred in their name.

    In the normal course of events, confidentiality is not needed and GAGB, in seeking to be the pre-eminent body in our Geocaching community, should engage all stakeholders in an active dialogue at every appropriate stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    It appears that many decisions made by the committee are mad via email, often without any formal vote. Would you continue with this method, if not why not? How would you ensure that future committees have full access to the decisions made by their predecessors?
    I don't think email is acceptable, except for emergency cases, which should then be published in and transferred to the forum. Routine communication should be through the appropriate sections of the forums, where formal votes will take place and the historical record be passed on in purpetuity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    Minutes: the last set of minutes from the committee meeting, was published nearer in full that in the past. Would you continue this?
    Minutes must be an accurate record of what occurred at the meeting and must cover every decision that is taken. Meetings should review decisions taken between meetings and also record these in the minutes.

    Minutes should be available to all members in the forum.

    Furthermore, with the exception of confidential items, there is no reason why the committee should not use an online conferencing tool like GoToMeeting, which is able to record the meeting. The unedited recording should be available to members in the forum.

    I don't think that minutes and recordings should be shared beyond the GAGB membership.


    (Part 2 follows)

  4. #4

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    Thumbs up Questions from Mongoose39UK (part 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    Would you do your utmost to ensure that the members are full informed of discussions? How would you do this?
    As outlined above, in the discussion on communications, a combination of Twitter, Facebook, Web Site, Forum and Seeker is required to provide comprehensive coverage of all discussions, news and events. GAGB will draw new members in most effectively by maximising it s outward reach and this is central to my proposal to reinvent GAGB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    Would you do your utmost to seek the views of both the members and none members? How would you seek to do this?
    In my time on the committee in 2009 I acted as outreach to the regional forums and listing sites. I think this is essential for growing GAGB, so local champions are required for each forum, listing site and Facebook group, to act as liaison and a conduit for news in both directions. In an ideal world, the Facebook groups and regional forums would see themselves as local branches of GAGB, not as autonomous entities. Thus, shift towards this way of thinking would represent remarkable progress. This is the grass-roots level engagement that GAGB needs to achieve and grow mind share across our Geocaching community.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    The present way of electing the post of Chairman/person/woman (delete as per your preference) . Is prior to the election of the committee. Would you seek to continue with this, if so why? If not why not? What is your proposal for change?
    The present system of electing the Chairman first is almost presidential in style and puts the Chairman in an unreasonably strong position not only to influence the membership directly, but also to influence the composition of the committee that gets elected later. I think this is wrong and that the Chairman should be elected from the new committee . The committee should have the power to remove the Chairman and replace them, it necessary. This requires a change to the constitution.

    If elected as Chairman, I will strive to have an amended constitution in place for the 2013 election.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    If you were to become the Chairman/person/woman (delete as per your preference) how would you encourage/manage your committee? Would you be prepared to challenge lack of action?
    If elected, I know I will have to delegate pretty much all activities to committee members and working groups led by committee members. I will ensure that I have a good working knowledge of all the activities taking place in the various groups to ensure that aims and objectives are achieved. If there is lack of action, I will give the particular area extra focus to help get it moving again, or, if this is not practical, defer or ditch the activity in question.

    I believe that this active approach to reinventing GAGB will energise and motivate the committee members to give their best and to admit when they struggle. We're all in this together and nobody should be suffering alone in silence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    Would you encourage none committee members to become active and offer them the ability to undertake tasks on behalf of the committee?
    You bet I would! The hallmark of a successful, vibrant organisation is widespread participation by its members. I'd like everyone who fails to be elected this year to participate in working groups, and extend active involvement to our regular members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    How will you seek the opinions of UK cachers?
    Soliciting feedback through the various online channels and groups outlined above is key to finding out what cachers need and want. I will commit to responding to all correspondence sent to me as Chairman of GAGB, which may entail involving other committee members, or tabling the matter for discussion at the next committee meeting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    Would you be prepared to challenge guidelines on behalf of UK cachers?
    Yes! As detailed above on the 'guidelines' question, GAGB should advocate the removable of guidelines that are detrimental to the interests of UK Geocachers. I also alluded to this in my election statement. I believe that Geocaching belongs to our UK geocaching community. It's still our young hobby and we should resist anything that reduces its scope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk
    How do you propose to get interest from all listing sites?

    For starters
    I think I have a bit of a head start here, since I know the owners of TerraCaching and OpenCaching.org.uk and have met all 3 co-founders of Groundspeak. I'm aware that Navicache has recently changed hands and I know who the new owners are. I don't have contacts at Garmin or Munzee but that shouldn't be too difficult to resolve.

    TerraCaching, OpenCaching.org.uk and Navicache are all owned and run by enthusiasic geocachers, so I know they will be interested in engaging with me. Munzee is also owned and run by technophiles, so Groundspeak and Garmin are really the only commercial ventures.

    If we go to these sites with proposals to enhance the game, I believe we will garner their interest.

    Many thanks, Roderick

  5. #5

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    Default Question from markandlynn

    Quote Originally Posted by markandlynn
    Would you make the GAGB listing site agnostic and if yes what steps would you put in place to achieve this.
    Absolutely, yes. To many, Geocaching is geocaching.com because it has not occurred to them otherwise. To some, this perspective might even preclude GAGB from their thoughts. That's what we're up against. It's rather like the all inclusive package holiday versus create your own. The latter takes more effort but is usually more rewarding. Let's make GAGB so rewarding that everyone wants to join!

    I'm probably more curious than average so knew about other listing sites soon after starting our hobby and found my first Navicache 5 weeks after my very first Groundspeak cache! I've never looked back and can say in total honesty that many of the most outstanding caches I have found have not been listed on Groundspeak.

    How many know what "GPSstash" is (before googling it), let alone that this part of our heritage is still going, if not strongly, at least going!? Probably rather fewer than know where the last remaining APE cache is, I suspect. These are all part of the rich tapestry that is our global Geocaching community.

    If elected, I intend to nominate other members to the committee whom I feel can add depth and breadth of experience to it. A good working knowledge of the way in which other listing sites function is a key criterion, in order that GAGB can engage with them most effectively. I also feel GAGB can learn from geocachers who are also members of the British Canoe Union or British Mountaineering Council: sports that face similar access and consent issues to Geocaching, but are better established.

    I'll reach out to other cachers who frequent the other listing sites but are not yet GAGB members, to help improve representation and thereby equality.

    I think removing any perception of bias from the GAGB website is important. For example, on the links page, it could read:

    Geocaching Sites
    Geocaching.com, run by Groundspeak inc.
    GPSgames.org, run by Scout.
    Navicache.com, run by Gizzle007 and TheMadCacher.
    OpenCaching.com, run by Garmin inc.
    OpenCaching.org.uk, run by Lord Darcy.
    TerraCaching.com, run by Cash108.

    Other Geolocation Games
    Munzee.com, run by Munzee inc.
    ...

    I think there is also a case for cross-listing events organised by GAGB.

    Lastly, some food for thought: Why doesn't GAGB have an annual large-scale event? Let's have our first in 2013!

  6. #6

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    Default Question from Clipper247

    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper247
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika
    If elected, I intend to nominate other members to the committee whom I feel can add depth and breadth of experience to it. A good working knowledge of the way in which other listing sites function is a key criterion, in order that GAGB can engage with them most effectively. I also feel GAGB can learn from geocachers who are also members of the British Canoe Union or British Mountaineering Council: sports that face similar access and consent issues to Geocaching, but are better established.
    I might have misread this, but does this mean you would only support other members who cache on other sites, or who also partake in other sports (canoeing, mountaineering etc)?
    Thanks for seeking clarification. I think you have misunderstood.

    Clearly, the committee elections are entirely separate and just like any other member I would only nominate people I believe could make a positive impact on our organisation. Then I'll cast my votes like any other member, for the candidates I prefer. I should also refer you back to my reply to an earlier question from Tony. I don't think it is helpful to elect a chairman first, then the committee later, because it leads to a 'presidential' style appointment. It is better that the chairman be chosen from the committee by the committee members. Maybe if that were the case now, your question would not have arisen?

    What I was suggesting in my original answer (to the question about other listing sites) through just 2 examples is that there is a variety of attributes that would be useful to have on the committee: rather more in fact than there are committee places places available, so ideal candidates (in my view) would each have several such attributes, to enrich the skills and experience of the committee as a whole. Thus, my nominations would be made in this context: ie. I will be thinking of skills, which I hope will mean making good nominations for the right reasons.

