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Responses to the Minority Report
Board Member 2005-2007
Lynda is a friend of mine and she has said that she agrees with "most" of the Minority Report. She received a draft before it was presented to the board. She made several suggestions which were incorporated. (Details are available upon request.) I rejected only one of Lynda's suggestions: that I remove references to individuals. I wrote back to her that I could not write understandably about the subject without mentioning names. After discussing the matter in closed session, names of staff were removed from the document that is now available. Board members are public persons, so their names remain in the Minority Report.
Lynda also said that it was "arrogant" of me to expect other board members to read the report. That remark greatly annoyed me, and still does. I consider it highly inappropriate to defend the deliberate know-nothingism of our fellow board (and staff) members.
Isn't it a responsibility of board members to be accountable to each other? It is one thing to have a difference of opinion. It is quite another to ignore and refuse to discuss matters that are relevant to the functioning of the station.
In this somewhat hostile environment, I wrote to Lynda asking her whether she supported the "egalitarian" principles or not, to which she responded:
From Lynda McClure
I do not feel at all uncomfortable being asked these questions...or held to account, in your words.
I have always supported open dialogue between members, staff, programmers and other volunteers, and the board. I do not waiver from that position. I believe a process and venue for this needs to be established. I agree with a number of your points, including developing a way to communicate with members; I would add.. who want to participate in the discussions.
The main way I separate myself from you is in your approach to the issue,
your tactics. I think they incite disagreement rather than facilitate inclusive, creative solutions. You are like some others on the board, staff, and volunteers, who pick up the language swords and war attitude, looking to cut down the enemy...the one with a different opinion.
You have told me you think your contribution to the dialogue is more important than certain other board members. I do not agree with that. We each bring something valuable to the board. You're angry when you feel dismissed by some of the board, yet you dismiss their work and opinions.
Your either/or approach..."real open, honest reports from board to listener" or puff pieces...doesn't fit for me. You call Tony's report a puff piece; Tony calls it a report. Just because it's not what you think it should be doesn't mean it's bad or wrong. Just as your piece has validity, though not everyone will agree on that.
I know this is very important to you, but as I've told you already, I feel imposed upon by the time and energy you demand, and your bull-dog aggression. Would like you to keep a perspective that includes consideration of others' focus and priorities, as well as your own. I believe you would find less resistance it you didn't push so hard.
Dear Lynda, You don't seem to have much disagreement with what I wrote. In fact, I don't think there's anything you disagree with. You say you disagree with my style but I really think you should consider that our approaches, though different, are both valid.
When it comes down to it, even the critique of my style is lacking in any substance. What exactly is it that I do that so upsets you? As far as I can see, you are offended that I had the audacity to reveal the actual dynamic---the split---within the board, to demonstrate that split in a host of important issues, and then, most outrageously, to demand that these views be mailed to the membership.
Given the current organizational culture at KZYX, which you so aptly described four years ago (see below), I doubt that you or anyone else could come up with a style that would make these ideas palatable to the staff and the majority of the board, who treat critcs like traitors and drag their feet in every effort to be more transparent with the members
King Collins, May 2005.
Quoting from your 2001 report to KZYX board and staff:
I am concerned about the response to criticism....When it comes from community members, they are put down as crazy or disruptive or whiners. Their opinion is delegitimized When it comes from one of the staff or board, that person is attacked, marginalized, and discredited. Criticism is met with defensiveness and denial of a problem. I witnessed and experienced this. It is important for everyone in the organization to understand that no matter how hard you work, or how much responsibility you take on, the station and programming does not belong to any one person, or exclusive group of people.