Re: Questions for candidates - board processes & significance

Le lundi 30 mai 2011 à 16:11 +0200, Dave Neary a écrit :
> Hi all,
> I was away last week travelling, so I'm coming late to the election 
> campaign. I have almost decided who I would like to vote for, but there 
> are still a few things which are important to me when considering a 
> prospective board member.
> 1. If elected, will you seek a named position 
> (chairman/treasurer/secretary) on the board? If so, why?

I think that those position might better fit to people with some
experience. If I'm elected, it would be my first year on the board, I
prefer to stay modest.

> 2. Board meetings are minuted, and these minutes are published 
> regularly. However, the board also increasingly makes decisions on 
> board-list with the Apache +1/0/-1 convention. Would you support the 
> minuting of these votes, including recording any -1 votes?

Yes, by default. But the board should keep the ability to make secret
votes when needed.

> 3. I think financial transparency is important. If you plan on applying 
> for the treasurer position, what changes (if any) would you propose for 
> the budgeting process? How often would you publish financial reports for 
> the foundation? Are you happy with the level of transparency in the 
> board's finances now?

I will honest: I don't feel I have enough experience with handling the
finances right now. 

But I believe that, in the Internet era, transparence should be
immediate. There should ideally be a way for any GNOME member to check
the current financial situation and the expected planning. No need for a
fine-grained transparency (foundation will give 100$ to Alice for Guadec
and 200$ to Bob) but a more high level vision: foundation will give 300$
for 2 participants.

This kind of transparency requires setting up appropriate tools, which
is time-consuming. That's why I would understand having less frequent
financial reports ;-)

> 4. Our relationship with a number of groups has suffered this year - and 
> one of the lesser known ones (but one I'm involvedd in) is the Libre 
> Graphics Meeting organisers (a group of people representing a couple of 
> dozen "free art" projects). Are you aware that the LGM organisers 
> withdrew all the funds that the GNOME Foundation was managing for them 
> this year, because they have been unhappy with the responsiveness and 
> quality of communication with the foundation over the past 2 - 3 years? 
> Do you have any thoughts on why this particular relationship degraded? 
> And will you commit to handling or delegating answers to all 
> time-critical queries which come to the board during your term?

I've heard about that but I don't know any details. I would not judge
something I don't know perfectly.

Anyway, I think that managing funds is an incredibly hard task. When
those funds are not yours, it is even harder. Maybe it is better for LGM
and GNOME foundation to be well separated? Or, on the contrary, maybe
LGM might become a GNOME event and be handled by the GNOME foundation?

I don't have the answer (not knowing the subject enough) but I believe
that situations should be very clear. Either something is part of GNOME
and it is the foundation duty to handle it, either it isn't. Having the
"we-will-help-you-but-not-completely" situation is a receipt for failure
and angriness.

> 5. In general, as a board member communication is vital to keep people 
> outside the board informed whenever there is a delay or when extra input 
> is needed on something they're working on. For incumbents, are you happy 
> with the level of communication & reactivity in the current board? For 
> new candidates, what would you like to do to ensure that the 
> communication & reactivity of the board improves in the coming term?

This statement made me reply to your mail immediately ;-)

I think that each request to the board should be handled in a bugzilla
kind of way. That way, you know the status of the request, you always
have the full history. Not sure it is doable but to investigate.

> 6. Board members are ambassadors for the foundation. I think it's 
> important that board members be social, and be nice. Are you nice?

My mother told me my whole childhood to be nice. For example, I always
say "Bon appétit" to everybody present in the room before eating babies
for my breakfast.


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