[Osmf-talk] Membership applications from Skobbler employees

Henk Hoff henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org
Wed Aug 24 20:42:13 UTC 2011

Hello all,

Thank you for all your comments. I'm very happy with the many positive
comments to skip the waiting period.

Like mentioned in our statement we were pleasantly surprised by the
one application of a large group of people. But having a large group
from a single organization signing up just right before the upcoming
elections does raise some eyebrows. A similar thing happened before,
which did cause a strong debate within the membership about a possible
takeover of our elections.

With the most of you, we also are very happy to accept the applicants
their membership. That was not the main problem. This happening at the
time we've announced the AGM and the elections was a bigger issue. If
we would accept this, we would have no power to deny membership to
another group who's aim it was to really trying to takeover the
elections in the coming weeks. We simply cannot deny one group
membership and accept another, simple because we think one group is
evil and the other not.

This is not about the people in question. It's about the principal.

For clarity reasons: we have discussed this with a representative of
the organization in question.

I am glad that you all also started a discussion about acceptance of
members, especially in the weeks before an election. In the working
group that is discussing the updating of our AoA, we've talked about
how to prevent ourselves against unwanted influences of other groups.
One situation we discussed was the possible "buying of votes". Looking
at the past elections (look at the number of votes needed to get
elected or not), it is pretty easy to buy yourself a seat on the
board. To prevent this we worked out a proposal that only members who
have been member for some time (say 30 days) would be able to vote.
This would prevent people from quickly signing up to vote someone on
the board. 30 days is chosen, b/c then the election process has not
started yet.

Is this something we should be doing, or do we all think that anyone
(no matter what) can become member up until the last minute and have
voting rights immediately?


2011/8/24 David Ellams <osmlists at dellams.fastmail.fm>:
> On Tue, 23 Aug 2011 22:20 +0200, "Henk Hoff"
> <henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org> wrote:
>> The Board would like to inform you that it had received an application
>> of multiple new memberships of the Skobbler company. The number of
>> this group of people (if accepted) would represent around 10% of the
>> members eligible to vote. With less then a month before the AGM (and
>> board elections), the board did not see fit to accept this group as
>> members at this time.
> With greatest respect to members of the OSMF board who are all hard
> working volunteers and were, no doubt, between a rock and hard place,
> this decision (as reported) does seem arbitrary and unfair. Most of us
> work for someone, and no one on the board knows the nature of the
> business we are all in, or the nefarious motives we may have for joining
> OSMF. As others have pointed out, had these employees all used their
> personal email addresses, this would probably not even have been
> spotted.
> If there was a stink after the last mass joining, then a significant
> opportunity was missed at that time to put in place a fair set of rules
> to deal with this situation. I hope the opportunity is not missed again.
> Cheers,
> David


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henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org

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