Back to Minority Report

May 10, 2005
KZYX Board Meeting In Ukiah

* * *

This is King Collins reporting on the KZYX board meeting. taking place in Ukiah at the "MEC" (Mendocino Environmental Cener at Standley and State Sts.) That's where KMEC is. 1That's the new low power FM station in downtown Ukiah. A bunch of local radio activists helped put KMEC on the air. At this point, KMEC is a rebel stronghold! A say-it-like-it is radio station. Well, I may be overstating the rebel side of things. Not everybody's a rebel.

((Editorial note: Looking back from the perspective of four years later, 2009, It's interesting that after all the discussion and sometimes angry exchanges at KZYX, I have good feelings for everybody I came to know there with few exceptions, and as far as I can tell that good feeling is mutual.))

Returning to the narative of the KZYX board meeting of May, 2005:

I packed up all my journalistic gear---miniDisc recorder, mike, earphones, digital camera. No longer a KZYX board member, just a plain ol' member, but also a reporter for the Mendocino Media Forum!!

I steeled myself for nasty stuff from the board meanies. (I had just written the Secret Life Of KZYX, and I expected the worst because I had received a couple annoyed emails from Tony and Johanna. Tony said I had called him a "respondent" and that not what he was, and Johanna wanted me a picture (she shot) from my website.

But nothing of the kind materialized. Everyone on the board was polite as could be, mostly. Even Johanna. But it felt good. I turned on the miniDisc recorder and went about the business of being a journalist, as unobtrusively as possible. I took pictures (quietly, no flash) and no one seemed to mind. Without a flash, they came out soft. (See Mitch Zucker's idea that Egalitarians should focus energy on web stuff and let the centrists run the radio station.)

"Member Control" Issues Discussed:

1) The Community Advisory Board. Jim Denton, speaking for the advisory board, presented a letter which requested a regular written response from the board, raised the question of whether the advisory board would be guaranteed a role in programming. Denton said that he and most of the others would resign if the Board did not respond positively to their request for a seat on the curremt programming policy committee and later on the proposed Programming Council. The board (of directors) discussed how to respond, and came up with a a letter which said: Thank you good fellows for you input, and we'll get back to you later. I raise my hand several times. Finally, with insistence from Jane, Tony recognized me and I started to say that the advisory board had asked a clear question, a question that posed the question of power. When I said the word power there was an uproar, with, I think it was Johanna or Antonia, who was extrodinarily impatient, yelling at me. Of course, since I am not a board member, I speak at the pleasure of the chair, so I shut up. I don't know if anyone understood, right then, what my point was. But in the public section, I recepped the points that had come up for me during the meeting (the one's listed here). I got to finish my thought that the response to the advisory board ought to acknowledge that the board of directors had been asked to guarantee a seat on the program policy committee and on the proposed programming council. (Rather than be at the mercy of Johanna, the programming committee chair person.) Even if the board of directors is undecided, it should at least acknowledge the question. Otherwise it will lead people to believe we are deliberately obscuring things.

2) Ukiah Studio Project. The new "Interim General Manager" Mitchell Holman promised to provide the Ukiah Studio Committee with an all-in-one computerized transportable console. I don't think that quite describes it right. The cost of about $5000.00 would be paid out of the funds already donated to KZYX for the Ukiah studio. It sounded like a good idea to me. I told him that the KMEC folks would need to see it, and he said he would email the information. This report and follow up materials will be sent to the techs in the Ukiah studio group, and other who express interest.

3) The Ballot Survey Data. We found out where it is: It's at Tony's house. He looked at some of them. He quit. I think he got discouraged when he found a lot of responses that they turn off the radio at 10 A.M. when the classical music comes on. The board agreed to number it, and to leave the original in a safe place. But the question was not resolved as to how an individual member (or group) can get a copy of the raw data. The board's idea of how to analyze the data was clearly inadequate from any rigorous standard. ((Howeer, the board finally did put the partially assembled results of the survey on the web.))

4) The Right to Use the Membership List for member-to member communication. This is evidently an undiscussable matter. But I gave the board secretary a check for $325.00 as "good faith payment" for mail services. After the meeting, I talked to Mike Grady. Mentioned that I was impressed with his systematic note taking. He's a Chemistry Instructor at College of Marin. I said: "You're a scientist. A chemist. I'm a social scientist. You expect order in your work, I expect the board to act in a rational, systematic way, which does not include ignoring a well founded Point of Order, and the refusal to even discuss the member mailing issue." To which he responded that he would personally push for getting an answer to the question but that he was against the ideas, himself. So I said that was good enough for me.

5) The membership outreach problem. Do we cater to those who "show up" or to the wider community? This issue was clearly posed when Mitchel Holman said to the advisory board delegate: I think your advisory board represents only a very small part of the community. This discussion

6. Who will do the newsletter? This is very valid quetion, because in the recent past, the newsletter was arrainged quietly, without the participation of the minority (Zack or me, in particlar, but also Lynda). The new board has good writing talents: Will they be used in Radio Waves to communicate with the members, or will it be another numbing ad for the status quo?

7. The Bylaws Committee. This should be an interesting discussion. I will ask chairperson, Jane Futcher, for an update. The Forum will be watching this committee closely.

That's all for now, folks.

King Collins

* * *