[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] Amended MOTION (items 1-5): Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process

Maria Antonia Brovelli maria.brovelli at polimi.it
Fri Oct 7 06:40:40 PDT 2016

Dear Steven,

I don't withdraw my vetoe. As said,  I'll ask  the Board to decide about the governance of the Committees.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Cheers to everybody.


Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli
Vice Rector for Como Campus and GIS Professor
Politecnico di Milano

ISPRS WG IV/4"Collaborative crowdsourced cloud mapping (C3M)"; OSGeo; ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Advisory Board; NASA WorldWind Europa Challenge; SIFET
Sol Katz Award 2015

Via Natta, 12/14 - 22100 COMO (ITALY)
Tel. +39-031-3327336 - Mob. +39-328-0023867 - fax. +39-031-3327321
e-mail1: <mailto:maria.brovelli at polimi.it> maria.brovelli at polimi.it
e-mail2: prorettrice at como.polimi.it

Da: Conference_dev <conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> per conto di Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com>
Inviato: martedì 4 ottobre 2016 20.18
A: Conference Dev
Oggetto: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] [Board] Amended MOTION (items 1-5): Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process

It isn’t clear to me whether Venka and Maria withdrew their vetoes.

My reading is that the committee whilst voting by a majority for the original motion does not feel strongly about the matter and there is no appetite to extend the discussion. I do not wish to take a chair’s initiative to force the motion through and then attempt to impose its consequences, I think that should be up to the next chair of the committee.

It is my intention to stand down as chair of the conference committee at the end of the 2018 selection process.

So let’s leave the motion undecided and focus on the selection for 2018 until the end of the year.

In that regard, I will be travelling between October 13th and November 7th, internet may be limited for some of the time. Is there anyone willing to stand in to push things along (facilitate questions on LoI's, trigger the vote and notify the results) whilst I am away? I will be back to pick things up before the final proposals come in.


On 30 Sep 2016, at 13:45, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com<mailto:cameron.shorter at gmail.com>> wrote:

Steven, others,

The conference committee is ineffective if it can't make efficient decisions. Usually, any decision is better than no decision, and is certainly the case for this motion. I'm in favour of Steven, as chair, using his best judgement to finalise this vote and move forward to being effective again.

Steven, I trust your judgement, and you have my vote.

Warm regards, Cameron

On 30/09/2016 7:35 PM, Steven Feldman wrote:
I am combining Maria’s mail and Venka’s (copied below) and responding to both

Several people have expressed concern that a lot of committee members have not voted on the recent amendment and have suggested that if they do not vote in a further round of voting on the amendment and/or the original motion they should be obliged to stand down for the committee.

It has been suggested that not voting indicates a lack of commitment. I disagree, we have a committee whose expertise is in the delivery of FOSS4G events, particularly the global events. I would not be surprised or concerned if several of them are not interested in the procedural details of what quorum we should require on the odd occasion that we vote. As long as they commit their time and experience to carefully considering the LoI’s and Proposals in the FOSS4G selection process, asking penetrating and insightful questions and then voting to select our recommendation to the board I am grateful for their participation.

Not withstanding what I have just said, I do believe that the committee size should be limited to 11 and should have a defined retirement process as I proposed in the original motion.

I don’t see the lack of votes for Maria’s amendment as a dereliction of duty, I see it as a sign of exhaustion with this seemingly never ending debate. The mail trail now exceeds 120! After extensive discussion, the original motion which incorporated the standard Committee Guidelines on voting was voted for by a strong majority of the committee (+1 = 12, +0 = 1, -1 = 2, no votes = 3 of which one verbally supported the motion but did not place a formal vote). We have now spent nearly 2 working weeks discussing  amendments and have voted on one (there are potentially 4 more amendments to discuss and vote on, one of which potentially reverses the intention of the original motion by seeking to increase rather than reduce the size of the committee). In my opinion, this is not the reasonable pursuit of consensus it is bordering on an abuse of process.

The voting rules that were proposed in the original motion are based on the Committee Guidelines which are in use in several of our committees and PSCs. If these guidelines represent a ‘benevolent dictatorship’ (what others may describe as a do-ocracy) that is now considered unacceptable, then it is for the Board to initiate a discussion (and presumably a vote amongst the charter membership) that changes these guidelines for all committees not just for the Conference Committee.

