Mendocino County Public Broadcasting
KZYX Listener Supported Community Radio
“The Programs You Love, The News you Need”
Minutes, Board of Directors Meeting, Monday, 3 July 2017, 6 pm
Gualala Arts Center
Board President Jenness Hartley called the meeting to order at 6:11, observing that this is the first time the Board has met in Gualala.
Board members attending: Jenness Hartley, President/At-Large
Stuart Campbell, Treasurer/Programmers' Representative
Jonathan Middlebrook, Secretary/District 1
Heidi Dickerson, District 2
Ari Minson, District 3
Aspen Logan, District 4
Absent: John Azzaro, Vice-President
Clay Eubank, District 5
Ed Keller, At-large
Also attending: Jeffrey Parker, General Manager, & half-a-dozen members of the public
Approval of Minutes of 3 May Board meeting: Postponed until next meeting. Minutes of 1st half of 3 May meeting not available.
President Hartley goes over the ground rules for meeting, based in Roberta's Rules of Order, which focus on governing by consensus rather than strict parliamentary procedure.--”The goal is to make the meeting as productive and helpful to the station as possible. There will be public comment after each action item of 3 minutes. Please keep your comments relevant to the item. At the end of the meeting there will be public comment, also limited to 3 minutes.” [3 minutes/comment]
President's report: “Very brief. Basically this is the time of year when we start forming committees and formulating larger projects, like developing the strategic plan, updating the by-laws . . . so matters are still formulating. Ari is picking up the wonderful, long-postponed newsletter. It's going to be ready soon, and I'm deeply grateful [Minson: “Not without help. Aspen Logan's been wonderful.”] My idea is to split the fund-raising committee up into inland fund-raising committee and coastal fund-raising committee: cut down on drive time, and also different populations and so it makes more sense to have the committees separate.--The CAB [Community Advisory Board] survey: Ellen Saxe was not able to make this meeting today, but she is culling all the comments from the Board election ballots, several hundred . . . we're going to be looking at them in our strategic planning.--So, it's kind of like we're waiting right now, but things are happening.—So, I'm going to open it up to public comment, with a 3-minute timer.--One turn, then we'll open it up to public [i.e., general] comment after the budget report, which is the action item.
--Janet DuBarre [sp?]: ”I didn't know that the Board meeting was happening until Yasmin told me. Is it possible to send notice to members by email? I actually don't listen to the radio all the time. I'm a casual listener, and I support it mainly because of Dan Roberts and Fred Adler and Gordy Black, who are people I know and try to [?keep up with?] but I don't actually know what's happening at the station. Yasmin's told me that Ralph Nader is on [?at at some bizarre hour] but I think that there's a communication problem. There ought to be something for those of us who do not listen round the clock . . . I've never seen the newsletter . . . [Hartley: “We're going to start it.”]--”And how will that work? Will it come to members? [Minson: “It will be online, plus there will be small stacks of them, and some of them will be in popular places in all the villages around the county”] Everything else I belong to around the county sends me mail . . . [GM Parker: “I appreciate your suggestion of email, and we're just getting started with that in a way that doesn't generate lots of spam & clutter your inbox . . . but we will be emailing it out to anybody who wants its by email . . . ]”
--” I'm DJ Sister Yasmin. Thank you all for coming this distance, so now you see how far away we are . . . for ten years I drove over there every single week, and then sporadically for several years until I was expired. I'm certainly sad that Alice isn't here since most of my comments are about programming. I'll say the most important one to you guys first: 'We need a Board/staff access radio show once a month for a minimum of one hour, preferably two hours, where a few of you are on the radio with us, and not on The Discussion . . . that is our one little hour a week. OK . . . I ran for the Board and that was my platform. We need the show once a month so that the public can talk to you guys . . . this is only second meeting you guys have had over here in 28 years, and I don't blame you: it's far. Everybody needs a way to talk to you . . . #2, the $25 low-income membership should be an instituted thing . . . it should be advertised and I think it's tragic that you only get $5 out of the thing . . . you know what I did with my $25 instead of sending it to you guys? I sent my hero, Amy Goodman, $15 and got a letter right away 'O thank you!' and I sent the other $15 to Peggy at KGUA [?] . . . she plays Democracy Now at 8 am . . . I'm a radical activist, and you need to put some of those [radical] shows you put on at 4 & 5 am at a decent hour because progressives need to hear them . . . I'm not going to spend my time bashing NPR, but it's the corporate media . . . I was listening the other day and it said 'brought to you by Exxon-Mobil' and I went [awk!]”
--Sheila: “Communication is definitely a problem with the radio station, which I find ironic, since communication is your business. First of all, coming down here I had the radio station on, and it flipped in and out . . . so, part of the reason Gualala doesn't listen to the station is its poor reception. I would like to work on . . . getting better reception for Gualala. I want to say to Ari for the newsletter, that we have promos that go out at least once a year and [donations correspondence] that goes out maybe 3 times a year, and there's no reason you can't find out which people don't want an email, they want a written newsletter . . . so in pledge drives you can say 'do you want a written newsletter or an email?'--Jenness just said 'That's a wonderful idea,' so I would like to see that wonderful idea put into practice. [has sheet which says Point Arena has 51 members, Gualala has 22, as of 2012] No reason we can't have an update of that information. We really need to get a realistic count f where our memberships are. We are now in 2017, and things have changed. I think I'll reserve the rest of my comments for the budget.” [Hartley: “Thank you, Sheila.”]
