|A newsletter about some things happening at WBAI.||April 2, 2005|
|Presented by R. Paul Martin as an individual producer.||Vol. 2 No. 3|
No agenda had been posted before this meeting. When the meeting started we found out why. There was an item about “remedies” for a disruptive LSB member. What the faction currently in charge really set up was a purge. The member in question showed up at the meeting angry because fac tion members had gone on the air during Wake Up Call on March 1, and made derogatory remarks about him by name. Not that many years ago their actions would have been a serious F.C.C. violation.
The faction brought a motion to “suspend” this member for six months. This also means that the faction, which already has a majority on the LSB, will be eliminating one non-faction vote.
Among those voting to “suspend” the member were faction members who had been disrupting the LSB for all of 2004, including one who had actually assaulted the member targeted at this meeting.
This motion was illegal on several counts, it was an end run around the bylaws, violated Robert's Rules of Order several ways, effectively removed a member by only a simple majority vote, and probably violated the California Corporate Code which the LSB is required to obey. But this action was more than illegal, it was unfair and underhanded. The faction picked probably the least popular member of the LSB to go after. I feel that I must speak out in defense of the rights of the member in question, and all LSB members, even though the “suspended” member is someone with whom I have very serious differences. This “suspension” is being appealed to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) and has the potential to result in a lawsuit.
If the PNB doesn't reverse this travesty the faction could perpetrate more purges, and this could start a trend that catches on throughout Pacifica. Majorities of the moment could make themselves permanent majorities by suspending their opponents. The potential for chaos is huge.
The faction also tried to keep some items off the agenda that asked about stolen equipment at WBAI, our chronically problematic phone system
|and the results of those questionnaires sent out to listeners and Staff along with the ballots at the end of 2003 and in the Fall of 2004. Eventually these questions for the General Manager got pushed to the end of the agenda and were not gotten to.
The motion to allow roll call votes if one fifth of those present and voting call for one was brought up again, and a faction member amended it to be two fifths (40%), which is close enough to a major ity to ensure that the faction will be able to veto most roll call votes that they don't want, especially with one opposition vote “suspended.”
During public comments one listener asked the LSB to think of the tyranny of the majority and the cowardice of the mob.
The “suspended” member spoke during public comment and reminded everyone of an ex-General Manager of WBAI who was fired amid a similar circus and received a large settlement from Pacifica when he sued.
The General Manager said he was ill and gave a fast report, not taking any questions. He said that the PNB investigation into workplace violence at WBAI has been extended and “Program changes are being developed as we speak.” He also said that he would announce the new host of Wake Up Call soon.
The LSB created a Community Advisory Board as required by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). WBAI gets funding from the CPB.
LSB Finance Committee Meeting
There was some controversy at this meeting over whether or not an issue of who was taking cash at the door of the Riverside 9/11 event in 2003, should be on the agenda. It may be on the next meeting's agenda.
It was reported that as a result of the Ossie Davis family requesting donations to a list of organiza tions in lieu of flowers WBAI has received $1,628. As of this meeting the fulfillment for the Fall ‘thon was 75.8% and the fulfillment for the Winter ‘thon was 65%. Staff and LSB members are being asked to help make calls to get the fulfillment rates up.
Page Two of this newsletter