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Election2008

Nominations have closed and the election will begin on April 4, 2008 on the portal. Please do not edit this page!


This page is for the election of the fourth Board of Directors of HCoop, Inc. Nominations shall be done in our usual wiki style. Voting shall be done through the HCoop portal. You may see last year's election results at Election2007 or summarized on the BoardOfDirectors website.

This election is governed by articles 3 and 4 of our HcoopBylaws. All current members in good standing may vote for three candidates to replace the outgoing board, whose term expires on April 11, 2008.

Please list candidates to nominate below. You may nominate any current HCoop members, including yourself. Please list candidate names alphabetically by last name, and list your own name as the nominator.

Nominations may continue until March 31, 2008, 11:59 PM UTC. Voting on all candidates who have accepted their nominations shall begin on April 4, 2008 at midnight UTC and continue for one week through April 11, 2008 at midnight UTC.

1. Nominations

  1. DavorOcelic. Nominated by NathanKennedy.

  2. AdamChlipala. Nominated by FrankBynum.

  3. NathanKennedy Nominated by StephenTaylor.

  4. MichaelLeonhard, Nominated by RyanMikulovsky.

  5. JustinLeitgeb, Nominated by NathanKennedy.

  6. BjörnLindström, Nominated by NathanKennedy.

2. Candidate Acceptances

Nominees who accept their nominations must place their name here, along with any statement or links that they wish to make.

  1. AdamChlipala. I was the ringleader of the small group of college students who started the informal precursor of HCoop in 2002, and I've been president and treasurer of our non-profit corporation since it was formed in 2005. Since 2002, I've designed and implemented all of the custom non-tiny pieces of software that make HCoop tick, including the first and second (and current) versions of our Domtool system configuration tool and the several versions of our web portal. Roughly speaking, I was the only one performing regular system administration duties from 2002 through summer 2005, I split the relevant tasks with DavorOcelic from summer 2005 until present, and Davor and I are still the vestigial sysadmins for our set-up on fyodor that's being phased out, with a new set up of admins that (at my request) doesn't include me being in charge of our new servers at Peer 1 from the get-go. I remain committed to developing and supporting any large custom software tools that HCoop needs. I hold BS, MS, and PhD degrees in computer science, and I work full-time developing software to support high-frequency algorithmic trading at a Wall Street firm, while somehow finding the time to do research on programming languages and computer theorem proving.

    • My ideas of HCoop's priorities for the year starting after the coming election:
    • Figure out a cost-effective way of assuring high availability, probably by hiring paid staff. There are a number of different roles that we could consider hiring people for, including always-on-call go-to-the-colo support people, member support people, implementors of new features, and people managers. We almost certainly don't want to start out paying people to do all of these, and some of these tasks can usefully be combined into single positions. I think it's clear, though, that we can't offer reasonable levels of reliability without moving towards having people available on predictable schedules to perform all of these functions, and that's hard to do without paying people for their time. We as a co-op should figure out how much it would cost to hire staff to provide different services and come up with a time line for when we'll hire whom.
    • Create another side of HCoop that is more friendly to non-Linux geeks, without harming all the good stuff that we Linux geeks love. From the start of my design of the latest DomTool, I've kept on eye on how a simple graphical interface for it can be built; I hope that I can help some of the Web 2.0 impresarios among our member base implement something pretty along these lines. I also want to start a recurring e-mail HCoop newsletter, where each edition has not only the latest news at HCoop, but also educational articles that cover the spectrum of our members' different levels of progress on the path to UNIX mastery.

    • Get off-site backups going to a professional provider instead of to space graciously donated by AdamMegacz.