Matters from Board members:
Minson: Newsletter will be pretty simple: One legal-sized sheet. On the backside is the current program schedule, but for more detailed information, for those of you who have access, we do have kzyx.org for more up-to-date information. The first issue has an article by Rich Culbertson about how we get the signal from Anderson Valley to Gualala, and the second article, with a nice picture, is of Dan Roberts with his [garbled] and how his short wave station has blossomed into a franchise . . . a podcast . . . . hope to get it out in a week or two, and encourage feedback & letters to the editor . . . Different point: Going forward, every 5th Board mtg. will be in Gualala. You're not forgotten down here. I'm sure that Rich is working to improve reception here.
Dickerson: How will hard copy of newsletter be distributed?
Minson: Funny you should ask. [Will be volunteers, people all over county willing to distribute] So it will be done manually. If you like, you can coordinate the whole thing. [laughter] . . . We're just starting. For sure it will appear every other month.
Middlebrook: Request from your secretary to the chairs of standing committees to send him action minutes of your public meetings.
Campbell: clarifies & emphasizes written treasurer's report . . .timing of fiscal reports. A month to go before this fiscal year closes. [21.30 jm: check wi. Tres Rept] [I think this IS the finace committee report] . . . New, in his experience on the Board, members got a draft of the proposed budget about 6 weeks ahead of this meeting.. Historically, it's been more like 6 hours . . . Some Board members kicked in some ideas and we had further discussions . . . Finance committee had a public meeting for discussion of proposed budget last Friday & then voted unanimously to bring it to the full Board tonight for your approval. We'll talk about that a bit later. I also want to tell the Board that one of the policies which has not been complied with in the past, which intend to comply with, is to make 2 and 3 year projections on the budget [elaboration on Treas Rept—obviously & productively collab effort] Thans, etc. march beginninng, strategy, Dan McConnell, Bob Bushansky,
Minson: May I ask you a question about the balance sheet? [Followeth a quick & entertaining tutorial from Cambell in reading a balance sheet.]
Hartley: reports. There may be some hiring decisions at the station, but that's pretty much up to the General Manager to put out position calls, etc. For now, we're pretty much fine. Wants to have a meeting of the committee within the next month; is assembling facts and figures for it.
Hartley: Goal is to have the FAQ page posted on the website, soon.
General Manager's State of the Station report:
Parker: Thanks everyone in attendance, for contributions to station, for the risks taken simply in getting here over Mt.View Road or Fish Rock Road [general chuckle], whichever. You only realize how really remore the South Coast is, by coming here, and we don't do it often enough. Really happy that we now have a meeting rotation that includes the South Coast . . . jump to bottom of my list and really take on board the need for communication . . . Over the years we've gotten really comfortable with over the air communication, but Janet really put her finger on it: people aren't listening 24-7 & as Sheila said, if you're in a car, you may not be getting reception every minute of the day, so we do need to diversify the way we communicate with our listenership, and the obvious way is through digital media, the internet & even the mails (one of our biggest costs). Mailouts are not cheap! So, Sheila, your suggestion that people be given the choice of either through the mail or emails is really meaningful to us . . . hope it's a 2-way street, that we open up channels for listeners to be able to communicate back all over the website are email addresses of staff, and we pay attention . . . we have a number where you can call in. We listen to that every single morning. [Exchange with audience—Hartley reminds room of ground rules—all apologize to Roberta.]-Parker continues: past month dominated by pledge drive. New this year, we had a theme, “The programs you love, the news you need,” and we take that really seriously. There's room to grow in those areas, and we need listener feedback . . . notice the You in that. We want to represent the needs and interests and loves and desires of our listeners. The other thing we've been doing in the last 2 months is working very hard with Stuart on the budget . . . 89,000 in county; vast majority, they may be listening but they're not contributing. We're looking for strategies to increase contributions. Pledge drive: if we're talking to you, you're probably already a member. We need to reach out beyond our listenership, besides on air. The budget that we're recommending does put resources into a strong outreach program . . . we really want to make this the best dad-blamed radio station anywhere, reflective of our listeners. Pretty good pledge drive, but kind of had the feeling that we were at the bottom of the well: could have gone another couple of days and brought in a few more dollars, but . . . our listeners are loyal [But how to get more of them? Parker will be discussing ideas in Denver when he attends the meeting of Nat'l Public Broadcasters] We don't want to stay relevant; we want to be relevant, to use every tool at our disposal to build our station, our listenership, our community . . . it's a 2-way street. [The new Allegiance software, purchased largely through a grant from the Community Services Foundation, will be very help, though 2 of the 3 people trained in its use have moved on.]
