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Pacifica National Finance Committee (NFC)
meeting notes, 7-21-05

These meeting notes are unofficial.
Official PNB minutes posted at pacifica.org

Audio Archive at www.kpftx.org

These notes paraphrase statements made by attendees at the meeting (two hours). Most was done in one listen, so there may be some inaccuracies. To find out the exact words, listen to the audio at www.kpftx.org

- Written by James Ross, wbai.net contributor

Meeting via teleconference


-national office presents plan for three national days of fundraising in september to cover WBAI's shortfall (200K) and raise money for WPFW's move, and KPFT problems
-NFC forms working group to deal with this fundraising proposal and also address expense side of budget crisis.
-NFC becomes aware that GMs salaries were raised in Jaunuary
-Chair, CFO agree CPB cuts are unlikely
-CFO proposes 8/26 as date LSBs must be done with FY 06 budget
-CFO announces that in his opinion LSBs do not have right to approve final station budget


adelson -- KPFK PNB, chair
allen - KPFT PNB
bediako - WBAI LSB treasurer
heffley - WBAI PNB
mcfall - KPFK treasurer
roberts - WPFW PNB
tattersall - KPFA treasurer, absent
gatewood - WPFW treasurer
weinmann - KPFT treasurer
williams - KPFA PNB
hicks - CFO
lane - iED (not a member of the committee)

continuation of adjourned mtg 7/15/05


budget crisis and May financials
reports from working grps
-- budget restructing
-- impact of HR hire
-- impact of race and nationality initiatives
-- impact of bylaws convention
election of chair
update on directors' inspection
schedule next mtg


budget crisis and formation of working group re fundraising, expense cuts
schedule next mtg
availability of CPB funds
budget timeline
election of chair


lane: response of national office has been sent to NFC. want to deal with it soon

adelson: you mean interunit transfer report

lane: proposal for fundraising in September. this is what the NFC asked from us

hicks: needs to leave call at 5 pm Pacific

bediako: what about dealing w/ uncertainty around CPB funding and FY 06 budget -- what flexibility is there for 8/15 submission date.

hicks: recap -- last meeting -- presented to NFC that we are in critical situation re meeting goals. also $400K shortfall at WBAI. NFC came away from meeting to look at on-air fundraising, as several stations had financial needs. Look at 3-5 day campaign in September.

adelson: what response do you expect from the NFC re this proposal?

lane: please review and pass on to full board

roberts: re proposal "patterns to date" mentions 80K shortfall at NO due to WBAI shortfall. is this a current shortfall or anticipated shortfall.

hicks: half of effect is immediate. half shows up in 2-3 months.

roberts: this proposal is a bridge approach. May financials show that NO income exceeds expectations (ytd?) by $220K. seems like you have a cushion. do june financials say something different?

hicks: june will be saying something different. some of outcome wasn't known in may. also, expenses of raising money that showed up in May income were higher than expected, so overall balance in May was not that good - 26K negative.

may figures won't reflect it ... ???

roberts: thought we wanted to do something sooner than 2nd or 3rd week in Sept, impacts fall drives at stations. also wanted to determin what the dollar goal be. we had asked tha goal be sufficient for WBAI and other stations needs as well

hicks: august date not good cause some stations doing summer drives. 2nd week of sept is 5 weeks from when stations start fall drives. WBAI needs 200K minimum. KPFA hold out past september... ditto for KPFK. WPFW at 350K for move, 60K for KPFT, 200 K for WBAI. total goal would be 600-650K.

adelson: does money go to NO or to each station first and then NO.

hicks: had not thought it out. two scopes, one to national programming. second, involve affiliates, very large, get GMs on, make it an event that celebrates community radio.

adelson: do we have resources for that?

hicks: to do it large, all stations involved, have to go quickly, get working group, could be done.... cost -eh. 3-day national broadcast. clebration of commuinty radio and indepedent media, secure future for community radio/Pacifica over next 50 yrs

or could do it small. rotating situation. agree on who would do what over three days. NO led enterprise, in interest of speed. cost 10K to 25 K

(21:04 hr 1)

adelson: some station would have august mini drive, sept national drive, oct regular drive. why not just add this onto august drive?

hicks: some stations are not doing summer drives. others complete that before august (WBAI and KPFA)

adelson: this is a revenue side attempt to deal with structural problems. making a commitment re renewal w/o plan of what renewal is, and having our record of having to go back and back to listeners. also we need to be straightforward about what the money is for. need to say there is a problem at one of our stations. PNB is responsible for approving WBAI budget.

