The one hundred thirty sixth WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.
This meeting was mostly about elections. Here's a written Treasurer's Report I had posted for the meeting.
So the meeting started a mere 22 minutes late. This meeting had a better attendance than usual, that was because we had elections. At the start of the meeting we had faction operatives claiming that we had to elect a Chair pro tem and a Secretary pro tem at the start of the meeting. Of course no such thing is necessary. The officers in place continue until they're replaced. And we'd done it this way for years. As it turned out this spurious claim was a de facto delaying tactic. The faction had someone coming late.
We got through getting the agenda set and then we got to the elections agenda item.
For Chair, Frank LeFever nominated Ken Laufer, and Sharonne Salaam nominated John Brinkley.
The two candidates gave short speeches. Brinkley talked about wanting to “suspend” the use of Robert's Rules of Order for the LSB meetings. Apparently he is unaware of Section XVI of the Pacifica bylaws that stipulated the use of Robert's Rules of Order for the LSB meetings.
So we handed out the ballots. We counted how many voting members of the LSB were present and prepared exactly that number of ballots. We called for two people to hand out, collect and count the ballots. These people are called “tellers.” The two people who volunteered to be the tellers for this election were Linda Perry-Barr and Nia Bediako.
They were handed the ballots and told to hand them out to each LSB member. Nia Bediako said they should do the handing out chore separately. I said they couldn't do that because the whole idea is that the tellers stay together and watch each other. Neither Nia Bediako nor Linda Perry-Barr thought that was a good idea and they each took some ballots and walked to opposite ends of the room. I was telling them that the tellers had to stay together, they decided to ignore what I said. And so they handed out the ballots each on her own, with neither one watching the other.
Pat Logan is a member of the WBAI LSB and she is blind. She needed help filling out the ballot. While handing out the ballots Nia Bediako filled out Pat Logan's ballot for her, which the rest of us didn't know about until later. Did Nia Bediako write down the name that Pat Logan said that she wanted to vote for, or did she write down the name of her fellow faction operative Brinkley? We'll never know. With no one there to watch her in the usual hubbub of getting the elections moving along Nia Bediako is the only eyewitness to what she did. And this had an effect on the election.
So people voted, and the ballots were all collected. We had public comment while the two tellers counted the ballots. While the ballots were being collected Ray Laforest walked in. The faction operatives immediately raised a cry that he be allowed to vote. The ballots should all have been counted by then, and perhaps they had been. There was a dispute over allowing someone to vote after the election was over. Nia Bediako was especially adamant that Laforest be allowed to vote. She'd counted the ballots and knew what one extra faction vote would do.
So after arguments Laforest was allowed to cast a ballot.
The count was announced by Bediako and Perry-Barr as a 10 to 10 tie.
As per the Pacifica bylaws there was a coin toss to break the tie and Brinkley won that. And so faction operative John Brinkley, by hook or by crook, became the Chair of the Seventh WBAI LSB.
Former Chair Mitchel Cohen had been lobbying the independent LSB members to vote for Brinkley. Cohen had been an independent, but he had started attacking independent members late in 2013, and had tried to align himself with the so-called Justice & Unity Campaign, aka the faction. Cohen had apparently gotten one of the independents to vote for Brinkley. Did a second independent vote for the faction operative too? Or did Nia Bediako get to cast a vote of her own in this election?
There was no contest for Vice Chair. The former Chair of the LSB, Robert Young, was nominated by Frank LeFever. Cerene Roberts nominated Sharonne Salaam, but Salaam declined. In the past the faction has made Brinkley their candidate for three out of the four offices on the LSB. I think that they just didn't have anybody there to run for this position because they had not counted on their perennial candidate winning the election for Chair.
The election for Secretary was contested. Frank LeFever nominated Andrea Fishman, who used to be on the LSB. Ray Laforest nominated Mitchel Cohen. Cohen had been Secretary for 2013. He sometimes produced draft minutes, but not always. The LSB had voted to approve some minutes in 2013, but Cohen never posted the approved and corrected minutes to the folders on the LSB's Web site where they should have been posted. And, as noted above, he had also alienated many of the independents with his irrational and selfish behavior.
