Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (111 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Re: Goodbye Board


On 29. Feb 2020, at 19:28, Stefan Seyfried <stefan.seyfried@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
wrote:

Am 29.02.20 um 19:17 schrieb Vojtěch Zeisek:
Dne sobota 29. února 2020 15:09:06 CET, Stefan Seyfried napsal(a):
This whole thread just serves to reinforce my decision to never
ever again run for the openSUSE board...

I can understand this point of view, but... the project must be managed
somehow, and voting board from community members IMHO isn't bad idea...
So...

Oh, I totally agree on that.

But if you cannot even step down after being elected without falling
victim to a spanish-inquisition like process, then we should not be
surprised if the volunteers for these tasks will not be available in
large numbers in the future.

That was what I wanted to express.

Indeed, I absolutely agree with your point, and find it cuts both ways. Not
only for the one stepping down, but those who have not.

This public outcry at the Board taking a disciplinary decision regarding a
community member, an absolutely core role of the Board, almost certainly does
as much to discourage anyone from running in the future as even the most
negative interpretation of the impacts of the boards decision on the departing
Board members.

And that train of thought leads to a dark hole - if we were to recall the Board
and run fresh elections, who would be our candidates? We barely had enough for
an election for 2 seats last time, never mind all 5.

Resigned or removed members are not eligible to run again, according to our
rules:
https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Board_election_rules

Whether that would include the 4 elected Board members we currently have in the
event of a recall election would be a decision for the election committee, but
let’s assume for the sake of argument they decide that a “recall” of the Board
effectively means the existing members are removed.

I’d be shocked at that point whether we’d have even 5 candidates, never mind
the 10+ we’d need for an actual meaningful election where the community could
get actual choices.

So at that point I suspect we become a project without a Board.

That would have severe consequences, such as almost utterly eliminating any
chance of any Foundation for the foreseeable future. the viability of an
organisations governance model is a key requirement for any foundation to be
legally formed in any country. We’d have no grounds for proving we are a viable
organisation to have any kind of legal responsibility at all.

Without a Board, there would be no escalation point for community members to
raise concerns when feeling oppressed, victimised, or otherwise mistreated.. I
guess we could instead expect more flame wars on here but I don’t think dealing
with such matters in a public forum is productive for anyone - not the victims
nor the accused. Good community members will find themselves oppressed,
mistreated, and otherwise abused with no sensible recourse. This project would
not be a nice place to be any more.

Without a Board, all autonomy openSUSE currently has for applying its trademark
policy would vanish, and become the sole remit of SUSE. In fact, i would
suspect that SUSE would have no choice but to take absolute, complete and
direct control of the Project. Whether the project would be allowed to continue
in any form is a question I’d suspect SUSE would ask itself at that point.

Even if openSUSE was allowed to exist still, I suspect the Project would
continue in a drastically different way with far less empowerment of the
community.

And SUSE would be right to, because at that point we would have done a good job
of demonstrating that we can’t responsibly run ourselves or be trusted as a
community to deal with sensitive matters like personal disputes, finances, or
legal matters...

Instead of playing games and critiquing the decisions of those elected to deal
with issues that can’t be handled in Public, why don’t we instead start acting
like adults?

We should all realise that the Board made an impossible decision in what must
obviously have been terrible circumstances, and made a decision to the best of
their ability.

We elected them to make such impossible decisions because these aren’t the sort
of matters that can or should be dealt with in a public forum.

We’re not a mob, we’re not an anarchy, we’re a mature project of mature
individuals.

Let’s start acting like it and trust our Board who clearly are doing their best
to honour their obligations under the Projects constitution.

Regards

Richard

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