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To: gentoo-project@g.o
From: Rich Freeman <rich0@g.o>
Subject: Re: Council discuss: overlapping council terms of two years
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 14:51:30 -0400
On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 2:24 PM, Roy Bamford <neddyseagoon@g.o> wrote:
> The Gentoo council has no legal standing whatsoever, which I have
> already said (at FOSEDEM) makes me a little nervous as a trustee, since
> the council makes decisions on behalf of Gentoo that the Foundation
> would be held both accountable and responsible for. There have been no
> issues with that, yet.
>
> Maybe its time to reorganise Gentoo along standard corporate lines
> again, as it was before drobbins left. If we go in that direction, the
> council becomes a technical committee that is part of the Foundation.
> GLEP39 is no longer needed and the Foundation bylaws are amended to
> reflect the new structure.
>

So, while that is something that has been talked about, and which I
tend to support, I think that it is a BIG change for Gentoo.  Even if
the intent is to keep the change small from a practical standpoint.

I definitely would prefer to avoid updating the Foundation bylaws, at
least right now.  My concern is that we're still cleaning up the past
in terms of tax filings, legal status, etc.  I think that good
progress is being made, but I'm afraid that trying to reorganize the
distro is going to eat up a lot of effort.

Even if this weren't an issue I'd probably still avoid
over-formalizing the council - since splitting off the trustees was
done precisely to avoid that in the first place.  The foundation needs
to operate in a fairly formal way for legal reasons.  We already have
difficulty meeting the required level of formality within our current
scope of responsibility.  I'd be reluctant to apply that same level of
rigor to the council.

That said, if an issue does legally threaten Gentoo then it is the
duty of the trustees to step in if it isn't sorted out quickly.  I
think that most would already support this, and unless somebody spots
something in the bylaws that is unclear I think legally the trustees
already have the authority to do so.  In the past I think councils
have done a good job steering clear of legal landmines, and I do think
that if the trustees were to raise a legal concern with a proposed
action they would probably respect our role without any need for
coercion.  Maybe clarifying this in GLEP 39 might not hurt, but I
wouldn't send the document out for another vote with only that change.

Rich


References:
Re: Council discuss: overlapping council terms of two years
-- Rich Freeman
Re: Council discuss: overlapping council terms of two years
-- Roy Bamford
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