[OSGeo-Conf] R: Voting & commitment

Venkatesh Raghavan venka.osgeo at gmail.com
Fri Sep 30 17:18:02 PDT 2016

Dear All,

I agree that we go ahead with evaluation and selection
of FOSS4G-2018 with the present committee including
Jeroen and others who may wish to contribute to
the discussions on the proposals and the selection

Matters related to the governance of CC can be taken
up separately after seeking clarifications from the
board before we change things.



P.S. Despite the fatigue brought about due to the large
volume of mail exchanges on CC list recently,
I am glad that our recent discussions have brought about
a better understanding of each others opinions.

On 10/1/2016 7:36 AM, Maria Antonia Brovelli wrote:
> Dear All Thanks a lot for your detailed and enlightening comments. I
> have understood now that the aim of this Committee is just to select
> the next FOSS4G. For the governance issues that I wrongly believed
> being part of our discussion, I will refer to the Board presenting
> to the next Board meeting a motion about the governance of the
> Committees. Enjoy your week end!! Maria
> Inviato dal mio dispositivo Samsung
> -------- Messaggio originale -------- Da: Jeroen Ticheler
> <jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net> Data: 01/10/2016 00:08 (GMT+01:00) A:
> Peter Batty <peter at ebatty.com> Cc: "<conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>"
> <conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>, Eli Adam <eadam at co.lincoln.or.us>
> Oggetto: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] Voting & commitment
> +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! Jeroen
> Op 30 sep. 2016 om 22:05 heeft Peter Batty
> <peter at ebatty.com<mailto: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<mailto: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<mailto:eadam at co.lincoln.or.us>> wrote: On
> Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 5:05 PM, Venkatesh Raghavan
> <venka.osgeo at gmail.com<mailto: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 _______________________________________________
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