[Foundation-l] Welcome to our three new board members

Sean Whitton sean at silentflame.com
Fri Dec 8 19:55:53 UTC 2006

You make some strong arguments, but when you say the 'majority of the
board' coming from the community, how many is this? Additionally, how
many of these are elected and how many are selected, so to speak?


On 08/12/06, Brad Patrick <bradp.wmf at gmail.com> wrote:
> As will be made clear from the revisions to the Foundation Bylaws and
> the Board Expansion resolution adopted by the Board, your position is
> overstated.  Your call did not fall on 'deaf ears' - far from it.  You
> were heard.
> The Board will be composed of a majority of individuals from the
> community.  That does not require election of all board members, as you
> would prefer, only some.  Given the fiduciary responsibility required of
> all board members and the need for diverse talents, it is logical and
> effective to appoint some persons and not rely on an open election
> process for each position.
> Also, Board positions have terms now.  They are not indefinite, as
> Michael Davis, Tim Shell, and Jimmy Wales were in the past.  All will be
> subject to reappointment at the conclusion of their term, unless they
> resign earlier.
> The Board will also be expanded in size.  At this time, the number is
> now 7, up from 5.  It will increase further in the next year, probably to 9.
> Your "principle" - that a "financial supporter" of the Foundation is
> ineligible for board service - would seem to exclude a
> disproportionately large number of very good people, including those who
> may consider running for election.  It is also a rather short-sighted
> view in light of the amounts of money at issue to support of the
> Foundation (which include my paycheck and yours) to insist on a board
> composed of elected individuals with no guarantee of any particular
> business acumen.  Experience shows it may be rather difficult to recruit
> business folks to stand for election, rather than appoint them to
> fulfill a need at the board level.
> Finally, and perhaps most importantly, your desired direct election of
> all board members exposes the danger of pure democratic rule - tyranny
> of the majority.  It is possible, however remotely, that elections could
> be hijacked by elements external to the Foundation's best interests.
> Appointment through the election process rather than election as of
> right prevents this from happening.
> Each of these points was debated extensively by the Board during its
> last two face-to-face meetings in October and December.  I am proud of
> our Board, and for the deep consideration they have given to these
> governance issues.
> Brad Patrick
> Tim Starling wrote:
> > florencedevouard wrote:
> >
> >> Tim Shell has chosen to resign from the board, effective 15th of
> >> december. At this date, he will be replaced by Jan-Bart de Vreede.
> >>
> >
> > Out with one financial supporter of the Foundation and in with another. It
> > seems my calls for democratic selection of Board members fell on deaf ears.
> >
> > I have nothing against Jan-Bart personally, just as I had nothing against
> > Tim Shell. No doubt there were other factors that went into his selection
> > besides his role in the Kennisnet hosting arrangement. But I have trouble
> > believing that he would have been selected without it. I oppose his Board
> > membership on principle, just as I continue to oppose that of Michael Davis.
> >
> > -- Tim Starling
> >
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> >
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—Sean Whitton	(Xyrael)	[sean at silentflame dot com]
	Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty.

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