WBAI LSB Meeting — October 11, 2006
The fifty second WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Wednesday, October 11, 2006, at 6:30 PM at at the Brooklyn Neighborhood Office of the Legal Aid Society, 111 Livingston St., 7th Floor, Brooklyn. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.
When the LSB had attempted to meet as delegates and then as the LSB at its regularly scheduled meeting on September 13, 2006, we failed to achieve a quorum. We had been scheduled to vote on an amendment to the Pacifica Foundation bylaws that night, but since there was no quorum that didn't happen. That bylaws amendment failed. Which was a good thing.
So On September 13th, we'd convened a meeting and had adjourned it to either October 10, or October 11. So this was what's called an adjourned meeting.
This meeting started an hour and seventeen minutes late and just barely made quorum.
This meeting started off with an attempt to pass off a doctored agenda on everyone. The faction had left off the various motions attacking iGM Indra Hardat. These motions had been used by the faction as leverage to try to coerce the iGM into giving faction leader Bob Lederer a patronage job at the radio station, even as Paid Staff with seniority on him remained layed off and while some with a lot of seniority on him still had their hours cut as a result of the faction's having screwed up WBAI's finances. Ironically, these layoffs and cutbacks had occurred because of the inflated budget of FY05, for which Bob Lederer had not just voted but which he'd supported as a replacement for the budget that was passed by the WBAI LSB in 2004.
So I made a point of order about the fact that the agenda had been doctored and the faction operatives could not deny that they'd left all of that stuff attacking the iGM out of the agenda. In the end they had to make motions to remove their items that variously lied about some non- existent agreement regarding the WBAI Web site and tried to castigate the iGM for having layed off Bob Lederer from some job that was no longer needed. I noted that if any of these motions had been valid in the first place then they should indeed still be valid and should remain on the agenda, but if the motions had just made months earlier to pressure WBAI Management into giving Bob Lederer that patronage job then they should take them off. Some of the faction operatives actually argued in favor of their motions and then moved and voted to remove them from the agenda!
The reason why the faction wanted to erase any trace of their attempts at coercing WBAI Management into the anti-Union move of handing a patronage job to the faction leader was because the Pacifica election season had started and none of them wanted anyone to be able to point to the underhanded stuff they'd been trying to pull.
After the excused absences a member asked if Tiokisin Ghosthorse had asked to be excused. The Chair said that she didn't know. The member then asked when was the last meeting at which Ghosthorse had asked to be excused. One of the faction operatives then claimed that she'd been asked by Ghosthorse to excuse him for that meeting. One always has to wonder with this lot.
We then went on to the approval of the minutes of January 11, 2006. As usual I'd found a lot of errors in the minutes. All of my corrections were accepted.
When it came time to set the date for the next meeting the Chair said we should do it November 29th. And after that she asked who could make it. So much with consulting with everyone. We voted to make the next meeting November 29th.
During public comment one guy got up to apologize to those who'd signed his petition to be a candidate in the elections. He said that if he'd been elected he would have worked for unity among LSB members. This same guy had spent an entire meeting a couple of years earlier yelling and howling and generally disrupting the meeting. Yeah, this guy's going to bring unity, all right. He then said that we should scrap the rules or order. I suppose that his idea would be to replace decisions based on voting on motions with a protocol of whoever could shout the loudest the longest would win every time.
The next item on the agenda was from the Membership, Outreach & Fundraising Committee. They brought a motion for a Town Hall meeting on November 4, 2006. But this Town Hall meeting never happened.
The next item on the agenda was a motion to allow only 20 minutes for setting the agenda at all LSB and committee meetings. This would allow the faction to prevent others from getting much input into the agenda at all. But this was an attempt to make what's called a Special Rule. And that required previous notice and a two thirds affirmative vote.
I noted that the faction operative bringing this motion had not given notice at the previous meeting but had done so months earlier and so the previous notice had lapsed. The Chair insisted that this was not so. After it was proven that such notice had not been given at the previous meeting the Chair attempted to redefine what previous meeting meant. Eventually the Secretary was able to confirm that the previous notice had only been given at the meeting of July 11th, 2006. Even the Chair was unable to fabricate a lie to bridge that large a gap. So after we'd spent about twenty minutes on this the faction operative gave previous notice again.
During the public comment session Andrea Fishman noted that the ad hoc Waivers Committee had yet to give a report. She said that she'd been told that there were irregularities with that committee, which was created to give waivers to people who did not otherwise qualify as members of the Pacifica Foundation. Such waivers would be used to allow those folks to vote in the upcoming election. Apparently the faction had even interfered with the making of carts to announce that waivers were available.
We got a report on the September PNB meeting. There had been provisional approval of the WBAI and KPFK budgets, and Pacifica was talking about some sort of policy on e-mails by Staff and LSB members. Pacifica has topped the 100 affiliates mark. The annual fee Pacifica pays for Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) had been increased by $100,000, Pacifica is looking into merging FSRN into Pacifica over the next year.
We then voted Cheryl Ife Griffin back onto the PNB Audit Committee. She'd lost her membership on that committee due to non-attendance.
In the Finance Committee report we discussed the fact that the Pacifica CFO Lonnie Hicks had pulled the rug out from under the budget that we'd passed on September 7th. So the LSB is to come back with a new budget proposal by November 30th, 2006, and meanwhile the National Office will be monitoring WBAI's spending. Then we passed a couple of motions requesting information about some fund raising stuff and about WBAI's payments to the National Office for Central Services for the past year.
The General Manager Search Sub-committee (GMSS) next reported, although the Chair of the committee wasn't present. The committee reported that it had completed its review of the candidates for the new iGM. They received 20 applications, had interviewed 7 of those candidates and had selected none. It was announced that the GMSS was resuming its search of a permanent General Manager for WBAI.
Of course the faction just didn't want anyone to be iGM at this point. UPDATE: as it turns out a candidate that the GMSS claimed had dropped out of the running had not done so. This person was Robert Scott Adams who had actually been hired as WBAI iGM a couple of weeks before this LSB meeting.
Next we voted to have the LSB's Programming Committee meet on October 24th, 2006. As it turned out this meeting did not happen because it failed to achieve a quorum.
This meeting adjourned at 9:50 PM.
Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.
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