[Foundation-l] Future Board election procedures and guidelines

GerardM gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Mon Jul 16 22:25:30 UTC 2007

There is a long list of people who say that Wikipedia is doomed, that it
will not survive another year. Some people leave in disgust, some people
start their own project. For the record I have started another project and
sadly it is not part of the Wikimedia Foundation and I do think that
Wiktionary will exist in a years time. I also think that Wikipedia will do
great in the coming year.

Given that Wikipedia grows rapidly, we need people who have a positive view
on what can be done. This means that people who are blatantly negative about
the organisation should not stand for election. When like Danny you leave
the employment in a huff and insists on running with the slogan: "Quis
custodiet ipsos custodes?" it does not demonstrate a positive towards our
organisation. Given the rather public outing of what are in his mind dirty
linen, the negative attitude is underlined even more.

With an embargo to stand for a year, the immediacy of these kind of threads
are made less acute and potent.

The fact that many voted for Danny make no difference to the argument, the
only thing that is clear is that not enough people voted for him.

I have seen objections raised to ex-board members become employees of the
Foundation. This is something I do not understand. In order to want to
become an employee, the Foundation has a vacancy and has to offer a job.
Given the high profile nature of such a job, it will not be a decision made
only by the executive director but also by the board itself. In order to
WANT to be employed in this way, a person has  to have a positive attitude
towards the Foundation and its projects. Such a person has an intimate
knowledge of the organisation and is likely to be able to keep his nose
clean. It also makes a difference what type of job is offered, when there is
a position of "musical director", Oscar would be eminently capable of taking
this job and it would be silly not to consider him if he were available.

I also fail to see why there is a conflict of interest. When a board member
exits gracefully from the board or chapter, it may be exactly in the
interest of the Foundation, a Chapter to offer a job. It is not as if there
is a promise that such a job will be available.


On 7/16/07, Andrew Gray <shimgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 16/07/07, GerardM <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > You misrepresent what is proposed. What is proposed is that employees
> and
> > ex-employees for a period of one year are not eligible to stand for the
> > position of board member.
> >
> > As a consequence your whole argument does not address the issue.
> My apologies - the one year (or six months, or whatever) is still a
> little shaky to my mind in terms of its justification, but has the
> excellent merit of being a nice clear "cooling off" period. It has
> much less of the air of presupposing malice, and does prevent
> hastiness. It's a bit odd, but it's measured and sensible.
> It also allows us to apply it fairly to contractors and interns and so
> on - as it is, unilaterally banning someone who worked as an intern
> for a few months seems excessive, and you can get into all sorts of
> quibbles about whether or not a contractor was employed, etc. And
> perhaps, for transparency's sake, we could apply it to any potential
> employee of a chapter?
> "If you have received money for services rendered to the Foundation or
> a recognised local chapter, not counting reimbursements for
> out-of-pocket expenditure, then you cannot run for a position on the
> WMF Board of Trustees for [one year] from the date of the most recent
> payment" - or something like that.
> (And we should *certainly* have a converse policy - once on the board,
> you can't receive employment from the Foundation or a chapter within a
> set period! That's by far the bigger conflict of interest...)
> *However*, I note that under your proposed rule Danny would still have
> been unable to run, and as such my argument is still pretty much
> exactly the same - 29.2% of the electorate voted for someone you would
> want us to have ruled out of the running, almost enough to win him a
> seat, and we need to consider the implications of that little detail.
> --
> - Andrew Gray
>   andrew.gray at dunelm.org.uk
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