Important updates for PostgreSQL Europe

Those of you who were at FOSDEM, heard my bold announcement that we will finally get off the ground and hold proper elections fort he board of PostgreSQL Europe, per a decision made the day before. Now, when we got home and read up on the statutes that govern the organization, it turns out we actually can't do that. The way forward that we've found around this, is to actually change the statutes to make these things possible.

To change the statutes, we need a majority of the General Assembly, made out of the active members, to agree on a change. It turns out that given how the statues are formed, there are currently only four members in PostgreSQL Europe, and these four members are the original board. Because of this, it was pretty easy to change the statutes (we only needed 3 of these people to agree, which we all did). And this we have done. The reason for changing them is to make sure we can get a working system going where we have more people involved. But in order to make that work, we first had to make this small-group decision.

The changes have just been published to www.postgresql.eu, and should show up any minute there. The changes that have been made are:

  • We have removed the definition of "Benefactor members", to keep things simple. We are keeping Active and Honorary members.
  • Created a membership fee, to control who is a member.
  • Change so that any resignations are handled by the Board, not the President, to make things more flexible.
  • Add that a membership is terminated if the fee isn't paid.
  • Added mailinglist as an approved way to do meetings. Since this is how we do most of our communicating, it made no sense not to have it on there.
  • Moved the budget out of the GA, it's just a tool for the executive board. Keeps down the paperwork.
  • Add a defined way for the GA to vote on issues, using a web based system (to be developed).
  • Since we will be voting over the internet, remove the ability to vote by proxy.

As you can see, the main change is the creation of a membership fee. This is the most controversial change. The idea here is that it will be a nominal fee (€10 for two years of membership - though that exact amount isn't part of the statutes, to keep flexibility). This will make it possible for us to have an actual membership list, which will be the grounds for who can vote.

The current method for handling membership requires the signing and sending around of forms on paper (yes! Actual dead trees!). Given how our organization works, this simply does not work. That is the main driver behind us changing this.

We did evaluate several other ways to deal with membership, ranging from things like requiring physical meetings (not really a good idea for a pan-European organization) to fancy PGP signing schemes (which really is way too complex for a lot of people). Our conclusion was that this was at least the least bad way to do it.

We are going to build on this shortly with more information about exactly how the elections are going to be held. The plan is still to have completed this years election before the summer, and we are well on track to make that goal.

The changes to the English statutes are of course available in our git repository. The binding french changes will be made shortly.

If you have any changes or comments, please direct them at the pgeu-general@postgresql.org mailinglist, or directly contact the board.


Comments

Good work so far!

Posted on Feb 18, 2010 at 16:05 by Andreas 'ads' Scherbaum.

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