[5.4.1] [Social] Funding Request: ENS Meta-Governance Working Group Term 5 (Q1/Q2)


also frankly vesting or not, compensation is compensation and its a lot of money

At least in one the discussions @AvsA was drawing a comparison between academic circles compensation. He was comparing amount of grants distributed to the amount of costs incurred when those grants are distributed. I think this makes sense.

So metagov stewards object to spending more than 25kUSD on Bylaws service provider, moreover professional legal firms which offered to do the same work, but charge by the hour were rejected together. Did this ever occur to you, based on the nature of this industry, it’s not possible at all to hire a quality team to do this work and not pay by the hour?

On the other hand metagov stewards are looking to spend more than a million dollars at the time of writing on own compensation. If anything maybe spend this money on a qualified bylaws service provider? (no offence Lemma, I’m just making a point and I haven’t seen you at work just yet).

I object to this

It was an accepted proposal that forced the Metagov group to set and announce these values ahead of the nomination window.

It was Avsa’s proposal, and it passed with 99.4% approval.

Again, you seem to be attacking me and representing these as personal decisions, as opposed to acknowledging that it is the DAO’s rules that dictated the actions of last term’s Metagov group.

I am the one responding to your comments here because I am the current Metagov lead steward, and as such it unfortunately seems to fall to me to clarify confusion as to the DAO’s rules.

Again, please try to avoid criticizing individual people with your comments.

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Avsa’s proposal only amended the term length and made no explicit or implicit mention of the compensation amounts. I am more than happy to be proven wrong if you can point me to the part of the proposal where the compensation is explicitly mentioned. Your interpretation of Avsa’s proposal is wrong (I think). It only states that Meta-Gov is tasked with defining ‘Fair Compensation’ and the text in no way mentions what that fair compensation is.

This is a difficult line of questioning but I haven’t attacked you anywhere. I have only asked for justifications which are lacking. I have not called you names. I have not alleged a crime. I have not alleged a wrongdoing or criminal activity. You haven’t been insulted or disparaged. Can you please point me to an attack on you? You are in the firing line because you chose to get elected in the position of lead steward. Your answers are at best excuses to my ears (from “commitment” to “Avsa forced us to declare and take the discretionary salary”) and this is not an attack on you. It’s simply what this conversation objectively reflects. Everything that makes you uncomfortable is not an attack on you; some of it is a side-effect of leading multi-million payouts. Consider it like a congressional or senate hearing in the US. When you are responsible for big things, you are also answerable for those big things. Plus, only you have spoken so strongly against vesting; questions are inevitable.

I rest my case. I have said what I needed to say and so have you. I will seize my input on this matter.

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Voting is now live on Snapshot and Agora.

Posting some numbers from some basic digging that I ended up doing:

Steward Salaries (this term)

Category Lead Steward Second Steward Third Steward
Meta-Governance $4,000 `` $3,000
Ecosystem $6,500 $5,500 $4,000
Public Goods $4,500 $4,500 $4,500

Steward Benefits ($ENS)

In EP 4.4.2, Meta-Gov requested 52,300 ENS tokens out of which

  • 40,000 ENS tokens were distributed to the stewards themselves
  • Each steward except Nick got 5,000 ENS
  • No other meaningful tokens were distributed to developers or contributors from the Meta-Gov pod (balance roughly 14,000 ENS); Ecosystem WG internally gave some teams 1,000 ENS
  • This is an increase of over 10x from previous ENS token allocations to stewards

Link to this information: https://etherscan.io/tokentxns?a=0x91c32893216dE3eA0a55ABb9851f581d4503d39b

noway, so you are saying that they’ve distributed 40kENS as compensation for the previous term?

I don’t know about you folks, but this doesn’t read as Steward compensation. Also I read though this thread again, people were questioning very carefully what the compensation would be, for example this here

and suddenly it turns out there is a “secret bonus” of 40kENS.

Also I have a question about conflict of interest here, at the time of writing @simona_pop @Coltron.eth @5pence.eth @slobo.eth are effectively voting in favour of own compensation. So much for COI management, how about best practices and reclusing from COI decision making @nick.eth ?

