WBAI LSB Meeting — April 23, 2008
The seventy third WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Wednesday, April 23, 2008, at District Council 1707, at 75 Varick St., in Manhattan. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.
This was the first meeting of the Fourth WBAI LSB.
This meeting began 24 minutes late.
This was a dual meeting, we started off with a Delegates' Assembly first and followed that with a regular LSB meeting.
We were meeting at the headquarters of Local 1707, which is Ray Laforest's Union. He started off telling us that there were keys for the mens' and women's lavatories and that they only had one key for each, so he warned us not to leave a key in one of those rooms or we wouldn't be able to access them for the rest of the night. Luckily, no one left a key behind.
We started off with the Chair, who we all knew was going to be replaced, calling for the election of a Chair pro tem for the Delegates' Assembly. That election was held and there were 13 votes for Alex Steinberg and 10 votes for Vajra Kilgour. So Alex Steinberg took the Chair.
The outgoing Chair then thanked all of her fellow faction operatives for their faith in her for the past 3+ years that she had been Chair of the LSB.
We then very rapidly approved an agenda for the Delegates' Assembly.
A point of order from Mitchel Cohen reminded us that the agenda said that we'd be choosing a permanent Chair and Secretary of the Delegates' Assembly next. In the past we've simply had the LSB Chair and Secretary continue in their positions during the Delegates' Assembly. However, some of the independent members want to make clear that there is a difference between the LSB and the Delegates' Assembly. So we held elections for the two positions.
Vajra Kilgour made a point of order that this election was not on the agenda. The Chair noted that it very clearly was. And so we went on to this election.
This was a repeat of the Chair pro tem election. Alex Steinberg was elected Chair of the WBAI Delegates' Assembly for the rest of 2008.
Then we had an election for the Secretary of the Delegates' Assembly. Vajra Kilgour was nominated but she declined the nomination. I was nominated and I accepted. Then Sarah Flounders was nominated and we had an election. In the end I was elected by a vote of 13 to 9. Apparently one of her fellow faction operatives had decided not to vote for Ms. Flounders.
We then voted that the newly elected delegates would get to introduce themselves.
According to the Pacifica bylaws all nominations had to have been made by December 31, 2007. Which makes sense when you're holding the Delegates' Assembly in January. All eligible delegates had been nominated by then. So we asked who wanted to decline nomination and most people declared that they were declining nomination at this time.
Each of the people who were actually running for Director then gave a short speech about why we should all vote for them.
I'll list all of the election results at the end of this page.
WBAI's still pretty new General Manager Anthony Riddle was asked to give a short report, which he did. Mr. Riddle said that he was making progress at the station in terms of people dealing with each other. He noted that he'd told Staff to pull him back if he's going on the air too much. He said that the challenges at WBAI are not unmanageable and that he now listens to the station all the time.
He said that he'd prepare a written General Manager's Report for future meetings and that he wished we'd develop a regular schedule for the LSB meetings.
He then said that he wanted to take a photograph of the entire LSB/Delegates membership. So all of the members lined up against one wall and Mr. Riddle, and everyone else who had a camera at the meeting, took a couple of photographs or a couple of minutes of video of us all. During this lineup faction members started doing political chants. I suppose that there's some sort of psychological reason why they felt they had to do that.
Then we went into public comment while the votes for the listener Directors were tallied.
That faction sycophant got up and said to the new General Manager, “Is you is or is you ain't our baby?” He then told him to watch his back and warned him that the independents would destroy him if he wasn't careful. He said that the independents had destroyed Don Rojas, who had been General Manager. That was an odd statement given that Don Rojas didn't leave until a few months after the so-called Justice and Unity Campaign had gained a majority on the LSB. Well, this guy has a hard time with reality. He ended by saying that someone had said that Anthony Riddle had worked for the CIA and then asked him if he had. Of course the public comment session is not interactive so there was no chance for a reply.
A Staff member complained that there were not enough women on the air at WBAI.
A listener from Long Island said that the election which had only been certified earlier in the month was less than optimum and that they should be run better in the future. He decried the tendency of some faction operatives to call names.
