[Osmf-talk] Upcoming Special General Meeting Opinions?

Henk Hoff toffehoff at gmail.com
Sun Nov 30 20:30:34 UTC 2014

Hi Tim,


I’ve been very absent from this discussion, because it clearly affects me. Let me try to be as objective as possible regarding the proposed changes.


First question I always ask myself when I read a proposal is: What problem does it solve? I have no real answer to that question. Currently board members are up for re-election every so many years, and the membership (normal as well as associate) may vote who is taking that position for the next term. It is a complete transparent and democratic process. And it works: we’ve seen in the past that the incumbents have not always been re-elected. 


In the discussion, another problem has been mentioned: it’s unclear how long a single term is. The current 1/3 renewal is difficult to work with, since (for starters) we don’t have a number of board members that are an of factor 3. I’m all for solving that problem. However, the proposed resolutions do not solve this problem in any way.


There has been suggestions made that term-limits are a very common mechanism. I’ve looked at the bylaws of the WikiMedia Foundation, OSGeo and even the German FOSSGIS. They all have *no* term-limits mentioned in their bylaws.

Interestingly OSGeo has in their bylaws articles about their Working Groups (they call them Project Steering Committees) and how people can be appointed and for how long. But that’s another subject.


I’m for an inclusive organisation: an organisation where people are welcome to participate.

Yes, there will situations where people don’t like each other. In those cases we need to keep the dialog going and find our common ground. We are all people who are passionate about OSM. We all want OSM to succeed. We need to work on bundling that energy to move the project forward. 

Some things cannot be solved by simple drafting new rules. 

Unfortunately due to the upcoming GM, the in-person meeting with the whole board has been postponed to somewhere next year. 


There are already lots of changes in the current board. Give the current board a chance and take a bit of time to let the dust settle. When you’re still not satisfied: at least my seat is up for election next year. Feel free to not vote for me (in case I plan to seek re-election). 


Conclusion: I’m voting no on the resolutions at hand. It does not solve any of the problems we currently have.





Van: Tim Waters [mailto:chippy2005 at gmail.com] 
Verzonden: vrijdag 28 november 2014 19:44
Aan: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Onderwerp: [Osmf-talk] Upcoming Special General Meeting Opinions?


Hello folks,


Several days have passed since the announcement of the Special General Meeting (SGM) and we have just over a week until the vote occurs. 


I note a pattern in OSM related elections where the (sometimes impassioned) discussion seems to occur at the very last minute, often after proxy votes have started. Could we perhaps seek to start the discussion about this meeting before the last minute, and at least before proxy voting starts?


I understand that "The board has decided not to take a position on the resolutions" ... and that...  "Board members with opinions are asked to speak their mind".


May I ask that those Board members please feel encouraged to explain a little bit more about the meeting at this stage?


We, members, do know know who proposed the SGM, or why and may not know what the changes really mean, and so I think that we may want to know such things before voting upon them at the end of next week.


Best regards,



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