[OSGeo-Discuss] Proposed process for selecting OSGeo charter members

Paul Ramsey pramsey at cleverelephant.ca
Thu Jun 19 11:31:55 PDT 2014


Both simpler, and better for the bottom line of OSGeo, if you want to
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On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 10:28 AM, Dimitris Kotzinos <kotzino at csd.uoc.gr> wrote:
> Dear all,
> some thoughts on the proposed changes on the Charter Member election
> process.
> I will divide my comments into two parts, first some issues about the
> process itself and then some comments on the proposed changes.
> (A) the process per se:
> 1/ I think that whatever change in the election process should be validated
> by the Charter Members themselves, so I fully agree with Arnulf that we need
> to vote on that and not just the Board. And of course this contains no
> offense for the Board; it is just that I think that it is fair that the body
> who is affected by the changes to take the decisions.
> Moreover the charter members are the ones who elect the Board so it seems
> quite awkward to me that the smaller governing body will take such decision.
> 2/ I think that whatever decision taken should be enforced in next year's
> elections; members need some time to evaluate that. So it is good to
> conclude this process now but enforce it from next year.
> (B) the proposed changes:
> Before discussing the proposed changes I think that we should understand
> where the current system has failed. Do we have cases where recognized
> community leaders failed to be elected? If so please bring them forward. I
> doubt so though since if I recall correctly the last two years all charter
> member nominations were accepted without voting! Moreover the notion of a
> "recognized community leader" that cannot be elected as a charter member is
> a contradiction by itself. So why change?
> I am not against the idea of having some people becoming OSGEO Charter
> Members ex officio but for one I do not like the idea of having members of
> different categories and secondly I need to have a look at the data: how
> many of the committee chairs, PSC members, official Chapter chairs are not
> already OSGEO Charter members (and they wanted to be and failed)? Why are
> they not nominated to become ones and to be voted?
> And I don't see how the problem described here:
> "In previous years the Charter Member selection process has been a little
> contentious. We typically receive numerous nominations from high caliber
> members of our community, and insufficient positions to accept them all.
> This typically results in unnecessary disappointment and dissent."
> will be resolved: again we will have some people not becoming Charter
> Members if the seats are not enough. So some of us will still be
> disappointed, etc. So if the numbers are the same the only difference I see
> is that now we choose beforehand whom to disappoint and people working in
> the community but in not "official" positions will have less chances to be
> elected.
> If we want to open up the numbers, this is OK, more seats are offered every
> year anyway. But what else?
> And of course the first come first served approach if the recognized
> community leaders are more than the seats is a bit odd: to lighten up the
> discussion I cannot imagine people with the finger on the mouse waiting for
> the process to open in order to submit there nominations.
> Finally, for the voting process I completely disagree with the ability of a
> member to vote multiple times for the same person. This removes from the
> process the requirement of someone to be widely recognized within the
> community and potentially allows "a couple of friends" to elect whoever they
> want.
> I think that the discussion is interesting and thanks to the board and
> Arnulf :) for initiating it!
> I think that other solutions could also be considered if we feel that we
> need to differentiate on how charter members get elected, e.g. agree on a
> bonus percentage that a "community leader" gets when he goes through the
> standard process, so he still has to be voted by many...
> I apologize for the length of the e-mail and thanks for listening,
> Best regards,
> Dimitris Kotzinos
>> Within 2 weeks we intend to start our annual process for selecting new
>> OSGeo charter members.
>> In previous years the Charter Member selection process has been a little
>> contentious. We typically receive numerous nominations from high caliber
>> members of our community, and insufficient positions to accept them all.
>> This typically results in unnecessary disappointment and dissent.
>> In response, the OSGeo board has agreed to trial tweaking the voting
>> process. The aim is to automatically accept recognised OSGeo community
>> leaders, while continuing with our existing process which attracts the
>> many valuable community members who contribute in other ways. Community
>> comments are encouraged, and will be considered over the next week.
>> *Design guidelines:*
>> * We want a process which is simple to understand and implement.
>> * We want a process which encourages recognised OSGeo community leaders
>> to become OSGeo charter members, while continuing to accept members from
>> the many other valuable OSGeo roles.
>> * We want a process which is difficult to abuse.
>> * For the first iteration, we should err on being more selective in our
>> criteria, with potential widening of selection criteria in future years.
>> *Recognised OSGeo Community Leaders**
>> *
>> OSGeo aims to provide OSGeo Charter Membership to all recognised OSGeo
>> community leaders who are nominated. Hopefully, sufficient positions are
>> available. If there are more candidates than available, then membership
>> will be allocated to the first to be nominated. Remaining nominees will
>> be automatically offered to go through the standard voting process.
>> Recognised OSGeo Community Leaders are defined as people who have been
>> *voted* into a position of authority within official OSGeo projects and
>> committees, where the voting community includes at least 3 OSGeo charter
>> members.
>> Acceptable roles are currently limited to:
>> * Project Steering Committee member of a Graduated OSGeo Project
>> * Chair of Official Local Chapter
>> * Chair of an OSGeo committee
>> The application process for recognised OSGeo Community Leaders is the
>> same as for other nominees.
>> Full text of our processes are at:
>> * http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Membership_Process_2014
>> * http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Election_2014
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