Frequently Asked Questions: Local Station Board

What is the Local Station Board (LSB)?

Do LSB members need to know something about running a radio station?

How many members are there on the Local Station Board?

What voting method is used to elect so many seats at a time?

What is the "term of office" for an LSB member?

What is the time commitment of serving on the board?

Are LSB Members paid for their time?

How is diversity on the boards to be promoted?

What are the powers and responsibilities of the Local Station Board?

Are there any other powers and responsibilities of the Local Station Board?

What is the relationship between the LSB and the Pacifica National Board (PNB)?

What is the Local Station Board (LSB)?

Each of Pacifica's five radio stations has its own elected Local Station Board (LSB), which has two distinct roles:

(a) the LSB is a standing committee of the Pacifica National Board (PNB), with specific duties and responsibilities related to the station, as outlined in Article 7 of the Pacifica Bylaws.

(b) LSB members also serve, simultaneously, as "delegates", representing station members in the annual election of Directors to serve on the PNB and to carry out other related duties, such as voting on proposed bylaws amendments.

Do LSB members need to know something about running a radio station?

No. The bylaws do not require any special qualifications and the LSB is not involved with station operations or programming decisions.

LSB responsibilities outlined in the Pacifica bylaws require a broad skillset, and include: approving and monitoring the annual budgets, evaluating the General Manager and Program Director and, when needed, to conduct a search for candidates for these positions. The LSB's are also asked to assist station staff with fundraising and provide general guidance to ensure that the station meets community needs.

How many members are there on the Local Station Board?

24 in total - 18 listener-members and 6 staff-members (paid and unpaid). Each group is elected by their respective class of members.

What voting method is used to elect so many seats at a time?

The bylaws specify a system of ballot tabulation known as the Single Transferable Vote (STV). This system is promoted by advocates for democracy throughout the world as an effective tool to provide proportional representation of diverse viewpoints. It ensures that even if a voter's first choice does not receive enough votes to win a seat, that voter's 2nd, 3rd, 4th (etc) preferences can help elect a backup choice to represent them on the LSB.

A separate FAQ explaining STV is available here.

What is the "term of office" for an LSB member?

Three years. The bylaws also provide term limits, prohibiting any individual from serving more than six years consecutively.

The Pacifica bylaws require LSB elections two years in a row, followed by one year off. Half of each class of seats comes up for election at a time. Thus, the 2012 elections will elect 9 listener members and 6 staff members. Future elections are planned for 2013, followed by on "off-year" in 2014 when the cycle repeats, with elections in 2015, 2016, (not 2017) etc.

What is the time commitment of serving on the board?

It's hard to say exactly, but most LSBs meet once per month; and members usually also serve on committees of the LSB and the National Board, in person or by conference call.

Are LSB Members paid for their time?

No. The bylaws only allow LSB members to receive reimbursements or advances to cover reasonable (approved) expenses incurred in the performance of their regular duties.

How is diversity on the boards to be promoted?

Diversity is dependent on recruitment of candidates and the will of the voters.  The bylaws do, however, call for the creation of "committees of inclusion" to monitor diversity in station staffing, programming, and elections.

What are the powers and responsibilities of the Local Station Board?

Article 7, Section 3 of the Pacifica Bylaws states:

Each LSB, acting as a standing committee of the Foundation's Board of Directors, shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities related to its specific radio station, under the direction and supervision of the Foundation's Board of Directors:

A. To review and approve that station's budget and make quarterly reports to the Foundation's Board of Directors regarding the station's budget, actual income and expenditures.

B. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of General Manager of its respective radio station, from which pool of approved candidates the Executive Director shall hire the station's General Manager. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose.

C. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station's General Manager.

D. Both the Executive Director and/or an LSB may initiate the process to fire a station General Manager. However, to effectuate it, both the Executive Director and the LSB must agree to fire saaid General Manager. If the Executive Director and the LSB cannot agree, the decision to terminate or retain said General Manager shall be made by the Board of Directors.

E. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of station Program Director, from which pool of approved candidates the station's General Manager shall hire the station's Program Director. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose.

F. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station's Program Director.

G. To work with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and is responsive to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station, and that station policies and procedures for making programming decisions and for program evaluation are working in a fair, collaborative and respectful manner to provide quality programming.

H. To conduct "Town Hall" style meetings at least twice a year, devoted to hearing listeners views, needs and concerns.

I. To assist in station fundraising activities.

J. To actively reach out to underrepresented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colors and nations, classes, genders and sexual orientations, and ages and to help build collaborative relations with organizations working for similar purposes.

K. To perform community needs assessments, or see to it that separate "Community Advisory Committees" are formed to do so.

L. To ensure that the station works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace.

M. To exercise all of its powers and duties with care, loyalty, diligence and sound business judgment consistent with the manner in which those terms are generally defined under applicable California law.

Are there any other powers and responsibilities of the Local Station Board?

Article 7, Section 4 of the Pacifica Bylaws addresses this question as follows:

By resolution, the Foundation's Board of Directors may delegate any other corporate powers it deems appropriate to an LSB with regard to that specific radio station. Any such power delegated to an LSB is subject to revocation at any time by the Board of Directors. Any and all actions, resolutions and policies taken or adopted by an LSB may be overridden by a majority vote of the Directors if said action, resolution or policy is found by the Board of Directors to be adverse to the mission and/or charitable or business purposes of the Foundation, to exceed the power or authority granted to said LSB or to be inconsistent with these Bylaws, the Articles or applicable laws and regulations.

What is the relationship between the LSB and the Pacifica National Board (PNB)?

The PNB is the governing body for Pacifica, providing oversight and guidance to Pacifica's Executive Director and the entire Foundation, focusing on policies relevant to all Pacifica stations. LSB members from each station are asked to serve on and assist with the work of most PNB committees, including Finance, Programming, Governance, Elections, etc.

As a standing committee of the PNB, the LSB's carry out the specified duties relating to the station General Manager and the station.

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