Council and the board in transition 2011

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The 2011 governance proposal, approved in spring 2011 by both Council and Board, does away with the Community Council. However, until the volunteer representative seats are filled, the Council still exists.

Starting next month, council and board meetings will
happen at the same time; members of council will be advisors to the
board for the open (non-executive) portions of board meetings; council
will shut down when new board is installed (+30); and council
membership will not be closed, aside from what will already happen
with shutdown.
Council decision, May 2011

For clarity, the meetings are just termed "board meetings," and the decisions made at them have the force of board decisions.


  • Retain the group wisdom of council and integrate multiple viewpoints into board deliberation
  • Foster transparency in board operations
  • Ensure the board is functional throughout this transition
  • Provide training ground for potential volunteer representatives

Outstanding elements of confusion

However, it was left unclear what functions the Council retains. There are several elements:

These bylaws are scheduled to be changed at the board's August meeting, so this issue is moot; if, however, decisions are to be made on-list in the interim, are made at the August meeting before the amendments are adopted, or the amendments are delayed, proposals should be explicitly framed as either board or council decisions, with reasoning made explicit. --Ideath 23:07, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Decision-making may be difficult because it is not clear which body is required to come to consensus on issues, including any related to the above items. It is clear that the council has voice in discussions as the board's advisory body, but not clear whether the board may choose to overlook or defer addressing concerns on items that may fall under the council's purview, or if council members might block issues that fall under council purview. The latter will not be an issue once the bylaws are modified, but the issue of concerns will still be important to clarify.
Obviously, requiring the board to fully resolve every concern amounts to giving blocking power to non-board members. But we could require the board to make a good faith attempt to fully understand and address concerns raised by advisory attendees. I am not sure if this wording is good or sufficient. --Ideath 23:07, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Communication is unclear due to multiple email lists for council and board. Membership in the board email list has recently (Feb 2011; minutes missing) been limited to current board members and current collective staff, due largely to the need for communication about negotiations. Discussion about this topic will take place on the council email list.

Please comment; hopefully we can bring any proposals that emerge from this to the August board meeting.