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

Margherita Di Leo diregola at gmail.com
Mon Jun 22 07:08:27 PDT 2015


although I am all in favor of an inclusive community, I see a point in the
proposal of thresholding. Currently, as a voting charter member, when I'm
presented with a candidate, I have the opportunity to include (YES) or
exclude (NO) him/her , and this makes sense when I know him/her and their
work. What if I don't have idea?  I would abstain. Particularly, what might
be the reasons that might lead me to say NO to this candidate? I would say
it should be a good reason.
I don't remember very well the conditions given last year for the voting
procedure, but I propose to give 3 opportunities for voting each candidate:
YES (+1) , NO (-1) or ABSTAIN (0).
This makes me think that if a considerable amount of people is voting a
decided NO, there should be a reason why the candidate should not be
awarded as a charter member and the reason isn't the fact that he/she is
not popular enough (remember, if you don't know him/her, you can just

My 2 cents

On Sun, Jun 21, 2015 at 2:33 PM, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>

> 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:
> http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2014-July/013049.html
> 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
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> Board mailing list
>>>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>>>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>> Board mailing list
>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
> --
> 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,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099
> _______________________________________________
> Board mailing list
> Board at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board

Best regards,

Dr. Margherita DI LEO
Scientific / technical project officer

European Commission - DG JRC
Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)
Via Fermi, 2749
I-21027 Ispra (VA) - Italy - TP 261

Tel. +39 0332 78 3600
margherita.di-leo at jrc.ec.europa.eu

Disclaimer: The views expressed are purely those of the writer and may not
in any circumstance be regarded as stating an official position of the
European Commission.
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