ANOTHER YANK ON THE CHOKE CHAIN: The Kekahu Foundation which governs “Community” radio station KKCR is once again demonstrating their distain for community involvement by forming an insular committee to develop a “strategic plan” for the future of the station, starting with secret close meetings.
The public is not welcome to the meeting tomorrow (Wed 5/14/08) where only members of the Board of Directors (BOD), staff and some members of the station’s federally mandated Community Advisory Board (CAB) will meet as a Committee of the Board to chart out the future of the station. No members of the general public are on the committee.
The development of some kind of new “plan” for the station has come about amidst, and according to many ay KKCR as a result of, intense community criticism of the cliquish club of connected Caucasians, specifically for their autocratic, secretive, self-dealing style under a self-appointed board of directors and arbitrary and capricious decision-making by a staff that has, according to dozens of insiders, abused their positions in programming and disciplinary actions.
In our recent Investigative Report: KKCR A Study in Brown and White, PNN detailed charges of operating and perpetuating a racist organization that routinely keeps the community at a distance and discourages local public affairs programming, which are occasional and over which the staff keeps a tight reign insuring, with rare hard fought for exceptions, mostly non-controversial content... keeping their advertisers, whom they call underwriters, very happy.
None of these issues raised in the 21-page report or the extensive 63-page documentation file have been addressed except in small, incremental, perhaps intentionally-ineffective measures, such as allowing paying subscribers to vote for one board member only as an “experiment”.
As the article states, a “programming” committee is being formed by “staff”, which has been controlling programming all along to the embitterment of a broad cross-section of the community served by the so-called community radio station
And now the promised “reform”- the development of a “strategic plan” that was supposed to explore ways to diversify the almost all white board, staff and programmers and involve the community- the meetings of the group, which not only does not include any outsiders, aren’t even open to the public much less do they take the community’s input on the plan before they meet, although there are plans to include some public input once the committee meets twice secretly, presumably to design the plan.
This “decision-making first, public input later” has been a hallmark of the Kekahu Foundation’s BOD’s meetings for about 10 years now, where the public is routinely cut off mid-sentence and verbally attacked while speaking to the board. And that’s if anyone on the BOD stays to hear what they have to say because the public comment section of the meeting- over which a battle was hard-fought to even allow it- comes after the meeting adjourns.
The secret meetings appear be a violation of the Kekahu Foundations own bylaws. The provisions for open meetings are reproduced below. Violations of the by-laws may also endanger KKCR’s yearly Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants.
Although some dissidents on the BOD and CAB claim the Board’s “Strategic Planning Committee” is a “step in the right direction” it is unclear how the same board and staff who are at the root of the acknowledged deficient system created when the vote for the Board was stolen in 1996 when they set up the advertiser driven, music industry tool that KKCR is today, would be expected to do anything but abuse their authority once again by developing a plan to consolidate their power under the guise of involving the community.
The secret closed meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Wednesday, from 5-7 at the Hanalei Bay Resort.
Kekahu Foundation By-Laws:
Sect 4.8(g) Open Meetings. With the exceptions stated herein, the Board of Directors and its committees shall hold open meetings preceded by reasonable notice to the public. However, the Board or its committees may hold closed meetings or sessions to consider matters relating to personnel matters, individual employees, proprietary information, litigation, and other matters requiring the confidential advise of counsel, commercial or financial information obtained from a person on a privileged or confidential basis, or the purchase of property or services whenever the premature exposure of such purchase would compromise the business interests of the Corporation. The Executive Committee may also act by polling its members. If any such meeting is closed pursuant to this provision, the reasons for doing so shall be stated in the Board or committee minutes and, if reasonably possible, in the notice of the meeting.