The CO in my area announced that he will move to another circuit and another CO will replace him. Nothing seems to indicate that the CO arrangement is being terminated. After all, this is one means for the GB to supervise the local elders.
CO's arrangement finishes????
The Society doesn't put a whole lot of money in for the Circuit Overseer. The publishers in his Circuit do. I have a relative that handles the Circuit Overseer's accounts.
I know our circuit rents a house/apartment,they pay for the car the circuit overseer drives,any expenses during his visit. Plus,the CO and his wife are provided with meals during the weeks visit with a congregation. The Watchtower Society isn't losing much money with Circuit Overseers.
I wish to make two points about this.
First, the Society can be very cheap in regard to supporting the C.O.'s. On the other hand, they may have backed away from some of their skinflint ways in recent years.
Second, the real problem with C.O.'s may not be the continuing expense. It may be the severe liability that these itinerant KGB types create. The Society is a hierarchy, pure and simple, with a rigid chain of command, no different from rich churches like the Catholics. The problem is, they don't have the big bucks that Catholics do.
Everytime they appoint an elder or dissolve a body of elders, they show that they have a direct line of liability leading to the top. This is why they pursue fictions such as claiming that congregations are 'autonomous' or changing the title of Presiding Overseer to Coordinator.
I would guess that the sheer greediness of the Governing Body, in their lust for control, has prevented the Legal Dept, from breaking the chain of command.
CO's ain't goin' nowhere...
They afford the society an AMAZING amount of control over local elder bodies.
And in the end, most of their expenses are picked up by the local congregations/circuits.
WIN/WIN for the society.
I for one do not believe for a minute that the CO arrangement would be stopped. At most, as other have already suggested, it could be an expanded role of the substitute COs, who are generally elders from neighboring areas.
I always thought what a difficult life, living in a different home every week, year after year,,all belongings to fit only in a car. Especially, as ones age. I often picked up that was hard especially for the wives. Back in '73, we had offered a consideration to go into circuit work. For me that was an absolute no. I guess some have locations that they can have a small attached apt at some KHs. But what percentage of KHs have that? Then, many areas the KHs are very scattered.
Back in the 70s and early 80s, many were getting little trailers. I thought at least that would be better but by late 80s I think the WTS put a squash to it and wouldn't allow it any more, stating it was better to be living with the people. But I suspect there was more to it than that.
In reality, could there be complaints about the reality of this set up, for the circuit couples, or even home owners to take them on.
I have not heard about anything like this. Perhaps it's just a rumour. It would be very interesting to see happen though. I would love to see people's reactions to it, and what other changes they might make along with it.
If I were to guess I would say the GB would never approve a deletion of the CO's role in the Society. They are one of the strongest forces for unity they have. It's one the biggest reasons they have the unity they have is because of the CO check/balance.
If CO's get removed then I would say there is hope that someone at the top really knows what they are doing.
My cousin and his wife have been in the CO work for at least 25 years. He is now 65 and is being treated for prostate cancer. I have no direct contact with him so I don't know what his living arrangements are, let alone his medical care. Just makes me sad to think about the buddy I grew up with now coming into 2012 and trapped in the Watchtower tar pit.
Glander... how is your cousin doing?