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RE: voting membership rules

Tony's interpretation is correct in my opinion.

Taken together, the statements "Membership starts at the 3rd plenary
attended..." and "[one interim may be substituted for a plenary...]" should
be taken to mean that the membership starts at the start of the plenary
meeting following the achievement of attendence at two-out-of-four,
providing you show up.

For the starting of membership at the third meeting, I require only that a
person physically shows up and signs the attendance book once; it would be
absurd if "attendance" in this context meant 75% of sessions as it generally
does, since then voting membership would be gained at a point where 75% of
the week's sessions had been attended.  If a person attends some of the
sessions in his qualifying meeting, but enough to qualify as having
"attended" the meeting, he can vote as a member during the meeting and then
immediately lose his membership at the end, through not attending

Best regards,
	-- John
John Messenger (
Development Manager, Madge.connect, York UK
Vice-Chair, IEEE P802.5 Token Ring
Tel: +44-1904-693409   Fax: +44-1904-693067
"Mind like parachute: only works when open" -- Charlie Chan

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Tony Jeffree
> Sent: 24 September 1999 09:42
> To: Roger B. Marks
> Cc:;;
> Subject: Re: voting membership rules
> Roger -
> Your message annotated, preceeded by >>
> Regards,
> Tony
> At 23:56 23/09/99 -0600, Roger B. Marks wrote:
> >
> > Gentlemen:
> >
> > I am a rookie Working Group Chair in need of some advice.
> >
> > In constructing rules for 802.16, my greatest challenge is
> voting rights. I
> > simply can't decipher the 802 rules on this. Several of us spent over an
> hour
> > with Jim Carlo in Montreal without resolution. I've been
> worried that I am
> > overcomplicating the situation, but I have concluded that the
> situation in
> > inherently complicated.
> >
> > I have looked at some other WG rules and have not found a clearer
> > explanation. I'd like to know more about how you interpret the
> rules in your
> > group.
> >
> > Here are the key 802 statements:
> >>
> >> "... Thereafter, voting membership in a Working Group is established by
> >> participating in the meetings of the Working Group at two out
> of the last
> >> four Plenary sessions... Membership starts at the third Plenary session
> >> attended by the participant. One duly constituted interim
> Working Group or
> >> task group meeting may be substituted for the Working Group
> meetings at one
> >> of the two Plenary sessions."
> >
> > "Membership is retained by participating in at least two of the
> last four
> > Plenary session meetings. One duly constituted interim Working
> Group meeting
> > may be substituted for one of the two Plenary meetings."
> >> One of the key statements that you have missed is that the
> Chair also has
> the power to grant membership as he/she sees fit.
> >> The rules are not entirely clear as to which meetings
> constitute "the last
> four".  When you are at a Plenary meeting, does that meeting
> count as one of
> "the last four"? or are they the four most recent (and completed)
> plenaries?  I
> believe that the correct interpretation is the latter.
> (1) First let me put off the question of interims and make sure I
> understand
> the basic idea. I understood from Jim that lists are updated only in
> conjunctions with plenaries, that new members are added at the
> opening of the
> plenary meeting, and that expired members are deleted at the end of the
> plenary. I think that these statements follow from the rules.
> Here are a couple of simple scenarios and my interpretation of the rules:
> Meeting:     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
> Attendance:  x  x  x  -  -  -  -  -  -    x=attendance
> Status:            v         n            v=becomes voter;
> n=becomes nonvoter
> >>I believe this is correct.
> Meeting:     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
> Attendance:  x  x  x  -  -  x  -  -  -    x=attendance
> Status:            v            n         v=becomes voter;
> n=becomes nonvoter
> >>Correct.
> I think I understand everything to this point.
> Here's a slightly more interesting case:
> Meeting:     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
> Attendance:  x  x  x  -  x  -  -  x  x    x=attendance
> Status:            v            n    v    v=becomes voter;
> n=becomes nonvoter
> Here someone loses voting rights after meeting 7 and regains them
> in time for
> meeting 9.
> >>Correct.
> One scenario that also follows from the rules is:
> Meeting:     1  2  3
> Attendance:  x  x  -     x=attendance
> Status:            v     v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
> In other words, you become a voting member at the third plenary
> even if you
> don't attend it. I think  the requirement that people petition
> for membership
> at the meeting is in conflict with this rule, so I don't plan to implement
> this
> petitioning requirement.
> >>Wrong.  The granting of membership occurs at the start of the
> third plenary
> attended (assuming the "last four" rule has been satisfied); so
> in this case,
> the individual will gain voting rights only on attendance at
> plenary meeting 4
> or 5.  This is clear from the first passage you quote.
> (2) Now we introduce the interim meetings, and things get trickier. The
> problem
> is that the rules don't specify WHICH interim meetings are eligible. For
