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Re: Question about Anthony Towns rebutting Branden Robinson

Anthony Towns <aj@azure.humbug.org.au> wrote:
> [...] It took 'til April for people 
> not paying attention to SPI to notice the change [3],

I don't have authorization for spi-private archives right now
(which, as an SPI contributing member, I think sucks). Who do
you mean by "people not paying attention to SPI"?

> [...] There weren't any activities by the
> treasurer recorded in the June minutes, [...]

I think that's actually a large contributing factor in SPI's
problems.  There are certain elements to meetings laid out
in Article Six of SPI's by-laws. This includes some officer
reports and they weren't put purely for entertainment. While the
treasurer is responsible for reporting, I think other officers
are responsible for noticing the absence and we members should
be holding them to account more directly. Fun as it is to blame
Branden, this failure wasn't the one-rogue problem portrayed. Are
you an SPI member too?

Given your criticism, will you be able and willing to work well
with the SPI treasurer and his deputy if elected DPL? What will
you seek to achieve?

> > 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.

If not made reflexive, it does rather suggest that someone other
than the object of the verb caused the change, doesn't it?

> 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.

Yes, it seems that the situation was handled badly. As you write
later, though, poor financial management is not a disqualification
from the DPL post. I hope Branden is kept under much closer watch
in his next financial post. Let's look at the organisation part
that you wanted to raise:

> 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>.

Looking at the list there, do we know how many were accomplished?
There were six goals. I think two were achieved, maybe three. One
was taken to SPI board but no further, as far as I can tell. One
I don't know either way. I'm pretty sure one wasn't done.

One thing that does strike me about the list is that some things
in those goals went beyond what the treasurer can achieve alone.
For that reason, I'd say that the targets were not realistic.
Everyone should look at the candidate platforms and consider whether
the targets are attainable and realistic, but few do. Too many
voters buy the person or buy the dream. Maybe that was true of
SPI's board too, or maybe they expected it all to happen faster:
the goals had no time limit either.

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

Yes, this is a COMPLETE PAIN and shouldn't be underestimated.

> I was one of the three chief organisers of Linux.Conf.Au 2002 in 
> Brisbane (along with Ray Smith and Jason Parker), [...]

Thanks for the information!

http://linux.org.au/conf/2002/ seems to be the web site for it.
I can't find any accounts or much organisation information and
the organisers list archive is private. Linux Australia don't
seem to have a public treasurer's report or minutes for that year.

Was an expenditury summary or organisation review published?

> 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.

Understood. On the whole, I can see that the LCA which you
helped to organise was successful. Neither on the LCA, nor on
the items in your platform, am I able to find much information
about the goals that were set beforehand, the processes used,
nor an evaluation of how well those goals were met. I'm not
saying you didn't, but "In God we trust - all others must bring
data." A few references would really help.

Of course, this is also true of some other candidates. At least,
I thank you for reraising the issue, even if I disagree with the
method of doing so.

My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Subscribed to this list. No need to Cc, thanks.

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