The directors need to get a grip: instructing ED Brazon to devise & publish plans, & to ensure their implementation by the station managers. Public comment at Su12Sep2021 KPFK LSB

A public comment was made, on the fly, at the Su12Sep2021 KPFK LSB (2:07:03, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kdelegates/210912/kdelegates210912a.mp3). Listening to the meeting, & what hadn’t been said, a comment had to be made. In the rush, one clause was incomplete; that’s been rectified in this somewhat augmented re-write. The immediate context was an emergency LSB meeting to replace a prominent breaker, Jim Osborne, who resigned as a listener-delegate, & so as a Pacifica director, a few days before, on Th9Sep. He, like most of the breaker delegates Pacifica-wide, had withdrawn from most of the meetings since the referenda results, M12July – no doubt working on getting the breaker vote out in the current LSB delegate elections . . . mixed in with spending more time with the next group writing another parachute, a new constitution for Pacifica, benignly termed, in Pacificese, a set of proposed by-law amendments.

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It was noticeable that not one director candidate (nor anyone in the earlier public comment) stressed that what Pacifica needs today are plans & their execution. In other words, (1) Executive Director Lydia Brazon has been derelict in not producing plans, and (2) the directors constituting the National Board have been derelict in the legal sense (as they’re the carers of the charity’s assets) in not ensuring that ED Brazon has both produced plans & executed them.

Plans have to be of different durations: one, three, & five years. Today there are five most urgent plans: one for Pacifica as a whole; a plan addressing the $3.165m due to FJC by 30Oct2022 (especially given that FJC only allow a loan to last five years, so to 1Apr2023); a financial plan to eliminate losses at KPFK; ditto one for KPFT; ditto one for WBAI.

This will necessarily mean a planned transfer of Pacifica’s fundraising proceeds from KPFA to allow all Pacifica stations to have a station manager & enough staff to adequately do the work of station development & growth, so focusing on programming, outreach, fundraising, & business. This is the minimum perpetual station staff complement of any functioning radio network – Pacifica cannot be reduced to an aggregation of stations, of fiefdoms.

The directors need to take control, making the ED (& the Chief Financial Officer) their instrument; likewise, the ED needs to ensure that the five station managers implement her plans. Both relationships are required to allow the testing of ideas for Pacifica’s development & growth, concretised in plans that are democratically adopted & made public. It’s also one way that Pacifica member decision-makers, & senior employees & contractors, can be made accountable to the members & listeners, those who either elect them or pay their wages. This is all basic. One may call this rational arrangement democratic centralism.

But can the political conditions be created for this? – not least because the breaker momentum is likely to result in them controlling from Jan2022 the PNB & three local station boards, allowing them to ram thru all the by-law amendments they want that don’t need a national membership vote; plus them creating a 23rd at-large director; plus a PNB-directed ED taking over any of KPFK, KPFT, & WBAI as emergency austerity operations.

Without comprehensive public statements (that is, policies) of what the directors want to achieve, & so what the ED has to plan & execute, (1) the directors & the ED are largely unaccountable for their acts of commission & omission, & (2) the intent of all concerned isn’t transparent. That’s why these plans have to be made public.

Instead, what we have is firefighting: living at the level of events, not structures. Choosing not to develop a vision, choosing not to exercise foresight. Refusing to make the necessary hard decisions. Objectively, the anti-breakers function as breakers, jeopardising both individual stations & Pacifica as a network.

Deficiencies & absences. Helping to explain why Pacifica is largely run not as a public charity but as a private club.

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[This would have taken 3¾mins to read; so ~30secs a para.]

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