I'm responding to an off-list comment I received to clarify that my email
wasn't at all meant to denigrate the work of all trustees.

It's quite possible that there were other trustees pushing down the right
path - but I would stand by the statement that James Heilman was the only
trustee actively and aggressively following his fiduciary duties. A
trusteeship can involve an intense time committment, and is a volunteer
role; there is no fault, no flaw in a trustee not universally actively and
aggressively following their fiduciary duties at all time.  But I've been
talking with WMF and ex-WMF employees for months before this eruption, had
a pretty thorough idea of what it was about, and had a pretty solid feeling
that it was the wrong thing to do even before it happened.

James' actions retained valuable Foundation employees that would of
otherwise left, and there are yet other valuable Foundation employees that
would likely have stayed had he not been removed over the issue.  Not all
trustees have the available time to be exemplary trustees at all times, and
sometimes people just make the wrong call - I will readily confess that at
another organization (~$20m org,) there were times when I both didn't have
time to dedicate to be an exemplary trustee, and also times when I just
made the wrong call.  However, this is a situation where Jame's was acting
as an exemplar and was removed for it.  That is not intended to denigrate
the work of most other trustees, but it's not a good situation either.
Removing a community selected trustee who was acting as an exemplar
*because* he was acting as an exemplar is not a good thing.  One of the
first solid steps towards rebuilding community trust would be reinstating

Kevin Gorman

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 4:51 PM, Kevin Gorman <kgor...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all -
> I understand that this idea has been discussed on other currently active
> threads, but in my opinion, it deserves a separate thread.  To an informed
> observer, it was pretty obvious why James was removed to begin with, and to
> a casual observer, I'm guessing it's become obvious.  It would be
> unfortunate of events have soured James' relationship with other board
> members to the point that it would be literally unworkable to put him back
> on the board... but it's also become readily apparent that the community
> trusted community selected (and sorry, but that's a bullshit trick,)
> trustee James Heilman wasn't violating his fiduciary duties.
> I would go as far as to say that James Heilman was the only trustee who
> was actively and aggressively following his fidicuiary duties, and that if
> Dr. James is willing to accept a reappointment to the board, one of the
> next three board motions that passes should be appointing James Heilman as
> trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation.  His removal wasn't a surprise to him,
> he knew it was coming - but he also knew he was acting in the interests of
> the Wikimedia Foundation.
> And that's the exact kind of trustee we need.
> ----
> Kevin Gorman
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