[Osmf-talk] Running

Henk Hoff henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org
Sun Oct 26 18:45:16 UTC 2014

We can go on and on about the membership list. Apparently memories and
emotions have blurred history. But (as far as I see) it comes down to this:
- Frederik asked for the membership list
- Frederik (and all other board members) has gotten the membership list
 and can do with it what he wanted to do with it.

It may not have gone the way Frederik might have liked, and he may be a bit
pissed off that I asked him where he wanted to use it for. But, from a
perspective of accountability within the board, I think those questions are
completely legit.

Regarding the membership registration, there has always been a backup in
the person our former membership secretary, Michael Collinson. That might
not have been know to all board members at all times. But that does not
leave the fact that there has not been a single point of failure here.

Regarding my work for the OSMF: yes, I've drastically reduced my time and
effort for the OSMF during the last two years in order to prevent more
clashes with other board members. Amongst others:
- I've stopped being the chair of the management team
- I've handed over the work of the AoA to Simon
- I've handed over the work of the Local Chapters WG to Simon
- I'm not the liaison with legal counsel for the board anymore
- I'm no longer on the Communications WG
- I no longer have admin rights to the osmf-email facility

Regarding OSMplus: Like I mentioned before: I encourage initiatives that
help make OSM better. In the initial concept of OSMplus there were also
ideas on how this initiative could support the OSMF. I don't know what the
current status is, since I stepped back from it. When the initial OSMplus
was held, corporate membership was not in place. There was however a call
made at that first OSMplus to donate to the, at that time, ongoing server
donation drive. In that way the OSMF certainly benefitted from it. Since
OSMplus was designed to also also help the OSMF, I see absolutely no
conflict of interest here.
And, for the record: there has not been an OSMplus in the UK.


2014-10-25 14:53 GMT+02:00 Sarah Hoffmann <lonvia at denofr.de>:

> Henk,
> 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?
> Sarah


Board member
OpenStreetMap Foundation
+31 6 4808 8925
henk.hoff at osmfoundation.org

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