D.C. DAILY REPORTS and Documents | iPNB DC meeting info
Daily notes from the iPNB meeting
on bylaws, Washington, D.C.
Apologies for name misspellings.
Directors present: David Fertig, Carol Spooner, Teresa Allen, Pete Bramson, George Barnstone, Leslie Cagan, Robbie Robinson, Janice K Bryant, Ray LaForest, Jabari Zakiya, James Ferguson, Charles Smith Not present: Bert Lee(comes in later in the day), Marion Barry, Dick Gregory Meeting convenes 9:17am Chair Cagan thanks webcast, broadcast and tech crews (wbix, kpftx, kpfk) The only agenda item for this weekends' meeting is bylaws revision though there will be an executive meeting tomorrow morning to deal with personnel business. Cagan reviews bylaws process started in Houston (Sept. 20-22, 2002). [ notes of Houston meeting ] The goal is to go through the bylaws comparison grid in order to put together the next draft. The hope is to approve a set of bylaws at the December iPNB meeting. Cagan breaks down the main items: Local board role. National board role Rights of members Qualifications of board members Elections procedures. Bramson - What will be the procedure for public comment during this meeting? What organizations were invited? Cagan - LAB chairs were invited and some are here. Non board members can give input. It's a small enough group. There will be a presentation on Proportional Representation tomorrow. [ overview of Proportional representation ] Spooner gives out copies of the grid. Will review Houston straw polls LaForest - Miguel Maldanado (WBAI LAB chair) will not be attending. Will the proposed Pacifica statement of principles (from Bob Lederer and "unity caucus" -WBAI area) be given time? Zakiya - Has a new proposal from the WPFW subcommittee and will present it. Spooner - Reviews Houston straw polls Barnstone - remembers a few other items Cagan - asks if the iPNB generally agrees with Spooner's account of the straw polls. Some confusion and discussion... iPNB agrees that the notes are accurate 8 for 2 against Zakiya - Presents a WPFW bylaws sub-committee proposal. which was just composed in an inspired idea session of some of the committees' members and offers some new, somewhat radical ideas for defining membership and station board composition. -Proposed that a member is anyone that wants to be one -The LAB is composed of members -to become a member people would apply and meet membership criteria -LAB size unlimited -length of LAB member term is 2 years -members vote for directors of Pacifica -members must be on at least one subcommittee, and regularly attend meetings [ many more details - see proposal] The aim is to promote inclusion in line with California code. (reads from code - included in proposal text) which states that all members can vote for directors and changes on bylaws etc Contributing members would have additional privileges. Reads list of benefits of proposal. No elections needed, brings membership into line with California code. Increases pool of human resources for Pacifica. Would produce better candidates for directorship and more informed voter pool. Similar approach used in many organizations. Simpler, more holistic and inclusive. Fertig - Gives clarifications of CA law. Not every member is necessarily entitled to elect directors, while any one that votes for directors has to be a member. Spooner - Confirms Fertig's analysis. Zakiya - The main point of the proposal is that the foundation is the people but people that are involved in the governance must participate in the foundation. Allen - Concerned about the workability of LAB meetings with such a large number Zakiya - makes some clarifications Willy Ratcliff, KPFA LAB - This meeting is getting bogged down discussing this proposal that addresses what has already been much addressed. Let's move! Cagan - The iPNB members haven't necessarily had the degree of discussion as many others on the various bylaws revision subcommittees and on the internet and needs to put in this time. Zakiya - This proposal is important because it is revolutionary with regard to the mechanics of the LABs and inclusion at Pacifica. Elections are not the only or best way to promote inclusion at Pacifica. Bryant - Can Jabari present a motion so that we can move forward? Zakiya - This proposal affects issues we've been discussing. Elections wouldn't Jane Gatewood, WPFW bylaws subcommittee - Agrees with the need to move agenda. Stresses that the committee is unanimous in desire that the bylaws are as simple as possible and that details are put in various policy manuals etc. Not exactly clear on Jabari's proposal (which is new) but, for the record, reads her original proposal since Jabari cited it as the inspiration for his motion. Ferguson [who is from D.C.]