Dear Dariusz

I quite understand that some members of the Board feel that there are more
important calls on their collective time and resources than engaging
directly with individual members of the community, even though some do feel
that they may be able to as individuals.  I note that you feel that it is
possible that returning to this issue next year the Board may be able to
make some improvements (and, we presume, may not).  So you propose to park
the issue and maybe do something in the future, but without any sort of
urgency or commitment.

This attitude makes perfect sense if you see engagement with individuals as
a drain on your resources, a communications overhead which can only
distract and detract from the other more important things that you need to
be doing, whatever those may be.  It makes sense if the Board regards
itself as lacking in all other resources, human and financial, to invest in
making an engagement productive.  It makes sense if the Board regards the
community as a lumpenproletariat of contributors fit only for routine work
but devoid of all strategic capacity, understanding and insight.

I think this is completely mistaken.  The community has far more resources,
far better ideas, and far more experience than the Board on its own can
possibly hope to have – if only the Board were willing and able to tap into
it.  Constructive engagement would not only pay for itself purely in terms
of avoiding the conflicts which have drained everyone's time and energy in
the past, but also enable the Board to take a more far-sighted and positive
attitude to the future direction of the mission.

The Board's failure to engage effectively with the community until now, and
lack of interest in doing so in the future, is putting the mission at
risk.  What a shame.

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