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

Vasile Craciunescu vasile at geo-spatial.org
Mon Oct 30 09:57:18 PDT 2017

Dear Tom,

I understand the way you are feeling and I know that are reasons for 
that. I remember that I had some hard time when I did wrote that part of 
my email. However, this was reported my many persons and I had to 
include this in my message. Anyway, I don't think that a single old 
OSGeo charter member will consider the new comers as lite members. The 
quality of the new members is proven by the important number of 
seconding messages and by the fact that no veto was raised. In the early 
years of OSGeo, the membership process was a very selective one and this 
was also a subject of criticism. I can understand why moving from one 
extreme to another can cause such reactions. Personally I'm very in 
favor of an inclusive system but one with an voting mechanism. This is 
something for the community and the board to decide. The actual system 
is also a big burden to the CRO (hundreds of emails and wiki edits) and 
also a stress for our mailing list.

I can only speculate why they did not used our mailing list to express 
their opinion. Most of them are old OSGeo members and I think they did 
not want to sound like they are contesting the membership process 
(already started) or that they contest the already nominated persons. 
Not a single one contested the persons that were nominated and I'm 100% 
sure that was a genuine care not to dilute the importance of our 
membership position. Also, most of the messages were not sent to CRO 
email but over IRC/Google Hangouts and some during face to face 
meetings, just before the elections, at FOSS4G in Boston.

I will conclude by reiterating again that all the critics were on the 
membership process and not a single one about the new members. Of 
course, those critics should not be expressed now, just before, during 
or after the nomination process, but immediately after the board decided 
to change the membership process. The board decided to make the change 
during the face to face meeting in Bonn in 2016 [1]. At that time, the 
board did a poor job in communicating this change to the community. 
Actually only those members that are manually checking the meetings wiki 
pages or the OSGeo Loomio instance were aware of the change. I was also 
a board member at that time and I would like to apologize for not 
communicating better.


[1] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_Meeting_2016-8-04

On 10/30/17 2:27 PM, Tom Chadwin wrote:
> Dear Vasile and all
> I've thought long and hard about whether to reply or not, but it has been bothering me, so I guess I must.
>> 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.
> As one of the intake of this year's new charter members, I find this both insulting and upsetting.
>> 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.
> Where does that leave those of us elected as charter members this year? Are we "lite" members because "many" existing members felt strongly enough about protecting the exclusivity of their position to complain privately to the CRO, but not strongly enough to express that opinion openly so that it could be discussed?
> I really feel for Vasile that people expressed such a potentially toxic opinion, thereby absolving themselves of the responsibility of putting their names to it, while presumably expecting him to raise it himself, as he has so professionally done.
> I was extremely proud to have been nominated and generously seconded. Recognition and reputation are significant parts of open-source currency. However, this attitude creates the impression that membership is a self-serving clique.
> I would have been happy to have gone through a more rigorous nomination process. However I, and many of my colleagues - many much, much more respected than me - did not, through no fault of our own.
> Let me make this clear: this issue and the way in which it has been raised, coupled with the white western board election results (concern about which I absolutely share), and also the unpleasant flavour of the board election through the situation with Jeff are making me question whether I should retain the charter membership I was so proud to attain.
> Yours in frustration
> Tom
> Tom Chadwin, ICT Manager
> Telephone: 01434 611530 Mob:
> Web: www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk<http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/>
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Vasile Crăciunescu
geo-spatial.org: An elegant place for sharing geoKnowledge & geoData

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