The open source web content management system (CMS) project, Joomla, is having its second biannual election this week for officers and department coordinators. Last week I wrote about who I nominated. In case you didn't get a chance to read it, it is a good time to remind everyone of how the election process works so the electorate is made of team leaders, department coordinators, and officers. The full election details are available at, OSM Bylaws, and Joomla Election Cycle. With the technical details of the election out of the way, let’s review the general state of the board as well as open positions, their duties, incumbents, and candidates.
Overall, the tenure of President Rowan Hoskyns Abrahall has seen attrition in the board and teams. Notably two board members have resigned in the first six months of the new administration, Vice President Aleksander Kuczek, and Legal & Finance Department Coordinator Søren Beck Jensen. Most interestingly, there has been no mention in the board minutes regarding Søren's resignation, only the fact that the Legal & Finance Coordinator position is open for election gives us this clue. Additionally, previously filled positions have decided not to stand for election in this cycle: Treasurer, Events, Programs (though the individual is running for Legal & Finance). For simplicity’s sake, let’s say 40% of the board has left.
With regards to effort by the board, I’ve decided to create some charts regarding effort (at least vis-a-vis board minutes). First, actual attendance at board meetings, it must be noted that the one meeting missed by Rowan was due to official Joomla business:
Second, the reports submitted during board meetings. I commend the members who submitted reports regardless of being in attendance but am shocked that there are never any goals set for subsequent meetings and that reports may consist of only, “nothing new happened,” so in those cases such reports were marked as missing.
Lastly, there is a merged report for overall effort.
Back to the current candidates, This group includes six open positions, Vice President, Treasurer, Marketing & Communication Department, Events Department, Programs Department, and Legal & Finance Department. To duties of each role are varied but I’ll try to summarize some of my expectations:
- Vice President: assist board in special projects, evangelize on behalf of the project
- Treasurer: keep the books in order and submit required legal work (taxes and New York Secretary of State)
- Marketing & Communication: build global awareness of Joomla, have a global plan, and support finance
- Events: promote global opportunities for Joomlers to learn and network (above and beyond JoomlaDays)
- Programs: manage the various programs (i.e. certification)
- Legal & Finance: primarily fiscal stability/growth and enhancing our intellectual property portfolio as well as supporting marketing
For Vice President, I fully endorse Brian Teeman as a voice that will not only hold the board accountable to tasks that should be completed but as someone who has the ability to challenge intellectually preconceptions of the Joomla project and stand up to the political status quo.
Treasurer is a very difficult position and I am glad that Jason Rosenbaum has stepped up to the challenge by preparing himself under the tutelage of outgoing Mike Demopoulos (who has served amazingly and deserves the time off). It is unfortunate that this position as well as others below did not have more than one candidate.
Most strongly, I feel that Marketing & Communication should absolutely be helmed by an individual who has successful professional and open source experience. Sandy Edwards has these qualities in excess. It is even more evident when one reads the incumbents “Statement from the nominee:” which not only brings forward her inability to grow volunteers but with no sense of professionalism takes to task outsiders for wanting to participate. This is exactly why volunteers won’t be found. Additionally, how is it possible that a board member knew who would be a candidate (since Sandra was able to call out Sandy) prior to announcements. This is absolutely in appropriate and the board and secretary should explain themselves.
Events unfortunately has only one candidate which was not nominated by me so can not speak to his ability.
Programs again is another single candidate position, however I am very pleased that Viktor Vogel has accepted this position. I’ll just simply repeat my initial nomination of Viktor, “… has been an outstanding and dedicated leader within the Programs Department for a number of years. His professionalism, joy, and commitment are infectious qualities that help grow the project.”
Last, Legal & Finance, I am very disappointed that not only is there only one candidate but a candidate who has had poor board accountability. While all departments are critical, Legal & Finance is required for cash sustainability. This lateral move smells of internal politics to keep a packed board.
There you have it, I hope all voting class members take the opportunity to make well thought out decisions regardless of the above, review the records, success, and failures of the candidates, and read their statements.