Staffing is Steve Winkle Steve Winkle Steve Winkle. He's great [as bookkeeper]. Dan was really good. We were really lucky to get Steve. He's highly experienced in non-profit work, so he knows this stuff like the back of his hand . . . Programming: Blow my own horn a bit. We started a program called “Mendocino Works” a strategic choice to reach into a new area of listenership; we're doing it in collaboration with the college . . . the focus is on entrepreneurship and start-ups, getting young people engaged, building economic development so you don't have to leave the county to get a good job . . . Operations: we've had a pretty good run; I haven't checked today with Rich—we've had a couple of outages . . . one today, a squirrel put its tongue on something & it blew up. PG&E had to come out. About a 4-hour outage. Generator which should have kicked in, didn't. Other than that, we're working with the exciter: that's a big, beefy machine that sends signals far up into the sky [garbled]. So now we're broadcasting on 91.5 with borrowed equipment, and we don't want to do that, so we're working with our supplier to get ours repaired . . . [some more technical details].--So that's all I have for tonight. I want to thank everyone, again, for coming out tonight.”
--Question: “So how was the boogie-woogie concert?”
Parker: “Sorry? Oh, the fundraiser.” [overlooked scheduled item in Board president's report] “I haven't got the final numbers yet.”
Hartley: “I've talked with Meg and she said it was well attended, a great success, but a small venue.”
FY 2018 Budget approval (copies available to public)
Treasurer Campbell presenting,--Explains that FY 2017 budget was revised downward in January 2017)--Extra costs incurred in management turnover & changes. Parker is 3rd GM in 2 years; dropped one pledge drive. Budgeting for FY 2018 really reflects Jeff's plans to get the staffing he wants, to serve our community better. Frankly, that involves getting full-time program director, which we used to have until about a year ago, when Mary left; since March we've had a part-time program director, and I think that has an impact. It has an impact on communication between staff and programmers, on support for programmers, on initiating new programs. So we need to get back up to a fulltime program director.--The other item that Jeff wants is a full-time Development Director, the person who will have primary responsibility for membership, for using the new Allegiance database software, getting us up to speed on emailing, making use of that software system, and being point-person on fund-raising, both in running pledge drives, doing mailing, doing online auctions, all those kinds of things. In our discussions we really felt that that fulltime person will more than cover their costs . . . actually add more than their costs and so add significantly to the radio station. It's a commitment that Jeff wanted us to make, and on the Finance Committee we agreed that it's what we want to do.--Will bring us up to 5 fulltime people on staff, which brings us up to a level that we have had in the past.--Revenues: projecting about $18,000 more from member donations, as Diane & staff work out imaginative new ways to raise money from members by means other than pledge drives.-- CPB: “Something less than last year: they don't tell us in advance. We never know what they'll give us, so we're trying to be responsible about that in projecting a conservative number. We're hoping to get some more small grants. Also want to say that we are projecting considerably up in underwriting revenue. Several of us have had a brainstorming get-together to see what we can do to support underwriting. Jeff's compared us with other stations, and we think our underwriting ought to be higher.”--A working group/underwriting support group, including staff, supporting David's getting out in the communities to raise underwriting income. “It's going to take all of us, doing all that we can do, to meet the significantly higher underwriting figure [up from 95k to 115k.”
Minson question to Steffen (staff underwriting seeker): “What is the source of our underwriting?”
Steffen: “It's represented by about 50-60 regular [recurring] businesses underwriting programs, and another 20, on-again/off-again—seasonal, maybe one a year. In commercial radio, this would be advertising. but in Public Radio, since we can't use superlatives, comparatives, you have to find a creative way to convince a business that their message is getting through. The good news is that a lot of our listeners are more attentive, so they hear it, and apprciate that it's less bombastic. It's a matter of me finding potential underwriters, making contact & proposals, writing copy. Revenue is $200 to $2000, all over the place . . . In addition, our programmers are not allowed to comment on those underwriters, so say a programmer s on the air and has just bought a Subaru from Ken Fowler. They cannot make any comment about Ken Fowler, like 'I was at Ken Fowler & that was awesome.'--That is illegal. We have rules we have to follow from the FCC & the IRS.
Parker: “Ukiah's overperforming in underwriting and underperforming in membership, yet has a whole lot of scope for increased underwriting. So one of the strategies I'm pushing is a strong push to increase our listenership in the Ukiah area. This will pay dividends in increased corporate sponsorship or underwriting, whatever you want to call it.”
--Expenses: (Campbell presenting Budget) “A lot of the work is looking at what expenses have been, and what areas may be facing higher costs . . . we're about 10% higher in this year's budget from last year's revised budget, most of that is in staffing, but I think we're looking pretty good. One line item there, 'telephone & internet' we may be a little high there. It's going down, and it might go lower, but it's still tentative. It might give us $2000 we could use somewhere else. Our studio costs will be going down; that's essentially because we'll be closing our Ukiah studio in July. Our studio for the last yeaar has been used primarily by Valerie, by Sheri and by Jason—the News Department—but Jason recently moved to Willits . . . pretty much that studio is sitting empty and we don't have the funds now to develop it into something more, like a real production studio . . . maybe we'll get something productive going with the college, which will be more beneficial to us. So, we're going to close the Ukiah studio at the end of July. One other item that's up a bit is travel expenses. That's largely money to reimburse David for being out on the road a lot more, and we hope producing more revenue.--Do any of you have any questions about the budget?”
--[Unidentified]: “Under staffing, what's the difference between 'Benefits' and 'Indirect costs'?”
--Campbell: “Staffing is . . .” [“I know what staffing is . . .”] “ . . . indirect costs are things like payroll taxes, FICA . . . those kinds of things. We try to separate them out . . .”.
--”OK, so what then are benefits?”
