[OSGeo-Conf] R: [Board] MOTION : Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process

Maria Antonia Brovelli maria.brovelli at polimi.it
Sun Sep 25 05:29:30 PDT 2016

Steven, Venka is proposing 50 % quorum. Probably his text is a bit confusing because of interleaved into the previous mail.
But he speaks about 9 prople voting out if 17, i. e. quorum 50 % .

Inviato dal mio dispositivo Samsung
-------- Messaggio originale --------
Da: Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com>
Data: 25/09/2016 13:44 (GMT+01:00)
A: Venkatesh Raghavan <venka.osgeo at gmail.com>, "<conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>" <conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>
Oggetto: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] [Board] MOTION : Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process

I am scratching my head, I don’t see how these suggestions could work.

Board voting rules require ALL members to vote, see point 5 below

Voting Process

  *   Board voting occurs during monthly meetings, as well as a followup vote through email
  *   each Board member may vote “+1” to indicate support for the motion.
  *   each Board member may vote “-1” to veto a motion, but must provide clear reasoning and alternate approaches to resolving the problem within the two business days.
  *   A vote of "-0" indicates mild disagreement, but has no effect. A "0" indicates no opinion. A "+0" indicate mild support, but has no effect.
  *   A motion will be passed once all of the Board members place a vote, and no vetoes are received (-1).
  *   If a motion is vetoed, and it cannot be revised to satisfy all parties, then it can be resubmitted for an override vote, in which a majority of all Board members indicating +1 is required to pass it.

If we now increase the committee membership to 17 (noting that some members have not participated in this discussion at all and most members have restricted their input to a single post of support with a +1 vote) we are unlikely to ever have a valid vote in the future. Add in the option of a veto, re-discussion etc and we are set for very lengthy exercises in decision making.

It would seem to me that we

  1.  either keep a large committee and have a smaller number of voters to make a quorum and accept majority voting (i.e. no veto)
  2.  or we have a significantly smaller number of members, with board style voting rules (inc a veto) AND make voting a mandatory criteria of continued membership (with some get out for illness, vacations etc)

We cannot have the numbers, the 100% quorum and the veto, that will result in decision paralysis (this motion might be considered an example)

The original motion which had substantial support sought to streamline our decision making processes by trimming down the size of the committee through introducing a retirement criteria and clarify voting processes. The current proposal appears to me, to be moving in the opposite direction. I cannot support such a change in direction.

At what point in this discussion do we follow the course of action in point 6 of the board voting process?


On 25 Sep 2016, at 03:53, Venkatesh Raghavan <venka.osgeo at gmail.com<mailto:venka.osgeo at gmail.com>> wrote:

Cameron and all,

Sorry for the delay in my response.
My comments inline.

On 9/22/2016 5:50 AM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
Thanks Maxi for the suggestion. I like it.

I agree that the board voting processes are good. I'd actually prefer to
use them as written, without addition of a mention of "needing 50% of
members to vote".

I agree to that.

My reasons:

1. It retains consistency between committees.

2. It will still work within a weakened committee (with many inactive

Maria, Venka, others,

Do you have any objections to adopting board voting procedures?

I am all for adopting board voting procedures and quorum requirements
(Section 4.5 of our bylaws [1]). I think the board meeting procedures
has served us well and can be adopted for our committees too.

I would like to request consideration for following points when
the revised motion is tabled.

a) The current member list [1] shows 16 members. I would suggest
that the CC starts off with the current members and we add one
new member by election to have an odd number of committee members.
Hence, the committee could have 17 members which is 5% of our
charter membership (17/312). I think having 5% of our charter
members to decide about one of our most important activities
(FOSS4G conference and events) will not only allow us to
have broad diversity in the CC but the induction of one
new member (to add to the present 16) would also afford
an opportunity for some who resigned from the CC in the
midst of this discussion to return and serve the board.
17 members in the CC would mean quorum on 9 members for
a meeting to be valid.

b) Regarding retirement policy, we could adopt same as that
of the board [2]. CC membership could be for a 2 year term
with half of the CC seats coming up for election each year.
We could either consider having an election in 2016 after
the motion on policies and Process is passed. Or, allow
the present committee to continue for an year and hold
election in 2017 with the 9 seats (9 of the longest
serving members vacating their seats in CC) coming up for

Voting for CC members could restricted to the remaining conference committee members and board members who are not members of the conference committee (same as what was outlined in the original
motion tabled by Steve).



[1] http://www.osgeo.org/content/foundation/incorporation/bylaws.html
[2] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_Election_Procedure

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