[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G 2015 bidding selection process

Eli Adam eadam at co.lincoln.or.us
Mon Feb 3 23:17:28 PST 2014

Hi Conf-dev (and to some extent Board),

The follow views are my own, not necessarily shared by the PDX LOC or
others.  I invite others, especially members of LOCs that were
involved in bid selection ties (somewhat common: PDX, DC, Prague, and
Beijing), to share their thoughts as well.

Perhaps the board should make an expression of financial viability and
risk preference (if any) *before* the conference committee votes since
it is impossible (or at least very difficult) to do *after* the
conference committee has made a recommendation.  This could take the
form of something like, "The OSGeo Board finds all these bids to be
financially viable and of acceptably low risk and will be happy to
approve any of them recommended by the Conference Committee"

When there are ties it means that there are great proposals.  When
there are great proposals, lightheartedness, not overly serious
deliberation, is needed.  A decision between great proposals is more
inconsequential than important (either would be great events).  If the
rare case of two very poor bids comes in, they should both be rejected
and new bids sought.

My opinion on conference committee selection is that kicking
irreconcilable ties to the board is a form of escalation and what is
needed is deescalation.   It is better for the conference committee
chair and the loc chairs sort it out. A video call with a coin flip
would work.  I think that the chair deciding is fine too and if we are
in a case where the chair is abstaining, then the tie breaker must be
allotted to some other conference committee member in advance.  In all
cases, the conference committee should come to some conclusion even if
it is by arbitrary methods.  Escalation to the Board unnecessarily
raises the stakes which does not benefit anyone and does not improve
the quality of the decision.

Best Regards, Eli

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