--”Benefits are . . . we do provide for our fulltime staff a compensatory amount for health care. For regular staff it's $300 a month which gets added into their base salary.”
--[Unidentified]: “What are banking charges?”
--[2nd Unidentified]:: “Yeaahh? . . .”
-Campbell: “Banking charges include anything like . . . interest rate on the line of credit, interest we pay to NPR for not paying them on time. They don't charge us a lot, but it includes that; banking fees; primarily interest charges on our line of credit, which we do have to use because of our uneven income stream.”
--[Unidentified]:: “Right . . .”
--Parker: “Our income comes in 3 big spurts. It's called Pledge Drive.”
[discussion of possibility of lowering loc interest charges]
--Parker: “Obvious solution, a reserve fund.”
[mention made of need for Capital Drive]
--[Unidentified]: “Postage costs?”
--Campbell: “Yup, it costs a lot to mail materials . . . it costs thousands of dollars to mail out election materials to everybody. About $3000 to run an election.”
[background cross chatter: “and we had a lawsuit.”--Upshot: no immediate prospect of a reserve fund]
--Campbell: “The problem with mailing election materials is the timing. We have to mail them first class to make sure that they arrive in time . . . [so not possible to use bulk-mail rates & their bundling-by-zip-code staff time]
--Logan: “Using a mailing service is something we should investigate. It's so much cheaper and more convenient .. . .” [much enthusiasm expressed in various voices]
--Parker: “Just want to say how grateful we are to have Aspen on this Board. She runs a printing business and is full of good ideas. We're going to mine her talents to the fullest degree possible.”
--Hartley: “I see the phone budget is a lot lower. Congratulations!”
--Parker: “Yes, that's part of the telecommunications upgrade. We were really getting hosed by the phone company . . . we're getting charged 30 cents a minute for local calls. We're well on the way in a feasibility study of VOI [voice over internet] which is a flat fee, pretty much to call anywhere in the world, which really helps when you're doing an hour-long interview . . .”.
--[Unidentified]: “Meals and lodging?”
--Campbell: “Meals and lodging is primarily trade. We use it for underwriting, we use it for people who come in as guests for a show, or we have somebody who's a technical expert and we have to put him up for a night . . . a lot of that money is underwriting credits, so we'll use that money to get food for pledge drives . . . So it's mostly not cash, but it has to be accounted for on both sides of the balance sheet . . . “
--[Unidentified]: “So when Jeff goes to conferences, is that under Meals and Lodging?”
--Campbell: “This conference that Jeff's going to is essentially paid for by previous Board members. It wasn't provided for in the previous budget, so a number of us volunteered to pay . . .”.
--[Unidentified]: “The goal of the pledge drive was $80,000. What did we raise?”
----Parker: “We made about 65-66.”
--[Unidentified]: “Do you know how that compares to what we usually make in relation to our goal?”
--Parker: “It's lower. We've tried to process all the pledges, it's a big priority, but we don't have a final number yet. I will say a couple of things [about setting predge drive goals]: We look at realistic costs, then try to set a goal which is ambitious, inspiring, but not ridiculous . . . but as I've said before, we're starting to feel as though we're scratching the bottom of the well [in pledge drives] and we need to look at other strategies for raising funds . . .”.
--[Unidentified]: “May I say one more thing?” [“sure”] “I also want to put in a request for broadcasting Ralph Nader at a time when people can listen to it.”
----Parker: “This another reason we need a fulltime program director. We've had a good parttime pd, but she's unreachable in the afternoon because she has another job . . . Programming is our product. It's what we supply to the community, and it requires a really, really intense focus to ensure that it's the best it can possibly be . . . we need to be able to sit down and take a look at it. And we're listening. Yasmin and I had a long conversation the other day on this specific issue . . .”
--Campbell: “We should stay on the budget . . . “
--Hartley: “Is it about the budget, or is it about . . . just one more comment on this subject, then we have to keep it on the action item . . .”
----Parker: “My bad . . .”.
--[Unidentified]: “How much a year do you need to borrow on that line of credit, and how bad is the interest rate?”
--Campbell: “I can't remember . . is it 7? . . .”
--Parker: “It's just gone up . . .”
--Campbell: “It varies throughout the year . . .”.
--[Unidentified]: “For the year? . . .”
--Campbell: “It's a $75,000 line of credit. We haven't been up to $75,000 in the time that I've been around. It's been up to the 60s, the high 60s . . .”.
--Parker: “It's also been at zero . . .”
--Campbell: “When we get the big chunk from CPB in the fall we pay it off, like that [snaps fingers]!--and the bank wants to see us do that. It's part of being a line-of-credit that we zero it out once a year . . . “.
--[Unidentified]: “So you were talking about having a reserve . . . that 75,000 would be a good goal to start shooting at . . .”. [general agreement]
--Hartley: “Right. I'm going to set the timer. 3 minutes. . . Sheila?”
--Sheila: “I've brought this up before, but we have 3 new members on the Board . . . I have budgets [from previous years] and each has a line item, “other consultants”, and that is our News Department . . .”
-Campbell: “Not any more . . .”.
--Sheila: “Excuse me. Wait a minute. I didn't hear anything in Jeff's report that tells me that the News Department has gotten vacation and health benefits [even though the News Department is now staffed with station employees.]
