[4.4.2] [Social] Funding Request: ENS Meta-Goverance Working Group

Status
Votes Snapshot
Author Katherine.eth

Abstract

The ENS Meta-Governance Working Group requests funding of the below to support operations until the March 2024 funding window. This means the Working Group will not be requesting funds in the January 2024 Funding Window.

The Meta-Governance Working Group is responsible for providing governance oversight and supporting the management and operation of working groups through DAO tooling and governance initiatives as well as treasury management for the DAO.

This social proposal is submitted to satisfy the requirements set out in Rule 10.1.1 of the Working Group Rules (EP 1.8). If this proposal is passed, the funding request will be included in a collective executable proposal put forward by all three Working Groups.

Specification

This specification is the amount requested from the DAO treasury to to the Metagov Multisig to fulfil anticipated budgetary needs through March 2024.

USDC ETH $ENS
ENS Meta-Gov Main Multisig 376,000 40 52,300

Description

Current Metagov Wallet Balances

(Values expected as of October 20th, 2023 - Use hyperlinked wallet names to see current balances)

Address ETH USDC $ENS
ens-metagov.pod.xyz 1.2* 162,653 1,990
ens-governance.pod.xyz 32 83,500 1,250
ens-daotooling.pod.xyz 0 85,993
ens-endowmentfees.pod.xyz 86.69

*As of 10/18 this wallet also temporarily holds the 117 ETH being distributed via [EP4.3] [Executable] Refund .eth names affected by normalization updates


Expenditures

Meta-Gov sets aside funds to ensure coverage for critical mission initiatives. While we strive to estimate term expenditures accurately, the final spending depends on pending initiatives. We anticipate that Final Expenditures will not surpass the Expected Expenses allocated for the term.

Expected Expenses through March 2024

USDC ETH $ENS
Steward + Secretary Compensation 276,000 -
Governance 50,000 - 52,300
DAO Tooling 50,000 30 -
DAO Sponsorship - 10 -
Discretionary - - -
Total Balance 376,000 40 52,300

Description of Initiatives/Pods

Steward + Secretary Compensation: Working Group Steward and Secretary compensation totalling $276,000 USDC.

Governance: Fee reimbursements and initiatives related to reducing friction in the governance process. This can also include $ENS distributed in order to lower barriers to the governance proposal process.

DAO Tooling: Developing interfaces and dashboards to improve the governance process and increase transparency across the DAO.

DAO Sponsorship: Sponsoring DAO-specific events such as DAO NYC, DAO Tokyo, or others that fit the criteria.

Discretionary: Funds distributed at the discretion of stewards towards new initiatives + governance experiments.


This proposal was prepared by katherine.eth, lead steward of the ENS Meta-Governance Working Group.

1 Like

Where do we learn more specifics about Compensation-packages?
How is this $276,000 USDC split btwn which Steward(s) + Secretary(s)?

Hey Gary,
I don’t think there’s any forum posts or docs to point you to, but we’ll try to answer your questions here.
The $276k is what we estimate we’ll need to cover 6 months of stipends for nine stewards, one secretary, and one scribe role.

1 Like

Damn, that’s a lot of money.

Sucks to contribute to conversation amongts other things. and to sit without power. Funny thing is all I think about is bettering myself through ethereum and ENS. How much secretary compensation needs to go out?

Isn’t a stewards compensation 2,000 usdc?
9 stewards at 2,000 USDC at 6 months is 105,000 USDC.

Kind of frustrating and does not reflect any incentive for anyone to consistently be involved and spend their time. Am I wrong for feeling so frustrated, angry rather? Why was this not figured into the budget at the beginning of the term.

I understand that I’m not entitled to anything but damn this is annoying to see stewards never have a documented opinion, especially after three terms. On October 7th I sent a message to all stewards and have not heard a word back. Zero sense of urgency. Thanks. I really don’t want to read anyones justification that minimizes how I feel about that. I have near zero interest in continuing to support this organization if it has zero interest in supporting the people who clearly show adamant loyalty.

I don’t regret this statement. I hope everyone enjoys themselves with safe travels socializing.

I would also like to understand how that $276,000 is used. What’s the per per steward, per secretary and per scribe stipend?

I’d like this to be way more specific. I think that if a Steward requires a salary that’s ok, but that should be disclosed at election time and the ask for each steward should be clear.

Are all 9 stewards receiving the same compensation? Some of them already receive a salary from ENS labs, do these get a discount? What are the functions of a scribe beyond transcribing (all meetings already have tons of AI assistants who do a pretty good job of transcribing).

