WBAI LSB Meeting — January 9, 2007

The fifty fifth WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) meeting was held on Tuesday, January 9, 2007, at 7:00 PM at Local 1199's Bread and Roses Art Gallery, 310 W. 43rd St. in Manhattan. This is not an official Web page of the LSB.

This meeting started 15 minutes late. There had been a quorum about ten minutes before that but the Chair didn't start the meeting then.

There were actually two meetings scheduled to be held this night.

This Delegates' meeting was for the bylaws mandated purpose of electing Directors who will sit on the Pacifica National Board (PNB) representing WBAI.

The Chair began by explaining this to everyone. One non-faction LSB member who'd been manhandled at the previous meeting asked that the people who'd counted the ballots at the last meeting not do so at this meeting. A certain viper tongued faction operative then said, “point of order” and told the Chair to tell the non-faction member not to speak. The Chair dutifully did so. There was then a short exchange about the misuse of points of order and the Chair's obvious bias.

Eventually Michael G. Haskins, Chief Announcer at WBAI volunteered to count the ballots if the chore didn't keep him there later than he could stay.

The Chair told Monroe Litman, known for constantly calling in to live radio programs, that he couldn't be one of the counters. Another LSB member asked why not. In the end there were 4 counters chosen.

The Chair had to be reminded that, as per the bylaws, the nominations had already been submitted in writing for the Director seats. The Chair then asked the Secretary to read the list of nominees.

The Secretary said that she didn't have the list.

I had the list of nominees whom I'd nominated and I read them out. A faction operative read the names of some other faction operatives.

I raised an objection to the nomination of Ray Laforest. The bylaws have term limits of five one year terms in a row on the PNB. Mr. Laforest had already served five years on the PNB. Well, the faction didn't want to hear that!

The Chair said that it was perfectly fine for Laforest to be on the PNB again because the bylaws were adopted in late 2003, and they reset everything. I moved to appeal the ruling of the Chair and of course the faction used its majority to uphold the Chair's ruling by a vote of 11 to 8.

At some point someone is going to have to bring this up to the California Attorney General.

The Chair asked if any of the nominees wanted to drop out and faction operatives Lawrence Lucas and Omowale Clay did.

The candidates got to give speeches, some declined. Lisa V. Davis said that she should be on the PNB because she'd worked to establish the PNB's racism and sexism committee, that some have compared to the old House Un-American Activities Committee.

Patty Heffley spoke about how she'd been on the PNB for 2 years and that Pacifica is a network. At this point Lisa V. Davis interrupted her and the Chair just let that happen with no chastisement. After the interruption Heffley continued that she was proud to have done the inspections of WBAI and other stations' finances during her tenure.

Actually, it would be very interesting to find out what Ms. Heffley's inspections turned up. She reported to the PNB but that was in executive session and the PNB has not chosen to reveal anything reported at those sessions. I wonder how much wrongdoing is being kept under seal of the PNB's executive sessions?

Ray Laforest talked about how the PNB's work was extremely important. He didn't give a good explanation for why he couldn't' get it together to get the committee he was Chair of to function. He then inveighed against the orderly running of things by saying that some people might be good at running gas chambers or holding slaves but that wouldn't do for him. Huh?

Berthold Reimers reminded folks that he had been the Chair of the First WBAI LSB and that he'd done lots of work then. He pointed out that he had been instrumental in putting together surveys for the Programming Committee, and that he was in favor of transparency in Pacifica. He said that his observation was that nothing was done on a professional level in Pacifica governance, and that minutes were lacking. He noted that he has a financial background and that he can work with people.

It should be noted that when the faction currently in charge had gained a majority on the LSB in December 2004, they had scrapped the Programming Committee's survey and that committee has never been able to put another one together since.

I then asked the Chair if she would read out the ballots after they'd been counted. She said yes.

The viper tongued faction operative then said that she didn't want the ballots read out. The Chair agreed with her. It was pointed out that the ballots are a matter of record after the election and that they can be looked at by anyone after the elections are over.

I made a motion that, “After the ballots are tallied the Chair will read the ballots into the record.” The idea being that the faction couldn't then substitute ballots afterward to change the election results if the California Attorney General should rule that Ray Laforest was ineligible to be on the PNB in 2007.

One faction operative wanted this motion ruled out of order because it violated the idea of secret ballots. This is a particularly dim position to take. Reading out the ballots after they've been tallied only says how the voting went, it doesn't say who voted how.

The Chair wouldn't rule my motion out of order. Debate centered around faction operatives arguing that it would somehow violate the secrecy of the ballot to read them aloud and others of us saying that it did not violate the secrecy of the ballot since the ballots would have already been tallied and that transparency would be served.

My motion failed by a vote of 9 for and 11 against.

Next we had the election for the Staff Director from WBAI. Cerene Roberts announced that she was withdrawing from that race.

