[Foundation-l] board candidacies

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Fri Aug 11 20:43:01 UTC 2006

Erik Zachte wrote:

>Walter van Kalken:
>>I personally feel that one of the big issues is that people are required
>>to spend their own money for things. This means that if you life outside
>>of the US, even outside of Florida that your costs will be prohibitively
>>high. I personally find that one of the most prohibitive requirements.
>>Many people whom would have the time and the enthousiasm do not have a
>>bankaccount for that. And that is one of the reasons I have a lot of
>>respect for Angela and Anthere. They are willing to spend their personal
>>savings for the betterment of the projects. People should realize that
>>the next time they start complaining with them.
>I concur with this entirely. We have enough dot com millionaires on the
>Board, and the Advisory Board might add some.
>This is not personal to anyone, those concerned probably just got their
>priorities right.
>What 'saddens' me however is the way Anthere was treated during the Board
>session last Sunday when the issue of paying board members was brought up.
>Jimbo made a casual remark to the effect of "(I'm not sure) we want to pay
>board members, besides it is not allowed by the bylaws" (paraphrasing here).
>Easy to say in his position. Then someone made a witty but badly timed joke
>about the situation, the chairman of the Board might have intervened at that
>moment. I feel it was humiliating for Anthere. Maybe the bylaws allow other
>board members than Jimmy to accept well paid invitations for keynote
I recently sat on a committee of a local unrelated organization that 
dealt with the compensation issue on a much smaller scale.  There too, 
one of the borderline issues had to do with babysitting.  It can be a 
very tricky issue that needs to be approached with a great deal of 
sensitivity.  Before answering I made a point of reviewing the 

There is a clear distinction between paying a salary to a board member, 
and reimbursing him for out-of-pocket expenses.  The specific quote from 
Jimbo is "I have no interest in being paid."  I would not extrapolate 
from that comment an inference that no-one should be paid.  On the other 
hand paying the airfare for key people to travel halfway around the 
world is perfectly acceptable. 

Anthere, IMHO, has a reputation for taking principled positions.  If she 
felt that it was unethical to be reimbursed for her babysitting expenses 
I need to respect that position.  I am certainly not prepared to 
prejudge what would have happened if she had asked for a reimbursement 
of that expense.  Very few of us need to deal with that specific 
expense.  I can also look at the joke in the spirit in which it was 
intended, and not as a real criticism of anybody.  Anyone there who 
actually saw the tiny baby in the gentle hands of a gorilla would have 

If someone wants to generously pay a board member to give a keynote 
speech that board member is entitled to keep it.  This is not a matter 
for our by-laws.  I don't think that Jimbo is the only one giving 
speeches, though I did think that the criticism of Brad for accepting a 
speaking engagement when he "should be in the office" was somewhat petty.


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