The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

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Felicia Fortune
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The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Felicia Fortune »

After reviewing the suggestions put forth on the forum concerning this proposal, I have incorporated some of them into this proposal.

For instance, the 14 day notice has been changed to 30 days. The 65% occupancy by sq. meters requirement has been replaced with 75% of it’s monthly tier expense as well as added “consecutive” between “three months”.
I also added a paragraph requiring the chancellor to review and post the financial status of the sim as well as his/her intentions within 3 days of the sale date.
I did not include a section allowing citizens to vote on this decision as citizens already have the ability to override this decision by simply purchasing enough land in the sim to save it.

In my opinion, It's really easy to let things slide when there is a pile of money to keep things running just as they are with little incentive to change things.

With a law like this in place, the RA might be more proactive to do something about failing sim rather than letting it be a drain the financial bottom line of the CDS.

SL is not going to be around forever and it's better to be prepared for the end rather than to scramble at the last minute.

We would all like to think that if we just do this or that, or change this or that, occupancy will increase but the elephant in the room I think everyone is ignoring is the number of active people in SL has been, and still is steadily declining.

One would think that Linden Labs would give adequate notice if and when they do decide to shut down SL, but there are no guarantees. Anyone who knows anything about SLGo will understand that large companies buy smaller companies, close down their services, and incorporate the technologies to suit their needs. Who says that this will never happen to Linden Labs?


The Responsible Estate Management Act (REVISED)

In the Confederation of Democratic Sims, it is the responsibility of the CDS government to ensure that the estate is financially managed in a responsible manner with an overall goal of keeping CDS in the black.

Tenancy fluctuations and long term vacancies can negatively impact the financial health of the estate. This bill establishes parameters for selling a CDS region if it remains vacant, in the red and a financial liability.

If a region in the CDS fails to generate more than 75% of its monthly tier expense for more than three consecutive months, the Chancellor is empowered to take steps to sell the region, if he /she deems it in the best financial interests of the CDS.
The Chancellor will determine the sale price of the region based on the average market sale price for regions of that type at that time.

The Chancellor must give 30 days notice to all CDS citizens of the intention to sell a region both on the CDS forum and in an in-world CDS group notice.

The Chancellor must give 30 days notice of the sale to all citizens of the region via notecard. In the case of group owned land, the Chancellor will provide notice via notecard to the group owner.

Citizens of the region being sold are responsible for abandoning their land and taking refunds of their tier balance from the tier meters before the date of the sale.

Available parcels in the region that is scheduled for sale will remain available for lease during the next 27 days making it possible for residents to purchase land and generate revenue for the sim.
The RA has the authority to convene a session and override the Chancellor’s decision by a majority vote within 29 days of the Chancellors announcement to sell the sim.

Three days prior to the sale date, the Chancellor will review the financial status of the sim and post his/her findings to the CDS Group inworld and on the CDS forum.
If the sim generated at least 75% of its monthly tier expense, the sale of the sim will halt.
If the sim did not generate at least 75% of its monthly tier expense, the Chancellor will announce his/her intentions to sell the sim or not in the CDS Group inworld and on the CDS forums.
On the scheduled date of sale, the Chancellor will clear the region completely of all objects before placing the region for sale.

The Chancellor can confer the responsibility of clearing the region on a CDS estate manager.

At the Chancellor’s direction, Rudeen must place the region up for sale in the For Sale By Owner group. The Chancellor is responsible for writing up the text for the sales notice and for giving it to Rudeen.

Money from the sale of the region shall remain in the general CDS account (Rudeen).

Neufriedstadt is excluded from this act. Given the history of the region and the significance to CDS, Neufreidtadt will remain until it is no longer able to pay for itself or SL service ends.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Callipygian »

Felicia Fortune wrote: ...


The Chancellor must give 30 days notice to all CDS citizens of the intention to sell a region both on the CDS forum and in an in-world CDS group notice.

The Chancellor must give 30 days notice of the sale to all citizens of the region via notecard. In the case of group owned land, the Chancellor will provide notice via notecard to the group owner.

Citizens of the region being sold are responsible for abandoning their land and taking refunds of their tier balance from the tier meters before the date of the sale.

Available parcels in the region that is scheduled for sale will remain available for lease during the next 27 days making it possible for residents to purchase land and generate revenue for the sim.
The RA has the authority to convene a session and override the Chancellor’s decision by a majority vote within 29 days of the Chancellors announcement to sell the sim.

