[Osmf-talk] Board term limits and term lengths
frederik at remote.org
Thu Apr 20 23:16:54 UTC 2017
as you might remember, we had a vote on term limits a couple years
back. A majority of the OSMF members who voted (56%) were in favour of
somehow limiting the maximum time someone can be a board member, but the
resolution failed to reach the threshold of 75% required to change our
Articles of Association.
At the time, the OSMF board was against holding this vote at all, and
the fact that a resolution was forced could well have made some members
vote "no". A well-considered proposal that had the board's support could
have a chance of garnering 75% of votes.
The main motivation for having term limits is that currently, a person
can be re-elected as many times as the voters like. If someone does (or
appears to do) a good job, this can lead to them dominating the
organisation, cementing their personal influence and being a hindrance
The main counter-argument is that if voters want to re-elect someone
repeatedly for a long time, why shouldn't they be allowed to? There are
organisations run by the same people for very long and it can work well.
With strict term limits, situations could arise where the board loses
many experienced people at once due to them reaching their term limit,
which would undesirably weaken the organisation.
Another point that plays into this and that may or may not need a rule
change is our current term lengths. The Articles of Association say that
in every election, those two board members whose election was longest
ago have to retire (but may stand for re-election). This rule means that
voters never know for how long they're actually voting someone in - it
might be anything from 1 to 4 years depending on who else is quitting.
We discussed the matter in our recent board meeting and while we're not
generally opposed to term limits if the membership wants to have them,
we don't have a good idea that would elegantly deal with all these issues.
How important are term limits for you? Do you think board should revisit
the issue? Do you perhaps even have a concrete suggestion? Or are things
ok the way they are and we can shelve the issue?
Frederik Ramm ## eMail frederik at remote.org ## N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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