[Board] motions from June 18 meeting - making OSGeo Charter membership more exclusive

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 05:33:53 PDT 2015

Hi Venka,
As Peter notes, the minimum 5% YES votes was discussed amongst the 
community (along with extensive discussion about many other aspects of 
the proposal).
Here is one of the emails in the thread:

Hi Jeff,
I'd prefer not to have it implied that the 5% figure was "an error". It 
was the final result of extensive community discussion. If you wish to 
continue with changing this 5% threshold, then I request it be taken to 
the OSGeo Discuss list first.

Warm regards, Cameron

On 20/06/2015 9:45 pm, Jeff McKenna wrote:
> That said, the vote for changing the election process will proceed; I 
> appreciate Cameron's concerns, but, that 5% threshold was an error 
> made last year and the Board is now correcting an unfortunate error.  
> As I mentioned in my elections-kickoff message to the Board on 25 May, 
> what we saw last year for the first time was strategic nominations 
> placed by some people and we will correct that this year.  I am sorry 
> for being direct here. 

On 21/06/2015 5:52 pm, Peter Baumann wrote:
> Hi all,
> in fact, I do remember quite involved discussions around the whole procedure,
> where the 5% were only one facet. There were arguments like "an applicant might
> be disappointed when not elected, so let us put the barrier low". My view:
> democracry is not about giving posts to everybody for avoiding "disappointment",
> but to establish a leadership accepted by a majority (sic).
> And I am concerned that a procedure seen as debatable by several members
> (including me, BTW) should now be pursued further without an opportunity for
> reconsideration. Obviously there is at the very least a need to find out whether
> there is room for improvement.
> -Peter
> On 06/21/15 09:44, Venkatesh Raghavan wrote:
>> The issue of setting the selection criteria at 5% was discussed
>> after the last years Charter member elections [1].
>> There was no community discussion when the criteria was changed
>> to a threshold of 5%. So I do not see the logic in calling for a community
>> discussion now
>> on a matter in which the the community was never consulted, despite the fact that
>> some of us expressed our apprehensions about lowering the threshold.
>> Venka
>> [1] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-August/012016.html
>> On 2015/06/21 2:21, Vasile Craciunescu wrote:
>>> I get Cameron's point of view. Personally, I really don't want to leave
>>> valuable people "outside" just because they are not "popular" enough or
>>> because they not recommended to the charter members by a popular figure.
>>> Myself, I'm not from on a country with notably contributions in term of code
>>> to the FOSS4G realm. I do really know that passion for FOSS4G is not always
>>> enough to make a person noticeable in the eyes of the community (especially
>>> if you are not a programmer). On the other hand, why do we call the process
>>> "elections" if we always accept all the nominations? We really need to have
>>> some kind of mechanism to assure that "proper" people are elected as charter
>>> members, people that really understand and share the values promoted by
>>> OSGeo. If the mechanism is right, all the "good" people will get elected
>>> (most probably, all people proposed). Of course, there is no easy path to
>>> achieve this. I agree that changing the rules of engagement just before the
>>> elections is not the best approach. But, I also recall that, since the board
>>> meeting in Portland, the 5% rule was contested by an important number of
>>> board and charter members (not always on public channels). My proposal is to
>>> delay a bit the elections schedule for this year (not sure if bylaws permit
>>> this) or shorten the nomination/voting periods in order to have a real
>>> consultation on the topic with the OSGeo community. Postponing the rule
>>> amendment for an entire year may find us in the very same situation one year
>>> latter in 2016 (as Jeff already mentioned, nobody had nothing to reply to his
>>> message from May). I encourage all the board/charter members to express their
>>> opinion on this subject. If you do care, please talk now.
>>> Best,
>>> Vasile
>>> On 6/20/15 1:59 AM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>>> OSGeo board,
>>>> As an OSGeo Charter member, I request that the following motion (see
>>>> below) not be passed without first discussing publicly on the OSGeo
