Board meeting, December 17th, 2002


  • Branden Robinson
  • Drew Streib
  • Ean Schuessler
  • Ian Jackson
  • Wichert Akkerman (presiding)


  • Nils Lohner

Absent with regrets:

  • Manoj Srivastava
  • Martin "Joey" Schulze

Invitees present:

  • Anthony Towns
  • Bill Allombert
  • Bruce Perens
  • Client Adams
  • David B. Harris
  • David Graham
  • Jimmy Kaplowitz
  • John Goerzen
  • Jonathan McDowell
  • Josip Rodin
  • Mako Hill
  • Matt Hope
  • Peter Makholm
  • Peter Novodvorsky
  • Peter Palfrader
  • Pierre Machard
  • Rene Engelhard
  • Rob Bradford
  • Rune Bolding Broberg
  • Scott Dier
  • Theodore Ts'o


  1. Discussion of current SPI board status and possible improvements
  2. Reports
  3. Committee on bylaw changes
  4. Scheduling of next meeting

Recorder: Wichert Akkerman

Discussion of current SPI board status and possible improvements

Wichert made an opening statement, paraphrased:

"There is no denying the board has not been functioning optimally recently. We're not looking for a quick fix, such as resolutions to change quorum. What we need is people on the board who are good at organising things, as well as being very motivated. That may not be people who are good hackers - we should not limit our choices to those who have technical ability. Most importantly, I feel that it has been a problem that SPI has not had active leadership for a long time. Finding replacement board members for those inactive members, in my opinion at least, is a very high priority."

Branden concurred with Wichert's remarks, but adds that he is not against quick fixes, so long as they are clearly labelled as such, and have a "sunset clause". That is to say, Branden is open to short-term solutions so long as any legislation passed is passed with a specific operating time frame. Branden also stated that he is not interested in holding any position other than that of Treasurer.

Ian concurs with Wichert's remarks.

Drew also concurs, and adds that a stable element to SPI's board is very important, as the board is SPI's legal voice.

A contributing member, David B. Harris, asked that decisions on a leader should also not be restricted to those who have no technical skills whatsoever.

A contributing member, John Goerzen, stressed that he felt all the bylaws should be followed in their entirety, with respect to meeting quorum and any votes that must be held.

Drew suggested that candidates for any new board members should be required to provide short biographies and position statements (600 words combined), and that the board accept those self-nominations, with no seconding by a third party required.

The following plan of action was agreed upon, through consensus:

  • Ask Nils to step down as board president, and instead serve as Advisor or Emeritus
  • Appoint a new vice president
  • Ask for volunteers for new board members
  • Accept those volunteers which the board agrees upon
  • Vote for a long-term board president

The following time line for the above action plan was agreed upon, through consensus:

  • Immediately carry out 1)
  • Two weeks for 2) and 3)
  • Two weeks for 4), in order to interview any candidates, as necessary, and make informed decisions
  • Two months for 5), in order to allow the new board to function and allow the board to make in informed decision regarding its future shape

Any required resolutions for this action plan will be carried out via email votes.


Branden had no Treasurer's Report, but stated that there have been no surprised in the previous few months. SPI manages approximately USD 40,000, approximately USD 400 in its own checking account, and approximately USD 600 in its Debian checking account. Anthony Towns asked for a real report in the next couple of months. Branden promised to have a report for the next board meeting.

Committee on bylaw changes

Wichert proposed creating a five-member committee to examine any proposed changes to the bylaws, and to propose any other changes it feels may be beneficial.

Branden seconded the proposal.

Ian agreed with the proposal.

There were no objections.

Wichert will draft the proposal.

Scheduling of the next meeting

In accordance with Resolution 2002-05-07.wta, the next meeting will be on January 7th, at 20:00 UTC.