Adopted November 3, 2008
Revised February 14, 2012
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
FlyerTalk’s purpose is to bring together frequent flyers and members of other travel-related loyalty programs in a common interest to discuss miles & points, travel and travel-related issues.
In an effort to provide maximum member input into the content and organization of FlyerTalk, a member-elected Board (TalkBoard) was created and empowered with the task of making recommendations with regard to the management, organization and content of FlyerTalk. These recommendations, while just recommendations to the Host* of FlyerTalk, serve as an important foundation for the structure and growth of FlyerTalk.
These guidelines provide for the mission, organization and procedures of the TalkBoard. These guidelines supersede any and all previous guidelines, precedents and procedures.
*The "Host" refers to the designate of responsibility for the day-to-day operations of FlyerTalk by its owners.
SECTION 2: MISSION
A. The FlyerTalk TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard 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 and its posters.
v. Providing input on and reaction to FlyerTalk upgrades, plug-ins and other changes.
vi. Periodically reviewing FlyerTalk's Terms of Service (TOS) to ensure they best serve and protect FlyerTalk and its posters.
SECTION 3: BOARD ORGANIZATION
A. TalkBoard Members
i. The TalkBoard will consist of 9 voting members, chosen by popular election. The FlyerTalk Host can serve as an ad hoc TalkBoard member at will and may appoint ex officio, non-voting, members to the TalkBoard.
ii. TalkBoard members must be active, registered members of the FlyerTalk community.
i. TalkBoard Members
a. Interested candidates must be able to commit to minimum weekly discussion and voting participation. Candidates shall submit a profile specifying their area of primary interest and involvement in the FlyerTalk 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 FlyerTalk Host that on the First of November, the names of the candidates will be announced so that FlyerTalk members will have an opportunity to become acquainted with them; however, the date may be changed at the discretion of the FlyerTalk Host. For a minimum of 2 weeks following the announcement of candidates, FlyerTalk members will vote and FlyerTalk Host will tally results. The new TalkBoard member(s) will be announced within ten days of the end of the vote closure. The terms of these newly elected TalkBoard 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 mass usage of 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 or Social Networking 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 posting privileges.
e. TalkBoard members who are subject to the term limit defined in Section 3.D.i shall be ineligible to be candidates in the current year
ii. TalkBoard Officers
a. The TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard forum may run in the presidential election.
c. The presidential elections shall be conducted as follows: Any candidate garnering 2/3rd of the total TalkBoard 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 2/3rds 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 TalkBoard 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. TalkBoard members are expected to conform to the Terms of Service and conduct themselves with civility in a spirit of cooperation for the betterment of FlyerTalk. Personal attacks, disrespectfully calling other TalkBoard members’ motives into question and petty bickering and sniping will not be tolerated.
b. TalkBoard members may be drawn from a variety of cultures which may mean that cultural mores of TalkBoard members are different. TalkBoard members are expected to be mindful of this fact and respect cultural differences as to what is considered polite and appropriate behavior.
c. Official TalkBoard announcements should be made only by the TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard 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, TalkBoard members and particularly officers shall be careful to clearly note whether they are speaking on behalf of the entire TalkBoard, when they are speaking in an official capacity in their role as a TalkBoard member or officer and when they are speaking for themselves as a FlyerTalker. TalkBoard members are expected to honestly represent the actions of the TalkBoard, themselves and other TalkBoard members on the public forum when doing so.
e. The TalkBoard forum is private. No TalkBoard member shall present information, arguments or words of another TalkBoard member or the FlyerTalk Host from the private TalkBoard forum anywhere on FlyerTalk unless they have the express consent of that TalkBoard member or the FlyerTalk Host to do so. TalkBoard members are free to present their own arguments and words from the private TalkBoard forum in the public forums as they see fit and the Terms of Service and these guidelines allows.
f. TalkBoard members are expected to adhere to these guidelines.
g. TalkBoard members are expected to familiarize themselves with Roberts Rules of Order.
