[Council] voting procedures and Council membership

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Tue Apr 29 21:20:14 CDT 2003

In today's meeting of the Board of Directors, I raised the issue of 
inactive Council members. The Board remanded this issue back to the
Council. Specifically, Michael Bauer pointed me to Section 8.1 of 
the Bylaws, which reads in part:

  The Jabber Council shall act upon the affirmative vote of a 
  majority of the members of the Council voting. A quorum of 
  the Jabber Council shall be a majority of the members of the 
  Council. The provisions of these Bylaws with regard to 
  meetings, notice, etc. that apply to Membership meetings 
  shall apply to the Jabber Council and members thereof unless 
  such provisions are inconsistent with this Article VIII.

This seems to imply the following: 

1. The current voting method (all Council members MUST vote) is
   overly strict. It would be perfectly acceptable for the Council
   to pass JEPs by a simple majority vote.

2. The "three strikes and you're out" rule that applies to votes of
   the JSF membership also applies to the Council. So a Council
   member who misses three votes in a row is subject to automatic
   termination as defined in Section 2.6 of the Bylaws.

In votes of the general membership, there is a defined time period 
for voting (usually 10 to 14 days). In line with previous discussion
on this topic, I would move that we institute the same policy within 
the Council -- from the date that voting begins, Council members have
14 days to vote. If a Council member does not vote, that fact is duly 
recorded and the member's vote defaults to 0 (neutral). If a Council
member misses three votes in a row, that member may be removed from
the Council (notice that Section 2.6 says "may", not "must"). I know
that I was the one who argued most strenuously against such a policy
in the past, but I have seen the error of my ways and now realize that
such a policy is a good thing.

Further, it seems that section 2.5 also applies to the Council, which
means that a Council member could be removed upon an affirmative vote
of two-thirds of the Council. That is a radical step to take, but on
my reading it is open to the Council to remove a Council member if 
that should ever become necessary.

BTW, the Bylaws do not require that the Council be made up of nine
members. Thus there is no immediate need to replace a Council member
who resigns, is removed, or is terminated -- the Council could function 
with fewer than nine members and still comply with the Bylaws. So it's
not necessary to formulate a procedure for filling a vacancy, although
it might be good to define such a procedure.



Peter Saint-Andre
Executive Director
Jabber Software Foundation

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