[Osmf-talk] Special Resolution for General Meeting

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 18 19:21:20 UTC 2015


Hi,
Happy to clear up any confusion. By "financial management", I was referring more broadly to ability to plan, budget, audit, and be accountable. These things are complex, and I'd love OSMF to have some means to draw on professional advice to help us. 
-Mikel * Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron 


     On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 2:05 PM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
   
 

  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.
 
 Simon
 
 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  
 
   On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 10:55 PM, Andy Allan <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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