Should we expect the MDP to follow any of its rules?
December 20th, I filed two appeals with the MDP regarding the recently voted on Video, Audio and Still Photography Ban.
The first appeal was regarding the fact that the ban is, in and of itself, discriminatory to those who cannot attend meetings in person. When a person cannot attend an ‘open’ meeting due to economic status or physical disability – both protected classes by the MDP Rules – and have no way to know what actually happened at that meeting, is that meeting truly open?
The second appeal was based on the fact that the entire procedure of making the amendment was done improperly. The MDP Rules explain exactly how one goes about making an amendment, and these rules were simply not followed. Three different points in the procedure were broken.
Changes or amendments to the rules must be brought up by motion at SCC meetings, then referred to the Rules committee. It is then required to give at least two weeks’ notice to members before a vote is taken on amendments to the rules, and it is further required that the proposed amendment be ‘set forth’ – that is, clearly written out so all can see what is proposed – in that notice 2 weeks in advance. None of these were done.
But things happen and people make mistakes. That is why the MDP has an Appeals Committee.
One does expect this group of people, whose entire purpose is to help fix things when mistakes happen, to know the rules.
MDP Rule 12.5.3 states that after a claim is filed, the Appeals Committee shall meet within 30 days. It also states that parties to the appeal will be given 72 hours notice of any meeting of the Appeals Committee.
For an appeal filed on the 20th of December, that would mean they must meet on or before the 19th of January. I should have received notice of a meeting by the 16th. Yet it is the 22nd and still no word. Am I wrong to expect that the people who are the final word on following the rules, should be expected to follow those rules themselves?
I am quite certain that if I say nothing, but show up at the next meeting of the SCC with a camera and attempt to film, the rule – improperly put in place though it was – will be quite loudly and forcefully pointed out to me. The rules seem to be mandatory for us, and flexible or non-existent to the establishment.