[OSGeo-Discuss] [Board] Elections 2017 from the CRO point of view

SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA sergio.acostaylara at mtop.gub.uy
Wed Oct 25 11:59:52 PDT 2017

Very well said. We need more people like you. You have my full support. 👏👏

Sergio Acosta y Lara
Departamento de Geomática
Dirección Nacional de Topografía
Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas
(598)29157933 ints. 20329/20330

De: Discuss [discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] en nombre de Marc Vloemans [marcvloemans1 at gmail.com]
Enviado: miércoles, 25 de octubre de 2017 15:21
Para: Vasile Craciunescu
Cc: OSGeo Discussions; osgeo-board List
Asunto: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] [Board] Elections 2017 from the CRO point of        view

Thanks Vasile,

You managed to cut down to the things that really mattered and that we can all learn from.
Impressive clear and comprehensive summary. I hope his advice will be weighed and incorporated into future policies regarding the Foundation's governance.

Kind regards,
Marc Vloemans

> Op 25 okt. 2017 om 20:00 heeft Vasile Craciunescu <vasile at geo-spatial.org> het volgende geschreven:
> Dear Board directors and dear members of OSGeo community,
> This year elections [1] will end in less than 7 hours and it is time for me, as CRO, to make a short assessment and to issue a few recommendations.
> As you all know, during the process we had a few situations that caused tension and discontent to an important number of our members. I will go through the most important ones.
> 1. This year membership process [2] was a very lite one. The basic rule for becoming a charter member was to be nominated by one existing member and to be seconded by at least one other existing member. This lite approach was in line with the new OSGeo Vision and Mission Statement which is focused on being inclusive [3]. However, during the nomination period, many of our members considered the new membership process way too inclusive/lite, causing a diminution in the importance of the charter member position. Another subject that produced criticism was related to the fact that some of the nominations were considered short in content and did not offer enough information on the "positive attributes" [4] that a potential member shall have. Finally, one of the charter member responsibilities [5], "Be aware of and protect against a takeover of OSGeo by single group or viewpoint.", was also a subject of dispute. My recommendations for the future board are to: (a) Change the existing membership process with another one more balanced, that assures both inclusiveness and a consistent weight for the charter member position. Of course, this new mechanism should be discussed with the community; (b) Impose a a very light template for the new nominations. This way, all the nominations will be consistent and comparable. (c) Rephrase responsibility no. 3 of the charter members. The meaning should be kept bu the wording should not sound that martial.
> 2. Jeff was nominated for the board of directors while was serving as co-CRO. Even if the nominee steeped down immediately from the co-CRO position, the access to the cro at osgeo.org was immediately cut-off and he never had access to the electronic voting system, criticism over the potential conflict of interest and elections credibility was raised. My recommendation for the board is to make a specific rule that a nomination/candidacy for/from a person that is acting as CRO or has any other role in the election management is not acceptable.
> 3. During the voting period Jeff sent a request to withdraw from the elections due to the negative feedback. This also started a vivid debate. My recommendation for the board is to create a clear rule stating that an accepted nomination cannot be withdraw after the start of the voting period. Of course, elected persons can always resign for various reasons.
> Regarding the current status of the elections. 311 from a total of 390 members voted (80%). Due to the final reminder sent today there are chances to improve the voting participation.
> In my previous message I was proposing to accept Jeff's withdraw request but to continue the elections without any modification to the voting list. After more study on different voting systems and after going through your feedback, my decision and proposal for the board is not to admit the request from Jeff. Such requests are not possible in this kind of elections elsewhere. It is true that we have no specific rule for that in our bylaws. As I mentioned before, this should change. After the release of the elections results, and if Jeff is elected, it's up to him to decide if he goes on with the mandate or if he is resigning. This decision should be a very fast one, without further discussions on the mailing list, with all the possible arguments being already on the table.
> The other option that the board can consider is to entirely restart the board elections cycle (or only the voting part for the remaining 8 nominations). Even if this looks like the most correct way to go, looking on how the elections went before and after Jeff announcement, I can say, without disclosing anything about the final results, that the announcement did not changed the way people were voting. Of course, this is not a fact, is just my conclusion after looking at the trends. After the elections, beside the final numbers, I will also publish the evolution of the votes (every single vote and the timestamp, anonymized of course). Other important reasons for the board not to start new elections are: (a) The community is very irritated about this never ending stories and people are waiting to move forward and do the things we usually do. For most of them, the arguments for restarting the elections are not strong enough; (b) Four of our current board members are also running in this elections. Although that personally I have no doubts that each one of them will position/vote/decide correctly, only in the interest of the community, some objections on the position/vote/decision impartiality can be raised.
> In any case, the board should have an opinion before the results are made public. To give time to board members to react, I plan to release the results of the vote on Thursday 17:00 GMT. If needed, more time can be allocated. However, deciding on the way to go further after seeing the results can only escalate the possible conflict of interest.
> I'm asking the board for a position not because I'm running away from the responsibility (my position was clearly presented) but because we have no specific rules in our bylaws for the current situation and the CRO has really no legal obligations, the board members being the one that are legally responsible for the foundation decisions.
> Personally I have to apologize again to you for the length of this message. I was not able to convey this in a more condensed way. I think the most important challenges for the near and medium future are to restore the trust of our community in the way the organization is managed and to reconcile what is now, in my opinion, a divided community. Of course, achieving this is not easy, will require a better communication and the prevail of arguments over emotions, but, under such a vibrant, passionate and transparent organization like OSGeo this is surely possible.
> As CRO, I did my best not to express any personal opinion, to focus strictly on facts and rules, to be calm and impartial. Not sure how well that went by the end but I want to assure everyone that all my actions were perform in good faith and to the extend of my knowledge. I'm thankful for all the people that assisted me along the way with technical support (Jeff, Jorge, Jody, Werner). I will also would like to extend my gratitude to all the people that publicly or privately expressed support for the CRO activity. It was highly appreciated. For me this will be the last term as CRO. Not because this year was a little bit more challenging but just because I did this three times and someone else should take the lead. Of course, that person will have my full support.
> I will finish this by thanking all the people that voted and expressed opinions on this list. Direct involvement and dialog are the only options to move ahead as a community.
> Best,
> Vasile
> CRO 2017
> [1] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Election_2017
> [2] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Membership_Process
> [3] http://www.osgeo.org/about
> [4] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Membership_Process#Positive_Attributes
> [5] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Membership_Process#Responsibilities
> _______________________________________________
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> Board at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
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