    My second answer (to the question about cachers in Scotland) expanded on this theme by adding country representation to the mix of desirable attributes. I'd welcome further discussion of the desirable attributes because it should help identify areas where GAGB may have opportunity to improve. Your perceptions are just as valid as mine.

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    Default Question from keehotee

    Quote Originally Posted by keehotee
    But I believe the position is Chair of the GAGB, and not Chair of the Committee - so shouldn't the entire membership vote, rather than just the committee?
    I think the differentiation you make is largely semantic. For very many organisations, the chair is elected by the committee or board, then chair of the committee and chair of the organisation are one and the same. In order to become chair it is necessary to be elected as a committee member by the membership. If the membership don't want the previous chair to be re-appointed, they don't vote for them in the committee elections.

    I addressed the point in my reply to Tony's questions, but will re-iterate.

    A directly elected chair can not be removed by the committee - I think that reduces accountability. The committee should have the ability to remove the chair and appoint a new one if necessary, so it follows that the initial appointment should be via the committee too.

    In several of the years that I have been a member of GAGB there has not been an election for chair as there has only been one candidate. Thus, it has been easier to become chair than a committee member!

    Under the current constitution, once elected, the chair has the opportunity to influence the committee election. I think it would be better if this opportunity did not exist.

    I think this relatively modest change would improve accountability and be disarming to GAGB's critics.

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    In several of the years that I have been a member of GAGB there has not been an election for chair as there has only been one candidate. Thus, it has been easier to become chair than a committee member!


    Incorrect - there were two nominations last year and Dave - The Wombles - was elected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    In several of the years that I have been a member of GAGB there has not been an election for chair as there has only been one candidate. Thus, it has been easier to become chair than a committee member!


    Incorrect - there were two nominations last year and Dave - The Wombles - was elected.

    As that appears, from your correction, there has only been 1 instance of a vote being required Roderick is still correct to say that in several of the years, not all the years, there has been no election held.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isobeld View Post
    As that appears, from your correction, there has only been 1 instance of a vote being required Roderick is still correct to say that in several of the years, not all the years, there has been no election held.

    Thank you isobeld - I would like to apologise for my error - please put it down to fatigue as we have only just got in after travelling 220 miles towing a caravan after attending the Hallowe'en mega event. I was attempting to catch up on posts when I obviously misunderstood the comment.

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    No problem - hope you enjoyed the mega!!

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    As there have been no donations for some months now, how will you go about trying to encourage members to start donating again?

    Has been posted in the other thread as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    .... snip

    One of the key things I would like to improve, if elected, is transparency of our organisation. In this regard, I asked the other candidate if we could move the hustings into this section of the forum, since anyone joining GAGB now won't be eligible to vote this year. The other candidate does not share my view and did not agree to the move. I respect the other candidate's right to privacy and request that anyone adding to this thread does not mention them by name or moniker either, unless and until they choose to join this discussion themselves, which I would of course welcome.
    .... snip
    I do not have an issue with any member of the public knowing that I am one of the two candidates in the GAGB Chairman elections this year. My full name and caching name are available in several public areas related to geocaching e.g. GAGB Seeker magazine for the last two years, the GAGB Facebook group since it was created and a few other facebook groups.

    My response when Sandvika proposed that the discussions were made in the public, non-member section of the GAGB forum was:

    As it will be the 'members' casting the votes, I don't see why it needs moving to the 'public' area. We don't have 'forum only' users anymore - just members or public.


    Anyone that joined after the cut off date is still able to read the statements in the memberís area, just not able to cast a vote. But I really donít see the benefit of duplicating it in the public domain and actually feel that isnít helping our membership grow.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


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    Do the GAGB purport to represent all Geocachers? If so why shouldn't they be able to see the discussion even if they can't vote?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    I do not have an issue with any member of the public knowing that I am one of the two candidates in the GAGB Chairman elections this year. My full name and caching name are available in several public areas related to geocaching e.g. GAGB Seeker magazine for the last two years, the GAGB Facebook group since it was created and a few other facebook groups.

    My response when Sandvika proposed that the discussions were made in the public, non-member section of the GAGB forum was:

    As it will be the 'members' casting the votes, I don't see why it needs moving to the 'public' area. We don't have 'forum only' users anymore - just members or public.


    Anyone that joined after the cut off date is still able to read the statements in the memberís area, just not able to cast a vote. But I really donít see the benefit of duplicating it in the public domain and actually feel that isnít helping our membership grow.
    Thanks Maple Leaf for making it easier to share the discussion with non-members.

    My question, to which Maple Leaf replied as she quoted above, was:

    "As the "hustings" are evidently starting, I propose that we have the discussions in the public, non-member section of the GAGB forum.

    Whether you or I win, the change is the golden opportunity to make GAGB transparent and rid it of accusations of secrecy and cosy relationships. Do you agree?"


    I think our membership is unlikely to grow, indeed is likely to decline, as long as there are perceptions and accusations of secrecy and cosy relationships.

    I didn't consider the matter of transparency to be one that was likely to differentiate me from Maple Leadf, but it appears that it might be a significant difference, so let's discuss it.

    With nobby.nobbs (former chairman) resigning from GAGB and Mongoose39UK resigning from the committee in recent months, it is evident that there is a significant level of frustration from people who hold, or have held, GAGB in high regard for a long time. This is probably only the visible top of the iceberg, and frankly, it was my call to action that made me consider standing for the committee this year.

    I think that it is incumbent on the new committee to release these tensions and "re-invent" GAGB on a transparent, more relevant, inclusive and energised basis. Transparency is key to this because it is essential to build trust. If the committee is not working effectively because of hidden tensions, why should members have confidence in it - and to answer DrDick&Vick's question with a question - why should they donate to GAGB whilst it remains in this condition or is perceived to be so? Transparency will make it clear to our members what is working and what is not and be a force for good to focus on what is not working and fix it, celebrate what is good and enhance it.

    I hope candidates for the committee will embrace transparency as I have and all members work together to build a strong, vibrant and valued association that many more Geocachers will want to be involved with. This way, we can create a thriving community - and to answer DrDick&Vick's question in the positive way - this is when donations will be flowing freely and we might have an embarrassment of riches with which to do great things that are inconceivable today!

    So, in closing, back to Maple Leaf's comment
    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    But I really donít see the benefit of duplicating it in the public domain and actually feel that isnít helping our membership grow
    - I couldn't disagree more! A healthy debate about doing what's right, in public, is precisely what will encourage Geocachers to put their trust in us and feel they want to contribute, and join us.

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    Quote
    Whether you or I win, the change is the golden opportunity to make GAGB transparent and rid it of accusations of secrecy and cosy relationships. Do you agree?"

    With nobby.nobbs (former chairman) resigning from GAGB and Mongoose39UK resigning from the committee in recent months, it is evident that there is a significant level of frustration from people who hold, or have held, GAGB in high regard for a long time. This is probably only the visible top of the iceberg, and frankly, it was my call to action that made me consider standing for the committee this year.

    I think that it is incumbent on the new committee to release these tensions and "re-invent" GAGB on a transparent, more relevant, inclusive and energised basis. Transparency is key to this because it is essential to build trust. If the committee is not working effectively because of hidden tensions, why should members have confidence in it - and to answer DrDick&Vick's question with a question - why should they donate to GAGB whilst it remains in this condition or is perceived to be so? Transparency will make it clear to our members what is working and what is not and be a force for good to focus on what is not working and fix it, celebrate what is good and enhance it.
    End of Quote


    Firstly I apologise for the red highlighting above but just wanted them to stand out for reference.

    As you may or may not know I have been proud to be a GAGB Committee Member for the last year and I really struggle to understand the angst behind the history of the GAGB and the low esteem it is held in by some people. I have asked for explanations and been given one by nobby nobbs and yet I still don't fully understand the why or wherefores behind it.

    The phrases in red - just appear to accuse the GAGB Committee of secrecy, cosy relationships and we need to release our hidden tension?????

    If you are elected does this mean that you would prefer for a completely new Committee to be formed? Would this make the Committee more relevant, inclusive and energised?



    Lilian
    Last edited by mollyjak; 30th October 2012 at 05:56 AM.

  17. #17
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    Whoops....

