RE: [802SEC] views on quorums at WG Interim Sessions
There is a significant difference between the notice for
interim Working Group meetings and that for 802 Plenaries.
I know when an 802 plenary will occur years in advance and
I have it on my calendar. It is the week with the second
Wednesday in March, July and November. I can arrange my
schedule arbitrarily far in advance without risking a
conflict. Not only do we know
when it will occur, but other large bodies that draw from
a strongly overlapping set of people know that
schedule and can schedule their meetings.
Interim Working Group meeting dates are not set nearly as
far in advance and they don't occur on the same date for
all Working Groups so conflicts with personal schedules
or other non-802 meetings are more likely.
That is why a quorum rule difference is justified.
I agree that Robert's Rules allow quorums lower than 50%.
However, in my experience, standards setting bodies and
those developing open specifications (e.g. IBTA) typically
do use 50% or higher for their quorum requirement. I would
be more comfortable with tightening the voter retention
rule than with changing the quorum.
From: Stevenson, Carl R (Carl) [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2002 6:47 AM
To: 'Bob O'Hara'; 802sec (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: RE: [802SEC] views on quorums at WG Interim Sessions
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bob O'Hara [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Thursday, June 06, 2002 4:14 PM
> To: 802sec (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> Subject: RE: [802SEC] views on quorums at WG Interim Sessions
> I have to jump in here, too. I have very strong feelings
> about the quorum
> issue. It is not just about making progress versus having to
> wait for 802
> plenary cycles. It is about meeting (at least in part) the "open and
> public" standards development process that helps to keep the
> IEEE and LMSC
> out of anti-trust hot water. Before we expend too many more
> minutes on
> this, I would like to have a legal opinion from the IEEE
> legal staff as to
> the ability of LMSC or any of its WGs or TAGs to depart from
> Robert's Rules
> of Order is such a significant way.
I would respectfully submit that, as Roger sort of observed,
there is nothing "magical" about a WG meeting that is held in
conjunction with an LMSC plenary ... and there is IMPLICILTY
a quorum" at such a meeting of 802.11 ... even if you and I
were the only ones to show up (though we'd have a hard time
without a Chair, Secretary, etc., but I think you get my point.)
The only point being made is that, AS LONG AS a WG meeting is
scheduled well enough in advance, properly noticed, etc., the
EXACT SAME fundamental justification that lets 802 plenaries
"off the hook" on quorum requirements applies.
Once again, those who attend WG meetings on the 2 month
interval between 802 Plenaries should not be artificially
hindered from making progress, since they ARE the ones who
are dedicated enough to actually DO the work ...
Also, while this may be heresy to you and some others,
while I realize that Robert's Rules is a valuable and
accepted guide to conducting business in an orderly
fashion, it should not become a quasi-religious matter,
either ... it is entirely possible (and legal, I'm quite
sure) for the LMSC rules to depart from Robert's, if and
when it serves the needs of the organization.
> I am completely against reducing the quorum requirement. Our
> process is all
> about achieving consensus. Allowing a group to make what can
> be significant
> decisions with much less than half the voting membership
> participating is a
> road to longer, not shorter periods for developing positions
> and standards, in my opinion.
I respectfully disagree and point again to the lack of a quorum
requirement for WG meetings held in conjunction with 802 Pleanries.
I submit that the meetings on the 2 month intervals are no different,
except that right now, the most active participants who are actually
doing the work are subject to being hindered by those who aren't
committed enough to attend and participate ...
Another approach would be to make the requirements for keeping
one's voting rights much more stringent ... but that would reduce
the pool of people to comment on letter ballots, and I think that's
in that respect a less desirable solution than to simply put properly
scheduled and noticed WG "interims" on the same plane as WG meetings
held in conjunction with 802 plenaries ... in fact, maybe such WG
meetings should not be CALLED "interims" but WG Plenaries ...