The one hundred thirty fourth WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.
So the faction had scored a victory even before this meeting started. They had so harassed and bothered the Vice-Chair, Pat Logan, when she had been chairing the previous couple of meetings that Pat resigned as Vice-Chair before this meeting.
This means that I, as the last remaining officer of the LSB who was also a voting LSB member, had to chair the entire thing. Oh, what fun.
This meeting started 48 minutes late. The faction had an 8 to 5 majority at the start of this meeting. So they rearranged the agenda to their liking, which meant pushing anything that didn't come from a faction operative to a place way down on the agenda where it'd never be gotten to and plugging in extra items the faction operatives came up with. They also pushed the adjournment time back by a full hour to 10:30 PM.
After a while more independent members of the LSB showed up and the faction no longer had a majority.
So one of the earliest orders of business was some grandstanding by Cerene Roberts, who has been banned from WBAI's premises for various acts of physical violence. She presented a motion calling on the Pacifica Nation Board (PNB) to credit the rent money from the sub-carrier of WBAI's signal to WBAI. Well, this motion had been passed years ago, maybe in 2005, or 2006. But the faction wanted to have her grandstand on this, so it went on, and the motion, which became that we reminded the PNB of the motion passed years ago, got passed.
I couldn't speak to this motion because I was chairing the meeting, the Chair may not debate an ordinary motion, but I would have spoken against this, not only because it's something that had been passed years ago, but because this isn't a smart time to start dunning the rest of Pacifica about money that we figure should go to WBAI. Other stations' sub-carrier money goes right to Pacifica, and at this time WBAI is over $3.3 million in the red to the rest of Pacifica. Did we really want to tell Pacifica, which has had to liquidate holdings and take money from other stations in order to pay WBAI's bills, that we wanted that sub-carrier money too? Well, faction operatives may be trying to get Pacifica to take drastic measures against WBAI.
We then had a public comment segment of the meeting for a little over half an hour.
The General Manager gave his report, he said that we still owed the Empire State Building for October's rent, but once that's paid it is hoped that the station can get back to a “normal” relationship with the Empire State Building, as opposed to the relatively strict payment regime the station has had to adhere to since February.
The General Manager said that we might need to extend the current Fall 'thon [in the end it was extended by a week]. He talked about interim Program Director Andrew Phillips coming in to work at the station [Mr. Phillips resigned as interim Program Director on October 17].
The General Manager cited a lack of Staff, now that 75% of the Paid Staff have been laid off, as a reason why some things were not getting done.
The meeting then proceeded to an agenda item titled “Program Changes.” Pat Logan proposed a motion that many said they felt involved micro-management of the air, since a particular program was named. This motion was debated pretty quickly and was voted down.
After this the meeting arrived at the faction's big propaganda push of the night, their motion titled “Motion on WBAI Programming Changes.” The motion said that the LSB would strongly urge that the General Manager essentially roll back all program changes proposed by the interim Program Director and have quite a number of meetings with producers and listeners before program changes could be made. This in a context where WBAI is no longer able to raise enough money to survive because so few people listen because the programming is so unattractive. Yeah, it was another suicide motion from the faction. This got debated for a while and then it came down to a vote. The vote was 8 for and 7 against, however, the chair of the meeting gets to vote if his or her vote makes or breaks a tie, so I voted against the suicide motion, creating a tie vote of 8 for and 8 against, and the motion failed, I'm glad to say. The LSB would not strongly urge Management to have the station commit suicide.
The faction then tried to extend the meeting for even more fun, and an attempt at sitzkrieg, but those attempts failed and the meeting ended at 10:38 PM.
Although we never got to the Treasurer's Report I had posted a written Treasurer's Report before the meeting.
Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.
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