User:Pfrields/Proposal for Board Term Limits

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Contents

Problem

The Board is a partly elected body. Elections sometimes hinge, for better or worse, on the name recognition of candidates. People who are involved in Fedora for the better part or the entirety of their paid jobs thus stand a better chance of repeated election. In addition, it is in the Board's interest to change its constitution in a controlled but progressive manner to ensure the whole Fedora community is fairly represented.

General Solution Statement

One solution the community widely supports is term limits for Board members. Term limits prevent stagnation of the Board's membership and a perception of insulation. They are easy to implement and can be integrated into the existing succession plan.

Proposed Solution

Amend the Board's succession plan with the following rule:

No Board member shall serve more than two full elected terms (four releases) consecutively, or be eligible for election to a term which would cause the member's consecutive service to exceed that limit. Following consecutive service of two full terms, the Board member becomes ineligible for election for the period of one full term (two releases), after which time that person's eligibility is restored.

Discussion

  • For purposes of this rule, the Board member is considered to have served a term once the member is elected and serves at least thirty days during the term.
  • A member who has served 1.5 terms (three releases) is ineligible for re-election immediately following that period, but no restriction is placed on that member's eligibility for the second following election. If David is elected following the release of Fedora 10, and his term is extended for some reason for a half-term, his seat is up for re-election following the release of Fedora 13. David is then ineligible for election until after the release of Fedora 14.
  • A member who has served 2 terms (four releases) is ineligible for re-election for a one-term waiting period (two releases) immediately following that service. If Claire is elected following the release of Fedora 10, is re-elected after the release of Fedora 12, and serves two terms, her seat is up for re-election following the release of Fedora 14. Claire is then ineligible for election until after the release of Fedora 16.
  • The FPL is not subject to any such term limitation.

Notes

  • Can the cooling off period be one release for everyone? (Toshio)
  • Extending these term limits to Red Hat appointed seats is not sensible for a number of reasons -- institutional knowledge, flexibility, etc.
  • With enough paid full timers, this will only change which full timers are there, and not solve the real problem. GNOME Board does not allow more than 40% membership to be from one company. (Luis Villa)
  • Counter-propose to take Luis's idea, combined with limits on RHT per business-unit (or something resembling a business unit) e.g. no more than 2 fedora fulltimers, no more than 2 rhel people, no more than 2 jboss people, etc allowed at a time to get a better balance. (caillon)