    Lillians post above this one has been made without any indication that she has pasted a quote.
    It was not until I read back on the previous page that I realised this.
    Please can you amend the post to make clear that the quoted sections is just that, and not your own thoughts

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick&Vick View Post
    As there have been no donations for some months now, how will you go about trying to encourage members to start donating again?

    Has been posted in the other thread as well
    I have replied in the orginal thread ...... this is a copy/paste:

    I am hoping that when we are able to offer the members something 'new' e.g. website/resources/updated landowner agreeements/more downloads/tips etc then we will have more frequent visitors ... and therfore more opportunity gain donatations.

    If the GAGB needs money for a specific project e.g. future geocoins, rather than just going into a pot, then I am sure people would donate (or pre-purchase) etc to enable this.

    For those that don't know - the current GAGB geocoin was instigated/initially funded by DrDick&Vick - and is greatly appreciated.

    At two of the Mega events this year, the GAGB stand had games/competitions. These were very popular and raised money - we could have used this for GAGB funds - but didn't. All profits were given away to charity. Maybe in the future we need to have more general fund raising activites - rather than rely on donations from a few people.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk View Post
    Do the GAGB purport to represent all Geocachers? If so why shouldn't they be able to see the discussion even if they can't vote?
    It does, but not all geocachers want to support the GAGB (hopefully we can change that view in the future).

    If they are interested in the GAGB enough to read the candidate statements then I am sure they would have joined (even if after the eligible to vote date)

    One of sandvika's orginal comments was he wanted people to be able to read it if they had joined as a member too late to participate in this years elections ... I said they could.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    ... snip
    I asked the other candidate if we could move the hustings into this section of the forum, since anyone joining GAGB now won't be eligible to vote this year
    ..... snip
    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post

    ... snip
    Anyone that joined after the cut off date is still able to read the statements in the memberís area, just not able to cast a vote.
    ..snip

    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    It does, but not all geocachers want to support the GAGB (hopefully we can change that view in the future).

    If they are interested in the GAGB enough to read the candidate statements then I am sure they would have joined (even if after the eligible to vote date)

    One of sandvika's orginal comments was he wanted people to be able to read it if they had joined as a member too late to participate in this years elections ... I said they could.
    So you don't think having the candidates opinions available for all to view would have no influence on someone potentially joining the GAGB.

    Though yes it could work in reverse.

    So if they can't be "bothered to join" you are not interested in them?

  21. #21

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    Question

    Sorry I'm now confused, it was my understanding, that after a Vote by the Membership. That this forum was now only Open to those who are Members of the GAGB?

    If that is correct, then everyone should have access to what used to be the Members Only Area of the Forum?

    If that is correct, why has the discussion been duplicated to a second area, a duplication which needs cut and paste posts.

    Duplication just confuses issues, as not all posts have been duplicated, and makes for a One Sided Discussion, in the duplicated area

    If the above is correct, can we please have the Duplicated Posts Deleted, so as to make a Level Playing Field, not the current one this Duplicate Topic is creating? In the interests of being Open and Fair.

    Dave
    Mancunian Pyrocacher
    (Personal Post)
    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

  22. #22

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    I think you will find that the open section of the forum can be read by anybody whereas the Members section is only visible to 'Members' this is needed because the Members discounts codes etc are in that section.

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    In the interests of fairness lets have it all in the open section!

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    Quote
    Whether you or I win, the change is the golden opportunity to make GAGB transparent and rid it of accusations of secrecy and cosy relationships. Do you agree?"

    With nobby.nobbs (former chairman) resigning from GAGB and Mongoose39UK resigning from the committee in recent months, it is evident that there is a significant level of frustration from people who hold, or have held, GAGB in high regard for a long time. This is probably only the visible top of the iceberg, and frankly, it was my call to action that made me consider standing for the committee this year.

    I think that it is incumbent on the new committee to release these tensions and "re-invent" GAGB on a transparent, more relevant, inclusive and energised basis. Transparency is key to this because it is essential to build trust. If the committee is not working effectively because of hidden tensions, why should members have confidence in it - and to answer DrDick&Vick's question with a question - why should they donate to GAGB whilst it remains in this condition or is perceived to be so? Transparency will make it clear to our members what is working and what is not and be a force for good to focus on what is not working and fix it, celebrate what is good and enhance it.
    End of Quote


    Firstly I apologise for the red highlighting above but just wanted them to stand out for reference.

    As you may or may not know I have been proud to be a GAGB Committee Member for the last year and I really struggle to understand the angst behind the history of the GAGB and the low esteem it is held in by some people. I have asked for explanations and been given one by nobby nobbs and yet I still don't fully understand the why or wherefores behind it.

    The phrases in red - just appear to accuse the GAGB Committee of secrecy, cosy relationships and we need to release our hidden tension?????

    If you are elected does this mean that you would prefer for a completely new Committee to be formed? Would this make the Committee more relevant, inclusive and energised?



    Lilian
    Lilian,

    Firstly, I should point out that I have not sought to blame to any individual, nor even one committee, because the problem is not new. Secondly, I should point out that I am not making the accusations myself, if that is not clear from my careful use of language.

    I think appropriate highlighting would have been:
    Whether you or I win, the change is the golden opportunity to make GAGB transparent and rid it of accusations of secrecy and cosy relationships. Do you agree?"
    This is a positive call to action, not an accusation.

    I think that it is incumbent on the new committee to release these tensions
    This is a forward looking statement, clearly including me, if I am elected. It is also a positive action, not an accusation.

    If the committee is not working effectively because of hidden tensions, why should members have confidence in it
    This is an elaboration, a further forward looking statement, clearly including me, if I am elected. It is posed as a question, to highlight the benefits of transparency.

    Lillian, I think your highly selective highlighting in an attempt to dress up what I wrote as if I had made an accusation is disingenuous. I donít think it is necessary to elaborate on this any further as our members are perfectly capable of seeing for themselves what you have done and question your motives.

    You stated:
    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    I really struggle to understand the angst behind the history of the GAGB and the low esteem it is held in by some people
    If you struggle to understand this problem, how can you be part of the solution to it? You cannot pretend it does not exist, nor look the other way and hope it will cease, as it has been going on for years and will carry on until someone like me is determined to tackle it head-on.
    What have you done over your tenure on our committee to improve your understanding of the problem? What have you done to address it?

    I appreciate these issues do not make for comfortable reading, but rather than complaining about it, which is easy, I'm standing for election to our chair to put myself at the heart of it and commit to resolving it for once and for all. That's much harder, but if I were not optimistic that GAGB has the potential to develop into a thriving community, I wouldn't be standing, Iíd use my valuable time to forget it and find more caches instead! Thus, I wish to achieve change for the better, not more of the same.

    There are perceptions, rightly or wrongly, that GAGB is very cosy with Groundspeak and far from being independent and forthright, there are accusations that GAGB is the fall guy.

    These are not new perceptions and accusations, I have already recalled the issues amongst some sections of our Geocaching community in 2008/9 in an earlier reply to a question, when I was on our committee. I share some responsibility for not tackling it head-on at the time, however, as I have made clear in my election statement, it was due to my adverse personal circumstances at the time, which also led me to decline my nomination to our committee in 2009.

    I feel that the way in which the Olympic caching ban was handled this year was particularly poor and that there was clearly a breakdown in communication with our members, many of whom will not have known what was done in their name. If I'd not brought the topic to this forum, they might still not know today. The Wombles and Mongoose39UK have made their positions clear on this matter, whereas Palujia just wanted the topic buried (http://gagb.co.uk/forums/showpost.ph...9&postcount=15). Maple Leaf thought the ban was sensible and did not think of (GAGBís role) as doing Groundspeakís ďdirty workĒ (http://gagb.co.uk/forums/showpost.ph...9&postcount=15)

    I think our committee should have been sensitive to the way in which this involvement with Groundspeak and ACPO occurred and it does not take genius to realise that it feeds directly to GAGBís detractors.

    Iím concerned that Maple Leaf lacked the awareness of how it could be construed, so pose almost the same questions as of mollyjak: What have you done over your tenure on our committee to improve your understanding of the angst/antipathy towards GAGB by some sections of our Geocaching community? What have you done to address it? What is your proposal for tackling it, if you are elected as Chair?

    I'm not suggesting that there was any intention to be secretive about the Olympic ban, I believe that it was down to lack of communication and possibly lack of proper process Ė especially as it was not even considered at a committee meeting. However, from my perspective, it seems like a pretty profound failing that cannot possibly have done GAGB any favours. It was the opportunity to get Groundspeak to reconsider its disproportionate and indiscriminate position in favour of a more considered and moderate approach and could thus have been a triumph with which GAGB could have confounded its critics.