It is up to Venka and Maria if they wish to insist on a further vote. If we are to vote again, we need to be clear whether we are voting on the original motion or the amended motion or a further amended motion which also includes some or all of the further amendments (2-5) which have yet to be fully discussed.

I recognise that as the proposer of the original motion who has strong views on this topic, I may be struggling to maintain the balance and objectivity necessary to act as chair on this matter. If anyone feels that the committee would be better served by me standing aside for the remainder of the discussion and voting on this matter, please say so and I will temporarily stand down. When the committee reaches a conclusion on the motion and we have been through the cycle of retirements and elections (presumably early 2017 after the FOSS4G 2018 selection is completed), I suggest that the new committee selects its chairman.

I will be going off line from the end of business today until Wednesday to celebrate the Jewish New Year. If there is to be further discussion or voting initiated I hope that the vote extends until I am back online.

Shanah tovah u’metukah (may you have a good and sweet year)


On 30 Sep 2016, at 07:43, Maria Antonia Brovelli <maria.brovelli at polimi.it<mailto:maria.brovelli at polimi.it>> wrote:

I'm also confused and demoralised as well. The main problem in my opinion is the inactivity of this commission (it could be also of other commissions, but I'm not part of other commissions). I'm surprised about how the main problem is to find an easy solution when the problem is why 9 people didn't find the time (= interest) of voting.
Even if volunteers and, in my opinion, more as volunteers we have to be reliable people committed with our community.
Unfortunately I'm not able to notice that attitude in the last voting.
If I have to tell you the truth, I'm, above all, sad and surprise that for the most of people this is a normal situation at which we have simply to put a patch.
Sorry for being so direct, obviously I'm not thinking of you, who have been doing so much for this Committee ( thanks again) or other people, but the situation is really and definitely different with respect of that I thought to find in an OSGeo Committee.
Good day to everybody.

Inviato dal mio dispositivo Samsung

-------- Messaggio originale --------
Da: Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com<mailto:shfeldman at gmail.com>>
Data: 30/09/2016 00:48 (GMT+01:00)
A: Maria Antonia Brovelli <maria.brovelli at polimi.it<mailto:maria.brovelli at polimi.it>>, Conference Dev <conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org<mailto:conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>>
Oggetto: Re: R: [OSGeo-Conf] [Board] Amended MOTION (items 1-5): Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process


I am confused. I think you mean that the amendment did not pass? Are you withdrawing your veto of the original motion (which had support from a substantial majority of the committee)?

What do you mean by "Therefore we will vote as in the past for the other items."?  What other items? The only voting rules we had in the past were the Committee Guidelines, which were incorporated into the original motion. Can you clarify?

Venka could you advise whether your veto still stands following this vote on Maria's amendment?

This example of our decision making process cannot be appropriate for a voluntary community. Please let's bring this to a conclusion


On 29 Sep 2016, at 22:46, Maria Antonia Brovelli <maria.brovelli at polimi.it<mailto:maria.brovelli at polimi.it>> wrote:

Dear Steven
The motion didn't pass.
Therefore we will vote as in the past for the other items.
Many thanks.
Best regards.

Inviato dal mio dispositivo Samsung

Venka said:

Dear All,

Sorry if this mail sounds a little mixed-up as
I am trying to answer multiple points raised
after the voting status on the amended motion
was declared.

The way I look at the 25% quorum threshold, suggested by Eli,
is that it is close to the "benevolent dictatorship"
decision model. One of our projects in incubation
was asked to retire since the lead developer proposed
to adopt such a model for the project PSC.

Our Charter Member rules allow for retiring
members who have not voted over a continuous period
of two years. Since charter members vote only for
the board election, this means that they are retired
if they do not cast their one vote (for Board election)
in consecutive years.

Considering the above, I suggest that the Amended Motion
for quorum be tabled for one last time with a specific
indication that members who have not voted for
the motion in two (or three) consecutive rounds of voting
will be considered as retired and the votes by the
members who participate in the third round of voting
would be considered valid.

If we still have only 7 members voting for the third round
of voting, the majority votes among the 7 could be
used if the motion has passed or not.

Regarding the query from Steve whether some of us would
like reconsider our votes in the initial round of voting,
I think, that since the voting results were already
declared, it would be better to decide with the third
and final round of voting.



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Cameron Shorter
M +61 419 142 254

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