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OSM Groupthink Over? Dissension Has Begun

19 Jan 2014
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  • Revisions: 3

If you haven't taken the time to read the new and revised OSM Bylaws, you should start there before reading any further. Much of the additional discussions you will hear about and read center around these bylaws. Pay particular attention to ARTICLE III - MEMBERS & MEMBERSHIP. The revised Bylaws were apparently approved at the leadership summit held in Boston on Thursday, 21 November 2013. I said apparently approved because OSM has not seen fit to release the minutes of any November or December meeting held in 2013 no matter where the location. This is a perennial problem with minutes unpublished up to three months at a time. Kind of shameful performance actually. Once you have read the bylaws, you will then want to read the proposed election process that would take place at the Annual General Meeting of the Members of OSM. Carefully read the back and forth comments for the highlighted sections. It is interesting to note that Paul Orwig is having difficulty adhering to a democratic election process. It is also interesting to note that if the board of OSM doesn't explicitly vote themselves as members before their Annual Members Meeting, only two people will be electing the new OSM board! You might also remember if you have read other blogs by me, that the OSM board is required both by its own bylaws and by New York Charities Bureau regulation to hold an Annual Meeting. Check back through the minutes. Bet you don't find a single one declared. This could be a first!

Now that you have worked your way through the above documents, start reading the discussion at Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing List. Again, the back and forth seem to reveal an attempt at manipulating the voting process to serve whatever Paul Orwig's agenda is. It would seem that some existing directors want to take a shot at being president of OSM (not too surprising), others haven't participated fully in board activity for whatever reason, and one other board member who "...was never existent for the OSM board." according to Radek Suski. To be honest this last comment may be an issue of language translation difficulties. Can't be sure what he was trying to say with any certainty.

Update: 1/27/2014

There were some additional comments made once Paul wrote his proposal and they appear in a different thread Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing List that you might wish to read. There has been no further public communication since January 21, 2014. Minutes,  financial reports, and lack of Federal Tax report haven't changed since I reported on them in this blog originally.

Update: 2/8/2014

Based on this blog by Alice Grevet published on 2/7/2014, it looks like the women of the OSM board lost their very reasoned election proposal that was discussed on the Open Source Matters, Inc. - Public Mailing List and commented in my own blog here. It is interesting to note that someone on the Joomla Forum named NivF007 raised some interesting questions about Alice's blog:
1. Specifically which directors' terms and corresponding positions are expiring?
2. Specifically who will be electing the new OSM Directors? (i.e. given OSM's by-laws, only OSM 'Members' can elect Directors - who currently are the OSM 'members' who will be voting?)
3. Will the candidate nominations be made public and will there be an opportunity for the community at large to review the candidate profiles and express support for those that they feel will best represent their interests?
4. Why are elections happening 'prior' to the AGM (i.e. prior to the 'additional opportunity for nominees' to be elected), as opposed to having 1 elections at which all nominated candidates will have an equal and balanced opportunity to be elected?

Sound familiar? Glad to see someone else publicly ask the questions that should have been freely available in the first place. Three months of missing minutes,  financial reports not seen since last September, and failure to publish the 2012 Federal Tax report haven't changed since I reported on them in this blog originally.

Update: 2/14/2014

Sometime yesterday or earlier today, OSM managed to publish a Valentine's Day present for the community. Yup, you guessed it, they finally published their 2012 Federal and State tax returns. Of course, they haven't given all of their love to us yet. We are still missing regular monthly financial reports since the last one in September, 2012. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we haven't seen minutes of board meetings since the last one in October, 2012. So, we are missing November, December, January, and apparently they have already had a special meeting in February. Given all the changes to the bylaws and the upcoming elections of new directors and officers, you would think a group that can spell transparency would actually embrace transparency. Even though the board apparently approved Paul Orwig's less than democratic election process at their special February meeting, Jacques Rentzke has had second thoughts. See his comment on the Open Source Matters - Public Mailing List. While you are at it you might want to review Victor Drover's term renewal request in which he reveals that OSM has already approved a project-wide budget for 2014 as of the January 22 board meeting. Amazing that there wasn't a peep out of any of the teams about preparing their budgets for which they are notoriously sloooow. I wonder if this is the new top down budget approach? You will also note in his goals the complete absence of any attempt to share the financial information with the community on a regular basis - surprise, surprise.

On to other topics. On or about January 12, 2014, the required 2012 990 and CHAR500 tax documents were posted on the OSM website. OSM obviously waited until the New York Charities Bureau posted the documents on their website. This is much better behavior than earlier this year when I found out they hadn't submitted the documents for 2011 - OSM claimed they had but New York must have lost them. Whatever. You will note that you won't find the 2012 1120 tax form posted on their site. I wonder, did the IRS lose that one?

We have only seen about two or three financial reports posted by OSM in 2013. One was the budget which was approved and posted with only a few months left in the year - big help that was. The last financial reports we have seen were in September. So another three months of no reporting to the public. I wonder why they are so fearful of actually being transparent. Try it OSM - won't hurt at all. And, yes, you should answer questions from the public if your documents stimulate such questions. After all, you are operating as a New York Charity.

One nice note to end on...looks like at least some of the board are no longer acting like lemmings.

David Huelsmann

David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71
MCB-71.

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

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