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LongeCity Leadership

Under the old Constitution, new Director elections would be commenced on January 8th (today). In some respects, this annual election was a very useful event: Members were reminded that they hold the key to determining the direction of the Institute, either by examining the various candidates or by running

The annual election cycle also had disadvantages. Many activities were put on hold effectively between Jan 1st and Feb.8th. Sometimes it seemed candidates were in the running simply because ‘elections were called’ – and to be fair, we often felt that we needed to encourage candidates simply to keep the numbers up.

Also, the limited tenure of Directors had its own problems: If a Director was active and committed the requirement to run again could potentially dampen enthusiasm. If a Directors ceased to be active, there it was sometimes felt that
it would be easier to wait until the term expires instead of removing that person from post.

There are many other arguments for and against the old system. In any event, we have now adopted a new one: Director elections are now possible four times per year, but only if there are actually interested and committed candidates. If you don’t like the work of a Director, you can replace him/her by doing better: You can initiate a ‘challenge election’ by standing against an incumbent Director.
We hope that this system will at the same time be more dynamic while also leading to greater stability in leadership.

Nonetheless, the basic tenets have not changed: The responsibility of selecting Directors remains with our membership, and with individual Members.

We could certainly use more people on the board. Maybe you would like to serve as Director, or know of someone who should.

Suggestions for prospective candidates:
-- If you haven’t worked actively with at least one team, you should start there. Through work in a team, you get more interaction with the Board and your capacity and commitment will be apparent to leader- and membership. Easy teams to join are the Editors, Recorders or Moderators.
-- A great start would be to take up the leadership of a specific project – if you can motivate others and chaperone a project from idea to implementation you are definitely Director material.
-- You should remember that being a Director comes with certain responsibilities, legal, organisational and moral. You need to consider what time you can realistically invest, and base that assessment not just on your current circumstances but planning ahead at least ten months to a year.
-- Look out for Board meetings and management meetings on skype and try to attend as many as possible. Normally these meetings or large parts at least are open to all Members, and you would be expected to attend once in Leadership.
-- Try to get to know people in leadership a little bit, and make sure that you have support from volunteers and Members as well. LongeCity is a community endeavour. Reforms and better ways of working are certainly always on the cards, but we have no need for people who waltz in with a self-satisfied attitude and who only seek to criticise and belittle.
-- Read the ‘decisions archive’. Familiarise yourself with previous projects – including the ones that didn’t get off the ground. Study the financial data. ImmInst has been around for a while. You don’t need to know the minutiae of our history, but you should demonstrate some understanding of the organisation you are leading.
-- Read the Constitution. You will need to share some personal details (Bylaw C Art.I,s.2), sign the leadership pledge (Bylaw C Art.I,s.3) , and comply with the other duties and requirements outlined therein, and understand –at least roughly – how they operate.

These are just some suggestions. Feel free to get in touch anytime to discuss your individual circumstances and interests.

So, this is an open invitation for candidates – for Director, Lead Officer, for team leader or team member – to step forward.


The next date for Director elections is March. (then June and September). Candidates can formally declare their candidature between March 1st and 8th, (although, as explained above, an informal expression of interest would be
useful much earlier). Within 56 hours of announcing candidature, a candidate must be endorsed by 8 Members – so make sure your friends are ready.
Currently, the board is not at full capacity, so you can decide if you want to simply join the board or if you want to replace a sitting Director.
Only Individuals who have been Members for more than 8 months may stand as candidate for Director election. The elections will be conducted in a Referendum in the same month.

Lead Officers:
The following Lead officer positions exist:
1) the President shall act as the chief executive officer
2) the Secretary shall manage membership affairs
3) the Treasurer shall manage financial affairs
4) the Team Coordinator shall oversee various volunteer activities
5) the Lead Editor shall serve as an Editor and oversee the Editors
6) the Lead Moderator shall serve as a Moderator and shall oversee the Moderators
7) the Lead Engineer shall serve as a Engineer and oversee the Engineers
Currently, all of these roles are filled by Directors in a caretaker capacity. We would much prefer to diversify, so if you are interested in one of these jobs talk to a Director about it.

Project leader:
This is an informal role, but a great way to join leadership on your own terms. Firstly, you suggest a project in the ‘Project suggestions’ forum. It may take some time to get the project evaluated and adopted, but if it’s a great idea, not too expensive and you are willing to put in the time it shouldn’t be too difficult to get official support quickly.

Joining most team is much less complicated. You don’t have to become a member and you don’t have to join leadership. Click here if you would like to join a team. (Link inactive)


There's a caveat to this new system: its far more adversarial. Previously, a directorship had a term, and the director had to run for re-election. Now, someone who wants to be a director has to identify another director as "not doing their job". That's ugly, and will likely discourage candidacy.

I get the concerns with new elects disappearing. But, if you wanted more stability, you could have gone with longer terms, plus required terms with the teams (to show commitment and availability).

I'm not sure if its bad or good, not all charities have elections after all. If you have good leadership now, maybe all is well. At least, its an interesting social experiment...

- Tracy

Currently, the board is not at full capacity, so you can decide if you want to simply join the board or if you want to replace a sitting Director.

Yes if thats the case you clearly have no problem right now. I was more concerned about the abstract (presuming there are possible candidates and a full board).

One thing I do miss is all the mission statements/discussions about possible directions elections lead to. Yes you can still have them, but they were more compacted/visible then.

One thing I do miss is all the mission statements/discussions about possible directions elections lead to. Yes you can still have them, but they were more compacted/visible then.

Point taken, although I personally don't remember any election related discussions making an impact.
The current nexus for those 'big picture' discussions is the annual budget, where outcomes are directly translated into tangible commitments.