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Statement From Independents for Community Radio on 8-4 KPFA LSB Meeting
by Repost
Saturday Aug 4th, 2012 2:22 PM
The local board can't do a substantive budget review when members are given less than 16 hours to read the document before voting on it.
Statement from Independents For Community Radio on August 4th KPFA LSB Meeting

To our friends at KPFA:

We are writing to express our disappointment at being unable to attend the scheduled August 4th KPFA Local Station Board meeting. The primary item on the meeting agenda was the board discussion and vote on the 2013 KPFA budget.

The budget draft was sent to the local station board at 5:09 pm on Friday August 3rd. The backup material needed for the review was sent at 6:10pm on Friday August 3rd.

The local board can't do a substantive budget review when members are given less than 16 hours to read the document before voting on it. The members of Independents for Community Radio ask the rest of the KPFA local board to responsibly exercise financial oversight by scheduling a special board meeting immediately for a comprehensive budget discussion and vote before the end of the month of August.

We will support the rest of the board in requesting an extension from Pacifica's Finance Committee to allow the board to schedule the meeting prior to the end of the month. An extension request is in effect until August 14th. The original deadline for local station boards to forward approved budgets was July 31, 2012.

The current response from the chair of the KPFA Local Station Board is that it isn't possible to schedule a special meeting for budget review because not enough members of the board allied with the Save KPFA faction can attend such a special meeting.

We ask the board to put aside such concerns and enable the board to review the documents for 3-5 days prior to attending a board budget discussion and vote. Rushing to push forward a document without adequate time to review it is an irresponsible practice and one we cannot endorse.

Anthony Fest Cynthia Johnson Janet Kobren Henry Norr Tracy Rosenberg Aki Tanaka Kate Tanaka
by Old Lib
Saturday Aug 4th, 2012 3:11 PM
If you were elected to the Local Station Board, you have an obligation to fulfill that responsibility.

After all, you agreed to run for it, nu?

So why aren't you able to attend, en masse, to carry out those responsibilities? What's more important than KPFA to you?

The same holds for SaveKPFA, but at least they didn't come forward with a "screw you in advance, voter" statement like this...

by Sasha Futran
Saturday Aug 4th, 2012 3:54 PM
Here is reasonable facsimile of the statement I made for the record at the beginning of today's KPFA Local Station Board meeting:

The following KPFA LSB members left the building in which the KPFA LSB meeting was held:

Tracy Rosenberg, a KPFA LSB Pacifica National Board member and Treasurer of the PNB,

Kate Tanaka

Akio Tanaka

Anthony Fest

Cynthia Johnson

Henry Norr

Janet Kobrin

One of their members also scheduled the room we were to meet in for the wrong day and time. After waiting more than an hour, the facility was able to accommodate us and those mentioned left.

The exact statement will be in our minutes when they are available.

Sasha Futran
Vice Chair, KPFA LSB
by Craig Alderson
Saturday Aug 4th, 2012 5:18 PM
The justification of these boycotting members was that they didn't have adequate time to study the budget, which had been delivered to them only the evening before. The budget draft was late because KPFA management was working urgently to comply with a Pacifica directive and had to prioritize. The exact contents of the budget presented today were no surprise, as the treasurer had already reported in previous meetings that the draft would be quite similar to the budget of the current fiscal year. However, everyone on the board would have preferred to have more time to study the budget. Everyone on the board agreed this was not ideal.

But rather than do the best they could under the circumstances, the boycotting members chose to issue an ultimatum before the meeting had even convened: either reschedule budget discussions to a later date, or they would refuse to participate and deny the meeting a quorum. It was extortion, pure and simple.

This was a regularly scheduled meeting. The deadline to approve the budget was today, with no guarantee of an extension. Public notice requirements and members' schedules militated against scheduling an additional meeting. This budget could have been dealt with as responsibly as possible in today's meeting.

If board members objected to being rushed into this budget, they would have been free to make a motion to table or to ask for an extension. They would have been free to make a motion for an emergency meeting. They would have been free to vote no on the budget. That's what responsible board members would have done.

