[svlug] Explaining the Election

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at cornell.edu
Fri Jan 25 14:31:08 PST 2008

Paul Reiber wrote:
> Rick, you've conveniently side-swiped my entire argument; that the
> appointments I made stand, and that those offices are NOT CURRENTLY
> VACANT, unless indeed both parties have since resigned.

Not that I'm an expert on these matters, but, lacking a constitution 
and/or by-laws to dictate what the president can and cannot do, and what 
the members can and cannot do, the members can do whatever they please, 
including deciding to elect officers at a regular meeting, regardless of 
whether or not there are already existing officers.

> The current state of the offices is unclear at best; to state that
> they're vacant does a disservice to the membership, since indeed, like
> it or not, I did what I did, and appointed two successors to those
> offices.

And the membership may elect new officers on February 6th if they so 
choose.  Paul, is there a specific reason, aside from, "because I said 
so and it counts because I was the president," that they can't?

Honestly, I don't particularly care about the outcome.  I just think 
it's pretty silly for one individual to believe that his attempt to set 
policy is binding, potentially against the wishes of the membership, 
when there's no membership-ratified document giving him the authority to 
do so.

Given the lack of any governing documents, this group effectively has no 
rules for operation.  Although, let's not forget who actually has 
tangible power over the group's operations: people with root on the 
server, admin access to the lists, control over the domains, etc. 
They're free to set whatever policies they want, and the membership can 
do little about it if they don't like it.

To borrow your own description, Paul, SVLUG is more or less a do-ocracy 
(plus the IMO mostly-benevolent admin oligarchy).  If some members take 
it upon themselves to band together and select new leadership outside of 
your final appointments, it's entirely within their bounds to do so... 
because, frankly, what's to stop them?  As long as the admins consider 
the election valid, it's valid.


P.S.  Granted, without some sort of legal status, even if there was a 
constitution/by-laws, there still might not be much recourse if those 
who control SVLUG's resources decided to ignore the elected leadership. 
  Of course, IANAL, so I'm sure there are nuances and legal machinations 
I'm not considering.

P.P.S.  I strongly question while I still (sporadically) read this list, 
but I must admit, somewhat ashamed to say, that all these goings-on can 
be pretty entertaining.

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