- Hasn't had a chance to see Zakiya proposal. Wants to table discussion until there's a better chance to examine it better and move agenda. agreed Fertig - BTW, people from the public that come up to the mike and speak at the meeting are not legally required to identify themselves if they don't want to. Cagan - Moves agenda. Wants to start with Article 8 on the grid [editor's note: the grid that the iPNB is currently using has been slightly updated from the version linked to, though all the latest versions of of the individual bylaws drafts are posted here at wbai.net in the bylaws revision and governance proposal sections] Zakiya - Wants start discussion with role of national board. Agreed to start with some basic overviews of relations between boards etc as proposed in the 5 main bylaws drafts. Various board members are called upon to interpret their bylaws revision subcommittee draft's proposed definition of the relationship between local and national Pacifica boards... Robinson - Gives WPFW draft overview of structure and relationships between boards, listeners, management. The local board important for representing and accessing the needs of the listeners to management and the national board/foundation. This hasn't been happening yet. Zakiya - Since the national board directors are legally responsible they need to be qualified and to hold the primary responsibility for policy etc. Spooner - The KPFA draft addresses the legal responsibility of the national board but involves the local boards in sharing the responsibility in the form of powers delegated to them and and a national board committee structure that would include local board members. Local boards would be considered committees of the national. There would be national board members on the local boards. A knitting together of the boards would foster needed communication and lessen alienation between local and national producing better governance. Bryant - How would the local board implement the powers and procedures? Spooner - The local board would be interpreting and implementing the policies of the foundation/station, evaluating the management (GM, PD) and giving feedback to the national board and Executive director. The ED has the power, but works with the boards. The local board doesn't manage, but oversees. In the KPFA draft, if the Executive director wanted to fire the station manager against the wishes of the station board, the national board would then decide. Bryant - Wonders on the difference between managing and overseeing. Spooner - Management paid and working full-time, local board (overseeing) meets once a month. Allen - Ask about KPFA proposal's proposed number of seats on national board. Spooner - Explains proposed numbers and committee structures for national board from KPFA draft"> Local is 18 - 24 , national 15 (3 from each station) Allen - with all the committees to be formed... Spooner - there would be station board people on nation board committees an vise versa Allen - further clarification of how many people on various committees under KPFA draft Spooner - KPFA LAB committees are open to as many people, LAB or not want to participate in the work. Ferguson - Ask for clarity between relationship between Executive director and local boards in the KPFA draft. Spooner - The ED would work closely with all committees of the national board, of which local boards are committees. LaForest - Will the local board participate in the hiring and firing of the station manager and program director? A: yes, as a participant in the process. Ted Wiesgal, Pacifica parliamentarian and KPFT area - Local committees will be important in the future success of Pacifica. Where is the wording in this document [? something that's been handed out] specifically referring to local committees? Spooner - didn't write it and doesn't care to comment on it. Cagan - Willie handed it out so, maybe he can talk about it. Willy Ratcliff, KPFA LAB - Not interested in that. Though will comment on confusion in power sharing. There aren't conflicts in the proposed power sharing...something about a bottleneck at Pacifica and need for local power... Cagan - breaks in to refocus discussion Jonathon Markowitz - where be some random comment time for addressing various things said by iPNB members? Cagan - when those topics arise Curt Gray, KPFA - What provision is there in the KPFA draft to address the lopsided representation on the national board where stations that have larger subscriber bases and are financially helping to support other stations actually have fewer representative on the iPNB than the others... Cagan - this is not quite on topic Spooner - we will take that up later. Zabari - Would the local board powers still be advisory because hiring and firing would still essentially be with the executive director? Spooner - No, but the local board decisions would be subject to approval of the national board if the executive director disagrees. Ron Benjamin, WPFW bylaws subcommittee- What about Corporation for Public Broadcasting requirement that LABs be advisory only? Spooner - If CPB comes after us, the stations will set up an additional board that is purely advisory. Fertig - defers to the KPFK subcommittee for their draft as to relationship between local and national boards and passes on presenting from his (draft C) as theirs is the one that they decided to present. Raphael Renteria, KPFK bylaws subcommittee - Presents from KPFK draft. The local board elected by the listeners. The local board has 2 main committees: -station administrative committee -station programming committee The national board has the same 2 main committees: -national administrative committee -national programming committee. The program committees deal in policy and administration. The local station programming committee composed of mixture of listeners and and board, staff. The PC have some members elected during local board elected. PC decisions to be approved by station board. A systems of checks and balance. More electoral input. There are members of local committees on the related national committees (programming etc) Bernie Eisenberg, KPFK bylaws subcommittee - 3 main powers coming to the station boards: hiring and firing of station manager (in consultation with gm search committee), budget and finances