Instead, they deliberately chose to obstruct the board in performing its duties. There's nothing righteous or noble or principled in their action. This was not Wisconsin. They weren't protecting the rights of listeners or staff by boycotting. They were harming them.

Their refusal to even participate was petulant and childish. It was a betrayal of their responsibilities as members of a governing board and of the trust placed in them by the listeners who elected them. I am sad to say that I thought they were better than this.

Craig Alderson
LSB secretary
Like the one way way out at the union hall by the airport, supposedly set up by union buddies of Conn Hallinan, Matthew Hallinan, Margy Wilkinson et al, who supposedly "couldn't" get into the building while all ICR members waited around, shortly after the "Savers" (sic) waited around the corner to make sure the door-opener, who showed up at the correct time rather than the woops-we-meant-this-time hour later, left.

by Skeebo
Saturday Aug 4th, 2012 10:29 PM
...from either side encourages us to let our membership lapse until the crazies do each other in, and stop dragging the foundation down.
by Sasha Futran
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 9:24 AM
The fact is that ICR has boycotted more than one meeting this year. Besides that, Tracy Rosenberg kept peeking into one meeting room repeatedly once to check if there was a quorum once When there finally was, all of ICR "coincidently" arrived and entered the room at the same time. Then there was the time we meet in Fresno., an over six hour commute each way. They found out that if they didn't show there wouldn't be a quorum. So all of SAVE KPFA drove all that distance for naught.

This isn't SAVE not doing their job, playing dirty games, or being courteous to others. This is ICR. So you need to remain a member to vote them out and SAVE in. That's the only way things will change.
by Skeebo
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 10:28 AM
Suppose KPFA needs to raise funds in September. That would affect revenue projections for the year for which KPFA needs to budget. Also Pacifica National needs more time to figure out how much it needs to rob KPFA to pay WBAI.
by Tracy Rosenberg
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 11:21 AM
Why is it impossible to schedule a budget meeting after the board has had a chance to read the budget? What's being defended is a process where a 247 page document was sent in basically the middle of the night to be ratified 16 hours later and if someone objects, they have bad intentions? What planet are we on?

ICR made a reasonable request for a budget meeting after the board members have read the budget. That request was refused.

What is Save KPFA's point? Board members shouldn't read budgets?The board shouldn't actually review the budget anyway, just rubber stamp whatever it gets? They don't want to schedule meetings if they aren't sure enough of their people can get there to dominate the proceedings?

This problem was caused by the late delivery of the budget. It's solved by scheduling another budget meeting. Just do it.
by Sasha Futran
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 11:43 AM
Tracy --
Ah,a 247 page document????? Not us, Tracy Dearest.You must be thinking of some other group you are part of. I believe 16 was the number we dealt with, but you know me and numbers, it could have been 14 or 18 pages. : )

I will remind you that you refused to give a report from the National Finance Committee to the PNB during 3 1/2 day meeting in Berkeley two week's ago. Did that although the state of finances for the organization was the most important item to be considered at that meeting. So if the PNB, of which you are treasurer, could proceed without a report I believe it is safe that we could proceed with a report.

The problem is that you didn't have a majority of the votes at the KPFA board meeting yesterday and by walking out could try to stop us meeting and considering our budget, passing a budget possibly with changes, in a timely fashion. And, oh, by the way, you set the deadline for when that report is due.

KPFA DID AN EXCELLENT JOB IN ITS LAST FUND DRIVE AND THE SAFE DESERVE TO BE THANKED AND APPRECIATED. Not to do so is devastating on morale. Is that your desired outcome?

We have some wonderful, creative, talented people and they have been working extra hard and extra hours without additional pay. Be appreciative.
by Tracy Rosenberg
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 3:40 PM
You're kind of making my point for me, aren't you? The full budget document in Excel with the backup material is 247 pages. It was sent to the board at 6:10pm on Friday night. You're referring to the PDF summary that was sent an hour before.

I hate to break it to you, but you're supposed to read the entire document before you vote on it.

