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Re: Question about Anthony Towns rebutting Branden Robinson

MJ Ray wrote:
It looks from
and http://www.spi-inc.org/corporate/minutes/20040907 that there
was 8 months between Branden quitting as treasurer and being
named as deputy. It even looks like SPI acting on the suggestion
by Branden at the 2003 AGM to get more help handling finances,
albeit this was another volunteer rather than a hired accountant.

AIUI, Branden expressed an interest in resigning as treasurer in January 2004 [0], and Jimmy was elected unopposed in late February [1], with his first board meeting in March [2]. It took 'til April for people not paying attention to SPI to notice the change [3], and by May the technical handover still apparently wasn't complete [4]. There weren't any activities by the treasurer recorded in the June minutes, but on the lists at least, Branden was handling the DebConf4 reimbursements [5] and other activities you'd normally associate with the treasurer's role. The elections took place in July [6], with Branden nominating for Vice-President at the following meeting in early August [7]. In late August he was named Deputy Treasurer [8], which was confirmed in the September meeting minutes [9].


I think it's fair to say that Branden was part of the SPI board
which oversaw the donation loss. He's also part of the board
working to fix it. The above suggests that he was somehow tried
and punished by SPI, which I didn't spot evidence for.

AFAIK, the word "demotion" means to start with a higher position, and
finish with a lower one. It doesn't imply any reason for the change.

TTBOMK, all the donations that were lost were in Branden's physical possession, and were lost simply because they weren't deposited within six months of their receipt. Branden presented Debian was some stated goals for his term as treasurer in January 2002, those with access to the debian-private archives on master can look for Branden's mail with Message-ID: <20020109022043.GC23559@deadbeast.net>.

I think it's fairly sad that most of these references have to be to
posts and discussions on private lists.

I know Anthony Towns's debian record is laid out in his platform
and mostly easy to verify.  What non-profit groups besides
debian has Anthony Towns got experience of, particularly ones
handling money themselves?

I was one of the three chief organisers of Linux.Conf.Au 2002 in Brisbane (along with Ray Smith and Jason Parker), and was responsible for, amongst other things, the budget and expenditures (incoming funds went through Linux Australia's accounts, and managed by Linux Australia's treasurer at the time, Anand Kumria, based in Sydney). We paid our bills on time, made something like $60,000 AUD profit for Linux Australia, and ran a fairly successful conference that's since continued to grow as it's been passed on to others. I guess I should note for those who've got no idea, that LCA is an entirely volunteer run conference, and gets passed onto a different city and group of organisers each year to avoid burnout. It began with Rusty's Conference of Australian Linux Users in Melbourne in 1999, and this year's conference is in Canberra this April, and it looks like it'll outclass all that's come before it. :) </plug>

That said, I don't think handling finances is a primary component of the
DPL's job, and I don't think lack of experience with that should
disqualify anyone; the issue I was raising was one of effectiveness in
following through on goals.


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