    I hope you now appreciate why I believe transparancy is so important and why I would make it a defining characteristic of my tenure, if I am elected as chair. I want to create conditions where such lack of communication can never happen again, and moreover, that our Geocaching community can see clearly what GAGB is doing to further our collective interests.

    So on to Mollyjakís question: If elected I would work eagerly with everyone our members elect for our new committee. I think a mix of previous experience and new skills is the best combination. I wouldn't like a totally inexperienced committee because we canít afford the time to learn how to handle the ropes. I trust our members to elect the candidates they consider most capable of excelling with GAGBís challenges and not elect those who think things are perfectly acceptable already.

    Thanks, Roderick

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    Sorry I'm now confused, it was my understanding, that after a Vote by the Membership. That this forum was now only Open to those who are Members of the GAGB?

    If that is correct, then everyone should have access to what used to be the Members Only Area of the Forum?

    If that is correct, why has the discussion been duplicated to a second area, a duplication which needs cut and paste posts.

    Duplication just confuses issues, as not all posts have been duplicated, and makes for a One Sided Discussion, in the duplicated area

    If the above is correct, can we please have the Duplicated Posts Deleted, so as to make a Level Playing Field, not the current one this Duplicate Topic is creating? In the interests of being Open and Fair.

    Dave
    Mancunian Pyrocacher
    (Personal Post)
    I consider transparency at GAGB to be such an important matter that it is necessary and appropriate to have these hustings in public. To do otherwise would be hypocritical and send the wrong message to our Geocaching community. If GAGB is to attract new members from our community, it has to be seen to be taking steps to address its apparent shortcomings. I am with you totally Dave in wanting the debate to be open and fair.

    The reason for creating the duplicate thread here was to enable this transparency, since Maple Leaf had declined my initial request to hold the entire discussion here. That's why the first part of the thread is re-posting of my messages (with questioners' consent). I hope that clarifies matters.

    I welcome Maple Leaf's engagement here, to her credit, and propose that the discussion in the 'members only' section also be moved here, with her agreement. Then this thread can be locked and discussion returned to the other one. That would make following the discussion easier for everyone as well as reducing the effort that Maple Leaf and I would have to make to keep things in sync.

    Many thanks, Roderick

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk View Post
    Do the GAGB purport to represent all Geocachers? If so why shouldn't they be able to see the discussion even if they can't vote?
    I think in GAGB we should acknowledge that we do not yet represent all of our UK Geocaching community and we should aspire to do so. In aspiring to represent all of our UK community, we need to be open and accessible to all, especially our critics, so that we can demonstrate that we are listening to all and acting on the feedback and opinions provided to us.

    Openness and transparency in decision making and acknowledging our failings is key to encouraging the remainder of our community to join us, because we must give them reasons to earn their respect. From my perspective, this openness and transparency had to begin with the hustings, to act consistently with these values.

    Thanks, Roderick

  27. #27

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    (Cross-posted from members' forum with keehotee's consent)
    Quote Originally Posted by keehotee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika
    If the membership don't want the previous chair to be re-appointed, they don't vote for them in the committee elections.
    ....and if the members do not want a person to remain as chair - but are happy for them to serve as a committee member?

    ...
    I think we should acknowledge our disagreement on this particular point. It is perhaps too esoteric to be of general interest to our members and Maple Leaf (Edit: Real name replaced with moniker) has already indicated that she is undecided on the matter, so it doesn't really contribute to the hustings debate.

    I should also point out that any such change would have to be agreed by our new committee and the modified constitution be ratified by our members in a referendum: thus it would require popular support in two votes to take effect.

    Whilst I've expressed an opinion, in my mind it's the difference between questionable and improved. I'd like to get GAGB to reinvent itself at what I believe is a make-or-break point in its existence - and this constitutional matter is unlikely to have a bearing on the outcome.

    For members (Edit: was 'those' but is not in the open forum) who have a particular interest in this, I have answered keehotee's questions here

  28. #28

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    Thank you sandvika for your long and detailed reply which has made me question myself as to what I have done this year if this is your perception of me and what I have done for the GAGB and caching Community.

    I would just like to say that there is far more to the work being done by the GAGB Committee than just others' perceptions under discussion.

    Should I be nominated and decide to stand for re-election I will state exactly what I have been doing with my time.

    I am not going to repost any further comments but would like to state:-

    I have spoken to Matt - Nobby nobbs, at length about the way the GAGB is viewed - please feel free to contact him if you wish. I have also spoken to other long term members to see if they can shed any more information but it still seems to stem back to a number of years ago and the then Committee Members.

    I totally object to being called 'disingenuous' - this is not my style.

    I will not be adding any more comments on this discussion.

    Lilian

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    It does, but not all geocachers want to support the GAGB (hopefully we can change that view in the future).
    What would you do as chair to encourange all our community to join our association?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    One of sandvika's orginal comments was he wanted people to be able to read it if they had joined as a member too late to participate in this years elections ... I said they could.
    That's not accurate - refer to my PM requesting the debate in public - my desire to hold the debate in our publicly accessible forum was purely for transparency. The members-only forum was added at the same time as non-members were given posting rights (recently removed) to allow members to have discussions without detractors wading in. That was a good reason to create it, but no reason for moving hustings there.

  30. #30

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    (Cross-posted with Frosty68's agreement)
    Quote Originally Posted by frosty68 View Post
    As a GAGB member who joined too late to vote last year, but who is following the discussion/hustings here this year, could I request that only one thread is used for these discussions.
    I don't particularly care whether it's this, official thread or the new one which echoes the same content, only that I don't have to read 2 threads to see if there's anything different between the two!

    Perhaps, if I had to chose one it would be this as it's the original, whilst I understand and commend the sentiment of transparency, I do feel forcing changes in the running of the GAGB before a vote has been cast is, perhaps, a little forward (I'm avoiding using the word arrogant). If sandvika gets the gig then he'll know the membership support him, until then there are already a set of procedures and protocols to follow, as a member who has not made his decision I'd ask that any changes to the running of the GAGB and its processes are left until after the election, and that one of the duplicate threads is locked.
    Tony
    Thanks for taking a keen interest in our hustings, Tony. I'll plead guilty to being forward, but innocent of being arrogant. I hope you have read and understand my motive, even if you disagree with it.

    If I were not transparent from the start of the hustings, yet advocating transparency, surely it would be hypocritical?

    For your benefit, the members-only forum was created in 2008/9 when I was last on our committee, to provide somewhere for internal discussions if members chose to hold them there. At the time, our other forum, which is still publicly readable to non-members (and therefore the location for transparent debate) allowed non-members to register and post as well. That right was revoked earlier this year. The reason for allowing non-members to post was to be accessible and engage our detractors. I felt that was a good thing. I'm not convinced the need has gone, however, the challenge of maintaining two databases of users and members was rather more difficult than synchronising the two threads in this debate, so I understand that it was expedient to exclude the non-members from posting in the forum again.

    Thus, there is no particular precedent for holding our hustings in our members-only forum. In 2008 and earlier, they were held in our public forum, which is where I would like them to be held now.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick&Vick View Post
    As there have been no donations for some months now, how will you go about trying to encourage members to start donating again?

    Has been posted in the other thread as well
    I mentioned donations and lack thereof in another post in passing, but I would like to elaborate.

    I think there is still considerable goodwill towards GAGB from our members but it has not been translating into donations because many would like to contribute to something specific. I made a general donation, then shortly afterwards the prize competition started. I felt that my donation might have been used to fund a prize and wasn't particularly happy about it, which made me think twice - I felt I should donate again when GAGB has a specific cause that requires funding. I suspect the absence of a specific cause might be a more general inhibitor. Requesting donations for specific purposes might thus be more effective.

    If I am elected and able to put my vision to reinvent GAGB into practice with the support of our committee and our members, I am sure we will find ourselves working together in new areas and creating lasting improvements. With tangible improvements and a clear direction, I think donations will come spontaneously and no other encouragement will be needed. If funding is necessary in the interim, then being specific might be effective.

