Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Caution! New OSM Order Ahead!

17 Mar 2013
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I spent several weeks in the Caribbean towards the end of February and the beginning of March.  Temperatures were in the 80's and I missed several snowfalls at home. While at in Philipsburg, St. Maarten we had a great opportunity to crew a 12 meter racing yacht and re-create the America's Cup regatta. Dennis Conner's America's Cup winning Stars & Stripes, Canada II and True North compete in this regatta.  "Crew members" (about 11 of us and three regular crew) grind a winch… trim a sail… or punch a stop watch for the approximately three hours that the race takes. If you have never been sailing in a 12 meter racing yacht, this is definitely one of the BEST experiences ever. It is also a great life experience about cooperation and communication in business and life in general. You can't decide suddenly not to participate nor can you fail to communicate to the winch grinders or boom winch operator. By the way, I was in True North and came in second - Stars & Stripes first - Canada II third.

Imagine my surprise when I returned to find that Paul Orwig made this comment in the Open Source Matters Public Mailing List on February 18, 2013:

We have a pretty laborious process before our minutes can be published that includes transcribing the notes, sharing drafts to ask for feedback and then making revisions and sharing them as well, and finally collecting votes from board members. It's a lot of hard work that takes time and care and focus.

 Paul Orwig

 As far as I know, I am the only one holding the board's feet to the fire about timely publishing to the community of minutes and financial reports. So this seemed a gratuitous attempt to divert criticism. Careful reading of the December, 2012 minutes (the logical place to approve the November minutes) reveals the following:

I Approval of previous meeting’s minutes.
No minutes were circulated prior to the meeting.

 Doesn't much look like the laborious process is followed all that often, does it? Published November 14, 2012 minutes on February 18, 2013. Gee that's 97 days or three months and five days. Quite the process you have there OSM!

In the December, 2012 minutes (published February 25, 2013) the following statement was made:

b Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer.
It is important to find people for the roles of Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer to ensure smooth transitions. Assistant Treasurer will not be a board position, but Assistant Secretary will.

Besides the fact that no motion or vote was taken, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. An Assistant Treasurer trusted with some activities and responsibilities related to the funds OSM has accumulated won't be a board position (and therefor not covered under the D&O insurance nor bonded apparently)? Especially considering that since Thomas Hampton was appointed Treasurer he has only attended 4 out of 9 board meetings. Less then 50% attendance. And, he has only published one financial report in that time frame.

It continues to be a problem that only 12 of the 14 board members bios have been published. It's difficult to know who the players are without a program.

It was refreshing to see in the January, 2013 minutes (published February 25, 2013 - see, it can be done!) that several motions and votes were made. This is how it is done folks. Keep it up.

The main shocker of course was the blog from Paul Orwig on March 5, 2013 Proposed governance change: dissolving the Community Oversight Committee. In essence, this blog discussed that the Community Oversight Committee (CoC) had essentially voted themselves out of existence. They are the ones responsible for adding and removing OSM board members. Once the appropriate changes are made to OSM's bylaws, OSM will add and remove it's own board members and be self-governing. Some are expressing concern over that change. I have expresed similar concerns numerous times in these blogs.

On March 8, 2013, Jacques Rentzke, an OSM board member commented in the forums:

As a not-for-profit we are bound by the normal laws and regulations that govern non-profits, and although OSM legally owns the assets, the Joomla project cannot function without the volunteers who serve in the various parts of the organization, so the different parts of the organization need each other.

 Jacques Rentzke

And, of course the problem is that I have documented over and over again that Open Source Matters, Inc. does not follow the normal laws and regulations and I encouraged the CoC to use their leverage to ensure OSM lived up to their responsibilities. Didn't happen.

So what happens now? Well, Andrew Eddie who has occasionally added lively comment here (though he just faded away in his last series of comments) stated in that same forum (probably intended for me?):

Oh, and there are the odd disgruntal trolls blogging regularly about how bad OSM is - the good news is they are like canaries in a mine - when they stop whistling, it's time to run away very fast.

 Andrew Eddie

 I am afraid that is exactly what I plan on doing. I was unable in over a year to effect positive change to OSM and certainly have no way to exert any leverage now that they will be self-governing. I don't expect a positive outcome in this change and do not wish to be connected even this indirectly. I will leave these blogs published for now. Perhaps I will turn out to be wrong in the long run?


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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

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

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