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WBAI bylaws revision subcommittee meeting notes

From: jross252
Date: Wed Aug 14, 2002 11:07 pm
Subject: notes of 8/13/02 BRC meeting

Hi all,

Here are my notes of last night's meeting (short version). They may not be complete--I had not planned on reporting, but was asked to at the end. Please feel free to fix any problems.


WBAI Bylaws Revisions Subcommmittee Notes


Chair: Ray Laforest
1. Governance Radio Programming
2. Spooner draft

1. Matthew Finch presentation on governance programming and related discussion

There will be programs on Friday 8/16, 8-9 a.m (Finch as moderator), Sunday 8/18 11-12 noon (Janet Coleman, David Dozier, moderators), Monday 8/19 8-9 p.m. (no moderator slated yet), one 3-5 pm slot in the week of 8/26, and one 3-5 pm slot in the week of 9/2 (no moderators slated for these yet). After this point it will become more difficult to get the two hours per week, because producers will be back from vacation. Perhaps there will need to be pre-emptions.

It will be hard to get lots of phone calls in the one-hour programs. Matthew (or someone else?) is making a cart for these shows that can be used repeatedly by changing the date. Until the cart is made, there will be a text version that can be read on air.

We discuss the role of a by-laws committee-based group to work on these shows. Ray proposes a committee of Eve Moser, Brad Taylor, Jamie Ross, himself, Anthony Mackall, and one other person, perhaps Mike Beasley. However, Anthony can't do it, according to Ray. It is decided that next meeting (8/20) we will decide who is on this committee. (I'm vague on this-this may not be what was said.)

Andy Norris distributes a table of governance programming to date.

2. Discussion of the Spooner draft by-laws

We decide to discuss the sections as we read them, not to merely note our objections for later discussion (as before). We start at the beginning. Steve Seltzer reads.

Comments on sections:

Article 1, section 2. Steve Seltzer would like the actual text of the mission statement in the by-laws. (he later withdraws this.)

Article 1, section 3. Collaborative relations. Eve Moser and others wonder what the point of the the first part of this is. Is it just nice-sounding fluff? Brad Taylor says that it could be the basis of legal action if, say, fiduciary decisions are made non-collaboratively. People want to direct this question to Carol.

Article 3, section 1. Members. Two people would prefer to only have one class of members-staff should not have a special membership category. Several others state that staff do indeed merit their own membership category.

Section A-listener membership. Carolyn Birden states that one should be a contributor for two years before becoming a voting member. Andrea Fishman states that membership should only be given to volunteers who do 3 hours a month. Others disagree. Steve Brown states that most members need to be contributors for Pacifica to be financially viable.

Section B-Staff membership. Several point out that the definition of "staff" in section B is weak. It is suggested to remove the word "volunteer" and increase the time requirement. Cerene points out that the definition of "staff" in the union contract (expired?) is more precise and should be used. Andy Norris states that the KPFA by-laws committee has reworded this section to "5 hours/wk over the previous six months." Roger Manning says he will post this annotated version on http://www.wbai.net

Section D-waiver requirements. Anthony Mackall states that he would like financial hardship to enable people to waive the volunteer or contribution requirement for membership. (We interpret the draft to mean that only disability or incarceration would enable people to waive the requirement.) Several support this idea. Cerene states that there should be no means test to waive the requirement. Mike Beasley does not support open membership, but if there is, members should get a card. A couple of people raise the issue of election fraud resulting from open membership/waivers.

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