Re: Moving on the bylaws issue

From: Lynn Winebarger <owinebar(at)free-expression(dot)org>
To: SPI General <spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Moving on the bylaws issue
Date: 2003-07-22 15:04:22
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Nick Phillips wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 21, 2003 at 03:26:44PM -0500, John Goerzen wrote:
>>What do people out there feel about this? Are you ready to vote? Are there
>>any concerns you have?
> [...]
> As an example, consider the change which mentions allowing the board to
> keep resolutions confidential.

No kidding. If you look at the email archive, there was a concern that
some discussions and actions might need to be confidential for legal reasons.
What happens when a board member leaves the board (resigns or voluntarily).
Do they become bound by the confidentiality at that point? Nothing is
specified about records of these resolutions at all. Future board members
should also be able to know what has happened. Therefore I'd suggest
specifying records being kept to be available to the Board (at least). This
would also apply to board members who happened to miss a meeting.

I noticed this on the list of things to check.

1B Which members may vote on the bylaws? It is unclear whether or not
non-contributing members have voting rights.

I was active in the discussions of the Bylaws way back when. The mailman
archives of spi-general seem incomplete (presumably majordomo archives have
been lost in the mists of time). Anyway, I think I was the one to propose the
2-tiered membership, and a rationale is given by

One way of thinking of non-contributing members is in SPI's (potential)
role as a lobbying organization. It would be useful to claim a wider
membership than only those committed enough to actively contribute. Also,
they should provide a pool for recruiting committee members and board members.
Some level of active participation in committee(s) should be sufficient to
become a contributing member, though some committees are more sensitive than
others. That should be addressed in their charters.

Now that some of the issues with the Board have been resolved, some of the
purposes in article 2 can be pursued. I would recommend actively recruiting
non-developers with organizational and lobbying skills (among others), and
actively creating committees to pursue these purposes. There's probably a
much wider pool of interest now than there was in 1999. Maybe you could even
solicit cities/towns as members, or some of the financial companies who are
adopting free software.

By creating committees with relatively narrow purposes and recruiting
people with specific interests in promoting thoses purposes, you could
generate some internal inertia to keep the organizational malaise of the last
X years away.

1A Committee appointment needs to be specified.

Charters are not being made and dealt with in accordance with Article
10. Do we need to?

Should non-compliance with bylaws be taken lightly? Without a compelling
reason, I would hope not.


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