[Foundation-l] governance

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 11 10:26:47 UTC 2007

Stephen Bain wrote:
> On 4/11/07, Jeff V. Merkey <jmerkey at wolfmountaingroup.com> wrote:
>> It may be a good idea to air this type of stuff privately in the
>> future.   The public posting sends a message of some sort
>> of in-fighting as an external message to observers, which I know you do
>> not intend.
> The community certainly deserves to have some input. I think Ant quite
> nicely illustrates that she sees this as the next step in a logical
> progression of systems of governance, and this very early stage of
> floating of ideas is a good time to bring in community input.
> Although, given that this is entirely about board/executive relations,
> I can see your point.

I do not think it is entirely about board/executive relations, and this 
is in good part why I write about it publicly. Some of the confusion 
between board and executive staff is actually promoted and maintained by 
the community itself, and if this solution is the direction we choose, 
there are some habits that will need to be changed. There are many many 
cases where the community, or the internal community comes to the board 
to solve/fix things that should not be the responsability of the board, 
but should be the responsability of the staff. Once a board member 
receives a request, it is very hard to say "no, it is not my job, ask 
xxx", in particular when there is hardly a xxx.


What should we do in the following cases
* should it be the board to decide closure of the Klingon Wiktionary ?
* should it be the board to validate the election of the english 
Wikinews Arbcom ?
* should it be the board job to write down a letter of support to help 
an editor get access to a museum to take pictures ?
* should it be the board job to coordinate a legal threat from a company 
for brand use abuse ?
* should it be the board job to receive complains that a volunteer has 
not done an executive task he promised to take care of, and the board 
job to go after the "bad guy" ?

All those being real cases for the past 15 days, with request from 
community members, just out of my mind.

Whilst the board is trying to get out of micromanagement, whilst the 
staff is doing its best to avoid us falling into micromanagement, the 
community is still preventing us from fully going away from 
micromanagement. This is why I think this should be publicly discussed.

Will that send a public message of "infighting" ?
Well, only two staff members have commented yet (Brion and Delphine) and 
both show supporting stances. Note that no board member has commented yet.


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