May 2011 LSB Meeting Records

KPFA 2011 Local Station Board
Regular in-person meeting,
May 21, 2011, 11am-4pm
Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley

Note: An audio archive of this meeting is available at

Shahram Aghamir*, Mal Burnstein, Pamela Drake, Anthony Fest, Sasha Futran, Suzi Goldmacher, Conn Hallinan, Matthew Hallinan, Cynthia Johnson, Hyun-Mi Kim*, Henry Norr, Richard Pehlps*, Andrea Prichett, Laura Prives*, Tracy Rosenberg, Lewis Sawyer, Frank Sterling, Akio Tanaka, Andrea Turner, Margy Wilkinson, Rych Withers; Barbara Whipperman (treasurer), Craig Alderson (secretary), Andrew Phillips (ex-officio)

*Arrived after roll call.

1.         Call to order
Meeting called to order by chair M. Wilkinson at 11:19 am.

2.         Roll call and excusing of members
Moved to excuse D. Gans, J. Kurzweil, T. Russell, D. Siegel. Approved without objection.

3.         Approve agenda
Sawyer moved to move public comments after agenda. Amended to split public comment period to accommodate audience members who would be arriving late. Approved without objection. Futran moved to add programming to new business. Agenda approved as amended without objection.

4.         Public comments, part 1 (in order of speakers)
Gene Bernardi, Aileen Alfandary

5.         Announcements
a.         M. Wilkinson announced legal developments regarding seating of D. Siegel and      L. Prives as Pacifica directors, and upcoming hearing date

b.         A. Turner congratulated former board member Susan McDonough for receiving Alameda Co. labor council community services award. Also gave update on Jon Fromer. Thanked volunteers for taking pledge calls.

c.         F. Sterling said KPFA apprenticeship program accepting applications for program. Applications at

6.         Minutes
April 16, 2011, minutes approved as corrected, without objection.

M. Wilkinson responded to questions raised in public comments item regarding Goldman Sachs donations. Goldman Sachs Gives gave two donations of $5,000 and $10,000. Donation was not binding. The initial incorrect report was that the donations were from Merrill Lynch. Wilkinson urged the board to have a discussion of corporate funding. T. Rosenberg stated that the donor doesn’t work for Goldman Sachs and there was no restriction in use of funds. In short, the donation was from a wealthy individual affiliated with Goldman Sachs.

7.         Treasurer’s report (B. Whipperman)
Whipperman provided TR1, a report on the April 30 budget workshop. 2012 budget proposals were solicited from station departments. Handwritten notes show recent budgeted and actual figures. These notes do not include salaries. Much discussion in workshop about improving website. T. Rosenberg has been exploring possible donations for computers; recommended contacting Tech Soup and posting wish list on website. H. Norr pointed out that current work on website is only within existing structure and doesn’t expand functionality. Rosenberg suggested developing submission for annual Knight Foundation Digital Challenge in December. Further discussion about need to look at budget priorities and development or station will stagnate.

A. Turner moved to extend treasurer’s report 10 minutes. Approved without objection.

TR2 doesn’t include April. As of April 30, cash in bank was $146k with $13k in accounts payable. Pacifica’s 2011 budget for KPFA included salary cuts, but salaries were not actually cut. For example, salaries were budgeted at 98% of prior but paid at 100%. Thus, actuals indicate salary overages. Big problem persists between Pacifica budgets and what we need to do planning. Accounting of loans and repayments between station and national are seriously out of line. Local adjustments are not reconciled with national office. T. Rosenberg requested executive session in June meeting to discuss issue of budget reconciliation.

8.         General manager report (Andrew Phillips)
Membership drive has raised approximately $564k as of May 20, which means station is $150k short of goal. Phillips gave his analysis as to reasons for current situation. Partly due to way program changes were announced. No good process to go through, but no programs taken off air, just rescheduled. Other changes planned to bring listeners in via programs like “Talk Back” and to use apprentices and volunteers better. Phillips spoke of well-organized opposition to changes, which he called a “fifth column.” He noted websites and and said they and staff were creating discord within station. Said union caused expenses through grievances staff filed and for decline of listenership. Discussed charges of supporting corporate underwriting and stated that he believes KPFA should explore it but he doesn’t necessarily support it. Discussed news coverage of Goldman Sachs Gives donation. Suggested different ways of fund drives by raising money over website throughout entire year. Said station’s situation due to fractious internal divisions and said station needs to change or it will continue in a downward spiral. Proposed program council consisting of two LSB members, two paid staff members, two community advisory board members, three unpaid staff reps, and program director. Program director would have veto power. Morning program will continue as Morning Mix until new program council can develop alternative.

