[Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Nathan Awrich
On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Nathan wrote:
> >In any case, its irritating to see people providing cover for the Board's
> >lack of transparency or failure to be forthcoming in a timely manner.
>
> The removal resolution was approved on December 28, 2015, according to
> wikimediafoundation.org. Unlike most Board resolutions, it was publicly
> posted the same day. The posted Board resolution was accompanied by two
> separate e-mails to this public mailing list (one from James, one from
> Patricio) on the same day. What kind of transparency and timeliness are
> you looking for, exactly? What level of explanation would be satisfactory?
>
> >Why not let them make their own excuses?
>
> Excuses for what, exactly? The Chair of the Board announced the decision
> and other remaining Board members have chosen not to publicly discuss the
> issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at least
> in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be able
> to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or without
> cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to simple
> numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to provide
> a fuller explanation of the removal. It seems most prudent to wait for
> that. While this will sound trite, perhaps we could extend a little good
> faith to the members of the Board, most of whom are long-time trusted and
> respected Wikimedians and all of whom take their role seriously.
>
> MZMcBride
>

>

If you aren't sure what I or others are still looking for from the Board,
please refer to the various other posts to this and other threads. I
suspect you've read them already, so I'm not sure why you think it helpful
to pretend like you don't understand.

Asking for the board to be forthcoming isn't an attack or an unreasonable
expectation. No one on the board should be surprised to discover the
subscribers to this list and others have high expectations for
communication and transparency. If they had time to fully consider their
decision to remove James, then they had time to plan for how to communicate
that decision. If they are scrambling behind the scenes to do that now,
then it suggests the decision to remove him was either rash or an
emergency. In either case, that is something many of us would like to know.

~Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

rupert THURNER-2
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at least
> in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be able
> to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or without
> cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to simple
> numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to provide

like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in this
respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it cannot
work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him beeing
ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
transparent.

best,
rupert

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Steinsplitter Wiki
The removal is not transparent at all.

Apart from that James was community elected. A democracy words different.

Very disappointing.

> From: [hidden email]
> Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:51:14 +0100
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
>
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at least
> > in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be able
> > to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> > Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or without
> > cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> > accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to simple
> > numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to provide
>
> like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in this
> respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
> trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
> party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
> public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it cannot
> work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him beeing
> ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
> transparent.
>
> best,
> rupert
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
     
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia)
I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
page, I have copied his comment below:

"Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
December 2015 (UTC)"

I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
aware of it..

I also agree that the information about the two new board members
should be circulated promptly.

Newyorkbrad/IBM

On 12/29/15, Steinsplitter Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The removal is not transparent at all.
>
> Apart from that James was community elected. A democracy words different.
>
> Very disappointing.
>
>> From: [hidden email]
>> Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:51:14 +0100
>> To: [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
>>
>> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at
>> > least
>> > in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be
>> > able
>> > to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
>> > Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or
>> > without
>> > cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
>> > accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to simple
>> > numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to provide
>>
>> like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in this
>> respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
>> trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
>> party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
>> public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it cannot
>> work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him beeing
>> ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
>> transparent.
>>
>> best,
>> rupert
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>    
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Nathan Awrich
On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
> of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
> talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
> page, I have copied his comment below:
>
> "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
> been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
> explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
> the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
> can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
> Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
> when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
> now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
> have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
> likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
> December 2015 (UTC)"
>
> I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
> find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
> relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
> aware of it..
>
> I also agree that the information about the two new board members
> should be circulated promptly.
>
> Newyorkbrad/IBM


Thanks Brad.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Kevin Gorman
As an add-on note to Jimmy's comment, although it again comes with the
specification that I'm not a lawyer, and the only nonprofit governance
experience I have is in California rather than Florida: there's a solid
possibility that board meetings aren't held with the same sort of
non-disclosure agreement that governs many employee relationships, but
rather simply with the understanding that the contents of meetings won't be
disclosed before members of the board have generally agreed to, because all
members of the board are required to act in the best interests of the
corporation, and that's not in the best interests of the corporation under
most circumstances to announce what has happened in a board meeting before
it actually happened.  I presume James was aware of that - when I was a
member of a board with $10m a year in revenue, our counsel made it quite
clear to us that we had a duty generally speaking to disclose information,
even informatin that most of the rest of the board did not think it was in
the corporation's best interests to disclose, if we believed on a personal
level that it as in the best interests of the future of the corporation to
disclose the information (as long it didn't involve breaking contracts in
ways such as the disclosure of why disciplinary action had been taken
against an employee, etc.)

In some ways issues involving board members are signfificantly different
than issues involving employees.  Employee contracts almost always involve
clauses about the privacy of their personnel files etc, whereas this is
relatively rare for board members - the standard for departing board
members is normally something close to "Did they violate their fidicuiary
duties in a way that actually damaged the corporation? If so, disclose.
Are they leaving without cause/accusation of wrongdoing?  If so, disclose
if the departing board member desires disclosure. Are they leaving to go
frolic in a field full of ponies at their private ranch that collects cute
animals, but speculation about why they are leaving is lkely to damage the
corporation?  If so, disclose as much information as is necessary to ensure
speculation over their departure doesn't harm the company, while trying as
hard as you can not t cause them public embarrassment."  In contrast, Asaf
Bartov's contract (I'm picking a 100% random employee just to be clear) is
likely to contain limitations written in to it about what his obligations
would be to WMF if he departed willingly or unwillngly, along with what
WMF's  obligations to him would be - and in practice those will be
limitations that go far beyond the WMF's board's obligations to another
former board member, by my understanding at least.

