View in #committee on Slack
@Tim_Kaye: Meeting in an hour!
@Tim_Kaye: Thanks, Wade!
@Michelle_Coe: hey everyone!
@Tim_Kaye: Well, it’s noon, so I suppose we should get started.
The first item is, I hope, easily dealt with. It involves simply agreeing that the formal name of “the Committee” be changed to Management Committee
@Debbie: @Debbie has joined the channel
@James_Nylen: We also have “steering committee” in some documents
@Michelle_Coe: So, I believe this has already been taken care of — please reference this:
@Tim_Kaye: I can see people typing. Does anyone object or prefer a different name?
@James_Nylen: The change to “management committee” would apply there too?
@Tim_Kaye: Yes, it does say “Steering Committee” in some places. But that is usually a term for temporary arrangements.
Management Committee would be applied to all instances of the committee that is currently managing the CP project.
@Michelle_Coe: So since we agreed that the founding committee would become the steering committee on 2/5/19, then we are actually agreeing to change the steering committee to the management committee.
@James_Nylen: I think we’re voting to use terms more consistently?
@Tim_Kaye: Yes. Otherwise it creates the appearance that we are still in a temporary phase.
@Wade_Striebel: I do think “management committee” is more clear for international users
@James_Nylen: “the committee” and “steering committee” become “management committee”
is that right?
@Tim_Kaye: And yes, I want consistency!!
@Michelle_Coe: That’s fine, I just want to be clear.
@Tim_Kaye: Yes, that’s right, James.
@James_Nylen: ok, ready to vote?
@Tim_Kaye: Yes. Is anyone against?
I’ll take that as approved.
Next, we need to confirm that the Management Cttee will take over on January 1st 2020
Is anyone against that?
@Michelle_Coe: The Steering/management committee was in control effective 2/5/19
when we voted to convert members of the founding committee to the first steering committee
@Wade_Striebel: And that is finishing up on Jan 1, correct?
@Wade_Striebel: Then, I think we are all in agreement
@James_Nylen: yes, terms should be aligned with calendar years
@Tim_Kaye: OK, good, then we can take that as approved too.
So next we need to know who wants to stay on from the Founding Cttee onto the Management Cttee.
@Wade_Striebel: Okay, so from everyone I reached out to, here is what I have as of now
Wishing to continue:
Not yet replied:
@raygulick: I’m stepping away from the management committee
@Wade_Striebel: Not wishing to continue:
@Tim_Kaye: My view is that if we restrict the number of slots, then I don’t want to prevent someone else from being on the Management Cttee. But I’m happy to continue otherwise.
@Wade_Striebel: So 6 continuing, if my math is right
*wishing to continue
@Tim_Kaye: That’s what I make it too.
@raygulick: So, can we go to nominations for 3 community members?
@Tim_Kaye: So now we have to decide if simply wishing to continue means that that person does indeed get to continue. (Item 4 on the agenda)
@James_Nylen: we’ll want to handle nominations outside of this meeting
@Tim_Kaye: Do those wishing to continue need to be validated by the community or not?
@Wade_Striebel: I think so
@James_Nylen: I think so too
@Michelle_Coe: I agree
@James_Nylen: link to discussion document https://forums.classicpress.net/uploads/short-url/f1QkkLaXKVsTIPI3FCzwzVSjlWr.pdf
and agenda https://forums.classicpress.net/t/committee-meeting-october-23/1634
@Tim_Kaye: Do we want to discuss that now or take it with Item 7?
That deals with how other people get to be added to the cttee.
@Wade_Striebel: I guess both need to follow the same mechanism in that case, so we can continue it with 7
@Tim_Kaye: OK, that makes sense.
@James_Nylen: so (5) length of tenure
@James_Nylen: did we ever formally agree on up to 3 1-year terms?
@Michelle_Coe: We originally agreed in the org structure that it would be up to 3 1 year terms
@James_Nylen: we also said we’d be open to revisiting that at the end of 2021 if it looked like it was going to be a problem
@Michelle_Coe: then a one year break, after which a person could be eligible for 3 more one year terms
I don’t see a problem with reviewing it again at the end of 2021.
@James_Nylen: I don’t think we need to do anything else on that…
@Tim_Kaye: Which I think makes perfect sense in a traditional nonprofit.