--Campbell: “Now staffed . . . [but not fulltime, so no vacation & health benefits]”
--Sheila: “To me, that's like calling an apple and orange. They're working at the station—and staff are technically getting health and vacation benefits-- but [News Dept] is not getting health and vacation benefits and so . . . I don't even see any consultants in this budget. You don't have any consultants in this budget.”
--Campbell: “It's under Professional Services.”
--Sheila: “OK. Well, I just think . . . I didn't get a chance to call you on it earlier . . . I think that you have independent contractors, though you don't call them that . . .”
--Campbell: “They were that, last year . . . when did we put them on staff? Last November? What that means is that they'll be staff . . . ”
--Sheila: “but not fulltime staff . . .”
--Campbell: “They''ll be parttime staff and what that means in practice is that we'll be paying taxes for them, but not benefits, paying unemployment, all those kinds of things that you pay for staff which, when they were independent contractors we didn't pay.”
--Sheila: “Well, that makes me a lot happier . . . [room chuckles, “we're happy when Sheila's happier”] because that makes me feel like something I brought up in November has been paid attention to and I was very insulted when the Board approved the budget without taking that into consideration, because it's very important that staff is staff and an apple is not an orange, and you rectified that . . .”
--Parker: “Before you go on, and we'll stop it at that . . . this is something I feel very strongly about and we're saying essentially the same thing, and there have been historical reasons why we've been paying them as contractors—they were using their own equipment, they were working for other companies, they were free lance, they were not staff . . . and even now it's going to be problematic because they are parttime, they will be doing work for other companies, but I feel like on an ethical and philosophical level they are representing our station and they should be staff . . .
--Sheila: “Let's see, how much time do I have? [“10 seconds.”]Board elections. I want to say that with constant board elections that when people run against other opponents and they don't show up at a meeting I'm very insulted about that. Clay Eubank has not been here in [?] meetings, John Azzaro has not been here in 4, or at least 3. And so, looking in the policies manual I have been told 'Oh, you can't force people to go' but they have an obligation to show up. And I want to know what's going on with Clay Eubank? He hasn't been here. In the policy manual it says that the Board can vacate a seat if a Bard member doesn't show up for 3 consecutive meetings. I think that that should be paid attention to. That's why those policies are made . . . [“May I just? . . .”] No. How much time do I have? [“10 seconds.”] I also want to know something about the Membership Coordinator. Now, in the Policies Manual, they take care of the membership. That's Diane's job, but you call it . . .” [Parker: “We call it Development Coordinator.”] So, is Program Director going to be fulltime? [“Yes.”]
What about Membership Development , , , you called it Membership Development [Parker: “Get all your ideas out and we'll respond . . .”]
--Sheila: “I just want to say, we need a volunteer coordinator. I put it in my article in the AVA but there used to be one. It wasn't a big budget item, two hundred bucks a month, but I think it should be in this budget to get more people involved in the station.”
--Hartley: “Thank you, Sheila.”
–Campbell: “I'll respond to that policy issue about kicking a member off the Board. That policy was written before a California Corporations rule that now makes it illegal for us to kick another member off the Board. The only way a member, an elected board member, can be removed from the board is either by a member[ship?] vote or by a judge. So we no longer have that legal power . . .
--Sheila: “Member vote? You mean when they come up for re-election? Or you call a special election? I mean, if you don't have communication with the members so that members know they have a right to take a seat away from a Board member who doesn't attend, then how can they actualize that? So that's an issue that needs to be developed. . . . I . . .”
--Hartley: “Sorry, I want to hear this response.”
--Parker: “Just on the membership thing. Membership is a narrower definition than what Diane does, compared to someone who does development does. If you were to go, and I've visited quite a few stations since I've been here, they spend more money on membership and development than you can shake a stick at. They also spend a lot of time, wining & dining rich people, and that's done by staff and volunteers. [talking about KQED] They have something they call the Producers' Circle--$10,000 or more per year. This is something we've talked about but never done at our station. There are people in our community who would like to give more, and in order to do that, we need to have a strategy and a strategic plan, so we can talk about our station. We don't want to do that at the expense of our low income members.--Sister Yasmin might be interested in hearing that during the pleadge drive we talked quite a bit about low income membership. We didn't call it simple living . . . we said 'It's not very helpful to donate a penny or a nickel, but you can donate any amount, and $25 qualifies you for a vote in the annual election.'--That's how we described it, and I think it's the fairest way to describe it . . .”
--Sister Yasmin: “Without subsidies, like you did before?”
--Parker: “Without subsidies . . .”
[Several voices, rising]
“I'm just saying that we don't want to have tiering of membership, we don't want to have super members or anything like that, but we do want to go out and raise funds from people who have a lot of money and are willing to donate to us and support our mission. To do this, and I think this may be getting to the answer to your question, Sheila, we want to encourage development which is a term used in non-profits to talk about efforts to go out into the community to bring in funds in whatever amount they come in. [to do that, a staff position larger than “membership” is needed]--We don't want to constrain that person [development person] we want to free them to go out and do whatever is necessary . . . “.
--Minson: “Question for you, Jeff. On Ukiah Players Theatre program they have a huge amount of money from underwriters for every production, and [prominently mentioned, for each production]. If we repeatedly thank our underwriters by name, which in essence becomes advertising, are we going to be violating CPB rules?”
