News from the Board - September 2009
Election season is in hand and there are 12 candidates who are vying for open seats on the Board of Directors. Be sure to get your ballots in by the deadline- either by mailing them in to Mark Ecklund's office, or by bringing them to the Annual Membership Meeting by 2pm on September 26th at Liberty Hall. For more information check out: http://kboo.fm/governance.
We have appointed 3 new board members this past spring and summer to fill in vacancies on our board. Our newly appointed board members are Nia Lewis, Marty Soerhman, and Paula Small. To learn more about our newest board members, check out: http://kboo.fm/board.
Lastly, I am closing with a letter that is addressed to the community by the Board of Directors. It has been written in response to an unfortunate circumstance that took place at the end of August. The station manager, Arthur Davis, laid off Toni Tabora-Roberts, KBOO's Outreach Coordinator. The Board of Directors felt that this layoff was handled in a way that caused confusion and concern by many of the staff and volunteers at the station. Arthur presented a letter of apology for how he handled this situation. Even though the Board continues to support Arthur Davis as station manager, in recognition of his poor handling of this termination of employment, a letter of reprimand will be drafted to share with Arthur upon his return from vacation in October. The board appreciates the community's support in working through a resolution to this difficult situation. Direct any inquiries regarding the situation to:
KBOO board president, Judy Arielle Fiestal at email@example.com, or
Chris Merrick, acting Station Manager while Arthur is out of town in September, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The letter to the community follows:
LETTER TO THE KBOO COMMUNITY FROM THE KBOO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
September 1, 2009
These past weeks have been a tumultuous time at KBOO. Toni Tabora-Roberts was laid off from her position as Outreach Coordinator after two years of service to KBOO, though she remains an active volunteer at the station. Toni was laid off due to the possible reconfiguration of staff positions. We are considering closing the half-time Outreach position and have changed the Development staffing level from half-time into a full-time Development and PR position. Sun Lee will expand his role in Development to fill this need. Presently the Outreach position will remain unfunded and we will not be looking to do a hire.
The KBOO Board of Directors and the Station Manager, Arthur Davis, would like to express a sincere apology to the KBOO Community for the way this personnel situation was handled. It is often very challenging, emotionally and otherwise, to let a staff person go – but in this situation it was even more difficult. Although the staff and board have been discussing budget deficits, analyzing staff responsibilities and considering where KBOO should be prioritizing its resources, news of the lay-off and how it was conducted were a complete shock to staff, board and volunteers. This is not how we do things at KBOO. We have a process that is in place to propose and implement changes. Although the Board had indicated an interest in the elimination of the Outreach position, in order to invest more in the Development department, we had not anticipated the lack of planning and care that went into the termination of Toni’s employment and with the vacancy in the Outreach position.
We want to keep in perspective, however, the positive gains that KBOO has had under the management of Arthur Davis while working in collaboration with the members of the KBOO Community. The atmosphere is more positive and there is an expectation of nonviolence and conflict resolution. The station is changing programming and scheduling, creating new standards and trainings for on-air content, and offering feedback to help our program hosts succeed. We have seen personnel changes handled positively; the major reconfiguration of the Finance department and the creation of a Development department separate from the Membership department where it was embedded are examples. These changes in personnel involved staff coming forward to accept new responsibilities, and in one case to leave employment, with open and amicable communication regarding the process and the direction we are heading in. In contrast to these successful personnel changes, the Station Manager did not succeed in following the practices and policies that are expected in carrying out a decision to terminate employment at KBOO, nor to deal with the repercussions that a vacancy in the Outreach position creates.
It is our intention to communicate clearly and openly about this issue and how best to handle the various ramifications it has had on the KBOO Community. As we move forward, the Board is committed to a process of accountability, healing and positive solutions.
We appreciate your patience in dealing with a very emotional and troubling situation.
KBOO Board of Directors
The following resolutions pertaining to these issues were adopted by the Board of Directors at the Monday, August 24th board meeting. Each resolution received unanimous support from the board.
Board Resolution proposed by Becky—We the KBOO Board of Directors have confidence in the Station Manager Arthur Davis and appreciate all the work he does for KBOO in trying times. However, in support of the staff and the concerns that they have raised, we have counseled him that KBOO values and expectations were not met in his handling of the recent personnel action. The Board recognizes its role in promoting communication and openness and is committed to providing better leadership and support to Arthur and the staff in the future, in part by examining and improving the organization’s decision-making processes.
Erin moves that we suspend the policy that states that the Station Manager conducts exit interviews and that Becky, Erin and possibly Ivonne or Judy invite Toni to meet with us for an exit interview using the template that is used for other staff members.
Ivonne moves to approve the payment of one month’s severance pay to Toni.
Becky moves that we postpone the decision to eliminate the outreach position for further discussion at the Development Committee about the role of outreach in the organization.
Becky moves that we approve the proposal to make the Interim Development and PR Director position full-time and authorize Arthur Davis to make an appointment to that interim position and refer the temporary job description and work-plan to the Personnel Committee for review.
In addition to the above resolutions, the Executive Committee met August 26, 2009 and made the following commitment:
Based on responses from an interview with station manager, and Toni’s exit interview, the Executive Committee will draft a Letter of Reprimand for Arthur Davis.
The Executive Committee consists of the Board President, Judy Arielle Fiestal, Board Treasurer, Paula Small, and Board Member at Large, Erin Brand. In addition the Board Secretary, Nia Lewis, was in attendance.