hard to say yes we want to do this w/o plan to address structural problems. could you address plan to deal on expense side

hicks: (breaking up) ...

allen: agree it's best to combine with already scheduled drives. prefer one-day. i would like to hear more about expense side. assume lonnie has met w/ GMs -- what are GMs willing to cut -- any headway at WBAI? also would really like to see emphasis on volunteers, so we are spending less on contract workers and such.

hicks: on this call mayt be several questions. some may not be able to answers. think working group is good idea. come back with answers in a week. re telling listeners -- hesitan to ID station as a problem station. re expense side -- WBAI is Looking at expense side. talked to Indra today. still don't have full solution to full 250K shortfall by september. have found 100K to save (??).

this fundraising campaign is not optional. either we do this, or something else. but three stations have sever financial problems. other stations will have problems in 6 months. endorse volunteerism. think we need a plan. paln can be budgeted and draw suppor.

if only do 1-2 days, only get 300K or so, will need to come back later. we will still need the 650K.

adelson: re telling listeners -- we cannot raise money and say it's for great initiatives, and actuall spend it on something else. listeners need to understand they are giving at a network level at time of need.

gatewood: WPFW local finance cte .. first learned of issues w/DAn ... (changes phone) LSB met in anticiaption of adopting FY 06 budget. came to our attention that the salaries for our GM that we adopted last year was overridden by Dan, caused ire, ... we want to know what we are spending money on. for our group, we need something in writing, wehn our LSB adopts budget what can we expect, when we as NFC adopt budget we can expect X.. and managemnt of Pacifica can expect XYZ of what they can do w/o going to committees, etc.

May figures say that YTD budget for central svs to national is 80K over budget, projects to overbudget for year. when can we get june statement. have never recieived it on 25th

hicks:- books closed 20-25th 25th-30th we produce document. document ready by first of month.

gatewood: want to endorse adleson comment. proposal is great. but concerned that we will be coming back to listeners again.

adelson: how do we deal with issue gatewood raised re what committee authorization means

hicks: has to be agendized, develop policy on how budget process is done. also need to know what to do with surplus. who owns surplus. we are having this conversation now a station with a shortfall. who decides whether station surplus could be used to cover another station's shortfall

gatewood: (repeats concern re budget authorization and changes and responsibility to lane) dan in december made a decision to raise pay for management.

lane: bonuses or pay raise

gatewood: both

allen: this is news to me -- I heard of bonuses but not pay raise


gatewood: was news to me too. apparently it was both. pay raises as of January

lane: was this system wide

gatewood: yes

lane: were LSBs and NFC invovled?

gatewood: no, neither body

allen: let's ask lonnie

adelson: question more generally is that we are trying to raise money w/o addressing problems re expenditure or oversight of same.

lane: that should never happen (raises) if LSB has adopted budget. if there is change in annualized pay for staff that ought to be made clear to everyone.

gatewood: that's what we thought too.

lane: my position is that salary increases would be approved by those involved in raising money to pay for it. that means LSB and any else promoting it.

roberts: re campaign. the 200K for WBAI is that to establish one month or is that operating.

hicks: that is operating

roberts: suggest alterations. it should be in august, could tag onto already planned summer drive. scope should not be sustaining pacifica for next 50 years. that is unrealistic. we are looking for short-term reinforcements in cash reserves. that it's being done to boost Pacifica's cash reserves. don't leave any stations out. maybe could get money for KPFA's infrstructur needs. don't be over 500K for total. 200K for WBAI, 50K for T, K and A, 150K for WPFW. would require that stations be spent for pearmarked projects. specific performance requirements for WBAI. and also at KPFT -- what are they going to do about their shortfall. stations need to understand strings attached.

allen: what kinds of contributions to GMs have to this plan?

lonnie: this plan did not come from the GMs. plan is to involve GMs now. most important thing to do is to form working group to look at this plan... should form group on this call. need idea of how to move forward. agree with with Mark's suggestions re tying it to performance objectives. when money riased for KPFK there was a contract.- can we agree on forming a working group.

adelson: problem is what working group is tasked with. concern that we are raising money without structural changes.

hicks: working group would talk about structural changes

adelson: whatever it's called -- if money raised is to rescue WBAI, it is not for reserve, or renewal, or whatever. we have to be clear with listeners about that.

roberts: don't agree. monies raised for WBAI mean that WBAI october drive monies can go to reserve.

adelson: uh-huh. when we did the transmitter project, we said that was what the money was for on the national day. also it holds our feet to fire. when PNB blows it, we can't gloss over and say everything is fine. if KPFK listener thinks they are contributing to KPFK's operation, that is misrepresentation.


