[Osmf-talk] Running

Sarah Hoffmann lonvia at denofr.de
Sat Oct 25 12:53:41 UTC 2014


I can still sense a lot of frustration in your mail, which is understandable
with emotions running so high lately. I would like to avoid yet another
shouting match, so forgive me if I will restrict my reply to the topics
from my initial mail.

On Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 12:08:56PM +0200, Henk Hoff wrote:
> >> - A couple of months in he complained that I was doing way too much and
> that other board members please take over some work from me.
> > From the tone of this mail I understand that you are extremely busy. In
> that case, wouldn't it be a rather sensible suggestion to offload some of
> this work? I think we are all aware that each of the board members is doing
> their work in their spare time and I think every board member deserves a
> live next to OSM. I always thought that the board is so large so that the
> work load on each single board member remains reasonable.
> It's true that I'd like to keep myself busy. Please keep in mind the
> situation I described was 1.5 years ago. About 3 months after Frederik
> joined the board. The situation was quite different. I had more time
> available and I was more than happy to spend it on OSMF work. And as far as
> I know, I had not indicated that I was too busy, nor there were other
> indications I could not handle the tasks at hand at that time.

I see. Have you considered relinquishing some of your responsibilities or
at least asking for help from other board members, now that you do have too
much work on your hand?

> >Are you saying that you do not see any conflict of interested in working
> for an organisation that competes for membership with OSMF while being the
> only board member with direct access to the membership database, and more
> importantly, the first person to see new membership applications?
> Like I said, I helped because I wanted to keep OSMplus complementary to the
> OSMF. I do promote initiatives to make the project better. It's great to see
> initiatives like MapBox acquiring a grant from the Knight Foundation in
> order to make the iD editor happen. It's great to see an initiative to
> create a platform where businesses can get together and see how they
> collectively help the project grow.

Let me clarify that: I do not have anything against the existance
of OSMplus or its goals. And I don't see why OSMplus and OSMF should not
exist in parallel. My question is purely related to the conflict of interest
that is created by working for both: the OSMF has a declared goal to attract
more company members. OSMplus caters exclusively for businesses using OSM.
You are responsible for membership management in the OSMF. Do you see a
conflict of interest here?

I think there was a second example: SOTM and the OSMplus conference took place
at the same time in Birmingham. You took it on you to organzise sponsors for
both which obviously have to come from the same pool of companies. How can
that be done without creating a disadvantage for either SOTM or OSMplus?

> Talking about conflict of interest: I'm one of the few people in the board
> who has no link with OSM in their day-to-day work. I have nothing to gain
> (financially) by either the OSMF nor OSMplus. 

It was not my intent to imply that you are gaining an advantage. If you got
that impression, I apologize. In fact, it doesn't really matter what I
believe that happend or not. My point is about proper proceedings. 
You have put the membership in a very unconfortable position because
we now only have your word that membership and sponsoring
were handled properly. So either, we revoke the trust we have put in you
(essentially asking to resign) or we sign off proceedings that we should
have checked but cannot. I don't like either possibility. Can you offer
a third?

> > Unfortunately, you seem to have overseen the direct question I posted for
> you in the mail that started this discussion, so let me repeat it:
> why do you deem it necessary to withhold direct access to the member
> database from other board members?
> When Frederik asked me for the membership list I've asked him where he
> wanted to use it for. The most clear answer I've ever gotten was "board
> stuff". I still don't know what that means. I've asked whether he wanted
> certain statistics (like geographical spread, female vs male, age, etc). No
> answer, other than "I want the list" and "we should not have secrets for
> each other". 

Why do you believe that the membership list should only be given to other
board members if they have a valid reason to see it? Who decides if a
reason is valid or not?

> Since that discussion I have send the register of member and the register of
> associate members to the other board members on multiple occasions. So they
> do have access to the list. So if you've gotten the impression that other
> board members still have no access to the list, your impression is
> incorrect.

My impression was that you are the only person who has access to the member
database itself and the only person who receives mails directed to the 
membership@ address. Notwithstanding the transparancy issue, I am concerned
that the database may be lost should you become suddenly unavailable. Is
there a technical or political reason to not keep the database at a place
where it is available to all board members?


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