I know that, as I am no longer in Boston, my opinion probably carries a little less weight than it did when I was still in the area, however as someone that still cares deeply about Wikimedia New England, I feel that I have to respond to this. 

There is not a single thing in the email Kevin sent that I don't strongly object to. 

First of all, at the annual meetup we were given a promise that before we voted on anything someone would write up and email the list an explanation of the various incorporation options, and how officers would work, and give people time to digest this and suggest changes. Now I'm pretty sure that I haven't missed any emails, and I know I'm still on the mailing list, but I haven't gotten that explanation. So even if I were in Boston to vote in person, what is being asked for is for people to go to meeting without knowing a) who the candidates are in advance, and b) any real details about the organization that these people would be elected to.

Second of all, even if we were to have been given this information, and had an opportunity to discuss this and propose changes ahead of time, five people is in now way an appropriate size for the minimum number of people voting on these positions. Even ten people is too low. The recent annual meeting brought in two dozen people. A few years ago the annual meeting brought in even more people. Five or ten people isn't enough to decide on leadership positions.

Third of all, I find the line "it would be great not to have to appoint these positions" to be appalling. That implies that if there aren't enough people at the meeting, the possibility exists that leadership roles appointed. No. If there are not enough people at the meeting, that means that you can't have a vote. It doesn't mean appointments. This is a community organization; leadership must be determined by the community. That means a vote, and a vote of as large a segment of the community as is possible to get.

Fourth of all, I find Kevin's apparent role as kingmaker, talking to people about leadership roles in private, to be unsettling. I respect Kevin's desire to jolt WMNE into action and finally get it to incorporated status, but at every step of the way he has cut corners in order to move it forward, and we're now well past the point where corners can be cut.

I strongly suggest that at the upcoming meeting, rather than force a vote before everyone is ready (i.e. has a full understanding of what is being voted on, who is running, and what the organization is going to look like), you instead use the time to clearly define who is running for what position, what the roles and responsibilities of each position are, what kind of organization WMNE is aming for, and what the bylaws of the organization are - including the election bylaws. Then, one that's all decided, you put all of it into an email and send it to the Boston list and the Connecticut list, and you open it all up for discussion, which should happen on the Boston list, where everyone can see it. Voting itself should also be done online, so that everyone that is interested can participate, including people that can't make meetings or don't go to meetings but are still interested.

I personally have no interest in a leadership position in WMNE, as I'm no longer in New England and it would make no sense to lead from afar, so please don't take this as political maneuvering.  However as things stand I would not consider a leadership body elected on Saturday to be at all legitimate, owing the the failures outlined above. I've been waiting for two years for WMNE to become a registered non-profit with formal leadership and possibly a budget, but this isn't the way to do it. You can't elect a leadership body without bylaws that state what elected officials do and what rules they must follow, and you can't vote on either a leadership body or the bylaws that govern them if you're not given advance notice of what you're voting for. 

I hope that you, the community, will take these thoughts into consideration.

Yours in absence,
Sven Manguard

On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM, Kevin Rutherford <Ktr101@hotmail.com> wrote:
Hey all,
First of all, sorry for the delay in this e-mail, as real life has been getting in the way, so I am now able to send out the e-mail officially announcing the meeting on Saturday from 2-4 in room 214 of the Boston University College of Arts and Sciences building.
I have already spoken to some of you about running in the election that will be held on Saturday, assuming that we have at least 5-10 persons present, but if you are interested in running for President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, or Community Liaison, let me know, because it would be great not to have to appoint these positions. Additionally, we will be discussion the Ada Lovelace Day Edit-a-thon and Wikipedia Loves Libraries, both of which are going on this month. Additionally, Open Access Week is occurring the week of October 20th, so that can also be something that is discussed, as there are at least two colleges that I know of that are planning something, so it might be good to coordinate any help that could be done between the other institutions.
Finally, if you are planning on going, please respond on the Meetup page for now, as I am going to get the Wiki page up and running shortly. If too few people are planning on going, I will cancel l the meeting, and reschedule voting to occur within the next week or so, online.
Useful links:
Kevin Rutherford

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