    • Figure out a budget for some period of time no shorter than a few months and set fixed member dues based on that, to be recurringly re-evaluated. Probably keep the pledges scheme for a while, even in the face of this, until we grow to at least twice our present member base.
    • Get a full-featured shell server set up, which should allow us to tighten security on our actual "Internet hosting" machines.
    • Figure out a good way to give traditional UNIX shell accounts to members who aren't interested in the benefits of AFS.
  2. NathanKennedy. I am a mathematics and computer science engineering graduate, a current law student, and a member of HCoop since January 2005. Since that time I have stepped up to do necessary tasks for the cooperative. I filed the necessary papers to incorporate HCoop, drafted our articles of incorporation and our bylaws, and have served as secretary on the board of directors. I helped negotiate our colocation arrangements at Peer 1 in New York, and have handled the hardware-wrangling end of things, from storing and moving various donated hardware components for several months, to installing and maintaining all our physical plant onsite at our current site at 75 Broad.

    • My current platform is an extension of my past platforms:
    • Keep entry-level dues to about $5/month--excluding subsidies from the current "pledge" scheme. HCoop has benefitted greatly by gifts from members, including these recurring cash gifts, but it is my goal to have sustainable entry-level dues remain at or less than $5 per month without subsidies. This will require expanding our membership base somewhat. We can do this by continuing to grow by word-of-mouth or other grassroots campaigns. I oppose spending money on conventional "push" advertising.
    • Move from the current system of bill-as-we-go to fixed monthly rates for fixed services. This will provide greater predictability, packages that can be compared to other providers, and a source of reserves for capital investments without begging or large, unpredictable charges.
    • Draft and implement the following policies:
      1. Privacy policy (already in progress)
      2. Conflict of interest policy
      3. Antidiscrimination policy. (Conflict of interest and antidiscrimination policies are important for compliance reasons, as well as generally avoiding liability, and just basic good governance.)
      4. Environmental policy--this is something I have been pushing for over a year now. As I pointed out on the list earlier, IT is now a greater contributor to greenhouse gasses than aviation, and businesses account for more than half of energy usage and carbon emissions. Even many of our commercial competitors have set extremely positive policies in this regard; Dreamhost is carbon neutral, for instance. We cannot as a cooperative afford to ignore environmental issues, especially with our growing amount of hardware and energy usage.
    • Maintain full compliance with all laws and regulations. In particular, implement better accounting policies. Move from our custom cash-based accounting system to an accrual-based, GAAP compliant system by the end of 2009. Have an independent audit in 2010. Be prepared to file a standard 990 in 2011 with audited books.
    • Make sure there full coverage with competent sysadmin staff. Look into a schedule for hiring paid staff. Plan for continuity for physical maintenance when I may no longer be available for this purpose after 2009.
  3. DavorOcelic. I am one of the HCoop system administrators and one of the current HCoop Board of Directors members (the other two being AdamChlipala and NathanKennedy). The decisional power in HCoop is held within the Board of Directors and ultimately, within the members base. This year we will be electing 5 Board members, and with only 5 candidates, we can predict what the new Board "layout" for 2008 will be. However, I hope an increase in our members base will bring more variation to the process in the following years and it will be important to vote for combinations that result in a good balance of skills, geographic locations, and personalities within the Board -- something I believe we've managed to maintain so far. HCoop is in good shape and the Board does not have pressing organizational problems to solve. Here's my general position on the various technical and non-technical issues we will be dealing with:

    • Paid staff: +1 long-term, but I don't see it happening before HCoop grows to at least 1.5 current size
    • Moving HCoop towards non-technical audience: +1, although not a priority
    • HCoop newsletter with HCoop news and educational articles: +1, implement in short term
    • Offsite backup: +1, introducing it along with other infrastructural advancements we have in mind
    • Fixed member dues: -1, I've traditionally been opposed to this approach and we'll surely go through a few round of discussions about it
    • Privacy-, conflict of interest, anti-discrimination and enviromental policy: +1, with the pace Nathan is able to work on the material
    • Advertising HCoop, but avoiding traditional "push" marketing techniques: +1

    The upcoming year will bring numerous improvements on the technical front. I've been giving brief year by year technical summaries on my user page DavorOcelic. I would like to thank everyone for the support in the previous years and for making HCoop a positive and, in many ways, unique organization.