I have no inside knowledge of what happened to be instigate Dr James'
removal, to be clear.  However, I do know that he ran on a stronger, more
detailed platform than most board candidates tend to take - [1] - and I
suspect that once he was elected to the board, he advocated for that
platform, probably in a stronger way than the WMF board is used to
operating.  I know most Wikimedians I know well supported most or all of
Doc James' platform, often quite strongly.  I hope a statement is released
by the board within the next few days specifying what exact problem Doc
James' presence on the board that caused the unprecedented (for WMF) step
of voting to directly remove a board member (especially when he's one of
only three community members directly elected by the community.  We often
hear people talking in theoreticals about the board being disconnected from
the day-to-day Wikimedian.. I hope that the board's forthcoming statement
makes entirely clear that the reasons for Doc James removal - whatever they
may be - definitely have nothing to do with Doc James advocacy of the
platform he got elected on.

The removal of what is only 1 of 3 directly community elected board reps is
an issue that should be treated with the utmost seriousness, and I really
hope that it turns out the reason for his removal turns out to be one that
justifies such serious action.  It's even more important to clarify the
reasons why James' removal was necessary, because of the sheer number of
other sensitive positions he holds throughout the Wikimedia movement.  I
also find it further concerning that while one community-elected did vote
for the removal, another community elected trustee - Dariusz Jemielniak -
who I personally hold in great respect, has written an excellent
ethnography, and is a full professor of manageml reent at Poland's top
university - voted against the removal.  I suspect that Dariusz' background
means that if it was simply the case that Doc James behavior was somehow
fundamentally incompatible with being a board member, he would've
recognized it and voted to remove.  It makes me bluntly, really nervous, to
see a motion to remove a community trustee who I think is widely suppported
as both being quite competent and having the movement's best interests at
heart pass, but pass with the opposition of Dariusz - someone with whom
I've personally had little interaction with, but who understands the
Wikimedia movement well enough to write an excellent ethnography of it, and
with enough business acumen to become a full, tenured professor of
management at Poland's top b-school, and in the Financial Times top 50
b-schools worldwide.

With an unprecedented decision like the removal of Doc James - and that
removal opposed by 2 of the 3 commuity elected trustees - I really really
hope that there's something not yet missing that makes things make sense.

Best,
Kevin Gorman

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Doc_James/Foundation

On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 10:02 AM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
> > of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
> > talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
> > page, I have copied his comment below:
> >
> > "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
> > been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
> > explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> > about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> > begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
> > the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
> > can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
> > Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
> > when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
> > now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
> > have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
> > likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
> > December 2015 (UTC)"
> >
> > I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
> > find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
> > relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
> > aware of it..
> >
> > I also agree that the information about the two new board members
> > should be circulated promptly.
> >
> > Newyorkbrad/IBM
>
>
> Thanks Brad.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by Newyorkbrad (Wikipedia)
Thanks Brad for spotting this and bringing it here, and also to Jimbo for
filling in a few more details.

Just as an aside, my thinking is that this must have needed to be an
emergency action.  Because if the BoT has been mulling this over for
awhile, it would be very poor governance to not have a strategy for how
this would be communicated, and to only have WMF Legal on the case after
the fact.  We already see this thread filling up with a bunch of
speculation that is unhelpful and unhealthy, not just for James but also
for the BoT and the movement in general.  I trust that there will be an
explanation forthcoming, not only for why James has been removed in this
way, but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to deal
with the fallout of that decision.

Cheers,
Craig

On 30 December 2015 at 03:47, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
> of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
> talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
> page, I have copied his comment below:
>
> "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
> been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
> explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
> the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
> can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
> Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
> when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
> now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
> have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
> likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
> December 2015 (UTC)"
>
> I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
> find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
> relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
> aware of it..
>
> I also agree that the information about the two new board members
> should be circulated promptly.
>
> Newyorkbrad/IBM
>
> On 12/29/15, Steinsplitter Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The removal is not transparent at all.
> >
> > Apart from that James was community elected. A democracy words different.
> >
> > Very disappointing.
> >
> >> From: [hidden email]
> >> Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:51:14 +0100
> >> To: [hidden email]
> >> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
> >>
> >> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> > issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at
> >> > least
> >> > in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be
> >> > able
> >> > to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> >> > Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or
> >> > without
> >> > cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> >> > accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to
> simple
> >> > numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to
> provide
> >>
> >> like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in this
> >> respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
> >> trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
> >> party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
> >> public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it cannot
> >> work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him beeing
> >> ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
> >> transparent.
> >>
> >> best,
> >> rupert
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Comet styles
Well the longer this drags on, the more likelihood of us getting a
"false" answer ..it takes seconds to speak the truth, but days to
connive a lie..so i doubt we will get the 'truth' or atleast the full
truth..

