WBAI LSB Meeting — February 20, 2007
The fifty seventh WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Tuesday, February 20, 2007, at 7:00 PM at the offices of the Legal Aid Society, 111 Livingston St,. 7th floor, in Brooklyn. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.
This meeting began 21 minutes late. It could have started only a few minutes late because a quorum was present, but the Chair wouldn't convene the meeting until her faction had a majority in the room. Compare that to the previous meeting where the Chair began the meeting the second she could with a two thirds majority of faction members present.
The main agenda item for this meeting was the election of LSB members to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) committees. These are committees set up by the PNB to do the work of advising the PNB on various issues, including policy, legal and contract issues, programming, etc. One Director, a PNB member, from each LSB is assigned to a committee by the PNB. Two more members of each committee are non-Directors elected by the LSB. All of Pacifica has been late in getting this little chore done in 2007. WBAI was not the last station to do so by any means.
As the meeting started I brought up the fact that proper notice of the meeting hadn't been given as per Article 7, Section 6 of the Pacifica bylaws. In fact we've been not giving sufficient notice of these meetings for a long time now. In this case the location of the meeting was not posted until 4 days before the meeting, more than 7 days' notice is required. Of course the faction currently in charge didn't care. They said that the bylaws say that adequate notice has to be given “whenever feasible,” which they interpret to mean that they never have to give proper notice. I asked if they really wanted to take the position that it hasn't been feasible for more than two years. Apparently they do!
We then started in on the agenda. This was the first time we'd dealt with setting an agenda under the new special rule where we may only take 20 minutes to set the agenda.
The Chair began to take suggestions for the agenda without actually having a motion on the floor to amend. After a few minutes I pointed out that we really hadn't started the process of approving the agenda because there was no motion on the floor. The Chair tried to say that the 20 minute clock had started when she began taking suggestions, but no one could say exactly when that was so they had to make the motion to approve the agenda and start the 20 minute time limit then.
The Chair wanted to put items from non-faction LSB members lower on the agenda, but a couple of those items were endorsements of marches and so they managed to get put at the top instead.
The Chair tried to assert that time was up before it really was, but some of us had taken note of when the motion to approve the agenda had been made and so we protested and got her to back off that little trick. Non-faction members were asking when the LSB's Membership, Outreach & Fundraising Committee had last met. The members of the committee said that they couldn't remember. An attempt to move the report from the Management Evaluation Committee to the top of the committee reports resulted in a tie vote, but the Chair voted and broke the tie to prevent that committee from reporting early.
When someone complained that this was all out of order because the Chair had not circulated the agenda ahead of time the Chair ruled that it was all in order, and then when the member tried to appeal that ruling the chair tried to maintain that he couldn't do so! After a bit of discussion the Chair was made to relent. The appeal failed, of course, and we went on.
The main item for this meeting was the election of the LSB members to the PNB committees. This was done over the course of the entire evening with other business interspersed between the nominations and elections. Here's the list of who got elected to what committee:
|PNB Archives Committee||Tibby Brooks||Mitchel Cohen|
|PNB Audit Committee||Nia Bediako||Jamie Ross|
|PNB Elections Committee||Cerene Roberts||Carolyn Birden|
|PNB Governance Committee||Vajra Kilgour||R. Paul Martin|
|PNB Programming Committee||Cerene Roberts||Kathy Davis|
|PNB Technology Committee||Vajra Kilgour||Andrea Fishman|
In addition there was the Affiliates Taskforce which people could just volunteer to serve on. The following volunteered to serve on it: Berta Silva, Shawn Rhodes, Ray Laforest. And apparently anyone on the LSB can just join this Affiliates Taskforce at any time by notifying the LSB's mailing list.
Then there was a motion to create the position of Assistant Treasurer. That motion passed and faction operative William Heerwagen was then elected to the position. Mr. Heerwagen is not a member of the LSB, he is known around WBAI for doing whatever will help the faction currently in charge, including filing complaints with WBAI Management against Paid Staff whom he feels are not adequately obsequious to him.
