[OSM-talk] Postponing elections, or other alternatives (Was: Modus operandi of the board)

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Fri Oct 24 15:29:11 UTC 2014

On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 7:59 AM, Kate Chapman <kate at maploser.com> wrote:

> I actually don't think it makes sense for the membership to approach
> things by passing a bunch of resolutions requiring the board to do things.
> I think certainly a drastic resolution like dismantling the entire board
> and starting again is the type of resolution that would be something to
> come from the membership.
> Acting in the interest of the membership would be to conduct an annual
> survey and develop a vision. Though really that would be something that
> could happen as part of a fairly normal board strategic planning process.
> I'd view this as being approached simply through the matter of the new
> board finding common ground and better ways to approach the business of
> running the OSMF. Meaning maybe a survey isn't the best way to determine
> things, maybe there is another way. Rather than dictate the approach the
> board should be tasked with doing what is in the best interest of the
> organization. A part of this I would see as working with a facilitator and
> others to educate board members in what generally it means from a legal and
> operational standpoint to be on a board.

My concern is that the Board will use it's perception of how OSM should
operate without consulting the community. Or as a worst case, do nothing. A
proper survey, with published results, not only helps the Board's decision
gives us a framework for community discussions. We have many smart people
that do not participate on the mailing lists. Getting their input will be
difficult but we need to hear from as many people as possible. A survey
does face the obstacles of language, cost, time and apathy.

I applaud the use of a facilitator. As a former, and I might and really bad
facilitator, their skills can help the Board reach good decisions. But even
the best facilitator can't help if there isn't good data for the decisions.

Lastly, it is still the Boards responsibility to make good decisions. They
may not always agree with the community, for example, diversity, but the
Board should be expected to do the right thing and to explain why they did.

OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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