So this election also saw Nia Bediako and Linda Perry-Barr volunteering to be the tellers. And again they both ignored demands that they do the teller job together, as they were supposed to. In this election someone other than Nia Bediako filled out Pat Logan's ballot for her. The result was that Andrea Fishman was elected Secretary by a vote of 11 to 9. So Cohen's supporter among the independents voted for him, but all of the other independents voted for Ms. Fishman. We can only speculate as to whether or not this would have been the vote count in the Chair election had the tellers not behaved so irregularly.
Next we had the election for Treasurer. I was the incumbent Treasurer. Steve Brown nominated me, and Bob Lederer nominated William Heerwagen. We each gave a short speech.
The people who volunteered to be the tellers for this election were Marsha Vanderheyden and James Sagurton. Vanderheyden made a speech endorsing Heerwagen for Treasurer, she's been making up stories about things that never happened for months, and she and I are not pals.
In this case the two tellers did stay together and handed out and collected the ballots together.
This election saw all of the independents voting together, and I was reelected Treasurer by a vote of 12 to 8.
Here are the LSB Officers elected for 2014
The newly elected Chair, John Brinkley, has said in the past that he didn't understand Robert's Rules of Order. At his first meeting as Chair he showed that he really doesn't understand a meeting run by rules, or how to be fair. At this meeting he was questioning people's motivations for what they'd said. This is strictly forbidden for anyone, and especially the Chair of the meeting.
After these elections we had a motion from the faction to only recess the LSB meeting and to reconvene it after the Delegates' Assembly, which was to happen next. Some people wanted a Management evaluation motion to be passed at that meeting. They also were seeking to make the LSB meeting last much longer. Eventually a motion was passed to get to the other items at the next meting and get on to the Delegates' Assembly.
The LSB meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM (ET) and we went to a Delegates' Assembly to elect Directors to the Pacifica National Board, where the real power lies in Pacifica.
The Delegates' Assembly began at 9:06 PM (ET).
At WBAI we have for years separated the Delegates' Assembly and the LSB meetings. This is how it should be done, although apparently some Pacifica LSB's don't pay attention to the legal differences between the two bodies.
Once again the faction had proposed Chair and Secretary pro tem elections. This got amended to be simply election of the Chair and the Secretary. We also struck consideration of the minutes of the last meeting, from a year ago, from the agenda because there had not been enough time to go over them, it was getting late, and we all knew that we'd be back at a Delegates' Assembly in the near future to deal with some proposed bylaws amendments.
So the first thing we really did was to have the election of the Chair of the Delegates' Assembly for 2014.
Frank LeFever nominated me, and Sharonne Salaam nominated Bob Lederer.
In this election I was elected Chair by a vote of 11 to 9.
I took the Chair and we went to the next item.
Manijeh Saba nominated Andrea Fishman for Secretary of the Delegates' Assembly. There were others nominated but they all declined. As a result Ms. Fishman was the only candidate and she thus won the election.
The nomination process for Directors is different from the nomination process for the LSB officers. Basically everyone who's a delegate was nominated before December 31, of the previous year. And we did the usual thing of asking who really wanted to run. The four candidates for the three listener Director positions were: Carolyn Birden, Cerene Roberts, Manijeh Saba and Sharonne Salaam.
They each gave speeches and there was disagreement between the independent nominees and the faction operatives.
The results of this STV election are below.
Next we got to the Staff Director position. This was between Bob Lederer and Janet Coleman. There were more opposing speeches. Janet Coleman won that election by a vote of 12 to 8.
These are the WBAI Directors elected for 2014
The Delegates' Assembly adjourned at 10:02 PM (ET). The LSB Chair tried to claim that the LSB meeting was starting again, but the time for adjourning that meeting had passed and no one really took that ploy seriously.
Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.
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