Board meeting, October 15th, 2008

Board members present

  • Bdale Garbee (bdale) (President)
  • Jimmy Kaplowitz (Hydroxide) (Secretary)
  • Michael Schultheiss (Treasurer)
  • Luk Claes (luk__)
  • Martin Zobel-Helas (zobel)
  • Joshua D. Drake (linuxpoet)
  • David Graham (cdlu)

Board members partially present

  • None

Board members absent with regrets

  • Neil McGovern (Maulkin)
  • Joerg Jaspert (Ganneff) (Vice President)

Board members absent

  • None

Board advisors present

  • None

Registered guests present

  • Jonathan McDowell (Noodles)
  • Bill Allombert (yp17)
  • Rico Glöckner (mc)
  • Kåre Thor Olsen (Kaare)
  • MJ Ray (slef)
  • Moray Allan (moray)
  • Greg Sabino Mullane (GSabinoMullane)

These are the draft minutes for the October 15th, 2008 SPI Board meeting, held at 19:00 UTC in #spi on LOG

President's Report

Bdale Garbee presented the following report, with discussion to happen later in the meeting.

SPI was approached in late September by Alan Dechert of the Open Voting Foundation for assistance in preparing a proposal for a new voting system for Los Angeles County.  If OVF should be awarded a contract to pursue this work, SPI would have a role to play in handling the funds. 

After a flurry of emails between OVF and the SPI board, a conference call was held on the 30th of September, attended by Bdale Garbee, Jimmy Kaplowitz, Josh Berkus, Greg Pomerantz, and Michael Schultheiss representing SPI and Alan Dechert, Brian Fox, and Ed Gambel representing OVF. The OVF folks now have the information they need to complete their proposal.

While not all of the details are worked out, the participation needed from SPI would be different from anything we've done before, and would clearly require that we hire at least a part-time contractor to handle the anticipated additional administrative work load.

No further action should be required from SPI until and unless a contract is actually awarded.

Treasurer's Report

Michael Schultheiss provided the following report.

This report uses a cash-based method of accounting, recording donations
when deposited (not when the check was written or received by us) and
recording expenses when sent or scheduled for payment (not when

Balance Sheet as of October 14, 2008

     Current Assets
        Key Business Reward Checking                      17,117.74
        Key Business Signature Money Market Savings       97,617.96
        Ameriprise Cash Mgmt Acct                         13,098.74

     Total Current Assets                                127,834.44

   TOTAL ASSETS                                          127,834.44


     General and current liabilities                           0.00

        Reserves held in trust
           Debian Earmark                    67,762.98
           Drupal Earmark                     2,650.00
  Earmark            2,027.68
           Gallery Earmark                    4,803.34
           GNOME Earmark                         20.00
           GNU TeXmacs Earmark                    9.70
  Earmark                  922.03
  Earmark             1,180.52
           Open Voting Foundation Earmark       392.67
           Plan 9 Earmark                     6,500.00
           PostgreSQL Earmark                13,778.44

        Total held in trust                              100,047.36

        General reserves                                  27,787.08

     Total Equity                                        127,834.44

   TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY                            127,834.44

Bdale expressed his pleasure that all the earmarks are resolved in this report. Michael said that delays in report generation should be fixed and future reports should be timely. Future reports will, he said, also include an income statement in addition to a balance sheet, and he liked the idea of making the balance sheet represent the accounts on the last day of the calendar month to which the income statement corresponds.

Secretary's Report

Jimmy Kaplowitz presented the following report.

I would like volunteers to help move the website away from Plone and generally keep it more accurate and up-to-date, given that it's too cumbersome and buggy to use effectively. I would like to retain the ability to do web-based editing as well as restore the ability to do VCS-based editing. Therefore, something like ikiwiki might make sense.

If you want to volunteer, email and, express your interest, and say what time, effort, and skills you can offer. Also, as requested by the SPI admin team, please explicitly acknowledge that while your opinion as the person doing the work will be seriously considered and will definitely count, the SPI admin team, officers, and board (each as appropriate) have the final say on all aspects of the website.

Also, I have now updated the list of officers on the board and by-laws pages on the website.

Outstanding Minutes

Jimmy moved to approve the September 17th, 2008 minutes.

Vote on September 17th, 2008 minutes

David GrahamAbstain
Bdale GarbeeAbstain
Michael SchultheissYes
Martin Zobel-HelasYes
Luk ClaesYes
Jimmy KaplowitzYes
Joshua D. DrakeYes

Motion passed with a vote of Yes: 5, No: 0, Abstain: 2.

Items up for discussion

Discussion of the President's report

Joshua D. Drake thought the OVF proposal mentioned in the president's report was a great idea, and mentioned that over 800 votes were cast with their software at LinuxWorld. Luk Claes thought it was a nice thing that was different from what we were used to. Contributing member MJ Ray wondered if the board still wanted to be involved with voting machines. Overall the board thought promoting open source voting software in this specific locality was better than allowing the default alternative of closed source voting machines which would otherwise be used there, and does not consider this to be spreading the adoption of voting machines. Martin Zobel-Helas wondered how the additional administrative costs of the OVF proposal would be paid for; Jimmy clarified that the costs would be paid from the grant funds themselves, and not from project-specific funds or (except for the cost of any general SPI tasks) from SPI's general fund.

Other Business

David Graham apologized for not being around much during the 2008 Canadian federal election, but said he was off the campaign trail and ready to refocus his energy on SPI.


The meeting was adjourned until Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at 20:00 UTC in #spi on Note the adjustment in UTC time to compensate for the end of Northern Hemisphere daylight saving time and summer time. Local times in most parts of the US, Canada, and Europe have not changed from the October meeting.

Appendix A: Current Board Membership

Date electedNameRole
[2004-07-29]Bdale GarbeePresident
[2007-08-06]Joerg JaspertVice President
[2006-07-29]Jimmy KaplowitzSecretary
[2006-07-31]Michael SchultheissTreasurer
[2007-08-06]Martin Zobel-Helas
[2003-11-29]David Graham
[2007-08-06]Luk Claes
[2007-08-06]Joshua D. Drake
[2006-07-31]Neil McGovern

Appendix B: Approved Resolutions