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An introduction:
Meet the new Simmerville Hood Council members:
Julia Valentino (28), 8 Simmer Lane (zone B)
I do currently work as a Lieutenant, and I aim to become chief of SimCity Police Department. My community concerns relates much to security and justice, and I think this is very important now as we see tendencies of criminals moving into Simmerville. I am married and we have three... wait, I think it's two... daughters.
Clive Appleton (44), 77 Maple Street (zone A)
I recently moved to Simmerville to run the Maple Inn with my wife. We have no kids. My community concern goes in the direction of equality, and including youth with a difficult background into a warm and caring neighbourhood.
Arthur Gamming (26), 59 Ingleside Drive (zone C)
I'm rather new in this hood so I was quite surprised to be elected for the Hood Council. I know it would be impolite to turn this opportunity down, so I want to take the challenge, and hoping to bring more dynamic elements into Simmerville.
Cassie Moulino (37), 7 Simmer Lane (zone B)
Parents' representative
It is nice to be representing the parents of Simmerville, and I have 6 kids at home, which should give me the needed experiences. I also have a political past, although my efforts have been limited to working for the FSAS (Female Sims Against Science). I believe that kids can take care of themselves and that raising them should not take away their freedom as individuals! Parents must respect their kids! Stop over protection now! And make sure girls are given at least the same rights as boys!
Angela Gobelin (31), 62 Old Farm Circle (zone A)
Pet Owners' Representative
I am thrilled! This is a gorgeius oportunity to attract more attention towards our 4-legged friends. I will focus more on how great friends they are, especially to single sims and households with children.

*) The election of the Pet Owners' representative was postponed to July because nobody qualified back in April. [August 2 announcement]
New Simmerville Hood Council
April 21, 2003 - by Bimbo Nobrain Loveless

A 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.

Politics 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.

Simmerville 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 community spirit.

The rules
Back 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.

3 Election zones
To 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.

In 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
Simmer Lane

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 election
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.

Old Hood Council stepping back
The 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.

Some 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.

We 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 be included.