Hi all -

Maria's appointment should be viewed as a replacement to that of Arnnon
Geshuri.  I like her, and I think she'd stand a fair chance in a community
election, but she is not and cannot be described as a community selected
trustee at present.  It's perfectly possible for boards to have members on
it that don't get along, even of large organizations.  I've been a trustee
of a sizable organization and had significant disagreements with at least
one other trustee - more significant than those between Jimmy and James.
The fact that there is animosity between board members isn't a barrier to
having a productive board.  It's disingenious, at best, to say that James
was dismissed because he spoke out about the knowledge engine, etc.  James
had conversations with employees not related to the knowledge engine, but
related to other significant issues at the WMF.  It's best practice to
inform the ED when board talks to staff, but only if informing the ED would
not harm the purpose of those conversations - and in this case it would.
I'm also going to state here that I've had a number of conversations with
employees in the same time frame James was having them, and that combined
with other details is why I am absolutely convinced they were necessary.

One of the first leveled and oftened returned to statements as to why James
was removed was that he had conversations with employees that were
inappropriate.  Every employee who has come forward stating they had
conversations with James has stated that those conversations were
necessary, and exactly the type of conversation that a trustee should be
having when the situation has gotten to a point where they are,
unfortunately, necessary.  James had the trust of both the community and
many WMF employees, which is why so many people who felt they needed to
talk went to him.  I have no doubt that many other trustees were doing
important less visible work, many probably even about the same problem, but
James was handling an element of it - direct communication with employees -
that was absolutely necessary for the continued success of the Foundation,
even if all other aspects had been handled.

It's unfortunate that James and Jimmy have gotten in to it in public, but -
I hate to say this, but there's no other way around it - Jimmy should be
embarassed.  He's been exceptionally disrespectful of a respected community
member, but worse than that, he's flat out lied on multiple occasions about
the situation involving James.  If someone challenges me on that statement,
as I have time, I will compile a list of diffs and archived emails in which
he's done so. If the situation between James and Jimmy is such that a
healthy board dynamic with both as trustees is not possible, then frankly
Jimmy should step down, or at a minimum give up the concept of a Founder's
seat, convert it to a community elected seat, stay on as a board member
until the next elections, and then run as an ordinary community member in
the next set of elections.

I think it should also be stated for the public record that Jimmy was the
individual who pushed for Lila's stay to be extended (and I like Lila, I
really do,) and for trustees to not speak with the day to day WMF employees
that have formed the backbone of the WMF side of the movement.  I also
don't know who put the FAQ together, but want to point out that it's not
factually accurate to say that James cannot run in the next elections, as
at least one official FAQ stated at one point.  That would be true if he
was a community ELECTED board member removed for cause.  He wasn't, so the
relevant provision doesn't apply, and he's eligible to run again as soon as
there are faux-elections again.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 8:26 AM, James Heilman <jmh...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am willing to return to my seat on the board and continue to push for
> greater transparency and improved WMF / community relations. Otherwise I
> plan to run in the next community (s)election.
>
> Lila's stepping down is an important first step towards putting the WMF
> back together again and I would like to thank the current board for taking
> that step. We have a number of C-levels who are able to do an excellent job
> as interim ED. I will post more about this soon but am just heading out to
> ski.
>
> --
> James Heilman
> MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
>
> The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
> www.opentextbookofmedicine.com
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