    Longer term, when GAGB has active and engaged members who enjoy and create intrinsic value, I think that we should consider whether a membership fee might be appropriate, not as a fund-raising mechanism, though it would obviously help in this regard, but primarily as an affirmation of membership that strengthens our hand by showing that we are a serious organisation with committed members. I think most of our members purchase membership on a listing site because of the value it provides, many Geocachers purchase GSAK for similar reasons, so why not a nominal membership fee for GAGB to reflect the value it creates in our community? If a start-up enterprise like UK-cache-mag can raise subscriptions, then GAGB can too, due to the value it provides. Of course, now is not an appropriate time to consider this - if polled, I think a majority would be against it.

    I hope this is helpful and provides food for thought.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    (Cross-posted from public forum)


    I mentioned donations and lack thereof in another post in passing, but I would like to elaborate.

    I think there is still considerable goodwill towards GAGB from our members but it has not been translating into donations because many would like to contribute to something specific. I made a general donation, then shortly afterwards the prize competition started. I felt that my donation might have been used to fund a prize and wasn't particularly happy about it, which made me think twice - I felt I should donate again when GAGB has a specific cause that requires funding. I suspect the absence of a specific cause might be a more general inhibitor. Requesting donations for specific purposes might thus be more effective.

    If I am elected and able to put my vision to reinvent GAGB into practice with the support of our committee and our members, I am sure we will find ourselves working together in new areas and creating lasting improvements. With tangible improvements and a clear direction, I think donations will come spontaneously and no other encouragement will be needed. If funding is necessary in the interim, then being specific might be effective.

    Longer term, when GAGB has active and engaged members who enjoy and create intrinsic value, I think that we should consider whether a membership fee might be appropriate, not as a fund-raising mechanism, though it would obviously help in this regard, but primarily as an affirmation of membership that strengthens our hand by showing that we are a serious organisation with committed members. I think most of our members purchase membership on a listing site because of the value it provides, many Geocachers purchase GSAK for similar reasons, so why not a nominal membership fee for GAGB to reflect the value it creates in our community? If a start-up enterprise like UK-cache-mag can raise subscriptions, then GAGB can too, due to the value it provides. Of course, now is not an appropriate time to consider this - if polled, I think a majority would be against it.

    I hope this is helpful and provides food for thought.
    In reality the prizes for the competition were funded by the sales of the GAGB Geocoin and the GAGB cache labels with no need to actually touch any donations, if people had asked when I was running the competition I would have explained.
    A case of action without information.

  33. #33

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    I have been reading this and the other thread with much interest.

    My first comment is that it would make sense (to me at least) that there is only one thread as there is the possibility of information in one thread being missed/misinterpreted in the other. Personally, I am not that bothered which thread is used but could understand why someone may want to use the members only thread (the same reasons the members only area was set up).

    I find it very promising that there is frank and open discussion going on although it is mostly between the two protagonists. I wonder how may people are reading the two threads but do not wish to ask questions/get involved.

    The position of the chairman is important in many areas and I would like to see definition of chair well defined. According to the draft constitution under Honorary Officers

    "During the month of November the Members of the Association shall elect a chairman"
    This makes the position of chair sound titular to me and not a position of power. The next section states the chairman is in the Executive Committee which makes it sound as if there is power.

    The role of a chair (IMHO) is to presides over committee meetings and ensure that they are conducted in an orderly fashion. An orderly fashion to me means that there are full minutes of the meeting available (excpeting any confidential items) and that any voting which takes place is documented.

    When not at meetings, the chair should be seen as acting as its head, its representative to the outside world and its spokesperson; a person who speaks on behalf of the Executive Committee and therefore the members.

    Some questions which I have (some of these may sound harsh but the GAGB is a "business" whether we like it or not!):


    • Would the candidates be willing to become a vice-chair in the event of them not winning the election ? (This would mean a change to the constitution I would guess)


    • Although I understand the need for some sort of continuity of committee members, would candidates be willing to basically start with a clean slate and forget what has happened in the past ?

    For clarity, I am not talking about a personal level but rather the corporate level. If we have a clean slate, GAGB can re-assert the ideals with which it was started and become an independent voice in the UK for all cachers. The past is past and we need to be forward looking IMHO.
    • Do either of the candidates see the requirement for sub-committes ? If so, which ones; how will they operate and what will be the reporting mechanism to the main Executive Committee.


    • Can the candidates please declare any pecuniary interests which they have which may have a bearing not only on this election but also on the position of chair going forward.


    • Would the candidates agree to propose the publication of full minutes of the Executive Committee (and any sub-committees) rather than the abridged ones we currently get. I understand that confidential items have to remain "hidden" but there should be a reltionship between the full minutes and any confidential items.

    The proposal will go to the new committee and be agreed and/or a new constitution to force this to happen may be required.
    • Will the candidates agree that they will propose that any major issues which have been highlighted by members AND non-members, either in the GAGB forums or other social media will be discussed in a transparent manner with relevant organisations?

    I am thinking of the example of the recent burying issue. This was of importance to UK (and wider) cachers and was a topic of discussion on several Facebook pages. There were several people (myself included) who contacted Groundspeak for clarification and I believe that has caused Groundspeak to consider the issue - they may not have done much about it but they at least discussed it.

    I shared the correspondence I had with Groundspeak as there was nothing confidential or business related and felt that it was for the betterment of the caching community that people saw the types of response GS made.

    Again, for clarity, please not that the above is an example and I would hope that any correspondence with caching organisations/ACPO etc will be published wherever possible and that the Chair/committee challenged any restriction on publication where there is no confidential information.
    • Will the candidates propose that the GAGB liaise with ALL caching organisations and to distill all rules/guidelines into an easy to use document that allows cache owners and finders to understand the limitations of each organisation and the possible impact of doing something will have for the entire community ?


    • Will the candidates be willing to work on not just a new version of the consitution but also a set of policies/procedures ? These policies/procedures would define what is acceptable from not just the Executive Committee but also members.

  34. #34

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    (Re-posted from members' forum with Griff Grof's consent)
    Quote Originally Posted by Griff Grof View Post
    Quick question(s):

    What would each of you do to ensure that the GAGB contines to grow and that all UK cachers, new and old, look up to it?

    Would you consider holding GAGB events to give people a taste of what you do and for newbies to understand what the GAGB is?... These events could be traveling across the UK, just simple pub meets or something. It would help the GAGB grow, I think.
    Thanks for your good questions - events were on my mind as something I wanted to comment on so your timing is perfect.

    I don't think that 'looking up to GAGB' should be the objective, as I view GAGB as a community where success can be judged by the overwhelming majority of our UK Geocaching community wanting to be part of it and be many to be active within it. I think it should be valued rather than looked up to.

    Rather than repeat my answers about reinventing GAGB, I should draw your attention to these earlier postings. My general principle is that we need to take the initiative to expand our remit in many different new ways, so that our association becomes relevant and interesting to our Geocaching community for a variety of reasons. Land owner permissions are of course crucial but a limited perspective - and frankly, to many, as dull as dishwater. The more we have to offer, the more valuable membership becomes: we should strive to make joining GAGB the obvious choice.

    Events would certainly be an important part of a vibrant and valued community, and should be as inclusive as possible, making new members especially welcome. I have mentioned previously that ideally local and regional caching groups, be it regular meets, Facebook Groups, regional forums, would all see themselves as branches of GAGB, rather than autonomous. I see that as an aspirational goal, rather than the journey. So what about the journey?

    I think GAGB should hold local and regional events - maybe even an annual national event. These can be purely social, but I think that we should aim higher.

    A good example would be holding 'try Geocaching' days for new cachers and outdoor muggles, which, besides enjoying the hunt, demonstrate best practice in Geocaching, discuss suitable and unsuitable cache containers and contents, suitable and unsuitable locations, suitable and unsuitable hides.

    We could also give back to the wider community. For example, where land owners have given consent for caching, we can organise litter picks or other land management events with them, as a way of thanking them for their consent to cache and improving their perception of GAGB and Geocaching. I think we should aim to have significant land owners who are pleased to provide positive references for GAGB, so that we can convince land owners who refuse permission that granting permission to cache would be to their advantage. In cases where permission is important but hard to obtain, offering such events in return could be a negotiation strategy.

    Regional and national events clearly entail an element of travel for most attendees so should offer the opportunity for an overnight stay. Thus camping or hostel accommodation should be included and the event would normally be held over a weekend.