And then a supporter of the Justice and Unity Campaign got up and complained about people at some other meeting booing the mention of Robert Mugabe the repressive President/dictator of Zimbabwe. Apparently this guy is a Mugabe supporter. He then went on about “counter revolutionary” activities in eastern Europe. I'm not sure that he gets the fact that the Soviet Union is gone and that Communism has been rejected by a huge number of people who'd actually had to live under it. And then this guy wouldn't stop talking and yield the microphone when his 3 minutes were up. I looked and saw that the Chair had left the room! So I had to persuade the guy to allow others to speak and to stop trying to hog the microphone. After a while I got him to stop and another person was able to make a public comment.
That next person lamented the fact that the Pacifica National Board (PNB) had failed to seat the Directors that had been elected at a Delegates' Assembly on April 9. He also said that WBAI needed to get word out that it existed. He said that when he tried to tell people about WBAI they mostly said that they'd never heard of the radio station. He said that WBAI needed to expand its listenership and membership bases.
The next speaker was a former LSB member who'd been mistreated by the faction that used to be a majority. He said he was glad to see a new LSB and that he hoped that the log jam would now be broken. He spoke against “free trade” agreements and said that American jobs were being shipped to China. He said he'd be broadcasting interviews with people from Venezuela if he were still on the air, but now he was putting those interviews on his cable access program, and he ended by saying that he'd be watching us.
We then held the election for the Staff Director. The two candidates for this position spoke to why they should be the one elected.
Then we went back to public comment while those votes were tallied.
A member of the WBAI LSB's Finance Committee said that we needed more transparency in the station's finances. He noted that some states have begun to put all of the checks that they issue on the Web. He also said that a lot of people have never heard of WBAI.
And then a guy who always rails against Robert's Rules of Order, and who had seriously disrupted a LSB meeting in the past, did his usual number. He also said that he'd like to congratulate those who were elected but that the elections were screwed up.
The Delegates' Assembly adjourned at 8:55 PM.
The LSB meeting started immediately. Vajra Kilgour assumed that Chair of the LSB and started the meeting. The agenda was approved in nothing flat.
We then began to nominate people for the officers of the LSB. Nominees gave short speeches.
We voted to add an agenda item for setting the next meeting date.
After we finished voting for the LSB officers we went on to elect members to the PNB committees. This took quite a while because the PNB has a lot of committees! Each LSB in Pacifica elects two members to each committee.
While we voted we had more public comment.
One person said that he was hopeful because the new Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation, Nicole Sawaya, sounded first rate to him and she may make Pacifica better. He said that the new General Manager of WBAI was good and noted that he was still at the meeting at quarter after ten o'clock at night. He said that the majority of the new LSB had gone out of their way to be fair, and the faction operatives started to hurl cat calls at him. He said that stamina was important, and that dedication to the Pacifica mission was even more important. He said that he wanted intelligence brought to the LSB. He said he wanted an inclusive Pacifica, and it was time to change.
Monroe got up and blathered on, attacking a producer who had recently hung up on him on the air.
The faction sycophant got up and said something he thought would get me in some sort of trouble with the new General Manager.
Another public commenter said that we needed to get everyone listening to WBAI, not just a narrow demographic.
The viper tongued faction operative, who had not been re-elected to the LSB, did her usual nasty thing ending with the comment that she looks forward to a productive year despite the new majority.
We then got around to setting the date for the next LSB meeting. There was debate about how to handle this. Some members wanted us to establish a regular meeting date every month, others wanted to set a meeting date for the next meeting and then establish a regular meeting date for the rest of the year at that meeting. Others wanted the Chair to poll the LSB membership and have the four officers set a meeting date that would allow the most people to be at the meeting. Still others wanted to keep on setting meeting dates as we went along through the year.
There were a number of amendments and suggestions about how to do this. In the end we voted to meet next on Wednesday, May 21st, at 7:00 PM, the location is to be determined. I did manage to get my usual amendment passed that we would cancel the meeting if it couldn't achieve a quorum by 8:00 PM that night.
This meeting adjourned at 11:07 PM.
The Delegates' Assembly also elected Alex Steinberg Chair and R. Paul Martin Secretary.
The new officers of the LSB are:
Chair - Mitchel Cohen
Vice-Chair - Andrea Fishman
Secretary - Seth Goldberg
Treasurer - R. Paul Martin
The LSB also elected members to the following PNB committees:
The following committees are populated by volunteers, as opposed to having members voted onto them:
Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.
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