[OSGeo-Discuss] My feelings about board elections

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Mon Oct 30 00:29:27 PDT 2017


I have seen online some of the reaction to the lack of regional diversity,
and I thank you for bringing that to the email list for discussion.

During the candidate questions there were two related questions raised:
- I felt, and still feel, that the board can be selected through our
election process. However I admit I have underestimated the response, and
am really unhappy if members of the the community from asia and other
regions feels unrepresented. I view the board as representing our
organization as a whole, not tied to specific regions. My understanding is
the local chapter approach is used to represent regions (and in this I feel
under represented in Canada where our own local chapters are dormant.) What
I ask of myself, and all all the elected board members, is to listen to
regional challenges and work with our members to pursue open source
- The second idea was if we could make more use of our voting members.
Tuning into the discussion list and voting in these elections is already a
large commitment which has been agreed to. Seeing this discussion I finally
have an answer for an issue which I would feel compelled to seek out
approval for our voting members - namely if any change is proposed to our
election process. While I can throw out some wild ideas (board candidates
put forth from regional local chapters) I cannot think of a way to make
them work - especially when to be effective many local chapters are
incorporated in their region to better advocate for open source and
influence regional governments.

I do understand, appreciate and celebrate all the qualities you list for
Venka's service to our organization. I also hold your own service in high
regard - especially when you are willing to work through difficult topics
with no clear answer. I would ask that both you, venka and our osgeo
community in asia take heart in the work that has been accomplished, work
that is currently underway, and work that is ahead of us all.

With respect Jeff McKenna's ambiguous actions, withdrawing from the
election, and then withdrawing his withdrawal after the votes were counted.
I concur it paints our organization in an inconsistent light.

During the IRC meeting (prior to election results being announced ) the
board went over several options for how to handle the election process;
considering if it had been disrupted (it had) and if disruption made the
election process invalid. The reasoning was that a candidate may not be in
a position to serve, even if elected. In an extreme case voting in a
candidate who has died. During the meeting we looked into
<http://irclogs.geoapt.com/osgeo/%23osgeo.2017-10-26.log> how to handle an
election which resulted in a vacancy. The net result is we would form a
board that included a vacancy, and one of the first actions of the board
would be to replace the vacancy (our bylaws permit this). We had a
precedent with the board filled a vacancy by asking candidates from the
election if they would be willing to serve out the remaining period that
had opened up. This way it would be the board acting to fill a vacancy,
rather than asking the CRO to make a special case.

But I admit we were most concerned about respecting Jeff's wishes to
withdraw, and about respecting the work done by the CRO, than the
possibility that Jeff would change his mind about serving.

I think our organization will need to work on trust. Jeff's email cites the
"support of the community" as providing him strength. I hope that the
strength of all the community members can can support the foundation in
earning that trust.

Jody Garnett

On 29 October 2017 at 07:17, Sanghee Shin <shshin at gaia3d.com> wrote:

> Dear All,
> First of all I'd like to give my sincere congratulations to newly elected
> board members. Here I want to share some of my feelings around this board
> elections.
> 1. Needless to say all new board members are deserved to win the election.
> However as a whole, now we have all WHITE board of directors only from
> Europe and North America. We've talked about the importance of diversity
> and inclusiveness many times so far, however the reality is like this.
> Please don't get me wrong. I'm not writing this because of my failure in an
> election. Being nominated and encouragement to run the election was just
> great honour to me. For me as Asian, one of most shocking and disappointing
> moment in this election was Venka's failure in an election. Venka has
> contributed so much to Asian community over the last 2 years. His
> contributions and activities reached out not only to Japan but also to
> Thailand, Vietnam, India and sometimes to Korea as well. He also put so
> much efforts organizing FOSS4G Asia this year. And I know as a former board
> member how he restlessly carried out his duty as president of OSGeo. And
> finally he failed! I know he didn't answer to some of quesitons to nominees
> during the election period. Ok, itโ€™s excuse however he and I was being
> tied up with handling a urgent issue in community. Anyway I and other Asian
> friends are so shocked that he was not elected! I bet other Asian members
> share the same feeling. The result gave the clear meaning to Asian
> community, "If Venka can't be a board member of OSGeo, nobody can be
> forever from Asia." I already saw many complaints and discouragement in
> Asian community. I believe regions other than Europe and NA have the rights
> to be reprensented failry. So, I'd like to ask new board members to fix
> this kind of wrong representation of board configuration by adopting new
> election rules.
> 2. I believe Jeff McKenna's ambiguous behaviours around election period
> made both him and OSGeo untrustworthy. I don't want to mention again here
> some of concerns over him in detail during the election. One thing I'd like
> to point out is his un-withdrwal from board election after disclosing the
> results. Nothing personal, Jeff. Actually I tried to accept and understand
> this situation so many times for a couple of days, but I failed to accept.
> We're not the children in the kindergarten! How can it be happened? The
> last thing I did as a former board member was approving the motion, "This
> board election is valid." I was able to block the motion however I approved
> the motion. Because I accepted his withdrawal as sincere one and trusted
> him. I'm feeling my good intention was being betrayed. I know I don't have
> any rights now to change my previous decision and I don't want to criticise
> someone here. New board, this case cleary has shown that there's big
> loophole in our election process. If OSGe can't fix it, OSGeo will lose
> trust and credibility. Board, you need to bear in mind that there's already
> bunch of sign of loosing trust from community.
> Many mentioned that OSGeo is run by Do-ocracy. I believe the basis of
> Do-ocracy is recognizing of someone's work and trust. If someone's hardwork
> is not recognized and acknowledged fairy, who will want to jump into the
> matters to fix it? And if someone can't trust the organization, who wants
> to put their precious time and efforts to untrustworthy one?
> If OSGeo lose the trust, it will lose everything. OSGeo is just shell.
> Best regards,
> ์‹ ์ƒํฌ
> ---
> Shin, Sanghee
> Gaia3D, Inc. - The GeoSpatial Company
> www.gaia3d.com
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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