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[council] some issues related to the idea of all terms ending on 23 October.

  • To: Council GNSO <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] some issues related to the idea of all terms ending on 23 October.
  • From: Margie Milam <Margie.Milam@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 15:02:21 -0700
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  • Thread-topic: [council] some issues related to the idea of all terms ending on 23 October.

Dear GNSO Council Members: 

In response to Avri's most recent emails concerning the Restructure 
Implementation Plan, I thought it would be useful to add some relevant 
background along with Staff's rationale concerning certain timing elements and 
Bylaws provisions.  

1.      There is an important section of the plan document that was not 
referenced in Avri's most recent email.  The draft Plan clearly indicates that 
the Chair and Vice-Chair would continue in Seoul precisely to manage the 
Council's transition.  These administrative roles are described in the draft 
Restructuring Implementation Plan, as follows:  

"GNSO Chair and Vice-Chair:  These positions will continue in an administrative 
capacity until such time as the new GNSO Council elects a Chair and two 
Vice-Chairs, one from each House.  Council membership and voting privileges 
will be determined in accordance with the provisions of this plan." 

The draft Plan intended to clarify that the incumbent GNSO Council Chair and 
Vice Chair would be non-voting (unless otherwise elected to the new Council); 
otherwise, we would have too many voting Councilors in the bicameral structure 
(22 instead 20 members).  Due to the unique and special circumstances of this 
transition, we anticipated that travel funding for the Chair and Vice-Chairs, 
as needed, would be approved by the ICANN Finance Department.  

2.      As Avri noted in her first email, the Bylaws Amendments (Article XX, 
Section 6), posted in August for public comment and approved at the Board 
meeting this week, referenced the need for a Restructure Implementation Plan: 

"The GNSO Council, as part of its Restructure Implementation Plan, will 
document:  (a) how vacancies, if any, will be handled during the transition 
period; (b) for each Stakeholder Group, how each assigned Council seat to take 
effect at the 2009 ICANN annual meeting will be filled, whether through a 
continuation of an existing term or a new election or appointment; (c) how it 
plans to address staggered terms such that the new GNSO Council preserves as 
much continuity as reasonably possible; (d) the effect of Bylaws term limits on 
each Council member." 

Staff understands that the Board Secretary will be posting a preliminary report 
on the results of the Board meeting this week, so you'll be able to confirm 
this information shortly.  In Staff's view, the Bylaws anticipated the one-time 
shortening of existing Councilor terms because the new Council was directed to 
take effect "at the commencement of the ICANN meeting in Seoul or such other 
date the board may designate by resolution."  Thus, by necessity, Councilors' 
terms that were not continuing in the new Council would have to terminate prior 
to the effective date of the new Council seating.  If the GNSO Council believes 
that a date other than the commencement of the ICANN meeting in Seoul is more 
appropriate, it should identify that date and reflect it in the Plan along with 
the details of a plan consistent with that recommendation.  

Hopefully this provides you with a fuller context concerning how this draft 
proposal was constructed.  As Rob indicated, Staff's intent was to provide the 
GNSO a starting point for its discussions on finalizing the implementation 
details, recognizing that the Council may recommend other approaches as 

Best Regards,



Margie Milam
Senior Policy Counselor

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Avri Doria
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 9:27 AM
To: Council GNSO
Subject: [council] some issues related to the idea of all terms ending on 23 


Prompted by the document sent by the Policy staff (I know it is from  
Rob, but I am assuming that its contents have the imprimatur of the  
Policy Staff leadership) I started thinking about the side effects of  
ending all terms on the 23 of October.  While I still maintain that it  
is not what the Bylaws mandate - always assuming that (for the purpose  
of this note) they still are as they were in the last draft - I could  
be proven wrong.  So it seemed worth looking at the possible wrinkle  
we have been presented with.

1. So that I have said it and it is out of the way, under those  
circumstances, I would no longer be a member of the council and  
consequently no longer be council chair.  While not having to travel  
to Seoul and donating one last week of my life to the GNSO council  
cause does have some side benefits, it also prevents me from doing  
what I think is my job which is to assist the council in a smooth  
transition and orderly hand over.

However, I believe that no one is ever indispensable and certainly  
that applies to me.  This could be dealt with by making sure that both  
houses had elected their vice chairs on the Saturday (my suggestion in  
any case), as the Bylaws  provide for the vice-chairs to take the  
chair role  in the absence of a chair.

Since the new council won't be seated until the 23rd they would not be  
able to elect a new chair until then.  Another possibility would be to  
schedule an actual voting meeting on the Saturday morning to either  
elect a temporary chair or the actual ongoing chair.  Chuck, who I  
assume would be re-chosen as a Council member by his SG to finish out  
his current time, would be able to chair that meeting until the new  
chair was elected.  Otherwise, the plan could proceed as I originally  
suggested with having the vote on the new chair as well as the vote on  
the new Council procedures as the first items of the Wednesday  
meeting.  If every council member is in attendance either in person on  
remotely for at least this part of the meeting, the election can be  
completed quickly - otherwise it can be continued as I originally  
suggested with a 24 absentee ballet and completed in time for the  
Thursday meeting.

There may also be other solutions to this consequent of terminating  
all terms on the 23rd but it appears that replacing me as chair is  
fairly easy to work around if I am not longer on the council in Seoul.

2. It exacerbates the plan of how the alternate year seating plan is  
enacted.  I think this is a bigger issue.  If it is time zero for  
every council member, then we need a plan in each of the SGs to elect  
one for one year and another for two years (possibly complicated by  
the Contracted parties having an odd number of council members, so  
instead of 3 odd and 3 even in the house we might have 2 odd and 4  
even).  Whereas if some people are appointed to continue with their  
last year while others are newly elected to full terms, it is most  
likely that a natural alternation will occur that may only need to be  
adjuste in a few cases in the non-contracted house.

3. In terms of the continuing NCA, if indeed Terry's term is  
terminated, he needs to be reappointed for a one year term.  Perhaps  
this has already been dealt with and we will find out when the Nomcom  
list is announced.

4. I know that as new NCA when I began, the first meeting I attended,  
since we do not have retreats as the Board does for new members, was  
an important learning time.  Inserting a new NCA into the council and  
requiring them to be functional on their first day of ICANN  
participation (and I do not know whether we have one or two new NCA  
council members) is a daunting prospect.  Various constituency members  
have talked about the need for them to go to the meeting in Seoul to  
provide assistance for new council members, and these are people who  
have been active in the constituencies.  Imagine what it is like for a  
new NCA for whom it may be their first ICANN meeting.  while I now  
feel that I understand every nook and cranny of ICANN's gothic  
architecture, it can be frightening at first glance.

There may be other issues, but those are the first that occur to me.


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