The finance report had 6 motions and there was not enough time to deal with them, so I ceded the time to the development committee, as they had a shorter report. The CFO provides the financial info to the board and had already done so at great length. The finance committee report is just the presentation of pending motions from the committee, which we didn't have enough time to do. None of them were particularly time-sensitive, so it was cool with me to let Heather have the floor and she appreciated it. Why does this upset you?

These conversations are so incredibly weird. Why don't you just schedule a budget meeting? I was told that you didn't discuss the lack of capital expenses in the budget and the lack of a website upgrade and at a minimum, those need further discussion. And I expect there's a lot more questions to come.

by Sasha Futran
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 7:36 PM
Stop trying to divert the discussion into nonsense and lies.

The fact remains that it wasn't being "nice" and it doesn't matter if someone was "grateful" that you gave the time you have as treasurer over to an item of no importance whatsoever and thus avoided making the PNB's treasuer's report as Pacifica faces bankruptcy..

Nor was it logical to stop the KPFA budget from being reviewed, questioned, and discussed, perhaps changed, and finally passed in a timely fashion so that we could make the deadline set by the PNB committee you chair. It was Machiavellian.

by Tracy Rosenberg
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 9:07 PM
If you read the ICR statement, you'll see that it says that I'll ask the finance committee to grant KPFA an extension to the end of the month of August.

The committee will have to make up it's own mind. I only have one vote and I can't force them to do anything but I would be surprised if they didn't.

So what is the obstacle to having a budgetary meeting before the end of the month after the board has had a chance to read the budget? It's hard to believe the only way to convene a budget meeting over the whole course of an entire month is less than 24 hours after the receipt of the document.

That doesn't make much sense.

As for the NFC report, it was in writing and in the board book so the board already got it. I'll read it out loud whenever we get to it on the teleconferences.
by Craig Alderson
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 10:17 PM
We understand that you thought there should have been more time to examine the budget. That was your opinion. Others on the board thought there was sufficient time. That was their opinion.

You had the opportunity to bring your questions and insights to the board and, if you believed it didn't sufficiently understand the matter, to help the board understand it. You had the opportunity to make motions to reschedule the meeting, postpone consideration, or suggest some other alternative. You had the opportunity to persuade the other board members toward your position and submit your proposal to a vote.

You didn't do that. You chose instead to give the board an ultimatum: to accede to your position before you would even participate.

You have yet to explain why your opinion is more important than the opinions of the other board members. You have yet to explain why the basic rules of democratic procedure don't apply to you.

You've avoided that question here, on Facebook, and within the LSB. We'd like an answer.
by Repost
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 11:50 PM
Craig, you know as well as I do - better, actually - that if we hadn't balked, the majority would have passed the budget yesterday, a budget none of us had had the time to examine with any care. (I myself had prior commitments both Friday evening and early Saturday morning.) I take the budget review process seriously - I think it's one of the most important parts of our jobs as representatives of the listeners and the staff, all the more so at a time when the station's financial situation is so precarious.

In past years, the review process has never been what it should have been, IMO, but at least there was a process - we had a presentation and initial discussion at one meeting, then small-group workshops to go over it, before voting at a subsequent meeting. That gave time for each of us to scrutinize the document on our own as well as with our colleagues. Board members have regularly found significant anomalies and highly questionable assumptions, and that has resulted in revisions before the document came to a final vote. At a minimum it allowed us some understanding of what we eventually voted on.

Trying to compress that whole process, starting with complex, multi-page documents most of us had scarcely looked at, into just two hours makes a mockery of our responsibility.I can't imagine that any serious board of any non-profit organization of KPFA's scale, er even much smaller and less troubled ones, would have agreed to such an approach.

What we proposed was a simple alternative under the circumstances: use the two hours yesterday for initial presentation and discussion, then leave at least a few days' interval for us to go home, pore over the document and consider possible changes, then have a special meeting - at whatever time was most convenient for most people, ideally before the extended Aug. 14 deadline - for further discussion, consideration of any amendments, and a final vote.

The counterproposal that came back to us - doing the voting by e-mail instead of at a meeting - was not a convincing alternative. First of all, there were questions about whether it would have complied with the bylaws. Even if we decided it did, it wouldn't have offered any real opportunity for post-review discussion and amendment.

