Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Stop The Excuses OSM!

26 Mar 2014
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I continually question why the minutes of the board meetings are not completed in a timely manner and made available to the Joomla Community. Got one of the excuses off of a forum thread that occurred . There are two excuses from Marijke about why the minutes are late. The first one is interesting because she says she doesn't have the primary job of posting minutes. You will find the second excuse sort of contradictory to the first. At least I did. The links are provided in the quotes.

 We are talking about 4 months of minutes with a lot of issues surrounding the board's restructuring and voting arrangements. Presumably, even the board doesn't have the minutes to refer to - unfortunately that is the only legal document of their activity.

 So Cindy Montano asks about the minutes and Paul Orwig states his excuse:

 The reason for the question marks after their respective titles, is that we don't know if an election was held nor the results of any such election. Yup, it's the missing minutes issue. This isn't the first time they have been asked and this isn't the first time they have continued to provide excuses. Using the same excuses over and over simply makes those that hear it not trust you.

 Here we are on March 26th with no minutes of the important board meetings that occurred in November, December, January, or February even after a very polite request by Cindy Montano on February 28, 2014. Maybe they also had a March board meeting by now but we will cut them some slack to approve and publish those minutes by the next board meeting in April. We also have no financial reports since last September. We have no end of year financial report or annual meeting minutes which the board is required to do each year and they haven't managed to accomplish for years. We have no information about what is going on with board elections, member voting, or officer elections. 

Update # 1: 4/6/2014

Since March 26th a couple of things happened. Alice Grevet announced the publication of the OSM board minutes for November & December 2013 on April 1. Given the timing, I was sure it was an April Fool's Joke. I was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong! On April 2nd she announced the election of four new directors: Martijn Boomsma (The Netherlands), Ronni Christiansen (Denmark), Rod Martin (USA), and our old friend Ryan Ozimek (USA) who apparently did not get enough of OSM (seven years) as director, secretary, and president not that long ago (ended April, 2012). On April 3rd Alice announced the publication of the board minutes for January, 2014. It just goes to show you that if you really want to, you will find a way. Three months of minutes published within 5 days of the first publication of this blog. Probably didn't hurt at all that Andrew Eddie while denigrating me on the forums said: "So, just on the minutes, and I do think it's a problem they are late (I'm just not inclined to make it my life mission to discredit OSM over it like *some* people do - please get them out on time if for no other reason than to stop you-know-who complaining about it), it would be good if the Treasurer could include a brief statement on how we are tracking against the budget to the best of their knowledge. Account balances don't really tell much of a story about how the ins and outs are affecting them." Interestingly, it appears the bylaws have been modified without notification or even archiving of the old bylaws. Paul Orwig said on January 16, 2014: "There is one other point in the proposal that I think should be considered for revision. It seems that our bylaws define members as both current and former directors/members." However, we now have an explicit bylaw added that states: The term of each member shall expire following the election of directors at the next annual meeting of the members. All former members are eligible to be chosen for a new member term. If we don't find a motion to support this change in the February or March minutes it wouldn't be considered valid. By the way, unless the board explicitly elected the rest of the directors other than the two they elected in November as members (as opposed to just directors) then voting for directors would be limited to just those two. Would like to see that vote in the February or March minutes. Right now, in my opinion, the board is being entirely too secretive and failing to follow good transparency practices. Come on Dr. Drover, how about publishing financials regularly? It will be interesting to see just what transpires on April 8th!

Update # 2: 4/9/2014

The February 25, 2014 minutes were posted yesterday afternoon. These minutes showed appropriate correction of the board's failure to make all board members "members" of the member organization. It also showed that the bylaws had indeed been modified to limit membership terms to just after the required annual meetings though that may change once again. We will see. Their failure to archive the previous bylaws is a statement of the boards poor transparency practices. The newly elected board (April 8, 2014) consists of:

  • Martijn Boomsma (The Netherlands)
  • Mike Carson (USA)
  • Ronni Christiansen (Denmark)
  • Victor Drover (USA)
  • Jorge Lopez-Bachiller Fernandez (Guatemala)
  • Rod Martin (USA)
  • Tessa Mero (USA)
  • Ryan Ozimek (USA)
  • Saurabh Shah (India)
  • Joe Sonne (Canada)
  • Marijke Stuivenberg (The Netherlands)
  • Radek Suski (Germany)
  • Sarah Watz (Sweden)

The new officers of the board are: 

  • Sarah Watz,  President
  • Victor Drover,  Treasurer
  • Marijke Stuivenberg,  Secretary

As I said before, I am not clear why Ryan Ozimek is once again on the board. This election of many new members may help to improve tranparency and practices of the board. Ryan has already served about seven years. I suspect he will be campaiging for the President slot once again when it becomes eligible. I would prefer others have a shot. Now if this board could just try to publish minutes in a timely manner as well as the treasurers report each month they could show that good practices can be maintained. If they would also start listening to their constituency rather than throwing up a wall of excuses, I could shut down this website!