for the station and programming policy. The national board could override with 80% vote. Bryant - what is the role of the executive director in this KPFK proposal? The way the duties are laid out here, when will any of the local board members have time to hold a full time job?? Being a member on this local board would be a full time job. [laughter] Renteria - The local programming committee would only be a quarterly review... Bryant - the finance report would only be quarterly? Eisenberg -no... yes, it's a lot of work. They're hoping that people coming onto the board will be committed enough to handle the job. Cagan - refocuses discussion... Jonathon Markowitz, KPFK area - While the national board has final legal responsibility over programming the committees primarily cover the process. Zakiya - What criteria would qualify the members of the boards/committees who have hiring and firing etc? Because Pacifica hires professionals to manage and hire and fire. Eisenberg, Renteria, Zakiya have some back and forth and attempts at clarification of aspects of the KPFK draft... Donna Gould, WBAI area - Wants clarification on financial responsibility Leslie Radford, KPFK LAB and sub committee - Budget would be developed by management in conjunction with station national management. Debbie Campbell, KPFT subcommittee - Presents on relationship between local and national boards from the KPFT draft. Didn't get into much detail regarding local board. Local Board would be primarily advisory with much oversight by national board. Donna Gould, WBAI subcommittee - WBAI never produced a bylaws draft so she reads from straw polls taken by the subcommittee regarding local and national boards: Local board would have responsibility with others for hiring station manager, programming director. Bob Ledrerer, WBAI "Unity Caucus" - Speaks for the UC: Supports the KPFA model's roles of boards. Supports that ethic/racial etc makeup of staffing of stations reflects make up of local community. Michael Pimental, KPFT area - KPFT subcommittee agreed that LAB would have input on programming. Local board would set up committees, would be much involved in station manager hiring. Spooner - As to the KPFA draft's view on the duties of local boards, the LB would not be managing but would be reviewing and having oversight on budgets and programming policies that are generated by the station staff. The national board cannot effectively know local issues well enough to manage the local stations as well as the local boards can. But the national board, which is composed of people from the local boards, will have oversight power to keep the stations on mission. Cagan - [with the KPFA draft] Could the national board not only be oversight, but also be pro-active and hand down important policies? [like the recent national anti-war programming] A: yes LaForest - [with the KPFA draft] Would the executive director make major sweeping policy decisions alone? Spooner - The executive director can make decisions on their own, but they are subject to the rejection of the national board. Ferguson - at what level of the governance structure is the vision for the foundation developed, local or national? Spooner - we don't really want a division between local and national so much, we want a dialogue. The boards are knit together in various ways including the membership of the national board which would be composed of members from the local boards. Policies and vision statements would effectively be affected by all levels. Ferguson - where would the forum for vision development be? Spooner - on the national board... Cagan - or atleast the national board would set up that process... Spooner - the "5 year plan" came out of such a process... Bernie Eisinberg, KPFK area - commends Ferguson on bringing up vision process, which has been lacking. Pacifica needs a vision statement . Ted Wiesgal, KPFT area - Is there a process for the iPNB coming up with timely editorials? Cagan - not yet... this is off topic refocuses discussion. Robinson - The basic issue at Pacifica has been the governance structure. While the national hasn't been functioning, the local stations have been functioning all these years. Let's not destroy what has been working at the local stations. Supports clear structure and definitions for all boards and board members. Fertig - Largely agrees, but national board must set policy. National board deals in policy, not management. Zakiya - Concerned that operations outside of radio not being considered. Concerned that people aren't seeing Pacifica more as a national entity because many things can be done more effectively from a national level. Bylaws should be simple, just a framework, not too rigid. Pacifica is not a government, but an organization for getting things done. Cagan - Yes, but the PNB is the governing structure for Pacifica. Cagan summarizes discussion on proposed basic roles and relationships of national and local boards at Pacifica: Basic areas of agreement: That there a difference between governance and management. The local boards need to be about governance, not management. There needs a simple set of bylaws with the massive amount of policy details developed in manuals. The buck stops at the national board level. People want five strong stations with strong with local boards and listener involvement. There also needs to be a strong national board. Power sharing is the key - better than "checks and balances" which implies that one body has the power and the other checks it. Today, we're