roberts: move that we form a working group

heffley: i'm appalled at not telling listeners why we need money. many overages in May financials. salaries over 100K at NO, WBAi 41K legal, 17K in fundraising travel (we're behind on fundraising but over on fundraising travel), 16 K in comminity events, etc. this stuff should never have happened. may do over 100 days fundraising at WBAI. no contingency plan that I ever saw. thing is no one is looking at what the real problem is and trying to fix it. people are not taking responsiblity for their jobs, that we are staying on budget. CFO is responsible for seeing that we stay on budget. so now we are trying to cover for this. CFO never told NFC about GM raises. it is appalling. I will vote no on any plan that involves raising money from listeners without telling them what it is for. KPFK will have to pay for this, they should know and all other stations should know. management is not doing its job. all people come up with is to cover up that management is not doing its jobs. need to find out why the problem is there. it's clear, but no one cares. i will not vote for getting more money from listeners w/o telling them why. not sure i will vote for any plan that involves getting more money from listeners.

problems at WBAI -- if we have a volunteer coordinator who can't get volunteers maybe we need a different process. salaries continually rise. people have to be responsible somewhere. i do this for free and am tired of it if paid people do not do their jobs.

not volunteering for workgroup unless it's looking at ways to cut money

(end of hour 1)

allen: we need to raise money and also cut expenses. wnats to see definitively what we do to cut expense4s. wants GMs involved in process to cut expenses. wants response from Lonnie re raises for GMs. wants response from CFO and iED re spending on atorneys fees and personnel consultants. thinks mgmt needs permission to do this.

hicks: incumbent on chair to rule member out of order when personal attack is made. if not we will have free fall. will not sit for another attack. of course we need to cut expenses. expenses start at local level w LSB and GM. have no problem cutting budget. every station needs to be given directive to balance budget.

attorneys fees -- when board issues directives and is not clear re expenses that follow that is a problem. PNB asked that investigations be done at wBAI. re salaries-- board packet from March clearly ID's raises, shows comparative salaries.

adelson: were salaries raised by ED

hicks: salaries were raised by ED, PNB notified.

adelson: did pNB approve it?

hicks: PNB approved it in the context of budget forecasting ...

adelson: PNB was provided with this and voted on the changes?

hicks: no - in this case the intent was clearly stated to the board. stated to the chair. chair approved the bonuses. whole board got to review his intent in writing. he stated it at the meeting in writing.

re process. yes we do need a better process. so we need to do the work. who has the final word? need a working group. bylaws don't address ... enough of that.

my thought is very simple. we can identify who is at fault. that will not help need to look at our whole model. what to do while waiting for the plan to reorgainze ??

roberts: i do agree. a lot of energy is drawn into the blame game. i too am a volunteer. not here to just call people out, etc. however concerns re structural issues are important. cannot be solved in the short time we have. so we have to move forward. if we attach performance objectives to these funds and spread wealth around ... T is also in a cruch but we are not attacking like at WBAI. we need to put defined performance requirements on access to these funds. vs that person needs to go that doesn't do anything. urge committee to support working group. I will serve on it.

adelson: is not issue of blame. but you need to ID what went wrong. my view is PNB is ultimately responsible. have to go to my station and say that I approved budget that had problematic assumptions in it. if we had confronted issues yto say well let's see if it gets better we may have been able to begin this process a lot sooner. I was not able to exert the necesary oversight. I am responsible. I am not going to approve things that i do not have confidence int

there is an absense of an analysis of what happens if we don't raise the money. we have to start saying no without .. .I won't vote unless i believe concretely we can do it.

weinmann: performance requirements - yes. change the way we operate - yes. forming fundraising committee will give us opportunity to give new ???

adelson: motion is to form a working group to deal with the details of the plan to deal with the crisis that includes both the expense side and the fundraising side. report back within the week

williams: is the CFO contingency plan going to be looked at as part of the working group?

hicks: contingency plan is still alive. needs to be updated. indra is aware. she has a contingency plan. more needs to be done. we are having that discussion right now. ???

williams: so working group would work with the contingency plan from cfo and also look at other plan and look at other issues, incl mgmt station issues and reduction of expenses?

hicks: we would look at expense side, contingency plan would be part of that.

williams: you're saying there is a contingency plan, you are working with indra. the working group would work along with you and enforce the demands of recovery as well as fundraising?

hicks. that would be my intent

bediako: re working group -- there are two issues re WBAI 1 what can be done betw now and end of FY, and then what cuts are permanent. one week time frame is very tight

roberts: WBAI ends drive 7/30, KPFT does drive around 8/18. not sure about week time frame. will GMs be available this week?

