Identification of problems

John Goerzen jgoerzen at
Fri Feb 14 19:35:07 UTC 2003

On Fri, Feb 14, 2003 at 12:38:02PM -0600, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> 	Are we discussing this, then? I disagree: as long as the list

Not yet; I'm feebly trying to keep some order to things.  If people would
like to do away with the agenda I proposed, please just say so and we'll
establish a new one; otherwise, let's try to stick to it.

I want to remark on your discussion of our charter now, and save my
remarks on the problems highlighted until it is on-topic later:

> 	I would go so far as to say if we do not address the problem
>  of making board effective at conducting business (like handling the
>  veto rule for email resolutions) we shall have failed our charter.

Obviously we need to make the board effective.

However, the bylaws committee should not be usurped for personal
preferences, and to presume that we should advocate overriding motions of
the board in a more permanent fashion by putting them in the bylaws does not
seem to serve the long-term interests of SPI.  If there is a problem with
the motions the board has passed, the right place to fix it is in the board,
not in this committee -- UNLESS the problem stems from a root deficiency in
the bylaws. For things like e-mail veto rule and weekday board meetings[1],
which are passed by the board and not part of the bylaws, it is only within
our charter to act if it can be shown that this is due to a bylaws problem.

I would add that a case for the e-mail resolutions being a bylaws problem
is clear, as it seems that e-mail voting is not permissible under the
current bylaws.  However, assuming that e-mail voting sans veto rule is the
only way to accomplish this is very presumptious -- other people may have
other ideas, and perhaps reorganizing things to stick more closely to the
original intended structure could also solve the problem.  I am not
advocating one particular solution or voting against any at this time; just
saying that stating that "we have failed our charter if we do not use this
one particular solution" is silly and prejudicial.

As we work on identifying solutions, we must be mindful that the bylaws are
by definition difficult to modify, and we should ensure that they remain
flexible enough that routine changes in circumstances (changes in
availability of board members for week days / weekends, for instance) can be
accomodated without additional amendments.


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