finally hearing bottom line areas of agreement... Let's hang on to these areas and work out the details later. Berisford Jones, WBAI area - Asks how much of the failure of the previous board had to do with bylaws? Nothing says that board will follow it's bylaws. [applause] Spooner - The problem with the previous national board is that the bylaws were written in such a way that there was no way to remove the self selecting board. The local boards used to have power in the bylaws. Over the years, these and other powers were removed and the national board became self selecting and untouchable. Leslie Radford, KPFK sub committee - Power sharing is important but there still needs to be checks and balances. The local stations have what been making things work and their methods of operating should be studied as for setting up policy. Robinson - Yes, but there was many larger issues that the local stations didn't address. Jonathon Markowitz, KPFK area - Things will happen organically on the local level once things are set up. Andrea Fishman, WBAI area - Likes power sharing, but this implies that we have opposing interests and it's important to emphasize that we all have interest in common with regard to Pacifica. Concerned that one the primary resources of Pacifica - the people/listeners aren't shut out. Cagan - The struggle for listener involvement at Pacifica has been won, we're now working on the process... [murmur of disagreement in the room] Spooner - That it's not happened this year... Fishman- yes Bryant - What listeners feel that they are shut out? [Gets passionate about about what is reality with what listeners want and who is represented...] [back and forth getting loud at points with comments from Jonathon Markowitz] Willie Ratcliff, KPFA LAB - We need to have some more respect for each other. [applause] We need to stay focused on the important issues for Pacifica. KPFA will not wait for things get done here, but will forge ahead, though with the whole in mind. [applause] Cagan - Announces that during the lunch break, the KPFK broadcast will hold a live listener input forum More comments... Eve Moser, WBAI area - Supports clarifying hiring and firing processes as has been done in the KPFA draft. Ask for some clarifications on KPFA proposed procedures... Spooner - The local board hires the station manager, unless overruled by executive director or national board through a process. Moser - Who does the station manager answer to [in the KPFA draft]? Spooner - The local board evaluates the station manager as the national board does with the executive board. [A bunch of back and forth clarifying discussion about board relationships as laid out in the KPFA draft...] LaForest - In this model the executive director isn't really hiring anybody. Spooner - The ED should always being working in conjunction with various committees of boards. Ferguson - Where does the fiduciary responsibility with the local board lie? Spooner - The local board is a committee of the national which is where the fiduciary lies. Fertig - The national is responsible. Ferguson - Concerned Bernie Eisenberg, KPFK - On process: The KPFK proposal isn't being presented. Protest that basically the discussion is gravitating to the KPFA proposal and Carol Spooner's answers. ______ KPFK subcommittee - Important that all the proposals are part of the process. ______, WBAI area - Ask for moment of silence regarding the recent decision of Congress to go to war. Fertig - The opposite of silence is the proper response. [laughter] Fred Nguyen, WBAI "Unity Caucus" - Wants to clarify what Bryant had touched on; that the issue is that people be properly represented in the work of Pacifica. Cagan - comments on issue of the impending war LaForest - Are stations airing the national board's peace editorial? Cagan - will sort that out. need to update it. Moves that we break for lunch. Zakiya - Some more general comments. Concerned about schedule of getting bylaws done. Deb Shafto, KPFT LAB - Important that it's authentic voices of the communities that will be heard on Pacifica stations, not a focus on being slick. [applause] 12:45pm break 1:40pm reconvene Chair Cagan - Directs the process to recommence with addressing the role, powers and duties of the local board. Refers to ARTICLE EIGHT in the bylaws comparisongrid. Start with WPFW draft suggestions. Zakiya - Presents from the WPFW draft. The WPFW subcommittee supports a pragmatic approach to defining the local board. They support using the traditional LAB advisory type role, at least for a while. Cagan - Calls for an opposing view as to LABS being solely advisory Spooner - Sites examples of many community stations around the U.S. that successful empowered local governing boards. Those that receive Corporation for Public Broadcasting money also have solely advisory boards in order to meet the requirement by CPB that advisory boards are a liaison to the community, but has no role in managing the station. [ CPB rules ] There is much required of the LABs by the local communities, but it is difficult to do anything, to respond when solely advisory. Powerless local boards are useless. Local boards are best equipped to deal with the local needs. Errol Maitland, WBAI,X - local boards at Pacifica have not always been powerless. Lydia Brazon , KPFK LAB - Fertig - Pacifica will need to be in compliance with CPB for a while. There needs to be an evolution of the process and there needs by strong local governance. His model(C) does it with having strong