T. Rosenberg noted that the May 2010 fund drive came in at $660k, $90k short of goal, and that we may come within $50k of last year’s drive. This shortfall nothing new and is consistent with performance over past 3 to 4 years. Phillips complained further about websites and again blamed “fifth column” and dissension for station’s situation. Stated that his contract was up June 30.

Motion (C. Hallinan) to extend discussion 30 minutes. Approved: 9Y, 8N, 2A.

Board members with further questions should send them to A. Phillips with cc: to M. Wilkinson.

9.         Public comments, part 2 (in order of speaker)
Kate Gowen, Lisa Dettmer, Randy Christensen, Janet Kobren, Paula Erkkila

R. Phelps raised objection that censure motion passed in previous month’s meeting was improper because censured member must first be given a hearing for discipline of conduct occurring outside meeting. Chair ruled objection out of order because censure was cautionary, not disciplinary. Phelps appealed ruling of chair.

Motion to uphold chair’s ruling: 10Y (Burnstein, Drake, Futran, Goldmacher, C. Hallinan, M. Hallinan, Prives, Turner, Wilkinson, Withers); 10N (Aghamir, Fest, Johnson, Kim, Norr, Phelps, Prichett, Rosenberg, Sterling, Tanaka). Failed.

10.        Committee reports

A.         Fundraising (M. Wilkinson)
Hasn’t met since last LSB meeting. Will report next meeting. Non-disclosure statement committee developed has been approved and all board members will be asked to sign.

B.         Personnel (C. Hallinan)
Job descriptions finalized. Preparing to advertise for position and ads should be out by end of week. Incoming applications must stay in station. They expect to narrow candidates to about 10, then committee will bring in staff members for comments. Committee plans on bringing 4 to 6 candidates with recommendations to LSB. The LSB will review finalists and make final recommendation to Pacifica. We won’t finish this process by July 1, when interim general manager’s contract expires. Board members noted that bylaws require the same process for hiring a program director. Board needs to pursue that process also.

C.         Outreach (A. Prichett)
April 27 “KPFA on the Air” documentary shown in performance studio. Some new faces. Listeners have asked for a meeting up in Petaluma area. Outreach strategy is to target farmers’ markets, but lack of knowledge of programming grid is hampering progress. Went to New Life Expo in San Francisco and looking at programming and presence for Juneteenth. Unfortunately, Juneteenth and Gay Pride events conflict this year.

D.         Pacifica National Board (T. Rosenberg)
WPFW building being torn down and may lose transmitter. No cash surplus on hand so this is a challenge. WBAI lease expires 2012. High-rent offices, but no replacement yet, and proximity an issue. Affiliates task force may be restructured. Lawsuits at KPFK, WBAI resolved. Examining ways of streamlining data transfers between national and stations. Next in-person meetings Los Angeles in September and Washington in November. Personnel committee is working on program director job description. PNB racism/sexism committee hasn’t met but will.

M. Wilkinson reported on PNB Audit and Election committees. They’re trying to get a hold of copy of confidentiality agreement that LSB members should sign. Election committee discussing online voting and combinations of online, phone, and paper voting.

H. Norr reported that PNB tech committee finally met but he will be out of the country for a month and unable to participate in next meeting.

11.        Staff reports
A.         CWA representative (L. Prives)
Arbitration over Aimee Allison layoff has finished and decision expected next month. Looking into ways of building solidarity with unpaid staff.

B.         UPSO representative (A. Fest)
Last meeting well attended because management was present. Hoping to schedule another meeting soon.

12.        KFCF report (R. Wythers)
April 28 book event with Sasha Lilley. 130 attended and was big success.

13.        Old business
A.         Censure motion of Arlene Englehardt.
Withdrawn by maker.

14.        New business
A.         Resolution of censure of board members for breach of duty (R. Phelps). Withdrawn by maker.

B.         Santa Cruz booster (M. Wilkinson)
Station is not heard well in Santa Cruz areas. FCC permit granted but expires Oct. 1 so there’s urgency in completing work before expiration. LSB voted last year to raise funds toward $5,000 needed. $450 already received. T. Rosenberg suggested approaching foundations and that is being pursued. Motion (M. Wilkinson) to take on as board project. Approved without objection.

Meeting adjourned 4:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Craig Alderson
LSB Secretary