Peter Batty peter.batty at spatialnetworking.com
Thu Aug 20 02:09:33 UTC 2009

Dear Frederik, and all,
I applaud your call to encourage everyone to vote, and I second that.

First I want to say that I have no affiliation with Cloudmade.

However, I also wanted to provide some balance to the debate and say that I
respectfully disagree with your view that there should "not be any
commercial influence on the board". On the contrary, I believe that
OpenStreetMap is unlikely to be successful in the long term if it is not
useful to commercial companies, so I think it is important that there is a
mix of commercial and non-commercial interests on the board. I think that
Cloudmade has contributed a lot to the success of OpenStreetMap (as have
many other companies and individuals of course). And I think that Nick and
Steve have both contributed a huge amount to OpenStreetMap and will continue
to do so, and I personally do not perceive that this is tied to their
employment by Cloudmade, or that they are acting primarily as Cloudmade
representatives on the board.

Personally I have no problem with having two board members employed by the
same company, and I support both Nick and Steve continuing on the board.


On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 5:55 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Dear everyone,
>    this is a personal call on every OSMF member to please cast a vote
> in the election to the board of directors.
> List of candidates is here:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Foundation/AGM09/Election_to_Board
> and you can vote for (up to) 7 of the 11 candidates. You have roughly 24
> hours left at the time of writing (voting by email closes at midnight
> BST (GMT+1) on Thursday).
> To vote, include the (up to) 7 names of people you want to vote for in
> an E-Mail and send it:
> To: secretary at osmfoundation.org    (Blackadder, OSMF secretary)
> cc: osmvotes2009 at randomjunk.co.uk (randomjunk, Independent scrutineer)
> cc: osmvotes2009 at bleah.co.uk  (sward, Independent scrutineer)
> Subject: OSMF Board Vote 2009
> I am writing this to increase member participation because I feel that
> unless enough members participate in the election, it will be largely
> controlled by one single business entity - CloudMade. Read details below.
> Last year, about 30 OSMF members participated in the election of board
> members - that's probably one in four members who cast a vote or so.
> At the time, about 5 OSMF members were also employed by CloudMade, and
> assuming that they all cast a vote, that's somewhere between 15% and 20%
> of actual votes cast by CM employees - no big deal.
> This year, more than 30 OSMF members are employed by CloudMade (about 20
> of which, based in Kiev, have joined en-bloc very recently), plus a few
> who are not employed but who are CM investors or consultants.
> If election participation is about the same as last year (i.e. one in
> four OSMF members vote at all), and assuming that all CloudMade
> employees intend to vote (why would 20 of them join OSMF a few days
> before the vote otherwise?), then this would mean that roughly 50 votes
> will be cast altogehter, more than 30 of which will come from CloudMade
> employees, putting 60% of the vote in CloudMade hands.
> I find this situation deeply disturbing. Especially given the
> discussions we had about the question of how many board members should
> be allowed to be from one company; Nick Black and Jim Brown, both from
> CloudMade, were adamant that this should be the decision of the
> electorate - I wonder if, at the time, they did the same maths? It
> sounds a bit hollow now, given these numbers.
> And that's why I hope that many people actually bother to cast a vote;
> if not one in four, but one in two OSMF members vote, then the CloudMade
> employee portion of votes would only be 30% which would feel better to
> me (no matter what the outcome of the vote is).
> As you probably know my personal preference is not to have any
> commercial influence on the OSMF board - but I am democrat enough to
> accept a different outcome if it is carried by a majority of members. I
> would just wish that if a majority of members decides to vote for Steve
> and Nick, that majority is not one consisting of their own employees.
> I must apologise for not being able to give exact numbers - all the
> "roughly"s and "probably"s and "approximately"s stem from the fact that
> I only have access to the list of members of this mailing list and must
> assume that this is more or less equivalent to the list of OSMF members.
> When I say that 21 CM employees joined "very recently" then I mean they
> have been subscribed to this list only a few hours ago but since this is
> not an automatic process, their membership applications might also be a
> few weeks old. Whether I count someone as a CloudMade employee is based
> on looking at their E-Mail address and/or checking with Google and
> that's of course another possible source of errors. Also, no exact
> information is available about last year's vote (how many people were
> eligible to vote, and how many did vote). But while all this has the
> potential to change the numbers slightly, it is very unlikely to change
> the overall situation that CloudMade employees are very likely to cast
> more than half of the votes at the upcoming election if the
> non-CloudMade members vote as lazily as they did last year - and hence
> this E-Mail.
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk

Peter Batty - President, Spatial Networking
W: +1 303 339 0957  M: +1 720 346 3954
Blog: http://geothought.blogspot.com
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