User:AndrewRT/2009 candidate statement

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I, and the other members of the interim Board, were elected in September last year with a clear mandate: form the chapter, complete the admin and then pass the baton over to a permanent Board who can focus on fulfilling our charitable aims. All this was to be done in an open, transparent and democratic manner.

All in all, I think we've done an excellent job. It wasn't all perfect – it never is! – and I hope the new Board tries to improve on where we have got to. But everything has been completed within the agreed deadlines, despite plenty of hurdles setting us back along the way. Only one thing remains outstanding – charitable registration – and the application will be ready for the Board to send off as soon as our income is sufficient. We have been probably the most open organisation in the whole Wikimedia family. The IRC meetings and wiki and email discussions have enabled non-Board members to contribute in a meaningful way. Supporters have been kept informed through newsletters, the wiki and the email list. We've managed to work together as a Board such that every member has played their part and we haven't had to rely on one person driving everything forward. As a bonus, we have also helped organise the Wikipedia Loves Art project, responded to a copyright consultation and, of course, supported the Wikimania 2010 bid.

Now, however, the focus should change. We should continue to administer the chapter in a professional and efficient way; but we also need a clear vision of where we see the chapter in the future. Admin – important though it is – needs to fade into the background while our charitable aims take centre stage. Our objective should be to be professional and productive. We should be ambitious but realistic – keenly aware that our activists are all volunteers and burn out a ever-present risk.

We could be the biggest, most productive chapter within five years. The German chapter has shown us the way with this and I'd like to learn from them. I want us to aim for 100 members within a year, and three significant projects completed by the next AGM. The Wikimania bid gives us a fantastic opportunity here, and the Board needs to give every possible support to the local bid team. Our new relationship with the BBC, the Wikipedia Loves Art project and our excellent media relations are solid foundations for some great work in the year ahead.

I'm excited about the potentials in the year ahead, and would love to continue helping the chapter deliver this vision. My professional experience in accounting and company administration should prove to be useful to the chapter in the year ahead. Whatever the members decide, I'll be there to support the work of the chapter.