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Council Priority in your areas / writing.

Discussion in 'Research' started by Cool-Beans, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. Cool-Beans

    Cool-Beans Dreamer

    Hey mythic scibers.

    I was just walking back past the shops after finishing work at a Mexican resturant. I noticed a street cleaning letting me pass as he stopped working momentarily. I asked if I should walk around and he said that’s an option, but it was just soap and that he was cleaning the chewing gum off the ground.

    This led to a few following thoughts, the final of which is - who and what gets priority requests from their local or larger council? (As I thought he might have been hired to clean the area as part of a council commission or something)

    thinking into it I thought about how my dad put in a request to the council to renovate his house, the delay for approval (pretty much a simple viewing of the planned improvements and then a yes / no answer) took over 1 year.

    and how are councils / administrative powers over the general public or power structures similar to this managed in some of the books you’ve read?
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I have a stalled [no longer] Work In Progress, where the structure of a university was central to the plot. I used the duality between the Academic structure [departments, school and faculties] with their needs and demands and the more mundane levers of power of those that ran the operations of the university [maintenance, landscaping, catering, accommodation, alumni outreach etc] to let someone hide what was really going on in a tiny corner of the university. Each side only knew let alone cared about, most of what was going on. A lot of that knowledge overlapped or was irrelevant to them. So there was a sliver of uncontrolled activity that neither side was fully aware of.
    I don't think I've read anything where the local structure was important, if you ignore the pseudo-feudal set ups.
    Maybe the only one I can think of is Sir Terry Pratchett's Anhk-Morpork. Over several book STP build a fairly complex network of the interaction between City Watch [Police], Guilds [Assassins, Clowns, Seamstresses and Alchemists to name a few], The Unseen University, the noble families, Dragons, local street gangs, non-humans and sometime non-living beings [Vampires and Golems have rights too!]. There is a Patrician [really a very polite dictator] Vetinari who is in charge but manages to play all the other groups off against each other, usually when they don't know it. He rarely does anything directly. His main trick seems to be to make you think that it was your idea all along and he had nothing to do with it.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
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  3. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Inkling

    I've not bothered to describe this in my books, but you might want to look at the UK (England in particular) and see how parish administration moved from being about supporting the poor and maintaining the highways (in the 1500s) to being a formally structured council dealing with water, sanitation, streets paving and lighting, education and welfare, with paid staff and clear responsibilities (end of the 1800s). Similar things happened here in Sweden. Basically, what started as a responsibility for those with land and/or money and the ability to read and write ended up being a more general public responsibility. Depending on how you want your setting to work you can pick any point in that period and base your setting on how it was organised at that point.
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  4. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Inkling

    There's a lot of different moving parts for a community to work. I used to work for a public transit company, so I would see requests for things like damaged shelters, detours due to construction or police activity, updating signage for new schedules etc. And within this small sphere of just this ONE transit system (which links/syncs with other transit systems in the area), there were multiple groups that handled these things. There was one team whose entire job was making sure the 5,000+ stops had accurate information for routes and time tables. So even though they went to the shelters, they didn't have the tools or training to replace smashed glass. They didn't have the institutional power to change schedules to work better, even if they had much deeper knowledge of how the streets actually worked than the planners. So just because you see a guy leisurely sweeping your street in your area, it doesn't mean that he could have used some of that free time to make your dads permit go faster.

    Two of my stories touch upon institutions and how they suck. One is how ACAB and "innocent until proven guilty" really doesn't exist in our justice system (and also how "true" crime media affects it), the other is the more standard "man it sure does suck how The System doesn't care about us, huh? I guess it's revolution time." But there's also some "even the good guys are lying to the people, even if it's for arguably good reasons. So is that necessarily bad" That's all more top-down, tho, I do not like middle management-type stuff (because of that one job) so I don't want to write a story about a paper pusher.
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