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Thread: A Question for the Chairman and Returning Officer

  1. #1

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    Question A Question for the Chairman and Returning Officer

    I have sat on this question since the 15th of this month, however having had a discussion with someone I trust, who is not involved in the GAGB. I will like a full disclosure, in the interests of complete openness within the GAGB and Specifically the GAGB Committee and Election Process.

    a: Please point out where it is stated, that Nominated Candidates for the Committee's Manifesto, must be no longer than x words long.

    b: who Authorised the Returning Officer to edit a Nominated Candidates Manifesto, was this done with the knowledge, Approval or Authorisation of the GAGB Chairman.

    c: If A is applicable, why where Manifestos not returned to the Candidate, with a request to edit down to a specific word size

    d: If A is Applicable, why are Published Manifestos, not marked as having been edited before publication by the Candidate, the Chairman or the Returning Officer.

    Given that the Return Officer without consulting me, edited the Manifesto I provided, in the interest of full openness, to allow people to make a informed opinion on whether I'm a suitable candidate for Election to the Committee. Here is the Manifesto as Posted by the Returning Officer, and the One I supplied to the Returning Officer, which was edited without contact me, so without my consent.

    Because to be honest, if I'd been asked to edit, I would have withdrawn, from the Election.

    Posted by the Returning Officer, after being Edited either by Him or the GAGB Chairman

    First, who I am.
    My name is Dave Palmer, I've been married for 28 years and have 2 Adult Children. I am not only my Spouses Full Time Carer, but also my 2 Childrens’ Carer as well.

    My Geocaching History.
    I started Geocaching in 2002, after reading a Article in Computer Active Magaine in the August. I got a GPS in the September and my Spouse imediatly wrapped it up for Christmas. So the fist day I went out Geocaching was St Stephens Day 2002 [Boxing Day], I had the grand choice of just 3 caches within 30 miles. I found 2 and DNF'd one, and was hooked, despite getting Soaked to the skin

    In 2004 I placed the very first Geocache in the UK, with Landower Permission in a SSSI. That involved working with the Land Manager a Contractor, BHPBilliton the Land Owner, and the SSSI Stearing Group, comprising of BHPBiliton, Flintshire and Denbighshire County Councils, Haven Holidays, Point of Atr Holidays, The Enviroment Agency, RSPB, CCW [now Natural Resources Wales] to obtain permission.

    Also in 2004 I organised the very first and only CITO that year, in the UK. That involved obtaining Permission of CADW, as the Event took place at Flint Castle, a Scheduled Monument, and also Flitshire CC, who provided Gloves, Pick Up Sticks, Black Bags, a Sharps Container and arranged a special pick up of all the Rubbish collected.
    This was just the start of a patern of working with Landowners.

    In 2006 I was asked to become a Volunteer Reviewer for the UK. A role I fulfilled for eight years. In that time I worked with numerous Geocachers to resolve all sorts of issues and proved support. I worked with Numerous Landowners over issues created by Geocaches, placed without permission. In some cases by working directly with the Landowner, I managed to about turn a request for the removal of Geocaches, into Permission for them, even if it involved relocating the containers.
    The Full Manifesto as provided to the Returning Officer

    First who I am
    My name is Dave Palmer, I've been married for 28 years and have 2 Adult Children. I am not only my Spouses Full Time Carer, but also my 2 Childrens Carer as well.
    My Geocaching History.
    I started Geocaching in 2002, after reading a Article in Computer Active Magaine in the August. I got a GPS in the September and my Spouse imediatly wrapped it up for Christmas. So the fist day I went out Geocaching was St Stephens Day 2002 [Boxing Day], I had the grand choice of just 3 caches within 30 miles. I found 2 and DNF'd one, and was hooked, despite getting Soaked to the skin

    In 2004 I placed the very first Geocache in the UK, with Landower Permission in a SSSI. That involved working with the Land Manager a Contractor, BHPBilliton the Land Owner, and the SSSI Stearing Group, comprising of BHPBiliton, Flintshire and Denbighshire County Councils, Haven Holidays, Point of Atr Holidays, The Enviroment Agency, RSPB, CCW [now Natural Resources Wales] to obtain permission.

