WBAI Pacifica bylaws revision subcommittee straw polls as presented to the iPNB
From: Larry Romsted
Date: Thu Sep 5, 2002 5:22 pm
Subject: Report of WBAI Bylaws Straw Polls on Bylaws Issues
To: Members of the Interim Pacifica National Board; Members of the Pacifica National Bylaws List; and members of other lists working to democratize Pacifica and Preserve its Mission
From: Larry Romsted, Member of the WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee
Re: Straw Pall Report on the Work of the WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee
Below and in the attachment in Word in a 4 page, two-column layout [ pdf version here ]is a report of all the straw polls taken at a number of WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee meetings since its inception. The dates on which the straw polls were held are indicated as well as a estimate of attendance and the specific questions discussed. The Subcommittee held a number of meetings at which straw polls were not taken and work of those meetings is not listed here. The minutes of most of those meetings, perhaps all, are at: www.wbai.net
I am submitting this report by myself, with deep regrets, as the formal and official summary of some of the work of the WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee. The report should have been submitted by our subcommittee chairs, Ray Laforest and Janice K. Bryant, because the WBAI bylaws subcommittee members voted at their August, 27 meeting that it should be submitted. Because Ray and Janice have not yet submitted the report, and Ray told my in a telephone conversation that he would submit it last night, and because it is one day before the deadline set at the last iPNB conference call meeting for the submission of any proposals or reports on bylaws, I am submitting the report myself.
This report demonstrates a number of points on which WBAI bylaws
subcommittee members are in agreement concerning a number of issues about
how new bylaws should be structured. I ask that you look at in particular:
The greatest points of disagreement on issues in the WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee meetings concerned the election procedures for electing people to PNB and station boards. Two basic models were presented at various times and some variants. They were discussed at several meetings and extensively on the WBAI bylaws subcommittee email list. No straw polls were every taken on election procedures.
Summary of Straw Polls Passed at WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee Meetings
August 24, 2002
Chairs: Janice K. Bryant and Ray Laforest
The Subcommittee holds open meetings that are announced on a WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee email list and periodically on air. A total of 18 Subcommittee meetings have been held to date (8/24/02), normally on Tuesday evenings in lower Manhattan, but also one Saturday meeting, and one each in New Jersey and Brooklyn. The members of the Subcommittee have discussed and debated, sometimes heatedly, a variety of issues concerning the creation of new bylaws for Pacifica including elections procedures and what powers should be held by the Pacifica National Board and the Station Boards in each Pacifica Signal Area.
Although the Subcommittee has no formal powers concerning final decisions about the new bylaws and election procedures, it discussions are advisory to the national Pacifica Bylaws Committee composed of the committee chairs of each subcommittee. A number of straw polls were taken at WBAI Bylaws Subcommittee meetings during April through August 2002, to assess the positions of committee members and to provide advice on the rewriting of the bylaws by assessing the collective views of the subcommittee members. Thus, the straw polls are recommendations of the Subcommittee. A number of subcommittee meetings have been held about other issues such as elections procedures, but no straw polls were taken.
Listed below are the dates of the meetings at which straw polls were conducted, the approximate number of people in attendance, the facilitator of the discussions and the results of each straw poll. The facilitators formulated the questions to be discussed. The structures of the questions and voting are sometimes different, but the main point of the question discussed and the vote of the members should be clear.
Straw Polls were held on the following issues:
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of April 23, 2002
Question: Who will vote in station board elections? (Note: a number of options were discussed, some quite similar. The number of votes for each option precedes the Option number. The vote totals exceed the number of people present because the voting structure allowed people to vote more than once.)
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of May 9, 2002
Straw polls on role of the local board, led by Donna Gould:
Question 1. Should the local board be responsible for hiring and firing station manager?
Question 2. Should the local board have responsibility of oversight of GM?
Question 3. Should local board be responsible for hiring, firing, and oversight of Program Director?
Question 5. Should the local board have the power to develop the station budget?
Question 6. Should the local board have the power to approve the station budget?
Question 7. Should the local board have the power to monitor/oversee station budget?
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of May 14, 2002
Straw polls on PNB, led by Donna Gould (Note: The structure for voting was different and on most questions except where indicated was simply yes, no, or abstain.)
Question 1. There should be no appointed seats on the PNB
Question 2. How should PNB members be chosen?
Straw polls on powers of listener-members, led by Larry Romsted
Question 1. Should there be a national listener bylaws convention in four years (or so)?
Question 2. Should Listener-members have the power to propose
b) National by-laws?
c) Articles of Incorporation?
Question 3. Should PNB decisions be transparent? (except for personnel and
Question 4. Should listener-members have to power to ratify changes in
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of May 21, 2002
Discussion and straw polls led by Steve Brown:
Question 1. Each local station board shall 'own' the last 5 minutes of each program.
Question 2. The National Board shall have the option of using 15 minutes of each day at each station.
Question 3. Salaries and job-duties of everyone in the Pacifica Foundation shall be publicly posted.
General meetings, led by Roger Manning:
This proposal, which has been widely distributed and revised, formalizes periodic town hall meetings in which any listener can participate. The intention is to insure, in writing, regular Pacifica listener/staff participation in the preservation and health of the foundation as well as to promote connectivity between Pacifica management, staff, station boards and listeners.
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of May 28, 2002
Question proposed and discussion led by Steve Brown:
Question. PNB will have to have its budget approved by the five stations.
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of July 23, 2002
Straw polls on national control of local programming led by Janice K. Bryant
Question 1. The PNB is responsible for insuring that programming at each station is in accord with the mission.
Question 2. PNB can mandate, after consultation with local area,s that stations devote a specified amount of time to programming about governance.
Question 3. PNB can mandate that stations devote a specified amount of time to programming about governance (no need for consultation with local areas).
WBAI Bylaws Subcmte Mtg of August 20, 2002
Comparison of the powers of local boards as described in the Robinson (A) and Spooner (B) bylaws proposals led by Donna Gould
Question. Should the powers of the local and national boards be as laid out
as the bylaws proposals know as:
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