    Lastly, but by no means least, GAGB could organise recovery events following disasters. For example, if there has been a shipwreck or oil spill at sea, GAGB could help clean up affected coastline; if there has been a flood or landslide, GAGB could help clean up rights of way. Due to their connection with current events, such activities would be likely to be reported in the media and thus particularly good at raising the profile of GAGB and improving the wider perception of Geocaching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    Some questions which I have (some of these may sound harsh but the GAGB is a "business" whether we like it or not!):

    • Would the candidates be willing to become a vice-chair in the event of them not winning the election ? (This would mean a change to the constitution I would guess)
    If I am unsuccessful in the Chairman elections, then I would hope that I am proposed, seconded and elected onto the committee. The role of vice-chair is certainly an option that I would be willing to consider, but as you have said, it may need a change to constitution before this is possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Although I understand the need for some sort of continuity of committee members, would candidates be willing to basically start with a clean slate and forget what has happened in the past ?

    For clarity, I am not talking about a personal level but rather the corporate level. If we have a clean slate, GAGB can re-assert the ideals with which it was started and become an independent voice in the UK for all cachers. The past is past and we need to be forward looking IMHO.
    I donít see how we can, or would want to, start with a clean slate. A lot of good work has been done and relationships built in the past e.g. landowner agreements with some of the big organisations. However, I agree that we need to move forward and that is something that I am hoping to do in the next year.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Do either of the candidates see the requirement for sub-committes ? If so, which ones; how will they operate and what will be the reporting mechanism to the main Executive Committee.
    No, I donít. Individual committee members can be given/take on specific tasks/roles, but with the small size of the GAGB committee I donít see the need for a specific sub-committee to be formed.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Can the candidates please declare any pecuniary interests which they have which may have a bearing not only on this election but also on the position of chair going forward.
    If I have understood the question correctly (if not, let me know); I have no other interest that could gain financially from me being chair (or on the committee)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Would the candidates agree to propose the publication of full minutes of the Executive Committee (and any sub-committees) rather than the abridged ones we currently get. I understand that confidential items have to remain "hidden" but there should be a reltionship between the full minutes and any confidential items.

    The proposal will go to the new committee and be agreed and/or a new constitution to force this to happen may be required.

    After this was previously brought up in the forums, the last committee meetings minutes were produced in full and that is the aim for future minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Will the candidates agree that they will propose that any major issues which have been highlighted by members AND non-members, either in the GAGB forums or other social media will be discussed in a transparent manner with relevant organisations?

    I am thinking of the example of the recent burying issue. This was of importance to UK (and wider) cachers and was a topic of discussion on several Facebook pages. There were several people (myself included) who contacted Groundspeak for clarification and I believe that has caused Groundspeak to consider the issue - they may not have done much about it but they at least discussed it.

    I shared the correspondence I had with Groundspeak as there was nothing confidential or business related and felt that it was for the betterment of the caching community that people saw the types of response GS made.

    Again, for clarity, please not that the above is an example and I would hope that any correspondence with caching organisations/ACPO etc will be published wherever possible and that the Chair/committee challenged any restriction on publication where there is no confidential information.
    There has to be some private discussions as otherwise I expect we wouldnít be contacted to start with. I expect the majority of cachers are aware that there are committee forums, but maybe not there is also a forum for reviewers/approvers of all listing sites, so this is initially where any issues regarding landowners/guidelines that will affect all sites may commence before being shared with the members.

    I would like to see more use of the Ďcommittee discussions forumí to make members aware of items that the committee are discussing Ė especially if at a time between committee meetings/minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Will the candidates propose that the GAGB liaise with ALL caching organisations and to distill all rules/guidelines into an easy to use document that allows cache owners and finders to understand the limitations of each organisation and the possible impact of doing something will have for the entire community ?
    Yes, I definitely want to work more with the various listing sites and the revised guidelines will take all sites into account.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Will the candidates be willing to work on not just a new version of the consitution but also a set of policies/procedures ? These policies/procedures would define what is acceptable from not just the Executive Committee but also members.
    Certainly worth looking into, however all the new policies (constitution, guidelines etc) need to be precise and to the point. My feeling is that the current ones are too long/detailed and therefore people give up reading them before they get to the relevant area.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
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  36. #36

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    Thumbs up response to Tares Clan, part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    I have been reading this and the other thread with much interest.
    Thank you for you keen interest and also for your well considered questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    My first comment is that it would make sense (to me at least) that there is only one thread as there is the possibility of information in one thread being missed/misinterpreted in the other. Personally, I am not that bothered which thread is used but could understand why someone may want to use the members only thread (the same reasons the members only area was set up).

    I find it very promising that there is frank and open discussion going on although it is mostly between the two protagonists. I wonder how may people are reading the two threads but do not wish to ask questions/get involved.
    I too have wondered too. I would like to thank all our questioners for asking good questions and judging by the very little overlap between them I am convinced that they have been reading our questions and answers first.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    The position of the chairman is important in many areas and I would like to see definition of chair well defined. According to the draft constitution under Honorary Officers

    This makes the position of chair sound titular to me and not a position of power. The next section states the chairman is in the Executive Committee which makes it sound as if there is power.

    The role of a chair (IMHO) is to presides over committee meetings and ensure that they are conducted in an orderly fashion. An orderly fashion to me means that there are full minutes of the meeting available (excpeting any confidential items) and that any voting which takes place is documented.

    When not at meetings, the chair should be seen as acting as its head, its representative to the outside world and its spokesperson; a person who speaks on behalf of the Executive Committee and therefore the members.
    I would agree entirely with your perception of the role: it is ensuring that meetings are conducted in an orderly, structured manner, ensuring they are properly documented with good minutes and that commitments made are followed through and reviewed. Where progress has stalled, a new approach may be needed.

    I'd like members to be able to table items for the agenda by submitting briefings in advance to the committee - and allowing other members to comment - this allows participation without extending the meeting unduly. I'd also like to remove "AOB" from the agenda because it disempowers our members - they need to see a fixed agenda published in advance to allow this opportunity for comment.

    As you will know by now, if elected, I would facilitate very open and transparent proceedings, I would favour using an online tool like "GoToMeeting" so that members can "sit in" on the proceedings, the meeting can be recorded and reviewed subsequently by members unable to attend at the time. The objective of doing so is to build trust and enhance our credibility.

    Even though my vision for GAGB is ambitious, I realise I couldn't possibly achieve it without our committee and members' involvement. To this end, I would need to retain ownership the big picture, oversee the various activities but be quite selective on where I should focus my efforts, to ensure progress on the different aspects.

  37. #37

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    Thumbs up Response to Tares Clan, part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    Some questions which I have (some of these may sound harsh but the GAGB is a "business" whether we like it or not!):


    • Would the candidates be willing to become a vice-chair in the event of them not winning the election ? (This would mean a change to the constitution I would guess)
    I'd we willing, however, I would not create the role for the sake of it. If I am not elected as chair, I would like to be nominated to the committee and if elected would seek agreement to bring forward some of my ideas. I would prefer not to get hung up about titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Although I understand the need for some sort of continuity of committee members, would candidates be willing to basically start with a clean slate and forget what has happened in the past ?

    For clarity, I am not talking about a personal level but rather the corporate level. If we have a clean slate, GAGB can re-assert the ideals with which it was started and become an independent voice in the UK for all cachers. The past is past and we need to be forward looking IMHO.
    Absolutely! GAGB is where it is, but I'd like to take it up many levels, a step at a time. As we are all volunteers, I'm under no illusion that it's a project that would take quite some time to reach maturity however, I am confident that there would be both quick wins and step changes to mark significant progress along the way, each of which will inspire greater confidence and more participation.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Do either of the candidates see the requirement for sub-committes ? If so, which ones; how will they operate and what will be the reporting mechanism to the main Executive Committee.
    If elected, most definitely, yes. I'd like to see many more of our members engaged with activities and bringing their motivation, enthusiasm and skills to bear for our common good. I don't think GAGB would be able to develop quickly enough with just our committee as orchestrators. I think we need to ramp up the pace of development markedly to make a significant impact.

    Each sub-committee would be chaired by an executive committee member, who would report progress to the main committee. The main committee would ensure that the sub-committee is properly equipped to achieve its objectives.

    I would stop short of giving a definitive list of sub-committees at this stage as it will probably depend, to a degree, on the complexion of the new committee and the priorities placed on the various projects. As the projects start, there may be interdependencies which will influence the overall sequence and flow.

    However, there are some I am certain about.

