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

John Springer springer at inlandnet.com
Wed Mar 26 14:58:58 EDT 2014

It's going to be a little hard to know to whom I am replying due to 
non-indentation of replies, but I'll do my best.

On Wed, 26 Mar 2014, Scott Leibrand wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 3:12 AM, Chris Grundemann <cgrundemann at gmail.com> wrote:
>       On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 7:05 AM, Scott Leibrand <scottleibrand at gmail.com> wrote:
>       IMO the problem (for the AC, not the BoT) is that all turnover comes from resignations and people deciding not to run again.  It's very rare that an
>       incumbent fails to get re-elected.  Given what I've observed as an AC member of the large diversity in contribution levels from my colleagues on the
>       AC,
> That is an observation, perhaps even a situation, but not by itself a problem. From my perspective it simply indicates that the community does a great job
> selecting winning candidates initially, those candidates go on to be solid AC members, and therefor continue to win elections...

I agree that this does not yet seem to rise to the level of a problem. 
There seems to be rather a lot of new and new/old faces (Kevin, myself, 
Milton, Tina, Andrew) lately.

> That is a valid interpretation, but my perspective is slightly different.  I would say it indicates that the community *likes* the people it elects to the AC.  I think
> that personal popularity has a disproportionate impact in re-electing AC members.  It would be better if more information were readily available to the membership, so
> they could base their choices on things like accomplishments and voting records.

More information is always good. Four of the above five having not been 
re-elected, I don't know what conclusions can be drawn about our 
popularity. How well people are *liked* and questions of how popular 
people are recall to me a particularly odious time in my life prior to 
military service. If, in fact, that is what is going on here, perhaps we 
can address that particular matter in a more targeted way than term 
limits. I can recall some pretty candid discussions that have taken place.

>       both new and old, that's evidence to me that the membership is re-electing members who are less effective, and we're therefore not getting the
>       benefit of
> How is it evidence that the membership is re-electing members who are less effective? Are you saying that YOU are less effective now then in your first two
> terms? If not you, than who?
> Yes, I actually am saying that.  I still believe I am highly effective, but I found myself "coasting" a bit over the fall/winter, and putting in a lot less effort than
> I had in my first few years.  I believe I have mostly corrected that now, but I definitely see the tendency to start coasting after a certain amount of time, both in
> myself and other AC members.

Well, don't do that then. Term limits are not the answer for this 
situation. Surely you aren't suggesting that if terms limits were in 
place, this mid-term ennui would not have occured.
>       new ideas and approaches, and the higher willingness to take on difficult work, that new AC members tend to provide.
> Reviewing the results of all the elections since 2007, when I was elected, I see:
> Year
> Re-elected
> Newly Elected
> Newly appointed
> NOT Re-elected
> Notes
> 2013
> 4
> 1
> 1
> 2012
> 4
> 1
> 1
> 2011
> 4
> 1
> 1
> 3-year incumbent not re-elected
> 2010
> 3
> 2
> 1
> 1-year appointed incumbent not re-elected
> 2009
> 3
> 2
> 1
> 2008
> 2
> 3
> 2007
> 3
> 2
> As you can see, there has only been a single full-term incumbent who was not re-elected, and that was in a year when there were 5 incumbents on the ballot.

I'm not immediately seeing any conclusion to be inferred from this 

> I see that at least one new person joins the AC EVERY YEAR. Out of five open positions a minimum 20% turnover is actually pretty fantastic.
> Closer to 13% on average (2 AC members out of 15) each year (with a range of 7-20%), almost all from attrition.  If we had even 3% of full-term incumbents getting
> replaced by challengers (1 every 2 years), I would be quite happy.  But it's actually less than 1%.  IMO that's too low.

But higher lately, right?

> I think term limits (1 year off after 2 terms) would help get more new people, with new ideas, approaches, and energy, onto the AC, without unduly
> sacrificing experience and continuity.
> Of course, there may be other better ways to accomplish the same thing, so I'd love to hear other ideas for how we can get more fresh faces onto the AC.
>  Maybe we could tweak the election process somehow?  One idea I just had would be to allow advisory input (some sort of straw poll) from PPML participants
> that is published for the ARIN membership to review when casting their votes?
> As others have asked, and you have failed to answer - what is the _problem_ we are trying to solve here? Capable AC members being re-elected is NOT a problem.
> Here are some of the problems I see with the AC.  I think term limits would help with all of them, though it wouldn't be a panacea, and it may be possible to come up
> with better solutions to each one of them:

Take these one at a time.

> IMO the AC tends to be a little bit slow to incorporate new ideas and 
> approaches.  More new faces would help with that.  

Speaking as one of those new faces, I can say with some authority that I 
approach the idea of floating a lot of new ideas and approaches with some 
caution. I am getting a little more willing to take some risks with 
experience, but a case could be made that I at least am more conservative 
than many old timers.

> We also tend a little bit toward becoming a
> social and travel club.  I don't think that is a serious problem, yet, but I definitely worry about how many of us stay on the AC because we like our colleagues and
> because we like to travel, rather than because we like to talk about, write, and improve ARIN policy.  I definitely see that most new AC members are more inclined to
> spend our time together talking about policy than most AC members with longer tenures.

This is a bit of a tautological approach. The f2f experience is superior 
to the list in some ways. We need to travel to get f2f. We tend to like 
the f2f experience. Therefore, our motivation is exclusively to be a 
travel and social club. I have heard the grumbling about policy weenie 
wannabies junketing about on endless boondogles, but that is not the way 
it seems to me. Again, if this is a specific problem, let's air it out. 
Term limits seems like a particularly ineffective approach to this one.

> Maybe another solution would be to reconsider whether we really need a 15-member AC in the first place.  

We did talk about this at some length. I am not against raising the 
subject again.

> In all of the other RIRs,

In addition to being a statement of fact, this is also an appeal to the 
bandwagon, and thus an insufficient reason for action. When I have seen 
such an observation floated in other fora, the response has sometimes been 
that the RIR system is ideal for each region to do things in their own 

> they simply have a policy working
> group chair and co-chair, and then interested members of the community do all of the heavy lifting on policy, and on getting a consensus in the community.  An
> alternative to think about (and maybe discuss in Chicago) might be to have proposal authors and wg chairs select one or more shepherds for each policy proposal, and
> assign the shepherd the role of working with the author and community to try to actively forge a consensus?   I'm not sure if that's a good solution or not, but it's
> food for thought, anyway...

OK, I'm game. But it looks like a lot of ground to cover from here to 
there. It might make a nice change from deck chairs though. Is 
restructuring the AC in scope for the AC?

> -Scott

John Springer

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