Speaking just for myself, I really wanted to have the presentation and discussion yesterday, but not at the cost of agreeing to a procedure that would have resulted in approval of a budget after such minimal review
by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB
Monday Aug 6th, 2012 10:10 AM
I didn't support Sasha Futran when she ran for election in 2006. Why? Sasha supported the tactic of ditching meetings! When I was LSB Chair, in 2005, we had a small majority that was not solid. Approaching one meeting it appeared that some of our side was not going to be present and some on our side decided that it would be best to all not come so there wouldn't be a quorum and the then named KPFAForward, (later Concerned Listeners and now "SaveKPFA") could move on a plan they had that would have stuck us with a template for the agenda that would have made flexibility impossibile.

I was adamently against ditching the meeting, we had the station's business to attend to, and I rebutted ideas about saying that we were all on vacation or some other sorry excuse. I thought it was a terrible idea to be dishonest with our listeners. Several of our folks didn't show but there was a quorum and the Brian Edward-Tiekert led KPFAForward did some very undemocratic things because later on in the meeting others on our side left them with a 2/3 majority. Fortunately, with knowledge of Roberts Rules, I was able to get the Agenda Template motion repealed at a later meeting. That was not a fun meeting to chair.

So this meeting and the ditching meetings tactic gets discussed by our side and when Sasha decided to run for election in 2006 and I was getting to know her she was adament that ditching a meeting was a good tactic when necessary. I strongly disagreed with her and it became clear that while she was running against my opponents she didn't have the same political principles that I did and I told her I could not support her candidacy. Ever since then she has attacked me and slandered me and distored what I have done and said at ever opportunity. ( The next round will be coming as soon as Sasha reads this.)

While I continue to oppose ditching meetings which ICR and CL/SaveKPFA have both done, it is another moment of Sasha Futran hypocricy for her to attack ICR for ditching a meeting. At least this time they were out front about the reason and I applaud them for that transparency and honesty, even though I disagree with the tactic.

And yes it is very bad to have so little time to review the budget, another "SaveKPFA" dirty trick, and they will get their budget passed regardless since their tyrannical majority knows no boundries.

The problem with playing "SaveKPFA's" game of "win and principle be damned" is that the longer you do it the more you become like them and principles disappear and winning the current battle, whatever it is, is all that matters and "Be the changes that you want to see in the world" disappears for KPFA/Pacifica political struggle.

Richard Phelps
by Virginia
Monday Aug 6th, 2012 1:58 PM
You be right on this one, though Richard and I don't always agree. I certainly attended many more meetings as a listener than Sasha did as a board member during the past few years. She can sound SO RIGHTEOUS though, can't she?
by Sasha Futran
Tuesday Aug 7th, 2012 12:55 AM
First of all, dear Richard called me at a minimum twice a week during the summer of 2006 asking me to run on his little People's Radio slate and became enraged when I would not.

Second, I never discussed "ditching" meetings as a tactic with him.

Third,I never discussed board strategy with him.

Fourth, three year's ago he sued me. He is an attorney and has sued or been the lawyer on a lawsuit against a total of four other board members. I think it is safe to say that we weren't on the closest of terms either before or after he sued me. Any reasonable person would follow that we weren't discussing political strategies as a result.

Fifth ,while Richard does like to go on about being chair for a year, I have no idea why he keeps discussing that. I wasn't on the board when he was chair.

On to Virginia. I'd like to suggest that I have missed very few meetings in six years and would ask that Virginia go online at KPFA and look at the minutes and prove that I did. Also, she needs to prove that she has attended more meetings than I have.

Talks cheap. Where's the proof?