It was almost 8:30 PM when we got to the motions to endorse the alternate St. Patrick's Day March in Queens on March 4, and the AntiWar and Impeachment March on the Pentagon on March 17. There was also a very short discussion about whether the LSB passing political motions was proper. All of this took 4 minutes.
We had a public comment session but, probably because the meeting location was not publicized, only one person spoke. It was a 2 minute public comment session.
The iGM wasn't there so we didn't have a report from him.
We then voted to make the next meeting an adjourned meeting, which means that it will pick up where this meeting left off. And not only did we have a date and time for it, March 21, 2007, at 7:00 PM, but we even had a location for it: the Harlem State Office Building on 125th St.
We then came to the motion that hadn't come out of the Programming Committee but which people made believe had.
This motion was for “The Programming Committee to work with the Program Director to organize and co-sponsor a community forum with speakers holding diverse views on the nature of WBAI programming as part of the overall role of media in U.S. society.”
This motion came out of a long, involved attack on a LSB member on March 16, 2006. At that meeting the faction, and the Program Director, had verbally attacked the LSB member, who was not at that meeting. The absent LSB member had called for the firing of the Program Director for cause. The Program Director had said that by passing the motion LSB members would, “avoid having yourselves involved in a lawsuit certainly these things are so actionable that there is going to be some response to it.” So the motion was coming out of a faction attack on a LSB member. There is some question as to whether this will be a fair forum or an attack on the LSB member again or just a general faction bund rally.
During the debate on this motion I pointed out that while it was presented as a motion coming from the Programming Committee no such motion had ever come out of the Programming Committee. That committee hadn't met since July 24, 2006, and I knew what motions had been passed because I'm the Secretary of that committee! The faction didn't care, the Chair ruled the motion in order and in the end they voted to have this forum on April 7, 2007, at a location to be announced. One faction member who is a Catholic priest had objected that this forum was set for Holy Saturday. Initially the vote was to not pass this motion, but the Chair chided her fellow faction operatives, or woke them up, and in the end even the priest voted with the faction to have this event on that date.
A second attempt at a public comment session had no takers at all!
We then finished correcting the minutes of the February 15, 2006, meeting. They got approved, after I offered some corrections, more than a year after that meeting had occurred.
Since there was time left for this agenda item the Chair then called for the minutes of the March 9, 2006, meeting to be corrected and approved. I was ready, but the Secretary, Assistant Secretary and ex-Secretary were not. The March 9, 2006, meeting minutes were not there and so we passed on trying to correct or approve them.
The Membership, Outreach & Fundraising Committee reported and they have a new Chair, Cheryl Ife Griffin. They reported that they'd held a very successful forum at a college on the topic of “American Blackout.” They said it was very successful and had brought in $600. I don't think we were given an accounting for the expenses for this event. Other faction operatives at later meetings claimed it had brought in $650.
It was then brought up that the LSB had never approved this action by the committee. Committees aren't allowed to just do what they please, but the faction doesn't care. The Chair chimed in that the event had been co-sponsored, which raised the question of why the committee was trying to take full credit for it.
There then followed some questions about the Membership, Outreach & Fundraising Committee including when they'd last met, again. After no one was able to answer this question someone came up with the date of January 24, 2007. Their Secretary doesn't have a computer so there aren't any minutes available. Faction operatives bristled at these questions, which revealed that this committee too was not in very good shape.
The Membership, Outreach & Fundraising Committee report continued with the members of it trying to remember when they'd decided to have a Town Hall meeting. In the end a motion was passed that the Town Hall meeting would happen on June 16, 2007, at a location to be determined. The LSB is required by the bylaws to hold Town Hall meetings twice a year every year. The WBAI LSB has not had one since early 2005.
Previous notice was given to bring a motion that would put Town Hall meetings under the direct supervision of the LSB.
This meeting adjourned at 9:48 PM.
Here's a video of this meeting.
Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.
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