representation from local advisory boards on the national board with strong recall. Barnstone - The KPFT committee didn't want empowered local boards. Goes over KPFT draft... Allen - KPFT LAB has evolved a lot. Local advisory only boards are not powerless, after all they were locked of the station, so that means they must of had some kind of power. ___ Fox, WPFW area - Asks if this is the head governing body of Pacifica? A: yes Instructs iPNB on how to conduct the meeting and bylaws revision process. Cagan - Lets him go on his condescension only commenting that this process has been going for 6 months already. Ron Benjamin, WPFW bylaws subcommittee - If there a good relationship between LAB and management, the LAB is empowered. Sam Husseini, WPFW LAB - Talks about the fundamental approach and structure of governance being used at Pacifica. We should acknowledge that we are proceeding to work with a flawed corporate structure, though that may be the best we can do for now. Maybe Pacifica should strive to move beyond that type of structure in the future. Cagan - Agrees, but major change would need to come in steps. ...Supports strong local boards, but doesn't support them being "governing" boards. KPFT, and KPFK models have some of this structure. Michael Pimental, KPFT area - It's very important to evolve the relationships in Pacifica structure. Spooner - KPFT, and KPFK models local advisory boards shouldn't called "advisory" because they do have actual powers. They should be called something other than advisory. They should called "local boards" Agreement that semantics is a large part of the issue and that precise functions Donna Gould, WBAI area - Agrees that it semantics and the process should be moved to nailing down the duties and powers of the local boards Willie Ratcliff, KPFA LAB - There has to be some form of local power. [ Bert Lee arrives ] Andrea Fishman, WBAI area - Agrees with Husseini's earlier remarks on adopting an approach than the current corporate structure, and that a time table should be set up to do this. Zakiya - Supports defining the subcommittees of the local board and defining the duties. Spooner - moves the meeting to the grid to ARTICLE EIGHT to proceed with defining the role of the local boards Local board duties: Hiring/firing station manager People run through the drafts on the grid Cagan - All models give the local board some role with hiring the station managers. What is are the differences? Zakiya - The difference is whether the local board has input or approval Spooner - Agrees with Zakiya's acessment Zakiya - Three basic methods for hiring station manager: -LB gives recommendation to executive director, which ED may disregard -LB gives several recommendations to executive director, ED must chose one -LB gives one recommendation to executive director, if ED disagrees, it goes to the national board Raphael Renteria, KPFK - offers the context that if this process is set up with strong local role, it's part of a structure that prevents top-down takeover. Robinson - The criteria and process for choosing the station manager need to be clearly established. Will prevent a lot of conflict. Jonathan Markowitz, KPFK - The local board needs have strong input in choosing the station manager Andrea Fishman - Process needs to be clarified. Zakiya - It will helpful to have the process go through the national board as the PNB would be a good resource in finding good quality candidates. Cagan - There is nothing here limiting the source of candidates. Tries to move to a straw poll. Bryant - Cagan reviews the general manager selection process options for the local boards... Fred Nyguyen, [formerly]WBAI gm search committee- The WBAI committee has taken 6 months to get anywhere. Supports option 2. Straw Polls on general manager[station manager] selection process: -LB gives recommendation to executive director, do what you want [doesn't have to take recommendation] 1 for (Ferguson) -LB gives recommendations to executive director, chose one 7 for -LB gives one choice to executive director, if you disagree, it goes to the national board 4 for Ferguson - [ Willie Ratcliff, KPFA LAB and other people, many from various LABs, become very vocal about LAB and other people present not being included enough in today's process, particularly on this issue of station manager selection. The iPNB seems to be ignoring the desires of the LABs and listeners. Considerable disruption of the meeting and a pretty bad feeling in the room. The meeting is out of control for a bit... ] Chair Cagan - Tries to clarify that the iPNB is trying to get a sense of the iPNB on the issues and to come up with a draft consolidated from the many drafts currently on the table to send back to the LABs for input. [ Bernie Eisenberg, KPFK and others continue to loudly protest the process of this meeting... General disruption and confusion and back and forth... ] Straw Poll of LAB (local advisory board) people present: In the interest of restoring some order, getting the meeting back on track and giving the LAB people some satisfaction, Chair Cagan takes a vote from the LAB representatives present as to their approval of today's choice of the iPNB of the options for the station boards' method for the hiring of station managers. (-LB gives recommendations to executive director, who chooses one) Cagan makes it clear, that in all fairness the vote represents the individuals opinions, not their LABs. LAB representative vote regarding the iPNB's choice: 2 for, 3 against Next