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Notes from presentation regarding LABS

WBAI Area Bylaws Revision Committee

Tuesday April 23, 2002

Andrew Norris


Page 1 (this page): Two extreme (?) views of the role of the Local Governing Board/LAB

Page 2 (next page): A list of LGB/LAB Functions and Responsibilities

Page 2 (final page): Excerpt from the Wonderwheel proposed bylaws dealing with LGB/LAB

Mid-Peninsula Committee to Free Pacifica Options for Local Governing Board:

(see http://snow.prohosting.com/wbailab/for the full document)

Two general options:

  • LGB Responsible for Long-term Strategic Planning of Station
  • LGB Responsible For Day-to-day Operations


Local Governing Board is responsible for determining the long-term strategies of the station, but not involved in day-to-day operations


  1. Provides vision and direction to the station management/staff
  2. Permits station management/staff to focus on day-to-day issues without having to determine the vision of the station.
  3. This governance model works well in other companies/ organizations.


  1. Lack of oversight of station management/staff could permit another situation such as has arisen in the past where management loses touch with the vision of the station.


Local Governing Board is involved in day-to-day operations of the station, does not become involved in long-term vision


  1. Oversight of station management/staff could avoid another situation such as has arisen in the past where management lose touch with the vision of the station.
  2. Board members provide a more impartial perspective on internal matters
  3. Improves transparency and response to the community.


  1. Local Governing Board members are not necessarily knowledgeable about day-to-day station operations.
  2. Requires a terrific time-commitment from the Board members to be done well.


LGB/LAB Functions and Responsibilities


  • Election of officers annual
  • Definition of role of officers (chair, vice chair, Sec, ??)
  • Formalization of meeting procedures and schedule (bi-monthly)
  • Schedules of events - Fund raising, meetings
  • Sub-committees: e.g.
    • Finance
    • Outreach
    • Assessment
    • Personnel
  • Arbitrate/monitor quality of programs with listeners (CPB role +)


Station issues:

    • Outreach to listeners : e.g. Organize listener informationals
    • Actively initiate and participate in fundraising for the station
    • Hire and evaluate the General Manager in consultation with staff and listener groups
    • Hire and evaluate the Program Director in consultation with staff and listener groups
    • Participate with staff and listeners in the smooth operation of the Program Council
    • Report to listeners, with and without station management
    • Fiscal oversight oversee budget planning, implementation, revision
    • Assist GM in preparing Reports for the PNB, particularly fiscal aspects
    • Conduct election process
    • Evaluate election process and outcome
    • Redesign and conduct second election

Interaction with PNB and Pacifica

  • Elect two (?) reps to the PNB
  • Monitor decision making and process of the PNB
  • Evaluate the station's achievement as related to the Pacifica original mission :
    • Meeting the programming needs of the community
    • Assess the needs of the community and make recommendations to program director - annually
  • Assist in the expansion of the listenership
  • Liaison between WBAI and other signal areas
  • Represent the station before the communities-world
  • Receive and consider public input into planning and decision-making in developping programming which meets the needs and interests of the community
  • Contribute expertise i.e. Law, accounting, organizing, ...


From the Wonderwheel proposed bylaws



SECTION 1: Each Pacifica station shall have a Station Governing Board whose members collectively shall also comprise the Executive Membership of the Foundation as provided in Article III.

SECTION 2: Each Station Governing Board shall have a bylaws adopted by the Listener-members of the station. The station bylaws may govern any activity of the station not in conflict with the Articles of Incorporation, these By-laws, or any Foundation policies adopted by the Board of Directors pursuant to these Bylaws.

SECTION 3; Each Station Governing Board shall have such elected or appointed committees as authorized by its station bylaws or by the Board of Directors pursuant to a mandate of Federal or State law.

SECTION 4: The number of members of a Station Governing Board shall be at least 10 and not greater than 24.

SECTION 5: The members of each station governing board shall be elected on staggered schedules of two, three, or four years as determined by the station's bylaws so that no more than one-half (1/2) and no less than one-fourth (1/4) of the Executive Members are elected to a station governing board at any one election, not counting the filling of vacancies.

SECTION 6: Elections for members of the Station Governing Boards shall be conducted so that at least three-fifths (3/5) of the seats open for regular election at any one time shall be elected by means of multiple candidate proportional representation voting using either 1) the "list or slate" system 2) the "preference or Single Transferable Vote" system or 3) a combination of the two voting systems, as provided by the station's bylaws. Any single candidate election (such as to fill a vacancy or when "mixed member" single district or constituency candidates voted in conjunction with a multiple candidate election) shall be conducted by the "instant runoff voting" preference method.

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