Leaks, Drips, and Spills

Sunday, 19 January 2014 12:17

OSM Groupthink Over? Dissension Has Begun

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 This is a perennial problem with minutes unpublished up to three months at a time.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!

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Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:23


No minutes for October have surfaced. It appears OSM held a board meeting at a summit in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, on November 6, 2013. Of course, no minutes for that meeting have surfaced either. However, the Board found time to notify the public that it had made "Short Term Changes to OSM Bylaws". If you haven't taken the time to read the changes, YOU SHOULD! You should because it dramatically changes how board members will be elected in the future assuming the Board retains the majority of these changes for the long term version of the bylaws! Article 3 of the bylaws now permits any "contributor" to be a member. In real terms it states:


Applicants qualified under Section 3.1 above, shall be admitted to membership will be determined on a case by case basis, at the sole discretion of the Board and/or Membership Committee. Any "contributor" to Open Source Matters who is supportive of this corporation's purposes and is not otherwise prohibited by any contract, law or regulation from abiding by the terms of these by-laws shall be eligible for membership. A "contributor" shall be any individual who has contributed to improving Open Source Matters and its projects in any form.

Note that it further states that a membership roll will be kept with name, address, and email address as well as a record of termination of membership. It also states that while this membership roll is a public record, it won't be available to third parties. Interesting dichotomy there!

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