[Council Meeting] Minutes from 2020-04-20

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Fri May 29 23:39:33 UTC 2020

Hey Wayne,

thanks for sending this report. It is much more detailed than the 
previous ones. That is appreciated!

However, I have 2 concerns:
1. The minutes seem to be polished with the goal redact and remove any 
actual facts. They are not concrete enough information to make any sense 
of them. The goal of transparency is for the community to have insight 
into the decisions, their rationale, and also to see how the Council is 
doing. If all potentially critical information is polished away, no 
useful participation by the community is possible.

2. The minutes seem to come fairly constantly about 1 month after the 
meeting. I would expect notes to appear after 1-2 days. I suspect the 
reason is that you have a process in place for other council members to 
approve the minutes and they can redact and remove things they don't 
want public. This is *not* desirable. That removes the community any 
information basis about the candidates.

In short: Can we please have uncensored reports? It's perfectly fine to 
remove HR details about specific persons, but there is no staff info in 
the notes anyway (see last point of minutes), so the redactions go far 
beyond the necessary redactions, and it makes the notes way too generic 
to be useful.

All that said, these minutes were a lot better than previous ones (e.g. 
they mentioned who asked what, that's helpful and important!), so thanks 
for that.


A concrete question, which triggered my writing this email and the above 
comments: I am genuinely concerned about the income situation of 
Thunderbird, for donations.

How much, in percent, have the donations dropped? How does that relate 
to the costs? Are savings doing to drown, and how fast? I am eagerly 
waiting for some numbers.

This is important information that affects the entire project, staffing, 
and other decisions, even the possibility for projects like the renewal 
of the code base, so that's important for the community to know.

It seems that the minutes are dancing around concrete numbers without 
saying anything specific, and I'm sure you have discussed them, which 
suggests that the minutes were too redacted, and which prompts this posts.

I'm just looking for things like:
"Donations dropped 23% in April compared to February 2020. But our 
income is still 10% above costs, and the income would be 8% below 
expenses after the 3 new hires."

If we get less than this information, it's too superficial to be helpful.


On 29.05.20 23:24, Wayne Mery wrote:
> Thunderbird Project Council Meeting
> When: April 20, 2020 at 9:05 PM CEST
> Minuter: Wayne
> In the call: Magnus, Berna, Patrick, Jörg, Ryan, Wayne
> Regrets: Philipp
> Motions/votes since last meeting
>   * Change the Thunderbird Council weekly meeting time from Thursday
>     8am EDT to 3pm EDT on Mondays. Approved. As a result, there was no
>     meeting on Thursday April 16.
> Financial
>   * Ryan reported donations team can generate a weekly report that
>     will provide for donation numbers that aren’t captured in
>     analytics, and which can be broken down by country.
>   * Berna asked if our donations take a nosedive, do we have an action
>     plan to cut out or cut down any service. Ryan reports there are
>     priorities, but have not been presented to council.
>   * Berna asked if we can investigate whether we qualify for any
>     bailout money/funds from the government(s) or short time work in
>     any country. In Europe, it is free money.  General consensus is it
>     is unlikely money will be available, in part because we have not
>     had to lay off any employees, and have no demonstrated financial
>     losses.
>   * Motion by Patrick: The Thunderbird project shall maintain a
>     reserve of money to cover 12 months of recurring costs (including
>     for personnel and other services). Discussion followed. No vote taken.
>   * Berna asked if we are prepared to issue quarterly financial
>     reports in the interest of transparency and communication.  Ryan
>     indicated he is preparing an annual report, but still waiting on
>     some numbers to come in.
> Hiring/personnel
>   * Status of three currently open (advertised) positions was
>     covered.  They are all proceeding to the next step - setting up
>     contract, sent to MoFo HR, investigating employment services.
>   * Berna asked if the council NDA group were able to customize the
>     benefits package as discussed last week? The response is, not yet.
>   * Berna reminded that the Performance Review Process needs to
>     start.  The trial date will be determined by Magnus in order not
>     to place additional stress on the employees during these
>     extraordinary times. But there is concern that a three month trial
>     will be too short to evaluate, given that reviews are quarterly. 
>     To be discussed further next week after Magnus goes through the
>     documents/templates.
> Product / Strategy
>   * Berna asked, in follow up from prior meeting, whether there will
>     be a financial impact if many add-on authors cannot make the jump
>     to version 78?  For example “LookOut (fixed)” for TNEF
>     attachments, “MailMerge”, and “Signature Switch”, and whether a
>     message to the donors could help give us useful information.  Ryan
>     and Wayne believe this would be difficult or impossible to
>     measure.  It was also noted that hopefully our incoming add-on
>     coordinator can help in this area.
> Governance
>   * Still waiting for information from Mozilla Foundation about NDA.
>   * Wayne asked if whether council members should have directors and
>     officers insurance? Are we covered through MZLA Technologies or
>     MoFo? What do other boards do?
> Legal
>   * Berna asked about progress on the privacy policy applies to third
>     party providers.  It was noted that add-ons should have their own
>     privacy policy.
> Miscellaneous
>   * Some questions were asked and clarifications given about the last
>     staff report
> _______________________________________________
> tb-planning mailing list
> tb-planning at mozilla.org
> https://mail.mozilla.org/listinfo/tb-planning

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