Westercon 64 Business
July 4, 2011
Call to Order
The meeting of the
64th Westercon was called to order at 11:38 a.m. on July 4, 2011. Kevin
Standlee, chairman, presiding, and Linda Deneroff, secretary, recording. Eric
Larson and LaMont Jones were Sergeants-at-Arms. Lisa Hayes was the official
videographer of the meeting, and Sharon Sbarsky was the site selection
administrator. Knowing that this would be a contentious meeting the Chairman began
by asking that members restrain themselves from showing how clever and witty
they could be and to show respect for their fellow members. The complete text
of the Chairman’s statement is included as an appendix to these minutes.
There were no committee reports submitted to the Business Meeting.
Bylaw Amendments and New Business
There were no amendments passed on by the
Westercon 63 Business Meeting
and no new business submitted to the Business meeting.
The site selection of the 66th Westercon fell to the business meeting
as a result of an ineligible bid receiving the most votes. Preliminary to this
discussion, it was determined that the discussion was to operate under the default
debate time limits in Robert’s Rules since the Westercon Bylaws do not
address the issue. With that resolved, Site Selection Administrator Sharon Sbarsky
reported the results and thanked her election staff. A total of 92 ballots were
paid for (83 cast with preferences), and the results are tabulated below. (Although
92 ballots were paid for, only 91 were actually cast; the one uncast ballot was
effectively an additional No Preference vote but does not appear in the totals
None of the
Needed to elect (majority of ballots with preference)
No bid having received a majority, the ballots for None of the above
and minor candidates were redistributed according to their second
Needed to elect (majority of ballots with preference)
When results were certified, the Chairman congratulated
Ms. Sbarsky for her efforts but asked her not
to destroy the ballots until so instructed. He then read Sections 3.16 and
3.1 of the Westercon Constitution, which are hereby incorporated into these
minutes by reference, as a jumping off point for the ensuing discussion.
Rick Kovalcik then made a motion to hear
from all those desirous of making a presentation before any vote were taken. It
was seconded and passed by two-thirds vote.
Procedural material concluded, the Chair recognized Gene Armstrong from the
Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley spoke about
their bid, Granzella, aka Olive Country. Mr. Roche: “Yes, the Olive Country bid
started as a joke. But Westercon is not a joke.” He and Mr. Trembley saw
problems with the election process, with its focus and with its promotion. They
have a lot of con-running experience: they ran CostumeCon 26 in 2008,
which was the second-largest CostumeCon and the largest one in eighteen years; they
are currently working the masquerade at Renovation [the 2011 Worldcon], and
they created the masquerade half time at Glasgow. They also have vast convention-running
experience outside of fandom. At one World Fantasy they ran the hospitality
suite. They have also run Registration IT at World Fantasy 2009, SMOFCon 2010
and Westercon 64. In his professional career, Mr. Roche worked on Image 2009
and 2010 – international IBM conferences. They understand infrastructure and
have experience in running events well. Mr. Roche acknowledged that Williams [their
hoax bid’s site] is not suitable for a Westercon, and they will look at other
venues. There is an airport is in
Charles Galway from
James Stanley Daugherty represented the
fourth bid, for
The chairman then suggested a vote be taken
in the order the bids were presented. Ari Goldstein objected to voting in that
order. A motion was made, seconded and passed to vote in reverse order of the
presentations, at which time Tovi Schneider asked for a 20-minute question and
answer session. Before that could be considered, the the
meeting recessed at 12:25 p.m. and reconvened at 12:35 p.m.
When the meeting resumed, Mr. Yalow made a
motion to go into Committee of the Whole for 30 minutes for the purpose of
discussing the bids. At 12:36 p.m. the meeting went into a Committee of the
Whole, with Ben Yalow presiding.
The Committee of the Whole rose at 1:11 p.m.
with no report. The chairman explained that in order to pass, a vote to select
a Westercon bid required three-quarters of those actually voting (absentees and
people present but not voting do not count), and that each vote was separate,
to be debated independently in favor of or opposed to selecting the committee
to host Westercon 66. Votes would be counted either by uncounted show of hands
or in a serpentine formation, as necessary.
Mr. Kovalcik made a motion to reconsider the
vote on the selection order, which was seconded and passed with 59 in the
affirmative to reconsider the vote order and 46 in opposition to
On the question of “Shall
Glenn Glazer made a motion to use a secret
ballot on votes to select specific sites, but the motion failed, and the
meeting started voting on which committee to choose.
On the question of “Shall Portland be selected?” a motion was made to close debate, seconded
and passed. With less than three-quarters of those voting in the affirmative on
a vote by show of hands, the motion failed.
