[Board] Re: Motion: Support visit to meet with the emerging Vietnam Chapter with funding

Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) tmitchell at osgeo.org
Sat Mar 20 10:04:04 PDT 2010


I think it would be good to have some resolution on this motion.  Thanks
Howard for clarifying your concerns.

Perhaps I've missed something, has there been some offline discussion or
decision?  Did the trip happen?  Is there still an expectation OSGeo
will fund this?  Last Jeff wrote was that he was going to buy tickets.
I gave some warnings, Frank clarified, Howard shared his concerns, but
I've seen nothing more in way of response.

Arnulf, I think we owe it to both Jeff and Howard to make sure their
concerns are at least discussed and not left in silence.  I've been in
too many (non-OSGeo) meetings where people were left in frustration and
hope we can avoid this here.  We can discuss it in the meeting of
course, but I thought wrapping up this thread might be helpful.

Building off this experience, I suggest we aim for a few goals:

1 - Review the concerns/benefit for funding travel expenses.  The board
has flip/flopped on this between the discussion on traveling to India
for face-to-face meeting versus sending an individual rep to Vietnam.

2 - Discuss what the role of the board is in developing local chapters.

3 - Discuss director's roles in OSGeo generally.  We started capturing
some of the 'duties' but I think it would help to have the board
re-group and define a couple clear goals that issue like expenses, etc.
can be measured against.  At this point it's not clear to me at all how
some of these things fit into the board's direction, goals or purpose.

4 - Discuss what kind of policy (as per Markus' last note) the directors
agree on.

Directors - keep in mind that with new directors joining every year, we
often have to 'roll back' and re-articulate the goals and purpose of the
board.  Not a bad annual exercise anyway :)

Miss anything?  I think if we can get through these, things will be much
clearer in many eyes.

Have a good weekend,

Howard Butler wrote:
> On Mar 8, 2010, at 1:39 PM, Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:
>> Howard, do you mind elaborating on your concerns?  I don't see a
>> vote by Chris either, I'm guessing he's away.  If it's important
>> enough to vote -1, then I believe there are some valuable concerns
>> you could share.
> My problems with Jeff's request are the following:
> - We don't have an actual budget yet - It opens up a rain soaked,
> half-frozen, moss covered roof of a slippery slope with regard to
> conflicts of interest - $600 is for travel costs for two people who
> have as far as I can tell have no relation, contribution, or profile
> within OSGeo (and are still unnamed, AFAIK) - It seems rather
> opportunistic and frankly looks as though OSGeo's being used as a
> convenient sugar daddy.  Why aren't we bootstrapping local chapter
> development with hard currency (plenty of soft currency -- time --
> though) elsewhere?  Rather, the talk has been about local chapters
> bootstrapping *us* with hard currency!
> Am I confident Jeff can represent OSGeo without conflict?
> Absolutely.  Do I believe in the need for local chapters such as
> Vietnam?  Of course.  My problem is with the *exceptional* nature of
> this request, and it's timing in relation to our financial year.  The
> reason we don't have policy for sponsoring board member's travels is
> not because there hasn't been a desire for it, but rather because we
> haven't felt we've had overflowing funds to handle requests.
> That I'm the only dissenter possibly means I'm overreacting, but
> where we spend our money clearly indicates our priorities.  Measured
> against our other priorities (conference sustainability,
> server/website continuation, administrative overhead), this one
> doesn't rank so much for me.
> Howard

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