The TalkBoard is asking for 10 days of public comment and discussion on the following:
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
FlyerTalk is an internet bulletin board owned and operated by Internet Brands under the guidance and day-to-day management of FlyerTalk founder Randy Petersen, collectively generally referred to herein as ‘the FlyerTalk host.’
FlyerTalk’s purpose is to bring together frequent flyers and users of other travel-related frequency programs as well as people with an interest in those programs to discuss loyalty programs, travel and travel-related issues.
In an effort to provide maximum poster input into the content and organization of FlyerTalk, Randy Petersen created the TalkBoard and empowered it to make recommendations with regard to the management, organization and content of FlyerTalk. The TalkBoard exists at the pleasure of Randy and neither he nor any other entity is required to accept the recommendations of the TalkBoard.
These guidelines provide for the mission, organization and procedures of the TalkBoard. These guidelines supersede any and all previous guidelines, precedents and procedures.
SECTION 2: MISSION
A. The FlyerTalk TalkBoard (TB) exists to:
i. represent the interests of the FlyerTalk membership at large to the FlyerTalk host
ii. act as a representative body for the FlyerTalk membership
iii. serve in an advisory capacity to the FlyerTalk host
iv. provide feedback to the FlyerTalk host with regard to the management of Flyertalk
B. The TB accomplishes this by:
i. prioritizing recommendations on product/service enhancements for FlyerTalk
ii. responding to action requests from the FlyerTalk host for issues/situations that fall outside the scope of established policies, procedures, organization and universe of FlyerTalk’s forums
iii. responding to requests from posters with regard to requests for and enquires about enhancements and changes to the structure, organization and universe of Flyertalk’s forums
iv. ensuring on-going feedback between the FlyerTalk host, his representatives, and its posters
v. providing input on and reaction to software upgrades, plug-ins and other changes
vi. periodically reviewing FlyerTalk's Terms of Service to ensure they best serve and protect FlyerTalk and its posters
vii. considering spam waivers for charitable solicitations to assess whether they represent real organisations and consider their suitability for FT
SECTION 3: BOARD ORGANIZATION
A. TB Members
i. The TB will consist of 9 voting members, chosen by popular election. The FT host can serve as an ad hoc TB member at will and may appoint ex officio members to the TB.
ii. TB members must be active, registered members of the FT Community.
i. TB Members
a. Interested candidates must be able to commit to minimum weekly discussion and voting participation then submit a profile specifying their area of primary interest and involvement in the FT Community (e.g. which miles/points area is of primary interest), accompanied by a statement describing their reason(s) for choosing to be a candidate.
b. It is the goal and intention of the FT host that on the First of November, the names of the candidates will be announced so that FT Members will have an opportunity to become acquainted with them; however, the date may be changed at the discretion of the FT host. For a minimum of 2 weeks following the announcement of candidates, FT Members will vote and FlyerTalk Management will tally results. The new TB member(s) will be announced within ten days of the end of the vote closure. The Term of these newly elected TB members will begin within a week of that announcement.
c. Campaigning is restricted to the current year's TalkBoard Election forum and members' signature lines. In order to respect the privacy of all members, campaigning by the TalkBoard candidates may not be done via the FlyerTalk Private Message system or via mass-mailed FlyerTalk email campaigns. Any TalkBoard candidate found to be mass-emailing via the FlyerTalk email system or abusing the FlyerTalk Private Message system for the purpose of campaigning will be removed from the ballot by the FlyerTalk host and will not be eligible to run in that year's TalkBoard elections.
d. TalkBoard members represent the community and are therefore expected to act accordingly and within the guidelines of the FlyerTalk Terms of Service. In order to be eligible to run for TalkBoard, members must be in good standing in the FlyerTalk community. The term “in good standing” is defined here as being a member with full posting privileges throughout the official campaigning and voting timeframe as well as having not received an upheld 30-day suspension after these new TalkBoard guidelines go into effect, INSERT DATE HERE OF RATIFICATION HERE, eg. AUGUST 15, 2008. Should a candidate be suspended during that timeframe and the suspension is upheld by the FT host, the candidate is deemed ineligible to run for a position on the TalkBoard until two years after that 30-day suspension ends. Any suspension of a candidate may be reviewed & overturned by the FT host, at which point, the candidate will be eligible to run for office.
ii. TB Officers
a. The TB shall elect a President to serve a one year term no later than 4 weeks after the general election.
b. Any voting member of the TalkBoard with access to the private TB forum may run in the presidential election.
c. The presidential elections shall be conducted as follows: Any candidate garnering more than 2/3 of the total TB vote in the primary presidential vote shall be immediately declared the winner. If there are more than 2 candidates in the primary vote and none receive 2/3 of the total vote then a final vote shall be held between the top two vote-getters. In the final vote, the President shall be decided by a simple majority vote. If there are no more than two candidates for President, then there will be no primary election before the final vote and a simple majority will elect.
d. Once the new President is elected the TB shall elect a Vice President/Secretary to serve a one year term. Elections shall be conducted in an identical manner to the presidential election and shall be completed within 2 weeks of the election of the President.
