On 3 March 2016 at 09:22, Dariusz Jemielniak <dar...@alk.edu.pl> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM, Risker <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a
> large
> > part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
> > discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that
> board
> > communications needs to deal with.
> >
> > I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their
> meeting
> > minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.
> >
> Thanks. I think one idea would be to e.g. invite a community representative
> to each meeting as an observer, responsible for reviewing the minutes. This
> would always be a different person, and by design it could be e.g. always a
> former board/FDC member, or chapter representative, or former arbiter from
> wikis that have arbiters, or a steward - anyhow, someone who is legitimized
> without the need to organize yet another elections.
> To reduce costs, this person could be connecting via Hangout, but physical
> presence would also be an option. We could ask this person their views, but
> they would mostly be an observer.

"Responsible for reviewing the minutes".  This is a lovely ideal. Can we
now be realistic?  What do we really expect that "observer" to do?  Will
they have input in to what the minutes finally say? Do they have approval
authority (i.e., do they get to vote on the acceptance of the minutes)?
I'm not opposed to community members observing board meetings - I suspect
many people will find them to be unexpectedly boring, with less substantive
discussion than many would expect - but the objective should be a lot more
clear.  What about if they genuinely believe that the minutes (which most
of us would recognize as having been written using a template) don't
reflect or emphasize what the observer thinks were the key issues?  Do they
get to put forward publicly their own version of what happened or what they
observed?  Are they going to be permitted to observe the "executive
session", where even the WMF staff are out of the room?  I am fine with the
general concept, but I don't think either the board or the community has
really thought through the entire process.  We should get it pretty much
nailed down before it is implemented.

Minute-taking is a skill - just as is writing a featured article or
creating a featured image. Those who think it's an easy task that should be
able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no real
experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is important
that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not be
the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.

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