On 12/30/15, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks Brad for spotting this and bringing it here, and also to Jimbo for
> filling in a few more details.
>
> Just as an aside, my thinking is that this must have needed to be an
> emergency action.  Because if the BoT has been mulling this over for
> awhile, it would be very poor governance to not have a strategy for how
> this would be communicated, and to only have WMF Legal on the case after
> the fact.  We already see this thread filling up with a bunch of
> speculation that is unhelpful and unhealthy, not just for James but also
> for the BoT and the movement in general.  I trust that there will be an
> explanation forthcoming, not only for why James has been removed in this
> way, but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to deal
> with the fallout of that decision.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 30 December 2015 at 03:47, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
>> of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
>> talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
>> page, I have copied his comment below:
>>
>> "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
>> been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
>> explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
>> about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
>> begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
>> the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
>> can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
>> Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
>> when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
>> now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
>> have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
>> likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
>> December 2015 (UTC)"
>>
>> I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
>> find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
>> relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
>> aware of it..
>>
>> I also agree that the information about the two new board members
>> should be circulated promptly.
>>
>> Newyorkbrad/IBM
>>
>> On 12/29/15, Steinsplitter Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > The removal is not transparent at all.
>> >
>> > Apart from that James was community elected. A democracy words
>> > different.
>> >
>> > Very disappointing.
>> >
>> >> From: [hidden email]
>> >> Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:51:14 +0100
>> >> To: [hidden email]
>> >> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
>> >>
>> >> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >> > issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself, at
>> >> > least
>> >> > in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to be
>> >> > able
>> >> > to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
>> >> > Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or
>> >> > without
>> >> > cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
>> >> > accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to
>> simple
>> >> > numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to
>> provide
>> >>
>> >> like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in this
>> >> respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
>> >> trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
>> >> party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
>> >> public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it cannot
>> >> work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him beeing
>> >> ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
>> >> transparent.
>> >>
>> >> best,
>> >> rupert
>> >>
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > New messages to: [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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--
Cometstyles

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Pine W
I am not so ready to throw stones (: Perhaps because I have had one-on-one
conversations with a number of people involved in this situation, and I
would like to believe that they are all good people.

Reports that are rushed can lead to mistaken conclusions. I'd rather get a
comprehensive report than a rushed one. I do expect an explanation, soon,
and I expect it will be provided with the kind of integrity and
professionalism that I would hope everyone involved in this situation has.

Pine

On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 10:20 PM, Comet styles <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Well the longer this drags on, the more likelihood of us getting a
> "false" answer ..it takes seconds to speak the truth, but days to
> connive a lie..so i doubt we will get the 'truth' or atleast the full
> truth..
>
> On 12/30/15, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Thanks Brad for spotting this and bringing it here, and also to Jimbo for
> > filling in a few more details.
> >
> > Just as an aside, my thinking is that this must have needed to be an
> > emergency action.  Because if the BoT has been mulling this over for
> > awhile, it would be very poor governance to not have a strategy for how
> > this would be communicated, and to only have WMF Legal on the case after
> > the fact.  We already see this thread filling up with a bunch of
> > speculation that is unhelpful and unhealthy, not just for James but also
> > for the BoT and the movement in general.  I trust that there will be an
> > explanation forthcoming, not only for why James has been removed in this
> > way, but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to
> deal
> > with the fallout of that decision.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> > On 30 December 2015 at 03:47, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
> >> of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
> >> talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
> >> page, I have copied his comment below:
> >>
> >> "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
> >> been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
> >> explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> >> about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> >> begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
> >> the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
> >> can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
> >> Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
> >> when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
> >> now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
> >> have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
> >> likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
> >> December 2015 (UTC)"
> >>
> >> I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
> >> find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
> >> relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
> >> aware of it..
> >>
> >> I also agree that the information about the two new board members
> >> should be circulated promptly.
> >>
> >> Newyorkbrad/IBM
> >>
> >> On 12/29/15, Steinsplitter Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> > The removal is not transparent at all.
> >> >
> >> > Apart from that James was community elected. A democracy words
> >> > different.
> >> >
> >> > Very disappointing.
> >> >
> >> >> From: [hidden email]
> >> >> Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:51:14 +0100
> >> >> To: [hidden email]
> >> >> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
> >> >>
> >> >> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> >> > issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself,
> at
> >> >> > least
> >> >> > in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to
> be
> >> >> > able
> >> >> > to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of
> >> >> > Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or
> >> >> > without
> >> >> > cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> >> >> > accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to
> >> simple
> >> >> > numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to
> >> provide
> >> >>
> >> >> like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in this
> >> >> respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
> >> >> trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
> >> >> party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
> >> >> public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it cannot
> >> >> work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him beeing
> >> >> ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
> >> >> transparent.
> >> >>
> >> >> best,
> >> >> rupert
> >> >>
> >> >> _______________________________________________
> >> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> >> Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> >
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
> --
> Cometstyles
>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Craig Franklin
I do think though that the longer the promised statement takes, the more
it'll look like spin rather than truth.  I agree that "rushed" is bad, but
"prompt" should still be a goal.  I suppose it doesn't help that
potentially some of the folks at WMF Legal are relaxing on a proverbial
beach on a Christmas getaway, blissfully unaware that this is happening.