h. When new TalkBoard members are elected, the TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard, 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 or appoint anouther TalkBoard member as a liaison between the TalkBoard and the moderator corps. The President shall comply with and enforce these guidelines as well as the FlyerTalk Terms of Service in the private TalkBoard forum. In the event that a TalkBoard member who is not already a moderator is elected as TalkBoard President, the Host shall decide who shall have moderator powers in the private TalkBoard forum with the understanding that the assigned moderator, if other than the TalkBoard President, shall use such power in close coordination with the TalkBoard President. In situations where there is lack of guidance from these guidelines or Roberts Rules of Order with regard to the conduct of TalkBoard business or the responsibilities and obligations of TalkBoard members, the President shall provide such guidance and/or clarity with the advice of the FlyerTalk Host until such time that these guidelines are amended to provide such guidance and/or clarity.
b. 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 TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard forum moderators to ensure that TalkBoard business on the public forum is handled effectively and in compliance with TalkBoard rules and procedures.
D. Length of Terms
i. TalkBoard Member: The term of a TalkBoard member shall be two (2) years. Five TalkBoard members shall be elected during odd numbered years and four TalkBoard members shall be elected during even numbered years. Term Limit: A FlyerTalk member is ineligible to be a candidate in the current TalkBoard election if by the end of the election period the member will have served on the TalkBoard more than three years out of the preceding four-year period.
i. A vacancy in the TalkBoard shall be declared if a member:
b. Is removed by the FlyerTalk Host for any reason including a recommendation by the TalkBoard to do so under these guidelines.
ii. The vacancy will be filled using the process proscribed by these guidelines.
F. Motions for Censure and Removal
i. Any voting TalkBoard member may make a motion for the censure or for a recommendation for removal of another TalkBoard member or officer. Censure or removal of an elected TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard members to vote on the matter, which shall take place by secret ballot.
iv. A 2/3 majority of TalkBoard members shall be required for approval of such a motion.
v. In the event of the passage of a motion to censure or remove, the TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard member should he or she desire to include one and then ask the TalkBoard forums moderator to lock that thread 'per TalkBoard 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 (or the Vice President/Secretary if the motion involves 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 TalkBoard member:
a. Fails to participate in three consecutive discussions on pending motions without prior notice, where prior notice constitutes a post posted in the thread kept for that purpose in the private TalkBoard forum
b. Misses three consecutive calls to vote without prior notice where prior notice constitutes a post posted in the thread kept for that purpose in the private TalkBoard forum
c. Has been permanently removed from the rolls of active, registered members of the FlyerTalk community
d. Demonstrates by his/her actions that he/she is not able to actively participate in the TalkBoard duties
e. Acts in willful and gross serious, repeated violation of the FlyerTalk member Terms of Service (TOS)
f. Acts in willful and gross serious, repeated violation of these guidelines
g. Abuses the censure and removal process
viii. As with any motion approved by the TalkBoard, in all cases the FlyerTalk Host makes the final determination whether to act on the TalkBoard recommendation to remove a TalkBoard member or not.
G. TalkBoard Member Removal for Cause
i. The FlyerTalk Host reserves the right to publicly rebuke and/or remove any TalkBoard member for any reason whatsoever including those whom he determines have violated the TOS or these Guidelines to such a degree to warrant said action.
ii. When an elected TalkBoard member receives a 30-day or permanent suspension from any FlyerTalk moderator during their term in office:
a. That suspension shall be automatically reviewed by the FlyerTalk Host or the FlyerTalk Host's appointed representative if the Host is unavailable and ruled upon within three business days. During this review the TalkBoard member may appeal directly to the FlyerTalk Host for the immediate privilege of access to the private TalkBoard forum for the sole purpose of conducting TalkBoard business including voting on motions. The FlyerTalk Host is not required to grant this access.
b. If that suspension is upheld by the FlyerTalk Host or the Host's appointed representative, then the TalkBoard member shall be immediatedly removed from the TalkBoard for cause and will regain public forum posting privileges at the end of the suspension term.
c. If, after review, the suspension is overturned or reduced to a 7-day suspension by the FlyerTalk Host or the Host's appointed representative then no further action will be taken and the member will be reinstated as a TalkBoard member with full posting privileges either immediately or at the conclusion of the 7-day suspension.
