Thunderbird Governance 2018 - Council Elections - council size, eligibility, and term overlaps

Goverenance TB governance at
Fri Jan 19 04:38:39 UTC 2018

The council proposes the following items for 2018 elections and requests 
your feedback and ideas by Wednesday January 24.

  * A council size of seven. (no change) Why seven? There is much work
    in progress and much to be accomplished[1] to keep the project
    organized and get to a reasonable level of professional staffing. A
    size of 9 would incur longer meetings and require a larger quorum
    which may sometimes difficult to achieve because members are in many
    time zones, and lack of quorum results in a meeting with no voting
    and no action. A council size of five was considered (and is a
    potential as a long term goal as the project evolves), but five will
    not provide needed amount of manpower.Seven is seen as the current
    sweet spot of not too many and not too few.
  * Thunderbird employees permitted to be on the council. (no change,
    with the proviso mentioned below) Why? Employees can offer
    significant perspective, enthusiasm and potential manpower, just as
    any volunteer. And while there can be conflict of interest on
    certain council decisions (which may require recusing one self), it
    is felt that excluding employees at this time needlessly diminishes
    the pool of highly qualified council candidates.

  * Limit council membership to a maximum of two people per
    company/unit. (this is new) Why? To maintain diversity on the
    council and to avoid potential takeover by one organization, which
    might also threaten openness. This would mean for example there
    cannot be more than two Thunderbird employees, more than Mozilla
    employees, etc. (TDF has similar limitations.)
  * One year terms. (no change) Why? Some councils (boards) have term
    overlaps, where half or less than half of the council is elected
    each year to ensure minimum continuity of experienced individuals on
    the council. (Meaning for this election four would be elected to a
    one year term and three elected to a two year term, then next year
    four would be elected for a two year term, the year after three,
    then four, etc..) The council feels a one year term with every
    member replaceable allows for greater accountability of council
    members to the electorate, and by extension to the larger community.

All items will be reviewed in the 2019 election cycle as to their 
effectiveness and suitability, and therefore subject to change in future 
cycles. *We request and encourage **your feedback, questions and ideas 
in public or in private by Wednesday January 24. *

Regards, Wayne (writing for the governance committee) [1] Reference 
"Council Member Duties and Roles" 

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