    Also in 2004 I organised the very first and only CITO that year, in the UK. That involved obtaining Permission of CADW, as the Event took place at Flint Castle, a Scheduled Monument, and also Flitshire CC, who provided Gloves, Pick Up Sticks, Black Bags, a Sharps Container and arranged a special pick up of all the Rubbish collected.
    This was just the start of a patern of working with Landowners.

    In 2006 I was asked to become a Volunteer Reviewer for the UK. A role I fulfilled for eight years. In that time I worked with numerous Geocachers to resolve all sorts of issues and proved support. I worked with Numerous Landowners over issues created by Geocaches, placed without permission. In some cases by working directly with the Landowner, I managed to about turn a request for the removal of Geocaches, into Permission for them, even if it involved relocating the containers.

    I also worked to help resolve a situation where a Muggle had relocated a container, discovered by accident, over 70 mile. By identifying the actual location the container had been relocated to, where it had been moved from, which cache it was and who owned it. The Cache Owner made a 140 mile round trip to recover the container.
    As the above shows, I have the ability to work with people to reach a resolution, resolutions at times some have not agreed with, but the aim has always been to have the minimum impact on the hobby and UK Geocaching Community, and sustain the long term future for the hobby in the UK. Something I'm passionate about.

    I am not one of the early Geocachers in the UK, still active, who has Rose Coloured Glasses about the past history of the Hobby. In fact there were extremely poor caches, and abusive Geocachers way back in 2002. The only differance is that a tiny percentage of a tiny number, is easy to ignore, where as today there are around 109,198 been active in 2014, in 2002 there was 100/200 active geocachers in the UK. With 179,054 currently active cache in the UK, there was just a few hundred back in 2002.
    What I promise to bring to the GAGB Committee if elected, is a passion for the sustainable future of the Hobby in the UK. Support for UK Geocachers, in regards to issues. If I upset some to achive a sustanable future, that is a risk I am prepared to accept, because I want to see the Hobby in the UK and also the GAB, thriving in 20/30/40 years time. Not a hobby which peaks, goes into decline as the majority do, and fizle away into nothing, to achive that, involves major compramises, as the Hobby is no longer a Uderground, below the Radar Hobby. And every action has a potential negative reaction off Lanowners, without whose support, we have no Hobby
    Dave
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  2. #2

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    Well, it's news to me. I just said what I wanted to say in my manifesto, and left it at that...wouldn't have noticed if it had been edited.
    Isn't it amazing what you don't see, when you don't know what you're looking for?
    The past is history; the future is a story yet to be told; write it well.

  3. #3

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    Sorry Terry but

    I also worked to help resolve a situation where a Muggle had relocated a container, discovered by accident, over 70 mile. By identifying the actual location the container had been relocated to, where it had been moved from, which cache it was and who owned it. The Cache Owner made a 140 mile round trip to recover the container.
    As the above shows, I have the ability to work with people to reach a resolution, resolutions at times some have not agreed with, but the aim has always been to have the minimum impact on the hobby and UK Geocaching Community, and sustain the long term future for the hobby in the UK. Something I'm passionate about.

    I am not one of the early Geocachers in the UK, still active, who has Rose Coloured Glasses about the past history of the Hobby. In fact there were extremely poor caches, and abusive Geocachers way back in 2002. The only differance is that a tiny percentage of a tiny number, is easy to ignore, where as today there are around 109,198 been active in 2014, in 2002 there was 100/200 active geocachers in the UK. With 179,054 currently active cache in the UK, there was just a few hundred back in 2002.
    What I promise to bring to the GAGB Committee if elected, is a passion for the sustainable future of the Hobby in the UK. Support for UK Geocachers, in regards to issues. If I upset some to achive a sustanable future, that is a risk I am prepared to accept, because I want to see the Hobby in the UK and also the GAB, thriving in 20/30/40 years time. Not a hobby which peaks, goes into decline as the majority do, and fizle away into nothing, to achive that, involves major compramises, as the Hobby is no longer a Uderground, below the Radar Hobby. And every action has a potential negative reaction off Lanowners, without whose support, we have no Hobby
    Was removed without even the decency of asking me if that was ok. As can be seen it was a huge edit, and Glaringly Clear as soon as I saw the Post.