@Wade_Striebel: So I think that just confirms it in writing now
(again as we head into the next term)
@Tim_Kaye: We also talked about people having three-year terms. That is something I think we should make clear that we are not adopting.
OK, so all agreed so far!!
Next is item 6: number of slots.
@James_Nylen: I think 12 has proved to be too many over the past ~year
@Tim_Kaye: 9 seems to be a popular number. Not sure why!
Is it actually still too many? How many members do we need beyond team leads?
@Wade_Striebel: Well this is also part of what I think we need to agree on, I think everyone on the committee should be involved in a team in some capacity
@Michelle_Coe: I know there’s been some discussion on this. Wade, do you have the verbiage you used when reaching out to see if a person was interested in renewing?
@Tim_Kaye: Agreed. That means clarity on both teams and “some capacity”
@Michelle_Coe: There were some specific asks made
@Tim_Kaye: For example,we have a QA team. But I’m not sure what it does. I’m not sure whether we have an accessibility team. There was talk about a legal team at one time.
@Wade_Striebel: > As part of the committee, you should be one of the people that is most invested in helping ClassicPress succeed, and that comes with some responsibilities. We expect you to be actively involved in at least one team - this does require a time commitment, usually at least a few hours a week - and participate in most committee meetings.
@Michelle_Coe: I don’t think it should be a requirement that a team lead be a committee member, as that could hamper us if committee members don’t have experience in a particular area. But it should be a requirement that all committee members be actively involved in a team. We went over this in the org structure as well.
@James_Nylen: I’ve been thinking about this some more, and maybe it would be better to just say “committee members should be active in the project”
that could be a team or the committee itself, or helping out with questions/support in the forums
@Michelle_Coe: That would be community (forums) so that counts
@James_Nylen: at a bare minimum, consistent attendance of committee meetings
@invisnet: perhaps it would simplify things if we defined what the actual purpose of the committee is?
@James_Nylen: we’ve already done that
@Tim_Kaye: Yes, you can’t be a member of a body you don’t attend.
@Michelle_Coe: That was set forth in the org structure as well
@James_Nylen: to make decisions that affect the project as a whole, things that aren’t within the responsibility of a team
@Michelle_Coe: Steering Committee
The Steering Committee has three primary duties:
Ensure that CP activities and transactions are, first and foremost, advancing its mission and that all decisions are being made in the best interest of the organization as a whole (not an individual or small segment of the CP community).
Ensure that all CP assets — financial, personnel, and other assets — are utilized prudently.
Ensure that CP obeys any applicable laws and regulations, as well as its own bylaws and that the organization adheres to its stated mission and purposes.
@Tim_Kaye: Well, we need to modify that because the cttee does not control finances.
That’s for CP Ltd
@James_Nylen: also defining the rules by which CP operates, and updating them where necessary
@Michelle_Coe: This doesn’t say that the committee controls the finances, only ensures they are utilized prudently.
@Tim_Kaye: It can’t. It has no standing in matters of finances.
@Michelle_Coe: It goes on to say that the committee reviews spending periodically and discusses additional fundraising efforts.
@James_Nylen: ok, we seem to have taken a bit of a detour here…
@Tim_Kaye: It could make recommendations. That’s about it.
@invisnet: there is a legal obligation for the directors to handle the money properly
@Tim_Kaye: Agreed. I think it shows we need to tackle decision-making at the next meeting, including on petitions, etc, which we discussed before but didn’t take decisions on.
So the election/appt of Management Cttee members will need to be accompanied by a statement of what the cttee members’ responsibilities will be.
@Michelle_Coe: Okay so the org structure will need to be reviewed, that can be done at a future meeting.
@Tim_Kaye: But the original question on the agenda was how many slots we should have.
@invisnet: let’s answer the easy part of that first: odd or even number?
@Wade_Striebel: I still personally think 12 is too many
@Michelle_Coe: I agree with a smaller number, and an odd number.
@James_Nylen: yeah that seems like the best place to start. I agree we’ve had too many people.
@Michelle_Coe: It’s evident here currently — only about half of us are here, and that has been the case all year. It makes sense to reduce the number.