It’s for six months? That would make 46k per month which assuming is split equally among all of them would amount to US$4,180. That’s roughly a starting salary for a full time federal judge in Brazil, which is expected to work at least 8h a day and have specific knowledge. Of course that’s dependent on where you live but I would find it very euroamerican centric to use US or European salaries as a measuring stick. That would also mean it’s half a million dollars for a year we are paying just for our stewards and I think that would be excessive.

I have voted against this proposal for the moment but I am happy to change the vote if I feel my these points have been clarified.

2 Likes

I had replied to accessor’s message.

1 Like

Hey Avsa, thank you for asking these questions! Let me address some of your concerns.

  1. Generally speaking, Labs employees who were elected stewards have historically elected not to receive compensation— but that’s an individual decision, not a DAO one. As far as I’m concerned, those are two distinctly different roles— if a lab employee runs for stewardship and takes on those additional responsibilities, AND the community elects to vote them into the position, that is the decision of the individual and the voters. As a side note, due to the decreased number of (self-electing non-paid) lab employees who currently sit in the DAO, that accounts for some small increase in the overall compensation.

  2. As for your geographical perspective, I understand where you are coming from. However, I’d like to ask whether there is, in fact, a ‘fair’ geo in which to anchor steward compensation. One possible solution is to ask each steward to divulge their place of residence and then scale the compensation depending on geography, but that does not seem optimal (nor fair) in my opinion. Additionally, this may actually serve an unintended consequence—namely, it may further discourage non-Euro/American potential stewards from wanting to run for Steward positions given any perceived unfairness based on their respective countries of residence. We should focus on attracting the best talent, irrespective of their location.

  3. I believe sharing detailed compensation breakdowns may not serve a meaningful purpose and could set an unhelpful precedent. Transparency is crucial, but we should maintain a balance between transparency and privacy. As you have already done, averaging across 11 roles can serve as a good range if specific numerical ranges are demanded.

  4. Lastly, I am a strong believer in paying for good talent. We should consider competitive compensation to attract and retain top talent, as relying solely on contributors who are less comp-sensitive may not be a sustainable strategy.

As always, forums and DMs are always open for further discussion-- and thank you in advance for reading this response!

We need at least a breakdown of that balance per month per role. To exactly determine if it’s overpaying, which to me also it seems like the DAO is overpaying for something that’s not even a full time role.

I have also not voted yet until I see some clarifications here.

1 Like

However, I’d like to ask whether there is, in fact, a ‘fair’ geo in which to anchor steward compensation.

Well it’s hard to pin point a place or an equivalent job, but I’d argue that $4k a month is a very good salary anywhere in the world. According to Glassdoor that is a starting salary for a general manager in California, where it would be a full time job. How many of the stewards are doing that work full time?

I believe sharing detailed compensation breakdowns may not serve a meaningful purpose and could set an unhelpful precedent.

While I do agree on paying for talent, we should put that in perspective and understand what are we paying and how many hours we are expecting back. I agree that if we don’t pay anything we risk having only people who are already rich, who won’t commit or people who have nefarious intents. But then we should definitely have some system and transparency. Maybe we should have a line item that says: we are paying N stewards for an expected half time commitment, we have X stewards that have elected not to receive any compensation. But I think having the full pay outs for the position is indeed good for transparency and even better for precedent. I’ll start: my salary for the position of ENS Foundation is $0. I do not expect everyone’s else to be the same, but I would like to have more transparency than what we have so far.

I disagree it does not serve any meaningful purpose. Doesn’t Apple know how much it pays its own employees? Well, I don’t need to remind you that these salaries are paid by the DAO and therefore the DAO should know how much they are. It helps the Token Holders to understand how their renewal fees are being spent and it serves to advertise the position to potential candidates.

Lastly, I am a strong believer in paying for good talent.

We agreed here. But maybe what we need to think more is a better system: how are we deciding these salary ranges? How are we keeping track of good talent and rewarding them for good behavior while making sure to cull the bad elements? How do we keep our pay competitive to attract global talent but remain fiscally responsible? I don’t want to suggest specifics and derail the conversation, but it’s clear that the current system is not transparent enough.

4 Likes

Yes, I heard back from you and @5pence.eth . This is true, except et al. @avsa

According to the EVM ledger, there does not appear to be any consistency in compensation. @lefterisjp

Being a ENS DAO Steward is a public position, in an open/public DAO. ENS Labs is a private organization, ENS DAO is not a private organization.

IMO, if this is a open/public DAO, then “who gets what” should be transparent. There is already data on-chain, but to obfuscate data intentionally is to turn our backs on the ENS DAO ethos (of a open/public DAO), IMO.

1 Like

Unfortunately since there has been no response here I am also forced to vote NO as the closing of the vote window is imminent.

1 Like

I strongly agree, and not just for Stewards. Any and all payments by the DAO to persons for any and all service(s) should be documented, transparent and made publicly available.

