School (1): Hood Council election
30, 2004 - by Juliana Valentino, Simmerville Spokes Sim
A new group of Sims will
take care of Simmerville's community matters for the next 12 months. Learn
how to run the Hood Council Election in your own hood! This article is
the first of 5 articles in our new Hood School series.
A successful hood needs certain
rules and routines. This is the basis of any community structure, and it
would need a Hood Council to ensure those rules are obeyed, but also that
the structure is benefiting the majority residing in hood. Your hood can
either elect just one single Spokes Sim (mayor) or go for a full Hood Council
counting several individuals.
Before you elect a Hood Council,
you need to know how much and what kind of administration there will be
and how many sims that need to get involved. If the hood counts only 10
households it might be enough to hire just one Spokes Sim, chosen by the
residents. If the hood is expanded or involves a certain level of administration,
then a Hood Council counting 3 to 5 members might be a better option. some
might even require the Spokes Sim/Mayor to have a job in the Politics career.
article will deal with the election of a 5 members Hood Council. We'll
see how this is done in Simmerville, as of April 2004, and I suggest each
hood to do their own adjustments of this routine to match their local needs.
Detect the interests and
needs of your hood
When deciding the number
of Hood Council members, you should first check what community matters
would they be in charge of? Most hoods are different in terms of social
status, economy, interests and jobs.
In your hood there might
be a large group of sims with certain interests, i.e. superstars, children,
old sims, pet owners, artists etc. Such groups should actually be reflected
in the hood administration, and they might even deserve their own representative.
In any hood there will be some conflicting interests between groups, and
it's easier to solve such conflicts when the groups have their representatives.
A fair election routine ought
to represent as many sides of the community as possible.
In Simmerville we have both
a Parents' representative and a Pet Owners' representative. They made sure
parents/children were happy, and that pet owners had enough parks to walk
their pets. They also spoke up when the Hood Council introduced new taxes
affecting these groups. In your hood there might be other groups, look
If half the residents work
as musicians there should be at least one Hood Council member with an expressed
interest in music.
Many teens in the hood would
justify a teens' representative.
Make sure that the Hood
Council represents several parts of the hood. A large hood can be split
into several election zones. Simmerville has 3 such zones, given by the
Hood Council members
Nobody would like a job
that contains no agenda and absolutely no responsibility. When deciding
the Hood Council positions, keep in mind that there must be ways they can
actually achieve something. The more vague the agenda is, the harder it
will be to do something that residents will recognize and applaud. Below
are the 5 positions of the Simmerville Hood Council up for election April
Each position will require certain
qualifications based on skills, personality and interests, see below. Locals
who would like to get elected can read up on related subjects. Also note
that these jobs will not suit all hoods, you should look for your own local
Spokes Sim (chair, mayor)
Head of the Hood council,
foreign affairs (includes downtown, Magic Town etc) and community planning
at large. This member leads meetings and co-ordinates the work of the other
councillors, always knowing what is in the works.
Head of the hood's economy
including hood taxes. Local stores and businesses. Building restrictions
and welfare services including general SimCity services.
Culture and sports
Secure the hood's past as
well as future through cultural activities and recreation arenas.
Ensuring family values and
security, as well as a good environment for children.
Pet Owners' representative
Ensure a good environment
for pets, regular contact with the local Kennel Club.
If your hood is split into
regional zones, you would need to assure there are representatives from
all zones and avoid a zone to become over represented. It might take a
couple tricky adjustments to make it all fit, but as long as all members
qualified in the first candidate round it ought to be accepted to hire
a runner up if he/she lives in a not yet represented election zone. In
Simmerville each zone is allowed no more than 2 members.
How to run the election
In a modern democracy a
Hood Council would be elected, but in most Sim hoods it would be
more fair to pick the Hood Council members based on their skills, interests
and how much they get involved in community matters (non household friends
could be a good indicator, although you might disagree). You might prefer
completely different indicators for your election.
When electing the Hood Council
members you could start finding the residents who qualify on a general
basis. This will allow you to narrow down the number of candidates, making
the rest of the election process easier.
In Simmerville any candidate
must have a political interest at 8 or higher, at least 2 non-household
friends and at least 5 skill points (total). If these requirements result
in too few candidates, adjust them and try again. Summing up political
interest points, number of individual friends and skill marks will give
each candidate a total score that you will need to rank them. In Simmerville
this set of requirements gives 8 candidates. If you do the same, you should
now have a rather limited list of candidates and you can begin to look
for more specific qualifications for each position they should fill.
When counting points, it
might be useful to use a diagram. Fill out the information and start by
deciding the positions that are obvious. Below you see the results of the
|Marta T. Mervil
|Arthur F. Gamming
The Spokes Sim is obvious,
and so is the Parents Representative. Note that because they both live
in the same zone of Simmerville, the 3rd candidate (Arthur Gamming) from
that zone is excluded from the Hood Council.
After the election
Spokes Sim: The candidate
with the highest total score.
This is probably the easiest
pick. In Simmerville Juliana Valentino had a total of 45 points which is
7 more than the runner up.
Finance: The candidate
with the highest economy interest.
Only 2 of the remaining
7 candidates do have a significant interest in money. Angela Gobelin would
be the first choice, but the runner up, Marta T. Mervil, would be preferred
if Mrs Gobelin is needed for any other position.
Culture & Sports:
The sim with the highest music+sports interest.
In Simmerville Arthur Gamming
scores 11 points, but he is excluded because his zone has got 2 councillors
already. So this position goes to one of the 3 runner ups that all are
scoring 10 points. None of them has been chosen for other positions and
it's difficult to choose either of them. At this point it's totally up
to the hood to decide which criteria should count. In simmerville it counted
that 2 of those 3 candidates represented zone A, which also has the higher
population. Finally, Clive Appleton was chosen with Marta Mervil as the
runner up, because of Mr Appleton's higher total score (28).
Parents rep.: The sim
with best average relation to same household children.
The 2nd obvious candidate
is BB Hanssen for Parents' Representative, because none of the other candidates
(except the Spokes Sim) have got children.
Pet owner's rep.: The
sim with best average relation to same household pets.
Steve Grumblin has the best
(average) relation to an same household pet, 48 points. Angela Gobelin
is the runner up with only 2 points less.
As soon as the Hood Council
is elected, the Spokes Sim should be told to host a first meeting, which
can be quite a challenge if they didn't already meet.
Also remember to inform all
residents of who the new Hood Council members are. It might be a good idea
to introduce them at a local community meeting. It will also be a good
idea to let the old and new members over lap with a month. This depends
on how many changes are caused by the election.
From now on these fine men
and women will be your hood's voice, being heard in local debates or even
on the SUN boards.
You just completed the first chapter of our Hood School! The next chapter
will focus on the hood's finances.