Now we do know for a fact that ICR was in the building and walked out en masse when they realized that without one of them we would not have a quorum. We also know as a fact that one of their members did not book the room we were to meet in for Saturday from 11 - 4 but for Sunday. We were able to get into the room shortly after noon.We also know that they did that another time in the past year and that they did the same thing a couple of year's ago when we met in Fresno. I did not plan on attending that meeting -- never went to any of the Fresno meetings as arrangement for being gone 12 hours were too complicated -- and didn't know they had that strategy and was astounded when I learned what happened . . . after the fact. Let's see, we could check the record and see if Richard was on the board then. That might be an interesting thing to do

What a nasty bunch of people.
by Sasha Futran
Tuesday Aug 7th, 2012 2:36 PM
Ladies first . . . The minutes of KPFA board meetings are posted online and anyone can see that I haven’t missed a meeting in, I believe, a year plus at this point and have missed few of the roughly 69 board meeting at issue since I’ve been on the board. So, please post the proof with actual dates of all those many meeting you say I missed, Virginia, along with proof of your self-proclaimed far more exemplary attendance. Check the public comments section of the meetings for the latter information.

On to Richard Phelps, a lawyer, who claims that I “ditch” meetings and, as he also puts it, have strategized with him about that as a tactic which I allegedly favor. Also, his claim that he never supported me being on the board for reasons such as that.

First, Richard tried mightily to have me run on a slate he put together six year’s ago when I first ran for the board and I declined. After over a month of his twice weekly calls to that end, he became enraged.

A few year’s ago he sued me (as he is currently also suing four other members of the KPFA board). I mention that as I think most would agree that he and I were probably not spending a lot of time talking to one another let alone stratagizing together in the not quite six years I have known him. Why would I be chummy with someone who screams at me and sues me?

And for the record, boycotting meetings is not a tactic I have ever engaged in during my tenure on any board on which I have served.

Again, proof, please, attorney Richard Phelps, as that is necessary along with your accusations and character assignation. Perhaps syou can also explain why you sue so many KPFA board members as well. Is that your strategic tactic for silencing people with whom you disagree? Just asking.
by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB
Tuesday Aug 7th, 2012 5:36 PM
First, I didn't sue Sasha Futran. She slandered me on line and in person for some years and I got tired of it and told her to stop many times and she wouldn't so finally I said stop or I would sue her. Sasha hired a lawyer to talk settlement with me and I told him all I wanted was her to stop and an apology. I didn't want any money. Below see the apology from Sasha. Her version of the rest is as accurate as her saying I sued her. Ask her for the case number, it doesn't exist. Just like Censure isn't discipline, when it is convenient for "SaveKPFA" tyranny of the majority. Sasha, you know Robert's Rules and that nowhere in it does it say that Censure is a warning. Where is your criticism of "SaveKPFA" for their misuse of authority denying due process? Or did you vote with them?

"In 2006 i misinterpreted an e-mail sent by Richard Phelps on the Fulcrums List and thought he was accusing me of being a government agent. Regretfully, I have said he did that in e-mails and in person. I was wrong and I am sorry for any embarrassment it has caused him.

Sasha Futran"

And I was being gracious in letting her say she "misinterpreted" it. She just needed an excuse to attack, distorting reality to support her narcissistic needs. I wasn't being vindictive or after money, I just wanted her to stop the slander, which she finally did.

Remember she was the one that tried to get her slate mate, Henry Norr, kicked off the ballot in 2009, because he put out a flyer that didn't give her the prominence she thought she deserved. And I was the one that provided the legal analysis that allowed him to stay on, based on an honest misunderstanding and the Doctrine of Estoppel. Another reason for her to hate me, I stopped her revenge against Henry. But Henry has had to sit through 3 more years of meetings with her. So perhaps Sasha has had her revenge.

The other four board members are being sued for breach of their duty of loyalty. They did a competing fund drive diverting KPFA's scarce pledges to their attempt to extort programming changes. We won in the trial court and they appealed, which will be heard later this month. The law is clear, as is the morality, elected officials of a corporation must not compete with the corporation.

And I criticized the ICR when they ditched the Fresno meeting and I was told I wasn't a team player as I was told when I disagreed with their Bylaws misinterpretation to keep Hanrahan on the LSB after she got a staff job, she was elected as a listener rep. My team will always be my principles before political moves. Unfortunately, political moves without principles seem to be the downfall of democracy at KPFA/Pacifica. For "SaveKPFA" and some on our side winning a political battle or position, or job, is more important than winning the war by building a principled democratic practice at KPFA/Pacifica and in the movement to save our planet from the corporate elite.