Re: Next steps

From: "Benj(dot) Mako Hill" <mako(at)debian(dot)org>
To: spi-bylaws(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Next steps
Date: 2003-12-05 10:01:36
Message-ID: 20031205100136.GA915@kamna
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First things first, can you post a list of the suggested changes for
the newcomers here. I'm working off what I remember rather than what I
thought because a quick web search and scan of the archive didn't
leave anything popping out.

On Thu, Dec 04, 2003 at 08:23:48AM -0600, John Goerzen wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 04, 2003 at 08:44:45AM +0100, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> > I'd like to get a sense of the justification behind the proposal as it
> > stands and the feelings of the committee about an alternative proposal
> > (something along the lines of a 3/3/4 3-year election cycle) to decide
> > if making alternative proposal along these lines is something I think
> > is a good idea.
> Can you elaborate on that proposal a bit? I'm not quite sure what
> specifically you're suggesting.


Rather than electing the non-officer half of the board one year, and
the rest the next year, I'd suggest that have one election each year
electing roughly a third of the board to three year terms. Since we've
got 10 people, this would be 3 one year, 3 the next, and 4 the next
and then back to the beginning.

> > I'd also like to talk about a transition plan for both or either
> > proposals.
> Yes, that's a good point as well.

An easy transition is almost wholly where this idea comes from. We had
3 board members elected early this year and three elected something
less than a full year later. The first group serves a little less than
three years and the second group serves a little more. The remaining
board members are elected in a year to complete the cycle.

In the case of someone vacating their seat early, elections need not
be called until the board became too small (we'd have a 2 person
buffer I believe) or until the next scheduled election and then to an
abbreviated term so we can keep our neat three year cycle (perhaps the
least preferred person gets the seat with the shorter duration).

In terms of officer elections, I am still unconvinced that this is
something that's necessary to have the membership vote on. As an SPI
contributing member, I never thought I was informed enough about
internal processes to make a decision about which person would be a
better treasurer and vice-president for example, or even president --
and I never saw this as a deficiency in the organization. I've also
never heard of an organizational board of directors that had members
elect officers (although I admit that election of board members is
somewhat rare as well and we all agree that this is a great idea).

It seems to me that officers are most involved in internal SPI board
operations in which case it makes most sense IMHO to let the board
handle it and reevaluate it at the yearly meeting or perhaps after new
members are elected. If a treasurer isn't doing their job, why not let
the board fix it? If the president isn't having the board meetings run
well, why not let the board fix it?

If there is special power outside of internal SPI functions, I'd
suggest we devolve this power to either the board or the membership as
a whole and treat those special jobs that you need one person to do
(like a project secretary, press contact, etc) like a one-person
committee accountable to the board and the membership.


Benjamin Mako Hill


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