At the end of the meeting the General Manager allowed one motion to be presented by the faction currently in charge. Basically, the motion says that the Staff of WBAI demands that the PNB pass the $4+ million budget.
This motion passed with 22 “yes” votes, 2 “no” votes and a couple of people were too disgusted at the faction's behavior, and the General Manager's also, to bother to vote.
This motion was supposed to be put up for a vote by the entire Staff, which now tops 200. But it hasn't been. And I don't think it's going to be. So we now have a vote by 22 people being presented as a vote by the Staff of WBAI. How unfortunately typical of what's been going on at the station that was. The meeting itself was pretty nasty too.
People were shouted down by faction members at this meeting, there was general nastiness from the faction and the faction boss, who attended. One Staff LSB representative publicly called it, "an orgy of Local Station Board bashing." The General Manager's public reply to this was not exemplary.
At one point in the meeting a faction member lied and said that the LSB had refused to raise money for WBAI. Others claimed that a project by one LSB member which had raised $40,000 or more simply didn't count!
Sometimes the discrepancy between reality and what gets said at WBAI Staff meetings is pretty stark.
PNB Finance Committee Meeting
The LSB Treasurer brought the debacle over the WBAI FY05 budget to the Pacifica National Board's Finance Committee. That committee came up with a motion that asks the Executive Director of Pacifica to direct WBAI Management to prepare 3 “contingency budgets.” One would be the original $4+ million budget, the other would be the LSB's suggested $3.5 million budget with non- salary cuts maximized, and if the salary line has to be cut a third budget which would incorporate, “maximal cuts in all areas other than salaries and adjustments in income projections to produce a balanced budget.” They also want that 1 month operating reserve that Pacifica's been talking about for a couple of years to be a part of the budget, and
|all of this will be looked at again on November 15, 2004. This has also motivated the PNB Finance Committee to revisit all Pacifica budgets by December 3.
Basically, the General Manager has been directed to do what should have been done after the budget failed to pass on September 9.
This is sure to be a big topic at the PNB meeting this weekend. I don't know that it's such a good idea to toss WBAI's budget to the tender mercies of the PNB as the General Manager has done. The other 4 stations represented on the PNB know that if WBAI has a significant shortfall that they'll have to make it up out of their own stations' funds. At least one PNB member has suggested a budget that would project WBAI's on-air fund raising to a little over $2 million. I think we'll do a lot better than that.
The PNB Finance Committee also passed the following motion which I quote in its entirety. “The National Finance Committee asks the Pacifica National Board to endorse a process involving the WBAI LSB and WBAI management and the Pacifica Executive Director and CFO to find ways to improve WBAI's fundraising performance.”
A lot will depend on how well we do in the upcoming October ‘thon.
Here's part of a chart prepared by the WBAI Business Manager. As you can see, the $2.5 million on-air fund raising projection is pretty close to what we actually raised in FY04.
Fiscal Year 2003
Fiscal Year 2004
* or 85 depending on who's counting.
All labor donated by and printing paid for by R. Paul Martin.