On Friday 14 January 2011 20:34:03 Greg Freemyer wrote:
On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 12:39 PM, Sankar P
> On Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 9:18 PM, Greg Freemyer
As a openSUSE member and assuming I have the
I make a motion that the openSUSE bylaws be updated to allow for
formal member petitioning. And if a formal petition supported by 10
members is submitted to the board, the board must call for a all
members vote on the matter addressed in the petition. If the matter
concerns an improper sanction or appeal of a sanction, then the
sanctioned person must be one of the petitioners.
I serve on a board. There are 2 aspects of that board that seem
relevant to the current sanction discussion:
1) A sanctioned / fined person can request a hearing where they can
interact with the board. But only once. We don't do it often and
prefer to setup meetings specifically to address the hearing, not
handle it as part of out monthly meetings. This could clearly be done
via IRC for openSUSE.
I gather the disbarred person was given the opportunity to make
his/her case to the board via emails, so I think this is equivalent,
but a more formal IRC meeting would be even better.
2) A petition signed by 10 of the members can be brought to the board
and it must be voted on by the whole! ie. if 10 members disagree with
a board action (or lack of action) they can file a petition with the
board and the board must call a full all member vote on the issue.
Obviously this makes the issue semi-public as all members have to be
informed of the issues at hand.
I don't recall this type of feature being in the openSUSE rules.
In this case, if the disbarred person feels wronged and is willing to
have the issue addressed with all openSUSE members included in the
communication, then he/she would simply need to get 9 other members to
join him/her in petitioning for an open hearing / all members vote.
Do you propose this to be covered for all decisions of the board or
for only membership related decisions ?
My motion is for all board related activity (or lack thereof).
But for the association for which I'm currently President:
1) Motions from non-board members can only be made at the Annual
Meeting, thus a motion like I just made would be ignored unless it was
made at the annual meeting.
2) I can force the board itself to override that rule by having 10
petitioners asking for a membership wide vote, but the vote is only on
exactly the wording as written in the petition.
2.1) I've been in my current association for 20+ years and have never
seen a petition actually brought to force a vote outside of the annual
meeting, but it still acts as a form of oversight. It the board
begins acting against the wishes of the community, a petition can be
used to correct the issue. In our case, we have a real budget to
handle. About $200,000 a year, so some form of oversight of the board
3) Since my motion involves a change to the "bylaws" it would require
a 2/3rds vote. (The board does NOT have the right to change the
bylaws. They can change the rules of the association, but not the
bylaws. The bylaws always require a 2/3rds vote of all members.)
4) The association is a legal entity, and the bylaws are enforceable
by the local court system. ie. A member can file a civil suite to
ensure enforcement of the bylaws.
5) The bylaws and all amendments are filed with the State.
At this point I don't think openSUSE has much if any of the above
formality and I am not aware of any time I as a member am allowed to
make a motion for the full membership to consider.
But lacking any rule/bylaw that I can't make such a motion, I did.
I think it's definitely a necessity to have a way for the members to call out
the board on a decision they have made. And this is a perfect time to bring
this up - such a rule should make it to the Foundation's bylaws.
I do disagree that EVERY matter will have to be publicly voted for - it would
make sense in some situations to instead choose a few people from the
membership to audit a decision by the board. There are cases where a NDA is in
effect, or financial matters make disclosure hard. For example, sponsorship
deals are usually under NDA and if say the Board decides to accept sponsorship
of Oracle and the membership disagrees or isn't happy with/sure about the
terms, it is something we can't handle in public. So a commision of members
should audit the decision.