    A situation I find utterly disgusting!

    And to make it very clear, so giving anyone a chance to request I stand down right now

    I will not accept any editing of anything that is specifically related to me personally, and which I have produced, for posting to the GAGB Forum/FB Group or the Seeker. If anyone is not prepared to accept that, please state so now! I will also make public if a refusal to edit, results in a refusal to Publish!

    The GAGB Represents the Geocaching Community of the UK, the GAGB Committee are Individually Elected to represent the Best Interests of the Community. That means being 100% completely open about each and every action and Vote, no editing of facts, no failure to disclose facts. Otherwise the Committee is failing in its role to represent the Best Interest of the Community, and creates a false impression for those who voted for them.

    I don't do Office Politics, ask Groundspeak, I put the Community and the Hobby First!

    Dave
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  4. #4

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    No need to be 'sorry' Dave. I agree that if so much had been deleted I'd want an explanation. I was merely expressing my situation. But for the record, I edit everything that goes in Seeker. If it's a 'personal' observation, I always check first, or return the edited piece for approval. But not otherwise.
    Isn't it amazing what you don't see, when you don't know what you're looking for?
    The past is history; the future is a story yet to be told; write it well.

  5. #5

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    I sincerely hope this is no more than a cut and paste error, as disappointing as that would still be.

  6. #6

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    I'm sorry to hear Dave that your manifesto was severly edited. The current committee were unaware that any of the manifestos were not word for word what candidates wrote to the returning officer. I think your full manifesto should be added without any edits. Dave I think you will be a great asset to the GAGB and we are very open about all our decisions made within the committee, all minutes and the accounts are available and published for all our members to view.

    GAGB Chairperson
    2015/2020
    GAGB Committee member since March 2014
    UK Mega Event Vice Chairman 2013 (West Midlands)

  7. #7

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    Dave
    I am not aware of any editing and also hope that it is an error in the copy/pasting. It is a shame that you didn't contact either the RO or myself to ask when you noticed a section missing.

    I did not see any of the manifestos until they were posted in the forum as they were submitted directly to LadyBug Kids.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


  8. #8

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    Jen open questioning is surely the way forward with the GAGB

    It is about time you got your members trust back.

    Virtually *******ing a candidate before he is elected is not a way to go.

  9. #9

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    Glad I have been denied a vote now.

  10. #10

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    Dave, I'm sure I speak on behalf of the other candidates when I urge you not to remove yourself from the process. I really hope Mike is along soon to clarify an unfortunate but honest mistake has been made.

  11. #11

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    I am currently on a train but have emailed Mike.

    It is a genuine mistake and he is investigating, but is currently at work without access to everything.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


  12. #12

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    Hello Dave:


    Thank you for bringing to my attention that your manifesto was missing content.


    I updated the manifesto thread with the full text straight from your original e-mail and verified the content on the ballot is correct. The content was omitted through a copy and paste error that left off the final three paragraphs of your content. I would never intentionally/knowingly edit the content of a manifesto.


    I sincerely apologize for my mistake.


    At your service,

    Michael Malvick/Ladybug Kids
    GAGB Returning Officer
    In Alaska, the best athletes eat raw meat, sleep in the snow, and run naked.
    Ladybug Kids' gc.com profile
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  13. #13

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    Having had both Jen and Mike separately contact me over this issue. I confirm that I wish to continue forward as a Candidate.

    However given that this is now the Second time a major mistake has been made during the GAGB Election process, a process I had presumed would have been double and triple checked this year. On the basis that one mistake can happen, but lessons must be learnt from that mistake.

    I can only suggest to the successful Candidates* Elected to the Committee, that one of the First Orders of business, is a complete revamp of the whole GAGB Election Process, to start regaining the Trust of the Community, given that the current Election process has now twice had issues.

    The last thing the GAGB is to loose support off the community, when we should all, Committee Members and Community Members alike, be working to increase not only Membership Numbers, but interaction by Members of the Community.