Cheers,
Craig

On 30 December 2015 at 16:34, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I am not so ready to throw stones (: Perhaps because I have had one-on-one
> conversations with a number of people involved in this situation, and I
> would like to believe that they are all good people.
>
> Reports that are rushed can lead to mistaken conclusions. I'd rather get a
> comprehensive report than a rushed one. I do expect an explanation, soon,
> and I expect it will be provided with the kind of integrity and
> professionalism that I would hope everyone involved in this situation has.
>
> Pine
>
> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 10:20 PM, Comet styles <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Well the longer this drags on, the more likelihood of us getting a
> > "false" answer ..it takes seconds to speak the truth, but days to
> > connive a lie..so i doubt we will get the 'truth' or atleast the full
> > truth..
> >
> > On 12/30/15, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Thanks Brad for spotting this and bringing it here, and also to Jimbo
> for
> > > filling in a few more details.
> > >
> > > Just as an aside, my thinking is that this must have needed to be an
> > > emergency action.  Because if the BoT has been mulling this over for
> > > awhile, it would be very poor governance to not have a strategy for how
> > > this would be communicated, and to only have WMF Legal on the case
> after
> > > the fact.  We already see this thread filling up with a bunch of
> > > speculation that is unhelpful and unhealthy, not just for James but
> also
> > > for the BoT and the movement in general.  I trust that there will be an
> > > explanation forthcoming, not only for why James has been removed in
> this
> > > way, but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to
> > deal
> > > with the fallout of that decision.
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > Craig
> > >
> > > On 30 December 2015 at 03:47, Newyorkbrad <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >> I don't think it's been mentioned on this list that Jimmy Wales (one
> > >> of the board members) commented about this matter today on his En-WP
> > >> talkpage.  Since I assume many people on this list don't follow that
> > >> page, I have copied his comment below:
> > >>
> > >> "Hi everyone.  I couldn't possibly agree more that this should have
> > >> been announced with a full and clear and transparent and NPOV
> > >> explanation.  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> > >> about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> > >> begun to discuss what an announcement should say.  WMF legal has asked
> > >> the board to refrain from further comment until they've reviewed what
> > >> can be said - this is analogous in some ways to personnel issues.
> > >> Ideally, you would have heard about this a couple of days from now
> > >> when a mutual statement by James and the board had been agreed. For
> > >> now, please be patient.  Accuracy is critically important here, and to
> > >> have 9 board members posting their own first impressions would be more
> > >> likely to give rise to confusions. -- Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:35, 29
> > >> December 2015 (UTC)"
> > >>
> > >> I'm not endorsing Jimbo's comment -- or the reverse -- as I frankly
> > >> find this whole situation strange and unfortunate.  However, it seems
> > >> relevant and I thought people in this discussion might want to be
> > >> aware of it..
> > >>
> > >> I also agree that the information about the two new board members
> > >> should be circulated promptly.
> > >>
> > >> Newyorkbrad/IBM
> > >>
> > >> On 12/29/15, Steinsplitter Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >> > The removal is not transparent at all.
> > >> >
> > >> > Apart from that James was community elected. A democracy words
> > >> > different.
> > >> >
> > >> > Very disappointing.
> > >> >
> > >> >> From: [hidden email]
> > >> >> Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 16:51:14 +0100
> > >> >> To: [hidden email]
> > >> >> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
> > >> >>
> > >> >> On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >> >> > issue here. This is hardly unusual. Regarding the removal itself,
> > at
> > >> >> > least
> > >> >> > in the United States, it's fairly common for members of a body to
> > be
> > >> >> > able
> > >> >> > to remove/expel one of their own. The Wikimedia Foundation Board
> of
> > >> >> > Trustees bylaws explicitly allow for removal of a member, with or
> > >> >> > without
> > >> >> > cause. Unlike in older Board resolutions, there's a clear public
> > >> >> > accounting of how each of the Board members voted (as opposed to
> > >> simple
> > >> >> > numeric totals). James posted that he will work with Patricio to
> > >> provide
> > >> >>
> > >> >> like others on this thread i think the WMF bylaws are broken in
> this
> > >> >> respect. not legally broken, but morally. i'd love to vote for a
> > >> >> trustee, and i'd love to reverse my decision in case a sufficient
> > >> >> party is not happy. if in this case james does not want to have a
> > >> >> public discussion he is free to resign. if the board thinks it
> cannot
> > >> >> work with james anymore, and is able to remove him without him
> beeing
> > >> >> ok with it, without public discussion, then i do not find it
> > >> >> transparent.
> > >> >>
> > >> >> best,
> > >> >> rupert
> > >> >>
> > >> >> _______________________________________________
> > >> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > >> >> Unsubscribe:
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > >> >> <mailto:[hidden email]
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >> >
> > >> > _______________________________________________
> > >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > >> > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > ,
> > >> > <mailto:[hidden email]
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >>
> > >> _______________________________________________
> > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> > >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >>
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> >
> > --
> > Cometstyles
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
In reply to this post by Craig Franklin
On Dec 30, 2015 12:33 AM, "Craig Franklin" <[hidden email]>
wrote:
> but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to deal
> with the fallout of that decision.

