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KXCI DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE
DI / KXCI Correspondence -- Election procedures 3-17-04 --- (added 3-20-04)
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Letter from DI Committee to Larry Bruce (and BOD members)
regarding election procedures 3-17-04
-

March 17, 2004

 

Mr. Bruce:

 

The members of the Democracy Initiative have reviewed your (KXCIs) election procedures in detail and have had extensive discussions regarding your proposals.  We hope that the time taken for a proper response has not caused you any consternation, but these proposals are too important to simply dismiss or acquiesce to in a superficial manner.  We take exception to your comments in your last letter that accuses us of being uncooperative and trying to delay the process.  It was you and the KXCI Board which finally agreed to meet with us in March, although we have asked for meetings on numerous occasions long before as well as after we submitted the Democracy Initiative petitions to KXCI in January.  Even on the March 3rd meeting the Board sent only two representatives, (neither of whom are on the KXCI Executive Committee, and one who is a very new member of the Board), and neither participated in any of the discussion that ensued.  We also would like to remind you that there are four members of our negotiating team, as you apparently forgot to contact David Yerkey and Bill Risner in your last communication. 

 

Our primary purpose is to expedite a fair and impartial election of KXCI members regarding the Democracy Initiative bylaw changes.  We do not believe that many of your procedures as outlined in your March 3, 2004 letter would accomplish this.  However, we believe it is our responsibility to move the process forward and to compromise as much as is reasonably possible on the issues presented.

 

  1. To begin with, we refute your characterization of our position (in item 1) that claims that we have rejected the concept of certification of the petition.  We have not done so, but we have questioned your original cost estimate of certification (around $3,000 for 250 names) and your assertion that the verification of the signatures should be a cost borne by the Democracy Initiative.  In our March 3rd meeting you admitted that you had already examined the petitions and determined that there were over 10% of the membership for the election.  The overwhelming majority of signatures on the Democracy Initiative petitions were mailed back to us in response to our mailing to the membership list you provided us.  You have examined those signatures of the KXCI members and have not detected forgeries, and neither did we.  In the absence of such evidence any expenses to uncover forgeries should be borne by the challengers and not the KXCI members involved in the initiative.  So step a as indicated has already been accomplished based on your talk with us.  With regards to step b we are not aware of such a process in the actual election of the KXCI Board and question why a new process should be implemented in our case.  We also object to your suggestion of having KXCIs own CPA engage in verification.  We would suggest the League of Women Voters or another neutral organization in order to avoid real or perceived conflict of interest.

 

  1. We do not support most of your proposals in item 2 regarding Preparation of Election Materials.  Since the Democracy Initiative has made all the effort and paid -- and will pay -- all the costs for the election, we vehemently reject any suggestion that KXCI can now add an alternative set of amendments to the election packet.  There is nothing in the KXCI bylaws that suggests that the board can add their own referendum to an initiative petition once 10% of the members have spoken.  Secondly, we do not support your assertion of a need for a 12 page booklet.  We understand that this was based on printing our bylaw changes and the existing bylaws.  This appears to some of us to be another attempt by KXCI to inflate the costs.  We recommend that the bylaw amendments be done in what is known as legislative style.  Language that is recommended to be deleted is shown in the strike-out format (example), while new language to be added appears in all capitalized, bolded font (EXAMPLE).  This style is commonly used in most electoral processes as an easy-to-read format for demonstrating how text would change if a legislative body votes in favor of the amendments.  This will greatly reduce the cost of the ballot to probably less than half of the $1,664 costs that you assert we should pay.

 

  1. We agree with number 3 as you have outlined, and will agree to pay the $375 mailing costs as stipulated.

 

  1. We believe that the League of Women Voters, a nationally renowned organization with a long, distinguished reputation for fairness and integrity, could provide the election management expertise.  We do not agree to having the election manageraccept completed ballots in person from members who have not voted by mail.  We believe that this could provide too many avenues for abuse.  We believe that ALL ballots should be done by mail alone, to be sent in to an independent third party for tabulation. 

 

   5.  We agree with posting the results of the election 

        within 5 working days of certification.

  

In summary, regarding costs:

 

*  We will design the program with you and have printed ballots (at a cost we expect to be considerably less than you projected).

*  We will pay $375 as requested by you for the costs of the mailing.

*  We will pay $650 as requested by you for the cost of the Election Management.

*  We do not agree to pay for $500 of KXCI staff time.  KXCI is run by volunteers.  If you cant find some KXCI volunteer to help, we will -- but we will not pay for your staff.

 

We believe it is in the interests of both KXCI and the Democracy Initiative to move this process forward as expeditiously as possible.  Our desire is to bring the issues before the KXCI members and to let them decide what kind of Board of Directors they want.  For the sake of the station and its members, we ask you to try to proceed in the spirit of cooperation as expeditiously as possible in the hope that an election could be set for sometime in May.

 

Please distribute this communication to all KXCI Board members.  We can also provide extra copies at the March 18th Board meeting if you so desire.

  

We await your response.

  

 

Scott D. Egan               John Murphy                   

Bill Risner                      David Yerkey

 

NEGOTIATING TEAM FOR THE KXCI DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE