#passvotes When doing the right thing ain’t popular…

If you Tweet or follow Steve Jones’ blog, you’ve already gotten the news that Steve will not be on the slate for the Board of Directors this year.  It was a tough decision for the Nominations Committee to make, but I wanted to address some of the controversy before it boils over.  I do, however, have a few caveats:

    • As a member of the Nomination Committee, I can not (and will not) go into details about why we reached the decision we did; I want to be transparent, but I also want to protect the sanctity of the application process.   I think the interview process should be private between the applicant and the Committee in order to allow applicants to express themselves freely without excessive public scrutiny, and;
    • I don’t want to start, or be dragged into, a PASS-versus-Steve discussion.  I sat on the committee, and I was involved in the discussions behind the slate, and it’s painful for me to read comments like “The NomCom should be ashamed of themselves”, or we were “supposed to act professional”.   It’s very tempting for me to dive into the fray with both fists swinging, but to do so would either negate my first principle (I might say something I shouldn’t), or prove the previous commenter correct (I would be ashamed of myself for stooping to that level). 

So, how do I talk about this without talking about it?  I guess I’ll start with what my intent for this post it; I can’t discuss how or why we reached a decision about Steve (that’s not fair to him), but I do want to defend the professionalism and integrity of the Nominations Committee.

Just to restate the process for those of you playing at home:

  1. The Nominations Committee (NomCom) of PASS is charged with overseeing the applications process for building a slate of nominees for the Board of Directors.  The NomCom is supposed to recommend the best candidates from those willing to run.
  2. The NomCom evaluated applicants initially on their applications, and identified 7 out of 9 applicants that we wanted to interview.
  3. The NomCom interviewed those applicants, and had several discussions of those interviews.
  4. The NomCom proposed a slate of candidates for the Board to approve, and the sitting Board of Directors had the option to approve or modify the proposed slate.  They chose to approve it as it stood.

Steve obviously made the first cut on his application because we interviewed him.  Since he didn’t make the slate, you can probably surmise that something happened during the interview phase for a significant portion of the NomCom to not recommend him.  What’s being overlooked in the current controversy is that several other interviewees DID make the slate.

That’s important; we applied the same rigor and professionalism in interviewing all of the candidates that we did to Steve,  In fact, I can honestly say that we discussed Steve Jones MORE than any other candidate because we were all a little surprised at our own decision.  We knew it was going to be unpopular with the community, and we knew that there were going to be questions about how we could exclude such a great guy like Steve (and to be clear, I do think Steve is a great guy; he’s a great asset to the community and to PASS). 

What could we have done?  Should we have proposed a candidate simply because he’s a popular choice?  Should we have given him a do-over in the interview?  Neither of those choices seemed professional or appropriate, and so I stand behind the decision to be consistent with all candidates, and I hope that most of you would have to come to the same decision if you were in my seat.  If not, I’d hope that you understand that it was my desire to be professional and to have integrity that led me to this decision.

August 18, 2010 · stuart · 40 Comments
Posted in: Election2010, SQLServerPedia Syndication

40 Responses

  1. Brent Ozar - August 18, 2010

    So, my thinking is that if someone is extremely popular, and PASS doesn’t think they’re right for the position, they need to be even more transparent about why the NomCom knows more about what’s good for the community than the community does.

    I think it’s entirely possible (or probable) that the NomCom made the right decision – you guys are all smart people – but you just have to be really transparent here, lest the community say, “PASS is just trying to stop change from coming and protect the old guard.”

  2. Robert L Davis - August 18, 2010

    I think the elections should include a write-in spot so that if we, the community and members of PASS, strongly disagree with your decision, we can write-in our vote for someone else. If enough of the community disagrees, and that person gets elected, then the community wins. If not, then there is no valid argument that the community as a whole doesn’t feel that any other candidate is teh right person for the job. Either way, I see it as a win for the community and for PASS.

  3. Chuck Boyce - August 18, 2010

    this is a huge PASS fail.

    I’m tired of going through this all over again.

    the committee didn’t fail.

    PASS did.

  4. Wendy - August 18, 2010

    Stuart, as a member of the community, I thank you and the rest of the NomCom for your time and efforts in going through the process set in place to choose BoD candidates.

    Leadership is often about doing what’s Right and not what’s Popular. I wish our own government would remember that, too.

    Nevertheless, Brent really hits it home with dismissing a popular candidate. Unlike the government, this situation is not going to be mitigated by making accusations of infidelity or criminal activity. At the heart of it, Steve surely knows the reasoning behind his not being chosen (if not, that is an offense which should be corrected). If the NomCom, the BoD and Steve should all agree to a level of transparency in order to clear the air, it should be a consideration.

    We all want what is best for PASS. It’s times like this that the organization needs to be clear and make sure people aren’t further scared away from stepping up to the plate next time around. This is where the most fallout will show.

    Looking forward to congratulating those who will be on the ballot!

  5. stuart - August 18, 2010

    @Brent – Great point, but how do you do that in a practical fashion? We debated early on about releasing all candidate documentation (including recordings of the interviews), but there were concerns that would forestall future applicants from applying for fear of too much invasion of privacy. We also were limited in what we could release because many of this discussion began taking shape AFTER applications had been submitted.

    I can’t think of an easy way to do this; how do you remain transparent and open and yet still protect privacy? Does PASS need to go to a model of strict community voting? Do we accept all applicants and put them on the slate?

    All I know at this point is that it’s very frustrating for me to volunteer my time and energy to do the right thing and then have people in the community accuse me of lacking integrity especially when they weren’t part of the process. I’ll get over it, but I hope that I remember this lesson: criticize the decision, but understand that there were people involved in the decision making process.

  6. Jorge Segarra - August 18, 2010

    First off Stuart, hats off to you for tackling this head on and posting about it. As Jack said it’s important to note that while it sucks Steve didn’t make the cut, PASS did move forward with a decision knowing it wouldn’t be a popular decision. Was it right? (All together now) It depends. I understand that NomCom is made up of people, smart people. It’s just frustrating when this is supposed to be a community and when the community champions someone to move up to a leadership position but gets negated over what appears to be a politically-fueled move. Steve is the first one to tell you he’s been vocal about criticisms of PASS. He’ll also be the first to tell you he’s one of its biggest cheerleaders. As Brent mentioned above, this situation more than anything deserves MORE transparency so we can better understand the decisions coming down from on high rather than us sharpening our pitchforks again.

  7. Kevin Mckenna - August 18, 2010

    “in order to allow applicants to express themselves freely without excessive public scrutiny”

    Is the line I have the most trouble with in all of this – quite honestly, with the PASS members going to vote for someone, then shouldn’t they know what is said in an interview? Shouldn’t they be able to address the candidates thoughts?

    Finally, I mirror Brents post that this should be even MORE transparent. I would sincerely hope that this isn’t just political nonsense, but unless some kind of sensible reason is given to the community for rejecting
    a) the popular vote (popular for a reason)
    b) an extremely accomplished individual
    and most concerning..
    c) someone outspoken against PASS in the past

    then PASS may as well just pick the board members themselves and remove the illusion of a vote.

    I hold firm that a good candidate is a good candidate, and any candidate that can bring about discussion for change should be given every possible chance. Rejecting a candidate without very clear indication of why smacks of political nonsense instead of whats good for the board.

    Like I say, I sincerely hope thats not the case, but by not being open, its left open for people to assume the worst.

    You guys have made a brave decision to go against popular decision, all people want is a good reason why.

  8. Chuck Boyce - August 18, 2010

    I’m not disappointed with the NomCom. I thank them for volunteering. The issue is structural. If 9 candidates qualify, why are ANY denied?

    who does that benefit?

  9. stuart - August 18, 2010

    @Jorge – point taken about the need for transparency, as well as @Robert’s idea for a write-in candidate. I wish I felt comfortable about releasing details about why we chose the slate we did, but it’s just not my place to do so. I do, however, want to drive home the point that it wasn’t just about Steve; this could have happened with any popular candidate.

    Should the NomCom be forced to consider the popularity of a particular candidate in conjunction with our measures of what makes an ideal candidate? Does one trump the other?

    Do we do away with the NomCom, and allow public debate to choose the candidates? Note that PASS is a volunteer organization but it’s also a business, and I don’t know of any other business that allows the public to pick it’s board without some sort of vetting process.

  10. Karen Lopez - August 18, 2010

    As I have posted elsewhere, if the snippet (and I do understand it was only a snippet) is accurate, I’d really hope that we could work on the tone, content, and impact of these “rejection” letters.

    I’ve been through a many contentious board decisions in my career. They are difficult to make, difficult to apply, and difficult to respond to. So I’m not making these comments lightly.

    I do respect your need to keep certain facts in camera while also balancing the need for transparency.

  11. stuart - August 18, 2010

    @Kevin, the caveats are mine alone. I don’t think there’s any sort of political or legal ramifications to discussing the interviews; I just don’t feel comfortable relaying the contents of a discussion which didn’t involve you (and by you, I mean anybody that wasn’t in the room). :P

    If the applicants had known that the interviews were going to be made public (and that may be a direction we need to move in as an organization), that’s a different story. I am not comfortable attempting to retrofit transparancy on a process that was never officially defined as being completely transparant.

    As for the rest, I hope that Steve understands the rationale for the decision; if not, as @Wendy suggests, that needs to be rectified immediately. As for delivering that explanation to the rest of the community, I feel as if the NomCom has a responsibility to Steve (and all of the applicants) to respect privacy and that trumps any other responsibility to the community at large (again, my opinion only). There are other forums to get to know applicants and candidates.

    The main point of this article was to point that as a committee, we decided that some candidates were not a good fit at this time (and I won’t go into details about how we came to that decision), but we knew that decision would have blowback. We also chose to stick to the procedure, rather than doing something that was popular, but lacked integrity.

    It sucks, and I’m beginning to understand that more and more. If you think the process needs to be changed, ideas are welcomed. There are email addressed posted at http://elections.sqlpass.org

    :)

  12. Chuck Boyce - August 18, 2010

    PASS is a business that also markets itself as “THE” SQL community.

    As PASS obviously fails to realize, its messaging today reinforces that PASS is clearly NOT the SQL community.

  13. Andy Leonard - August 18, 2010

    Stuart, serving on the NomCom was a lot of work for you and the other members. I applaud your service.

    I’m disappointed in this decision. I agree with others here who would like to know more about the decision. The easy conclusion to reach is that this smacks of politics and an aversion to change or (worse) diversity of opinion.

    Andy

  14. Arie Jones(AJ) - August 18, 2010

    Staurt,
    I’ll just add a plus one to Jorge’s comments and add this little extra.

    PASS needs to realize that people gravitate to PASS not because it’s PASS but because of people that are tied to PASS.Steve, I believe, is one of those people with a proven track record of community success that people gravitate to.

    Hat’s off to you and the other board members for the time and effort you put forth. I don’t think that the frustration is with the NomCom necessarily but with big daddy PASS and it’s processes. It’s up to them for the final yeah or neah. A stupid business decision is still a stupid business decision regardless ….

    Heck, at least you can say that you stuck your neck out today, when a lot of other people didn’t say anything. Keep up the good fight brother, don’t let them wear you down!

    Cheers!
    AJ

  15. Steve Jones - August 18, 2010

    A clarification: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/steve_jones/archive/2010/08/18/in-the-interests-of-transparency.aspx

  16. Brent Ozar - August 18, 2010

    @Stuart – Dagnabbit, long meetings always start at the same time as cool PASS discussions. Here’s my thoughts:

    “We debated early on about releasing all candidate documentation (including recordings of the interviews), but there were concerns that would forestall future applicants from applying for fear of too much invasion of privacy.”

    I think one of the biggest challenges facing PASS right now is the lack of transparency. What one man calls privacy, another man calls a lack of transparency. I’m a bad guy to draw that line because I always err on the transparency side, but my first reaction to the “invasion of privacy” line is to say that’s what governing positions are all about – serving the public, not yourself. If you’re not willing to show the public why you want to run and what kind of public servant you’d be, then you’re not a public servant – you’re a private servant. Private servants run companies, not community organizations.

    “We also were limited in what we could release because many of this discussion began taking shape AFTER applications had been submitted.”

    Yep, agreed, and by having this discussion you’re doing a fantastic job as a public servant. I’m not blowing smoke up your rear when I say you’re doing a GREAT job. Thank you for posting this, thank you for volunteering, and thank you for continuing to follow up on the discussions. You rock. You’re doing the right thing by asking the questions, and we’ll continue to refine the process over time. What happened this year isn’t a failure – what happened this year is a success because we’ve got people asking and caring about what happens.

    “I can’t think of an easy way to do this; how do you remain transparent and open and yet still protect privacy?”

    I don’t think there should be any privacy when it comes to selecting a ballot for a community organization, period. If the NomCom knows something secret that determines what makes a good candidate, then they need to share that secret with the rest of us so we can make informed voting decisions. If the candidates have something secret they can tell the NomCom but not the voters, they’re not a good candidate.

    “Does PASS need to go to a model of strict community voting? Do we accept all applicants and put them on the slate?”

    The US government approaches this with the two-party system. I can’t recommend that here, but why not have a runoff election amongst PASS chapter leaders, for example, then put the decision to the public? PASS chapter leaders are active volunteers who know what the organization needs.

    “All I know at this point is that it’s very frustrating for me to volunteer my time and energy to do the right thing and then have people in the community accuse me of lacking integrity especially when they weren’t part of the process.”

    If I said anything that implied you don’t have integrity, I apologize, and point it out so I can reword it or retract it. The same thing goes with the entire NomCom – I don’t think there was any lack of integrity whatsoever – just a lack of transparency. I believe that when two smart people are armed with the same information, they’ll usually make the same decision. The problem we’re facing here is that the public isn’t armed with the same information that the NomCom had, so we’re going to second-guess the decision.

    I don’t know of any way to fix this problem other than transparency. There’s nothing other than the truth that the NomCom can say that would make me think Steve shouldn’t be on the ballot. The NomCom can’t say “Trust me,” no matter how much I like or trust the individual members. Like the Reagan quote goes, “Trust, but verify.” We need to verify.

  17. Kevin Mckenna - August 18, 2010

    Stuart,

    First off, I want to preface this, which I didn’t before with a point that I’m not attacking you or the other members over this selection, I’m not happy with the process or the result, but its not personal, if anything, I have a lot more respect for you than any of the other board members, you spoke up and in doing so, have taken a lot of flak over this, hats off to you for sticking your neck out.

    I understand your point about applying transparency now to a process which wasn’t to begin with – its difficult, my questions are though.. why the veil of secrecy, what on earth is going on in these interviews that people would feel like their privacy is stripped away, do you guys discuss personal matters in depth?

    From the PASS site:

    “the Committee felt that a history of volunteering in PASS is a crucial element in becoming a member of the PASS leadership.”

    So a history of volunteering is necessary for someone to become a board member over and above other traits? I understand the need for it being a desirable trait, I really do, but it kinda sounds more like a reward to be given out for previous service as opposed to what it should be, which is a chance to help shape PASS for the most qualified candidate..

    If anything positive has come out of today its that hopefully change will be made ahead of the next elections

  18. Brent Ozar - August 18, 2010

    @Kevin – I agree strongly that a history of volunteering should be a prerequisite. I want someone to prove they’ve got plenty of time to volunteer for PASS long before they run for the Board, because being on the Board is way harder than running a local chapter or serving on a committee. Heck, maybe they should even be required to serve on the NomCom, heh, since those admirable volunteers take more bullets than almost any other committee short of the Program Committee!

  19. Andy Warren - August 18, 2010

    Stu, thanks for your efforts and your ongoing discussion here, as well as the rest off the nomcom. I’m just going to follow along on the discussion for now, but I am interested and will comment in more detai later this week. It may be painful, but this is a GOOD conversation to have.

  20. Geoff Hiten - August 18, 2010

    Stuart, Thanks for the hard work on the Non-Com and thanks for keeping everyone posted on the progress.

    Now, for the rest of the folks..

    I just finished the candidate qualification process and I will speak to my experience. I do not know why Steve was not chosen, but I think I understand how it happened. From my experience, it was obvious that the Nom-Com was looking for specific skills and experiences in addition to community passion. Some of the questions were quite intense and had very probing follow-ups. You can’t expect candid answers to tough questions (or tough questions for that matter) in a completely open setting. Do you want your last job interview posted for the world to see? The nom-com and the Board were not simply looking for volunteers, they were interviewing job candidates for senior management positions at a multi-million dollar international organization. We may not like the outcome, but changing rules in the middle of the game would be far worse.

  21. David Taylor - August 18, 2010

    “We also chose to stick to the procedure, rather than doing something that was popular, but lacked integrity.”

    For this I applaud the NomCom.

    Yes, an unpopular decision was made. The NomCom had procedures to follow, and they follwed them to a decision. Yes, we would like to know what those reasons were. We may not have the right to know them. And, from Steve’s blog, “I accept the decision of the nominating committee”

    All of the discussion going on this afternoon, I hope the (currently traveling) BoD and HQ people read every word of it, blogs, comments, Twitter posts, because the positive side of the whole thing is that we as a community can help PASS as an organization to grow and learn and incorporate the ideas of the community put forth today.

    And Stuart, HUGE kudos to you. Thanks for all you do.

  22. Brent Ozar - August 18, 2010

    @Geoff – hmm, something you said really makes me think:

    “You can’t expect candid answers to tough questions (or tough questions for that matter) in a completely open setting.”

    What do you think this exact web page is?

    It’s an open setting – can’t get much more open than this – and Stuart is giving candid answers to tough questions from bloggers.

    If Stuart can do it, why can’t the candidates?

  23. Jack Corbett - August 18, 2010

    I’m agree with most of what Brent said in his second and longest (at least at this time) post.

    As far as privacy goes, the application contained this:

    “IMPORTANT: Please note that your answers to all of the following questions (excluding the questions and information contained within Parts One, Eight, and Nine) will be published and made public on the PASS elections website (http://elections.sqlpass.org). Contact information (including but not limited to phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, etc.) will be redacted for privacy reasons.”

    So applicants agreed to make the application public and most would have been fine with a transcript of interviews being public.

    I actually think the process this year was pretty good, as a rejected candidate, but releasing information and reasons sooner would, in my opinion, make it better.

    Volunteering should be considered, but impact on the community is even more important. Sure I’ve probably done more PASS volunteering than Steve, but I don’t think I’ve had the same impact.

  24. Josef Richberg - August 18, 2010

    A common thread seems to be: “Would you want the world to see what color socks you’re wearing?”. I would say I sit in @Brent’s camp when I say, ‘Yes.’ There are few things in my life that I believe should stay private and I keep them private by making sure I stay away from anything that would push them into the public eye is avoided. If we change the process to be completely open, from the publishing of the applications to audio of the interviews, would we lose applicants? Maybe.

    I have a question. How would the PASS community change this process?

    I think it has been established may times over in this post that we are looking to change the process. Somewhere along the way, the process failed the community.

    Why can’t you expect tough questions to be asked or answered in a public setting? Can someone post a question that they felt would not be answered completely in a public setting?

    In a public company, can the shareholders not elect a board member? I understand that we are not public in the sense of having stock, etc. Why can’t there be a process by which the community can reverse the NomCom decision and put a candidate on the slate? I think having the application and interviews up for public review would help in that.

  25. Rick Heiges - August 18, 2010

    Stu – Thank you for posting and responding to comments.

    I’d like to echo many of your themes that you have relayed to the community.

    Naturally, there are a thousand thoughts racing through my head currently and would love to respond quickly. However, this decision was not one that we took lightly and I know (we all knew) that there would be more questions. After digesting more of these comments/blog posts/tweets/etc, I will post my thoughts on this.

    I am travelling currently and be out of pocket for a bit.

    – Rick…

  26. Kevin Mckenna - August 18, 2010

    @Brent, I don’t disagree that a history of volunteerism should be required, my concern lay solely in it being the overwhelming requirement for the position.