    One persons negativity can create negativity i several others, not a good Scenario to be in

    Dave
    *I have worded the paragraph this way, given that I am 1 of 9 Candidates for 8 Committee places.
    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

  14. #14

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    Delighted and relieved to hear that Dave and I absolutely agree with your proposals. Given that one of us must get in, it has to be a discussion in the first meeting.

  15. #15

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    Glad to hear that you are still standing Dave, which means we will still be having an election.

    The SurveyMonkey emails will be sent out to the members overnight. Mike will post in the forums once they have been sent.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


  16. #16

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    Glad to hear that news Dave. Yes I agree we need to review the whole process.

    GAGB Chairperson
    2015/2020
    GAGB Committee member since March 2014
    UK Mega Event Vice Chairman 2013 (West Midlands)

  17. #17

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    Hi Dave
    I am so pleased that the problem has now been identied and rectified in time for voting too

    I am delighted that you are continuing to stand in the elections for the committee 2014/2015
    I also agree that the whole election process as well as emails communication and the problems surrounding them, needs to be addressed at the first meeting and rectified as soon as possible.

    It is very sad and distressing for you that this error has happened, which has led to your full manifesto not being available for the last week, like the other candidates.

    All the very best to all who are standing for the committe and all those who have, and those who are volunteering to give up their time freely for the GAGB, Geocaching and the Geocaching community.

    Heth

    From me personally.
    "Defeat may test you; It need not stop you. If at first you don't succeed, try another way. For every obstacle, there is a solution. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance. The greatest mistake is giving up."
    Author Unknown :socool:

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    On the basis that one mistake can happen, but lessons must be learnt from that mistake.
    So, meanwhile, perhaps we can all think about how we legislate for a cut and paste error by an individual, which is what this appears to have been, rather than a fundamental flaw in the election procedure.
    Isn't it amazing what you don't see, when you don't know what you're looking for?
    The past is history; the future is a story yet to be told; write it well.

  19. #19

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    I've no problem with identifying it as a simple error and perhaps the solution to rectify is as straightforward as having someone else double check everything. But we do need to have that discussion.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by richlay View Post
    I've no problem with identifying it as a simple error and perhaps the solution to rectify is as straightforward as having someone else double check everything. But we do need to have that discussion.
    I agree with this. Most all my work over the past five years has been vetted with the Chair of the time. When Jen reviewed the Forum post and the draft ballot, she didn't have the benefit of also having copies of all the manifestos to double check, so all the blame falls should fall on me.

    I backtracked this afternoon (Friday) to determine how the error occurred. I compiled all the manifestos into a single MSWord document to facilitate copying and pasting into the forum thread and the ballot. Dave's Manifesto broke across two pages with the first page content ending on a complete paragraph. I copied the first page content and didn't drag down far enough to capture the second page content. It was an idiotic mistake and due diligence on my part should have caught it.

    Once the election is over, I'd be happy to engage with the Committee to cover lessons learned and share other ideas. To do so here would be off topic and distracting from the important election that is now underway.
    Last edited by LadybugKids; 22nd November 2014 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Fixing typos.
    In Alaska, the best athletes eat raw meat, sleep in the snow, and run naked.
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  21. #21

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    I can understand why you were so upset Dave, that is quite a large and important chunk of your manifesto which was missing. I am so glad this mistake was spotted before the election emails were sent out and that you are continuing to stand.

    I agree with Cache on Wheels that the whole election process needs reviewing. I have seen many disgruntled posts on a variety of social media regarding GAGB of late and issues such as this do not help the GAGB's image! This matter should certainly be discussed at the first meeting.

    Good luck to everyone.

  22. #22

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    I'm sure we've made it feel like a thankless task Mike but reality is we are very grateful for your effort and probably just need a finishing touch to give everyone a bit more confidence in the process.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by countrymatters View Post
    So, meanwhile, perhaps we can all think about how we legislate for a cut and paste error by an individual, which is what this appears to have been, rather than a fundamental flaw in the election procedure.
    FWIW, the way that we do this at work is that everything to be published goes through a final checking stage, with both the author/editor and checker signing off the piece. Another way to do this is to have the author (i.e. the candidate) respond to their own manifesto with a short note to verify that they're happy with it as it appears.