e. Elections of the President and Vice President/Secretary shall be held by secret ballot.
f. Once both officers have been elected the Vice President/Secretary shall post a thread in both the public TalkBoard Topics forum as well as the Town Hall forum noting the election of the new officers.
i. TalkBoard Members
a. All TalkBoard members are Flyertalkers first and foremost. TB members are expected to conform to the TOS and conduct themselves with civility in a spirit of cooperation for the betterment of FlyerTalk. Personal attacks, disrespectfully calling other TB members’ motives into question and petty bickering and sniping will not be tolerated.
b. TB members may be drawn from a variety of cultures which may mean that cultural mores of TB members are different. TB members are expected to be mindful of this fact and respect cultural differences as to what is considered polite and appropriate behavior.
c. Official TB announcements should be made only by the TB President or Vice-President/Secretary (or their designee) in the manner prescribed by these guidelines.
d. TalkBoard members are encouraged to participate in public dialogue with regard to the mission of the TB and to gather as much input from posters as possible. This includes but is not limited to: asking for input, posting threads in affected forums when a proposal is under consideration that might affect that forum (with the indulgence of that forum’s moderators), making their personal case for or against a proposed change, participating in brainstorming, etc. However, TB members and particularly officers shall be careful to clearly note whether they are speaking on behalf of the entire TB, when they are speaking in an official capacity in their role as a TB member or officer and when they are speaking for themselves as a FlyerTalker. TB members are expected to honestly represent the actions of the TB, themselves and other TB members on the public forum when doing so.
e. The TB forum is private. No TB member shall present information, arguments or words of another TB member or the FT host from the private TB forum anywhere on FlyerTalk unless they have the express consent of that TB member or the FT host to do so. TB members are free to present their own arguments and words from the private TB forum in the public forums as they see fit and the TOS and these guidelines allows.
f. TB members are expected to adhere to these guidelines.
g. TB members are expected to familiarize themselves with Roberts Rules of Order.
h. when new TB members are elected, the FT President will send them a link to the public domain version of Roberts Rules of Order to enable them to carry out 3.C.i.g.
ii. TalkBoard Officers
a. President: Will act as executive officer of TB, ensuring that timely consideration of issues takes place, keeping the parliamentary processes flowing, and providing liaison between individual TalkBoard members and the FlyerTalk host. The President will also serve as a liaison between the TalkBoard and the moderator corps. The President shall comply with and enforce these guidelines as well as the FT TOS in the private TB forum. In the event that a TB member who is not already a moderator is elected as TB president, the host shall decide who shall have moderator powers in the private TB forum with the understanding that the assigned moderator, if other than the TB President, shall use such power in close coordination with the TB President. In situations where there is lack of guidance from these guidelines or Roberts Rules of Order with regard to the conduct of TB business or the responsibilities and obligations of TB members, the President shall provide such guidance and/or clarity with the advice of the FT host until such time that these guidelines are amended to provide such guidance and/or clarity.
b. Vice President/Secretary: The Vice President/Secretary shall in the event of the absence or inability of the President to exercise his office become acting president of the TalkBoard with all the rights, privileges and powers as if he had been the duly elected President. The Vice President/Secretary is also responsible for recording and announcing TB motions and votes in both the TalkBoard Topics public forum and the Town Hall forum as provided for under TalkBoard’s voting and public notice guidelines and in doing so shall work with the public TB forum moderators to ensure that TB business on the public forum is handled effectively and in compliance with TB rules and procedures.
D. Term of Service
i. TB Member: The term of a TB member shall be two (2) years. There is no limit to the consecutive or cumulative number of terms to which a member may be re-elected. Five TB members shall be elected during odd numbered years and four TB members shall be elected during even numbered years.
ii. TB Officers: The term of a TB Officer shall be one (1) year; however, there are no restrictions regarding consecutive or cumulative terms.
i. A vacancy in the TB shall be declared if a member:
b. Is removed by the FlyerTalk Host for any reason including after recommendation by the TB to do so under these guidelines.
c. The vacancy will be filled using the process proscribed by these guidelines.
F. Motions for censure and removal
i. Any voting TB member may make a motion for the censure or removal of another TB member or officer. Censure or removal of an elected TB member is a grave matter and should only be employed in severe circumstances. It should never be employed based on a disagreement of policy, personality or style.
ii. A motion to censure or remove shall include the valid grounds for censure or removal as allowed by these guidelines.
iii. Should such a motion receive a second the President shall initiate a sticky poll to allow TB members to vote on the matter, which shall take place by secret ballot.
iv. A 2/3 majority shall be required for approval of such a motion.
v. In the event of the passage of a motion to censure or remove, the TB Vice President/Secretary shall post the motion along with the results of the censure or removal vote in the Town Hall forum along with a statement by the TB member should he or she desire to include one and then ask the TB forums moderator to lock that thread 'per TB guidelines.' Should the motion fail there is to be no public notice of the motion whatsoever.
vi. In the event of the passage of a motion to remove, the President shall submit a request for removal and replacement of said member to the FlyerTalk Host for consideration.
vii. Grounds for censure or removal of a TB member:
a. Fails to participate in three consecutive discussions on pending motions without prior notice
b. Misses three consecutive calls to vote without prior notice
c. Is no longer an active, registered member of the FT Community
d. Demonstrates by his/her actions that he/she is not able to actively participate in the TB duties
e. Acts in wilful and gross serious, repeated violation of the FT member Terms of Service (TOS)
f. Acts in wilful and gross serious, repeated violation of these guidelines
g. Abuses the censure and removal process
vii. In all cases the FlyerTalk Host makes the final determination whether to remove a TB member.
