Day 19: Hey! There is NO giggling at Town Meeting!!!
|Sort-of-solemnly swearing to|
"use my powers for good"
in the town council meeting.
From singin' our favorites and a new one (to some) called the Sun Song, we moved quick to retrieve Peeps and get started with announcements. There was so much to do!
After singing we convened in small groups to discuss personal finances and progress towards completing their tiny homesteads. We're checking in often to make sure Homesteaders have in mind that home appraisals and loan repayment deadlines are coming up soon! The fifth week is almost here!
A real accomplishment is that everyone has finished their houses, and all but a few have moved from the workshop (where they are their final touches) to the land!
After checking progress we gathered for an "open format" Town Meeting.
A little background: There have been a lot of contentious changes in the Peeps political scene of late! Two competing political factions have arisen. One of the two groups is the town council--the five Peep-representatives selected by lottery to govern the town. Their rival is a purportedly rebellious group that goes by the name of "the Illuminati." By all appearances, the group is made up of citizens who were not selected to be in the town council and is quite large, but the Illuminati group is also very secretive and only a few members of the town are actually known to be members. This week many "secret meetings" took place to discuss "secret business" (Homesteaders squeezed in together, whispering loudly, under the rafters and slanting roof in a cramped corner of the barn). Illuminati triangles have appeared all over camp. They are terribly good at keeping their plans a secret, as no one seems to know what the Illuminati actually want!
The rivalry unfolded with some drama this week. Each group claims to be out to "protect the townspeople," and to "do good." On Tuesday the town council meeting was attended by many more townspeople than usual. This is unusual, as many Homesteaders will tell you that they DO NOT LIKE town meetings. Homesteaders crowded the stairs and leaned on railings above the town meeting table as the town councilors deliberated. Their silent presence created quite a fuss among the town representatives! The representatives were so agitated by the presence of the quiet townspeeps that they began to protest loudly. One feisty representative even demanded that the townspeople be banned from the meeting! When the FED reminded the town council that anyone could attend the town meeting, the town councilors quieted down but grumbles of "Illuminati" and "eavesdropping" could be heard as the council resumed deliberations.
That day, perhaps spurred by the intimidating presence of the crowd gathered to watch the meeting, the Town Council created a law that restricts eligibility for a seat on the town council to just those in the town council--thereby ensuring that those already in power would in power indefinitely. Proposed by Mr. XXXXX, the law was written so that only the Town Council members may change it. This law created some interesting questions. Who would govern if a townspeep resigned? The law about the governing body states that the town will have five selected representatives. "We can just change that law too," said Mr. XXXXX, and he promptly launched a new proposal to make it so that the town representatives could change the number of town representatives needed without the vote of the town. The town meeting was adjourned for lunch without further discussion on Mr. XXXXX's proposal. "We want to keep the Illuminati out," said council member Bella Cose as representatives left the table after Tuesday's meeting.
Members of these two political groups have been taunting each other all week, with the Illuminati threatening a government take-over while town council members responded that they would freeze bank accounts for Illuminati members. Tensions were running high, especially among the most vocal Peeps.
|Mia takes the empty seat to ask |
about plans for the town graveyard.
We gathered for an "open-format" full-town meeting. The open format meeting has a special arrangement: seven chairs are arranged to form an inner ring. These seats are for the five council members, the FED moderator Jeff Linton, and an extra seat, left empty. Townspeople who are not in the council sit in a larger circle around the inner ring. Only those in the inner-ring are allowed to speak. The function of the empty chair is to allow any townsperson the opportunity to step into the inner circle and have a turn to share their views.
After the week's political turmoil, many Peeps were looking forward to this town meeting. Both sides of the political rivalry have been insisting that they should be in power because want to prevent the other side from doing harm or wrong to the town. One town representative, after reflecting on this idea, came to the town meeting with a pre-written proposal in hand.
|Herbert III makes a dramatic entrance to the inner ring!|
He proposed ending the "not fun" politics and deciding
everything with a nice game of bocce.
