Simmerville Hood Council
21, 2003 - by Bimbo Nobrain Loveless
few weeks ago the old Simmerville Hood Council announced their stepping
back, and yesterday there was an election. Read on to find ideas on how
to run an election in your hood.
was never my cup of espresso, but being involved with the web site of the
hood I have realized that local community politics is about a lot more
than nice speeches and election campaigns. It's also about talking to the
mirror and phoning your neighbours. There are many decisions to be made
by the Hood Council, concerning anything in between new shopping malls
downtown and parks for taking your kids and pets in Old Town. Not to mention
the level of the local taxes.
is still a growing neighbourhood. Today there are 33 residential lots,
housing 57 adults, 19 kids and 10 cats and dogs. We have old markets, wallpaper
and furniture industries, several artists, a home run restaurant, a lodging
for ex-criminal youth and a recently established house business. And I
should also add that the SUN was born here. In other words - a fairly strong
when the old Hood Council was founded, only 10 families were involved when
3 council members volunteered. With a lot more families and businesses
involved, the new Hood Council will have 5 members. It is important that
they represent different sides of community and that the members don't
all live in the same street, so therefore the hood was split into 3 election
zones. Each zone was to find one representative, and in addition the zone
housing the most kids will have one member who must be a parent, and the
zone housing the highest number of dogs/cats will have one extra representative
who must be a dog or cat owner. The parent and the dog/cat owner must still
meet the general qualifications of getting at least 15 votes as described
below, and in addition they must have a friendship relation to at least
one kid/pet in their household.
It would be difficult to
run a normal election including individual voting and all that stuff, especially
because most of the Simmerville residents have not yet made many friends
after they all lost their memory as a result of the cure of the upside-down
face plague which truck less than 4 months ago. So the old Hood Council
found a way to find the members which everyone found to be fair. Votes
are given by the rules, and not by a traditional election. The candidates
must meet the following qualifications:
1. Political knowledge at
level 8, 9 or 10. 1 vote per level.
2. A total of 5 or more
skill points. 1 vote per skill level.
3. At least 2 friends outside
the household. 1 vote per friend.
Due to the local circumstances,
we decided not to require 2 or more friends for this particular round,
but nevertheless give the candidates having friends outside the household
1 vote per friendship.
make sure the Hood Council members are living in different areas, the neighbourhood
was split into 3 election zones, A, B and C. The zones are based on local
pattern and history, so other hoods might find different ways of deciding
the zones, not the least will differently located community lots give different
election zones. The zones should be similar when it comes to the number
of adult residents.
Simmerville it was done like this:
A. Simmerville South
South/east of river including
entire Mervil Highway and Old Farm Circle. This zone is greater geographically,
as it includes the most community lots.
11 households - 17 adults
- 0 kids - 3 dogs/cats
1 Hood Council member
B. Simmerville North/East
10 households - 20 adults
- 17 kids - 3 dogs/cats
1 Hood Council member +
1 parent representative
C. Simmerville West
Ridge Road, Ingleside Drive,
Happy Trail, First Avenue and most of Elm Street.
12 households - 20 adults
- 2 kids - 4 dogs/cats
1 Hood Council member +
1 pet owner representative
The first mission was to
elect each zone's first representative. For all residents the election
votes were counted, following the rules above.
In zone A only 2 residents
met the claim of at least 15 votes. The top candidate with 23 votes was
Mr Clive Appleton, 77 Maple Street.
In zone B we find the long
timers having the highest skill levels and also the better established
relations to neighbours. The top candidate with 39 votes was Mrs Julia
Valentino, 8 Simmer Lane.
In zone C most residents
are rather new in Simmerville, meaning there were only 2 candidates with
at least 15 votes. Mr Arthur Gamming, 59 Ingleside Drive, won the election
by far with 27 votes.
Out of these 3 Hood Council
members, the neighbourhood's spokesperson is the one with the most votes,
Mrs Julia Valentino. Other neighbourhoods might like to set separate rules
for how to select the spokesperson within the council, i.e. the one most
outgoing or with highest charisma. Because the election system already
rewards skills and friends, those criterias will often be taken care of
by the election routine itself. In Simmerville Mrs Valentino would be chosen
either way because she is well skilled which includes charisma.
The parents representative
is to be found in the zone with the most kids, and in Simmerville this
is Zone B by far. Representing the parents will be Mrs Cassie Moulino,
7 Simmer Lane. She got 27 votes which is exactly the same vote result as
baby specialist Mrs Swims, but Mrs Moulino won because of having a higher
interest in politics.
The pet owners' representative
turned out to be a thriller. It should be chosen from the candidates in
Zone C because that zone has the highest number of dogs and cats, but no
candidate from this zone representing a home with a cat/dog got enough
votes to qualify. The 2nd candidate with 18 votes has not even met a Stray
yet, and can not be elected. In this case Zone C lost the right to have
the pet owners' representative due to lack of candidates, and as both other
zones are housing the same number of pets, we favoured zone A because zone
B already got 2 members in the Hood Council. In Zone A there is only one
candidate with enough votes to be concidered (17), but she has a bad relation
to the household's only pet (14/7), and do not qualify. So, we have to
look for this pet owners' representative in Zone B, Simmer Lane, but the
only candidate there with enough votes and with a dog or cat at home has
an even poorer relation to the family's pet (2/2).
The old Hood Council concludes
that it was not possible to find a qualified pet owners' representative
at this time, mainly because most pet owners have had their dog or cat
for a limited time, and will need more time to build relations. The Hood
Council will therefore only consist of 4 members for the time being. In
3 months there will be run a new election to find its 5th member.
Hood Council stepping back
Hood Council members that are no longer in charge are Simbille Ballong,
Steve Grumblin and BB Hanssen. They did a splendid job for more than a
year giving our neighbourhood so much, like the Family Day and the Monthly
NetWorth Tax that recently was replaced by an improved tax system. Mr Ballong
will still be involved with community matters by maintaining the SUN register.
Mr Grumblin plan to retire in order to run the home based restaurant together
with his wife. And Mrs Hanssen looks forward to spend more time on her
wallpaper business, BB-design and with her family.
local voices did criticize the fact that none of the old Hood Council members
are still members in order to secure a continuity of the Hood's work. Mr
Ballong has volunteered to attend the new Hood Council's first meeting
in order to make sure there is no misunderstandings concerning ideas and
projects passed on by the old council.
all welcome the new Hood Council, and look forward to a great team work,
not only within the council, but where the entire neighbourhood will