Trust website elements - (continued from the previous Issue) - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted May 3, 2019

Trust website elements

(continued from the previous Issue)

This is the second cluster of five Website elements I deem essential or desirable in the Trust website, presently under revamp triggered by the 2017 SSI Referendum on  urbanization.  The first cluster of five elements appeared in the April 19 Marketplace.

As a reminder, the Website elements I hereby suggest are, by and large, taken from a list I submitted to the Trust in the 2013 Website revamp. The re-submission is necessitated by the Trust having refused to consider the issues at that time; and because they “reconstructed” the Website for the worse; and because now they have hired a consultant to do another revamp of the Website, in a drive to generate public apathy that would let the Trust “reform” itself, as per the December 18, 2018   Chairman Luckham’s proposal to the Minister, exposed in The Marketplace of January 8, 2019.

Here is the second installment from my 2013 List of website elements.

6.  Correspondence:

Cease and desist “wastebasketing”. Institute a  List & Link page in the Website to comprise all correspondence, c/w author identity, subject matter and the Trust’s response if other than silence.  The “subject” to be written by the author (up to 12 (?) words), or be the first  12(?) words of the message,  if it lacks  “subject”.

7.  Records (“Minutes”) of Events:

Someone once observed that “who compiles the minutes controls the committee”. Evidently this holds true and the Trust routinely misrepresent events and habitually leave off the record events critical of the Trustees and Staff.  This handicaps democratic accountability and allows for reckless conduct.

I suggest publishing  “Draft Minutes” within 7 (?) days after an event; invite amendments from the Trustees and from the public for the next 7(?) days, all to be posted on arrival; the thus annotated Draft Minutes to be brought to the LTC, the Council or the ExCom (as appropriate) for “Approval” in open session.

All agenda amendments received, to survive approval of the Draft Agenda, irrespective of whether made, denied, or postponed.  Because what people want tramples what the Trust wants to hide.

8.  Democracy is, by definition, “Participatory”:

Establish a  Registry of “Written Citizens’ Submissions”; open the page with a standing invitation to all, similar to the one extended by the Statue of Liberty, the Trust welcoming the peoples’ ideas; Periodically remind people about this standing invitation assuring them that their continuations will be showcased on the Website, for society to see.

9.   Town Halls Records and other issues:

As currently done, the Trust TownHall is really a BlackHole. It mostly yields fake optics of “democracy” where it is not.

To begin with, in general, TownHall is not meant to be an inanimate “suggestion box” – it is meant to be a vibrant dialog between the peoples’ representatives and those whom they represent.  It is meant to be an  informal discourse of issues and review of the performance of the politicians. This hardly ever happens with the Trust. The further the SSI LTC ever “dialogues”  is to ask participants to leave with Staff  their presentation in writing, so that may wastebasket it privately.  I do not recall the LTC ever coming back on any of those “received” papers ...

I have partaken in more than 50 Trust Townhalls, each and every time handing in a written version of my presentation. By and large I have been treated to silence!  I will mention one question that I posed to the LTC several times: “Come and show something, anything I ever brought to you, that would have been better left unsaid”. Proud to say they never took me up on that ...

The  TownHole should be ended and a real one opened in the Website. This will eliminate the time constraint and facilitate citizen participation, now inhibited by it being scheduled for the middle of a working day so as to accommodate the Colonial Trust Overseer’s  journey back to whence came and, of course, dissuade public attendance.

If the Trust is unwilling to do a Town Hall in the Website, the LTC should end  this farce, call it game over and direct potential users to the “Submissions” and “Correspondence” portals of the Website

10.   “Who drinks coffee with whom” a.k.a “Trustees’ and Chair’s Reports”:

This is another farce the LTC play at their meetings.

Replace it with a slot on the Website in which to report “Trustees’s News” when such are made. After all, if there is something the citizenry should know, it should be communicated to more than the half-a-dozen “members of the public” attending Trust meetings. It is imperative that the “reports” include  “news” the Trustees and the Chair may wish or need to hide.


Tom V.

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