Aline Carrão 2015 Q&A: Powers of the Board

Currently, there are no checks on the power of the Board outside the Board itself, since the Board can change the OTW’s bylaws without approval from anyone else. If elected, would you support adding non-Board checks on the Board’s power to the bylaws? If so, what types of checks would you support? If not, why would you not support any checks?

I don’t think any changes should be done to the bylaws without input from the Legal committee and the other OTW volunteers. That said, I believe we need to incorporate in the OTW structure checks and balances regarding financial matters, resolution of conflicts involving the Board, changes to the bylaws themselves and to the organization structure. I believe all these matters could benefit from the approval of committees and possibly officers outside the Board, to sidestep potential conflicts of interest.

In accordance with Article VI, Section 1 of the By-laws, the President (and any other Officers) can be appointed at majority will of the Board without being Board members themselves. What are you thoughts on major players and representatives of the Org being chosen without the approval and confidence of the general Org electorate? Do you believe this leaves those roles vulnerable to being filled by unqualified persons? How would you as a Board member work to ensure Officers were qualified for the positions they held?

I’m not sure a vote is the best or the most thorough quality check to have in place, especially if we take in consideration that the last several elections have been uncontested. I would establish a minimum service time in the org, and, depending on the position in question, a specific committee requirement as well. The requirement could also be “currently serving on board,” for positions like President. I would also consider requesting CVs, checking references and selecting for practical experience in specific areas when it comes to more technical roles, like Treasurer.

The Board approved in August 2015 a change in the OTW bylaws that would allow Board to remove any Board member, with or without reason. Under what, if any, circumstances do you believe this should occur?

I don’t believe a board member should ever be removed without actual cause, though it may be the case that the reason for removal is not technically illegal. I believe board members can and should be removed due to behavior issues such as overly aggressive demeanor, bullying of OTW volunteers, or not meeting minimum performance standards. In those cases, it’s important that the removal process be conducted in a transparent way, so that OTW volunteers and members can follow the events as they unfurl: going against the wishes of the membership, as expressed through elections, shouldn’t be taken lightly, and should not be a confidential matter. Any removal will inevitably lead to the worst kind of rumors later anyway. It’s undoubtedly best, from all perspectives, to make sure any hypothetical necessary removal happens cleanly and openly.