North American Network Operators Group

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  • From: Steve Gibbard
  • Date: Tue Jun 21 03:10:41 2005

On Mon, 20 Jun 2005, Hannigan, Martin wrote:

Ultimately, the SC is elected to represent the membership and
carry out it's will and that should be uniformly actionable
across the board in order for the SC to be taken seriously
by the group and by Merit.
I'm not sure what you mean here.
It means that it doesn't make a lot of sense to handcuff
the SC out of the gate on a supposition that they will do
'something bad' to the PC.

Anyhow, it's a window dressing handcuffing. Looks like anyone can be
removed with a 5 to 7 vote of the SC. You've all read the revised
Charter, top to bottom? Kind of makes 6.2.1 ceremonial. It should
be removed based on that alone.
As the charter is currently written, every future steering committee will be stuck with a specific half of the program committee, left over from the previous year. The first steering committee gets to decide which of the current program committee members are in the half that they're stuck with, so they're much more powerful when it comes to program committee selection than any future steering committee will be.

In the draft that several of us worked on, the first steering committee had even more power than that, as they could have fired the entire program committee and started over. Merit changed that, and gave lots of time for people to object, but nobody did. As a result, we've got a system where all program committee members will have been chosen by the steering committee immediately, but half of them will have been chosen from a limited pool. A year later, we'll have a program committee that has been entirely chosen by the first two elected steering committees.

In the original draft, we staggered the steering committee terms because we wanted continuity. In Merit's version, that continuity was extended to the first year.

As Marty points out, a super-majority of the steering committee could remove more program committee members. The super-majority requirement was put in to make it hard to do -- something that should happen when there's consensus that somebody isn't working out. I don't think it would be appropriate or necessary for the steering committee to use that power to override the intent of the charter, nor do I think it would be a good idea for the steering committee to get rid of even half of the program committee at once. If Marty is feeling constrained by that section of the charter (I'm not sure if he is, or if he's just making noise), then we've found at least one difference between two of the candidates. ;)