Thursday, May 8, 2014

Clarifications of what is suppose to- but may not- occur at KPFK board meetings.

Some questions and answers -  

obtained from  Terry Goodman, a personal parliamentarian to the LSB [local station board] chairperson. He is the main one who knows and resources the PACIFICA bylaws  - and he may, if asked,  assist all those LSB people  who do not know, nor remember, nor attempt to look up, nor care much about following the laws that regiment the actions within the LSB monthly meetings.

1.   Are the LSB members talking timed at all ?  

Yes, except when the timekeeper is distracted.   

The KPFK LSB's standing rule is to limit each speaker to 3 minutes. 
If the time on the approved agenda has been exhausted and not extended with a 2/3rds approval, then all currently pending motions should be disposed of immediately by vote without further discussion.

2. Is there a full time timekeeper at LSB meetings possible to do the job responsibilty?

There can be no Timekeeper as a permanent officer position.  It is the Chair's responsibility to keep members within the limits of the rules, so she can [if she chooses or remembers to do so ] appoint anyone to assist at each meeting. The appointment is in the nature of a ruling and so subject to objection, but that almost [the naming of a permanent or regular time keeper] never occurs.

Any member may double-check the work of the timekeeper and raise a point of order if an irregularity is observed.  Any member may double-check the work of the chair and raise a point of order if an irregularity is observed.  The chair serves at the pleasure of the body, as do the chair's appointees.

3. Who helps the LSB and chair in following the Pacifica/LSB bylaws ?

Terry Goodman wrote: ".....I am the personal parliamentarian of the LSB Chair and not the official parliamentarian for the KPFK Local Station Board.  

Every LSB Member has a right to a personal parliamentarian, and I've traditionally offered my services to each chair in sequence since completing my two terms in office as a KPFK Delegate

When I speak to the whole LSB it is generally upon the request of a member and the absence of any objection.  

As the Chair's personal parliamentarian, I may approach and speak privately to her on my own initiative or when sought; but if I wish on my own initiative to address the body as a whole I do so as a member of  the [public only ]..."

4.     Do bylaws state who must or can be timer and that a real [loud enough for all to hear] timer be used ? 

The bylaws include no mention of timekeepers.  The Rules of Order include a single sentence merely authorizing the chair to appoint one.

5.   Someone said it may not be legal to have iGM’s  [interim General Manager, as there seems to be now at KPFK and KPFA]  in 2 stations ? is that so, and after how long ?

The FCC requirement is that each station have a Chief Operator.  For most broadcast stations that Chief Operator is actually the Chief Engineer, not the General Manager.

Whenever there is no General Manager, the Chief Engineer is assumed by the FCC to have all the General Manager's authorities and responsibilities.  Whenever there is no Chief Engineer, the General Manager must find and assign a license qualified replacement immediately.

KPFK is an attended radio station operating 24/7.  If there is no manager or more senior staff member in the building, then the signed-on board operator has delegated authority over the premises, even if this person is an unpaid volunteer. 

6.    How long before a new GM at KPFK must be hired ?

I know of no time limit.  According to the bylaws, a permanent GM hire cannot occur prior to the LSB's recommendation of a candidate pool, but the Executive Director has authority to reject the pool and demand a new search.  To the best of my knowledge and belief, the arrangement  of shared management between KPFA and KPFK is legal....

7.      Who has the ‘legal authority’ to hire ‘counsel’ [Pacifica atty] as it seems both factions are represented by different  ones,

Ultimate corporate authority belong to the PNB, so it has authority to hire counsel; but Pacifica's Executive Director as CEO has the responsibility to hire attorneys when necessary to protect the  Foundation, and the assignment of responsibilities implies delegation of the authority required to carry them out.   

The PNB has restricted that ED authority by requiring Board approval of major contracts, including attorney engagements.   

The Board has also reserved the right to select a permanent Counsel for the Foundation. The bylaws don't mandate the position, but Pacifica's needs it

The current situation is complicated because the identity of Pacifica's current Executive Director is in dispute and just about everybody with any national authority in Pacifica is a party in that dispute.

