This entry is derived from notes written while the meeting was in progress.
The meeting was originally scheduled for 4:30am California time - 4:30am!! Fortunately it was rescheduled to the more sane (but only barely more sane) time of 6:00am.
I called in at 6:07am. Usually it takes five to ten minutes for things to get going. Today was different - by 6:07 minutes of a prior meeting had been approved and voting was starting on a resolution about the date and place of the annual meeting.
The "annual meeting" is a special meeting - it is where many of the annual rites take place, such as filling the committees. The conclusion of the 2002 annual meeting is when my term and my seat, and that of every other publicly elected director, ends. This year there is something special - the annual meeting will be the whimper that signals the end of ICANN's dally with public elections.
Many of us believed that the annual meeting would be the Shanghai meeting in late October of 2002. However, for reasons that are not clear to me, that designation was shifted to yet another meeting, a meeting that was not on any schedule nor that had been budgeted.
Most of the talk about this new meeting was that it would be in Los Angeles - a rational choice considering that ICANN is based in Los Angeles. And with the staff time required to set up the meeting and run it, there are significant economies that are achieved by holding this meeting close to ICANN's legal home.
But ICANN's President seemed to be unable to find meeting space in Marina del Rey. (This is not surprising, given that we are entering the holiday season and the Marina del Rey hotels are popular places for institutional parties.)
Now, most of us think that Los Angeles is a pretty big place with lots of meeting facilities - particularly during this period of economic lethargy. But no, ICANN's president leapt to the conclusion that if not Marina del Rey, then the only alternative is Amsterdam. No explanation for this amazing geographic jump were forthcoming, nor was it explained where the funds would come from to fly ICANN's lower staff across the seas to set up and hold the meeting. Perhaps ICANN's president simply wants to have a European junket at Christmastime?
I do not consider that sufficient reasons have been put forth to justify a meeting in a location other than Los Angeles.
However, because I came into the meeting during the voting, and did not take part in the discussion, I decided to abstain. I probably should have voted "no".
I voted against this resolution for several reasons:
I do not believe PIR represents a sufficiently solid organization to undertake .org. Although PIR's board is composed of people who are worthies in their fields, I do not perceive that there is the kind of business expertise or experience needed to firmly take the business, financial, and operational reins, particularly over PIR's operations provider, Afilias. (Since I lost on this vote, I do hope that the course of events proves me wrong.)
I do not support any TLD going to any entity that is already affiliated with another TLD. In this case, PIR's operations provider, Afilias, already has its share of the TLD pie.
Although ICANN's conflicts policies do not prohibit it, I personally do not chose to award a TLD to any entity that has ties to past, present, or future ICANN directors or officers until a 24 month quarantine period has elapsed.
Not much happened with regard to this.