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KXCI DEMOCRACY INITIATIVE
KXCI letter (unsigned) to KXCI members (undated - late Nov '03)
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KXCI's first letter to KXCI members -- unsigned and undated --
sent out as a Segue insert in the last half of November. 
No one on the BOD or staff would take responsibility for helping
"craft" this letter besides then-interim GM, Randy Peterson.
 
 
"President Tom Spendiarian said in an interview shortly
after he emphasized that he was not the author.

Rather, Spendiarian said, the unsigned KXCI letter was the work of

Randy Peterson, KXCI's interim general manager."

From Tucson Weekly article "Lord Have Mercy" 12-04-03

-

"Democracy Initiative "

A Dangerous Proposal That Harms Our Community Radio Station KXCI

Learn More Before You Act

 

KXCI

community radio

91.3 FM

220 S. 4th Ave

Tucson, AZ 85701

(520) 623-1000

Fax: (520) 623-0758

www.kxci.org

 

On November 17, 2003, the KXCI Board of Directors received information regarding a "democracy initiative" to drastically alter the bylaws that govern KXCI. Soon thereafter, KXCI members received a note asking us to sign a petition to force a vote on the proposal. That letter was sent by individuals not associated with KXCI or the Board of Directors. A court order, contested by KXCI lawyers, required us to provide them with your name and address. We take your privacy very seriously.

 

Proponents hope the plan will radically change KXCI. It will - but not for the better. The proposal will hurt KXCI, and might destroy the station we all love.

 

Currently, our twelve member board includes five people who were elected by the membership and seven who were appointed. Some of the board members were appointed to fill seats vacated by others who were elected but unable to complete the three-year term. All twelve board members are dedicated KXCI members who have a variety of backgrounds, experience, views, ethnicity, gender and more. They represent the eclectic nature of our community and radio station. It is their job to provide the framework and policy by which the professional staff and volunteers operate KXCI in the best long-term interests of the station.

 

KXCI needs the flexibility to be able to appoint board members with the skills, backgrounds, and diversity to make the important decisions necessary to continue our success story as Southern Arizona's best radio station. Changing the bylaws to increase the number of elected positions will make it harder to ensure that a variety of viewpoints are represented, and will decrease the likelihood that board members will have the valuable experience needed to support the station (legal, financial, marketing, etc.).

 

Religious broadcasters have offered to buy our frequency for as much as $4.5 million. We're not for sale! But if the proposed bylaw changes take effect, creating more elected seats, special interest groups could take control of the station for as little as $30,000. One thousand new members from a special interest group would dominate the board election process, and there goes Community Radio - twenty years of KXCI down the drain. It's a dangerous proposition at this point in KXCI's history.

 

That's just one problem with the proposal. Their letter does not explain the other proposed changes - more than twenty in all. Our staff and lawyers are still reviewing the implications of the changes, to more than fifteen sections of the bylaws, to learn how things like our Corporation for Public Broadcasting funding might be affected. You deserve to know more about the changes before you take any action.

Over, please

 

The KXCI board, staff and volunteers will be providing more information to you in future newsletters, on our website at kxci.org, and in other mailings. We feel that an informed membership is the best solution to the problems we face.

 

A station as dynamic as KXCI is always going to have dedicated individuals, and we are always going to be balancing competing interests. This is what makes us strong. Existing concerns are being addressed by responsible people from many different points of view, working productively to solve the problems - board members, staff, deejays, volunteers, Community Advisory Board members, all with input from you. We are addressing the issues, and KXCI is becoming stronger for it.

 

Early in 2004, we will hold a series of mediated town hall style meetings with a facilitator to help us work through existing conflicts. Everyone will be involved, including hopefully you. The board and staff have developed this proposal as a useful, proactive solution -one that brings us together, rather than divide us further. That is what KXCI is, and should be, about.

 

Any cure needs to address the problem. You wouldn't amputate your leg if you had a sprained ankle. You'd wrap the ankle, get a pair of crutches, and rely on your friends to help support you. Likewise, this dangerous initiative is like an amputation - it goes way too far. We'd rather lean on our friends for support and assistance.

 

The letter you may have received from the initiative proponents does not identify them. This letter is from your Board of Directors and the staff. We believe strongly in the points made here, and in the need to stop this dangerous initiative right now, before thousands more dollars of your support are wasted in the courts, and before it destroys everything we have worked together to build. We must protect the KXCI that we lo we and keep Community Radio strong.

 

We hope you will honor our commitment and support our station now by not being a party to the wasting of twenty years effort, and by joining us in the process to keep KXCI the best radio station possible. The mediated town hall is just one effort. We encourage you to visit our website at www.kxci.org to learn more. We will be providing updated responses regarding the initiative and providing you with the information you heed to make informed decisions.

 

We are also happy to communicate with any of you with specific concerns. Contact us by e-mail at commentl@kxci.org or call interim general manager Randy Peterson at the station.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Community Radio

KXCI-FM Tucson

 

P.S. Initiative proponents have made every attempt to attach Democracy Now! to their cause. Demcracy Now!, which we are proud to bring you, and host Amy Goodman, have no affiliation with the initiative.