    In my opinion, history of it doesn’t really mean a thing.. if someone has volunteered for years, is qualified, but not as qualified as someone else (not suggesting the current candidates are not, I’m going on hypotheticals at this point) the fact that they’ve done it before doesn’t mean that they’re the best fit.

    I’m saying that its important, but not AS important as other things. Now reading a post from stuart earlier, it was the volunteerism that really showed the difference between the candidates, then thats different, all things being equal, then I can see them leaning towards those who have a history – but in that case, posting that “a history of volunteering in PASS is a crucial element in becoming a member of the PASS leadership.” is really counter productive, when a much better way of putting it could have been to stress that a history of volunteering at PASS is really what has made the difference between the candidates.

    I still personally maintain that Steve should have been in the race to the end, I think him being rejected is a huge disservice to both PASS and the PASS members.. status quo wins again.

    One final thought for the day, “a history with PASS is a crucial element in becoming a member of the PASS leadership.” – is NOT indicative of a willingness to embrace change.

  27. Kevin Mckenna - August 18, 2010

    Volunteering should be considered, but impact on the community is even more important. <- That is exactly the point I was trying to get across in my long and rambling post across.. Jack sums it up in a sentence..

  28. Chuck Boyce - August 18, 2010

    The part of the process I don’t understand is:

    why are we playing musical chairs instead of simply confirming qualification.

    It is NOT the NomCom’s job to in any way DECIDE who will lead, only who is qualified.

    If 9 are qualified, then 9 should comprise the slate and the COMMUNITY decides.

    It seems the process as is requires qualified candidates to be removed from consideration by the community due to an arbitrary limit defined by PASS.

  29. Jason Brimhall - August 18, 2010

    I am torn on this issue. I don’t like that Steve was not selected. However, there are 5 people that were selected that appeared to perform better given the circumstances.

    Anybody who has interviewed for a job in the past or who has interviewed a candidate – consider the implications of transparency.

    There is a tight rope to be walked on the issue of transparency. Too much info could taint the system. Too little and the public may lash out.

    How can the candidates talk about their interviews without giving too much detail and maybe allowing somebody else to benefit from their experience in such a way as to game the system?

    One note was made here by a candidate that tells us that it is more of a managerial type interview and less a techy interview. I think that could be assumed from the type of position. And based on that feedback, I would also surmise that they are looking for type-a personalities. In this case, I don’t see Steve (nor Jack) as that kind of strong personality. That’s not a knock and they do a lot for the community with or without being on the Slate.

    I don’t know the others on the list as well as Jack and Steve. But based on my interactions with both, it might be safe to assume that they have stronger more direct personalities suited to this type of role.

  30. Geoff Hiten - August 18, 2010

    Brent,

    There is a world of difference between and interactive, real-time interview and a blog post/reply chain.

    Chuck,

    I felt the way you did (and expressed pretty much the same thing) last year. Obviously the board feels that BoD qualifications are much tighter than just showing up. Given the fact that some of the board members represent founding partners who put significant financial resources into the PASS organization, it isn’t surprising that they want to have well qualified people deciding how those resources are spent.

  31. Chuck Boyce - August 18, 2010

    Geoff,

    I apologize if I have failed in my attempt to communicate that I AGREE with you that the one and ONLY purpose of the NomCom should be to ensure candidates are qualified.

    It is when the community is denied the opportunity to decide amongst QUALIFIED candidates where I object.

    It seems to me that this is the case here.

    Chuck

  32. stuart - August 19, 2010

    @Chuck

    You raise an interesting challenge; how does the community know that a candidate is qualified? Should there be different standards for applicants that have a demonstrated track record for involvement in the SQL Server community? How do you define who gets what litmus test? Is it based on years of service, popularity of your service effforts?

