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Gmane
From: Stefano Zacchiroli <leader <at> debian.org>
Subject: Re: LeCamp - Approval of budget and signing the contract
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.debian.conference.team
Date: Tuesday 27th November 2012 15:01:14 UTC (over 5 years ago)
On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 11:47:15PM +0100, Philipp Hug wrote:
> As the DPL has the final oversight how Debian spends it's money and
> how the Debian brand is used, I'm also asking him for approval of the
> budget

As mentioned before, I dug into the budget, related documents, some
debconf-team archives and meeting logs, as well as sought clarifications
from Philipp on the points that weren't immediately clear to me.

I've considered 2 different versions of the budget, the one announced by
Darst around November 20th as a safe/"conservative" budget, and the one
announced submitted yesterday by Philipp as a reasonable/non-optimistic
budget. I'm well aware they're both *tentative* budgets and that there
might (and will) be fluctuations. That's the deal with early budget
approval anyhow.

There is a risk of money loss with the proposed budget (e.g. in the
extreme case we cancel DebConf). The entity of the potential damage
varies with the moment where we cancel and many other factors. Comparing
with current Debian reserves and with the expected large future expenses
I'm aware of, I conclude that we can afford that risk. Obviously, I
expect all of you to work _against_ that risk.

I've found 2 important missing items in the budget, and confirmed with
Philipp that they've not been considered, namely: day by day venue
cleaning and dish washing. I think that they should be put in, I don't
think it's reasonable to put that burden on attendees. I've looked at
tentative cost figures to pay the corresponding personnel with Philipp
and I think they can be fit into the budget, by either making economies,
raising more money (from sponsors or other means), or even (as a *last
resort*) by taking a deficit for this reason.

I understand that the kind of room accommodation is a limiting factor
and that some people will decide not to come for that reason. I'm
unconvinced that such a limiting factor is worse than others we have
faced in the past, including the choice of DebConf location in the first
place (yes, I do think they are in the same ballpark). On this point,
I'm very much in agreement with Steve's mail [1]. But that comes with a
"price", which I think must be "paid". Namely, and FWIW, I agree that
attendees should be prominently informed at registration time about the
kinds of accommodation available, be put in the condition of expressing
their preferences, including that of not coming if the minimum lodgement
standard they're looking for is not available.

[1]: http://lists.debconf.org/lurker/message/20121126.001203.0a6b0582.en.html

Modulo all the above, which I'm confident you will take into account,
I'm happy to approve the proposed budget.

My reading of the last meeting is that Philipp is already empowered to
make, tomorrow, the needed negotiations with LeCamp, and possibly sign
the contract for a 1 week(-ish) period. If he wants to subject that to
my budget approval, that has happened above. If he wants to subject his
actions to my more general approval, I hereby declare my trust in
Philipp to implement the last line of the most recent DebConf team
meeting:

  #agree consensus for the LeCamp final negotiation is: Sign one week if
  possible; if not negotiate the best deal you can for the DebCamp week.
  If only two weeks is agreeable, last-resort is a phone call with
  DebConf chairs.

If, in addition to the above, Philipp wants to subject his actions to
preventive chairs approval, he is obviously free to do so too.

Some further thoughts on the contract:

- I'm sad to give up all together the idea of a week long DebCamp. But
  analyzing the costs, it does not seem wise at this point to sign for a
  2 week long contract. But it'd be nice to keep open the possibility of
  renting individual buildings for the DebCamp week, though.

- I take that the intended meaning of the tent renting option in
  contract is to implement a dispensation as per art.15 of conditionsE.
  If so, that point of the contract should really be worded as a
  dispensation. Similarly, I think we should try really hard to
  negotiate a better deal for the limit after which we are formally
  allowed to go tents. I don't think it will change much in practice,
  but it will give us more flexibility (and therefore more
  sane-mindedness).

I have shared some other comments about the negotiation with Philipp,
but I don't think it is appropriate to share them here before tomorrow.
Hope this helps,
-- 
Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  [email protected] . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
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