On the question of “Shall Granzella/Olive
Country be selected?” a motion was made to close
debate, seconded and passed. The chairman called for a serpentine vote and
counted 83 people voting in the affirmative and 29 voting in the negative. Thus, the motion, requiring three-quarters of those voting to be in
the affirmative, failed.
A motion was then made to declare a
deadlock, which requires only a majority vote. Before that vote could be taken,
there was a motion to recess for ten minutes. The motion to recess failed.
Next, a motion was made to close debate on declaring a deadlock. That motion
failed and discussion regarding whether to declare a deadlock resumed.
Tom Veal spoke in favor of deadlocking,
because it would give Granzella time to find a hotel. Arlene Satin spoke
against, preferring the business meeting to resolve the question. Mr. Kovalcik
worried that LASFS doesn’t care and would kill Westercon and that it was
dependent upon the business meeting to resolve the question. Bobbie DeFault
spoke in favor of a deadlock because there are lots of hotels available. Terry
Terman opposed deadlock and asked that the sergeant of arms to check the credentials
of those present in the room. The motion to check credentials failed.
Todd Dashoff moved to call the question on whether
to declare a deadlock, and the motion to call the question (close debate)
passed. On the question of “Shall we declare a deadlock?” the vote failed.
Corey Cole moved to suspend the rules and
hold a preferential vote. However, the chair ruled that this would violate
Section 3.16 of the Westercon bylaws, and the Business Meeting cannot suspend
its own bylaws.
The Orders of the Day were called for (a
request to return to the business at hand), and discussion regarding the Utah
bid would have commenced, but a motion was made to close debate on that bid and
passed on with a two-thirds vote.
The question “Shall Salt Lake City be selected?” failed with less than a three-quarters vote.
Mr. Dashoff made a new motion to declare a
deadlock, which was seconded. However, the vote to declare a deadlock failed.
The final bid,
The question “Shall Hawaii be selected?” failed with less than a three-quarters vote.
At this point, with all four bids failing to
obtain the necessary three-quarters vote, Mr. Veal made a motion to
reconsider the Granzella/Olive Country bid. A motion to reconsider may be made
only once on any particular main motion, which the business meeting had just done.
This motion was seconded, and with only a majority vote necessary to reconsider
the Olive Country bid, the motion passed, and the question “Shall the Olive
Country bid be selected?” was once again before the meeting as if the earlier, vote
rejecting it had never happened.
A motion was made to close debate, but the
motion failed, and debate began on the selection of the Olive Country bid. Mr.
Yalow spoke first, in favor of the bid. He believed it was the overwhelming
desire of the body that Olive Country be given a chance to produce a Westercon.
Alex von Thorn spoke against Olive Country,
questioning whether 2013 is the correct year for them since Mr. Armstrong had worked
hard to bring Westercon to
Sandra Childress spoke in favor of Olive
Country. She felt, as someone who has worked on many Westercons and other
Mike Stern spoke against Olive Country,
saying that joke bids should never be considered real bids. They suck votes
away from real bids and are malicious. (During Mr. Stern’s speech, in response
to a Question of Privilege raised by the chairs of the Olive Country bid, the
Chair cautioned speakers to not personally insult other members and to grant
everyone the same respect they would wish to have if they were speaking;
however, the Chair ruled that Mr. Stern’s statement that “those people who
voted for Olive Country should be ashamed of themselves,” did not violate the
rules of decorum.)
Mr. Kovalcik spoke in favor of Olive
Country, saying that this was a referendum on getting the most qualified
committee to bid now and in future.
Mr. Goldstein spoke against Olive Country.
He said Westercon 50 was his first Westercon. We need to attract people who
will stay, and the only problem with
Leigh Ann Hildebrand spoke in favor of Olive
Country. She is an elections inspector and believes it is important to enfranchise
voters. She was not originally concerned about Westercon, but the more she
delved into the issues, the more she became concerned about
Mr. Roche spoke against his own bid. “Take
this vote seriously. Do not change your vote because Olive Country is popular.
Think about your vote. This has been about voter education.”
Ctein sympathized with Mr. von Thorn and the
Mr. Glazer believed everyone cared about
this vote, no matter what side they were on. “They really care, and we should
Adrienne Foster said, “Yes,
Mark Linneman moved to close debate, which
was seconded and passed.
On the reconsidered question of “Shall
Granzella/Olive Country be selected?” the chairman
again called for a serpentine vote. This time, the motion passed with 93 in
favor of Olive Country and 27 against. With more than three-quarters of those
voting in favor, Olive Country, a committee chaired by Kevin Roche and Andy
Trembley, will host Westercon 66 in a place yet to be decided.
With all Site Selection business resolved,
by unanimous consent the Site Selection Administrator was instructed to destroy
the ballots and thanked for her work.