The proposal, as written, stated that:
a) eligibility for a seat in the town government would be opened up again to the entire town (except those who had previously declined their selection or resigned from their post),
b) the new town council members must swear an oath that they would only use their powers for good, and
c) if any town representatives were found to be acting against the town or townspeople, that they could be removed from the town council by a 2/3 majority vote by the townspeople.
Many Peeps took the empty chair to ask questions about this proposal. Darth Plaguies was the first, jumping up from an apparent nap on a bench to take the empty seat. He asked questions about how the townspeeps would know that the Peeps in the town council were doing good, and how many Peeps it would take to make a 2/3 majority. He was followed by Alex ??????, Herbert III, Mia, Robin and others. Alex ?????? was very attentive at the meeting and took the empty chair many times to ask clarifying questions and to suggest an amendment to the proposal. The amendment stated that any accusations of wrong-doing by a town representative should be investigated, and that there had to be proof before a town representative could be voted out. The town council adopted her suggestion and eagerly moved forward with discussion on the topic. All seemed committed to leaving the political turmoil behind and bringing in a government that truly has the best interests of the people in mind, so they spent many, many minutes phrasing and re-phrasing the amendment until everyone involved in the discussion agreed that it was fairly stated.
Meetings of this sort take a LONG time, and many people around the outside of the circle began to get a little silly. While the town councilors word-smithed the proposal and voted on amendments, Peeps began popping into the empty chair to ask for a vote or to get laughs with a joke or silly suggestion. Herbert III kept insisting that this sort of democracy "IS NOT FUN" and that instead of all of this talking, we should instead decide these sorts of things with, of course, games of bocce. This spawned a lot of discussion among those in the outer ring about what government by bocce would be like ("they'd really get things rolling," "they could score a lot of political points," but "they might really bocce things up"), what a bocce-based political party would be called (bocceism? followers called bocce-ists?), and other variations on this theme.
Shortly after these shenanigans were quieted down by the Moderator, the amended proposal was voted into law. Two town representatives promptly resigned from the town council, citing the challenge of lawmaking. Using the Corvee name sticks, we selected two new representatives: Smaug and Lily. All five representatives then placed their left hands upon the town's meeting record book, raised their right hands and giggled along as Moderator Jeff Linton led them in vows stating that they "solemnly swore" to do their best to do good for the town.
People left the meeting in good spirits. The political tension had broken, and people moved off to Werk Bezerk to work on their houses, land and mini-fair rides.
|Painting signs for peep businesses.|
|Creating a mini-fair hoops game.|
|Jacques gets a balloon ride.|
|Would you like a dog? Can I make you a pet?|
|Suddenly the fun of the hot air balloon was over...|
|Cooling off with a treat from Ms. Frosty after land time.|
After people reported out on the commerce and social events of Land Time, it was time for Campfire. This time highlights of campfire included riddles, a clown skit, a four-person push up, songs from Josh and Jasmine, and several "Don't even get me started" rants.
|They're off the ground!|
|Taking topic suggestions for "Don't even get me started..."|
|A wonderful and weird song from A Bunch of Birds.|
The day ended with several rounds of camouflage in the graveyard, Pluses and Wishes, and Props.
It was a very good day.
|Hiding in camouflage.|
|Sharing PROPS! Props to...|
- Land time!
- More Flexa-rugs to work on and framing my windows.
- Cookies and Rainbows
- Camouflage (x4)
- Paid Back Loan Today! (x2)
- My mini-fair ride is done and it is awesome.
- Selling cookies at Land Time.
- Got part of my land finished.
- Amazing performances at Campfire.
- Don't even get me started...
- Finished EVERYTHING!
- Town meeting
- Painting my mini-fair signs.
- Ninja Unicorns
- Kung fu Pug
- More land time!
- Cookies and Rainbows.
- Rainbows and Cookies.
- Fix the bridge.
- Get a high appraisal on my house and everyone have a good weekend!
- Get 500R loan paid back next week.
- Sell some stuff at Mini-Fair!
- Rest well and prepare for Mini-Fair.
- My friend didn't hurt his arm.
- Have Mini-Fair rides.
- Good weather next week!
- My hot air balloon didn't float away!
- Some valuable papers don't get found in the horse stalls...