[Osmf-talk] Special Resolution for General Meeting

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Wed Nov 18 18:56:18 UTC 2015

Hello Frederik,

in broad strokes i am well aware of most of what you said.  What i have 
to ask myself as a member to vote on this resolution though is not if i 
support the boards intentions for bringing up the resolution but if i 
support the resolution in all of its effects - current and future.  
When my answer to that is no (as indicated) this does not mean i 
disapprove of the intentions of the OSMF board to improve the corporate 
membership program.

> [...]
> If board wanted to cut special deals with individual large donors,
> that would already be possible now. Board would not need the approval
> from the membership to, say, strike a deal where HP pays for all our
> hardware and we put their logo on the front page. (Totally fictional
> example of course.) Or to sign agreements with other large donors to
> take money from them in return for one kind of favour or another.

I know and this is one of the reasons i view the OSMF in its current 
form very critically - the excellent work of many on the board and in 
the working groups notwithstanding.  For example i think a rule that 
the board needs approval from the members before accepting large 
donations (like >1/3 of yearly budget by a single donor) is seriously 
missing.  Likewise for the fact that the OSM community as a whole (that 
is mostly the mappers) have no formal say at all in the OSMF - not even 
indirectly through something like an advisory council - is a serious 
defect IMO.

But i am well aware that my views here are only my views and surely not 
shared by everyone.  I did therefore not intend to pass judgement on 
the resolution but just expressed my personal view of it and the 
reasons for this view.  So far i have not heard arguments that 
significantly rebut my concerns.  That there are already other 
possibilities for abuse of power by the board is not a convincing 
argument for me here.

I agree with Simon in the point that if there were actual substantial 
changes in control and accountability w.r.t. finances (and IMO also 
overall transparency in decision making) this would go a long way 
towards convincing me (and likely others) to approve such resolution.

Apart from all of this - what would be the problem of having another GM 
after the changes to the corporate membership system have been worked 
out, discussed with the community and the corresponding changes to the 
membership fees are up for implementation?  This could also be very 
productive and motivating in terms of community participation - maybe 
during discussion different options turn up and there could be several 
competing resolutions on the matter up for vote.

Christoph Hormann

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