Mostly reasonable enough. My point on positions was that since this board
was only going to be around for three months it might be more efficient to
assign tasks on a task by task basis rather than a role by role one,
particularly as assignments of tasks should require much less discussion
than assignment of roles. This certainly does not mean that we'd be in an
"everyone thought someone else would do it" situation, as those task
assignments would be a matter of public record. A task based approach also
keeps at least some collective responsibility for things getting done for
the whole board, which to me seems right, since if we fail, we fail as an
ensemble. It also means that when the job of one "role" can be parallelized,
it will be.
You write: "There are other times that retreating in camera will probably be
required, e.g. discussion of new members where personal info needs to be
shared/discussed." This raises an interesting question we were briefly
discussing on IRC last night: namely is there any situation where we would
reject the membership application of someone who met the legal requirements?
I can imagine we may decide to eventually reject those who had not paid
supporting membership fees, but I really cannot see any reason for blocking
an application beyond this. I certainly think it would be wrong to tie
membership to on wiki activity or seniority in the community. Does anyone
have strong opinions the other way?
As for opening up voting results, I should probably note that the email you
were replying to was by Thomas Dalton (Tango) not me... The main reason I
think to want to do it is just that "it's the done thing" which rather
suggests that people smarter than us have decided it's optimal. Openness is
good in itself, it provides some minimal verification of the results, and
it's also important for future elections: it means candidates can see what
was popular previously, it means they can decide if there's any point them
making the effort to stand in future and it means voters can potentially
adjust their voting strategy for tactical reasons in future (just imagine
how hard it would be for e.g. people with both labour and liberal sympathies
to decide how to vote in tory constituencies if they did not know the
historical tallies). It may also provide the fairest way of deciding upon a
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Michael Peel
Sent: 02 October 2008 08:58
Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] WMUK Agenda
Tom et al.,
Sending to the list as this discussion shouldn't
be private. Unless
we start getting significant numbers of "too much traffic"
complaints, we should be discussing everything publically. (Sorry
guys, I don't mean to be an arse.)
Fine with me.
Reply to the below, apologies if this sounds a little
I'm just trying to keep us focussed on what's important:
OK; I'll use the same approach then. :)
#1 That was not a formal election and we are not at
this point a
formal board. Lets leave the bureaucracy behind until it's legally
It's something that will only take a few minutes, and it would be
good to have it recorded in the meeting notes.
#2 Assigning positions beyond those mandated by law
(that is to
say, secretary) at this point is a bit of a waste of time. We're a
small board and it will generally be more efficient to assign jobs
on a case by case basis until after the AGM at which point many of
us may no longer be on the board and WMUK can start doing what it
was set up to do. Lets not play the "handing out basically
meaningless roles" game.
The rationale behind having 5 positions for 5 people is that it evens
out the workload, so that everyone has a main-stay useful thing that
they are doing. It doesn't preclude people from doing other things.
As a minimum, we need the three positions: chair, secretary,
treasurer. They may not be legally mandated, but meetings won't go
smoothly if we don't have a chair (as an example; the chair of course
will do more than that), we need someone who is in charge of the
actual paperwork, and we need someone who is in charge of opening the
bank account, and keeping track of any expenses that may occur as we
Membership was something that was notably weak in WMUK1, so it would
be good to have someone in charge of that. Communications (mainly
external) would also be useful, although the chair could conceivably
#3 Weekly meetings are fine, but they must not become
an excuse for
delaying decision making until the next meeting. This list and
general IRC should be fine for most of the required discussions.
The only circumstance when we should be forced to retreat to
meetings for decisions is when someone on the board objects to the
consensus decision and a board vote is necessary.
Weekly meetings would be good for keeping things going. I concur that
they must not be an excuse for delaying decisions, but on the flip
side we shouldn't rush things - so if things need to be delayed by a
week, so be it. There are other times that retreating in camera will
probably be required, e.g. discussion of new members where personal
info needs to be shared/discussed.
#4 This can wait a while. Once everything is squared
committee we'll get an internal wiki and at that point someone can
ask JamesF nicely to transfer the domain. (This has been much
True, it can wait, but it would be good to make a start on it sooner
rather than later (although the same applies for everything else too...)
#5 The MoA and AoA are what we need to discuss.
They've been talked
about a fair bit on this list already, and I got the impression
that we'd agreed that we want to basically replicate the changes
made by Alison to the original template. If someone (Tango?
Alison?) has a list of these changes we can discuss them one by one
in the meeting. We also need to discuss the objectives. The
objectives list here http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/
Wikimedia_UK_v2.0/Objectives is currently those of WMUK 1.0 with a
few that I shoved on the front last month. None of these have
really been discussed. We certainly won't make a final decision at
the meeting (not least because everything has to be run past my
tame-barrister and any other legal advice we're getting), but
there's no reason we can't have a good bash at a draft by the end
Yup; I agree that this is the main thing to discuss. Hearing Tango's
and Alison's comments (and anyone else's) on the standard MoA and AoA
we have on the meta at the moment would be great. Whether the board
meeting is the right place for an in-depth discussion of the MoA/AoA/
objectives is another question; wouldn't that best be done on this
The only other thing to discuss is whether there are
objections to the voting tallies becoming public. Perhaps this will
have to be our first board vote (though since the mini-"electoral
commission" are completely independent of us they are not at all
obliged to listen to anything we decide on the matter).
I think it would be good to have a (short?) discussion about this,
probably including people in #wikimedia-uk. I don't particularly care
either way, but at the same time I'm not entirely convinced by the
reasons you gave for wanting the tallies made public - perhaps you
can convince me?
From your email: 1. isn't a good reason, 2. if someone did resign,
what difference would knowing the tallies actually make? Bear in mind
that only the 5 of us made the 50% mark. 3. I would hope that people
would recognize that their votes at AGMs matter anyway, regardless of
the tallies from this election. 4. Is there anything we could learn
from the counts that we wouldn't figure out anyway?