hicks: we will try to arrange something as quickly and inclusive as possible.

williams: was there was a conference w. GMs and iED - did that happen and did you discuss national day of fundraising?

lane: no, that was to talk to Crigler about payola, FCC regs, etc. it was taped.

bediako: support working group. situation at wBAI warrants involvement of NFC. need to come up with plan are comfortable with. must involve income and cost-cutting iniatives.

roberts: have you seen contingency plan?

bediako: saw what was put together for last crisis. it's an outline. needs to be fleshed out. also saw what indra put together for the rest of the year. still need income support - cannot cut gap thru cost cutting alone.

adelson: any objection to motion

heffley: yes

roll call for motion re working group:

(22:50 hour 2)

Mcfall: that the NFC will form a working group to make a plan to address the current fiscal crisis and will report back by 7/28.

roll call:

adelson y
allen y
bediako y
heffley n
mcfall y
roberts y
gatewood y
weinmann y
williams n
hicks y

motion carries

adelson: other working groups are open to whoever wants to be on it. we are not going to vote

who wants to be on the work group

adelson n
allen p
bediako y
heffley n
mcfall y
roberts y
gatewood n
weinmann y
williams y
hicks y

allen: will help in any way i can

hicks: will take responsibility for convening meeting

(discuss date)

roberts: what is your sense of GM availability

hicks: better in the day for them

3 pm friday Pacific and noon tuesday Pacific for this working group

(ed note: no one wants to call it a "financial crisis" working group -- way to go guys...)


7/29 3 pm Pacific

would devote to review of May financials, second to report from special fundraiser/financial crisis working group.

-(32:43 of hour 2)


this meeting : fy 06 buidget contingencie and CPB stuff and election of chair

adelson: my infor is that CPB grants for next year wil be as they are now

hicks: have same information.

adelson: numbers were about 13-14% of listener support, not 17% we'e heard

hicks: not familiar with those numbers

adelson: do you feel we need to develop contingency for what to do about those funds?

hicks: no

bediako: sounds good to me.


bediako: formal deadline -- be approved by LSB by 8/15. we need an extension locally. how much time w/o creating a problem

hicks: most stations have not provided first drafts of the budget. problem -- it's difficult to make projections. need to send budget to PNB by 9/8. would like to have budgets by 8/31. that means deadlines to come here some where around 8/20. LSBs have to do their thing before that.

adelson: having a budget calendar in advance will help

hicks: will send it out in the mail


hicks: LSBs should be finished with their budgets by 8/12 -8/15.

roberts: to answer bediako question, there is no slack in schedule

roberts: re concerns about LSB approved budgets are not what PNB sees. Will there be time to go back to LSB if it is necessary for national to make changes?

adelson: what kind of changes will national need to make?

hicks: my understanding is that PNB has power to approve budget, not LSB

v (39:27 of hour 2)

roberts: LSBs have power to approve station budget

adelson: in bylaws

hicks: the PNB is final sign-off on all budgets

roberts: approval of station budget is duty of LSB

hicks: LSB has power to approve budget at that stage. NFC has power to make recommendations, PNB has power to make other changes

adelson: (reads bylaws) seems straightforward. LSB has to approve budget

hicks: subcommittee can review, but not to approve

adelson: bylaws give certain powers to LSB. this is not ambiguous

hicks: PNB needs to clarify. not clear to me.

adelson: this difference may underly a lot

hicks: work need to be done to clarify. NFC should make recommendations

roberts: will need to revisit approval concerns

gatewood: 20% goes to central service. I was requested by our local finance committee to get FY 06 budget for NO as part of our apporval process. is this possible? 8/10 LSB meeting to approve FY 06 budget. not that we would apporve NO budget, but we would like to see where the money goes

hicks: NO budget is done last. it depends on what stations do. first week in september I have an idea what is available to NO

adelson: you don't have a draft or overall structure now

hicks: no, till i see they have balanced budget my budget is academic.

adelson: don't you have a draft budget you could provide?

hicks: our draft is a rollover. if i see they are projecting less revenue, as i expect, i will have to reduce my expenses.

gatewood: to finish our discussion of may financials -- our local fiance cte thinks draft may be helpful, cause payroll numbers are different from budget.

hicks: let me see what I can do, it is so early

williams: could each treasurer and director set up what process should be, then we can review at next meeting, and compare with CFO. this issue comes up a lot. also -- we need to know head count or FTEs to make a budget. eg HR director. what is progress in HR director. pelase include head count when you do budget

lane: re HR director. we have two finalists will make final decision monday.