item: station board function in firing of general[station] manager 2 options [ below. becomes 3 ]... Bob Lederer, WBAI - Neither option addresses the executive director role in firing process Smith - Need to talk about the executive directors role and duties... Spooner - Explains the process as in the KPFA model LaForest - The firing process choices are similar to the hiring processes. Smith - One choice disempowers the executive director from doing his/her job. Spooner - With other organizations, the power rest with national in conflicts between the local and national. Smith - Zakiya - The local board has petition power regarding ED decisions Bryant - Is lost on executive director role in this. Ferguson - The ED represents the board. When a process bypasses the ED, it bypasses the board. Spooner - In the proposed process the board is delegating powers. Fertig - The ED needs to retain the ability to act quickly/effectively [without being delayed by a complex approval process]. Barnstone - Feels that they're talking about micro managing the ED. Chair Cagan tries to re-focus 3 choices regarding the local board's role in firing a station manager: -LB can fire station manager, ED can appeal to national board -LB can only make recommendation to ED to fire SM -Either ED or LB can initiate firing process, then both must agree to fire or it goes to national board (from KPFA model) Curt Gray, KPFA LAB - It's important that the station manager is answerable to the local board. Jonathon Markowitz, KPFK - The national board should have the power to remove the SM, not ED. Station board should hire. Also agrees with Curt. Raphael Renteria, KPFK - The KPFK draft is in agreement with KPFA model. Also, there are measures aside from firing in dealing with problems with a SM. Who ever is responsible for firing can only be working Staw Poll: on the local board's role in firing a station manager -LB can fire station manager, ED can appeal to national board 0 for -LB can only make recommendation to ED to fire SM 5 for -Either ED or LB can initiate firing process, then both must agree to fire or it goes to national board 8 for Barnstone - confused [ some blabbing...] Move on to Finances [ Proceed to Run through drafts on grid and some other input regarding proposed finance procedures and do some sorting out. ] Cagan - Ask if it's agreed that the budget process must include discussion between local and national in developing budgets... Ferguson - in reference to KPFA model, who prepares finance reports, the station manager ? Spooner - The station manager, controller and the local board would report to national. Dan Coulghlin, Pacifica executive director - understands that the station manager etc reports regularly and the station boards report monthly. Spooner re-reads proposal from KPFA draft for clarification of station boards role in budget activities: (1) to review and approve the stationís annual budget prior to submission to the Board of Directors for approval, and to make quarterly reports to the Board of Directors of the stationís budget vs. actual income and expenses; The intent is that the local board has access to the financial information. More discussion, questions and sorting out... Will the local board have veto power over a budget in the KPFA draft? A:no Spooner - The intent is that budgets are submitted to local board for input and approval, that they have a role in the budget process. Zakiya - If the LB is part of the part of the budget process they will need to qualified or trained etc. Ted Wiesman, KPFT - Cagan - Presents straw poll: To adopt KPFA draft language That budgets are submitted to local board for input and approval who provide quarterly reports to the national board Zakiya - Wants to amend "quarterly" to periodically to make the job easier, more realistic. Bert Lee - Supports specific language Straw Poll: To adopt KPFA draft language [ see above ] That budgets are submitted to station boards for input and approval. Station boards provide quarterly reports to the national board Agreed unanimously 5 minute recess Next station board duty: Needs assessment of local listening community. Cagan - Is there general agreement that community needs assessment be a function of the local board or advisory board? Sam Husseini, WPFW LAB - supports specific enough language that needs assessment can't hired out. Fred Nguyen, WBAI area - What is Straw Poll That community needs assessment be a function of the local board or advisory board Agreed unanimously Next item: Station board role in hiring station program director Zakiya - What is the intent of having the station board involved in hiring the PD? Spooner - To have the PD accountable to station board. Bryant - The program director is a controversial position. Is a against the local board having a say with the PD because of too many potential conflicts of interest. Fertig - supports PD be accountable to SB Zakiya - With staff on station board it creates possible conflict of interest. The PD needs to be autonomous. Ted Wiesgal, KPFT - In recent hire of PD at KPFT the station manager set up small committee. There is now a programming committee working well with the PD. Supports putting this structure into the bylaws Ryme Khathouda, WBIX, WPFW - calls attention to some proposal that was handed out. Spooner - The bylaws spell out the governance structure, not the management structure. Bylaws need to stay flexible so that management process can change. The intent is with the station board being part of the