[OSGeo-Conf] Voting & commitment

Jeroen Ticheler jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net
Fri Sep 30 15:08:41 PDT 2016

+1 for Peter. 

The procedural discussions, membership clean up rounds (more often than voting rounds) and statements about the minimum qualifications of the membership made me step down. (Indeed I abused the proposed new guidelines as an escape route ;-) ). While I've always taken the selection work (reading the proposals) very seriously, have organized recurring events and have been involved in osgeo right from the start, these processes have made me feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. I am convinced that responsibility and commitment is worth at least as much as having run a FOSS4G conference. The recurring discussions on who is eligible to be member and is allowed to vote have been demotivating to me. I wouldn't be surprised if others have similar feelings but I can only speak for myself. 

To me OSGeo is a do-ocracy, I see bureaucracy step in more often and think it can be destructive for a volunteer organization that has transparency, openness and trust in each other as core values. I've previously opposed the formation of a Code of conduct Committee. Not because I think people should be offended in any way, or shouldn't be protected if an offense occurs. But because I think it is a step away from being truly open, trusting and respectful towards each other within OSGeo. Extra bureaucracy and guidelines aren't very helpful for that IMO, it often just creates barriers to get things done. 

Cheers and keep up the good work!

> Op 30 sep. 2016 om 22:05 heeft Peter Batty <peter at ebatty.com> het volgende geschreven:
> Yes, I was going to make a similar point. The primary task that this committee carries out is the annual selection of the next FOSS4G team, using a voting process that is unaffected by the current discussion. We also occasionally (usually once a year) vote to add a new member, this process is (I think) changing to use a different voting process, also unaffected by the current discussion (well I guess it was part of this originally but we have moved on).
> We have had over 150 emails now I think on this topic, to address something that almost never happens (that this committee votes on matters other than the previous two items I mentioned). We have spent way more time discussing this than I have ever seen the committee spend discussing a FOSS4G selection. We all have a finite amount of time we can devote to OSGeo work and I would prefer to see this group focus its energy on conference related matters. 
> So I'm sorry but I certainly have "voter fatigue" on this issue as Steven said. This is not intended to be a criticism of anyone and I appreciate the passion and energy of those of you who want to improve our voting process. I voted in favor of the first motion but missed the second vote among the volume of mail that came through on this topic. 
> I think that calls for people to stand down who didn't vote on this most recent motion are misguided. I serve on this committee as I want to help contribute to us continuing to have great FOSS4G conferences, and I think I have relevant experience to help with that. But I'm afraid I have a rapidly diminishing enthusiasm for further discussion on modifying a voting system that is almost never used by this committee. 
> So anyway, I really don't mean this to sound like a negative email, but I would like to encourage those of you who have a strong opinion on voting processes to find a way to bring this matter to a conclusion soon. Then the rest of us whose focus and interest is on conference related matters will be happy to use the new process on the very rare occasions that we need it :).
> Cheers,
>     Peter.
> P.S. for what it's worth, my main thought on organization is that I prefer a smaller, more engaged conference committee. I also have a slight leaning to a simple majority vote as I think it helps to make decisions more quickly, and we are not always good at that :).
>> On Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 11:30 AM, David William Bitner <bitner at dbspatial.com> wrote:
>> I also think in the case of this committee, there is one vote a year that the folks here universally care about: the FOSS4G selection.
>> Other than that, people clearly have far less energy to spend paying attention to things like governance issues. Low/no quorum can handle this even with a large overall pool of committee members as folks who only care about that one vote can "ride it out" through the year, but pay close attention come rfp/selection time.
>>> On Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 12:25 PM, Eli Adam <eadam at co.lincoln.or.us> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 5:05 PM, Venkatesh Raghavan
>>> <venka.osgeo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> > 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.
>>> 25% quorum threshold and "benevolent dictatorship" have nearly nothing
>>> in common.
>>> In benevolent dictatorship 1 person can overrule a 90% majority.  This
>>> is entirely anti-democratic.
>>> In low (or no quorum), people can participate as it suits and
>>> interests them.  If people are fine with the already voted stance,
>>> then they don't need to throw in their +1.  If people are satisfied
>>> with the motion going either way, they certainly don't need to add
>>> their +0.  During contentious or interesting topics that also fit the
>>> timing of activities in people's personal lives, then there is often
>>> high participation.  While participation may range from 1%-100%, the
>>> result is consensus or at least majority.  Majority to consensus is
>>> entirely democratic.  People choosing to not vote is not a loss of
>>> democracy.  The potential is there if people are so inclined.
>>> Best regards, Eli
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Conference_dev mailing list
>>> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>> -- 
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>> David William Bitner
>> dbSpatial LLC
>> 612-424-9932
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