G. Automatic recommendation for removal
i. A TB member who receives a 30-day suspension that is not overturned by the end of that suspension shall be automatically recommended to the TB host for removal from the TalkBoard at the conclusion of that suspension. The FT host and/or the TB President or Vice President/Secretary (if the President is unavailable) is to inform the TB of when this clause comes into effect.
ii. A TB member that receives a permanent ban that is not overturned within 30-days shall be automatically recommended to the TB host for removal from the TalkBoard 30 days after the ban is issued. The FT host and/or the TB President or Vice President/Secretary (if the president is unavailable) is to inform the TB of when this clause comes into effect.
iii. In all cases the FlyerTalk Host makes the final determination whether to remove a TB member.
i. A vacancy in the TB shall be filled by appointment by the Flyer Talk host, for the remaining unexpired term.
ii.The TB will use the election results from the latest election to determine eligible candidates and submit them to the Flyer Talk host for consideration working in an advisory capacity only.
iii.The FT host makes the final decision regarding replacements, announces it to the FT Community at large, and grants access to the private TalkBoard forum.
SECTION 4: GENERAL OPERATION, VOTING AND PUBLIC NOTICE PROCEDURES
A. General Operating Procedures
i. TB generally operates under a relaxed Roberts Rules of Order (RRoO). While the TB does not strictly adhere to RRoO, RRoO serve as a general guide for the President in maintaining order during TB’s proceedings and in cases where controversy over proceedings occur. Decisions of the President are penultimate, superseded only by the will of the FT host.
ii. The FT host may halt discussion or nullify recommendations on any issue being considered by the TalkBoard that interferes with the overall operation and well-being of the Flyer Talk web site. The FT host may also reserve certain areas as being outside the TB purview. These areas may be amended at any time by the FT host.
B. Motions and Seconds
i. Any member of the TB can raise a topic regarding any issue that falls under the above stated mission of the TB either in the public TB Topics forum or in the private TalkBoard forum.
ii. 48 hours after a topic has been raised by a TB member either in the public TB Topics forum or in the private TalkBoard forum, any member of the TB can make a motion regarding that issue.
iii. Points of order regarding whether a proposed motion falls within the purview of the TB shall be ruled upon by the President based on these guidelines and the FT TOS with the advice of the FT host.
ii. Any member of the TB can second a motion.
C. Voting Procedures
i. Once a motion has been made and seconded the President shall post a sticky poll thread in the TB forum calling the question and announcing the vote. The thread shall be titled "Vote: [summary of motion]". In the first post on the sticky poll thread the President shall post the maker and seconder of the motion as well as the voting deadline and then restate the motion that has been made and seconded.
ii. TB members may register their vote of yes, no or abstain while the voting period is open.
iii. It is each TB members’ responsibility to check the TB forum often enough that they do not inadvertently miss a vote.
iv. Once a TB member casts a vote that vote is final.
v. Regular motions shall be kept open for a period of two weeks from the posting of the sticky poll unless
a. at the call of the chair extenuating circumstances call for a shorter voting period although in no circumstance shall a vote be open for less than five days
b. all TB members have registered their vote.
iv. A motion shall pass if two-thirds of TB members participating in that vote vote ‘yes.’
v. At the close of a voting period the President shall formally announce the results in the sticky thread and instruct the Vice President/Secretary to comply with the TB’s public notice procedures.
vi. When motions containing recommendations for changes to FT are passed the President shall communicate that recommendation to the FT host.
D. Public Notice Procedures
i. Once a motion has been put before TalkBoard for a vote the Vice President/Secretary shall post a new thread in the public TalkBoard Topics Forum announcing the vote along with the voting end date as quickly as feasible.
ii. Motions on topics related to the internal administration of TalkBoard as determined by the President and some topics requested for discussion or input by the FT host will be exempted from this public posting requirement.
iii. The purpose of posting voting topics in the public TalkBoard forum is to solicit member feedback on any motions that are up for a vote and to allow for comments after a vote is made. It is at the sole discretion of the individual TalkBoard members whether they choose to post in the public discussion thread, there being no requirement to do so.
iv. Once voting is completed and the TB President has formally announced the results of the vote in the TB forum the Vice President/Secretary shall announce the full results of the roll call vote in
a. the public TalkBoard Topics thread announcing the vote as well as
b. a new thread in the Town Hall forum.
SECTION 5: AMENDMENTS
1. Process to Amend: Proposed amendments to these guidelines must be submitted in writing to the TB in their private forum.
2. Approval: Amendments to these guidelines can be made by a two-thirds majority vote of the TB members following the regular guidelines regarding TB motions and public notice procedures.