What it all means is that the OSM board members simply DISRESPECT all of the Joomla! community members! Shame on them. They talk a lot about transparency but can't "walk the walk". Shame on them. And, shame on us for letting them get away with it!

noun 1. lack of respect or courtesy. "growing disrespect for the rule of law"
synonyms: contempt, lack of respect, scorn, disregard, disdain
informal 1. show a lack of respect for;
insult. "a young brave who disrespects his elders"

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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

0 # Andrew Eddie 2014-04-06 16:36
I'm glad you took my comment mostly the right way. What you missed was the dig at your Treasurer's report in your day that were abysmal (just check the minutes). I note that you didn't quote nor rebut Niv that eloquently disagreed with you.

As for disrespect, I think you need to look in the mirror.
0 # Dave Huelsmann 2014-04-07 09:58
Au contrair, mon ami, during my period as Treasurer of OSM, the board was provided with complete financial reports a day or two prior to the board meeting so that could have sufficient time to digest the reports and ask whatever questions they might have at the meeting. Those same reports were published monthly for the community to review - a practice that is no longer followed. Because the Secretary chose to summarize in the minutes is entirely up to the Secretary.

Unfortunately, Niv was incorrect. The Bylaws clearly state: "To the extent the corporation creates any of the following documents, it will, within a reasonable period of time, publish such documents for public review: ... minutes from all meetings of the Board of Directors, financial reports pertaining to periods of 3 months or more..."

I have looked in the mirror and find only OSM looking back.
0 # Andrew Eddie 2014-04-07 17:58
Treasurer's report Dave, not financial report. Most Treasurers don't know the difference. Export-from-Quickbooks-attach- to-mail is not a Treasurers report. That said, I don't recall them being published on the OSM site. Is emailing to the LT considered "publishing"?
0 # Dave Huelsmann 2014-04-08 05:14
When I say complete financial reports, I mean complete - all reports that constitute a "Treasurer's Report". Including Budget to Actual, P&L, Balance Sheet and Company Snapshot. See and no emailing to the LT is not considered publishing.
0 # Andrew Eddie 2014-04-08 05:18
That's not what I was talking about in my comment on the forum.
0 # Dave Huelsmann 2014-04-08 05:50
You might want to elaborate as I have no clue what your comment above is referring to.
0 # Andrew Eddie 2014-04-08 05:58
If you didn't understand my comment in the forum, maybe you should not have quoted it. But there's no use explaining it to you because you are always right and everyone else is wrong.
0 # Dave Huelsmann 2014-04-08 08:54
Lets see - among your three posts, you started by attacking me for maintaining what you characterized as a hate site and changing my signature on the forum. Don't think that is what you are referring to. Then you supported my contention that the minutes should be published in a more timely manner with reference to the Treasurer including some info relating to budget versus actual performance which you also wanted to be a dig at my performance as the former Treasurer but failed miserably.

Perhaps you failed to understand my comment? I have no problem elaborating. I provided what is considered a standard Treasurer's report for a NPO. It included comparison of budget to actual, cash flow, balance of accounts in the bank and any concerns I may have had about the state of our finances. What the Secretary of that period chose to include in what were then admittedly very sparse minutes wasn't under my control.

You have at least one more opportunity to continue your unwarranted vitriolic attacks in the comments of this article.
0 # Andrew Eddie 2014-04-08 18:46
If you voted to accept the minutes as a true and correct record, don't blame the secretary. It's your fault. Anyone familiar with meeting procedures knows this.
0 # Dave Huelsmann 2014-04-09 10:08
Nice try Andrew. But you don't get to have it both ways. The provided treasurer's report documents were designed to be published alongside the minutes to make for a complete picture. That is why I have repeatedly complained about the failure of these subsequent boards to stay current on publishing their minutes and publishing the financial (treasurer's) reports that surely must be provided to the board each month. If the board isn't getting the reports then they would have completely failed in their fiduciary responsibilities and wouldn't be eligible for coverage under their director's insurance.

Try taking the high road for a change and join me in encouraging this board to do the right thing all of the time instead of just when people start complaining. 8)

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