    I understand your point; it’s frustrating because from the outside, Steve looks like a great candidate, and I am sure that other people also look like great candidates. However, something happened during the application process that made a majority of the committee not recommend him. Again, do we a do-over? Do we throw out those votes because he’s Steve Jones? Do we demand that all NomCom members reveal their votes? If so, good luck with finding future volunteers for that position…

  33. Chuck Boyce - August 19, 2010

    Stuart,

    I am confused. It seemed to me that Steve did not make the slate due to a pre-defined scarcity of slate spots and that due to the limited number of slate spots defined beforehand, the NomCom had to rigorously find a way to differentiate all of the candidates and remove some candidates that were qualified due to the arbitrary limited number of available slate spots.

    Now, it sounds like you are saying that Steve was simply deemed unqualified by the NomCom and would not have made the slate under any circumstances (which I must say, knowing many current and former Board members is absurd).

    If you or PASS could please clarify this confusion I would appreciate it and I’m sure the many in the community that share my confusion would also.

    Thank you very much,

    Chuck

  34. stuart - August 19, 2010

    Chuck,

    I’ll clarify what I can. You can find the procedures at http://elections.sqlpass.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=sC28eoSu7U0%3d&tabid=2014&mid=3187

    1. There was no pre-defined scarcity of slate spots. According to the Bylaws, a slate can consist of no more than 3 candidates for an open seat, and no less than 1 more than the number of open seats. By that number, we on the NomCom were obligated to return a slate of 4 to 9 candidates for 3 open Board seats.

    2. Our charter on the NomCom was to find qualified candidates from the list of applicants; the qualification process I described above (application… interview… acceptance by the sitting BoD). Every applicant was scrutinized along the way, and the process was applied to every applicant. Every member of the NomCom had a vote on whether or not to include an applicant on the slate based on the applicant’s performance at each level of the process. Votes were guided by the templates at http://elections.sqlpass.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=xSiPmEweu0A%3d&tabid=2014&mid=3187

    We followed that process. I know that Steve has given both public and private permission to reveal any of his information (save contact details), but I’m not sure that’s germane to the question of process. This is going to sound harsh, but it’s a matter of principle to me; definitions about what would be released were spelled out prior to the nomination process, and community outrage is not suffecient incentive to reverse that process (at least I’m not the one to make that decision). I’m beholden to the process, which is defined by the Bylaws.

    I’ll be as clear as I can: The candidates that were recommended by the Nominations Committee to be on the slate were deemed to be qualified to be effective Directors on the Board of PASS.

  35. Josef Richberg - August 19, 2010

    I would like to re-iterate my question:

    1)How do we go about changing the process?

  36. stuart - August 19, 2010

    @Joseph

    Great question! The Bylaws govern the process, and the Bylaws can be altered by the Board. Contact information for the Board can be obtained from the elections team at Pass HQ, which can be found at http://elections.sqlpass.org.

  37. Ed Leighton-Dick - August 19, 2010

    I want to add my thanks to Stuart and the Nominating Committee for their hard work on a very difficult subject. All of you obviously put a lot of thought into the final slate of candidates, and regardless of whether we as a community agree with all of the decisions made, we should and do respect you for that.

    Regarding the thread about whether a history of volunteerism with PASS is required, though: I agree that a history of volunteering (in some form) in the organization should be required. In fact, weren’t we having these same discussions last year at this time for another candidate, that time criticizing him because he didn’t have experience in PASS? It seems to me that this requirement may be a response to those discussions from a year ago.

    Another issue from last year is that the community felt there was a marked lack of transparency. In comparison, this year’s election process has been much improved. It is not an easy or comfortable thing to subject yourselves to public scrutiny, and even if there may still be room for improvement, I applaud the committee’s efforts.

  38. Sri@NTSSUG Dallas - August 19, 2010

    Just catching up on blogs….
    OH MY GOD !!!! Your kidding me !

  39. JeffYao - August 27, 2010

    If majority of us are disappointed with PASS, we really need to have someone to start another brand-new organization “of the SQL Server professionals , by the SSP and for the SSP”, it is better / easier to try to improve the current disappointing PASS. The key problem with PASS is the leadership for its limited capability in leadership, and foresight. A smart person is not equal to a good leader.

  40. Robert L Davis - August 27, 2010

    Therein lies the rub Jeff. A majority of SSP’s are indifferent to PASS leadership.

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