That, at least, was addressed in the text from Jimbo that you quoted:

> >  Why didn't that happen?  Because James chose to post
> > about it before we even concluded the meeting and before we had even
> > begun to discuss what an announcement should say.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Nathan Awrich
On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 9:06 AM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> On Dec 30, 2015 12:33 AM, "Craig Franklin" <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to deal
> > with the fallout of that decision.
>
> That, at least, was addressed in the text from Jimbo that you quoted:


Not really, why should they expect him to stay silent about being fired
while the Board takes its time drafting a press release? Can't blame James,
especially when his obligation to the board and the foundation was
terminated along with his position. We ought to be able to expect the board
and its members to be prepared for the consequences of their decisions, and
it would be a disservice to the board and the movement to expect less.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Todd Allen
I think the expectation is that, unless this truly was an emergency that
required immediate and unforeseen action, planning would have been done in
advance for the possible outcomes.

That wouldn't be making it a foregone conclusion, as Jimmy said. There
should have been plans for how to communicate an involuntary dismissal, how
to communicate a resignation, and how to go forward and put it behind them
if the removal vote failed.

Even if this was an emergency, there's now been plenty of time to urgently
handle the communication and do something besides stonewalling. We don't,
as of now, even have an expected time frame for a detailed answer.
On Dec 30, 2015 7:17 AM, "Nathan" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 9:06 AM, Brad Jorsch (Anomie) <
> [hidden email]
> > wrote:
>
> > On Dec 30, 2015 12:33 AM, "Craig Franklin" <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > but also for why there was seemingly not any planning for how to deal
> > > with the fallout of that decision.
> >
> > That, at least, was addressed in the text from Jimbo that you quoted:
>
>
> Not really, why should they expect him to stay silent about being fired
> while the Board takes its time drafting a press release? Can't blame James,
> especially when his obligation to the board and the foundation was
> terminated along with his position. We ought to be able to expect the board
> and its members to be prepared for the consequences of their decisions, and
> it would be a disservice to the board and the movement to expect less.
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Nathan Awrich
"Well, tell that to James. He's the one who went public without warning in
the middle of the meeting. You are 100% wrong that this is a decision
*against* the community. I know why I voted the way I did - and it has to
do with my strong belief in the values of this community and the
responsibilities of board members to uphold those values. If a board member
fails the community in such a serious way, tough decisions have to be made
about what to do.--Jimbo Wales
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales> (talk
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#top>) 20:57, 29
December 2015 (UTC)"

Comment from Jimmy, both implicitly criticizing James Heilman for revealing
that he was ejected from the board and suggesting that James failed to
uphold the values of the community in a serious way. Later on Jimmy tries
to walk back the criticism as "merely stating a fact."

James responded by pointing out that he was removed from the board and then
told to leave the room, at which point he posted to the mailing list. The
complaint that he published the decision while the meeting was ongoing is
silly, although I can certainly see why the remaining members would have
preferred to control the narrative themselves.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Fæ
I'm sure that board members would have preferred for the WMF Chairperson to
make a statement, rather Jimmy publishing personal opinions as "facts".

The comments about James are disappointing for many reasons, but should be
given appropriate weight... probably a lot less weight than James' own
comments, in the light of how several past WMF political non-successes
played out.

Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Thomas Goldammer-2
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
@Jimmy Wales: The problem is not that James was too fast to publish the
fact that he was ejected. I'm pretty sure if the Board decided to boot you
out, you would have posted something, too. And that's absolutely natural.

The problem is merely that the Board is too slow to publish the reasons for
the decision. If you make such a sweeping decision, even if not planned
ahead at all, you do have the obligation to sit down together immediately
and write that statement - you know that there is that community out there,
and you knew very well what would happen on this mailing list. And it's
really not as if you were a magician who was asked to explain his trick.

Th.

2015-12-30 15:44 GMT+01:00 Nathan <[hidden email]>:

> "Well, tell that to James. He's the one who went public without warning in
> the middle of the meeting. You are 100% wrong that this is a decision
> *against* the community. I know why I voted the way I did - and it has to
> do with my strong belief in the values of this community and the
> responsibilities of board members to uphold those values. If a board member
> fails the community in such a serious way, tough decisions have to be made
> about what to do.--Jimbo Wales
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales> (talk
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#top>) 20:57, 29
> December 2015 (UTC)"
>
> Comment from Jimmy, both implicitly criticizing James Heilman for revealing
> that he was ejected from the board and suggesting that James failed to
> uphold the values of the community in a serious way. Later on Jimmy tries
> to walk back the criticism as "merely stating a fact."
>
> James responded by pointing out that he was removed from the board and then
> told to leave the room, at which point he posted to the mailing list. The
> complaint that he published the decision while the meeting was ongoing is
> silly, although I can certainly see why the remaining members would have
> preferred to control the narrative themselves.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Pine W
Depending on what all we learn as this goes forward, some action items that
may emerge from this situation as it seems to be evolving so far:

(1) the board may need to work on its communication strategies
(2) this may be an opportunity for another discussion about Board
composition and structure, including the role of Jimmy
(3) this situation may inform a review of the bylaws concerning how board
members are appointed and removed, particularly community-elected members
(4) this situation is an opportunity for a significant increase in the
transparency of WMF Board activities. I still am of the view that far more
of what happens at the WMF Board should be public and transparent. This
includes how they handle allegations against one of their own. If
government entities like city councils and national legislatures can do
this, I think that the WMF Board should hold itself to at least that level
of transparency. Yes these are uncomfortable discussions to have in public,
but as we can see from how this situation is developing, handling them in
private has its own downsides. I don't know how other affiliates work, but
here in Cascadia Wikimedians there is very little that the Board does that
can't be made public. I would hope that the WMF Board would hold itself to
similarly high expectations for openness and transparency, even when it's
uncomfortable. The controversial nature of information, by itself, is not a
sufficient reason for keeping information private. So I hope that the WMF
Board will consider new levels of openness about its deliberations.
Something that I suggested awhile ago was live broadcasts of Board meetings
(with a limited exception for executive sessions) and I still think that
level of openness is appropriate for the Board of an open-source
organization.