I know that technically they are voting for metagov compensation, but “rising tide” raises all boats, aren’t they supposed to recognise that there is conflict of interest and recluse themselves from that decision making?

I’m also going to vote NO on Public good budget, at this stage I don’t fully understand what is going on with money part there, maybe there are some hidden compensation there as well.

That’s what the blockchain says. Unvested 40,000 ENS tokens totalling $1 million today. If someone wants to go ahead, they can check who sold and who kept the voting power. I will skip that otherwise I’ll be accused of attacking individuals instead of talking on policy.

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Millions of dollars from the timelock. too much to fit in the picture (1 person)

There’s no secret here. The data you’re mentioning is available in previous term’s forum posts, budgets, funding requests, discussed on weekly open Metagov calls, and also clearly mentioned above in this thread. (And, it’s onchain)

This is incorrect. The Term 4 Metagov group undertook a task to make this data consistent, transparent, and trackable. That’s why you’re able to find what did. Prior to Term 4, these processes were opaque and difficult to track, so you’re not finding the data.
But I believe this has already been described in the various linked posts from prior Metagov groups.

I understand the analogy, except your posts don’t ask questions or seek to understand, they just contain various inaccurate supposition that I’m forced to correct.

Previous budget clearly indicates that there is Steward + Secretary Compensation and other items, one of which was Governance and included c.52kENS tokens.

The description for Governance Steward + Secretary Compensation reads as follows - Working Group Steward and Secretary compensation totalling $276,000 USDC.

The description for Governance reads as follows - 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.

This was the budget everyone voted for and approved. You can’t just take money from one category of spending and throw it into another one, especially into own compensation. It’s called misappropriation of funds.

By the very least this money should be refunded, because they were never approved by the community.

I object to this arbitrary spending of money and would like to invite all delegates with common sense to reject this budget as well.

Sounds good to me. Please remember to give tokens to developers next time, if possible. Thanks for answering :pray:

Thanks, yes. We’ve been working diligently to do this very thing since the beginning of the term. It was one of the items this term’s Metagov stewards identified as a gap that needed to be a priority initiative.
The draft on it has just about been finalized and you should see it soon. I’m sorry we weren’t able to publish it ahead of this discussion.

I appreciate the participation in this discussion. I know your intentions are to help protect the DAO from abuse or fraud.

If you don’t mind I’ll step back from this conversation a bit to avoid it seeming like a debate, but I’ll try diligently to provide any specific data that’s requested on DAO rules, process, or history. :pray:

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Maybe I’m missing something here, can you provide information where was spending 40kENS as salaries approved?

I would think that that by the very least it would require another social vote, to override the previously approved budget.

Can you please share the links to this? I’m not finding it.

I’m looking at the previous Metagov budget request.

Here we see the following use of funds proposed:

Please note how nothing in the description of “Governance” suggests the distribution of 40,000 $ENS tokens as part of “Steward + Secretary Compensation”. “Steward + Secretary Compensation” is a totally separate category of expenses in this table.

Then I’m looking at the Etherscan link that @NameSys shared.

Here we see 40,000 $ENS being distributed to 8 stewards 88 days ago. At current value, that’s $891,600 of unvested $ENS tokens being shared as compensation to 8 stewards for 6 months of part-time work. This is beyond the $276,000 USDC that was approved by the DAO in the 4.4.2 vote.


Now I see the DAO is being asked to approve another 45,000 $ENS to be distributed to stewards over the next six months of part-time work. This is currently valued at $1,003,050 and goes beyond the $294,000 USDC in “base” compensation to stewards for 6 months of part-time work.

I see this new distribution of $ENS has been suggested by the ENS Metagov working group. However, the DAO is only now being asked to approve this expenditure as part of this 5.4.1. social vote that is currently ongoing.

Here’s a summary of what stewards are asking for as compensation for their part-time work over a 1 year period:

Term USDC $ENS $ENS in USD equivalent Total USD equivalent
Term 4 (6 months) $276,000 40,000 $891,600 $1,167,600
Term 5 (6 months) $294,000 45,000 $1,003,050 $1,297,050
Grand Total $2,464,650

Not bad for part-time work.


