The final staff meeting of the year is now behind us, so let’s take a look at what happened.
New Moderator and updates to the voting procedures
At the end of the last GSM we made some tweaks to the voting procedures for new moderator candidates. Specifically, a candidate will be promoted if at least two-thirds of the cast votes are “Yes”, and the candidate is not vetoed by Frumple. Staff must be prepared to defend any vote, but especially if voting “Neutral”. Note that a veto is different than a “No” vote; Frumple can vote “No” without vetoing a candidate completely.
With those changes taking effect at this GSM, we had two candidates:
- Needn_NL, who we also reviewed back in November, was not promoted as the final vote tally was 5-5-0 (5 Yes, 5 Neutral, 0 No).
- Skelezomperman was promoted with a final vote tally of 9-1-0.
Skele’s term has now begun and he will be learning the ropes over the coming weeks, so please be patient as he gets settled to the new position. Additionally, even though the Trustee Meetings are not an official server activity, they are a beloved component of GSM days for many members, and according to Trustee Law Skele will identify and announce a replacement presiding officer for the January GSM. Congratulations to Skele and welcome aboard!
- We discussed a proposal to post project approvals in #notifications like we do with rank changes and asset transfers. We decided against this as we think this would cause too much confusion, especially with airports. Project coordinators are free to continue posting news in #media-announcements or through the existing media and wiki channels as they always have.
- We discussed a proposal to increase the “4K” rule to 6,000 blocks, but ultimately decided not to adjust the rule. Having the limit where it is provides good accountability on projects. We did make improvements to this procedure a couple months ago to limit the chance of a waiver request being delayed, and there is still no time limit when construction has to be completed.
- The “Franchise Rules” section of the rules page has been relabeled as “Private Commercial Property Rules” to better align with how the rules are applied.
- We are updating our policies surrounding asset transfers when a player is indefinitely or permanently banned, to give them an opportunity to express their wishes on asset ownership before releasing assets to the community for IAT claims. Effective immediately:
- A player who is indefinitely or permanently banned has 14 days from the date the ban is issued to email staff a list of transfer instructions for any assets they held. This is commonly called a “will” and may list desired new owners for towns and companies. In-game money cannot be transferred. Transfer instructions should be sent to the all-staff (staff@) email, not just to admins.
- Deputy mayors can immediately assume control of their respective towns through the existing Deputy Mayor Succession process. This request can be overridden if the banned player submits transfer instructions within the 14-day period after the ban is issued. As such, deputy mayors are advised to either hold off on succeeding mayorship, or at the very least waiting to start any significant projects, until the 14-day submission period has expired or they have been explicitly named as the town’s new mayor.
- If an indefinitely or permanently banned player does not submit any transfer instructions at all within two weeks of the ban being issued, or only submits instructions for some of their assets within the two-week period, any remaining assets (except for Old World towns) will become eligible for IAT.
- Players who are temporarily banned, either by request or due to accumulating three warnings, are not subject to this policy, even if their temporary ban is longer than two weeks.
- Posting a will on the wiki is not an official submission in and of itself, however if it’s up to date, a banned player can simply state that the will on the wiki is accurate and should be executed (or, even better, simply copy and paste the text of the will into the email sent to staff).
- TL;DR: Indefinitely and permanently banned players have two weeks from their ban date to email staff a will (wiki pages don’t count). After that, anything not stated in the will becomes eligible for IAT as usual. Deputy Mayors can immediately take control of towns as usual, but can be overridden by a valid will.
- We received a request to add a sub-clause under General Rule 11 (the “Belligerent Dissent” rule) or Most Important Rule 3 which would state that conversations must be taken to private messages upon request. We don’t think this is appropriate and instead urge members to contact staff if an argument is getting heated in chat or if you’re unsure about a situation. Please resist your natural urge to insert yourself into heated arguments – if you’re a bystander, your best bet is to contact staff, especially if you’re not trained in conflict resolution or de-escalation. Several staff members do have professional conflict resolution training, so please let us know how we can help.
