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Indybay Feature

Ziri Rideaux vs Pacifica

by Akio Tanaka
On October 20, 2022, the PNB voted to extend the terms if the elections were not held.
On February 2, 2023, Ziri Rideaux filed a lawsuit claiming that such extension is in direct violation of the Bylaws and the Corporations Code.

One Interpretation

(1) On October 20, 2022, the PNB voted to extend the terms if the elections were not held.

(2) Parliamentarian John Tatum and Chair of Tellers Terry Goodman argued that extending the two consecutive 3-year terms violated the Bylaws.

Parliamentarian John Tatum said:
“Violating the bylaws by extending the terms of directors and delegates beyond the point at which they were eligible to serve again. The framers of the Pacifica bylaws were explicit with the fact that they did not want directors or delegates to stay in office longer than what is mandated in the bylaws: Article Four, Delegates, Section 8: Terms of Office; Term Limits. “A Delegate's term of office shall be three (3) years, beginning in December. A Delegate may serve a maximum of two consecutive 3-year terms, and in no event more than six (6) cumulative years without a one-year (12 consecutive months) break.”

Chair of Tellers Terry Goodman said:
“Pacifica Delegates are unambiguously prohibited by Article Four, Section 8 from serving a seventh consecutive year in office.”
“The "in no event" clause does not apply to delegate terms.  
It applies instead, in every event, to the delegate term limit, which is not to exceed six cumulative years in any individual case.”

John Tatum and Terry Goodman both argue that “in no event more than six (6) cumulative years” limit precludes extending the two consecutive 3-year terms.

Terry Goodman further argues that, “The idea of ‘term-limit extension’ is a fantasy that makes a mockery of all term limit principles”.

(3) On February 2, 2023 Ziri Rideaux filed a lawsuit claiming that:
§45. On or around October 20, 2022, the PNB passed a resolution (hereafter the “October Resolution”) cancelling the 2022 election of the LSB Delegates to replace those LSB Delegates whose term ended December 2022, thus, extending the term of said Delegates/Members an additional year. Such extension is in direct violation of the Bylaws and the Corporations Code.


Another Interpretation

(1) The Bylaws specify 24 elected Delegates on the Local Station Board.

Article Seven, Local Station Board, Section 2: Composition of Local Station Boards
“Each LSB shall consist of the 24 Delegates elected by the Members for that radio station.”

- Extending the terms until the successors are elected, when there is no election, keeps the 24 elected Delegates on the LSB.
- Not extending the two consecutive 3-year terms results in LSB with ~6 vacant Delegate seats which violates the Bylaws that specify 24 elected Delegates on the Local Station Board.
[A runner-up can not replace a vacancy of a Delegate position at end of his/her term because a runner-up can only replace the remainder of a term when a Delegate position becomes vacant mid-term.]

(2) The Bylaws extend the term until a successor is elected.

Article Four, Delegates, Section 5: Election Time Frame
"….. If no quorum of ballots is obtained by the extended date then those Delegates whose terms would have expired upon the election of new Delegates shall remain in office until the next regularly scheduled Delegates election.” 

- Terms that would have expired upon the election of new Delegates are 3-year term and “two consecutive 3-year terms”.
[RONR §46:45 and CCC §5220(b) are other examples where term is extended until a successor is elected.]

(3) “In no event more than six (6) cumulative years“ limit does not apply to a Delegate who serves “two consecutive 3-year terms”.

Article Four, Delegates, Section 8: Terms of Office; Term Limits
“A Delegate's term of office shall be three (3) years, beginning in December. A Delegate may serve a maximum of two consecutive 3-year terms, and in no event more than six (6) cumulative years without one year (consecutive months) break.
If a Delegate serves as elected or alternate for an incomplete year, those month/s of service must be counted towards the six years cumulative limit.”

- A Delegate either serves 3-year term/s, or serves as elected or alternate for an incomplete term that counts toward the “six years cumulative limit”.
- A Delegate who serves 3-year term/s has a 6 year ‘term’ limit, “two consecutive 3-year terms.”
- The 6 year ‘term’ limit is the basis for the 6 year limit, “six (6) cumulative years”, for a Delegate who serves an incomplete term that counts toward the “six years cumulative limit”.
- “Six (6) cumulative years”, is underscored by the phrase “in no event more than” because beginning/s and end/s of incomplete term/s are not defined.
- “In no event more than six cumulative years” limit does not apply to a Delegate who serves “two consecutive 3-year terms”.


by Akio Tanaka
(3) “In no event more than six (6) cumulative years“ limit does not apply to a Delegate who serves “two consecutive 3-year terms”.

Article Four, Delegates, Section 8: Terms of Office; Term Limits
“A Delegate's term of office shall be three (3) years, beginning in December. A Delegate may serve a maximum of two consecutive 3-year terms, and in no event more than six (6) cumulative years without one year (consecutive months) break.
If a Delegate serves as elected or alternate for an incomplete year, those month/s of service must be counted towards the six years cumulative limit.”

- A Delegate either serves 3-year term/s, or serves as elected or alternate for an incomplete term that counts toward the “six years cumulative limit”.
- An incomplete term is counted in cumulative years/months, because an incomplete term is shorter than a 3-year term.
- A Delegate who serves 3-year term/s has a 6 year ‘term’ limit, “two consecutive 3-year terms.”
- The 6 year ‘term’ limit is the basis for the 6 year limit, “six (6) cumulative years”, for a Delegate who serves an incomplete term that counts toward the “six years cumulative limit”.
- “Six (6) cumulative years”, is underscored by the phrase “in no event more than” because beginning/s and end/s of incomplete term/s are not defined.
- “In no event more than six cumulative years” limit does not apply to a Delegate who serves “two consecutive 3-year terms”.

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