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NOTE : Any public member, sponsor, supporter, listener can attend any LSB meetings that are "open" as most are. Meetings are listed on the website under events monthly. The location, time and if "open" or "closed" is often admitted beforehand. 

The bylaws [regulations] require that there be about 30 minutes total of "public comments" for those who are not LSB members [seated in enclosed horseshoe style and speak to themselves whether audibly or not ] -in a meeting  which can last 4-5-6 hours each time.

Public members sit separately and cannot speak nor ask nor be part of the meeting except when they 'line up' for their 50 seconds [ in each of 4 separate occasions throughout the meeting]. About 5 people can speak in each of 4 segments of "public comments" so it depends on how many want to speak if one can or cannot. 

Each public member may then speak into a microphone briefly, even if what they express is not contained in the agenda or the current issues addressed by LSB members.  Some offer suggestions, criticisms, exhort a political opinion or discredit a programer.

No response by any LSB or chair is given to acknowledge if the information was relevant, valued, distracting or worth giving. So even positive recommendations are not acknowledged nor admitted. Occasionally other public members agree and applaud, but LSB members apparently do not give responses, or rarely do.

To sit through the meetings is a dedication and an ordeal, as many LSB members have  already previously communicated ONLY amongst themselves via their email group or phone. Thus they have made decisions or learned of problems that are NOT revealed nor admitted in the meeting, then open to the public. 

Even if a public person requests repeatedly and politely to have clarified what the discussion is about and why opposing factions are fighting there at their LSB meeting, no such information is given, leaving confusion and frustration as a result.

Some LSB members, knowingly or not, elicit a 'support group' to attend as public members for a cause or themselves to show LSB person's power and ability to elicit visibility. Others appear to ignore and dismiss anyone who is not seated at the LSB tables where only those who are official members talk only to each other.  

Often LSB members - knowing who they are speaking to amongst themselves and what their exhortations are about -  will refer to what the public visitors have no knowledge of... nor can the public access this vital information relevant to the operations of KPFK.  Often the LSB will speak to each other and 'forget' to use a microphone provided to assist the public to being able to at least hear, if not understand or know, 'what is going on'.

Occasionally the Chair may repeatedly request "speak to the chair' to the members and other times that order is not given at all.  The lack of adequate timekeeping, except for in the public comments, and the lack of consistency in honoring the rules long ago written for the LSB actions and interruptions, are obvious and frequently noted. 

The brittleness and antagonisms of members around many issues leaves the public observing the proceedings with many questions of how this advisory body to KPFK management is valued or helpful.   The KPFK management and staff and programmers operations are even more secreted away  - and all those are  non-responsive to any public even via emails or voice mail messages, so the LSB meetings are the only external branch available. One that anyone who pays or cares for the KPFK continuing on are able to attended regularly - some meetings are repeatedly sprinkled by a few and some others visit occasionally only. 

Never is there a large  public group until some controversy occurs, or one that is again, NOT stated openly nor clearly  defined or described - by anyone present [by precedence or collusion ? ]so  the observers can only guess at what is being addressed. 

Many questions occur to those who come to learn or share suggestions with the LSB. 

There are very few answers ever available, as the LSB during the meeting do not mix with the public - perhaps out of loyalty to their closed circle - or perhaps out of not wanting distracting talk nor opinions inflicted upon their views. 

It is an experience that most KPFK listeners should visit at least 1x -  to learn or note what occurs  - and while the expenses are low [or never mentioned], the value of what the LSB contributes the running of the radio station has been asked and never clearly answered either. 

That so many do insist on being [s]elected to be on the LSB must mean there is power, privilege or  other  unstated benefits to be on the board. Perhaps the secrecy and exclusiveness displayed in the meetings is enough to create the image of a board member being valuable and idealistically contributing to some better good...somehow...sometime...

Being able to withstand the fractional fighting and assuming some good will come of their meetings, motions and discussions may elicit others to be local station board members. 

(c) Kc 2014