[Linux-aus] With elections coming up soon I thought I'd post a few ideas

Anthony Towns aj at azure.humbug.org.au
Tue Dec 6 20:47:02 UTC 2005

On Sat, Dec 03, 2005 at 11:01:14AM +1100, James Purser wrote:
> First off I would like to revisit the idea of extending the terms of the
> office holders(President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) on
> the committee. 

One of the issues with that is that one year *is* long enough to get
burnt out, and we've had a few good committee members who've decided
after a year that going on isn't a good use of their time. Having folks
feel obliged to continue anyway when they don't have the energy anymore
can be bad; and having to have special elections if they quit can be
inconvenient too.

> One year is really not enough for [..]

At the moment, we've got Pia, Andrew and Stewart who've been on the
committee for three years, Mark who's been on the committee for two,
and Jon, Geoffrey and myself who've been here for one year; so there's
been the opportunity for people to do multiyear stuff as is, though
maybe folks have been too concerned about getting replaced to try.

I don't really have any strong opinion either way, though.

One thing I've been wondering about is whether it's worth considering
tweaking what we consider the "executive". At the moment we say that the
President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer are the core of the committee,
and the ordinary committee members are there to help and do smaller
projects. For the secretary and treasurer, this means they've got a
two-way role: doing mechanical work of taking minutes and book keeping,
and also doing the higher-level work of deciding what's an appropriate
way for the organisation to run. And for the ordinary committee members,
there's a question of relevance, they don't really lead the organisation
so much as advise it, and they don't have set roles, so the load doesn't
get shared as well as it might.

(Or... maybe. I'm not really sure that's right, but pretending it is...)

So, I wonder if it might be worth tweaking how LA operates and saying
the "executive" is the President, VP, and the ordinary members; while
the secretary and treasurer should be filled by people who don't mind
doing scut work, but aren't going to do too much actual decision making.

That'd mean that people who wanted to start being involved can nominate
themselves to do chores and mostly just follow set procedures but at
least listen in on deliberations; while the five others would divide
the harder tasks amongst themselves. If we treat secretary/treasurer
as volunteer labour, it makes it an easier switch to change that to
actually paying a professional for the work too, than it would be to
outsource the role of treasurer, say.

Anyway, worth thinking about, maybe...


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