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

Leif Sawyer lsawyer at gci.com
Tue Mar 25 17:29:33 EDT 2014

As somebody who is interested in running for the AC in the future, I have
a concern about term-limits:

IF there were limits, it's possible that by the time I were to be elected,
the people whose experience that I would most value could be gone.  Indeed,
in a "worst-case" scenario, there could be a complete turn-over.

I, for one, don't want to lose all of that experience.

This type of "trust" is completely different than elected political officials.
The inherent checks-and-balances within the AC and BoC prevent any creep of their
vastly limited "power".

In reality, allowing them to cycle in and out as professional and private lives
necessitate allows ARIN and our community to retain the most active and able.

That said, even if there were term limits, I would still run for the AC.
Because I think it's important.

-----Original Message-----
From: arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net [mailto:arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net] On Behalf Of Andrew Sullivan
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1:13 PM
To: arin-ppml at arin.net
Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] [arin-discuss] Term Limit Proposal

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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