There are helpful remedies to restore community confidence:
1. Hold an early election.
To fill the community elected seat that James has now been forced to
vacate. This would even allow James to re-run.
2. Leave James' seat empty until the next planned election.
Though the seat *can* be appointed, this is literally allowing an
unelected group of trustees to go through a list of volunteer
candidates and rejecting those that might not like the non-transparent
behaviour of the current board until they find one that will say yes
to whatever they want. This is the *opposite* of why the community
elected seats exist.
3. Commission and publish a detailed independent governance assessment
of this incident and the issues it starkly highlighted.
Including the assertions published on Wikipedia by Jimmy Wales to
James' detriment. Preferably one that can conclude within a couple of
months and costs less than $40k. Though my experience at the centre of
one of these in the past is that this is unlikely to do much to repair
community confidence by itself, but might help push the current board
to have a majority of elected seats and ensure that the majority -
that have had many years at the top of the hierarchy of our movement
without being accountable in an election - avoid being seen as having
sinecure positions of power that have the unfortunate power to club
together to vote out the elected they feel are creating waves.
4. Jimmy Wales can offer to turn his special 'founder's seat' into an
elected seat. Though not a majority, this means that the elected seats
would have significantly more authority. No doubt Jimmy will always
have a special place on the WMF board as an adviser, but he does not
*have* to take the burden of being a voting trustee, and there is no
harm in him running for election if he wishes to.
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org