Hi!

Just a note for now thanking you for your interest in the WBAI Local Station Board Elections. We are still waiting for the final certification by the Elections Supervisors, which is required to come by December 15. The first meeting of the new board will take place on December 27th, at a place yet to be determined.

The majority of the 2,654 voters -- all listener-members of WBAI -- voted to restore balance to the Board. Five independent listener-reps were elected -- Steve Brown, Carolyn Birden, Mitchel Cohen, Alex Steinberg and Andrea Fishman -- and four members of the Justice & Unity Campaign -- Lawrence Lucas, Nia Bediako, Ray Laforest and Bertha Silva.

Of the three staff representatives elected this year, two are independent -- Shawn Rhodes and Kathy Davis -- and one is a member of the JUC -- Bob Lederer.

For those like myself running as independents, this was a far better result than we'd expected. The WBAI membership clearly is concerned with the precarious financial situation and rejected those candidates who sought to minimize that situation as well as those who opposed a greater listener role in selecting the next general manager at the station.

The Pacifica Executive Director also has appointed a new interim General Manager at WBAI, Robert Scott Adams, who is taking the place of Indra Hardat. (Indra returns to her old job as Business Manager at WBAI.) He needs our help, and if you have a few moments it is worth calling the station and asking to speak to him directly to welcome him and to send your good wishes. Please ask him what you can do to help out. (Let him know that I asked you to contact him at 212-209-2800. Be sure to ask for Robert Scott Adams directly or your call may be misdirected.)

Finally, for this brief report, last Wednesday night the old Board approved an absurdly expansive budget for the station. I expect the Pacifica National Board to reject this budget and to impose some sort of strict fiscal oversight committee, which is necessary due to the irresponsibility of the majority Justice & Unity faction on the Local Station Board. The problem with this overblown budget is that when the financial income goals are not met -- and they most likely will not be, if we look at records for the past 5 years, which the majority faction simply ignores -- paid staff at the station will most likely be laid off. A more modest, responsible budget that shows where the income will come from in reality to meet salary requirements, would have avoided such a terrible eventuality, but the Justice & Unity Campaign members of the Board apparently could care less about that.

There will be another election next year to fill the other 9 Listener and 3 Staff seats on the Board, and voters will no doubt keep this in mind while casting their votes.

Again, I thank all who voted -- regardless of whom you voted for -- for your interest in helping to save WBAI (and, of course, thank you for voting for the independent candidates). Please do not forget to send in at least the minimum $25 to renew your membership for the next year, which helps to sustain the station and entitles you to vote in the next election.

Thanks!

Mitchel Cohen
Independent Listener Representative to the
WBAI Local Station Board