[Spi-private] Publically viewable resolutions and increasing the visibility of board activity

Jimmy Kaplowitz jimmy at spi-inc.org
Tue Jan 2 10:35:09 UTC 2007

On Tue, Jan 02, 2007 at 10:03:48AM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> Why does the board seem to be against postponing some things, yet the
> debian Spain trademark has been postponed many many times?

We're not happy about that one, let me tell you. We are trying to get
legal advice from our lawyer for quite a while now on that one; we
certainly don't want to authorize the Spanish attorney to launch a
lawsuit on our behalf without advice from our own lawyer. If you will
respond that it should have taken much less time than it has, I fully
agree. As mentioned in an unrelated thread on -private, Bdale has been
working with our lawyer to try to reduce the backlog of questions he's
dealing with, and it may simply come down to needing to pay him so that
he can give us more time than pro-bono work allows.

> Government deals with intrusive and dangerous topics and yet many
> government meetings allow contributions with hours of notice - or
> less.  For example, there's a public participation standing item at
> tonight's council meeting.  15 minutes max of a ~120 minute meeting,
> no notice required, no format required, but it's encouraged to make
> clear any suggested actions.  Why can't SPI allow at least that level
> of participation?

The equivalent amount of time at SPI's meetings (we try to keep them
under an hour) would be 7.5 minutes, which is certainly not enough time
to think through most decisions from first mention if one is expected to
vote at the end of that time period.  If members wish to simply have a
discussion involving the board and the members, everyone can give well
more than 7.5 minutes of time on SPI's email lists, leading up to a vote
at the following meeting.

This seems like quite a high level of participation, which is
unavailable to any governmental councils which do not have email lists
with councilmembers and residents/stakeholders both included. It also
seems a better way to keep in the loop any other members who may not be
in attendance at a meeting where an issue is being raised by a member
with no notice. (This problem is rather similar to the opensource.org
issue being raised by the board with undesirably little advance notice
to the membership.)

In any case, while responsiveness to member initiatives is important,
this seems unrelated to your issue of increasing the board's
transparency and communication of its discussions and plans to the
membership. Let's please at least try to remain clear about all the
distinct issues you're raising and not confuse them with each other.

- Jimmy Kaplowitz
jimmy at spi-inc.org

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