d. An affirmation of the suspension by the FlyerTalk Host or the Host's appointed representative is required for removal from the TalkBoard for cause. If for any reason the FlyerTalk Host or the Host's appointed representative does not review and rule upon the suspension during the suspension then the TalkBoard member is not removed for cause.
i. In the case of vacancy on the TalkBoard, the replacement shall be the candidate who received the highest vote in the most recent election without having been elected. A second vacancy on TalkBoard would be filled by the next candidate in line, and this process will continue until there are no more candidates available. If it reaches that point, the FlyerTalk Host will appoint a member.
ii. Once the date for a new election has been announced, no vacancy on TalkBoard will be filled until that election. At that point, the results of the new election will determine who will fill vacancies.
SECTION 4: GENERAL OPERATION, VOTING AND PUBLIC NOTICE PROCEDURES
A. General Operating Procedures
i. TalkBoard generally operates under a relaxed Roberts Rules of Order (RRoO). While the TalkBoard does not strictly adhere to RRoO, RRoO serve as a general guide for the President in maintaining order during TalkBoard’s proceedings and in cases where controversy over proceedings occurs. Decisions of the President are penultimate, superseded only by the will of the FlyerTalk Host.
ii. The FlyerTalk 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 FlyerTalk web site. The FlyerTalk Host may also reserve certain areas as FlyerTalk Host.
B. Motions and Seconds
i. Any member of the TalkBoard can raise a topic regarding any issue that falls under the above stated mission of the TalkBoard either in the public TalkBoard Topics forum or in the private TalkBoard forum.
ii. A minumim of 48 hours must elapse after a topic has been raised by a TalkBoard member either in the public TalkBoard Topics forum or in the private TalkBoard forum, before any member of the TalkBoard can make a motion regarding that issue.
iii. Points of order regarding whether a proposed motion falls within the purview of the TalkBoard shall be ruled upon by the President based on these guidelines and the FlyerTalk Terms of Service with the advice of the FlyerTalk Host.
iv. Any member of the TalkBoard 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 TalkBoard 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. TalkBoard members may register their selection of yes, no or present but abstain while the voting period is open.
iii. It is each TalkBoard members’ responsibility to check the TalkBoard forum often enough that they do not inadvertently miss a vote.
iv. A TalkBoard member who is otherwise unable to log onto FlyerTalk due to a suspension may appeal to the FlyerTalk Host for the privilege of access to the private TalkBoard forum for the sole purpose of conducting TalkBoard business including voting on motions.
v. Once a TalkBoard member registers a selection that selection is final.
vi. Regular motions shall be kept open for a period of two weeks from the posting of the sticky poll unless
a. under extenuating circumstances, the President may call for a shorter voting period although in no circumstance shall a vote be open for less than five days.
b. all TalkBoard members have registered their selections.
vii. A motion shall pass if at least two-thirds of the yes or no votes cast by TalkBoard members are ‘yes’ and a majority of the total TalkBoard membership votes 'yes.'
viii. 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 TalkBoard’s public notice procedures.
ix. When motions containing recommendations for changes to FlyerTalk are passed the President shall communicate that recommendation to the FlyerTalk 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. Once that thread is posted, the TalkBoard Vice President/Secretary will submit a request to the FlyerTalk Host or representative to create an site-wide announcment of the vote with a link to the discussion/voting thread in the TalkBoard Topics Forum. The Announcement will be available until either voting is completed and a decision is made or the voting period ends.
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 FlyerTalk Host will be exempted from this public posting requirement.
iii. The purpose of posting voting topics in the public TalkBoard Topics 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 an active motion has received sufficient Yes votes for approval or sufficient No votes that approval is not possible, the Vice President/Secretary or the President shall post this fact in the public TalkBoard Topics thread announcing the vote.
v. Once voting is completed and the TalkBoard President has formally announced the results of the vote in the TalkBoard 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
b. a new thread in the Town Hall forum.
SECTION 5: AMENDMENTS
A. Process to Amend: Proposed amendments to these guidelines must be submitted in writing to the TalkBoard in the private forum.
B. Approval: Amendments to these guidelines can be made by a two-thirds majority vote of the TalkBoard members following the regular guidelines regarding TalkBoard motions and public notice procedures