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From:  "Anthony Ford" <Radioford@h...>
Date:  Fri Jan 31, 2003  2:21 pm
Subject:  The future of KXCI

 

All,

I have been mulling about the method and message of this email for some time now and have decided to simply write it and see what happens. I ask those of you involved with the recent conflict at KXCI to read it, and to give it
some serious consideration. Some of you will take much of it as an ultimatum. Others will take it as a compromise or an olive branch.
Regardless, my intention is to offer a means to resolving this conflict.

 

On Thursday night I met with a group of volunteers, including several active

in the conflict of late. The purpose of the meeting was to float an idea or two, to seek their input and ideas, and to outline some options that I
believe will lead to one of two conclusions to the disagreements of late. With these volunteers, I laid out my view of the situation.

The following is my perception. Some may disagree with it, but I am in the unique position of having knowledge of most participants actions and strategies on all sides of the discussion, so I hope you will consider it.

KXCI is approaching an event horizon; a point at which the momentum of one or another particular strategic choice will gain sufficient momentum to be realistically unalterable. That horizon rests on a choice that all parties
to this conflict must make. Together we must decide how this conflict will end: either with de-escalation, cooperation, the creation of some new internal structures to address some issues and the acceptance of decisions
on others, or with the rather messy and more aggressive public conflict that will end with one side or the other being defeated. While I have been and will continue to prepare in the case of the latter, and am confident in that preparation, what follows is my hope and offer that the majority of participants will select the former.

Many of you may be thinking of course we are going to have a big knock down drag out, your actions have led us to that. To which I would respond ditto, but that is why there is conflict--we currently dont agree.
However, I think we can address some of these issues without creating short term PR and goodwill damage to the station. Regardless of the path, this conflict must be resolved for the long-term health of the station.

I want to be honest with you. First, there will be a policy shift in the very near future at KXCI regardless of which path we take. The station recognizes that every citizen has the right to publicly do and say as he or she pleases. However, any volunteer who engages in behavior (see below)
that publicly damages the station will no longer be allowed to volunteer at KXCI. This shouldnt be a problem for everyone if the means for internal problem solving are available and elected.

Secondly, there will be recognition of and possible disciplinary action taken regarding the activities of some individuals here at the station. The severity of any such disciplinary action will depend on the willingness of
participants in the conflict to work on internal solutions to these problems. If we can work together, there should be no need to cancel programs.

I am sure many of you are outraged by the above. I am not asking you to like or approve of these decisions. I am informing you of what will happen so that no one feels they were mislead. At this point, outright honesty will serve best for both paths and all parties. I hope we can resolve this cooperatively, but if we cannot I have told you what to expect. It may not be nice, but I believe it is fair.

Having said all of this, you should know that I am very optimistic about the chances of the proposed internal resolution. The initial feedback from staff, volunteers and several BOD members has been positive. I am trying to find a solution where I did not see one before, and to find allies where only enemies had been (my apologies to the it shouldnt be us vs. them contingent).

Here is what I propose.

What you can expect from Staff:

1) The GM will create a Management Input Committee comprised of four volunteers appointed by the GM from those who express interest in the committee, and based on a diversity of political views and business experience. Selection will also involve consideration for personality,
communication and conflict-resolution styles in the hopes of creating a functional body. This group will serve as a communication and input tool to provide more info to volunteers and bring volunteer concerns into the

decision-making arena.

2. The PAC will be expanded to include some work on policy concerns (program review etc.)

3. The GM will work with the BOD and the HR counsel to determine what alterations can be made to the language of the volunteer agreement to maintain the stations legal protections while addressing some volunteers concerns about language and tone.

4. The GM will work with the Management Input Committee to update and revise the volunteer services guidelines. Primary concerns seem to be more clarity in expectations and the severity of types and class of infractions.

5. The GM will recommend to the BOD that the ad hoc committee be disbanded. (From what I have heard, many feel it is more frustration than progress).

6. The GM will recommend that a BOD liaison position be created to work with the GM and, when needed, with the Management Input Committee to address areas of BOD policy and provide input from the BOD to the process.

7. The GM will work with the Management Input and Programming committees to develop clarity in the volunteer services guidelines, improvement in the recognition of volunteer efforts, and clarity in the expectations of
volunteer service and programming decision making.

A few more notes in the interest of truth. At this point, I cannot recommend to the BOD or implement a grievance procedure for volunteers.
Additionally, I cannot recommend to the BOD that a volunteer rep sit on the BOD. I am certain there are some fundamental philosophical differences on these issues, however, I am hopeful that after the discussion is complete and final decisions are reached all parties will abide by them. I also give you my commitment to not make any final decisions before that discussion has occurred and to seriously consider suggestions to alterations of business
practice, policy and plans.

What this path will require from volunteers:

1) Any volunteer who is currently involved in any activity that will damage the station good will (see below) will immediately cease and desist such behavior.
This includes:

a) negative communication to the press, listeners, members, underwriters or via other forums such as the KXCI BBS, or web sites;

b) efforts to discourage members, underwriters or grant funding organizations from contributing to the station ;

c) lackluster fundraising, participation or programming.; or

d) subversion, deception, or insubordination regarding the above;

2) Those who wish to take the path of cooperative resolution must communicate to the BOD via a statement signed by all participants that they are willing to cooperatively participate in the solutions as proposed, and will not engage in the above behavior. ( It would be nice if you mentioned that you are hopeful that this will resolve these issues) I can provide a preliminary draft for your review if that is desired, or an individual or
group f volunteers can draft the statement as long as it includes the information and intent explained above.

3) Additionally, the above statement must include a paragraph that expresses that those individuals who are engaging in such behavior and other strategies to damage the BOD, staff, volunteers, or station and are doing so
via public damage are not connected with this those choosing this path, do not represent your concerns or interests, and do not have your support.

A bit of explanation may be necessary. Several former volunteers and other individuals are engaging in a smear campaign against the station governance. It is my perception that they are using the concerns raised by volunteers as support for their politics and actions. While I do not think it was ever the intent of concerned volunteers for these tactics or strategies to be
implemented, it is being done in your name. Failure to delineate the two strategies is tacit approval for and support of such claims. For the above suggestions to work this delineation must be made.

I respectfully request and expect an active response from those of you who have been participants in the conflict (read all Gorillas). The absence of a response will be interpreted as a negative response. However, please take
a few days to consider the above, and with the recognition that email is limited contextually for expressing such a delicate matter, I would urge those of you who have questions or need clarification to call me. My offer
is not contingent on a certain number of positive responses--I will work with those who wish to take the path of cooperative resolution. For those who do not, I will pursue the alternative resolution method.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you in the next few days.

Tony