Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nikolai Warden: Upset But Staying

Nikolai Warden, another of my many friends in the Gay Archipelago - on both sides of the current conflict - has left a comment with his point of view on my friend Hiroku Kamachi's blog post The Mind of Hiro: "Pearls From Swine". The comment was made on July 17 and was published today.

"Hiro, you and I have known one another a long time. I think you know that I am a fairly reasonable fellow. Though the estate I help manage chose to leave the GA, I and one of the other managers there chose to remain on the GA admissions committee as you know. I will tell you though, as I told Weylin and Chade, that the way the appointments were made was a shock to any who have been in the GA for more than a couple of years.
For a festival team to be put together is different from a board of directors, and different from appointing a PR Lead and Vice Lead … to those of us who have seen quite a few administrations in terms of GA Lead, all of that was a shock. The way it has always been done is that any major decisions have gone through the owners group. Forming an advisory board is a major change in the way things are done, and to us old timers, that decision itself should have gone through the owners group for approval. The decision to write rules and bylaws also is something that the owners group should have voted on, in my opinion.
GA Lead, (and by extension, the relatively new role of Vice Lead), and PR Lead have traditionally been done by candidates putting their names to the owners group and a search committee conducting interviews and the search committee making a decision. Now I realize that the duties of the lead, as outlined by the previous search committee, are a bit vague in “putting together teams” or such, I haven’t the exact wording in front of me. I also realize there are very general guidelines and no rules or bylaws, which has always been intentional. The owners have always been in charge, whether they are active or apathetic really, with the Lead as a spokesperson and detail person to carry out the wishes of the owners group. If the owners group does not give feedback, the Lead takes the lead.
Weylin is the seventh GA Lead with whom I have had dealings. When Myles Capalini, one of the owners who chose to withdraw from the GA, took over as Lead a number of years back, he was told by the outgoing Lead to let the owners THINK they have a say and that it is a democracy, but run the GA as a dictatorship, which is just how that person HAD run it. He and Myles butted heads over this issue to the extent that Cabria left the GA and only returned due to Garth Raleigh’s leadership. Garth stepped down as Lead quite some time ago. Since his departure, owners meetings have been sporadic and the GA has changed. Weylin making decisions that have ALWAYS gone through the owners group came across, to those of use who have seen more than a few GA Leads come and go, as the worst of the old dictatorial sort of dismissal of the owners group by the Lead, going back 4 or 5 years when there was such contention regarding how the GA was being managed.
I cannot speak for others who were upset by how the appointments were handled, and I do understand Weylin’s rationale for doing so. To dismiss the uproar with the notion that it is people who do not like Dextrum and were upset because he was appointed Vice Lead is grossly inaccurate. I was upset, others were upset, and I for one did not know Dextrum at all before he applied for GA membership. I heard the objections against him, I interviewed him at length, and found no reason to vote against his admission into the GA. I have no real issue with him being Vice Lead. It would have been better if all this had been put to the owner’s group and any interested in the Vice Lead and PR Lead positions had a chance to express such interest, and the owners had had some say, as it has always been done. It is not OMG DEXTRUM IS VICE LEAD???? NO WAAAAY YOU CANNOT DO THAT! It is more a matter of err … that is not how things are traditionally done, and really, the formation of a board of directors should have been presented to the owners group and voted on."

1 comment :

  1. Let's take a breath, take a step back, breathe and give Dex a chance and see what happens. Everybody needs a second chance. :-)

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