From the same link:

Proposed Addition:

10.4. The Meta-Governance working group are responsible for defining standards for fair compensation (‘Compensation Guidelines’).
10.5. The Compensation Guidelines shall be defined prior to the Nomination Window for each term and can only take effect for the following term.

Exactly, the way they were defined in previous budget as follows - Steward + Secretary Compensation reads as follows - Working Group Steward and Secretary compensation totalling $276,000 USDC.

It doesn’t say that Stewards will be compensated in ENS token at all, that’s the budget that was approved at a time.

Even if we stretch this situation and see who sold their tokens to test the assumption that “it’s for voting only”. I’m not exactly Ethereum forensics specialist, so please correct me if I’m wrong, and I don’t have time to do everyone now, but here is what I found out.

So to Stewards its just money, not an opportunity to have voting power.

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First I want to give major props to @James @5pence.eth @AvsA @accessor.eth @SpikeWatanabe.eth @estmcmxci and @NameSys for actively participating in this discussion. It is REALLY HARD to talk about money things like this in an open forum. Honestly, this is one of the HARDEST parts of DAOing and I want to applaud everyone for keeping a cool head and powering thru.

I only quoted this section of James.eth’s post, but it is absolutely worth reading the whole thing and I wholeheartedly agree.

The proposed ENS rewards for stewards are poorly structured.

Honestly, ~$300k USD a year for this work is a bit high, but not so bad. The DAO has an insane amount of capital and responsibility and it is important that the stewards are focused firmly on ENS’s success and are hard to bribe from outside forces. They should be paid well!

The tough part is that I don’t think all the stewards are firmly focused ONLY on ENS, a few have other part time gigs and that makes this payment too high… but it’s ok, I wouldn’t vote no just on that aspect alone.

Then there is this 5k in ENS, which is another ~$100k USD if priced today and IMO $ENS is going to the moon, so that tips the scale… This is just too much to pay part time contributors, even as stewards. The ENS really needs be vested just like it is for the other Contributors and Developers.

I couldn’t agree more. It’s a small, but an important change. If that 5k ENS was locked for a year and then streamed for 3 years, it would be ideal. Giving it as liquid tokens doesn’t achieve the stated objectives of giving governance to stewards.

I would love to see stewards have more voting power as a separate proposal, it shouldn’t have anything to do with giving stewards ENS as compensation. We have delegation in this DAO; having ENS that is delegated to stewards just makes sense. Maybe 30k ENS per steward?

I would love to see each steward be paid well for their position but $400k (which could easily become 500-800k) for part time work is a hard pill to swallow, especially when the stated purpose of giving 5000 liquid ENS per steward is governance. This is the wrong way to achieve that stated objective and it taints the whole proposal.

I have to vote against this, but would vote yes if the ENS to stewards was simply vested.


Thanks @griff,
Great response.

Can I ask you to be more specific in your objection?

The structures Avsa put in place are fairly elegant in that these amounts are decided before the term begins, to avoid situations exactly like this.

Is your objection that these values were set last term, or is your objection that the current Metagov group is executing on the guidance set last term? Or is your objection that these were the amounts set and used last term?

I think everyone agrees that there should be vesting, no one has objected to that. All guidance being given for the future includes that.

The current conversation is whether or not the existing Metagov group should execute on the guidance set last term, by the process set in the proposals that defined these things.

I guess I would ask you another question. Say we adopt exactly what you describe. Could that then be re-litigated just like this is in two more months if the token street price changes again one way or another? How many times per term can the guidance be changed? And how does that impact the human beings you’ve asked to serve under these terms?

We can always improve and do better. Nothing we decide or implement will be perfect, but shouldn’t we be focusing on future policy to build a better stronger system going forward, learning and iterating, as opposed to going backward to change previous decisions?

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Doesn’t mention the salary or compensation amounts, their distributions or even the link to the recommendation article. The EP 4.4.2 comments clearly have Katherine saying that they won’t disclose the salaries and compensations and all stewards liked it. That says everything about the inclination of stewards to divulge their salaries and compensations. Now that those numbers have been shown, the statement has changed to “the numbers were always on chain”. Goal posts have moved a lot and multiple times in this thread alone.

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