[Volunteers] SVLUG Volunteers meeting minutes, 20 June 2005

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jul 22 11:48:58 PDT 2005

Quoting Bill Kendrick (nbs at sonic.net):

> Heh, maybe Paul was thinking in Unix fork() terms:
>   fork creates a child process that differs from the parent process only
>   in its PID and PPID
> But then, maybe I'm a big nerd.  But somehow, I think Paul's just as
> big of a nerd. ;^)

I like it.  ;->

Anyhow, I wasn't saying there was any dire conspiracy; I just said we'd
recently lost a precaution we'd always previously maintained.

But, also, I was raising a question about Paul's charter thing, and it
seems to have gotten completely disregarded.  It was:  "What's the benefit?"

I already mentioned a disadvantage:  If we file a "charter" to
alter our status with Sbay.org from "informal association" to chartered
SIG, then Sbay will from then on require that any SIG (SVLUG) officers
hold Sbay memberships.  That's (normally[1]) a $10/year membership fee, 
members must agree to abide by Sbay's corporate By-Laws and any rules it
passes, and also members can be ejected by the corporate Board if it
believes they are acting against the corporate interests.

So, _with_ a charter, all SVLUG officers would be required by an outside
non-profit corporation (Sbay) to keep dues-paying member status with it.
_Without_ a charter, that is not the case.  It's never been the case
until now that SVLUG officers must pass muster with (and pay money to)
some other organisation, in order to hold their offices.  What's the
compelling advantage that justifies this change?

SVLUG's always kept our relationship with its sponsoring non-profit
"parent" group simple:  We stay under their corporate umbrella, they
benefit in various ways from (or at least don't mind) our being there,
and neither of us interferes in the other.  We avoid conflict of
interest, but are functionally autonomous.  SVLUG runs its own affairs.

Which brings me to the other consequence of a "charter" that I see in
Sbay's By-Laws:  Currently, Sbay's president has the theoretical power to
appoint/remove at will any officer of the "SIG" (i.e., SVLUG), including
its president (whom it dubs the "SIG coordinator").  Adopting a charter
would limit that theoretical power to appointment/removal at will of
_only_ SVLUG's president.  SVLUG's president would, in turn, be himself
empowered by Sbay to appoint/remove at will any other SVLUG officer,
including the VP whom our membership elects every fall.  (However, a 2/3
vote of Sbay's corporate Board could still order such removals.)

I asked Paul if that change is what he was trying to bring about, through
a "charter".  He replied only "Something like that".

My point was:  Why are we treating Sbay's theoretical powers to
appoint/remove SVLUG officers as _real_ -- any more than SVCS's were?  
We run our own affairs; if SVCS (or Sbay) ever attempted to remove a
president or VP whom the members had elected -- or if SVCS (or Sbay) even
attempted to remove an officer our people appointed, _we'd simply say no_, 
wouldn't we?  Don't we run our own affairs?

So:  Is Paul proposing to cede our autonomy?  If not -- again -- what's
the benefit to SVLUG of a "charter" within Sbay's corporate framework?

[1] The corporation's Board can optionally waive this annual fee for
volunteers whose efforts it wants to recognise, which status Sbay calls
"contributing memberships".

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