[Osmf-talk] Special Resolution for General Meeting

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Wed Nov 18 19:03:54 UTC 2015

Mikel, it is not quite clear what you are referring to.

We are not discussing accounting systems or similar. The OSMF has had
professionally operated and managed accounting for at least 4 years now
and with the recent alignment of the financial and calendar year the
reporting has become more punctual and doesn't suffer from the effects
from SOTM and financial year timing that historically made the accounts
difficult to understand for lay persons.  I'm further not quite sure
where you believe the wiki enters the picture.

The discussion is about planning, accountability and good corporate
governance. The board asking us to let it off the hook with respect to a
simple trivial formal requirement that it is unable to meet and as
already said I'm OK with that, but, my whole point, I would expect
improvements in planning and similar in exchange, for example a budget
that indicates what increased funds from the fee changes will be
budgeted for.


Am 18.11.2015 um 18:48 schrieb Mikel Maron:
> Frederik mentioned the "can do attitude". Exactly, thank you. It's
> easy to forget ourselves when we delve into financial and legal issues
> in OSMF. If there is ever a problem in the map, we don't seize up with
> fear and panic "this OSM thing is never going to work". We can have
> the same audacious attitude about OSMF. Sometimes those actions need
> to be more creative than hitting an edit button... for instance, it
> would be great to update OSMF's financial management systems, but
> that's probably not something we can do in a wiki --- let's find
> someone with finance experience to help OSMF out. I bet even one of
> the current or prospective corporate members would be willing to help.
> This is just an example, maybe there's another way too. Point is,
> let's find actions we can take to make things better.
> Regarding this resolution and corporate membership, I think it helps
> move things ahead. No doubt there's more to do. Btw, I don't think
> this is about "what can OSMF do for my company". OSM and OSMF already
> do tons for business, for government, for non profits, for hackers.
> Rather, I see membership as an opportunity for greater engagement with
> OSMF, and a channel to commit to making OSM and OSMF even better.
> Mapbox recently stated its public commitment to HOT
> (https://www.mapbox.com/blog/hot-commitment/) and can imagine similar
> commitments by all sorts of institutions for OSMF.
> -Mikel
> * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron
> On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:40 PM, Robert Banick
> <rbanick at gmail.com> wrote:
>     Hi all,
>     I rather like most OSMers, our foundation board included, and
>     trust them to do the right thing. They’ve yet to prove that
>     instinct wrong and I will definitely be voting for this proposal.
>     It sounds exactly like the kind of improvement I look for the
>     Board to think through on my behalf.
>     Given how bright OSM’s future is, and how many wonderful things
>     could be done with increased resources, increasing the
>     opportuntiies for corporate sponsorship makes a lot of sense.
>     Other non-profit groups I’m connected to receive corporate funding
>     and without exception they’ve continued to act with independence,
>     only now better funded. I certainly prefer this route to increased
>     membership fees. 
>     Improved controls and reporting would be great. I appreciate
>     however that the financials are a thankless task and not a natural
>     draw for mappers. Perhaps we should discuss ways to make that
>     easier or get pro bono assistance in a separate thread or at the AGM.
>     Cheers,
>     Robert
>>     Sent from Mailbox <https://www.dropbox.com/mailbox>
>     On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 10:55 PM, Andy Allan
>     <gravitystorm at gmail.com <mailto:gravitystorm at gmail.com>> wrote:
>         On 18 November 2015 at 13:02, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
>         > I've been on the brink of commenting on the proposed change
>         for a while,
>         > now that the board has come forward with a reasoning it
>         seems like a
>         > good time.
>         For me, this is a storm in a teacup. I'm more than happy for
>         the Board
>         to get on with improving the corporate membership options.
>         If something becomes terribly wrong with it over the next few
>         years,
>         then we can discuss it, or intervene with a resolution at a
>         general
>         meeting, or even vote in new Board members. I don't see what's so
>         important about this to have to put it to the membership any time
>         there is a change.
>         > However at the same time I do have to echo Christophs
>         concerns that it
>         > gives the board practically unrestrained power to change the
>         economics
>         > of the OSMF.
>         This already exists. If the board want to sell all the servers and
>         move all the infrastructure to some hosting service or other, then
>         (modulo various practical things) it can do, and run up £x
>         million in
>         fees. If it wants to fundraise only from arms manufacturers,
>         it can do
>         so. If it wants to provide Board members with unlimited secret
>         expense
>         accounts, it can do. If it wants to run SotM at a loss, or at a
>         profit, it can do either. It can drain the bank accounts and
>         splash
>         out on an ad in the NYT. Whatever. These decisions are why we
>         have a
>         Board in the first place - this isn't a direct democracy
>         organisation.
>         > A a consequence I would have expected the board to provide
>         at least a
>         > token concession on the controls front, but that seems to be
>         completely
>         > missing from the current proposal.
>         I agree with the need for improved controls (or at the very least,
>         half-decent reporting), but it seems strange and somewhat
>         disproportionate to make this issue where you take a stand.
>         Also, this discussion seems to return to the theme of "Oh no, what
>         happens if nasty Board X does something diabolical" without any
>         evidence that this is even likely. The constant - usually
>         baseless -
>         distrust might be one of the reasons why there are so few people
>         willing to stand - with only 3 days to go, we still only have
>         the same
>         number of candidates as there are seats available.
>         The Board is full of nice people, trying hard, and until there is
>         evidence otherwise, we should give them the benefit of the doubt .
>         Thanks,
>         Andy
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