@James_Nylen: I still think 9 is a good number for the next year. If that is still too many then we can decrease further (going into 2021).
@invisnet: why don’t we just keep it simple and start with who we’ve got and worry about adding more if we need to?
@Tim_Kaye: If it’s going to be more than just team leads, I think we should add new blood.
@James_Nylen: yes, part of this is seeing how many others want to join
@Wade_Striebel: I personally am in favour of 9 (but I can’t really explain why)
@James_Nylen: and we should be adding a few new people every year anyway
@invisnet: i agree, but the simple fact is that at the moment we’re fishing in a very small pond
@James_Nylen: how about we go with 9 as a provisional, non-binding number, and take another look after we accept nominations
let’s not get bogged down in this when we don’t have all the relevant information yet
@Tim_Kaye: Sounds good to me.
@Michelle_Coe: I think it’s worth opening up to the community to see if anyone wants to nominate someone or wants to self-nominate. See what happens and move forward from there.
@Tim_Kaye: So no provisional number at all then?
@Michelle_Coe: But let’s continue and figure out how we’re going to elect/appoint 2020 members
@Tim_Kaye: That’s actually my preference too.
@Michelle_Coe: I think 9 is a good provisional number as a guideline, it’s not too lean of a committee but not bloated either
@Tim_Kaye: OK, we can figure out the verbiage when we decide the process then.
@Michelle_Coe: Too small means not enough representation at the table.
So, I want to avoid that too.
@Tim_Kaye: So how are we going to get Management Cttee members validated? (Item 7)
Elections or appointments?
@Michelle_Coe: Can you clarify the difference for us, Tim?
@Tim_Kaye: Appointments means that the current cttee will get to vote on nominations and endorsements put forward by people on the forums.
Elections mean voting by the whole community, however defined.
The former provides control against problems, but some people might view it as less democratic.
@James_Nylen: I understand that an appointment approach would be simpler practically, but I think it removes the accountability of the committee to the community
I’d welcome input from others who are following along, here
@Tim_Kaye: The latter gives us little to no control, and leaves us crossing our fingers, but might look more democratic.
I’ve had one PM supporting the appointments/endorsements approach (from someone who has a prior engagement)
@invisnet: none of this is being chiselled into stone tablets - let’s start with appointments as that better reflects where we are, then look at it again when we have a bigger community
@Tim_Kaye: @invisnet’s approach is my view too.
@James_Nylen: I have a PM suggesting that we can limit the votes to active forum users
practically this would be done by “trust level”
@Tim_Kaye: Active as of what date, and how defined?
@invisnet: i’d want to spend some time thinking about that
@Tim_Kaye: OK, that does mitigate the potential problems.
@invisnet: from a security pov we’re using something that’s not designed for that kind of trust
not saying it can’t be done, just that it needs careful thought first
@James_Nylen: if the “trust level” on the forums isn’t sufficient for this purpose then we’d have to come up with some other rules, and tally votes after the fact
@Tim_Kaye: Do we know how many such people there are?
currently we have 71 users at trust level 2, which seems the most appropriate level to me
@Tim_Kaye: So what does everyone think about that group being the electorate?
@Wade_Striebel: Well, 2 and up, correct?
right, so there would be more
@Michelle_Coe: I support that
2 and up
@James_Nylen: roughly 100
@Wade_Striebel: Ya, and those are the most active in our community
@invisnet: and how many can we realistically expect to vote?
@James_Nylen: let’s say half as a pessimistic estimate
@Wade_Striebel: I would want whatever voting to be open long enough that we could hopefully get 75% in an ideal world
@James_Nylen: I’m not sure how much that matters for this time around, since it’s our first election
I think the most important thing is coming up with a reasonable and practical plan
@Tim_Kaye: What would the eligibility date be?
In other words, could new people reach that level of trust in time to vote?
Or do we fix it as of today?
@Wade_Striebel: I would say anyone who reaches that level in the time period that the vote is open
@James_Nylen: I think we don’t have an easy way to fix that as of a given date
@Tim_Kaye: That’s what I was afraid of.
@invisnet: i’d say history is against not having a fixed date
@Wade_Striebel: Just the end of the vote, would that not be the easiest?
If you reach level 2 while the vote is open you too can vote
@Tim_Kaye: I think it’s the only practical date.
