[OpenStack Foundation] Agreement on requiring board candidates to attend the meetings, and, why didn't this dogpile dial into the last meeting?

Atwood, Mark mark.atwood at hp.com
Thu Oct 10 22:20:26 UTC 2013



++ on requiring candidates to dial into or attend the meetings for the previous year.  I love that idea.


I would go farther…  FWIW, I’m a touch annoyed by the dogpile in this thread from all the people who were NOT dialed into the last meeting, and who were not on the IRC channel for the board meeting.  I was there.  Why weren’t you all?  If you have an opinion on the Board’s activities, SHOW UP.  It’s not like the meetings are a surprise, or that it’s hard to dial in.  The schedule and access codes are not at the bottle of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.


I, in fact, reserved a conference room at the offices here in Seattle, sent a meeting invite to the entire office, had the big polycom table phone dialed in, and had the shared desktop projected up on the wall.


One of my very first job interviews with an OpenStack was, in fact, DURING THE JOB INTERVIEW,  to dial into and  listen in on one of the last pre-foundation conference call, while watching the shared desktop, and then getting peppered with questions from my interviewers afterwards of my analysis of the meeting.


Why aren’t you all of all the involved member companies doing the same thing?


The board is trying to be open and transparent.  I see lots of people complaining about the openness and transparency of the board, who are not bothering to take advantage of the unprecedented amount of openness and transparency that it already has.



And, BTW, in the last election cycle I put all my votes on Monty.  Not because of the coincidence that we work for the same company.  I did so because I know him well enough to know that, more than almost anyone else, he is dedicated to this social experiments, and because I know him well enough to know that if his/our employer doesn’t have a prayer of using him as a puppet or a “Second Seat”, and because he is the least “corporate tool” person I’ve ever met who can still actually execute on a plan.   The next cycle, I’m going to vote for him again, for the same reason.





Mark Atwood <mark.atwood at hp.com>
Director of Open Source Engagement for HP Cloud Services
M +1-206-473-7118


From: matt [mailto:matt at nycresistor.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 9:44 AM
To: Joshua McKenty
Cc: foundation at lists.openstack.org
Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] Individual Member Director Elections


I really love the idea of prospective candidates having to pre-game by attending meetings.  It helps promote continuity in the org and that's awesome.  

I also think the rest of the ideas are solid as well.  So a big +1 from me.  For whatever that is worth.




On Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 12:32 PM, Joshua McKenty <joshua at pistoncloud.com> wrote:

I've been holding back from commenting on this issue so I had a chance to see what the range of opinions were. As is bizarrely typical with this board, we already seem to agree.


First, I wanted to restart the PROBLEM that we all seem to be struggling with, so that we can use it as a litmus test against proposed solutions.


We want our board to represent the DIVERSITY of the community, rather than PROPORTIONALLY representing the membership - even of active members.


(I consider the idea of a "Cabal" to be a red herring, aside from being easily dealt with legally using the existing anti-trust policy.)


I believe I was the first person to point out problems with our voting mechanisms, after the first individual member elections.

 - https://gist.github.com/joshuamckenty/3467887

 - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av62KoL8f9kAdGh6dGQ2Yjg5dFhXUFFlSFZOZUstUGc#gid=1


During the foundation drafting process, I spent a fair amount of time arguing for the use of Condorset with various lawyers - but I was stymied by the apparent REQUIREMENT for a Delaware corporation to use cumulative voting to elect board members.  (I've dug into this a bit, and afaict there's no requirement in the IRS 501©6 paperwork, just in the Delaware corporation stuff[1]).


There's a loophole, of course - the loophole that we use to elect Gold members.

We don't elect them. We elect a Gold Member "Selector" - who APPOINTS a director. In fact, all of the Platinum and Gold member seats have appointed directors.


(IANAL, so it may not be a loophole - but it sure works like one.)


If we're going to go through the work of putting forward an election ballot to the general membership (which I agree we ought to do), and we're going to rally to get the requisite 25% of the membership to vote on the damn thing, then I suggest we include as many of the following as we can agree on:


Change voting mechanism:

 - Condorset CIVS (might require a loophole or some radical legal work)

 - Limit of one seat per organization (instead of two)


Raise bar on membership:

 - Suspend membership immediately upon failing to vote in a general election


And one last *crazy* idea I had:

 - Require candidates for individual director seats to have attended/dialed-into at least 50% of the board meetings in the past 6 months


(That last one is somewhat preemptive against two issues: Firstly, we've had brand new members with no previous involvement in OpenStack running for the board for political reasons. And secondly, I'd hate to see a high rate of attrition in new Directors once they realize what a mind-numbing job this is ;)


While I fully support the notion of requiring members to remain "active", we haven't been able to come up with an "active" test that folks find even-handed beyond the "membership questionnaire" that's already in the Bylaws. If we can make voting compulsory, we can just thrown an occasional general election to clean the roles.


1. http://www.irs.gov/Charities- <http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Life-Cycle-of-a-Business-League-(Trade-Association)> &-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Life-Cycle-of-a-Business-League-(Trade-Association)



Joshua McKenty

Chief Technology Officer

Piston Cloud Computing, Inc.

+1 (650) 242-5683 <tel:%2B1%20%28650%29%20242-5683> 

+1 (650) 283-6846 <tel:%2B1%20%28650%29%20283-6846> 



"Oh, Westley, we'll never survive!"
"Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has."


On Oct 9, 2013, at 4:24 PM, Ryan Lane <rlane at wikimedia.org> wrote:


On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 7:12 PM, Jeremy Stanley <fungi at yuggoth.org> wrote:

On 2013-10-09 17:06:03 -0400 (-0400), Ryan Lane wrote:
> Aren't many people in this thread saying there is indeed
> something wrong with the election method being used? It allows
> easy ballot stuffing.

Part of the counterargument is that the mere dozens of us expressing
concern on a mailing list are but a miniscule portion of the
thousands of registered foundation members, which supposedly
suggests that a vast majority of the members are fine with the
status quo (or more likely completely unaware this conversation is
going on, or perhaps even simply disinterested in election mechanics


Which doesn't mean that the argument is invalid, just that it needs more visibility. The voting record clearly shows there's a problem with the voting system (even though there's nothing wrong with the current board). Most people in the community have probably never seen the voting record stats, though.


- Ryan

Foundation mailing list
Foundation at lists.openstack.org


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