It will be interesting to see what more we learn as this situation evolves.

Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Lodewijk
I think that your 'lessons' are quite premature. We still don't know the
what, the why and the how. We don't know the context of everything that
happened. It may very well be that the process as it is, worked perfectly.
It may also be that it was disastrous.

transparency and good communication don't necessarily go hand in hand with
'quick', as was pointed out by some.

Some other points that you touch, may very well be good material for
discussion, but not necessarily relevant to this specific event. The
transparency of board deliberations and the role of board members in the
board (not limited to jimmy) is /always/ good to reconsider, and keep an
open mind for. A more fundamental reconsideration may be the (formal)
membership of the Wikimedia Foundation. But, while this would have
influenced the current situation, it is not necessarily related. They often
say that incidents make bad policy.

At the same time, please keep in mind that Cascadia Wikimedians are not
quite comparable with the Wikimedia Foundation. The budget if three (if not
more) orders of magnitude higher, and the involvement of staff this large
also makes a different organisational structure.

Lodewijk

On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 6:51 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Depending on what all we learn as this goes forward, some action items that
> may emerge from this situation as it seems to be evolving so far:
>
> (1) the board may need to work on its communication strategies
> (2) this may be an opportunity for another discussion about Board
> composition and structure, including the role of Jimmy
> (3) this situation may inform a review of the bylaws concerning how board
> members are appointed and removed, particularly community-elected members
> (4) this situation is an opportunity for a significant increase in the
> transparency of WMF Board activities. I still am of the view that far more
> of what happens at the WMF Board should be public and transparent. This
> includes how they handle allegations against one of their own. If
> government entities like city councils and national legislatures can do
> this, I think that the WMF Board should hold itself to at least that level
> of transparency. Yes these are uncomfortable discussions to have in public,
> but as we can see from how this situation is developing, handling them in
> private has its own downsides. I don't know how other affiliates work, but
> here in Cascadia Wikimedians there is very little that the Board does that
> can't be made public. I would hope that the WMF Board would hold itself to
> similarly high expectations for openness and transparency, even when it's
> uncomfortable. The controversial nature of information, by itself, is not a
> sufficient reason for keeping information private. So I hope that the WMF
> Board will consider new levels of openness about its deliberations.
> Something that I suggested awhile ago was live broadcasts of Board meetings
> (with a limited exception for executive sessions) and I still think that
> level of openness is appropriate for the Board of an open-source
> organization.
>
> It will be interesting to see what more we learn as this situation evolves.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Pine W
Yes, we don't know yet what it was that James allegedly did. James may have
been very much in the wrong. However, we can also look at what the Board
and James are saying in public, and so far I am disappointed in how the
follow-up is being done. I hope that a joint statement from James and the
remaining board members will emerge, and that it will be comprehensive.

It's true that an overreaction to an incident can lead to bad policy.
However, an incident is also a learning opportunity, and potentially a
catalyst for change that strengthens the organization in the long run.

(: Yes, Cascadia's budget is tiny. However, I am also thinking of the State
of Washington, which has an annual operating budget of approximately $19
billion. The state has laws about public records and open meetings that are
quite extensive.

Pine



On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 11:09 AM, Lodewijk <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I think that your 'lessons' are quite premature. We still don't know the
> what, the why and the how. We don't know the context of everything that
> happened. It may very well be that the process as it is, worked perfectly.
> It may also be that it was disastrous.
>
> transparency and good communication don't necessarily go hand in hand with
> 'quick', as was pointed out by some.
>
> Some other points that you touch, may very well be good material for
> discussion, but not necessarily relevant to this specific event. The
> transparency of board deliberations and the role of board members in the
> board (not limited to jimmy) is /always/ good to reconsider, and keep an
> open mind for. A more fundamental reconsideration may be the (formal)
> membership of the Wikimedia Foundation. But, while this would have
> influenced the current situation, it is not necessarily related. They often
> say that incidents make bad policy.
>
> At the same time, please keep in mind that Cascadia Wikimedians are not
> quite comparable with the Wikimedia Foundation. The budget if three (if not
> more) orders of magnitude higher, and the involvement of staff this large
> also makes a different organisational structure.
>
> Lodewijk
>
> On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 6:51 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Depending on what all we learn as this goes forward, some action items
> that
> > may emerge from this situation as it seems to be evolving so far:
> >
> > (1) the board may need to work on its communication strategies
> > (2) this may be an opportunity for another discussion about Board
> > composition and structure, including the role of Jimmy
> > (3) this situation may inform a review of the bylaws concerning how board
> > members are appointed and removed, particularly community-elected members
> > (4) this situation is an opportunity for a significant increase in the
> > transparency of WMF Board activities. I still am of the view that far
> more
> > of what happens at the WMF Board should be public and transparent. This
> > includes how they handle allegations against one of their own. If
> > government entities like city councils and national legislatures can do
> > this, I think that the WMF Board should hold itself to at least that
> level
> > of transparency. Yes these are uncomfortable discussions to have in
> public,
> > but as we can see from how this situation is developing, handling them in
> > private has its own downsides. I don't know how other affiliates work,
> but
> > here in Cascadia Wikimedians there is very little that the Board does
> that
> > can't be made public. I would hope that the WMF Board would hold itself
> to
> > similarly high expectations for openness and transparency, even when it's
> > uncomfortable. The controversial nature of information, by itself, is
> not a
> > sufficient reason for keeping information private. So I hope that the WMF
> > Board will consider new levels of openness about its deliberations.
> > Something that I suggested awhile ago was live broadcasts of Board
> meetings
> > (with a limited exception for executive sessions) and I still think that
> > level of openness is appropriate for the Board of an open-source
> > organization.
> >
> > It will be interesting to see what more we learn as this situation
> evolves.
> >
> > Pine
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board