process of hiring the PD so as to have some input, Fred Nguyen - Concerned about micromanagement. The SM should be accountable to the station board, but not the PD. Curt Gray, KPFA LAB - PD needs to be somewhat accountable to the station board. Errol Maitland, WBAI - Provides some more WBAI history. It was good that the programming department was separate from general manager and higher management because in the past, when management was going off mission, the programmers were able to keep mission oriented programming on. Cagan - Do you support that the hiring of the PD go through the station board? Errol - has no problem with that, but keep away from micro- managing the PD Robinson - Against station board having hiring powers, it creates adversarial positions. Pacifica needs to not be structuring so much around governance, but mission. Raphael Renteria, KPFK - Disagrees. Needs to be checks and balances. We don't want to strip the power away from the SM or PD though. The programming is the mission. Fertig - The PD needs to have a certain amount of freedom. Feels that an accountable station manager being in charge of keeping program director accountable is sufficient. It would be too much to make PD directly accountable to the station board. Donna Gould, WBAI - Agrees to not micromanage the PD, but ultimately the listeners and station board is responsible for protecting the mission and should be able to fire the PD. Willy Ratcliff, KPFA LAB - The station board is there to set up the criteria for the program director to work on. The local board needs to be involved. Spooner - Agrees with Renteria that the heart of Pacifica is programming. The primary duty of the national board is insure that programming is on the mission. But the board is not best equipped to deal with programming in the local areas, the local board is and should be involved in setting up and evaluating the the job and performance of the program director. Cagan - Agrees with a lot, but not all of what's been said. Feels that protecting the mission is the job of all the parts of the Pacifica community. Concerned with the local boards hiring and firing the program director because of not knowing who will compose the LB. Concerned with confusing the program director as to who they report to. Supports that station manager hires program director with input from the station board. Spooner - Does that mean the accountable station manager can be fired for bad PD? A: yes Barnstone - The iPNB is not here to micro manage, this is madness, let's move on [laughter] Sam Husseini, WPFW LAB - A lot of this depends on how we define voting members. Lydia Brazon, KPFK - The recent hiring search committees are empowering the community and are working. Spooner - There have been problems with search committees. Maybe that process doesn't work so well. This proposal doesn't refer to search committees, but approval of program director. WPFW is not on mission. How do we deal this? Perhaps we need to grandfather the WPFW LAB til this is remedied. Chair Cagan - Gets discussion back on topic. Supports more talk on issues of major conflict Brad , WBAI area - Supports a collaborative process between the station manager and station board. Looks for different wording Cagan - Reads KPFA draft wording regarding the station board's role in the hiring program director: (3) to recommend to the General Manager the hiring of the station Program Director. No Program Director shall be hired or fired against the recommendation of the Local Station Board unless the Board of Directors approves the action by majority vote. The Local Station Board shall annually evaluate the Program Director's performance and provide a written report to the Board of Directors. Andrea Fishman, WBAI area - Supports that the program director must responsible to the will of the community and answerable to an elected program council. Zakiya - All of the duties and powers of the station boards need to be spelled out in the bylaws. Cagan - refocuses discussion Staw Poll: to support KPFA draft proposal for station board for hiring/firing program director 2 for Straw Poll The program director will be hired by the station manager from a pool of candidates produced by the station board 7 for 2 against 1 abstain Spooner - will abstain because she hasn't enough faith in search committees. Cagan - A big problem has been that Pacifica is transition period etc... Station board role in firing of PD Some discussion, referring to grid drafts etc... Spooner - The station board need to have some real authority, station management tends to ignore recommendations. Bertold Reimer, WBAI area - If the station manager disagrees with the station boards request to fire the program director it needs to go the national board. There currently is not democracy and communication at the stations. There needs to be more transparency at the stations, and there needs to be definite process in order to make management responsive. This not about micro-management. Straw Poll If the station board have the power and authority to recommend to the station manager the firing of the program director. If there is disagreement, then it goes to the national board. 4 for 6 against ____ , KPFT - announces fundraiser in Houston is breaking records. Discussion as to how to proceed with the meeting (there is a social event scheduled at 7pm and people are weary) Spooner - would like to quit for the day, but too much work to do. MOTION: to order
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