[arin-ppml] [arin-discuss] Term Limit Proposal

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Tue Mar 25 17:13:12 EDT 2014

On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 09:59:32AM -0700, Scott Leibrand wrote:
> I support term limits for the AC.  From my experience 6 years is about when
> burnout starts to hit, so I think that's a good time to take a 1 year
> break.  (I considered doing so myself this year, but narrowly decided
> against it and was re-elected for a third 3-year term.)

If I understand the above correctly, you are saying that a term limit
would be a good idea, because when you had to make the decision
yourself you chose the wrong way?

It seems to me that a little bit of social pressure and some
well-placed and -timed advice from others who have previously served
might be at least as effective at achieving the (IMO correct) goal of
lowering the risk that some people will be too long in the saddle,
without the damaging side effects of hard limits that can't be avoided
when something really important comes up.  Just for example, suppose
there was this year a BoT member coming up on the limit who'd been the
primary actor on IANA reforms, and who remained active in that area.
Suppose further that everyone else on the BoT hated everything about
IANA and had historically avoided it like the plague.  Finally,
suppose that this was someone whose professional expertise happened to
include public interest governance.  I suggest that in this particular
(made up) example, the advantages of experience with all these topics,
given what's going on with IANA, would be more valuable than "fresh
eyes" in the middle of the announced transition.  But a hard limit
would not allow that person to serve again.

One of the important things to do when setting a policy is not to
create accidental side effects that are at least as bad as the thing
you're trying to fix.  In this case, it sounds like the advocates of
term limits want them because they don't believe that social pressure
and good judgement on the parts of the incumbents will produce the
right result.  If that is the case, I submit that there are problems
in the organization that term limits won't solve.  Yet term limits
mean that in the exceptional case where someone's skills really are
needed, we might find we can't use them anyway without changing the
policy.  That sounds like a bad policy to me.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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