[Foundation-l] Elections: a new board for the future

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Sun Jun 17 15:43:41 UTC 2007

Walter Vermeir wrote:
> Florence Devouard schreef:
>> Jimbo had indicated he would be willing to go for an elected seat next 
>> year. If so, he would liberate an appointed seat in june.
> Would it not be a better solution to just appoint Jimmy to the board for
> live?
> As founder I find it would not be more then normal that he gets a
> special arrangement.  Besides of that if he runs in the open election
> the only result will be that gets elected by an absolute majority so
> there is no point in doing that.

I will respectfully disagree on this point.

Being on a "governing" board is not just about getting a nice title and 
recognition. It  implies working, getting involved, assisting to 
meetings, helping on task forces.

When a board member does nothing, it is detrimental to the organization.
First because it uses a seat for no job being done, and second because 
since we operate with a voting system, with quorum, any board member 
becoming inactive is impairing the functionning of the whole 
organization. It paralyses it.

For this reason, I am opposed to adding or keeping on the board anyone 
who becomes inactive. This is not the case of Jimbo right now, he still 
is pretty active on some topics, mostly helping with fundraising, and 
licenses issues. So I am fully happy that he is on the board. But if one 
day he becomes too busy with all his other duties, then he will have to 
let room to others. I know that he agrees with that.

Beyond the question of activity/inactivity, I oppose Jimbo being 
appointed to the board for life, because in doing so, the message we 
give is that board members are not equal in decision, and that the way 
we operate is not democratic. Actually, it is pretty funny to read that 
we should still make some efforts to supposingly be more democratic 
(100% elected for example), and at the same time accept a sort of 
"dictator for life". Both are not really compatible :-) And it casts on 
board members a sort of shadow, making it more difficult to fight group 
thinking directed by one.

Jimbo will always be Jimbo, the Foundator of Wikipedia. The day he quits 
the governing board, I presume he will join the advisory board anyway. 
Where he could well be member for life. Because I think he will advise 
the governing board for the rest of his life :-)


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