[Linux-aus] Candidacy Support Statement - President or Ordinary Council Member

Anthony Towns aj at erisian.com.au
Fri Dec 2 10:18:22 AEDT 2016

On Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 11:39:23AM +1100, Hugh Blemings wrote:
> Thus all considered we found ourselves somewhat short staffed for much
> of the Council term with the lion's share of day to day operations
> falling to three or four members of Council.

> [...] some of the more visible
> examples of this [...] were largely the product of folk
> outside the Council who devoted considerable amounts of their own time
> and energy into making these things happen.

So, for what it's worth, these things seem exactly in line with what I've
seen from past councils over the past decade and a bit -- the council
gets the boring, less visible work; council members have other things
crop up that distracts them; and the best stuff is done by people who
aren't actually on the council.

It (still) seems to me like it'd be best for the council to recognise
this reality and go with the flow, rather than trying to resist it...

That gives some... counterintuitive conclusions though: for example, I
think Kathy's vision would be most likely to be achieved if she weren't on
the council, let alone President. (Though it would also require a council
that provided both moral and practical support and was willing to take
a back seat, which I don't think has really ever happened so far) ie,
in order to support her vision, I think it's best to vote against her...

> As an organisation, well resourced with a wide volunteer base and
> enthusiasm to match we can I think do more than this, but I fear I lack
> the vision and energy to lead us to more ambitious plans.  This is not
> me being self effacing, just an objective observation that I’m not a big
> ideas/visionary sort of person.  I am however very good at keeping
> things ticking along or helping someone else attain -their- vision.

So I guess the thing I'm seeing as missing here is something like this:
if you're good at keeping things ticking along and helping other people
attain their visions, then with you having been president over the past
year, why hasn't Kathy's vision already been realised, and why does she
feel the need to take over as president?

I'm going to take a liberty and posit a couple of possible answers to
that, despite having zero information to base them on:

 * there's been second guessing on the details of the approach
   by the rest of the council, by the admin team and/or by other
   stakeholders, and being elected VP doesn't provide enough of a
   mandate to ignore/overrule those concerns (especially a problem if
   even getting quorum has been hard)

 * the only time the LA community is really engaged around changes is
   when people propose them as part of the council elections

 * contributing to LA doesn't provide many tangible rewards, and being
   able to put "LA President" on your resume is one of the best available

Honestly, the latter point is the one that concerns me most: if visionary
changes work best when they come from outside the council, then driving
change as part of a sub-committee or whatever should be more rewarding
than being on the council -- in the same way it's more impressive (IMO
anyway) to be LCA 2016 lead organiser than the 2016 LA president.

I don't really know how that could be made possible though.


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