> Hi Greg and all,
> This is not a direct reply to your points, but I think it might be helpful
> in removing the cloak of mystery from all this.
> Here is what happened during the board meeting, from my perspective.*
> Background context:
> * The board has been discussing movement roles for literally years (as have
> many of the folks commenting!)
> * The board started discussing the topic again specifically in October;
> many trustees are interested in broad movement roles questions and it was
> brought to the table as a broad topic the board should take up.
> * Various contexts to the discussion include: the need to review new
> affiliates more thoroughly than we historically have done (as recommended
> by our legal team, and as indicated by the history of some chapters not
> staying active); the new trademark and user group policies which make
> different models for volunteers both possible and easier; and various
> trustee concerns over our increasing focus movement-wide on incorporation
> and administration.
> For these two specific decisions:
> * The board first discussed the ideas of usergroups-first & capping the
> budgets in October. This was without any specific proposals or wording.
> * Later on, before the November meeting, a recommendation to take these
> decisions was presented in a packet by the WMF Executive Director to the
> board, along with some context. The packet included a summary
> recommendation, some arguments pro and con, and emails from Affcom and the
> FDC, with the proposal as presented by staff to these committees and the
> committee replies.
> * we (board members) discussed the recommendations first on our email list
> for a week or so before our meeting, and then over two sessions in our
> meeting, over the course of two+ days. On the list and in the meeting, we
> discussed the arguments as presented as well as arguments that emerged over
> the course of discussion from our own individual viewpoints, as well as the
> overall milleux of movement roles.
> * Important note that perhaps wasn't emphasized enough in the FAQ: the set
> of decisions was not meant or presented as major strategy but as a
> temporary set of decisions, to buy us all some time while we hire a new ED
> and reconsider movement roles strategy. The new ED point is important; we
> wanted to try to decide these issues before they start, since they will
> have plenty of other stuff on their plate to figure out.
> * In the meeting, we (the board) wrote and re-wrote the text of the
> decisions to match our emerging consensus about what we wanted to do.
> * When we seemed to have reached a stable version of the text, and also to
> have exhausted our ability to reach further consensus, we voted on these
> two decisions. I motioned for the vote because I happened to be
> facilitating the discussion at the time, and it seemed to me that as a
> group we were ready to vote.
> * The no consensus thing: of course we discussed this as well. Like all
> boards in our movement, I expect, we always have a question of whether we
> should work towards unanimous consensus or whether we should accept split
> votes. Personally I think it depends on the context and topic. in general,
> I think, agreed to accept a split vote on this topic though it was somewhat
> contentious to do so. Why was the vote split? Each trustee should speak for
> themselves, but there was a range of arguments and feeling. I can tell you
> that similar questions to those raised on the list so far were raised.
> * After voting and recording the text, we then sent the text of the
> decisions to Affcom and the FDC, via the Board liaisons.
> * Then we (board members) wrote the FAQ over the course of several weeks
> following, trying to answer the questions that Affcom & the FDC raised
> emails back to us after we shared the published decision with them, and
> also trying to answer additional questions we thought might arise.
> * In the course of writing the FAQ and pondering the committee responses,
> we debated some additional questions, including whether we should
> reconsider the decisions in the light of AffCom's response. We did not get
> consensus on the latter question, but considered it serious enough to bring
> up again in our next in-person meeting, where a majority felt that the
> decisions should stand (this was not a formal vote, but in the context of a
> discussion to resolve outstanding issues).
> * We finished the FAQ, resolving our last issues and trying to make the
> wording as clear as possible, asked for it to be published, I sent the
> letter announcing it to wikimedia-l, and here we are.
> I hope this gives some insight. I may have missed something in the above
> summary and other trustees may have a different take, too.
> -- phoebe
> * again, this is just my perspective, not a board statement.
> _______________________________________________

Thanks, Phoebe, for this background and the dramatically improved clarity.
It sounds like the AffCom and FDC interpreted the consultation a little bit
differently than the Board has, which perhaps speaks to some
miscommunication between the staff and the committees and maybe with the
Board liaisons as well.

For me in these debates about funding, which often present the staff on one
side pushing to reduce the relative power and centrality of chapters on one
side and chapter representatives pushing the opposite way on the other
side, there is always a little mystery about the role and interests of the
people commenting.

While some posters point out that they speak in a personal capacity, few
offer a disclosure about their personal interests in the funding debate...
but I would find it both enlightening and interesting if those expressing
opinions about budgets would disclose whether they receive a salary or
other financial benefit (including travel, conference fees, etc.) from the

I would like to know, without further research, if someone arguing that
chapters should get more money is dependent on a salary drawn from that
pool of money. Since the list archives form a public record and not all
list subscribers know everyone else, it would be very helpful if posters
considered including this kind of a disclosure in posts where it may be

Wikimedia-l mailing list
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 

Reply via email to