> example, if someone comes to an interim in 1981 and then turns up this
> November, does he become a voter the next time he shows up at a Plenary? A
> more
> typical example is this: a guy comes to a March Plenary and a May
> interim. Is
> he a voter in July? Does this violate the clause that "Membership
> starts at
> the
> third Plenary"? It seems to; you could establish voting membership from
> scratch
> in 4 months. How do you guys handle this?
> >>The substitution rule (you can substitute one interim for one of the
> plenaries) is reasonably clear on this, but I agree, if there has
> only ever
> been 1 interim and that occurred in 1981, then there is the possibility of
> mis-interpretation.  I believe that what the rule should clarify
> here is that
> the only interim attendances that can be substituted are the ones
> that have
> occurred during the time-period betweem now and the first of the last four
> plenaries.  In other words, the test for gaining membership becomes:
> >>"If you are building membership, and you are attending a
> plenary meeting,
> and
> you have either attended two out of the last four plenaries or
> have attended
> one of the last four plenaries plus one interim meeting that occurred in
> between any two of the last four plenaries, then you have achieved voting
> status."
> >>Similarly, for maintaining membership:
> >>"If you have either attended two out of the last four plenaries or have
> attended one of the last four plenaries plus one interim meeting
> that occurred
> in between any two of the last four plenaries, then you have
> maintained your
> voting status."
> One of the rules I'm considering is allowing an interim to
> substitute ONLY for
> the preceding Plenary.  This would require a minimum of 6 months to gain
> voting
> rights. If I don't do this, I'll probably let the interim credit
> be applied to
> either the preceding or following Plenary but not to any other.
> >>I believe that is a tighter constraint than is currently
> applied in other
> WGs.
> (3) This is a comment, not a question: I think that the rules should be
> revised
> to take into account the existence of and importance of interim
> meetings. Like
> many other groups, we are planning three interims a year. People
> can maintain
> membership by attending two out of four plenaries, which is three meetings
> every two years. Three out of twelve, in my opinion, is insufficient to
> justify
> continued voting rights.
> >>This seems at variance with your statement on substitution.  If
> you believe
> interims and plenaries are of equal importance, surely you should be
> travelling
> in the direction of giving equal credit for attendance at either.
>  If you are
> suggesting a "mininum time served" rule should be imposed, then
> it would be
> better separated from the meeting rule.
> The voting rights rule reduces the incentive for people to attend
> interims. At
> our interim last week, we ended up with less than a quorum. It
> didn't hurt us
> much, but it could in the future. For instance, my project plan
> has us making
> our key decisions at a May 2000 interim. If we don't have a
> quorum, we could
> have real problems.
> >>It is not unusual for interim meetings to be non-quorate; this
> does not stop
> the working group from functioning.  If decisions need to be
> taken, then the
> interim meeting's decisions can be ratified at the next plenary
> (if the issue
> can stand a 2 month delay) or ratified by email ballot (if more urgent).
> I'm getting off the topic, but I'd appreciate any advice on how I can keep
> from
> being completely hosed if I don't have a quorum. Right now, I
> have two ideas:
> -Make decisions by letter ballot.
> -Get the inactive voting members off the rolls by:
>     -deleting members who fail to vote in letter ballots.
>     -offering inactive members the option to resign.
>     -ensuring that the rules are interpreted to delete inactive
> members. See
> (4) below:
> >>I don't see anything to prevent you doing all of the above.  But as
> commented
> earlier, non-quorate interims do not prevent work from being done.
> (4) For a new WG, 802 doesn't include any specific rules except that:
> >
> > "All persons participating in the initial meeting of the Working Group
> become
> > voting members of the Working Group."
> > >>I believe as WG chair you have the right to define such a
> rule if you see
> > fit (see my comment above).
> Strictly interpreted, the rules says that my voting members (who
> became so by
> attending last July) will lose their voting rights at the end of
> the November
> plenary if they don't attend; they will not have attended two of the last
> four.
> Of course, there have only been two, but the rules don't provide
> any kind of
> allowance for that. One might say that one of two is enough,
> given that there
> have only _been_ two. However, I prefer the stricter interpretation and
> plan to
> use it. Note that people who lose voting rights after November
> can regain it
> fairly quickly:
> Meeting:     1  2  3  4
> Attendance:  x  -  x  -      x=attendance
> Status:      v   n    v      v=becomes voter; n=becomes nonvoter
> >>Not quite...I believe the strict interpretation is that he/she only
> becomes a
> voter at meeting 4 if he/she attends the meeting and it is a plenary (see
> earlier).  But as this is a startup situation that is not handled by the
> rules,
> I guess you get to call the shots.  (Typical software bug
> handles
> the
> normal cases, but not the exceptions...)