Board meeting, April 10, 2017

Board members present

  • Valerie Young (spectranaut) (Secretary)
  • Luca Filipozzi (luca)
  • Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox)
  • Martin Zobel-Helas (zobel)
  • Andrew Tridgell (tridge)
  • Jimmy Kaplowitz (Hydroxide)

Board members partially present

  • None

Board members absent with regrets

  • Martin Michlmayr (tbm) (President)
  • Joerg Jaspert (Ganneff) (Vice President)
  • Michael Schultheiss (schultmc) (Treasurer)

Board members absent

  • None

Board advisors present

  • None

Registered guests present

  • Bdale Garbee (bdale)

These are the minutes for the April 10th, 2017 SPI Board Meeting, held at 20:00 UTC in #spi on LOG.

President's Report


Treasurer's report

Dimitri John Ledkov has closed the books for 2016; all financial reports for 2016 are final. Martin Zobel-Helas has prepared January and February report data and will commit soon. Zobel-Helas is waiting on Joerg Jaspert to complete two open RT tickets before publishing detailed project reports.

Secretary's report


Outstanding minutes

Vote on Meeting Minutes for 13th March 2017:

Luca FilipozziYes
Jimmy KaplowitzAbstain
Dimitri John LedkovYes
Andrew TridgellAbstain
Valerie YoungYes
Martin Zobel-HelasYes

Motion passed with a vote of 4 yes, 0 no, 2 abstain, 0 missing.

Items up for discussion

Resolution 2017-04-10.vy.1 Adopt Scottish STV for Board Elections

Valerie Young presented resolution 2017-04-10.vy.1 to adopt the Scottish STV voting algorithm in yearly board elections. The resolution was authored by Ian Jackson. The board thanks Ian for his work researching and preparing the resolution.

Luca FilipozziYes
Dimitri John LedkovYes
Jimmy KaplowitzYes
Andrew TridgellYes
Valerie YoungYes
Martin Zobel-HelasYes

Motion passed with a vote of 6 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain, 0 missing.

Review progress of reimbursement streamlining

Luca Filipozzi has begun work to document a technical proposal to streamline the reimbursement processes as discussed at the February face-to-face meeting. He will request feedback in the next few weeks. Additionally, Filipozzi is in discussion with University British Columbia colleagues to source a potential SPI business administrator employee who is familiar with RT systems. He has also contacted the Debian System Administrators about SPI's future use of Debian's surplus blades. He will also check in with UBC's University Data Center about their potential to host SPI's RT software in the future.

Filipozzi remarked he will need help creating the front-end forms for the new reimbursement process although he will be able to implement RT configurations the board discussed at the face-to-face meeting. Filipozzi suggested we pay reimbursements only in USD to alleviate some of the work of the reimbursement process. This would require the submitter to submit requests in USD and proof of exchange rate for the original foreign currency using a board pre-approved standard reference for the exchange rate. The board discussed whether or not this would help, as TransferWise can handle transfer request in the source or target currency. The discussion was inconclusive and the proposal will be considered further in the future.

External advice for 2017 financial audit

Topic deferred to May meeting, as Martin Michlmayr was not in attendance.

Review of action items

Jimmy Kaplowitz: The bylaws are presently waiting a final review from Mishi. After the review is completed, he will work with Mishi on concretizing SPI relationship with SPI's member projects as discussed at the face-to-face.

Luca Filipozzi: Completed face-to-face notes. Began work on technical proposal for reimbursement streamlining. Will not be checking with tax lawyer about hiring a part time business administrator in Canada as he is satisfied with SFLC's answer.

Dimitri Ledkov: Completed year end financial reports and will send for comments soon. He requests review from Martin Zobel-Helas.

Valerie Young: Completed face-to-face notes. Will email SPI board for clarification about the SPI membership resolution.

Any other business

DebConf 2017

Luca Filipozzi remarks discussion should be opened with DebConf organizers about the new reimbursement process. Jimmy Kaplowitz will open a conversation between Filipozzi and the DebConf organizers about the coming reimbursement changes.

Resolution 2017-04-10.vy.1

Valerie Young will inform our voting software maintainer Jonathan McDowell that SPI resolved to integrate the newly selecting voting algorithm before the 2017 election cycle.


The meeting was adjourned until Monday, May 8th, 2017 at 20:00 UTC in #spi on

Appendix A: Current Board Membership

Last electedNameRole
July 2014Martin MichlmayrPresident
July 2016Joerg JaspertVice President
July 2015Michael SchultheissTreasurer
July 2016Valerie YoungSecretary
July 2016Luca Filipozzi
July 2016Jimmy Kaplowitz
July 2015Dimitri John Ledkov
July 2016Andrew Tridgell
July 2016Martin Zobel-Helas

Appendix B: Resolutions

Resolution 2017-04-10.vy.1 Adopt Scottish STV for Board Elections


1. SPI's voting system for Board elections is unique to our
   organisation and has several problems; notably, a lack of

2. SPI is not equipped to effectively design or analyse voting
   systems.  We wish to adopt a system widely used elsewhere, and
   which is recommended by civil society organisations specialising in
   voting reform.

3. The Single Transferrable Vote is the only proportional voting
   system, suitable for SPI, which meets these criteria.

4. The Scottish STV variant is clearly specified; we have an
   established and stable Free Software implementation of it; and it
   is straightforward to (re)implement.  Other STV variants appear to
   lack some of these good properties.

5. Ian Jackson has offered to help with the implementation of STV for


6. Future elections to the SPI Board will be counted according to the
   Scottish Single Transferrable Vote.  Scottish STV will also be used
   by SPI for any other multi-winner election.

7. Specifically, the algorithm to be used is that specified in
   Rules 45-52 of the Scottish Local Government Elections Order
   2007 (a UK Statutory Instrument):

8. The practical implementation will be by means of software; for
   example, perhaps the openstv package in Debian.  The choice of
   software is up to the Secretary.  However, any differences between
   the Rules in the Order referenced above, and whatever software
   implementation is chosen, are to be resolved in favour of the

9. The SPI Secretary is requested to liaise with Ian Jackson, so that
   the necessary changes to SPI software and infrastructure can be
   identified and implemented.