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

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Wed Oct 25 12:57:13 PDT 2017

Thank you for your dedication in fulfilling this role, extensive summary,
and patience through an unexpectedly turbulent election processes.

I am not sure I have collected my own thoughts, in the interests of meeting
your request I would like to ask if the current board members are available
for 14:00 UTC tomorrow.

On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA <
sergio.acostaylara at mtop.gub.uy> wrote:

> 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
> http://geoportal.mtop.gub.uy/
> ________________________________________
> 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
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Board mailing list
> > Board at lists.osgeo.org
> > https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
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Jody Garnett
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