Why would someone need to buy Merit? Nanog doesn't belong to Merit, does it? Funny, I though it was the North American Network Operators' Group. Doesn't that imply that it collectively belongs to those of use that consider ourselves operators?
I don't think people are getting it. It's not about the vendorwear that was eliminated. My point is that someone made a decision about the meeting without even informing the people that were going to attend the meeting beforehand. There was no discussion about it beforehand, no information afterwards, and no mention of it when we signed up for the meeting. The only notification that I saw was a addendum to the charter dated November 2000 which was as long as the original charter.
My question, I guess, is this:
1) What does Merit do for Nanog?
Looks to me like they help organize the meetings (Which are funded entirely by registration fees and vendor donations, and are supposed to be organized by the hosting organization), host the web site (which has little content on it) and host the mailing list. Am I missing anything else?
2) What gives Merit the right to make decisions about the group without consulting the membership?
(Hint: It's not in the charter, or anywhere else I could find)
3) If Merit is not listening to it's membership, and is only providing the web page and mailing list, is there a reason why they are still hosting NANOG?
(Hint: It's not in the charter.)
I would propose one of the following:
1) The NANOG Charter needs to be revised into a more inclusive charter which includes the resolution of conflicts within the membership, review of the officials actions by the membership and removal of officials by the membership in the event that the actions are in conflict with the membership or charter. There should also be included, in the charter, how to revise and amend the charter. In this option, Merit would still be the ruling body.
2) Remove Merit from the ruling body. There is no reason, today, that the web site and mailing list could not be hosted by someone else. I do not believe that Merit is doing a bad job, but there isn't that much work involved in providing this service. The charter states that meetings are to be organized by the hosting company. I don't see a reason why this could not continue. The charter will still need to be resizes, however to include the items from option 1
3) Continue to live under the rule of a ruling body that does not consult of inform it's membership or decisions that affect the membership and meetings.
Merit is under no obligation, at this point, to continue to offer services to NANOG, and the membership has no recourse of action under the current charter.
I don't want to play politics, but I think something needs to be done.