On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 07:41:14PM +0100, Johan Engelen wrote:
Why? What is the specific problem(s) that meetings would solve?
I will come back to this later, but the trigger for this was a discussion on how to resolve board inactivity... we spoke about making a more objective 'rule' that would not require nasty discussions. One proposal was "miss 3 meetings in a row"
Ah, I wondered if that was the case.
So let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's set aside discussion about meetings and focus on this, since it sounds like the real problem here.
I also share this concern. It bugs me when we hold a vote and we get 3 yes votes and silence from the other 4; this has happened more than a few times. Even when we have a majority, it still is annoying to me that we don't ever seem to get to 100% voter turnout. I think about this pretty much every time we vote.
Most of the time the solution is fairly simple - I privately ping whomever has gotten inactive and politely inquire what's up. Sometimes that gets their attention, they get their vote in and are more active, perhaps after getting some real life stuff sorted out. In a couple instances they opted to honorably step down to free the seat for someone else. So far in all but one of the instances, the issue got happily resolved one way or the other. The one instance still outstanding (i.e. MentalGuy) I'm still trying to resolve off-list.
I have to emphasize the "real life stuff" as something we need to be conscientious of. Folks here on the board have shared privately some of the tough stuff they've had to go through: Family crises, employment disruptions, extensive travel, health troubles, intensive work situations, and even plain old burn out working in Inkscape. Probably more, that just isn't shared. But usually whatever the problem is, it's temporary or will settle down and allow participation again after a month or two. For someone going through a rough spot, kicking them off the board would be adding insult to injury. It might end up driving an otherwise great contributor away from the project permanently.
Now, all that said, It's probably for the best that we are adding some objective mechanism to oust board members. Hopefully we never have to use it, and I think we should work very hard to never, ever do so. But, if someone disappears and can't be contacted for months on end, that may be our only option. (As an off topic aside... Long timers will recall such an event was one of the things that led to us starting Inkscape in the first place...)
Rather than meeting attendance, I think voting history would be a better objective mechanism. Say, out of the past N months if you cast votes in fewer than X% of the referendums. Where N is like 3 or 6 months, and X is like 5 or 10. My thinking is that while meeting attendance is really just a means to an end, but voting is the fundamental reason we were elected to these seats.
(Wish we could apply rules like this against the US Congress members...)