SHIRE DECISION-MAKING POLICY
The Rivenvale Decision Making Policy exists to ensure that everyone is aware of the agreed upon procedure for shire decision making. The policy is intended to clarify our procedure beyond what is mandated by the Kingdom, or SCA law. Under no circumstance are items listed in this policy intended to supersede any policy or law of the Kingdom or SCA, Inc.
All decisions, which affect the shire as a whole or in part in a major or lasting way, will be voted upon by the group. Some examples of such decisions are: a change to the shire device, a proposed event site or a major expense (also see the Rivenvale Financial Policy). Since immediately prior to the vote, pro/con information may be given, or the item to be voted on may change slightly, voting in absentia is not allowed.
Where/When Voting Takes Place
Voting is to take place at the shire monthly business meetings. Location time and place will be advertised through standard mediums such as the shire meetings, newsletter, and/or website. A last minute change of the advertised time or place will be communicated through the shire phone list. If any decision is deemed unable to wait until the next appointed shire business meeting, it will be handled as listed under the Emergency Decisions section of this policy.
Voting is open to all shire members. For the purposes of this policy, a shire member is defined as either a paid SCA member who resides within the shire borders, or who is a regular attendee. A regular attendee is one that has attended and participated with the shire at 18 or more of shire activities in the previous 12 months. A shire activity is one that is advertised through standard mediums such as the shire meetings, newsletter, and/or website (for example meetings, revels, project days, events). A driver’s license and membership card may need to be shown to establish an individual’s right to vote.
A quorum is defined as a group of eligible voters being present numbering at least one half of the number of regular attendees (see Who Can Vote). Also, among the present eligible voters, there must be found at least one half of the minimum required shire officers (see Kingdom Law).
It is recommended that any proposed decision be pre-announced two weeks prior to the time of the voting. This will allow time for discussion and for individuals to arrange to attend the vote. The intention is that all discussion is completed prior to the time of the vote; however, up to fifteen minutes will be allowed for informal discussion, immediately prior to voting if requested by attendees. If a two week pre-announcement is not given, or major confusion or dissention exists, any shire member present for the vote may request to postpone the decision during the discussion period. In such a case, a vote to postpone the decision will need to be made. A vote to postpone the decision is handled as any other decision to be voted on except, it is handled immediately after the call was placed without any need for a two week pre-announcement or discussion period. It must include the length of, and the reason for, the postponement.
Majority Needed to Pass
In the spirit of shire unity, decisions will only be passed if they are in favor of at least two thirds of the voters present.
On some rare occasions, decisions may be deemed unable to wait until the next appointed shire business meeting. In that instance an emergency business meeting may be called using the shire phone list. An emergency decision may be made with the consent of at least one half of the minimum required shire officers. Immediately upon doing such, the item decided upon and the reason for the emergency must be communicated through standard mediums such as the shire meetings, newsletter, and/or website.
The hope is that by having and following this policy, disputes will be kept at bay. In the event that a dispute arises, bring it to the attention of the local seneschal first. Matters that are not resolved with, or that include, the local seneschal should be brought to the attention of the regional seneschal.
The item to be voted on must be presented on paper and will become the official record. The fact that a quorum is present must be stated. The tally of consenters and objectors must be recorded. All officers present must sign (indicating their presence, a quorum, and a correct count). In keeping with longstanding Rivenvale tradition, all voters present may also sign the official record. The local seneschal will maintain the collection of shire decision making records. Use the template below as a guide. In the case of an emergency decision being made, the item decided, the date, the reason for the emergency, and the consenter’s names must be recorded in place of the template below.
Shire of Rivenvale Official Record
Let it be known, the shire’s will on the following matter, on this the ______________ day of ______________________________ in the year of ________________________ and that a quorum was present for, and sufficient time was allowed to discuss, and prior notice was given on the item(s) to be decided:
Upon the matter being voted, the tally of consenters: ________, of objectors: ________.
Signed below as witnesses stating that all of the above statements are true: