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

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Tue Oct 28 11:54:57 UTC 2014

I thank Christoph and Kathleen for obliquely raising an issue ... which 
I'd crudely put as politics versus bureaucracy. It is a very important 
one and touches back on the topic of modus operandi of the OSMF board. 
I, perhaps in a minority, regard the entire OSMF set-up as volunteer 
bureaucrats ... we are primarily helping protecting and growing a 
resource, the OSM database, that is not ours.  And, as I learnt during 
the license change process, consensus-seeking is an e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y 
important part of the bureaucracy role.

So, Christoph, yes, I like to see what positions candidates take, it 
helps me decide who will be the best bureaucrat and thus who I will 
personally vote for. And Kathleen, yes, board members should be both 
seeking and forming consensus. And if one starts that as a candidate, 
all the better. Just remember that consensus is not always the loudest 


On 28/10/2014 11:50, Kathleen Danielson wrote:
> Christoph,
> If you are concerned that something might "seem harsh," perhaps you 
> shouldn't say it. I'm fairly certain you could have expressed your 
> point without telling me that I am "opportunistically doing whatever 
> the majority wants".
> What I am doing, in fact, is gathering information. I am working to 
> see if there is consensus to be built. I am asking if this is 
> something that others would like to see pursued. I think that people 
> like Richard have made the case for disbanding the board beautifully, 
> and I don't think that I would have much to add. In fact, since 
> Richard specifically called me out as a part of the new generation of 
> leaders, it would seem rather self-serving for me to fiercely campaign 
> for it. I do have my own opinions about what I think we should do. 
> I've expressed some of them on these lists. I see a lot of merit in 
> the idea of restarting the board with a fresh mandate, but it's 
> complicated now that we have 3 seats to elect, rather than 2-- perhaps 
> we don't need to take such an extreme measure anymore. However, the 
> fact that the 3rd seat only opened up a few hours before the window to 
> announce candidacy closed makes this even more complicated, because I 
> feel confident that with more time it would have changed the field of 
> candidates. Finally, I would like to see an election held again soon 
> with a larger voting base, because the events of the past two week or 
> so have certainly made more people interested in voting who had never 
> been members before (like you, perhaps).
> This is all quite complex. I am far less interested in being elected 
> to the board than I am interested in helping the OSM community. I 
> decided to run because of the trainwreck that we saw unfolding last 
> week on this mailing list. I only had another day or two to decide if 
> I was going to run, and that was the only thing I could think to do to 
> help. I spent the last year on the OSM-US board, so I certainly have 
> the credentials for it. This project is important. I can help. If the 
> membership agrees that I can help by being a member of the board, they 
> will elect me in. Great. If not, great-- I'll probably have lower 
> blood pressure as a result. Still, I'm not going to stop trying to 
> help this community, because it is a project and a group of people 
> that I believe in.
> This email isn't a part of my "election campaign". It's just me, 
> asking my peers what they want, because maybe I am in a position to do 
> something.
> On Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 10:16 AM, Christoph Hormann 
> <chris_hormann at gmx.de <mailto:chris_hormann at gmx.de>> wrote:
>     On Tuesday 28 October 2014, Kathleen Danielson wrote:
>     >
>     > I'm curious about whether the membership is interested in us
>     pursuing
>     > some kind of "reboot". We've only heard a few voices on the topic,
>     > which has made me reluctant to work on organizing anything that
>     might
>     > go against the membership's wishes.
>     This is more or less why i added these questions to
>     https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Talk:Foundation/AGM14/Election_to_Board
>     to encourange everyone - members and candidates - to make up their
>     mind.
>     To be frank - if you expect the OSMF members to have an opinion on the
>     matter you should as an OSMF member yourself also have an opinion.
>     People who have a clear stance on this will probably want to vote for
>     someone who shares their opinion, not for someone who - i am sorry if
>     this seems harsh - opportunistically will do whatever the majority
>     wants.
>     I fully understand if you or other candidates think you cannot (yet)
>     form a qualified opinion on this but then i think you can't expect
>     this
>     from the membership either.
>     Personally i would want to vote for someone who clearly states her/his
>     support for a restart since i find the accounts of Richard, Frederik
>     and others pretty convincing and supported by the observable facts
>     about the OSMF work. I am well aware this would also involve the risk
>     of the results being even worse than now (as for example indicated by
>     Randy Meech).  But i am not an OSMF member so these thoughts are quite
>     academic...
>     Thanks by the way to you and the other candidates for answering the
>     questions on the wiki.
>     --
>     Christoph Hormann
>     http://www.imagico.de/penstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk 

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