The only transport project we reviewed was a request to update signage on the A90. This was approved without objections.
We received four event proposals this time around.
- Funding for the MRT Winter Games 2020/2021 in Dand has been approved in full pending final confirmation of dates and times.
- Funding for a new game show, Lingo, run by autobus22, has been approved in full. (Reminder to Auto and others: as you plan your events, it’s really helpful to have a note at the end of your proposals that states the maximum budget for the event – it’s okay if you give out less!)
- The AviOff Building Competition, submitted by noahrebl, has been approved with reduced funding: all prizes will be 10% of their original proposals. This funding is held until we receive, by email, a copy of the judging criteria (ideally the exact text that will be given to judges) and a final confirmation of the date and time.
- The Winter Olympics has been denied funding due to concerns over lack of communication with the host city and a history of last-minute planning at previous Olympics (this proposal was received 6 minutes before the cutoff time for the GSM). airplane320 may resubmit this event at a future meeting, provided the proposal is submitted jointly with the host city and its mayor (in this case, Vulpicula), and the event is planned out completely before submission.
We received three IAT requests and approved all of them, though each with different notes.
The IAT of Dandenong (C2) to EliteNeon was approved in full; Sese has volunteered to assist in land regeneration and integrating the town into nearby Benion.
The IAT of FreeAir has been approved in principle, though owing to the complex nature of FreeAir’s ownership structure, we are doing this in a two-step process. EliteNeon has assumed ownership of the airline, but is not cleared to merge it into Clipper just yet. Anyone else who wishes to make an ownership claim to FreeAir, and has evidence to back up their claim, should contact staff by 19:00 UTC on Thursday, January 7 (the agenda submission cutoff for the January GSM). If no such claims are received, Elite will be free to merge the airlines at that point. However, if claims are received, we will process those at the January GSM.
Finally, the town of Chalxior (L1-L2, ZN33-ZN34) has been transferred to kyyl_, voiding a Deputy Mayor Succession claim lodged by ModernArt during the meeting. This is an unusual decision, so I’ll go into our reasoning – while Modern’s Deputy Mayor Succession claim would have normally taken priority, we decided to void it for three main reasons:
- Late submission: Modern’s objection to the IAT was received well over an hour after the GSM had started, when we normally expect IAT objections and other comments to be received by the standard start time of 19:00 UTC. Modern has stated he has been experiencing technical issues with his devices, which we acknowledge is frustrating, however he had repeatedly been on the Minecraft server and has regularly had an “online” Discord status in recent weeks, especially after the agenda was published.
- False claims in email: Modern’s email claimed that kyyl_ had made no attempt to contact ModernArt to privately come to an arrangement after an Inactive Town Bypass proposal was denied at the November ISM, and that Modern had never been notified of kyyl_’s intention to do work in the area. Both of these claims were disproven with evidence submitted by kyyl_ in the original IAT request, and left us with the sense that the claim was submitted solely to block kyyl_ from receiving the town rather than an honest request.
- History of inactivity and abandoning towns: Modern has a long history of receiving or starting towns, and then either becoming inactive or abandoning the town. As Chalxior is a key transport hub (with the start of the Lakeshore Line and the main gateway to the northern portions of Wards 1, 2, 8, and 9), we preferred ensuring that the town’s mayor is an active member, so that even though kyyl_ has indicated changes to the town itself will be very minimal, transport connections can still be made and given proper oversight.
Please check the Events Calendar for information regarding community events over the holidays. While there is currently nothing official planned, there are a lot of member-organized events happening between now and the end of the year.
While they will look different this year, we know that the holidays are an important time of year for a lot of members and staff, so there is no December ISM (it would have been held on Sunday, December 27). The next staff meeting will be a General Staff Meeting on Saturday, January 9, with moderator nominations due at 19:00 UTC on Saturday, January 2.
Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.