...

.

The wording here creates the potential for a situation where a sim is kept, with even less occupancy: if the Chancellor gives 30 days notice to land owners, and they start to relocate- possibly outside of CDS - and then RA votes 3 or 4 weeks later to override the sale process. Additionally, keeping land sales open during the 'pick up your stuff and go ' period has the same potential effect - people buy while others leave.
This can be avoided by the process going in this order:

The Chancellor will give the RA 14 days written notice of his or her intention to start the sale process; he or she will post to the Forums and the inworld group that this notice has been given. Land will also remain for sale during this 14 day period; if occupancy increases to over 75% during the 14 days the sale process will halt.*

The RA may meet during that time and confirm or overrule the Chancellor's decision. If the RA does not give a decision within 14 days, or if they confirm the Chancellor's decision to sell, the Chancellor will then stop the sale of all land in the region and will give all landowners in the region 30 days notice of the impending sale.


There is also the possibility that people will buy land to stop the process, then abandon it within a month or two; it might be sensible to add a clause addressing this where I placed the * in the above section:

If occupancy of the region drops below 75% again within the next 3 months, the Chancellor may invoke this law again, without the need for a three month consecutive occupancy below 75%.


Finally, our laws usually specify whether the vote needs to be a simple majority ( 3 of the 5 votes) or a super majority ( 4 of the 5) - I think in this case the intention is probably to have it be a simple majority.

Calli
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Felicia Fortune »

Thank you Calli for the constructive comments!
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Em Warden »

I was very doubtful about this Act earlier, as I could see certain potential dangers in it. But if Calli's proposals are included in/added to the text, I feel secure that it will be a useful addition to our collection of laws.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised-Revised)

Post by Rosie Gray »

The Responsible Estate Management Act

In the Confederation of Democratic Sims, it is the responsibility of the CDS government to ensure that the estate is financially managed in a responsible manner with an overall goal of keeping CDS in the black.

Tenancy fluctuations and long term vacancies can negatively impact the financial health of the estate. This bill establishes parameters for selling a CDS region if it remains vacant, in the red and a financial liability.

1) If a region in the CDS fails to generate more than 75% of its monthly tier expense for more than three consecutive months, the Chancellor is empowered to take steps to sell the region, if he /she deems it in the best financial interests of the CDS.

2) The Chancellor will determine the sale price of the region based on the average market sale price for regions of that type at that time.

3) The Chancellor will give the RA 14 days written notice of his or her intention to start the sale process; he or she will post to the Forums and the inworld group that this notice has been given. Land will also remain for sale during this 14 day period; if occupancy increases to over 75% during the 14 days the sale process will halt.*

4) The RA may meet during that time and confirm or overrule the Chancellor's decision, which may be accomplished by a simple majority vote. If the RA does not give a decision within 14 days, or if they confirm the Chancellor's decision to sell, the Chancellor will then stop the sale of all land in the region and will give all landowners in the region 30 days notice of the impending sale.

5) If occupancy of the region drops below 75% again within the next 3 months, the Chancellor may invoke this law again, without the need for a three month consecutive occupancy below 75%.

6) Three days prior to the sale date, the Chancellor will review the financial status of the sim and post his/her findings to the CDS Group inworld and on the CDS forum.

a. If the sim generated at least 75% of its monthly tier expense, the sale of the sim will halt.
b. If the sim did not generate at least 75% of its monthly tier expense, the Chancellor will announce his/her intentions to sell the sim or not in the CDS Group inworld and on the CDS forums.
c. On the scheduled date of sale, the Chancellor will clear the region completely of all objects before placing the region for sale.
c. The Chancellor can confer the responsibility of clearing the region on a CDS estate manager.

7) At the Chancellor’s direction, Rudeen must place the region up for sale in the For Sale By Owner group. The Chancellor is responsible for writing up the text for the sales notice and for giving it to Rudeen.

8 ) Money from the sale of the region shall remain in the general CDS account (Rudeen).

Neufreistadt is excluded from this act. Given the history of the region and the significance to CDS, Neufreistadt will remain until it is no longer able to pay for itself or SL service ends.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Widget Whiteberry »

Thank you for posting the complete and current version of this act.

I'd recommend a different approach, with provision for steps that ought to be taken in advance of selling a region. Two examples: covenants might be changed, a marketing plan might be adopted and implemented.

