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One approach to the issue of local power verses national power at Pacifica

From: Carol Spooner
Date: Fri Sep 13, 2002 10:02 pm
Subject: Re: Central vs. Local power

The revised Draft B as closely duplicates the original 90-member board as is legally possible, given that the local boards are not made up entirely of directors, and given that the national board of directors must maintain ultimate control over all of Pacifica. (If there were any potential for the 90-member board to gather enough votes, I would have preferred it. But the votes aren't there ... either on the national or local boards. So, some other alternative that distributes power & authority between national and local was needed. I don't think Fertig's proposal does it.)

The intent is to permit the national board to delegate a lot of power to the local boards, while retaining "override" power ... and to require the national committees to include local board members.

The duties of the local boards are quite extensive ... and no hiring/firing decision concerning station manager or program director can be made AGAINST the recommendation of the local board unless it is specifically authorized by the national board.

This creates a dynamic tension between local and national that should encourage dialogue and working together ... should encourage local boards to act responsibly with good reasons for what they do, should encourage the national board to support the local boards, since all national board members (except up to 3 potential at large nominated by affiliates or local boards) can be recalled by majority vote of their local board.

I don't think there is any way to get complete local autonomy except to break up the Pacifica network ... that would bring the FCC into the mix to approve transfer of control of the licenses ... and, quite frankly, I think that would be a very bad idea. We need to create a strong national network, supported from below, that can rise to the demands of our times ... expand our affiliate system and be a strong national voice for peace and dissent.


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