The one hundred forty seventh WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, at the ARC Central Harlem Senior Center, 120 West 140th St, New York, NY 10030, between Lenox Ave. and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. in Manhattan. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.
The meeting started 26 minutes late.
I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.
This was one of those combined LSB and Delegates Assembly meetings. We're required by the bylaws to elect Directors on a yearly basis, in January if possible.
At the start of this meeting it was announced that Manijeh Saba had resigned from the LSB. She was replaced by Murray Gordon, who was the next runner up in the 2012, elections.
There was a lot of discussion around setting the agenda of this meeting. The faction wanted to have the meeting go very late. They like the meetings to extend past 10:00 PM because they can then wage sitz krieg, where they stay while others just leave owing to the meeting going so late. I argued that we'd set the Delegates Assembly for 9:15 PM and had to start then. It took a number of votes to get the agenda to say something like that. The faction operatives had even tried to make the LSB resume meeting after the Delegates Assembly, pretty much guaranteeing that most people would have left the building before the resumed LSB meeting had ended. The faction's pulled this kind of trick before, they'd just done it illegally then.
The faction came with a motion to hold two Town Hall meetings in 2015, and they had a schedule that pretty much guaranteed that the second one would have a very low attendance. I amended that to have the meetings spaced out more. The motion really should have been tabled because the LSB didn't have the time to consider it, but the motion to table failed. The motion provided for a working group to set up these Town Hall meetings; LSB members were supposed to volunteer to be on it. Well, the faction had had time to mull over the details of this working group, and the rest of us had not. The result was that two faction operatives will now set up the Town Hall meetings. We'll see how that works out.
WBAI General Manager Berthold Reimers, abuser of Uncle Sidney Smith, gave a report. Wow, did he present a rosy report. It is interesting that he has been avoiding meeting with the WBAI local Finance Committee for a couple of months now, despite repeated requests that he say when he could make a meeting and bring us any financial statements, and yet he brought a whole lot of printed material, including spreadsheets, to this meeting. Some of it he said was not complete, which kind of makes it a lot less valuable as a financial document that can tell you what the real situation is at WBAI.
The General Manager raged against the National Finance Committee (NFC), but he also had not answered a number of questions last week from the NFC regarding WBAI's finances. Meanwhile his claims regarding WBAI's finances are at odds with what the NFC has been getting told.
Well, questions were solicited at the end of the General Manager's Report, but the Chair avoided calling on me, the Treasurer, and we had a number of softball, uninformed questions from people who had either only had a fast glimpse of the General Manager's hand outs or who had not seen them at all.
It might have been a nice, easy meeting for the General Manager, but it was no substitute for meeting with the local Finance Committee on a regular basis and giving us financial documents that we can look at for more than a few minutes in an attempt to see what WBAI's current financial position looks like.
We had complaints from faction operatives about how there was not enough time on the agenda for public comment, despite the public having commented on the General Manager's Report already. Faction operatives tried to extend the LSB meeting some more. If they could extend it enough they might sitz krieg some non-faction members out of the meeting before the voting for the Directors happened. That'd be a real coup for the faction. But they were stopped from extending. All of their attempts at extending the meeting, ostensibly for the purpose of providing time for public comment, actually lessened the amount of time we then had for public comment!
The answer to the problem was obvious, we could split the public comment between the LSB meeting and the Directors Assembly. D'uh! So when we started the Delegates Assembly late, because one of the people speaking during public comment went on and on, I suggested just adding more public comment to that meeting. That idea got accepted.
I Chair the Delegates Assembly. We had an election for that office right away.
We were able to get two people from the audience to act as “tellers,” the term for the people who hand out, collect and tabulate the ballots. It took a while to coax anyone to do it.
So I counted out 20 ballots, which was how many voting members of the LSB were present. We gave them to the two tellers, who also counted out 20 ballots. They distributed them and then ran out of ballots! They were one ballot short. We didn't have an extra ballots hanging around. Nobody copped to having two ballots.
I had the tellers collect the ballots carefully and make sure that they got only one from each member. In the end they'd collected 19 ballots. So we issued the remaining person her ballot, this was a non-faction member, and she voted. And that's how I got reelected Chair of the august WBAI Delegates Assembly.
Nobody wanted to be Secretary. Eventually Shawn Rhodes, an independent LSB member, was nominated to be Secretary of the Delegates Assembly, by a faction operative, and he agreed to do it; nobody else would so that was a fast election.
We then had the elections for the Directors.
The Listener Directors election can be a difficult one because it's run by STV, and there were four candidates for three positions. At times in the past we've had even more people running for those three Listener Director seats.
Oh, we scrutinized the ballots this time, all right. And they got distributed to everyone who was eligible, and an extra teller came over to help deal with the STV calculations. And in a pretty short time we had a clear result! I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Listener Director elections had come off so rapidly and without problems.
We then held the election for Staff Director and that was a simple election for a single seat and it went off easily.
These are the WBAI Directors elected for 2015
And after that it was time to adjourn, thank everybody, clean up all of our paper that was around the room and go home.
Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.
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