Re: Identification of problems

From: John Goerzen <jgoerzen(at)complete(dot)org>
To: srivasta(at)acm(dot)org
Cc: spi-bylaws(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Identification of problems
Date: 2003-02-15 22:06:34
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On Fri, Feb 14, 2003 at 11:26:41PM -0600, srivasta(at)acm(dot)org wrote:
> >>>>> In article <20030214212302(dot)GA11706(at)wile(dot)excelhustler(dot)com>, John
> >>>>> Goerzen <jgoerzen(at)complete(dot)org> writes:
> > Actually, we recommend changes to the contributing members, who
> > then change the bylaws. (See article 12)
> What exactly does article 12 have to do with this committee?

I was merely responding to your statement that "the board then changes the
by laws". This is not correct; the membership alone has that power.

I have no disagreement that the board has oversight over this, and all,

> > Rather, I am saying that if the problem is a simple issue with
> > something the board passed, it is more proper to have the board
> > pass a new resolution fixing the issue.
> The board has created this committee to investigate and see
> if a solution can be devised, If we discover that there is some
> resolution the board may pass that fixes everything, then no doubt
> the resolution shall be passed.

No disagreement here.

> > That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just suggesting that if
> > there is a problem solely with a board's passed resolution, then
> > the board should pass a new resolution to fix it.
> We are here to discover how to fix the problems. If indeed a
> resolution of the board is found to be the rot cause, we can say so.

Exactly. That's the process we'll be starting in the coming week, once our
secretary has compiled the lists of problems that have been submitted. I
assume if we decide that a given problem is better solved with a new board
resolution, you would convey this message to the board?

> JG> If there is a problem with the motions the board has passed, the
> JG> right place to fix it is in the board, not in this committee --
> JG> UNLESS the problem stems from a root deficiency in the bylaws.
> So you want the board to appoint another cvommittee to study
> the problem? Why? We already are looking into the issue; if we deem
> that the board can solve everything by fixing a resolution, for gods
> sake let us say so, and not keep mum because it goes beyond some
> bureaucratic determination that it is not our place to point out
> that kind of solution.

I agree with that. I think that there is a misunderstanding here.

I am saying that we should identify those problems now, and by all means
communicate them to the board -- through whatever way is best -- but then
not include them in a recommendation for an amendment to the bylaws.

> And ultimately the membership sjhall, when the board presents
> the final set of by-laws. This is an advisory committee. Ket us not
> go around bypassng the board that created us.

Our charter says that we transmit our final report both to the board and to
the membership. I in no way advocate doing anything other than that, and
once our output is sent, our work is done and the committee is dissolved.
It will then be up to the board, and ultimately the membership, to do what
it wants with our output. There are several scenarios:

* The board could endorse our recommendations without changes.

* The board could propose an alternate version to the membership.

* The board could do nothing about it.

* The membership could approve our proposal, the board's, an entirely
different one, or none at all.

* Other situations could arise as well.

I don't think it's within the power of this committee to decide what happens
after our report is issued; after all, the committee will be dissolved by
then. I think we should focus on producing the best set of recommendations
we can, delivering them duly to the board and the membership as our charter
requires. I leave the events that happen after our work is done in the
capable hands of the board and the SPI membership.

> > Howeaver, the board does NOT have the final say. It is in the hands
> > of the membership. Article 12.
> The board shall present a final draft for the membership to
> vote on, and then they have the final say. In the meanwhile, let us
> not try to escape board oversight.

I have seen no attempt to escape board oversight. We obviously exist and
act at the board's pleasure. There is no attempt to evade the oversight of
the board, or to do an "end run" around them. The board certainly posesses
the power to modify our output and issue their own draft, and I am not
discouraging that action.

By the same token, let's not forget that the board cannot compel the
membership to vote on only their draft. The membership has the power to
vote on a different draft -- even one submitted by someone that is not an
SPI member. This is what I mean when I say that the membership has the
final say, as it is the membership that must approve any bylaws changes in
the end.

As a final note, since all our actions are 100% public, there is no way we
could "hide" from either the board or the membership.

-- John

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