At present, only Monastery and NFS are above break-even. CN is 30% short, AM is 3% short, LA is 23.79% short. FDS is 80% short but only just open. (These trends are not new and the information has been posted to the forums and presented to the RA throughout this most recent term.)

I recommend we codify refraining from purchasing any new region while occupancy rates are below sustainability in the existing regions or estate-wide.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Han Held »

Widget Whiteberry wrote: I recommend we codify refraining from purchasing any new region while occupancy rates are below sustainability in the existing regions or estate-wide.
I agree with this, we should have sustainable occupancy for a pre-detirmined period of time before a new region is allowed to be added (whether through purchase or donation).
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Rosie Gray »

Widget Whiteberry wrote:I'd recommend a different approach, with provision for steps that ought to be taken in advance of selling a region. Two examples: covenants might be changed, a marketing plan might be adopted and implemented.

At present, only Monastery and NFS are above break-even. CN is 30% short, AM is 3% short, LA is 23.79% short. FDS is 80% short but only just open. (These trends are not new and the information has been posted to the forums and presented to the RA throughout this most recent term.)

I recommend we codify refraining from purchasing any new region while occupancy rates are below sustainability in the existing regions or estate-wide.
I think that the parameters of the proposed act are enough as written, and that it would be broadening the scope of the act more than necessary to add steps that ought to be taken. We have to have enough faith in the Chancellor and the RA that ideas for implementing changes to increase population have been exhausted before there is agreement to sell or decommission a region, as a last resort. The purchase of new regions is already covered in other acts and I think would be inappropriate to add to this one.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Callipygian »

I've mentioned this at two RA meetings now, but this revision still makes no reference to protecting the grandfathered tier cost of CN or Monastery, should either of those regions ever fall into the criteria for sale by this law.

In the case of CN for example, I believe that saving is $100 US per month. I think this law, if passed, should provide the option of relocating a region's development to a grandfathered region, if necessary to protect this discount.

If this omission is intentional, what is the rationale for that choice?

Calli
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

Callipygian wrote:I've mentioned this at two RA meetings now, but this revision still makes no reference to protecting the grandfathered tier cost of CN or Monastery, should either of those regions ever fall into the criteria for sale by this law.

In the case of CN for example, I believe that saving is $100 US per month. I think this law, if passed, should provide the option of relocating a region's development to a grandfathered region, if necessary to protect this discount.

If this omission is intentional, what is the rationale for that choice?

Calli
According to the financial reports NFS and CN are 195 US$ per month, therefore "grandfathered". AM, LA and FS are 295 US$ per month.

I think Monastery is grandfathered (95 US$ per month) but I do not know the current price for a homestead. Could anyone tell me? (edit: seems to be 125 US$ since 2009)

In my opinion we should define a core of sims we want to keep as long as possible. CDS features two main themes, alpine and roman. If the roman theme fails, it should fall back to CN. If the alpine theme fails, it should fall back to NFS, AM and Mon.

So if the worst case comes, we can keep a consecutive landmass consisting of NFS, CN and AM to connect both. (edit 2: a minimalistic version of CDS could be NFS, CN and Mon to connect both as well, this has to be discussed - edit 3: the cost of moving Mon to replace AM would be 150 US$ according to sl knowledge base)

Btw, i think the criteria for selling a region are incomplete. In case we used up our reserves much smaller deficites may force us to give away a region.

The 24th RA will inherit this proposal. I will not vote in favor as long as this issues are not adressed.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Rosie Gray »

Tanoujin Milestone wrote:...In my opinion we should define a core of sims we want to keep as long as possible. CDS features two main themes, alpine and roman. If the roman theme fails, it should fall back to CN. If the alpine theme fails, it should fall back to NFS, AM and Mon.
I would argue that the main theme of the CDS is now alpine, since we only have one Roman themed sim - CN. LA is now Tuscany, not Roman, and our new region is alpine - so that makes Neufreistadt, Alpine Meadow, Monastery, and Friedsee all alpine, and forming a block. If worse came to worse and we are looking at this kind of argument, I would think it would make more sense to keep them than to keep either Locus Amoenus or Colonia Nova.

Going back to Calli's idea about keeping grandfathered regions and keeping them over any other region, even if the grandfathered region were the one failing...