--Campbell: “David [Steffen, underwriting coordinator] is the one to answer with specifics of what can be said legally, but as long as what a business does is legal, they can underwrite with us.
--Parker: “Let me answer this way, and it may get at what your asking. There have been proposals, 'Why don't you say to your programers, Go out and get some underwriting for your program? If you don't go out and get underwriting, the we're going to take you off the air!' That would be totally unacceptable, and probably illegal, and we would never hold our programmers to that challenge or statement. Programming's programming and underwriting's underwriting and they're different. Now there may be some cases when an underwriter says I'd like my underwriting to be on this show or that show, and we do give them some flexibility in doing that, but we do not peg underwriting to a specific show. We say 'Support for this program comes from our listeners and from [some named company].”
--Minson: “And are we doing that? Are we getting support from big wineries to underwrite, or is it problematic because it's not to support a single, big production?”
--Parker: “We do have annual events underwriting; we do get underwriting from the film festival . . . events that come up once a year, and we do have underwriters who want to be associated with those things, and it does happen that way. But we try and build in sustainable underwriting that comes in day after day throughout the course of the calendar year.”
--Campbell: “We do have some underwriting contracts, where, for example, Redwood Roofers . . . [garbled, pointed joke that it's logical to associate roofers with weather reports ?] but I don't know that we've ever done anythnig like that with specific programs . . . wll, Fowler likes to be on NPR.”
--Unidentified: “Can I ask a question? . . . When you say that you don't want to have membership levels, why don't you want to have membership levels?”
--Campbell/Parker: “It goes back to the founding of the station, it's in the by-laws that there be one category of membership. So it's just been done by tradition to say 'Suggested membership level is $50,' but I [Parker] have been trying shift things away from that, because a lot of people want to give more . . . we don't want to constrain people by these really artificial restraints . . .”
--Unidentified: “But it's a really helpful way to encourage people, to say We have all these different levels . . .”
[General discussion of encouragement by clubs [cd, etc], premiums, business circles, etc.]
--Hartley: “Any more discussion of the budget? . . . No.--Then Board members need to vote on whether or not to approve it.”
--Campbell: “Let me just say one more thing . . . And so, I'm representing the Finance Committee and I do recommend we adopt this, and also I just want to say this, too, that we consider this a working document. We may need to come back to the Board at some time during the year and say we need to move this up or down. Hopefully it's up. It's the plan we've been able to develop so far and it will be the plan by which Jeff will be able to operate the station.”
[Some amused comments about Roberta's rules. Hartley asks if there's a motion to approve.]
--Middlebrook: [worried that he sounds like an old Robert's guy] “So moved.”
--Minson: “I second.”
--Hartley: “Anyone disagree?” [Disparate voices signify consensus] “All right. The budget for fiscal year 2018 has been approved.”
--Hartley: “All right. So now we will have . . .”
[Clarifies that this is the only remaining public comment period. Warm talk-over discussion of whether this is now the 'public comment after each action item' or the concluding item, Public Comment on matters not raised in the agenda.]
--Hartley: “OK, Sister Yasmin, let this be your 3 minutes to comment about the Budget action item, about the simple living membership.”
--Unidentified: “Cut to the chase . . .”.
--Sister Yasmin: “You've got to stop interrupting me. When does my time start?”
--Hartley: “We're restarting it . . . Now.”
--Sister Yasmin: “Diane Hering and Alice both told me that if I pledge $25 you guys actually get only $5 of it, or less . . . that you actually lose money on that pledge. That's why I did not pledge at the last pledge drive. So, if you're really losing money . . . something's wrong with that system . . . KPFA and all thee other public radio stations take that $25 . . . and it should be called Simple Living or Low Income membership because it's obvious that if you could afford more, you pay more, and you're a voting member. So why do you lose money on that? I'd like to know why . . . “
--Parker: “Stop the timer for a moment. I want to say, I don't think it's acceptable for those things to have been said. If somebody wants to donate a penny . . . somebody came by with a dollar bill and taped it to our sign. Now, we accept that, we accept it happily and gratefully. Now, whether it takes $25 to process that dollar and put it into the bank is kind of a moot point. It doesn't make a difference. The generous spirit with which it was given is appreciated. I don't want anybody on the staff of the radio station saying 'Well, don't even bother giving $25 because it doesn't mean anything to us. It does mean something to us!'
--Sister Yasmin: [slightly garbled tape] “It wasn't said that way, Jeffrey. They didn't say 'Don't even bother.' That was my interpretation. They meant that they lose money on a $25 contribution . . .”
--Parker: “That's an unreasonable thing [for staff] to say . . .” [overtalking voices]
--Sister Yasmin: “So I said to her, I live on Social Security, and if you only get $5 of it, I can take it and give it to someone else, and I did. I sent it to MECA, that's Middle East Children's Alliance [in the background, Parker says “that's right,” “you're right] . . . This is the only organization I've ever dealt with that says 'If you send us $25, we only get 5 bucks of it.'”
--Parker: “The organization does not say that. It was a personal opinion stated by somebody at the station . . .”
--Sister Yasmin: “They both said it to me . . .”