  4. JustinLeitgeb. I am a member of HCoop since 2005, and was involved with planning for the new infrastructure at Peer 1. I hold a BA in Computer Science, an MA in Sociology, and I'm currently finishing up coursework for a second MA in the Romance Languages. I also have experience working as a developer/admin for an internet company. Currently I dedicate most of my time to Ruby on Rails development for an academic project related to language study.

    • If elected as a board member, I would use my position to:
    • Support a hosting plan, or set of plans, which is sustainable for the Cooperative without the current system of pledges or subsidies. In the past I've made substantial donations to the Cooperative, but I feel that since we are a Cooperative, instead of a non-profit, we need to establish regular rates or packages that allow room for payment of our monthly fees, repairs, and upgrades for capacity and redundancy without having to rely on donations. By increasing membership, we can implement a program such as this without increasing rates by very much, or at all.
    • Lead initiatives to grow membership, though not through online advertising campaigns. Instead, I would help to organize educational materials on the unique services that HCoop offers and on our distributed configuration tools, and I would present this to a local Linux Users Group. I would help to organize and encourage others to give similar talks to local Linux Users Groups and students in Computer Science Departments, especially in areas like New York City where we could potentially use volunteers to provide on-site service. In this sense, I would use my board position to form a role for a "director of education" which helps to increase HCoop visibility while working towards increasing our membership base with technically-savvy and curious Linux users.
    • Support an environmental policy, including a carbon-offset program for our servers.
    • Help with plan for eventual hiring of paid staff.
    • Start discussions among members and the board, and begin to organize volunteers to design a web-based interface to manage domains through domtool. Having such an interface would be one of the best ways to make our services accessible to a broader audience, and we should be in a good position to do this with our new infrastructure and domain management tools that AdamChlipala created. I would be willing to initiate the design of such an application in Ruby on Rails, if there is enough interest and support for this direction among current members, bo committed to developing and supporting any large custom software tools that HCoop needs. I hold BS, MS, and PhD degrees in computer science, and I work full-time developing software to support high-frequency algorithmic trading at a Wall Street firm, while somehow finding the time to do research on programming languages and computer theorem proving.

    • My ideas of HCoop's priorities for the year starting after the coming election:
    • Figure out a cost-effective way of assuring high availability, probably by hiring paid staff. There are a number of different roles that we could consider hiring people for, including always-on-call go-to-the-colo support people, member support people, implementors of new features, and people managers. We almost certainly don't want to start out paying people to do all of these, and some of these tasks can usefully be combined into single positions. I think it's clear, though, that we can't offer reasonable levels of reliability without moving towards having people available on predictable schedules to perform all of these functions, and that's hard to do without paying people for their time. We as a co-op should figure out how much it would cost to hire staff to provide different services and come up with a time line for when ard directors, and system administrators.
  5. BjörnLindström. I'm a student of computational linguistics in Uppsala, Sweden. While I'm a quite experienced Un*x user, I don't see myself as a sysadmin. What I have to bring to the board probably mainly comes from my experience in administration and mediation from various other organisations.

    • As for the future of the co-op I'm in favour of existing plans to expand our membership. I'm a bit sceptical about the ideas about hiring our own staff. I worry that an expense of that order might put us in a position where we have to prioritise recruitment over ensuring quality of service. With the right person on the job we will of course be able to do both, but I think it will be very hard to find that person. I'm not against exploring the possibility, but I doubt that it will be a good road for us.
    • Rather I think we should keep working on ideas on how to improve our volunteer-based support. The use of #hcoop during our migration and the hcoop-help list are good initiatives. It seems to me that the wiki is now used as a read-only medium by most members, and we might want to think about how to improve that situation.


Previous elections:


CategoryElection