Isaac Olatunde
In reply to this post by Patricio Lorente
I'm very disappointed to know that the board meeting was still ongoing as at the time James revealed that he was ejected from the board. It is a silly idea! Perhaps he felt the community can stop the meeting or override the decision of the board of trustee. The WMF BoT is not a parliament where the house do not have the veto power to remove an elected member.
Section 7 (remover) of the WMF's bylaws clearly stipulated that
“Any Trustee may be removed, with or without cause, by a majority vote of the Trustees then in office in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 617.0808(1), or other relevant provisions of the Act”. Based on this bylaw, James remover is justified!
I understand that majority of the community members who elected James are likely not to be aware of this provisions but James is aware of it and will probably have an answer to (1) the reason for his remover (2) why his remover was supported by eight members and (3) why the third community-elected trustee, Denny Vrandečić, lost confidence supported his removal.
The fact that James never stated the reasons why he was ejected from the board as at the time he disclosed his remover is worrisome.
James, I'm sorry if I'm too factual here.

Best,

Olatunde Isaac.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
Sender: "Wikimedia-l" <[hidden email]>Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 19:10:11
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Subject: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 141, Issue 104

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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Nathan)
   2. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Fæ)
   3. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Thomas Goldammer)
   4. Wikimedia Argentina Memorial 2015 (Anna Torres)
   5. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Pine W)
   6. Re: Announcement about changes to the Board (Lodewijk)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 09:44:38 -0500
From: Nathan <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
Message-ID:
        <CALKX9dQc9PDXSWOixWPYMZBOjgagTEiB0hwTZ=HVWPys6NU=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

"Well, tell that to James. He's the one who went public without warning in
the middle of the meeting. You are 100% wrong that this is a decision
*against* the community. I know why I voted the way I did - and it has to
do with my strong belief in the values of this community and the
responsibilities of board members to uphold those values. If a board member
fails the community in such a serious way, tough decisions have to be made
about what to do.--Jimbo Wales
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales> (talk
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#top>) 20:57, 29
December 2015 (UTC)"

Comment from Jimmy, both implicitly criticizing James Heilman for revealing
that he was ejected from the board and suggesting that James failed to
uphold the values of the community in a serious way. Later on Jimmy tries
to walk back the criticism as "merely stating a fact."

James responded by pointing out that he was removed from the board and then
told to leave the room, at which point he posted to the mailing list. The
complaint that he published the decision while the meeting was ongoing is
silly, although I can certainly see why the remaining members would have
preferred to control the narrative themselves.


------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 15:10:33 +0000
From: Fæ <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
Message-ID:
        <CAH7nnD1W3NzvgPkVm=VWU9Gvb+_SvH=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

I'm sure that board members would have preferred for the WMF Chairperson to
make a statement, rather Jimmy publishing personal opinions as "facts".

The comments about James are disappointing for many reasons, but should be
given appropriate weight... probably a lot less weight than James' own
comments, in the light of how several past WMF political non-successes
played out.

Fae


------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:47:29 +0100
From: Thomas Goldammer <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
Message-ID:
        <CAL0e-KWJ6L=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

@Jimmy Wales: The problem is not that James was too fast to publish the
fact that he was ejected. I'm pretty sure if the Board decided to boot you
out, you would have posted something, too. And that's absolutely natural.

The problem is merely that the Board is too slow to publish the reasons for
the decision. If you make such a sweeping decision, even if not planned
ahead at all, you do have the obligation to sit down together immediately
and write that statement - you know that there is that community out there,
and you knew very well what would happen on this mailing list. And it's
really not as if you were a magician who was asked to explain his trick.

Th.

