WBAI Delegates' Assembly — January 11, 2012

A Delegates' Assembly was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, at 392 Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. It had been supposed to meet at “The Commons” 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Hoyt & Bond Sts. in Brooklyn. This is not an official Web page of the LSB or of the Delegates.

So we had to have WBAI's annual Delegates' Assembly to elect Directors to the Pacifica National Board, the body that's legally in charge of the governance of the Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI and the other four Pacifica stations. That Delegates' Assembly was supposed to have started at 6:30 PM. The LSB meeting was supposed to have started immediately after the Delegates' Assembly had concluded its work. The official announcement of the LSB and Delegates' Assembly Chairs had said that the LSB meeting would be, “... to review, discuss and vote on the report from the LSB's Management Search Committee concerning selection of a pool of candidates for the position of Program Director at WBAI.”

Pickles of the North and I arrived at 388 Atlantic Avenue right at 6:30 PM, the official starting time. The front gate of the building was down. We saw only the faction boss and one of his underlings sitting on a bench in front of the place. So we went upstairs and found the doors locked until we got to the top floor of the building where we found LSB Chair Mitchel Cohen who told us that the person in charge of the building had had a family emergency and had to fly to Florida that day. He told us that his keys to the meeting space were not working.

So we all went back downstairs and Pickles and I stood in front of the building while the Chair said he was going off to look for a meeting place in a diner or something else nearby.

More and more people arrived. It was not looking good for us to have any meeting that night. I solicited other tenants in the building asking if they had keys to the ground floor meeting space. None could help.

Eventually the LSB Chair came back and said that a nearby restaurant would let us use their rear room for $20 per person. A nearby church had told him that we couldn't use their space because they were leaving as soon as their prayer service was over.

Meanwhile Carolyn Birden had gone into a place a couple of doors down from the meeting place we were supposed to have met at and asked if we could meet there. The guy in charge said that they were about to close up and he had to go meet his fiance in Manhattan but that he would let us meet there until 8:00 PM.

So we met at the Mathnasium at 392 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. But it was way past the 6:30 PM start time for the Delegates' Assembly. It was obvious that we were not going to be able to get the executive session LSB meeting in that night.

The Delegates' Assembly started at 7:17 PM, a full 47 minutes late. Faction operatives set about trying to delay the meeting by attempting to add all sorts of stuff to the agenda in front of the scheduled voting for Directors. One comical bit of parliamentary maneuvering occurred after an amendment I'd made to have another item occur after the elections of the Directors had failed. The faction was fighting to put that item early in the meeting and so delay our getting to the real purpose of the meeting. After their entire effort to put that extra item on the agenda failed, because we really would have had no time left to do the primary business of the meeting, the always crafty faction leader Bob Lederer made a motion to put their item after the elections of the Directors. Well, if they'd been all right with placing the item after the elections then they should have voted for that in the first place when I'd put it on the floor. That little trick got ruled out of order because you can't bring up what's just been voted on again, not like that anyway.

Jamie Ross agreed to be Secretary pro tem of the Delegates' Assembly, no one else volunteered to do it.

When we finally got around to the election of the Directors it was 7:31 PM.

The Pacifica bylaws require the election of three listener Directors and one Staff Director from these annual meetings. The bylaws are a little bit tricky in that they require that Delegates be nominated before the meeting. In fact they require that, “Said nominations shall be given in writing to the Re-cording Secretary for the radio station Local Station Board (‘LSB’) by December 31 prior to the election of Directors in January.”

In the interest of not having such an important meeting break down into intractable arguments over gotchas in the bylaws that people have forgotten about I nominate everyone who's a Delegate in time. So at this meeting we had have the Chair of the Delegates' Assembly, Alex Steinberg, go down the list of Delegates and ask who wants to run. That took time. And at some point I was handed a cell phone and had to provide directions for WBAI General Manager Berthold Reimers who was lost in downtown Brooklyn.

And so we ran two separate elections, one for the three listener Directors and one for the single Staff Director. The one for Staff Director was pretty easy. We had two people running and so whoever got a majority of the votes won. The listener elections were more complicated because the the faction put up a number of candidates, only one of whom would actually have a chance to win, and these elections require use of the “Single Transferrable Voting” method.

The listener election was short one ballot. That was found after a while in the hat that the ballots had been collected in. That could have developed into something awkward since the hat belonged to a faction operative who had helped collect the ballots. And for both elections faction operatives had to come up and crowd the people counting the ballots, even though the outcomes were predictable.

These are the WBAI Directors elected for 2012

It should be noted that these are the same Directors we'd elected at the last election.

We then asked for public comment. There were very few members of the public there and no one wanted to make comments.

We then passed a motion about how those calling the Delegates' Assemblies would try to call them for the more usual 7:00 PM time. Lots of posturing and hot air over that motion. And we finally adjourned the meeting at 7:58 PM!

The LSB will have to meet in executive session about the recommendations of the Management Search Committee some time in the future.

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