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One overview of the 2 Pacifica bylaws drafts

From: Robert Johnson
Date: Thu Aug 1, 2002 8:59 pm
Subject: FWD: [Alliance] Spooner and Robinson --- a one-page synopsis



Sun, 28 Jul 2002 02:07:29 -0700
Author: Allan Beek
Subject: Spooner and Robinson --- a one-page synopsis

These two proposals give opposite answers to four of the big questions:
(1) Local power (Spooner) vs centralized power (Robinson).
(2) Diversity requirement (Spooner) vs NO requirement (Robinson).
(3) Seats for staff (Spooner) vs NO seats for staff (Robinson).
(4) NO co-opting (Spooner) vs national board can co-opt 50% additional members (Robinson).

Otherwise they are so similar in wording that I suspect that Robinson (7 pages) is just a cut-and-paste amendment of Spooner (16 pages).

* Neither requires creation of a local Program Council.
* Both make all members legal members (which gives them standing to sue Pacifica).
* They start with nearly identical long paragraphs on Collaboration, which feel warm but say nothing.
* Both allow the board to kick out a director arbitrarily.
* Neither requires that agendas be put on the web before meetings.
* Neither requires that minutes be put on the web after meetings.
* Both let the board act WITHOUT A MEETING if all directors agree in writing afterward.
* Both have 3-year terms, 1/3 being elected every year. (Robinson is not clear about this.)
* But both have national officers serve TWO-year terms.

Spooner is more detailed, so the following summary is of Spooner.

* Local board has control. It hires and fires the station manager. (Purely advisory in Robinson.)
* Each board shall be at least half female and at least half minority.
* The bylaws give no powers to the national Executive Director, BUT they set no limit on the powers the board can give him in Guidelines and Operating Procedures of the Board.
* The national board is the collection of all 90 members of the 18-member local boards.
* Four members are elected by "listener-sponsors" every year at each station, two elected by staff.
* Each local board elects its own chairman annually.
* Each local board elects 3 members of the "National Committee" annually. One shall be the chairman of the local board. One shall be staff. Two shall be listener-sponsors. They can be replaced at any time.

* The National Committee handles affiliates, archives, budgeting, licenses, Guidelines and Procedures.
* The National Committee can make rules binding on stations unless vetoed by 3 of the 5 local boards.

Amusing minor matters:

* A director is removed for three consecutive absences, excused or not.
* A local board can choose to use Single Transferable Vote, but not Acceptance Voting.
* Carol's cover letter says "staff" means union members, but the bylaws don't say this.
* The diversity rules are contradictory. They MEAN to say that for listener-sponsor seats,
-- Every candidate is crossed off the list who got less than half as many votes as the 4th from the top.
-- The two female candidates who got the most votes shall be seated.
-- The two minority candidates who got the most votes shall be seated.
-- Remaining seats shall be filled by the remaining candidates with the most votes.
-- For staff seats, use the same rules but replace "two" with "one" and 4th with 2nd.


-- Not guarded against legal sabotage: Phony "subscribers" have standing to sue and tie us up.
-- Poorly guarded against capture from below: A flood of phony "subscribers" can dominate elections.
-- Guarded against loss of mission to preaching or popular music: National rules, 1/3 of seats to staff.
-- Guarded against capture from above: No central board, "National Committee" members removed at will. But power of the Executive Officer via Guidelines and Operating Procedures should be limited.

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