[AUUG-Talk]: Query about "unincorporated successor AUUG's" and AUUGs domain

Peter Wishart peter.wishart at canb.auug.org.au
Sun Feb 17 18:42:39 EST 2008

Greg 'groggy' Lehey said the following on 15/02/2008 1:47 PM:
> As I've mentioned from time to time, I've been thinking of it, but
> haven't contacted the Board yet.  Board, this is the contact.

Greg, On behalf of the Board I acknowledge your contact and interest.

> ...
> - We'd like to continue the AUUG organization essentially as before,
>   but without charging membership fees for individuals.

I have had a number of existing and recent members who have expressed an 
interest in remaining members of AUUG, but the only thing that they are 
able or willing to commit is the membership fee.  

I am considering proposing a membership model which recognises 
membership to both those members who want to pay money and those who 
only want to contribute non monetary things (like their active 
participation).   I would propose we treat those two types of members 
equally, both are contributing value to the organisation.    This 
probably requires more constitutional changes.  The current Associate 
Member category (which is non voting) is probably the starting point.  
But I would like the non fee paying members to have obligations to have 
active participation or they lose their membership. 

Examples of active participation obligations could include:
- take an administrative role, eg. board member, system admin, content 
maintainer ...
- organise meetings or present at meetings on some regular basis

It is not yet a well formulated concept and I am interested in other 
thoughts and ideas in this area.

> - Where do we get our money from?  We have some now, and it's my
>   contention that we can run the organization on a shoestring.  We've
>   discussed this matter in the past, and some people have come up with
>   non-trivial expenses such as accounting fees and insurance that
>   might need to be paid.  It's my contention that they're not needed:
>   if we don't have any cash flow, we don't need to pay accounting
>   fees, and if we don't have events we won't need insurance.

I am not yet convinced that this is viable in the current incorporated 
form of AUUG.

> - We *would* like to hold events, but that's down the road.  First we
>   need to reestablish a membership base, and then we can see whether
>   the members are interested in being active.

If at least some portion of the members are not interested in being 
active then I do not see the point of an AUUG organisation.

> - A number of people other than David and Stephen have expressed
>   interest in running the downsized AUUG.  I haven't mentioned them
>   because I don't have a formal agreement to do so.  But everybody is
>   welcome to join in.

I am also interested in assisting running the new organisation.  Count 
me in.

> In short, it'll be business as usual except for the membership fees.
> We specifically do *not* want to deincorporate AUUG (Board please
> note).

Noted, but dissolution is not a board decision.    It is an outcome of 
dissolution ballot process.

> I'd encourage the Board to consider doing the following:
> - Drop membership fees.

I am constructing a proposal to the board to drop the fees.   I am not 
yet confident that it can zero, but it should certainly be significantly 
less than the current figure. 

> - Allow time for ex-members to re-join.  I'm sure David will have an
>   appropriate membership  application up in a flash.

We have already issued the dissolution ballot.   Even then we were late 
in meeting our constitutional requirement to issue it with 4 weeks, as 
several people pointed out.  We could not wait to issue the ballot.   If 
members think that the ballot should have been delayed then I recommend 
that they vote against the current dissolution ballot.   There is 
nothing to prevent concerned members from petitioning for another 
dissolution ballot in future.

> - Call an election for a new board, possibly in advance if the
>   constitution allows it.

I am happy to put a proposition formally to the board provided that I 
can get a few concrete offers of people to take roles.  It would not be 
a useful exercise unless we a guaranteed to get some new people. 

If we have committed, interested members, willing to take board roles 
then the board could co-opt them now, without any need for another 
election (until required by the Constitution).   I expect there may even 
be existing board members who would happily step aside for new board 

> And that's all.  The new board could then handle the transition with a
> minimum of fuss.  I'm prepared to help with this, but as I've said,
> I'm not prepared to pay a membership fee to do so.

That is your right, but it means you remain outside the voting AUUG 
membership until some people inside do something to enable your 
participation and/or ideas. 

> So what does this mean for your vote?  Despite my requests, the Board
> has not included this option in the ballot papers.  I would suggest
> that you vote against dissolution.  If the board continues to insist
> on membership fees, fee-paying members should organize a way to change
> that.

I recommend that members vote against the dissolution and allow 
interested parties to reshape AUUG.  If there are fee-paying members who 
"want to organise to change"  the membership fees then please get in touch.

Peter Wishart
Peter.Wishart at canb.auug.org.au	Phone: +61-417-669-516

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