Failure to document who is getting paid, and for what, could be an embarrassment to the DAO, the person(s) that authorized said payments, and the parties that received said payments. Further, undocumented payments in exchange for services of any kind result in people acting as agents on behalf of the DAO and without any legal agreement their authority to act on behalf of the DAO there is effectively unlimited risks and potential liabilities for any torts of these 3rd parties.

As to the proposed compensation for the Stewards, it would not appear the amounts are objectionable. In my opinion Steward positions are similar in scope to that of a Board of Director position for a non-profit, which are also part time positions. As an example the proposed compensations for the Stewards is not inconsistent with the ICANN Board based on the public information I looked up.

Finally, as a Public Good the DAO Stewardship should be considered “public service”, and that does not mean pro bono or volunteer work. Moreover, the Stewards should be compensated a competitive salary for like work. Failure to pay Stewards could result in a chilling effect on public service towards the Public Good, potentially allowing only independently wealthy persons to participate as Stewards which should be thought of as contrary to the Public Good.

4 Likes

Other Notes:

  1. Keep paying our stewards.
  2. Don’t decrease their payments.
  3. Make data transparent AND visible.

Hey all, taking some time to respond to your points as the voting window is quickly coming to a close.

Firstly, I want to clarify that we have always been transparent about the total projected amounts and the number of roles in these funding requests, in line with past precedent and the Meta-Gov working rules as outlined in [EP1.8] [Social] Working Group Rules. We understand that there is a concern over the lack of a line-item breakdown, and we recognize this as an area for improvement in the future.

However, I want to emphasize that we are not inclined to disclose each individual steward’s compensation due to the complexity and personal nature of these decisions. Furthermore, we believe that doing so would set a bad precedent. That being said, the average compensation per role can be calculated using the disclosed numbers. While there may be fluctuations across roles, this is job and performance-dependent, as has always been the case. Each steward brings unique skills and responsibilities to the table, and compensation is decided upon accordingly each term.

To address this concern, we propose two questions for consideration by the delegates:

  1. Should we include a budget line item for steward compensation in all future funding requests to standardize the process?

  2. How can we balance privacy and autonomy in compensation decisions without every token holder acting as “HR”?

Secondly, I want to clarify that while there is no ‘standard’ for steward payments, there are comparisons of full-time DAO employees as a reference point Token Terminal DAO Comp Comparisons. Compensation is a complex issue, especially given the global nature of our stewards, and we are committed to finding a solution that attracts top talent while also being fair and transparent.

Finally, a few points of clarification. Meta-Gov sends out compensation payments to all the stewards, plus the Secretary and Scribe, across all three working groups. Due to the timing of this request window, compensation may be re-evaluated and redistributed when the new class of stewards steps in on January 1st. We strongly encourage this reevaluation to ensure that compensation remains fair and competitive.

In conclusion, we appreciate each and every vote that put us in these positions. Those who attend our weekly calls or are familiar with our work know that we take our responsibilities seriously. We hope that the trust you placed in us through your votes will carry through to the day-to-day decisions we make as stewards.

7 Likes

Suggesting KPIs for each working group might be beneficial. As the saying goes, "Accountability breeds response-ability”.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.

And thanks @katherine.eth for including those two questions. I’d encourage everyone with strong feelings to respond with suggestions.

As for a final comment on this proposal, the metagov stewards have heard the feedback and spent time weighing choices. There are a lot of externalities that can be triggered by setting new precedents and changing process.

The process we used is the same process that has been used and approved by the token holders previously, and it matches the Working Group rules that were also voted in by the token holders. That’s not to say the process shouldn’t change, but it is to say that there is more risk in being too reactionary without consideration of new precendents and their impact to the DAO or future stewards.

We did agonize over the correct choice, and the feedback will likely lead to us changing the process. My personal ask would be that our token holders allow us time to weigh the feedback so that we can incorporate it in the way that makes the most sense operationally and allows us to follow the true consensus from the token holders.

I’m personally appreciative of all the feedback and participation.

4 Likes

I’m late and I’m catching up with reading all comments and discussions here on the forum but I wanted to say I’m very glad the compensation has become a topic of discussion. I’ll make sure to stay more updated with the discussions so I can timely give provide my thoughts and feedback.

I think funding should be public as well. Preferably it would be nice to have duties and responsibilities outlined just to get a sense of what those are for each role on a daily/weekly/monthly basis because it would actually help me understand the positions better since I ran and plan to keep running for steward role in the future. That might also clear things up as far as compensation goes but I’m fine with those.

2 Likes

The Metagov stewards have posted a suggested comp structure for the Working Group Stewards and supporting roles in this thread: ENS DAO Steward Compensation

2 Likes