  24. #24

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    There is one way to deal with this but I am not sure that the current forums can deal with it in this manner:


    1. A closed user group forum be set up to which only the candidates will be entitled to post to when their nominations are confirmed by the Returning Officer.
    2. This closed user group forum, which will allow the candidates to post but to not view posts made by the others, will be solely for the posting of the manifestos.
    3. The closed user group froum will only be opened at the end of the nomiation period when the Q & A session starts.
    4. Each manifesto will be froozen to stop changes once the forum is opened for viewing by the general membership.

    Therefore this will eliminate any possible future Returning Officier mistake in this area as s/he won't have any involvment in this part of the election other than to ensure the forum is opened to viewing by all members at the required time.


    Paul

  25. #25

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    So glad that this problem has been cleared up and especially that Dave is still a candidate. But we should remember that the officers of the GAGB are volunteers, doing a lot of work in already busy lives: the occasional hiccup is inevitable. In these circumstances, it is wrong to jump to the conclusion that something sinister is going on before making a check on what might be an innocent mistake.
    The one downside of this is that we still have to vote. Voting for 8 out of 9 is tantamount to voting against one. With all candidates deserving of election, this is an onerous problem for us. We can only hope that the new committee recognise this and find a role for the unsuccessful candidate.

  26. #26

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    [QUOTE=Write and Mane;72399
    The one downside of this is that we still have to vote. Voting for 8 out of 9 is tantamount to voting against one. With all candidates deserving of election, this is an onerous problem for us. We can only hope that the new committee recognise this and find a role for the unsuccessful candidate.[/QUOTE]


    I was thinking the same as this too.
    How awful it must be for 1 candidate to not get through.

    Others who have not been successful last year still offered their services, but I'm not personally aware this was acted upon.
    "Defeat may test you; It need not stop you. If at first you don't succeed, try another way. For every obstacle, there is a solution. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistance. The greatest mistake is giving up."
    Author Unknown :socool:

  27. #27

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    Equally we must remember it is a committee of 8 and not even each of the current 8 was allocated a specific duty, so I'm not sure a specific role should be created. Also, Sharant joined us on the back of one of us not being able to fulfill our duties, so there is often a further opportunity.
    I put in last year's manifesto (though I omitted it in error this year, through my own fault I hasten to add), that regardless of result I would still be a passionate and visible member of the association and that remains the case this year.
    To be most effective, I believe that the unlucky ninth should get behind what we do, support where they can (CITO, the stand at the mega etc) and not simply disappear until next October.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by richlay View Post
    I'm sure we've made it feel like a thankless task Mike but reality is we are very grateful for your effort and probably just need a finishing touch to give everyone a bit more confidence in the process.
    I appreciate that. I am one of those masochists who are hardwired for seemingly thankless tasks. After all, I am a Volunteer Reviewer as well and serve as an officer on the GeocacheAlaska! Board of Directors (the equivalent of the GAGB Committee, but for a much smaller membership). Fortunately, my flak jacket fits for all roles.
    Quote Originally Posted by Write and Mane View Post
    So glad that this problem has been cleared up and especially that Dave is still a candidate. But we should remember that the officers of the GAGB are volunteers, doing a lot of work in already busy lives: the occasional hiccup is inevitable. In these circumstances, it is wrong to jump to the conclusion that something sinister is going on before making a check on what might be an innocent mistake.
    I appreciate this being said as well. Polite, rapid communication can oftentimes defuse a bad situation very quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Write and Mane View Post
    With all candidates deserving of election, this is an onerous problem for us. We can only hope that the new committee recognise this and find a role for the unsuccessful candidate.
    The recent GeocacheAlaska! Board of Directors elections featured three candidates standing for two Member-at-Large (similar to Committee) positions. The third candidate who did not win a seat is very active in Facebook and gets along well with the community. The Webmaster gave him Admin rights to the GeocacheAlaska! Facebook Group to get him involved right away.

    Volunteer organizations (pardon the North American spelling...I don't feel like fighting my spell checker this morning ) are always in need of people who will do tasks ranging from small to large.
    Last edited by LadybugKids; 22nd November 2014 at 05:32 PM.
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