    • Web site - I believe this is too large for one person and needs to be an ongoing poject, with contributors and editors


    • Outreach - we need to be properly engaged with ongoing dialogue with listing sites, regional forums and Facebook groups. The sub-committee would have 'champions' to develop and maintain the dialogue with their particular organisations, and would ideally be existing participants in them.


    • Land owner database - to bring the database up to date, re-engage with the land owners and ensure there is a regular review cycle so that land owners perceive us to have active management, not just consent without follow-up.


    • Reform - to consider constitution, policies, guidelines - I would expect this to be comprised mostly of main committee members, but drive a consultative process with our members.


    Potentially:

    • Liaison - dialogue with outside bodies such as other associations with shared interests, public authorities and the like.


    • Social & fundraising - facilitate GAGB events at local, regional and potentially even national level. Take responsibility for GAGB exhibition stand and its attendance at events.


    • Can the candidates please declare any pecuniary interests which they have which may have a bearing not only on this election but also on the position of chair going forward.
    I have none. I would give freely of my time and not normally expect my travel expenses to be reinbursed.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Would the candidates agree to propose the publication of full minutes of the Executive Committee (and any sub-committees) rather than the abridged ones we currently get. I understand that confidential items have to remain "hidden" but there should be a reltionship between the full minutes and any confidential items.

    The proposal will go to the new committee and be agreed and/or a new constitution to force this to happen may be required.
    Absolutely yes. I've already outlined above how I would like committee meetings to be conducted and documented in future. Appropriate confidentiality tempered by timely disclosure once confidentiality is no longer required also builds trust.

    However, I think a more relaxed approach to sub-committees would be preferable, since we should encourage creativity and engagement of our members. Formal proceedings might inhibit creativity and discourage engagement. Summary minutes / progress reports from sub-committees would be expected to be circulated with the agenda of our main committee meeting, for consideration beforehand and for adoption by our main committee.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Will the candidates agree that they will propose that any major issues which have been highlighted by members AND non-members, either in the GAGB forums or other social media will be discussed in a transparent manner with relevant organisations?

    I am thinking of the example of the recent burying issue. This was of importance to UK (and wider) cachers and was a topic of discussion on several Facebook pages. There were several people (myself included) who contacted Groundspeak for clarification and I believe that has caused Groundspeak to consider the issue - they may not have done much about it but they at least discussed it.

    I shared the correspondence I had with Groundspeak as there was nothing confidential or business related and felt that it was for the betterment of the caching community that people saw the types of response GS made.

    Again, for clarity, please not that the above is an example and I would hope that any correspondence with caching organisations/ACPO etc will be published wherever possible and that the Chair/committee challenged any restriction on publication where there is no confidential information.
    Absolutely! GAGB should be UK Geocachers' advocate, both for our members and wider community. This means being assertive but reasonable with outside bodies, be it listing sites or authorities. Confidentiality should be honoured but not as a smokescreen. There may be circumstances where it is better to disengage than be muted.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Will the candidates propose that the GAGB liaise with ALL caching organisations and to distill all rules/guidelines into an easy to use document that allows cache owners and finders to understand the limitations of each organisation and the possible impact of doing something will have for the entire community ?
    That's an interesting idea well worth considering, albeit something of a moving target. I would like GAGB's guidelines to have a light touch, be succinct and easily understood. I would expect some listing sites to have more restrictive practices, others to be more permissive.

    For example, Munzees, Cistes and Dartmoor Letterboxes are more permissive, Groundspeak more restrictive. We should endeavour to establish GAGB guidelines as the least restrictive set needed for sound governance.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    • Will the candidates be willing to work on not just a new version of the consitution but also a set of policies/procedures ? These policies/procedures would define what is acceptable from not just the Executive Committee but also members.
    Yes. I would like to see all elements of principle enshrined in the constitution and all elements of policy removed from it.

    Thanks again and regards, Roderick

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    Do either of the candidates see the requirement for sub-committes ? If so, which ones; how will they operate and what will be the reporting mechanism to the main Executive Committe
    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    No, I donít. Individual committee members can be given/take on specific tasks/roles, but with the small size of the GAGB committee I donít see the need for a specific sub-committee to be formed.

    After reading sandvika's reply to the question about subcommitte, I would just like to clarify my answer.

    Since I have been on the committee, the only sub-committees that we have had have consisted of members of the committee. My reply was based on that experience and my thoughts were that it didn't need an official sub-committee - just been given tasks to get on with.

    However, thinking back to previous committee years, I do recall one sub committee (there may have been others) and that was when the current website was created.

    So, re-thinking the question ... then yes, if we don't have the skills we required within the current committee, then yes I would be happy to create sub committees.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
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  39. #39

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    Thanks to both candidates for their full answers. I am off to read and ponder before any rebuttal

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    I personally feel that now that the voting has started this thread should end.
    Just my opinion.

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    I hope that I have managed to get the quoting correct and that I have attributed correctly and it is all in the correct order. If it is not, please forgive me.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    I'd also like to remove "AOB" from the agenda because it disempowers our members - they need to see a fixed agenda published in advance to allow this opportunity for comment.
    I totally agree that a standard agenda with certain standing items should be published in advance but I totally disagree that AOB would be removed. Let's say that you publish the agenda 7 days in advance of the committee meeting. Without AOB, if there is something that comes up from a member or another source that cannot wait until the next meeting, we would lose an advantage - this is the purpose of AOB in meetings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    If I am unsuccessful in the Chairman elections, then I would hope that I am proposed, seconded and elected onto the committee. The role of vice-chair is certainly an option that I would be willing to consider, but as you have said, it may need a change to constitution before this is possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    I'd we willing, however, I would not create the role for the sake of it. If I am not elected as chair, I would like to be nominated to the committee and if elected would seek agreement to bring forward some of my ideas. I would prefer not to get hung up about titles.
    My thought process was that there is an automatic standin if the chair is not available. It is standard practice in most committees to have a chair and a vice chair. It also allows the vice chair to see what the actual job of chair requires and therefore helps with succession planning as people understand what a job entails.

    Of course this may not be necessary in the brave new world of transparency

    I would be more than happy to propose/second eithe rof the candidates for the committee as they have shown that they are willing to listen and try to change the GAGB for the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    I donít see how we can, or would want to, start with a clean slate. A lot of good work has been done and relationships built in the past e.g. landowner agreements with some of the big organisations. However, I agree that we need to move forward and that is something that I am hoping to do in the next year.
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    Absolutely! GAGB is where it is, but I'd like to take it up many levels, a step at a time. As we are all volunteers, I'm under no illusion that it's a project that would take quite some time to reach maturity however, I am confident that there would be both quick wins and step changes to mark significant progress along the way, each of which will inspire greater confidence and more participation.
    @Maple Leaf, I was not meaning a clean slate of all of the good work but rather try to put behind us the issues which have led to the resignations of committee members, the perception that GAGB is not for all cachers, the perception that GAGB is one listing companies lapdog etc. I would not want to undo all the hard work that people have previously done but rather build up on it.

    @sandvika, Would you forsee a roadmap of changes which you would like to see made ? We should be careful not just to pick all of the low hanging fruit and then hit an impasse. If the members could see a roadmap and vote upon the most important to them, this may help shape any extra participation required by members.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    If elected, most definitely, yes. I'd like to see many more of our members engaged with activities and bringing their motivation, enthusiasm and skills to bear for our common good. I don't think GAGB would be able to develop quickly enough with just our committee as orchestrators. I think we need to ramp up the pace of development markedly to make a significant impact.

    [SNIP]
    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    [SNIP]

    So, re-thinking the question ... then yes, if we don't have the skills we required within the current committee, then yes I would be happy to create sub committees.
    The above highlights what I find very refreshing - Maple Leaf has reconsidered comments and has modified her position and should be thanked for it.

    Please note I was not saying we should have committees just for the sake of it - if there are no requirements, then bureaucracy just for the sake of it is a bad thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    There has to be some private discussions as otherwise I expect we wouldnít be contacted to start with. I expect the majority of cachers are aware that there are committee forums, but maybe not there is also a forum for reviewers/approvers of all listing sites, so this is initially where any issues regarding landowners/guidelines that will affect all sites may commence before being shared with the members.

