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Re: [steering-discuss] Updated draft of the Community Bylaws


Hello,

call me mad, but I still have concerns about 4.6.2, Salaries, Remunerations and Expenses. Yes, it always gets weird when talking about money and positions, and I don't think we will hire hundreds of people in the next months, but anyways, wanted to share my concerns.

The bylaws in their current form give lots of powers to external contributing companies. The Foundation itself can hire officers and other people, but they are excluded from being in the board of directors, which actually has the most powers and sets strategies for the foundation.

Our current rules forbid any hired officer to be part of the BoD, ESC or AB. While I can understand that for the latter one (the AB consists of sponsors), it does not make sense for the former ones at all. Yes, I see the issues with people having too much influence, sitting on their seats, running into conflicts of interest - but the current rules mean that anyone who has a say in the foundation by being in the BoD, must do it either totally on his own, or be hired or paid for by one sponsor. Please don't say that you can also participate without being in the BoD. If that's the case, let's leave out all the BoD, because then anyone can do what they do. (You see the proposal doesn't work :-)

Don't you think this creates too much influence? We were talking about being independent foundation, but effectively the currenty bylaws mean that nobody will - no matter how much money we have - be solely part of the foundation with no ties to external companies, when being in the boards. Anyone who wants to engage himself in the BoD or other body, shaping the strategie of the foundation, will have to be as rich that he can do it in his free time, or be hired by an external contributor.

I think this is the wrong direction. I guess that our concerns can be solved otherwise. If we have money, good people with good intent - why are they forced to look for an external company to hire them? We're making things much more complicated than they have to be.

The current rule also has another drawback, that I've already shown: If we have let's say a great paid developer, he surely wants to be in the ESC. But then, he's not allowed to work as officer for his area. Does this really make sense? Does he really have to decide which body he belongs to?

Believe me, I see the concerns that we then have nine people running the board and all other important roles with no chance for fresh blood to step in, and we clearly should avoid that and any conflict of interest. However, why do we as foundation try to raise money, and then require externals to pay all the people who are in a board?

I see it's a bit of a hot topic, and talking about money is always bad, so now feel free to grab your stones and throw them at me. :-) I've been with the community for a long time, and I've seen the different chances corporate-hired people have compared to those non-hired. I clearly want to avoid that distinction for the foundation, making us independent from corporate sponsors in first place. If we have money, let's spend it wisely, get the good people, and let's not put ourselves into too strict rules.

That being sad - have a happy and warm second advent :)
Florian

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Florian Effenberger <floeff@documentfoundation.org>
Steering Committee and Founding Member of The Document Foundation
Tel: +49 8341 99660880 | Mobile: +49 151 14424108
Skype: floeff | Twitter/Identi.ca: @floeff

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