I believe that Bounty misspoke when he said that being on the Council is "temp work", which implies that the job is finite. It isn't. The work never ends, particularly for Hobby moderators, if it's done right! If I were to speak for Bounty, I would guess that he meant that serving on the Council is volunteer work, which is something quite different.
Still, it would be wrong for me to speak for Bounty, because he and I have radically different views about filling the Council. Mine is that it's a job, and there's work to be done, so every vacant Council seat needs to be filled. This has been my consistent position ever since being elected to the Council five years ago. I was pushing for a regular Council election for these two seats to be held last September, if not sooner. For me, this isn't even something you should debate: a Council member resigns his seat, and the remaining members should automatically and immediately begin planning an election to fill it. Bounty's position is that more Council members means more people to consult, and potentially hold up discussions. He (and others) believe that we don't need twelve people on the Council, and that it should be allowed to dwindle by attrition. Ironically enough, every major disagreement that the Council has had internally within the last year has involved Council elections. If we just held elections every time a Council member resigns his seat, instead of delaying for a year and then rushing into it, Council discussions would run much more smoothly.
These are my strongly held philosophical beliefs; but also, for me, this is personal, because running the Hobby Tunnels require considerably more effort and attention than any other section. For most of my time here, nearly all the Hobby Tunnels work fell upon me, regardless of how many other moderators were listed. I can no longer carry that load. Bounty has tried to run the section for the past nine months, but has numerous other responsibilities; Skrits was basically gone; Cap had never really been more than a consultant. We need new Hobby mods, or the section dies. I can understand why in theory the Council might not need twelve members, but we do need new ones, since we're not getting the job done. Members tried to pick up the slack, but still, this work is the responsibility of the Councillors who moderate the Hobby Tunnels. You need full editing privileges and access to hidden forums in order to run the Painting Vows, the competitions, and the Hobby Challenges, as well as managing the Painting Ranking System (P.R.S.) and handing out the banners.
There was a suggestion of having limited moderators in the Hobby Tunnels, who would be be given access and allowed to do all the work of a Hobby moderator, but without a Council member's voting privileges or admission to the Council Chambers. My strong opinion is that this scheme of limited privileges would be unfair. Nobody is paid to do anything here, but at least if you're on the Council, you have a say in the UnderEmpire's governance. All of the Council members are equal: that's how it's always been. If you're going to do the work of a Council member, you should have the same rights as a Council member. We shouldn't be afraid to let new people in for fear that they might delay us: new ideas and fresh energy are precisely what the Council needs. Without a steady stream of new members to replace those who are no longer active, the Council stagnates. Doing nothing may seem safe, but it's a recipe for a slow, steady death. New Council members and new energy are the only chance that the UnderEmpire has got.
Whether or not Niall and Guildenstern are approved by the members--and I really hope that they are, because they'd be terrific Council members, and we need help now!--nobody on the Council is completely satisfied with how this election has gone. Pretty much everything that we decided and agreed to (other than deciding that if we were going to do it this way, the two choices should be Niall and Guildenstern) was a compromise--and that doesn't even count what we didn't discuss and agree to, but which just happened, like open voting. We've never had open voting, because you shouldn't have to vote publicly against a person: having secret ballots should be mandatory. In fact, I suspect that some of the backlash comes from resentment about the open voting, and the way that this election was held. I completely understand that.
My hope is that the controversy surrounding this election will push the Council to create a policy mandating elections, and specifying how they should be run. Spending our time debating whether or not we actually need twelve Councillors is not a productive use of our time; filling the seats in an ordered and timely manner, and welcoming in new Council members to do the work is what we should be doing.
- Olorin the Ancient