Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Thu Aug 20 06:45:27 UTC 2009

On 20 Aug 2009, at 06:14, Peter Batty wrote:

> One other brief comment I would make about all this sudden alarm at  
> the prospect of Cloudmade having two board members is just to  
> observe that this has already been the case for the past year.
> During this time the OSMF board seems to have functioned perfectly  
> well as far as I can see. I am unaware of any inappropriate behavior  
> by the board during this time to favor Cloudmade (and if anybody  
> knows of any then they should raise the specific concerns that they  
> have). I agree with James that it is really inappropriate to  
> suddenly raise such a big fuss 24 hours before the vote closes, when  
> we have already been in the situation that is supposedly such a  
> concern for a year, without any apparent problems.
> I reiterate that it is my opinion that Nick and Steve both have made  
> and will continue to make outstanding contributions as individuals  
> to OSMF, and that their company affiliation is incidental to the  
> work they do in this regard. I support both of them continuing as  
> board members.

In fairness to Frederik the 'alarm' was the sudden joining of enough  
new members who are employed by CM to theoretically change the outcome  
of the election in a major way and I think that was justified.  
Frederik has access to list of members because it was him, I  
understand, who got the list set up in the first place and until then  
there was no place for members to discuss issues of concern to them  
with other members. I find this list very useful. I don't  believe  
that he has revealed any personal information so I don't believe the  
Data Protection Act is a relevant issue to raise.

I agree that the issue about having more than one director from the  
same company on the board is a separate one that was been discussed in  
the past month on the list with a general view that disclosure was  
important but that a codified limit was not practical or desirable.  
There is a live proposal that we should limit board members from a  
single company to 40% but it is not an 'alarming' issue that needs to  
be raised again at this late hour.

I appreciate Steve's comment that CM, Nick and him are in 'a very  
difficult position and don't always make the right choices'. The OSMF  
is a very young organisation that is having to find its feet very fast  
and is doing so by bumping into issues along the way and resolving  
them in a typical messy human way. What is good is that it is making  
huge progress.

Personally I think we will continue to need people to being watching  
for issues from the outside and 'helping' the organisation grow up  
nice and strong and healthy and that is exactly what seems to be  
happening and something I support.

On this particular issue I do strongly advocate a system where  
membership of the foundation can be earned by the 'sweat of the  
brow' (ie sustained contribution to OSM over a period of time) rather  
than only with cash. I believe this would dramatically increase the  
number of members (some of whom might actually vote) and remove the  
current bias towards the west and towards those with spare cash. I  
raised the question on the foundation list last month [1] and there  
was a useful discussion about it but the view of a board member was  
that it was not an issue that was getting attention. Possibly in light  
of the above it should do.

For the record, I renewed my lapsed membership last month and an  
additional member of ITO's staff joined recently and will, I  
understand, be voting. As a company policy I have provided no guidance  
to our staff on whether to join, whether to vote or who to vote for. I  
have however put work into the wiki and on the lists over the past  
month to ensure that the relevant information about candidates is  
available to all members.

My personal view is that we have an excellent selection of candidates  
to choose from and that any combination of 7 of them would make a  
great board.



[1] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2009-August/000131.html

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