[CentOS-devel] Is this the right channel to address the board?

Wed May 6 13:31:47 UTC 2020
Rich Bowen <rbowen at redhat.com>

I must lead with this: It is with great trepidation that I even write 
this message, because I have no desire to burn bridges. I currently 
enjoy a cordial working relationship with everyone on the board, and, 
without exception, have great respect for each of them personally. But 
it is my job to point out that the board's method of engaging with the 
community isn't working.

On 5/6/20 4:28 AM, john tatt via CentOS-devel wrote:
> At the first place, what kind of "issue" do you speak of ?

1) The website redesign
2) The logo design process (we finally got a response from one 
individual board member, but as yet no *decision* from the board)
3) The open question as to what the board will do about the stated 
policy that Red Hat must hold a majority of seats, given that one board 
member has announced that he is leaving Red Hat.

There are others, but those are the three most recent, and the most 

Mostly, though, in this email, I do not seek to address those issues. I 
seek to find out the correct way that the board wishes for us to engage 
with them.

> At the second place you tell you are not the only one to claim for 
> replies.  Where are the others ? Whey do they not countersign ?

Two reasons.

One, it's literally my job. I am paid, full time, to be the community 
manager. That means that it's my job to represent the community's 
interests, both externally (ie, to the public), internally (ie, to the 
board and community), and to our major financial partner, Red Hat.

Two, because the people in question have expressed frustration enough 
times that they have quit trying. To me, this is a tragedy.

> And at the third place I should say that tou can't ignore who are the 
> people in charge. So why not just send a mail to them instead of using 
> this public list ?

I am most definitely not ignoring the people in charge. They have told 
me that this is the correct place to raise issues to their attention. 
But it's not working.

On the one hand, I *do* send them email directly. Frequently. And I have 
weekly meetings with several of them. But that is not how open source 
projects work. Open source projects are, by name and philosophy, open. 
Privately emailing board members is not transparent.

Secondly, most of you, the community, don't have the level of access 
that I have. It's not fair to assume that any one of the community can, 
or should, email or call our board members directly. We need a process 
by which the community can raise issues, publicly, transparently, and 
expect that we will be heard.

> Do you hear me Fabian and others ?

Fabian is not a board member. If, by "others", you me the other board 
members, then I ask the same question: Do you hear me?

Please understand that I have no anger or animosity here. Just 
frustration, and a desire to improve *our* project's communication and 
processes. I am available, and at your disposal, for any way in which I 
can be part of that improvement.

Rich Bowen - rbowen at redhat.com
@CentOSProject // @rbowen
859 351 9166