Wednesday 20 February 2013

Voting for UKOUG Councillors

In the run up to the UKOUG elections I have been asked by many people who should they vote for?

I am still a council member having been re-elected last March and part of the question being asked is ‘what does the council need?’
There is a lot of information on the website about what you should think about when voting but here are some of the questions I am asking myself before placing my vote:

The council needs a balance, not just of communities, but also skills and experience.

For instance we need management / executive skills.  Not only does half the board which runs the business side of UKOUG come from those elected, the council also works on initiatives that need to be driven within UKOUG and with Oracle.

We need a balance of partners / independent contractors and end users.

Don’t discount partners, they often have the time and the skills to make a difference, but make sure they and every candidate has a track record. Are they already part of the community? I personally had not been active in a community before I was elected to the old board, so it isn’t a non starter but we are electing someone for 3 years and we need to know they will be active, and have the right reasons for doing so. In my original election I am sure I simply got the woman’s vote and there was such a shortage of nominations.

Independent Contractors are also very important and I think we need to look at how we support them as a community. The user group has a lot of support here in their volunteers, especially in the speaker base, but again look at their motivation and track record.

End Users are what we all want, but they need to be engaged, and have the time necessary.

We also need a balance of experienced and new council members because we need new ideas but also an understanding of what does and what doesn’t work.

To work, the council needs to represent all communities, but once on the council those elected represent all communities and must act in the best interests of UKOUG and not a single area. If all your votes go to one community they may be over represented. Only one council member can be the Responsible Councillor for a specific community and those elected may find themselves being asked to be responsible for a community they are not active in.

Finally as councillors it is not just about who we represent, we are there to determine the strategy for our services to members. It is hard work, and those elected are expected to take part in working groups and give up one day a month.

So please read through all the manifestos, don’t just vote for someone you know, but look at their track record, will they serve your user group well. But please do use your vote.