Here's the way I see it:

1) Let's say for a minute that (grandfathered) Colonia Nova is failing for lack of citizens who want to live there, but all the rest of the regions are carrying their own.
2) Let's say that we have tried changing the theme and renovating it, but CN continues to fail.
3) Under Calli's scenario, because CN is a grandfathered region, we would have to decide on which other region we want to give up instead.
4) Let's say the next region by level of citizenship is Locus Amoenus
5) We explain to the population who own land in LA that we are going to get rid of their region because CN is not viable, and that we expect them to move to CN.
6) If we decided to rebuild CN to the likeness of LA to keep the citizens who like LA happy it would mean removing the citizens who are still in CN and like it there as it is.
7) If we tried to rebuild CN to the likeness of LA it would mean a complete destruction of the terraforming of LA as it is currently, but we could not use the terrain file of CN instead, because it would not fit the border of AM.
8 ) We would have to entirely remake CN to the theme of LA almost from scratch. During that time you would be displacing the citizens of both CN and LA.
9) I believe in this scenario you would be alienating the citizens of CN and the citizens of LA and you would have an exodus such as we have never had before.

I remain convinced that, if we decide we must get rid of a region because it is failing and we have exhausted all possibilities to make it viable, that we close that region that is failing, no matter which it is. The exception would be Neufriestadt as was in the original draft, and that simply because it was the first region.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

The reaction of the citizenry in your scenarios, Rosie, depends on the type of the citizen. There are the ones who just like their parcel and do not care much about the community - i admit this type of citizen could be driven away. But i think the overwhelming majority of citizens identifies with the community as a whole and is content to adapt to the circumstances. That means for example to give up a big parcel with a villa and take a fachwerk as a interim solution until a grandfathered region is redone and offers more space again. Some people may even have enough common sense to give up some of their parcels to give others the opportunity to stay.
My concern is that if we have to shrink the CDS, the situation will suggest to spare every cent we can. A core of grandfathered sims like NFS/CN/Mon would cost us about 500 US$. I would hope that a hard core of 20 citizens could hold that with the average expense of 25 US$ until LL switches off the lights.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Han Held »

I'm more on the fence then I was.
One thing, however -it costs money to move region posistions, though I don't remember how much.
We should already have the raw files for each region preserved somewhere, if not we should fix that.
We should also take a survey of which regions are grandfathered and which aren't.

[edit]
If it comes down to this, the estate will have fewer people anyway -and probably more committed. If we provide a lot of communication and support/assistance I think it can go well enough. I'm not taking stress (of move, of having that small of a populaion) into account though.
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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Sudane Erato »

Han Held wrote:We should also take a survey of which regions are grandfathered and which aren't.
NFS and CN are grandfatered... they cost us US$195/month each. MON is grandfathered... it costs us US$95/month.
AM, LA and FDS are not grandfathered... they cost us US$295/month each.


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Re: The Responsible Estate Management Act (Revised)

Post by Tanoujin Milestone »

There are news. Nolligan suggested:

Transcript: 24th RA - 2 January 2016

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7273&p=41943&hilit= ... ipt#p41943

[…] The text of the proposed act should be amended to include this clause:
9) If the region meeting the criteria as laid out in section one of this act is one of the grandfathered sims: Neufreistadt, Colonia Nova or Monastery then an extra-ordinary session of the RA will be convened to decide which sim is to be sold. […]

As Gaius pointed out, this (slightly) contradicts the last sentence of the act:

"Neufreistadt is excluded from this act. Given the history of the region and the significance to CDS, Neufreistadt will remain until it is no longer able to pay for itself or SL service ends."

In my understanding Nolligan's suggestion is meant to replace this last sentence.

The RA decided to table the topic until the act is sufficiently refined on the forum.

-----------

I really hope discussion will go on here, even if it is a bit tiring. Please let us try to get it done finally. It would be a shame to waste all the energy this proposal has absorbed already :)

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In my opinion Nolligan's suggestion reaches not far enough in protecting the grandfathered regions. Why should we leave the decision to a future RA facing a crisis, while we can decide that right now without ruffle or excitement? I would prefer a regulation to make sure the grandfathered regions are not sold until there are no other regions left. Having read and understood Rosie's arguments against that, I still think we should spare no effort to keep and rebuild the grandfathered sims as long as possible. This is why I suggest the following:

9) The grandfathered regions Neufreistadt, Colonia Nova and Monastery are excluded from this act. If the region meeting the criteria as laid out in section one of this act is one of the grandfathered sims, an extra-ordinary session of the RA will be convened to decide if another region is to be sold instead and how the affected grandfathered sim has to be changed to make it profitable again.

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Discussion please, thank you!
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