2015-12-30 15:44 GMT+01:00 Nathan <[hidden email]>:

> "Well, tell that to James. He's the one who went public without warning in
> the middle of the meeting. You are 100% wrong that this is a decision
> *against* the community. I know why I voted the way I did - and it has to
> do with my strong belief in the values of this community and the
> responsibilities of board members to uphold those values. If a board member
> fails the community in such a serious way, tough decisions have to be made
> about what to do.--Jimbo Wales
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimbo_Wales> (talk
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#top>) 20:57, 29
> December 2015 (UTC)"
>
> Comment from Jimmy, both implicitly criticizing James Heilman for revealing
> that he was ejected from the board and suggesting that James failed to
> uphold the values of the community in a serious way. Later on Jimmy tries
> to walk back the criticism as "merely stating a fact."
>
> James responded by pointing out that he was removed from the board and then
> told to leave the room, at which point he posted to the mailing list. The
> complaint that he published the decision while the meeting was ongoing is
> silly, although I can certainly see why the remaining members would have
> preferred to control the narrative themselves.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>


------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 14:02:24 -0300
From: Anna Torres <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Argentina Memorial 2015
Message-ID:
        <CAGOz6s2zsonRp3=-BGfVmWEc08CdE1t75M=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Dear all,

Even though is in spanish, please find in the following link the Anual
Memorial 2015 <http://wikimedia.org.ar/memorial2015/> regarding WMAR
programs and activities.

In there, you can find activities' descripctions and results for our main
programs and actions taken during 2015.

Hope you all enjoy it!

Hugs and happy new year!


--
Anna Torres Adell
Directora Ejecutiva
*A.C. Wikimedia Argentina*


------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 09:51:13 -0800
From: Pine W <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
Message-ID:
        <CAF=dyJjegoDF4nrUizCSs+RhfQ_HWM54V=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Depending on what all we learn as this goes forward, some action items that
may emerge from this situation as it seems to be evolving so far:

(1) the board may need to work on its communication strategies
(2) this may be an opportunity for another discussion about Board
composition and structure, including the role of Jimmy
(3) this situation may inform a review of the bylaws concerning how board
members are appointed and removed, particularly community-elected members
(4) this situation is an opportunity for a significant increase in the
transparency of WMF Board activities. I still am of the view that far more
of what happens at the WMF Board should be public and transparent. This
includes how they handle allegations against one of their own. If
government entities like city councils and national legislatures can do
this, I think that the WMF Board should hold itself to at least that level
of transparency. Yes these are uncomfortable discussions to have in public,
but as we can see from how this situation is developing, handling them in
private has its own downsides. I don't know how other affiliates work, but
here in Cascadia Wikimedians there is very little that the Board does that
can't be made public. I would hope that the WMF Board would hold itself to
similarly high expectations for openness and transparency, even when it's
uncomfortable. The controversial nature of information, by itself, is not a
sufficient reason for keeping information private. So I hope that the WMF
Board will consider new levels of openness about its deliberations.
Something that I suggested awhile ago was live broadcasts of Board meetings
(with a limited exception for executive sessions) and I still think that
level of openness is appropriate for the Board of an open-source
organization.

It will be interesting to see what more we learn as this situation evolves.

Pine


------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2015 20:09:49 +0100
From: Lodewijk <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcement about changes to the Board
Message-ID:
        <CACf6BesausXMnn40D8OTP+kiaZvDE01MS3i+synN=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

I think that your 'lessons' are quite premature. We still don't know the
what, the why and the how. We don't know the context of everything that
happened. It may very well be that the process as it is, worked perfectly.
It may also be that it was disastrous.

transparency and good communication don't necessarily go hand in hand with
'quick', as was pointed out by some.

Some other points that you touch, may very well be good material for
discussion, but not necessarily relevant to this specific event. The
transparency of board deliberations and the role of board members in the
board (not limited to jimmy) is /always/ good to reconsider, and keep an
open mind for. A more fundamental reconsideration may be the (formal)
membership of the Wikimedia Foundation. But, while this would have
influenced the current situation, it is not necessarily related. They often
say that incidents make bad policy.

At the same time, please keep in mind that Cascadia Wikimedians are not
quite comparable with the Wikimedia Foundation. The budget if three (if not
more) orders of magnitude higher, and the involvement of staff this large
also makes a different organisational structure.

Lodewijk

On Wed, Dec 30, 2015 at 6:51 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Depending on what all we learn as this goes forward, some action items that
> may emerge from this situation as it seems to be evolving so far:
>
> (1) the board may need to work on its communication strategies
> (2) this may be an opportunity for another discussion about Board
> composition and structure, including the role of Jimmy
> (3) this situation may inform a review of the bylaws concerning how board
> members are appointed and removed, particularly community-elected members
> (4) this situation is an opportunity for a significant increase in the
> transparency of WMF Board activities. I still am of the view that far more
> of what happens at the WMF Board should be public and transparent. This
> includes how they handle allegations against one of their own. If
> government entities like city councils and national legislatures can do
> this, I think that the WMF Board should hold itself to at least that level
> of transparency. Yes these are uncomfortable discussions to have in public,
> but as we can see from how this situation is developing, handling them in
> private has its own downsides. I don't know how other affiliates work, but
> here in Cascadia Wikimedians there is very little that the Board does that
> can't be made public. I would hope that the WMF Board would hold itself to
> similarly high expectations for openness and transparency, even when it's
> uncomfortable. The controversial nature of information, by itself, is not a
> sufficient reason for keeping information private. So I hope that the WMF
> Board will consider new levels of openness about its deliberations.
> Something that I suggested awhile ago was live broadcasts of Board meetings
> (with a limited exception for executive sessions) and I still think that
> level of openness is appropriate for the Board of an open-source
> organization.
>
> It will be interesting to see what more we learn as this situation evolves.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>


------------------------------

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