At 2:38 p.m., the Business Meeting of the 64th
Westercon Business Meeting adjourned.
Kevin Standlee, Chairman
Linda Deneroff, Secretary
[Read by the Chairman at the beginning of the meeting.]
This meeting is being conducted under the Westercon Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. However, the Chair understands that not everyone knows the exact technical rules. You can ask a question about proper procedure by being recognized (I’ll talk about that in a minute) and asking your question, and the Chair will help you, and the Head Table Staff will do our best to put your proposals in the correct technical form.
This meeting will be conducted with a higher degree of formality that most Business Meetings, due to the potentially contentious and complicated matter before us. This means that in order to address the meeting, you must be recognized by the chair, and to do so, you must stand up (unless you are physically unable to do so, in which case you need to sit in a place where the Chair can see you easily.) Raising your hand is not sufficient. Also, you may not interrupt other speakers unless you are raising a point of order due to a breach of the rules. Attempting to correct another speaker’s error of fact is not a valid point of order in most cases. If you want to correct someone else, you must your own debate time for it.
When speaking, you must address the Chair, and you must not speak directly to any other member. All comments must be addressed through the Chair.
Because there are so many people present, if you wish to speak, you need to come to the microphone after being recognized.
The Chair is aware that many of you are highly witty and clever people. The Chair suggests that you attempt to restrain yourselves from showing just how witty and clever you are, and to show some respect for your fellow members.
No eligible bid gained the needed
majority. The Granzella’s bid did not file the necessary paperwork to be an eligible
write-in. This means that this Business Meeting may select a committee to hold
Westercon 66 at any site in the
Westercon eligibility region, which is North America west of 104 degrees west
longitude (that’s the eastern boundary of New Mexico) or in Hawaii. (Yes, there
are words in the Bylaws about
None of the usual rules about bid committee filings apply here. There are no paper filing requirements, hotel or site requirements, or corporate organizational requirements. What we are voting on here is to select a committee that promises to hold a Westercon somewhere in the eligible region and that is all. We can vote to award the bid to any bid that filed or any other bid, but it takes a three-fourths majority to select any site, whether they filed for the ballot or not.
Should the meeting decide that it is deadlocked, you can pass a motion saying so and punt the selection to the LASFS Board of Directors. A motion to declare the election deadlocked is in order when no motions are pending, and if it fails, it can be made again (or “renewed”) later after any additional discussion.
The way the Chair proposes to handle this selection is to entertain motions in the form of “That X be selected to run Westercon 66,” where X is any particular bid committee. We can then debate whether we should select that bid, and then take a vote; if that bid gets a three-fourths majority, it wins. If it does not, then we can either take up a Deadlock motion, or another bid proposal. If you are in favor of some bid other than the one currently being discussed, you can vote against the currently-discussed bid with the intention of proposing your favored bid later.
An important principle here: Nobody may be awarded a Westercon against his or her will. You are welcome to introduce motions in the form of “At Kuma Bear’s cave,” but unless Kuma Bear agrees to run the Westercon, the Chair will rule the motion out of order. You may propose a bid run by people not present here, but those people must somehow make it known to us immediately by some means that they are prepared to accept this nomination.
You must be present at this meeting to vote and you must be a member of this convention to vote. No proxies are permitted.
There are debate limits. On any particular question, nobody may speak a second time until everyone who wants to speak a first time has had an opportunity to do so. We can also adopt time limits, but that takes a two-thirds vote, as does a motion to shut off debate entirely on a given question.
Motions to amend the Westercon Bylaws are not in order at this time, but you can make them later in the meeting once all Site Selection Business is complete.
Appendix B: Excerpts from the Westercon
Constitution as Read Into the Minutes
The following material is excerpted from the Westercon Constitution. It was read during the Business Meeting and is thereby appended to the minutes of that meeting and made a part thereof.
3.16 Procedures When
No Bid Wins or is Eligible
Should no eligible bid gain the needed majority, or should there be no qualified bidding committee, or should “None of the Above” win, a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the site-selection business meeting of the administering Westercon may award the Westercon to any bid, or a simple majority of the meeting may decide that they are unable to decide. If the business meeting does not choose a site, the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, Inc. shall choose a site within six (6) weeks of the close of the administering Westercon. If “None of the Above” wins, none of the bids which were on the ballot may be selected. A site chosen under the provisions of this section shall not be restricted by any portion of this article except this section and section 3.1.
Eligibility of Sites
Any site on the North American continent west of the 104th west meridian, or in the state of Hawaii, shall be eligible to be the site of a Westercon, except as restricted by the provisions of these bylaws.
There is additional material in
section 3.1 regarding