--Parker: “It was a personal opinion by someone at the station and I will talk to them about that.” [warm voicings in background] “I can tell you where that thinking comes from. It does cost us money to process donations made by a credit card, by a check, made by almost any financial modality . . . you run a credit card, they take money, the banks takes money . . . they take money, they take money . . . a bunch of money gets sucked out of that donation . . . it costs basically the same whether it's a $250 donation or a $25 donation, that's where that thinking comes from, but that doesn't mean we don't welcome your donation!--If we're out there messaging that way, I don't want that to happen any more. [“Good!] We welcome donations from anyone. We welcome that one dollar donation pasted to our sign. I MEAN IT.”
--Unidentified: “And that $25 membership is a voting membership. You ought to let people know that.”
--Parker: “I did. At least 25 times during the pledge drive.”
--Unidentified (softly): “He did. He did.”
--Parker: [To Sister Yasmin] “And I was thinking about you every time that I said it.” [General laughter]
--Indistiguishable: “Did you say that you have to pay $25 for a voting membership?”
--Parker: “I did. I said that's the rule. 25 dollars in the course of the year for a voting membership. That's the rule.”
--Minson: “Actually, what Jeff said about a certain surcharge is based on a percentage, so a little bit is taken out of each donation, and it's proportional. So if you make a $25 credit card contribution to the station there will be a small portion of it taken out, but a huge proportion of it goes directly to the station . . . and we appreciate it.”
[Genial back-and-forth-and-around about cc & other forms of payment.]
--Minson [to Sister Yasmin]: “We hope you can see your way clear to rejoining the station, because we need your $25, and we appreciate it . . .”
--Sister Yasmin: “I know you do, but I have other grievances against the station . . . but this is the first year I have not been a paying member.”
--Minson: “Can I raise something to the audience?”
--Unidentified: “'Audience' isn't the right word. There are more of you than there are of us, I think.”
--Minson: “I am asking [“this is public input time”] . . . I am asking the public, if there's someone who lives in the Gualala/Pt. Arena area, we would appreciate it if you might distribute some newsletters locally . . .” [Someone volunteers] “That is awesome!” [unruly, relieved chatter in room]
--Hartley: “WAIT WAIT WAIT . . . all of us talking back and forth. This is why I'm very strict, but I let it go . . .”
--Unidentified: “I have a question . . .”
--Hartley: “We can have conversations afterward, but it's getting late and I want to respect everybody's time . . . OK, so now we're going to have [“quick comment”] so we'll go back to the 3-minute rule. No matter how opinionated or whatever, please hold your own comment till after the 3 minutes . . .”
--Unidentified: “I have a question about those absent Board members. What is the Board doing about those absent Board members?”
--Sheila: “This is probably going to be my last article for the AVA. I'm going on a trip. I'll be coming back in October, but I want to offer my services to do a members' column, because we have a staff member, and a programmer, but what's the missing component there? Members!ou talked about 2-way communication. Members need to have a way to talk to each other. Just to have a conversation, and not be screened by the staff . . . I just wanted to say, I know you're going to be revising the policies and procedures and by-laws . . . I've brought this up at several meetings. It says in there that the Board can facilitate a members' meeting that's not all run by the Board, so that if we could get interest among the members to discuss what the members feel is important to get the station on track, that would do a lot toward broadening participation and widening the scope, so I've said these things and it just goes under the bridge and gone . . . but it's in the policies and prcedures that the Board can facilitate that . . . and I would like to see that sort of communication facilitated, rather than the once-a-month or week discussions.--Yes, speaking of staff, last year someone donated a significant contribution, and what they requested was to have 10 [donated]copies of Roberta's Rules offered as promos . . . the receipt is at the station. It was taken by Lorraine Dechter. When I spoke to Diane Hering about it, who was acting director at the tie, she said, 'Oh, Lorraine made a lot of promises,' which I thought was very insulting, and so we didn't get our copy of Roberta's Rules and that contract wasn't honored, and so that person, when he heard that I was coming to tonight's meeting said, 'Make sure you bring up that you never got your copy of Roberta's Rules, and I thought it was a good idea because we fought for 2 years to get a rule book andso he wanted people to know what rules the meeting was run by . . . Well, since we have it and I can't see it, so I can't read it, I'm supposed [“Time”] . . . I'd like to read it so that I know what the rules are in Roberta's Rules . . . So, anyway, I think that's it . . . So when I come back, I'd like to do it . . . or another Board member could do it, [“Time”]so members could write to them . . . It's better for the members [“Time”] I'm not a member yet . . . So, I offer my serviices, I'm a writer, and I know a lot of members.”
--Hartley: “Any other comments?”
--Unidentified: [soft voice, inaudible]
--Hartley: “Alexander, you have strong feelings . . .?”
[Members of the audience speak their names, where they're from.]
--Unidentified: “What's your name?”--”Richard Spencer.”--”You came all the way here? God!”
