[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] Modus operandi of the board

Richard Fairhurst richard at systemeD.net
Tue Oct 21 09:38:18 UTC 2014

[this was originally posted to osmf-talk; I'm not a member of OSMF so 
can't reply to it there. I'm also breaking my self-imposed discipline of 
not posting to the talk@ list for this, but I figure it's important]

Sarah Hoffman wrote:
> while checking the candidate list for the upcoming board elections, I came
> across Frederik's maifesto here:
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Frederik_Ramm/2014_OSMF_Board_Elections_Manifesto
> This sheds some rather bad light on how the board operates, indicating that
> some of the practises border on the illigal. I understand that this is the
> individual opinion of a single board member but I believe it is important
> that such accusations are discussed because I don't see how the board can
> operate efficiently otherwise. It is even more important in the light of
> the upcoming elections. Reading this manifesto indicates that there is
> little point in standing for election as there is nothing but frustration
> to achieve in the board.

As a former board member, I would concur with Frederik's posting which 
tallies with my unhappy experience on the board.

It is clear, I'm afraid, that the OSMF board is broken. Plenty of people 
know this privately but it hasn't been admitted publicly. We should stop 

There are some really smart people in this project and it's sad that 
most have chosen to involve themselves in their local organisations 
rather than OSMF (I'm thinking particularly the US and France here). I 
have no personal animus against the current board - quite the opposite, 
they're lovely people - but it's clear it isn't working. (And I take my 
share of responsibility as a one-time board member for failing to fix it.)

I would like to see:

- the whole board stand down in advance of this election;
- now and in the future, those who have already served two 
standard-length terms (i.e. six years) should refrain from re-election 
and further involvement; this is good practice in any organisation (e.g. 
the US presidency!) but especially so in a fast-moving technology project.


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