    I would like to see more use of the Ďcommittee discussions forumí to make members aware of items that the committee are discussing Ė especially if at a time between committee meetings/minutes
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    Absolutely! GAGB should be UK Geocachers' advocate, both for our members and wider community. This means being assertive but reasonable with outside bodies, be it listing sites or authorities. Confidentiality should be honoured but not as a smokescreen. There may be circumstances where it is better to disengage than be muted.
    I fully understand that there are times for confidentiality/private discussions and that not everything should be open to the public. However, I strongly believe that all contact with the chair or the Executive Committee should be documented as soon as possible in a manner where it can be looked at by other committee members.

    This happens all the time in school governance - confidential items such as redundancy are discussed but are minuted (for example) in the full committee minutes as a confidential item reference ABC/123 was discussed. Item ABC/123 is documented and therefore full auditability is maintained.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    Certainly worth looking into, however all the new policies (constitution, guidelines etc) need to be precise and to the point. My feeling is that the current ones are too long/detailed and therefore people give up reading them before they get to the relevant area.
    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post
    Yes. I would like to see all elements of principle enshrined in the constitution and all elements of policy removed from it.
    Again taking from my experience as school governor of a few years, managing to get the terms of reference and policies and procedures right is a time consuming task at first as a lot of thought and work has to go into them to get it right.

    However, after getting the correct (and approved) I would expect that there would be a rolling calendar of making sure that they are up to date. All you need to then do is have a standing item on the committee meeting agenda dealing with policies/procedures/terms of reference.

    These policies can then be published on the web site.

    One final question which has come to mind.


    • Would the candidates be willing to (after agreement) publish a schedule of committee meetings ? This would allow it to be published ahead of time a members and non members will be aware of the date and time of a meeting which allows them to have any questions/issues/problems raised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick&Vick View Post
    I personally feel that now that the voting has started this thread should end.
    Just my opinion.
    I have to respectfully disagree (and this is just my opinion )

    As voting will close at midnight GMT on 6th November, surely members have the right to question and the candidates answer questions up until that time.

    If we take voting for an MP as an example, you can still get someone knocking on your door the day before election Thursday and they maybe able to sway you.

    It could also be that the MP makes a statement before voting closes that changes people minds.

    I am all for anyone casting their vote at any time before the closing time (think postal votes here) but discussion in the open environment may also help someone make the decision to join GAGB in the future as they have seen this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post

    One final question which has come to mind.


    • Would the candidates be willing to (after agreement) publish a schedule of committee meetings ? This would allow it to be published ahead of time a members and non members will be aware of the date and time of a meeting which allows them to have any questions/issues/problems raised.
    For the past two years (I don't know before I was on the committee), a date for the next meeting is proposed at the end the current meeting and is documented in the minutes.

    The next meeting date has already been set for Friday 7th December at 8pm (but obviously this is subject to the new committee being available). A reminder of the date and agenda is normally posted in the forums and facebook at the beginning of that week.

    For the past two years, the meetings have been held on a Friday evening (approx. every 2 months) as that was the most convenient time for the working patterns of the committee - obviously that is something that needs to be clarified with the new team and may/may not move.
    GAGB member since 2005
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    Thumbs up

    Apologies for my delayed reply - I was hosting our Berkshire Cachers monthly meet yesterday evening.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    I hope that I have managed to get the quoting correct and that I have attributed correctly and it is all in the correct order. If it is not, please forgive me.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika
    I'd also like to remove "AOB" from the agenda because it disempowers our members - they need to see a fixed agenda published in advance to allow this opportunity for comment.
    I totally agree that a standard agenda with certain standing items should be published in advance but I totally disagree that AOB would be removed. Let's say that you publish the agenda 7 days in advance of the committee meeting. Without AOB, if there is something that comes up from a member or another source that cannot wait until the next meeting, we would lose an advantage - this is the purpose of AOB in meetings.
    I think we disagree. AOB is the bomb in the agenda that can hijack the meeting and make it take much longer than necessary. Committee meetings are about taking decisions to act and ratifying decisions taken in sub-committees or otherwise outside the meeting (or asking for them to be reconsidered). By putting AOB on the agenda you're asking for decisions to be taken without proper prior consideration. There's a good piece on AOB here

    That said, if I'm elected and a majority of our new committee would want to retain AOB, I would keep it, but would expect to be notified in advance of the matters to be raised and of proposed decisions in relation to them. The chair should have the right to determine whether the matter is relevant to the meeting or better addressed outside it.

    I'd like to provide a sample agenda for a fictitious future committee meeting to demonstrate how I think they could be enhanced.

    notice

    Notice


    Agenda of GAGB Committee Meeting .....date.....
    1. Apologies for absence
    2. Declarations of interest - to receive any declarations of personal or prejudicial interest in any matters on the agenda
    3. Minutes - to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on ......
    4. Matters arising - to consider matters arising from that meeting not covered elsewhere on this agenda
    5. Accounts
    a - To receive report from the Treasurer
    b - To agree accounts for payment
    c - To agree budget sheet
    6. Reform
    a - To receive report from chairman of Reform sub-committee
    b - To adopt the minutes of the meeting held on .....
    7. Web Site - To receive update from chairman of Web Site sub-committee
    8. Land Owner Database
    a - To receive report from chairman of Land Owner Database sub-committee
    b - To consider matters arising from Land Owner Database sub-committee
    9. Outreach
    a - To receive report from chairman of Outreach sub-committee
    b - To consider matters arising from Outreach sub-committee
    10. Liaison - To receive update from the Liaison Officer
    11. Social - To receive update from the Social Secretary
    12. Representative Reports - to receive updates on committee members' activities
    13. Correspondence - to consider correspondence received; to agree next steps
    14. To review progress on roadmap and consider any changes to it
    15. Date of next committee meeting - to receive early apologies
    16. Close meeting





    IF AOB were to be included it would be before item 15, however, I think Representative Reports should cover any informational items that might otherwise be lumped under AOB. Correspondence allows for developing situations to be considered - in the subsequent meeting they would be considered under Matters Arising. Items such as Seeker would only be added to the agenda when needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    My thought process was that there is an automatic standin if the chair is not available. It is standard practice in most committees to have a chair and a vice chair. It also allows the vice chair to see what the actual job of chair requires and therefore helps with succession planning as people understand what a job entails.
    Yes, I would agree that an automatic stand-in should exist but given that the chair is elected directly at present it would be odd if the vice-chair were not - do we want a US presidential style election with chair and vice chair as running mates? I think that would be odd too, therefore I would prefer the Secretary to be the automatic stand-in, if both are absent, for the committee to choose one for the meeting from among themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    Quote:
    @sandvika, Would you forsee a roadmap of changes which you would like to see made ? We should be careful not just to pick all of the low hanging fruit and then hit an impasse. If the members could see a roadmap and vote upon the most important to them, this may help shape any extra participation required by members.
    Yes, I would like to create a roadmap of changes, with content and priorities suggested by our members as well as committee and chair, but ultimately driven by the committee at committee meetings (see sample agenda above).

    With an ambitious programme of growth as I propose, it's necessary to use all available tools and mechanisms to ensure steady progress across the board with the difficult and complex items as well as the more straightforward ones. The reporting process in the meeting is to enable issues to be identified as early as possible; the review of the roadmap to ensure it is a dynamic document.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    I fully understand that there are times for confidentiality/private discussions and that not everything should be open to the public. However, I strongly believe that all contact with the chair or the Executive Committee should be documented as soon as possible in a manner where it can be looked at by other committee members.
    I agree. There should be no such thing as individual confidentiality on the committee - any member about to receive confidential information should make it clear that it will be shared with other members of the committee.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    Again taking from my experience as school governor of a few years, managing to get the terms of reference and policies and procedures right is a time consuming task at first as a lot of thought and work has to go into them to get it right.

    However, after getting the correct (and approved) I would expect that there would be a rolling calendar of making sure that they are up to date. All you need to then do is have a standing item on the committee meeting agenda dealing with policies/procedures/terms of reference.

    These policies can then be published on the web site.
    I agree. In my example agenda, the standing item would be item 6. If there were any policy changes proposed, they would require a specific line item.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    One final question which has come to mind.

    Would the candidates be willing to (after agreement) publish a schedule of committee meetings ? This would allow it to be published ahead of time a members and non members will be aware of the date and time of a meeting which allows them to have any questions/issues/problems raised.
    Yes, I would like to publish a schedule of committee meetings for the coming year. As I would like to ramp-up our activity levels, I would like committee meetings to be monthly to support this. I think the agenda should be published 7 days before the meeting to allow members to digest the supporting materials and consider their positions.

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