--Sister Yasmin: “May I have my 3 minutes?--When I helped start the radio station back in 1988 . . . Did you publish that this meeting was being held today? [“Yes”] I did not read it. Why did we have so many more people when we held the meting Pt. Arena last year? We did publish it in the newspaper. I even wrote a letter to the editor saying 'this is the first meeting we've ever hadon the coast,' and we had that room full, remember?--Anyway, as a radical person my vision of the station is more like KPFA. I've been reminded . . . I'm shocked that were so NPR oriented. I feel like NPR is dumbing everybody down, not so much for what they say as for what they don't say and it's very corporate, and as a political activist we need to change the world, especially now, in the era of Trump the radical shows need to be brought forward, not at 5 am, and I'm going to name some of them: “Project Censored” 4 am; “Making Contact” 4 am or 5; “Ralph Nader Radio Hour” God only knows . . it was on Sundays or Saturdays at 5 am. The was no promotion. That's why my friend Janet here didn't even know about it: “What? He's on the air?” That's why nobody but an insomniac like me has listened to him, so I do. But you know what? I can listen to him Mondays at 11 on KPFA from Berkeley. Thank you, God, that once in a while I get KPFA--So, “Democracy Now” must be on in the morning. You want to have her on in the middle of the night, great! This is crucial news for us to be empowered and change this shit, and we've really got to change this shit because it's going off the cliff for anybody but corporations and rich people, and if you guys don't know that, you're not paying attention. We're all intelligent people. I don't see any billionaires in here, so I know you know that unless we resist and get active and change stuff . . . I don't hear anything about single-payer and medicare for all on NPR. They'll never say Climate Change . . . they'll say that this many people died and that climate catastrophe all over the world [“2 seconds”] . . .Climate Change: only Amy Goodman plays these catastrophes happening all over the world and says, Climate Change, so we need to get smarter, not dumber. My last one related directly to me, but also to many others. I wish I had the witnesses that my brother Fred Adler who was right here at ground zero, who's been here almost as long as me . . . the purged programmers, that's many of us [“time”] who never got one grievance hearing, and let le tell you something, I've been fired it's either 3 or 4 times, I can't remember. The first time I was fired after 10 years on the air. Then the next time, Diane . . . I'll tell you all the historic times they fired me: MalcolmX's birthday, Leonard Peltier's birthday. I would like to have a grievance hearing so I could come back on the air, even if . . . and, yes, I would drive over that horrible road just to get back on the air at KZYX . . . I love KZYX and we should have an avenue by which purged programmers can at least be reconsidered . . .”
--Hartley: “Thank you. I don't want to go over time . . .”
--David Hoppman: “I want to commend you on the budget, on the things you pushed forward . . . I think it's all in the right direction. I'm very impressed with all the work and the quality of your work in answering questions that you anticipated . . . you nailed it. Good meeting!--Now, I'll use the last of my 3 minutes to promote my new career. I retired from my law practice on March 31. On a lark I went to a local casting call at a modeling agency in San Francisco, and I'll be hired as a 'mature model' and possibly for TV [background whoops & claps] . . . Look Model Agency . . . you'll see all of my photos [enthusiastic voice-jumble] You'll see me in a tank top, a tee shirt, and a bunch of other outfits . . . I've been to one audition so far, and it was for a heart medication [laughter] so if you know casting directors anywhere, send a link to my agency. My contract forbids me from dealing directly with producers. The agency wants their 20%. I'm no longer using the left side of my brain . . .it's all right side . . .”
--Hartley: “Hey, Sheila, I sent Jack Roberta's Rules . . . I sent it to his P.O. box and it was returned . . .”
[back-and-forth, problems with P.O.--Thanks on both sides]
--Unidentified: “You haven't answered my question about the missing Board members . . . I'm not talking about getting rid of them .. . .”
--Hartley: “I have been sending various people emails, so we have been trying . . .”--”You can put pressure on them to quit, if they're not going to perform . . .”--”That's for sure . . .”
--Sheila: “Is there no response from them? I mean, What are they saying, you know . . . ? Yes, on trips, but can't you plan your trips . . . I mean we only meet twice a month . . . I mean every 2 months . . . So I don't see the Board members taking their jobs seriously. I'm very concern with Clay Eubank because he was an excellent board member and in my own thinking he was undermined by someone on the Board and he stopped coming to meetings . . . and I always found his comments to be very astute and to the point, especially about the CAB. He said just pick a time and a place and meet there, and they still haven't done that”--Hartley: “I have talked to him, and he's very busy, and now we're getting into fire season . . .”
--Parker: “I'm not a member of the Board, but I have spoken to Clay, and I think a resolution is in the works . . .a resolution that meets his needs and meets the station's needs.”--Sheila: “Because I would like to see a full Board at some point. I don't think we've had one, ever . . . there's always someone absent. It would be nice for there to be a full here . . .”
--Hartley: “I think that goes for committees also, like, 'Oh, this person . . . '”
--Sheila: “I just have one last comment . . . “
--Hartley: “We'll adjourn the meeting and we'll talk about it afterward . . .”
--Sheila: “No, I asked the Board to tell me how people who are in the community are chosen for committees, and I haven't gotten a response . . . So I want to know how people who want to be involved in the decision-making process who are community members and not staff and not Board members get to be part of the decision-making process . . . and you don't have to tell me today, but at the next meeting . . . I don't know if I'll be at thennext meeting, but you know, I want an answer to that, because I would like to be more involved.”--
Parker: “I stand with you on that. I'd kind of like to know more about that myself. I've only been a half-year on this job, and I feel there's a whole lot more we can do to encourage volunteer participation.”
--Hartley: “So the next meeting will be on TUESDAY, the 11th of September, in Ukiah . . . The meeting is adjourned at 8:07. Thank you so much for coming.”