|personnel issues related to the budget. As it worked out, the LSB never spent one second of this meeting in executive session.
The Pacifica bylaws state that one of the LSB's duties is to review and approve the station's budget. As someone who's been working on the LSB Finance Committee for six months I'd had reservations about the proposed $4+ million budget for a while.
There is a lot of concern over the amount of time WBAI spent pitching in FY04. Depending on who's counting it's either 91 days or 85 days.
Pacifica budgets used to be based on proven income from the previous year. The FY05 budget was significantly larger, and the General Manager had said that it was based on “modest optimism.” This did not alleviate my reservations.
After almost three hours of debate and questions about this budget proposal a roll call vote was held just as we were about to be evicted from the room for having overstayed our time. As the vote began there was a lot of noise from the audience, making it hard to hear the vote. I'd thought that the motion had passed, but a recount showed that it had not. A listener delegate associated with the faction currently in charge had voted “no,” and that resulted in a vote of 5 for, 7 against and 3 abstentions. Had the faction member voted “yes” it would have been a tie vote and the Vice-Chair, who was chairing, would have voted to pass the budget.
I was one of the abstentions. I didn't want to vote against this budget, but I couldn't vote for it either because I don't know that we can raise that much money.
Local Station Board Meeting
The PNB Finance Committee had met and requested that we pass a FY05 budget by this meeting. We got through approval of previous minutes, the agenda, and the new ritual of excusing everybody who wasn't there, in record time.
The LSB passed a motion requesting of the Pacifica National Board (PNB) that before a decision is made about the Free Speech Radio
|News contract that the LSBs, listeners and Staff get to review it and make presentations about what they think of it. Some on the LSB view this as a merger more than a contract agreement.
WBAI has not set up its CPB mandated Community Advisory Board yet, others in Pacifica are similarly delinquent. The LSB voted not to address this issue at this meeting but to have a special meeting about it on September 29. Unfortunately, no space was found for this meeting and it will have to be done in October.
The Waivers Subcommittee reported that a total of 15 waivers had been requested and that 14 had been granted. This surprised everyone.
It was reported that the WBAI Committee of Inclusion is having a hard time getting all 4 of its members together in order to meet and elect the rest of the committee.
The FY05 budget proposal was next on the agenda. The same budget that had been presented at the previous meeting was presented again. Unfortunately, the General Manager had a stomach problem that night and didn't attend this meeting.
A presentation was made, questions were asked, there was a public comment session and then the actual motion was presented. There was debate, largely around the concerns over the amount of time spent pitching in FY04. WBAI pitched for 91 days, although Management says it was really only 85 days due to repeated telephone failures. In the period 2001-2003 we pitched for 70 to 72 days.
An amendment was made and passed to request that Management project the on-air income to be $2.1 million with other budget lines adjusted to reflect the actual income in FY04. After this there were several attempts to raise the on-air income figure projection. They failed.
Using a calculator and my assessment of what LSB members were saying in debate I made an amendment to raise the projected on-air income to $2.5 million to be raised in 75 days of pitching, which I think is a figure we can attain without driving listeners away with excessive pitching. This amendment passed and shortly thereafter the request that Management present a budget based on these figures passed by a vote of 16 “yes” and one “no.” It looked like we'd finally reached consensus
Page Three of this newsletter
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