Summary of iPNB Meeting of January 2002

The Interim Pacifica National Board Meeting was held January 11, 12 & 13, 2002, in New York City, at the New York Hotel Trade Council, 305 West 44th St. (Between 8th & 9th Avenues). These meetings were open to the public. Here is the original agenda of this meeting. More information on the motions passed is posted below. Pacifica Management has finally made the “anecdotal minutes” of this meeting available. They're all in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. A link to the site where you can get the software you'll need to read them is below.

Minutes of the iPNB meeting of January 2002
January 11, 2002
January 12, 2002
January 13, 2002

Click here to get the software to read the audit

Interim Pacifica National Board (iPNB) Members

Appointed by Former Minority:
Teresa Allen KPFT, Houston, TX
Pete Bramson KPFA, Berkeley, CA
Janice K. Bryant WBAI, New York, NY
Leslie Cagan Chair WBAI, New York, NY
Rob Robinson WPFW, Washington, D.C.

Appointed by Former Majority
Marion Barry Washington, D.C.
James Ferguson Washington, D.C.
Dick Gregory did not attend Unknown
Wendell Johns quit 1/11/02 Washington, D.C.
Bert Lee Washington, D.C.

Appointed By Local Advisory Boards
Dave Fertig KPFK
Carol Spooner Secretary KPFA
Jabari Zakiya Treasurer WPFW
Ray LaForest WBAI
George Barnstone KPFT


I'm presenting the Motions that affected anything in Pacifica. I'm leaving out motions to overrule the chair, motions to accept minutes, and other parliamentary minutia. Some of the motions below link to other pages with more details about the motion. These are the motions as I caught them from the floor; I'm sure that the minutes will show some slight differences in wording, but I present the gist of the motions below. Besides motions, there was public comment, most of it from the two New York factions, and some of it hand picked by the iPNB Chair, and reports from the iPNB Treasurer, the Management and LABs of the five Pacifica stations, as well as from some affiliates.

Of significance was a declaration by James Ferguson at the very beginning of the meeting on Friday night that the iPNB meeting was illegal owing to insufficient notice. The exact meeting place was not known until Wednesday afternoon, but the general venue, New York City, had been known by all iPNB members since their teleconference, which cost $5,000, on December 29, 2001. On the last day of the meeting Marion Barry said that he was going to court the next morning to get the meeting declared illegal and everything done at it declared null and void. So far there is no evidence that such a filing was made to the court, also Messrs. Barry, Ferguson and Lee all attended the meeting and voted at it, so they knew where it was. If any challenge were to be filed lawyers familiar with Pacifica and the iPNB have said they believe it would fail.

Motion Disposition
To accept a gift of $20,000 from an anonymous donor for the purpose of hiring a specified accounting firm to determine the state of the Pacifica Foundation's finances no later than January 31, 2002. (It's a very detailed motion and I didn't get all the details.) Passed
To pass the 8 resolutions presented by the “WBAI Committee”. Passed
To appoint Dan Coughlin as interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation for 60 days or until a permanent Executive Director is hired. Passed
To ask former interim Executive Director Joanne Meredith to reconsider her resignation. Failed
To ask former interim executive Director Joanne Meredith to stay on as Staff to help the Treasurer and interim Executive Director to transition. Passed
During the tenure of the interim Executive Director no General Manager can be fired without the prior approval of the iPNB. Failed
That the interim Executive Director begin the process of evaluating General Managers. Withdrawn
That the iPNB goes on record that they condemn acts of physical or verbal intimidation or violence at any station between anyone to anyone. They want to hear if anything like that occurs. And that the memos from KPFK General Manager Mark Shubb relating to verbal and physical violence be passed to the interim Executive Director and for him to act on it. Passed
Support the action of KPFA General Manager Jim Bennett in reinstating Larry Bensky. Passed
The iPNB commit itself to maintaining the Pacifica archives (and there will be a more detailed motion at the next iPNB meeting). Passed
To hold the next meeting of the iPNB in Los Angeles, California, on March 8 through 10, 2002. Passed
Ask Secretary to prepare minutes of this meeting as soon as possible but no more than one month from the end of this meeting. Passed
To terminate the employment by the Pacifica Foundation of the two law firms that represented the Foundation and the former majority board members in the now settled consolidated actions.(1) Passed
That the iPNB endorse the 2001-2010 United Nations Decade for Building Peace to further a culture of peace.... Failed
Move the Pacifica national Office back to Berkeley, CA as soon as feasible.(2) Failed

1 This same motion had gotten a majority vote in favor, but had not gotten the super majority required for passage at the December 29, 2001, iPNB teleconference. It was sent to the judge for a decision, and he rejected it, owing to some signatures not having been gotten. The signatures were gotten before the January iPNB meeting and this motion passed by a super majority this time.

2 The National Office had resided in Berkeley, CA, for more than 50 years before it was removed to Washington, D.C. in January 2000.

In his Treasurer's Report Jabari Zakiya revealed that the Pacifica Foundation was $2.8 million in debt that was more than 90 days old, and that in general the Foundation was probably about $3 million in debt. A check for $400,000 which was part of the lawsuit settlement was waiting to be signed so that Pacifica could make use of it.

It was also revealed that KPFK had its separate account set aside for tramitter and antenna repair and upgrade emptied by the previous Pacificas National Board and Executive Director. As a result, KPFK's signal is approximately 25% of what it should be and it cannot even reach much of Los Angeles due to interference from another station based in Mexico. KPFA had established an “illegal” bank account which was also partially emptied by the same people.

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