Citizens of Port Katherine,
As you may be aware, there has been some talk of restructuring the town council into a slightly smaller council for a variety of reasons. Although the Town Council may in the end be the individuals to shape final proposals on such a topic, we would like to hear your thoughts and proposals.
As a council, we have an array of opinions on this and our request for your opinions should be taken as simply that, a request to hear what Port Katherine thinks of the number of individuals on the council and all council members be equal.
It should be noted that currently we use as the tie breaking method a different person each season. These people are chosen when each cycle’s council is formed.
Please feel free to reply below or should you feel the need to share privately, reach out to one of us who will share with the rest of Town Council. I ask that the space below not become a fiery debate on the best choices or referendum on how well we do our jobs. The referendum comes in Summer, my friends.
Councilor Rukiye Maryam Nai’ma bint Maital v’Yasamin v’Jacinta no Kershawi Teuthida Alize min bayt Amira
As some of us were mentioning to Northmarch at New Years, you folks on the council may have the best idea of how many people it takes to do the work of the council. If there’s only 4 people’s worth of work, may as well scale down. If there’s more, perhaps keep 8 to make sure it’s all covered, even if one of those extra people is needed solely for the work of “coordinate between the large number of council members.”
Based on my last discussion with Northmarch at Dawning, the issue seems to be that there is about 4 peoples’ worth of paperwork over the month but about 8 peoples’ worth of discussion and representation on holidays.
Could I suggest 4 titled positions (holders to be decided by the council amongst themselves) who take on the primary paperwork and 4 councilors-at-large who continue to give their input at meetings and assist as needed?
Or perhaps we could have 4 people doing 4 peoples work and have the esteemed Lt Governor handle any ties in voting?
I do not mean that there is only 4 people worth of work to do. Bringing issues of concern to the council and representing the variety of opinions present in the diverse population of our town are proper work for a town councilor. Indeed, many would call that the heart of the work of the town council, and I do not believe 4 people can do that properly.
But as I said to Goody Ferris, the work of organizing the maintenance of the Public Works of the town is more a matter for 4 people than 8. In practice, some of us have largely taken over the paperwork chores and those less interested in that part of the town council’s work do less of it. I do not personally feel that is a matter that requires formal amendment of the structure of the Town Council, as it seems to be working well enough, but others have raised the question for discussion.
Frederick, Comptess Northmarch, Town Councilor
Be that as it may, I fail to see how keeping people around for the sake of discussion is useful when most of the Town Council decisions are brought to the town members for input anyway. If anything more voices at the table when the town is already being asked for input doesn’t lend for more efficiency. It lends to redundancy. As is, having an even number of town council members seems like a recipe for locking up on decisions.
We are at war, and in this case I would argue that efficiency is key. If the Town Council is going to seek the towns input anyway there is effectively no reason to have eight people on the council if the actual hands on work is done by half that many. Simply adding bloat to the process for the sake of bloat or tradition seems very unwise when there is a much more efficient system we could use.
I argue cut down the town council to the number required for the actual hands on work. Redundancy in this case is not a necessary feature, especially with the prevalence of questions for the town about what we believe the town council should do.
I personally favor an 8 woman council. During my time on the council and assisting thereafter I found the redundancy useful. Many times individuals on said council are tied up in other pressing affairs either on the island, or like myself this season off island. When we reduce to the bare minimum of 4 any disruption will be more greatly felt.
I know when the town seeks help having options to listen is vital. Although many sought me out in my time as both councilwoman and MP many wished to have another listen to their grievous or idea. Truly our town was better for having more ideas circulating in those council meetings, even if it took more effort for us to arrange those meetings.
In this time of war we must always remember the adage of one is none and a council with no redundancy faces a very obvious vector of attack and inefficiency if merely one member is waylaid.
I personally believe that 8 members is a useful number, as always we must respect the seasons and not tempt fate by switching to a number not divisible by the seasons. I see arguments to be made for a “core” 4 and an “supplementary” 4, however I believe to place any such hierarchy does us a disservice for all opinions have proven to be valuable. I do believe Goody Ferris and Frederick Comptess Northmarch pointed out the main divide of clerical expectations which may fall more heavily on a smaller number of the council.
-Dame Vaast Verenberg former MP of Port Katherine