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WBAI LSB Meeting Notes

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3/18/04 LSB meeting notes

Posted By: James Ross
Date: Friday, 19 March 2004, at 4:05 p.m.

These are unofficial notes -- vote counts may not be exact. All votes but one were by show of hands.

Overall I think the LSB did a good job -- they are obviously getting more familiar with parliamentary procedure, they were respectful, and they managed to get some work done, though they got bogged down a couple of times.

The space was nice, but the table set up was not ideal, as the chair did not have a good line of sight with all the board members.

Roger Manning was absent. A few of the others came late or left early.


1. Approval of minutes for both 2/19/04 and 3/4/04 meetings went quickly.

2. They approved agenda without too much trouble. They added two items: discussion of seating Marty Durlin as Pacifica Chair (which they didn't get to), and a report from the PNB meeting 3/12-3/14/04.

3. Public comments -- a variety

4. Reports:

A. LSB retreat report by Alex Steinberg: an ad hoc committee (Alex Steinberg, Yvonne Liu, Mariana Gaston, Luanne Pennessi? someone else?) was formed to organize an LSB retreat. Tentative plan: Coffee and Bagels, workshop by theater of the oppressed (ed. note: these people are interesting), sessions on parliamentary procedure, financial statements, and a video. Still working on a date.

B. LSB air time (radio show) report by Shawn Rhodes. An ad hoc committee (Shawn, Don Rojas, Cerene Roberts, Reggie Johnson, Roger Manning, Patty Heffley) has been working on a periodic show featuring rotating LSB members. Format will be four or so LSB members on at a time, some call-ins. LSB passes motion (about 15-4 -- no votes included Lederer, Liu, Warren, and Lucas) to empower committee to continue its work and set up first two shows (early April and early May I think). This section got bogged down ...

C. Report on PNB meeting by Alice Shields, Miguel Maldonado, Ray Laforest. Miguel pointed out that each station reported its goals (I guess the GMs). WBAI's included facilities upgrade, double membership, continue toward goal of million listeners. Also Miguel mentioned there was discussion at PNB of finding new sources of money (beyond listeners I think). Ray expressed disagreement with election of Marty Durlin as PNB chair.

5. Unfinished business:

A. LSB standing committees: Patty Heffley introduced a long resolution calling for establishing 4 advisory standing committees to the LSB: Finance, Management Evaluation, Programming, and Membership and Development. Committee membership would be open to LSB members as well as non-LSB members of WBAI who attend 3 straight meetings. Committee responsibilities would reflect the LSB's duties and powers under the bylaws.

The LSB voted to interrupt this section to hear the following report:

6 A. New business:

Report from Jose Santiago and Kathy Davis on behalf of paid staff regarding the impending layoffs and communication issues with management: Jose reported the GM has offered a buyout to some paid staff with a deadline of 3/31. However , the decision on layoffs is not until 4/30. Also, Jose and Kathy report that staff have developed some money saving ideas that would avoid layoffs but feel that no one is listening and want the board to be aware of this, etc. And they are concerned that proposed layoffs do not seem to take into account seniority, affirmative action, etc.

Don Rojas said that the buyout deadline would be extended until mid/late April. Alice Shields and Paul Surovell asked for a written report of staff money-saving ideas and concerns, etc., and for specific suggestions to the board. Kathy Goldman wondered whether necessary savings could really be achieved without staff cuts. Also does not know that bylaws give the LSB specific jurisdiction in these issues.

Back to ....

5. Unfinished business:

A. LSB standing committees (continued): Carolyn Birden moved to divide Patty's motion into the Finance committee and everything else. After some debate (not all addressed to the motion), this motion failed.

Alice Shields offered a complicated motion to divide the original motion into four or five separate ones, one for each committee, and offered amendments to original language in several places. The debate got unfocussed for a little while. (ed. note -- this motion was actually two motions in one and thus not in order afaik.)

Then the chair (Berthold Reimers) did the right thing and called the LSB to consider only Alice's motion to divide the original question so that each committee would be dealt with separately. This motion passed easily (no votes included Shawn Rhodes, Alex Steinberg, and Steve Brown).

So the motion in question was on the establishment of a finance committee. Alice moved to amend the original resolution's language on the Finance Committee so it expressly stated that the committee could go into executive session. Michael Warren moved to amend the amendment that the executive session could be called by the LSB members on the finance committee. These amendments were accepted easily (only no vote was Patty Heffley).

Bob Lederer moved to amend the motion on establishement of a finance committee so that membership was capped at 15. This motion failed by a vote of 10-10. The chair cast the deciding vote (very dramatic). Yes: Liu, Owens, Warren, Lederer, Surovell, Shields, Roberts, Lucas, Khan, Laforest; No: Heffley, Martin, Rhodes, Golden, Birden, Steinberg, Reimers, Maldonado, Brown, DiRienzo.

By this point it was getting late. Bob Lederer suggested (moved?) that the decision on how to establish the finance committee be postponed to the next meeting. But the LSB forged ahead, and the main motion, as divided and amended, came to a vote and passed, 13-4. Yes: Heffley, Owens, Martin, Rhodes, Golden, Surovell, Birden, Shields, Steinberg, Maldonado, Brown, DiRienzo, Khan; No: Liu, Lederer, Lucas, Laforest.

Stay tuned for the actual text they approved.

Then they adjourned.


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