@invisnet: it needs to be a cut off point before the start of the vote, or we’re just open to it being stuffed
@Tim_Kaye: That’s why I said I was afraid of it!
@Michelle_Coe: What is the underlying concern here? Stuffing? Trolls?
We will face this every year, honestly
@Wade_Striebel: I don’t think anyone could realistically stuff enough users into Level 2 during the voting period
@James_Nylen: I see the issue, and I suggest we look into a way to make that easier to handle
Otherwise we can get a list of users at the start date, and check the votes against that list
not the end of the world
are there any other concerns with this approach?
(sorry, having some connectivity issues)
@Wade_Striebel: Alternatively, we can adjust the Level 2 requirements
Probably not this time, since it wouldn’t be fair
@Michelle_Coe: Wade, is trust level 2 a good deterrent against sock puppets?
@Wade_Striebel: Yes, Level 2 isn’t “easy” to get to
@invisnet: again, we’re using something not designed for this purpose to make fairly important decisions - this is usually a problem if not handled carefully
@James_Nylen: isn’t it pretty much designed for this purpose though?
@invisnet: in what way is a message board designed for electing people?
@Michelle_Coe: invisnet, what do you suggest?
@Wade_Striebel: There are 87 users in tl0 and over 120 tl1 users, so realistically, only tl1 users could meet the tl 2 requirement if we say voting is 30 days long
@James_Nylen: we definitely need a fixed date for the vote
other than that, though, Discourse trust levels are designed to gauge how active a member is in the community
and isn’t that the limit we’re trying to set?
@Tim_Kaye: We can’t have 30 days for a vote. 7 at the most.
@Wade_Striebel: I don’t really understand why we need a fixed date, and using Trust Levels ensures only ‘real’ users can vote
@Tim_Kaye so in that case, no tl0 user could realistically ever make it to tl2 in time
@invisnet: i’m very uncomfortable pinning so much on discourse
@James_Nylen: if we don’t have a fixed date, that creates a huge incentive for people to try to elevate their own trust level in order to vote
@Wade_Striebel: You need to meet the 15 day requirement
@Tim_Kaye: We need a fixed period, not necessarily a date. But if people are genuinely active, 30 days is way too long.
@invisnet: we’re using it as sso, now as the basis for elections - it’s a great bit of software, but it’s quickly becoming the single most critical thing in cp
it simply isn’t designed for that
@Wade_Striebel: yes, but what is your alternative that isn’t going to take months to implement?
@James_Nylen: I’m all for coming up with a better way to do this, but it’s not going to be for this year
we’d also want to use sso for whatever we come up with
i.e. link it to the forums account, because that’s where our community is
@Wade_Striebel: SSO is the only way we can ensure users move across our sites with no friction
@Tim_Kaye: We’re nearing the end of our time, so I think we need to vote on this.
@Wade_Striebel: @Tim_Kaye what are our options to vote on?
@invisnet: i’m not against sso, i’m against pinning everything on discourse because it’s easy to do now
@Tim_Kaye: Those in favor of elections where the electorate is Trust Level 2 or above?
@Michelle_Coe: I agree this isn’t ideal for next year, but it does appear that it will work for this year. I support this method for 2020, with the contingency that we will review the process and come up with a different solution for 2021.
@Tim_Kaye: And those against?
@Michelle_Coe: This should be one of the first tasks of the 2020 management committee.
@James_Nylen: I have a better first task for 2020
but we can get into that later
@Tim_Kaye: Please thumbs up one of my options above!!
@Michelle_Coe Do you want to vote?
@Michelle_Coe: Just did
@Tim_Kaye: OK, that’s carried!
@James_Nylen: I didn’t vote for this because it’s perfect, but because it’s something that we can do now
@Michelle_Coe: I agree
@James_Nylen: I’m all for coming up with a better way
@Tim_Kaye: Item 8 was about the Management Cttee transitions for 2021, but I think we have agreed to leave that to the new cttee in 2020.
So I think that’s the end of the meeting. Thanks everyone who joined in or followed along!
@Michelle_Coe: Thanks everyone!
@Wade_Striebel: Now I can go eat lunch
@James_Nylen: thank you Tim for helping us keep things moving along