williams: good. as iED, does PNB get chance to look at these two before you make final decision?

lane: I was directed to hire HR director and I will do so.

mcfall: in LA we have same issues as gatewood describes. is it possible to get a list of what is included in central services. our finance committee says they will not approve budget wi htout understanding where money is going. also surpluses. we can't track money none of the numbers are matching.

hicks: what's included in central services? not a problem. will try to do a draft NO budget

mcfall: you are projecting a 95K FY 05 surplus for LA. we think it is a lot more. but somewhere there needs to be a place to put that number in FY 06 budget. we need to know this to make budget.

hicks: we need to answer that question.

mcfall: what is your preference

hicks: surplus should go to unbudgeted items. should go to finance cte as part of budgeting process. included as part of closing budget. or can not do anything until new budget is approved. could be kept for contingency.

bediako: re budget calendar. our iGM is on vacation 7/28 - 8/10. we have major hurdles. and we have to deal with what ever comes out of this working group.

hicks: i will put in time w/ indra before 7/28

bediako: right. but still we have to deal with NFC working group, etc.

adelson: but is this real. if we keep saying we will do things that aren't real we get in trouble.

hicks: it can be done mostly. ther will be gaps. there will be a deficit. that will be what the challenge will be

roberts: but if we look at this in absence of iGM what good is it

lane: lonnie and i plan to go there. we are willing to go there

hicks: indra Identified another $47,000 in cuts in FY 06 budget.

bediako: but $147/K is based on annualized salary amounts. if we need to go to union to ge 9/1 implementation, we will only get one month of benefits. we only get 1/12 of that 147K to save. we have other things to do. I don't think this schedule is real.

hicks: what is possible is to take provisional budget to PNB.

roberts: don't want to do that. when last year we did that, it led to budget changing, etc. we need to know that budget PNB sees in september is this budget.

hicks, roberts, lane: iGM should not go on vacation

roberts: we are doing an awful lot here, perhaps her supervisor should make that recommendation

hicks: NFC should make recommendation that IGM's vaacation be postponed

(end of hour 2)

bediako: can we get another week?

hicks: yes. we will do your budget last.

adelson: please incorporate into budget calendar.

adelson: finance requests called for quarterly reports. we got a good one in march. when can we expect the one in June.

adelson: bylaws on budget. PNB adopts and monitors budget, LSB approves station budget, NFC review and recommend. we should review after LSB station budget approves. we need to know who has latitude to make changes. thanks for the report on interunit transfers. it this a public document?

lane: it's up to the PNB

roberts: only went to NFC

adelson: would like it to be public

hicks: re quarterly report. we are behind. expect by 8/5

roberts: last year got into problem -- adding up increased expenses and put into revenue. just throw in the number that's needed, not based on outreach strategy, etc. need to base increases in revenue on something beyond "that's what we need."

hicks: in the May financial report on extreme right is audit report. can be used for projection.

gatewood: is it possible just to give numbers of quarterly report 8/1 (not backup)

hicks: will do very best to deliver.

heffley: re past behavior of station -- look at radioactivist.net can see past fundraisers at WBAI. we have never raise $1.1 million in spring, which was in budget.

also, given all the mismanagement that goes on, it is out of line to ask iGM not to take vacation. no complaints of others at any time

williams: to call out iGM from NFC is out of order. believe iED can decide how to work w/ GM -- borders on micromanagement.

re report on inter unit transfers. we requested this durint our directors inspection. but i could not print out. maybe an excel problme. need to set aside time on conference call, can bring alvin yip on the call (who prepared document on interunit transfers).

weinmann: in houston, we have process laid out that layus out v1 budget to LSB on 7/27. from that point finance committee will work on it w/ management. vote on it 8/24 LSB meeting. request a couple of extra weeks so thyat we have total consensus when we go forward with this budget.

hicks: what if we say 8/26 is date for LSBs to be finished?

weinmann: that works for us.

roberts: could you move it up PNB needs to approve late septemeber

weinmann: can make that request. trying to work collaborateively w/ mgmt. often have carry-oer meetings, could vote before 8/24.


roberts: can we hold off

adelson: only have to propose candidates. nomiations are open

williams: nominate adelson

gatewood: nominanate tattersall

adelson: anyone else

adelson: i chair governance secy of cooridngation, negotiaitaint committee, etc. if anyone wants this...

roberts: we do have two names on the table

adelson: secretary will send out ballots

allen: can we hear from Marnie

adelson: we will ask for Marnie's statement next time

next meeting 7/28 3 pm pacific


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