wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper seeking advice on building a nationwide network

Paul Vixie vixie at isc.org
Fri Sep 23 04:57:12 UTC 2011

On Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:05:51 -0500
Benson Schliesser <bensons at queuefull.net> wrote:

> Earlier this year I received the following from ARIN member
> services:  "This year the NomCom charter was changed by the Board.
> In the past the 3 Member volunteers were selected at random.  This
> year the 3 volunteers will be chosen by the 4 current members of the
> NomCom (2 from the Board 2 from the AC)"

yow.  i should have remembered this, you'd think.

> The above quote was sent to me in response to a query I made,
> inquiring how the NomCom would be chosen in 2011.  It is consistent
> with what I was told in 2010, when I was chosen to be part of the
> 2010 NomCom.  At that time I was told that Member volunteers were
> chosen randomly.  During my NomCom tenure, however, it was suggested
> to me privately that there was very little randomness involved in the
> selection process; I was told that individuals were specifically
> chosen for NomCom.  I don't know what to make of this disparity,
> honestly, which is why I referenced "the appearance of random
> selection".

suggested to you privately by arin staff?

> The NomCom acts as a filter, of sorts.  It chooses the candidates
> that the membership will see.  The fact that the NomCom is so closely
> coupled with the existing leadership has an unfortunate appearance
> that suggests a bias.  I'm unable to say whether the bias exists, is
> recognized, and/or is reflected in the slate of candidates.  But it
> seems like an easy enough thing to avoid.

you seem to mean that the appearance of bias would be easy to avoid,

> As for my use of "existing establishment":  I'm of the impression
> that a relatively small group of individuals drive ARIN, that most
> ARIN members don't actively participate.  I have my own opinions on
> why this is, but they aren't worth elaborating at this time - in
> fact, I suspect many ARIN members here on NANOG can speak for
> themselves if they wanted to.  In any case, this is just my
> impression.  If you would rather share some statistics on member
> participation, election fairness, etc, then such facts might be more
> useful.

i think our participation level in elections is quite high and i'll ask
for details and see them published here.

> > ARIN's bylaws firmly place control of ARIN into the hands of its
> > members. if you think that's the wrong approach, i'm curious to
> > hear your reasoning and your proposed alternative.
> One of ARIN's governance strengths is the availability of petition at
> many steps, including for candidates rejected by the NomCom.
> Likewise, as you noted, leaders are elected by the membership.  For
> these reasons I previously noted that "ARIN has a pretty good
> governance structure" and I continue to think so.  It could be
> improved by increased member involvement, as well as broader
> involvement from the community. (For instance, policy petitions
> should include responses from the entire affected community, not just
> PPML.)  But my criticisms should be interpreted as constructive, and
> are not an indictment of the whole approach.

thanks for saying so.
Paul Vixie

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