Kevin Roche (kproche) wrote,
Kevin Roche

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Westercon 66 (2013) news

This weekend bovil and I attended Westercon 64 in San Jose.

Due to a confluence of happy circumstances with the Fairmont we acquired a free upgrade of our room to a suite, so we asked that it be put on the party floor so the London in 2014 Worldcon bid could use our parlor one night for a bid party.

Three weeks ago, on the way back from my parents' in Redding, we stopped for lunch at Granzella's and realized we could stage a hoax bid party to host Westercon 66 (2013) at Granzella's. (This would make as much sense as attempting to have a Worldcon at Casa de Fruta, which was the hoax bid we perpetrated at the LACon IV Worldcon in 2006.)

When we announced our "bid" one week before Westercon 64, the response was huge; the single filed, real bid, for Portland, Oregon, had not been doing any promotion at all, and our joke fired up all the frustration around the issue. By the time this weekend rolled around we suspected that the joke might actually defeat the Portland bid in the balloting, which would throw the decision to the Westercon business meeting. bovil and I had several serious discussions about what to do in that event and decided that we would accept a nomination to actually run Westercon 66 if the membership actually asked us to do so in the business meeting. There were a number of hurried conversations to make sure we had the key people available if that happened.

It did, in fact happen. This is not a casual thing; the meeting lasted over three hours, and to select a bid in the business meeting requires a supermajority (over 75%) of the voters. Portland was given an opportunity to present their bid again, and two other groups submitted as well -- James Stanley Daugherty with a Hawaii proposal, and the group bidding Salt Lake City for 2014 with a proposal to move up their bid a year (which they admitted was not their first choice, but they were willing to do so). None of the four groups achieved the required supermajority (ours came vary close), but votes to declare a deadlock also failed. (One technical point -- when the selection falls to the business meeting, the vote is actually over a committee, not over a location. This was carefully explained at the meeting start, but the place names were being used as shorthand for the four groups during the meeting).

At this point a member who had voted against the "Olive Country" motion (our bid) decided he had mis-cast his vote and moved that the motion be reconsidered (a formal request to re-count the vote re-open the earlier question as if it had never been decided, being made by someone who voted on the prevailing side). This motion is not a casual one, but it only requires a supermajority to pass, which it received.
When the motion to award Westercon 66 to us was reconsidered, it *did* achieve the required supermajority and we were officially selected as the organizers of Westercon 66, at a site to be determined later.

So: Andy and I will be running Westercon 66 in 2013!

We're looking (first) at venues in Sacramento, in alignment with the Olive Country beginnings of this string of events. Registration, etc., will begin as soon as the necessary legal paperwork is in place to allow us to accept money (ficticious business name, etc).

Right now the "ZellaCon" Facebook group is our only web presence; we'll be using that temporarily as a communications medium if you want to volunteer/ask questions.

Edited to correct some minor errors on my part about the parliamentary details of reconsideration; thanks to kevin_standlee for the corrections
Tags: be carful what you ask for, conventions, events, fandom, life, science fiction

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