[Board] Support from Charter

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue Dec 13 22:05:27 PST 2011

On 11-12-13 02:57 AM, Ravi Kumar wrote:
> Dear Board,
> a few points for consideration.
> The charter members, are a learned lot and the OSGeo can benefit from their
> collective wisdom
> They can participate and tilt the result of
> 1. A serious debate like, 'Location for FOSS4G next'


I agree that input on this decision could be useful.  However, it is
important that there be a process that leads to making a decision.  This
is the primary reason that we have a conference committee - so that there
will be a reasonably clear procedure to come to a decision on venue.

So anyone can contribute to the committee's discussion before the vote,
but like many other committees you need to be a committee member to vote.
I think the committee has mostly been growing of late by the addition of
FOSS4G hosts (like Peter Batty this last year), but there is no reason
the committee can't add other members with energy and experience.

> 2. Need for posts like Executives, Advisers, Experts and Event managers.

Certainly many of these roles are held by charter members, regular members
and folks who just feel a connection to OSGeo.  One area that is opening
up a bit is advisory board positions related to some of our recently formed
(and forming) memorandum of understandings.

> 3. Expenditure beyond a certain limit.. Say (only an example) 10 k USD

Are you suggesting that any charter member should be able to authorize
$10000.00 expenditures regardless of budget, etc?  This could easily get
way out of hand!  Generally speaking we budget money to committees and
the committees can decide how, within reason, to spend that money.  But
with limited resources and the risk of haphazard spending I am not keen on
some sort of blanket spending authorization for the 100 charter members
much less the 9 board members (as individuals)!

> This will create a much needed sense of participation among the charter too.

Certainly participation from all members is valuable.  I notice that you
specifically call out on behalf of charter members.  I am personally never
keen on treating charter members too special for fear of making OSGeo seem
to cliquish, and alienating those who are not charter members.  Charter
members have a particular specific role under our governance rules
(selecting the board, and new charter members).  This is intended to ensure
that a reasonably broad group representative of the community ultimately
controls OSGeo as opposed to just a small cabal (ie. board) or a formless
multitude that might end up dramatically altering the foundation almost
by accident.

Beyond this governance role, I prefer to treat everyone who would like to
consider themselves a member of OSGeo similarly.  Basically, anyone with
volunteer energy is welcome to participate and do stuff.  Anyone with
advice can give it, and the rest (committee members, board, charter members,
developers, etc) can consider it and give it the weight they feel it
deserves based on it's own merit and perhaps the experience of the speaker.

Of course opinions on the privileges and responsibilities of charter
members may vary and this can evolve.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/warmerda
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Software Developer

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