>>>> Discuss email list.
>>>> The current process for joining OSGeo Charter Membership [2] was
>>>> specifically refined to be more inclusive than before, in order to make
>>>> it easy for all passionate people within the OSGeo community to join,
>>>> while aiming to protect against the now relatively unlikely possibility
>>>> of a hostile takeover.
>>>> Based on the proposal below, 11 out of 64 of last years successful
>>>> nominations would be rejected under the  proposed new rules. I suggest
>>>> this is not in OSGeo's interests.
>>>> It is possible that some of these 11 people are not very involved in
>>>> OSGeo, and maybe haven't contributed much since being nominated, but is
>>>> that a bad thing? Have any of these 11 people been actively detrimental
>>>> to OSGeo while being an OSGeo Charter member? Note, the only official
>>>> duty of a charter member is to vote for the board. However, being
>>>> recognised as a charter member is useful for many of our members looking
>>>> to gain OSGeo credibility, such as when presenting at conferences.
>>>> If we are more inclusive, and add 10 new non-active/non-disruptive OSGeo
>>>> Charter members, then I'd argue that it is worth it for the 1 passionate
>>>> Charter member we also gain.
>>>> I remember a quote from Jeff which rang true with me, and which I think
>>>> is applicable here:
>>>> /
>>>> //"I once heard an interview with a legendary lead singer of a band, who
>>>> said his goal each concert was to make the kid sitting in the very back
>>>> row to feel like he's as much a part of the concert as the kid sitting
>>>> in the front row, and this is exactly how I focus my community work for
>>>> OSGeo."/
>>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2014-August/013498.html
>>>> Warm regards, Cameron Shorter
>>>> On 20/06/2015 5:29 am, Vasile Craciunescu wrote:
>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>> Please also vote for motion below.
>>>>> 5) For the new charter members elections, change the threshold of
>>>>> required YES votes of charter members from 5% to 50%. See Jeff's
>>>>> e-mail [1] for detailed explanations and the rationale of this change.
>>>>> If needed, also check the Membership Process [2].
>>>>> My vote is +1.
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Vasile
>>>>> [1] http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2015-May/012863.html
>>>>> [2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Membership_Process
>>>> On 26/05/2015 2:18 am, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>>>>> 3. Decide on 2015 Selection Process
>>>>> -----------------------------------
>>>>> To refresh everyone's memory, last year we (Board) modified the
>>>>> selection process[3] for Charter members; but in my opinion we made a
>>>>> mistake with the voting change of "Each candidate with more YES votes
>>>>> than NO votes, and greater than 5% of voting charter members voting
>>>>> YES for them, will be included as new charter members."
>>>>> What I saw was, for the first time in OSGeo history, strategic
>>>>> nominations by certain projects, for relatively unknown community
>>>>> members; the result was that all 64 nominations were accepted as
>>>>> Charter members.
>>>>> For 2015, I am proposing we make 1 change, instead of the 5%
>>>>> acceptance, change that to 50% or greater voting YES.   Such as:
>>>>> ***
>>>>> Each candidate with more YES votes than NO votes, and greater than or
>>>>> equal to 50% of voting charter members voting YES for them, will be
>>>>> included as new charter members.
>>>>> ***
>>>>> I have checked the 2014 results again, and with those new 50% rules,
>>>>> we would have accepted 45 nominations versus all 64 nominations.  I
>>>>> believe this is much better.
>>>>> But of course this needs to be decided by the Board and community.  I
>>>>> am merely kicking off the process   So please speak your mind, or edit
>>>>> the 2015 Elections wiki directly.
>>>>> Yours,
>>>>> -jeff
>>>> -- 
>>>> Cameron Shorter,
>>>> Software and Data Solutions Manager
>>>> LISAsoft
>>>> Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
>>>> 26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009
>>>> P +61 2 9009 5000,  Wwww.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099
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Cameron Shorter,
Software and Data Solutions Manager
Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

P +61 2 9009 5000,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099

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