Bob Lederer said that he'd done a good job on the PNB for the previous 2 years and that he was committed. He said he would continue to do his work and hinted at vague threats to the Pacifica stations from certain quarters.

There then followed a point of order regarding a detail of the “single transferrable voting” method that's mandated by the bylaws for this sort of election. It was brought up that the software that's being used has a known flaw in the way that it rounds off numbers. I pointed out that software can malfunction.

The Chair ruled that the way it was being done was all right, that ruling was appealed and the faction of course voted to uphold the Chair. During debate on this the Chair actually interrupted me as I debated the motion, a habit she's developed lately, the Chair isn't supposed to do that sort of thing. The Chair got all confused later in the debate on the appeal of her ruling, and debate shifted into a proposal that the LSB get someone on the phone to tell a faction operative the details of how the software rounds off numbers after which that faction operative would relay the information to the rest of us. That motion failed. A motion to have that person send the LSB an opinion on this issue in writing in one week also failed.

And after all of this I finally got to give my speech as a candidate for Staff Director. Here are the notes I used for my speech.

Shawn Rhodes also ran for this position and he said that he could work with people and separate personality from principle.

After this Ray Laforest started to say nasty things to me, maybe because I'd uncovered the fact earlier that he was not eligible to run for the PNB again. The Chair just let him go on being out of order with his personal attacks. That's the way the faction currently in charge works.

One person wanted to adjourn the Delegates' meeting at this point, but it was pointed out that we had to have half an hour of public comment because the Delegates' meeting is separate from the LSB meeting and each needs half an hour of public comment.

It was 8:37 PM. This was supposed to have been a half hour Delegates' meeting and the LSB meeting had been scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM. The interim General Manager left at this time.

During the public comment session one person noted that an admission price was given over the air, which is a violation of the law. One faction operative gave a speech just saying negative things about a non-faction member of the LSB. It really sounded actionable to me. Lisa V. Davis then started going on, but LSB members are not allowed to speak during public comment sessions. This got the meeting disrupted for a little while as arguments broke out. There was some more public comment after this.

The results of all of the elections were that the following were elected as Directors of the Pacifica Foundation for 2007:

Ray Laforest

Berthold Reimers

Lisa V. Davis

Bob Lederer

And as public comment continued the Chair started yelling at one person who was video taping the meeting. She said that he couldn't go in back of the tables the LSB sat at. He was in back of the non-faction members.

The Chair hadn't said anything when one bullying faction operative had swept his arm within inches of some of our faces, in the past she has allowed faction operatives with video cameras to set them up not only in back of the tables but directly in back of some of us who are not in her faction so that anything said between us was recorded, but this time she started going after the videographer. Of course he's not with her faction. Eventually she had a security guard come in and make him move to another position in the room. Meanwhile the guy who'd been sweeping his arm within inches of our faces started taking flash photographs and the Chair didn't tell him to stop.

Gosh, another use of the Local 1199 security guards by the Chair who's bragged about not having security guards at the meetings.

That faction sycophant who denounces me, and some other non-faction Staff, went into a tirade and ended up getting fatigued and having to sit down. He's elderly and really should know better than to behave the way he does in public.

Another non-faction videographer disagreed with other videographer about his rights to tape and then lambasted the LSB for starting meetings chronically late and delaying things. He called it all comical and irrational.

The Delegates' meeting ended at 9:14 PM.

The LSB meeting started immediately, which is to say that it started one hour and 44 minutes later than it had been scheduled to start.

It began with a motion to amend the agenda which had already ben set, since this was a continuation of the December 27th, meeting. Lisa V. Davis wanted to bring a motion supporting the PNB resolution on police brutality that had already been passed by the PNB. This was a totally unnecessary waste of time and nothing but grandstanding by Ms. Davis. The agenda was amended to put this first.

The motion itself needed corrections to typos, etc. There was an attempt to add “Latino, Arabic, Asian and other working class communities of color,” to the list of those for whom we were demanding an end to police brutality. The faction voted that down. Eventually the motion was passed.

I pointed out that it was 9:55 PM and the meeting had been scheduled to end at 9:45 PM. Yes, the entire LSB meeting had been spent on this redundant motion.

There was then a mad rush to adjourn and make the next meeting a continuation of this one. There was wrangling over the date, and nastiness from that viper tongued faction operative, and it was pointed out that the LSB meeting had failed to have its mandated 30 minutes of public comment. Even the Chair had to agree on that.

So this meeting was adjourned to be continued on February 7, 2007.

The meeting ended at 10:05 PM.

There are two videos of the public comment session of this meeting.

This video has the better sound but is only 19 minutes long.

This video is 35 minutes long but the sound is bad on it.

Here's the page showing the attendance at the LSB meetings.

Back to the New Pacifica page.

To my home page.