[Nanog-futures] Admission for Committee Members

Daniel Golding dgolding at gmail.com
Thu Sep 1 19:54:45 CDT 2011

On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 7:49 PM, John Springer <springer at inlandnet.com> wrote:
> Hi David,
> I have a memory, from the community meetings where the early NEWNOG finances
> were being discussed, that it was _ABSOLUTELY_CRITICAL_ that $100/per member
> fees be implemented. If we didn't, $reallybadthings were completely certain,
> and anyone who doubted it was not "in the know". Note the outdated doc here,
> which is all we appear to have to go on:
> https://newnog.org/docs/budget-2010-08.pdf cited a figure of $20,000.00 for
> 2011 for memberships fees. Not far off, there are 210 names here:
> https://newnog.org/members.php plus some extra years, but say $30,000.00 for
> 2011.

I think you may be having a memory problem. The reason it was
absolutely critical that the $100/member fee be implemented was 1)
cash flow (we didn't have any, and we needed to cash to do stupid,
self-serving things like putting down hotel deposits) and 2) to help
identify membership in a way that would be acceptable to the IRS (and
everyone else) for tax-exempt status. There has also been an
unanticipated but totally positive impact - the membership fee has
helped to instill a sense of ownership in the organization. Of course,
sometimes that sense of ownership manifests itself in a really nasty
way, but that's life, I guess.

> Now looking at the lists under the Governance heading here:
> http://www.nanog.org/ I see 33 committee members, depending on changing
> members and whether you include the Board. So assuming all these folks are
> completely incented by this move (and why not?), you propose to forgo the
> $1275.00 (3x$425.00 Early Bird Member Registration Fee) revenue each (they
> are all currently paying, right)? 33 X $1,275.00 = $42,075.00 per year.

Although I find your tone offensive and your implications ugly, your
numbers are correct.

> Seriously? Plus, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, and I am sure
> that the Program Committee list here:
> http://www.nanog.org/governance/program/programcommittee.php is either
> incorrect or that you will be leaving the committee structure soon enough
> that you will not personally benefit from this proposal, BUT the
> _appearance_ of a committee member proposing this suggests the
> _faintest_possible_appearance_ of impropriety to me. I am sure that I am a
> profoundly disturbed individual for even thinking this way, but just sayin'.

The committee/board membership is such a big chunk of the overall
membership (as it should be) that disqualifying them from making
proposals that could impact them financially seems ridiculous on the
face of it. However, I do agree that you appear to be profoundly

> If, in fact, the difficulties of staffing the committees require action, may
> we please discuss that matter on a list? Oh, I guess we are! Or has the
> discussion already taken place in camera and this proposal is the result? If
> you are the authorized spokesperson for the NANOG/NewNog structure proposing
> this, then I withdraw my innuendo of impropriety and extend my apology.

"in camera" - wow, how dramatic! I'll have to use that one.

There are no "authorized spokesperson for the NANOG/NewNog structure"
- but if we need someone, I suggest we hire the ex-Iraqi Information
Minister. That guy is really good. And as far as "innuendo" - you
realize that innuendo requires some degree of subtlety, right?

> But the whole thing seems a bit off to me.
> John Springer

I can't believe it, but I do agree that this is probably a bad idea.
Not because I don't trust the integrity of Dave Temkin - on the
contrary, he's a standup guy, widely admired in the Internetworking
community. Rather, the loss of revenue to the organization and the
potential drama around the arrangements are pretty significant. That
being said, I think we should approach our interactions by assuming
that everyone is acting in good faith. People will always disagree and
people will always make mistakes, but assuming EVIL and CONSPIRACIES,
while satisfying and weirdly thrilling, is probably not a good use of
anyone's time.

- Daniel Golding

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