2005-??? Kevin responds to Bullhorn KRFC article

Letter to the Bullhorn I wrote shortly after the article about KRFC was published. They chose not to publish this. -Kevin

Dear Bullhorn,

Joshua Zaffos recent KRFC article again proves what most of us suspect is the most daunting of journalist tasks: taking a vastly complicated situation and doing it justice. His article was an admirable start but much still needs to be uncovered & examined if we are to gain a productive sense as to what is happening right now at KRFC.

I was until recentlya DJ and an original member of the KRFC Programming Committee so I speak here with some knowledge of much which has evaded (for both conscious and unconscious reasons) the light of day. No, I am not speaking of an outright conspiracy here. I am speaking about individuals whofor a host of complicated reasonsbegin to act in ways that I believe are harmful & grossly unfair. And they often do so for the best intentions -- at least in their own minds -- but to resolutely then try and hide their doings by invoking questionable tactics such confidentiality (e.g., repeatedly refusing to give exact reason and evidence to support such reasons as to why theyve done something) is an affront to those of us who expect a minimal level of fairness in exchange for the valuable volunteer time weve given to KRFC. As such, such tactics need to be challenged in a public manner.

About a month ago I resigned in protest because I believe the direction KRFC is now taking is a misguided one. My reasons for severing my affiliation with the station are ones grounded in a firm belief (and expectation) that democratic processes should never be jettisoned or suspended on the one whims of one person (or a Board of Directors). Such processes, when adhered to faithfully, ensure everyones rights, while underwriting a decision making process thats open and fair, to all parties. I quit serving on the Programming Committee for a good number of exact reasons which prompted the following realization: had become a tiresome façade, one which simply maintained an illusion that key programming decisions are being made in a judicious and participatory manner.

However, the point of this letter is not to dwell on such experiences but, rather, to defend the rights of an individual, one who gave nearly 8 years of his time and effort, who was unfairly dismissed by the present station managerfor exact reasons he has yet to learn and in which the station manager has steadfastly refused to reveal. In Zaffos article this dismissal, when questioned as to the actual circumstances, the station manager has flatly refused to say anything more than to say its a private issue.

I do not believe it is a private issue. I believe that such resolve, given what I have seen and heard, is simply a tactic that further denies a member of our community the right to defend himself and seek a reasonable appeal to what is clearly a questionable action taken by the station manager of KRFC.

Imagine the following scenario? You are a member of a supposedly democratic organization whose Mission Statement guarantees you the right of free expression and democratic dissent. You disagree with a decision made by the elected management of this organization. Understanding this to be your right, you voice your concerns via both e-mails to a listserv (designed as a forum for open discussion) and a letter written to a local newspaper. Just one day following your letters appearance, you are summarily dismissed in a manner that blatantly ignored specific rules of procedure endorsed by the governing bodies (e.g., KRFC Board and the PC) established to guide such decisions and done so publicly in a manner that calls into question your very reputation.

But wait; it gets worse. Management then, in an attempt to project an image of fairness, broadcasts several e-mails, assuring everyone that there is in place a clearly-stated appeals process that governs dismissals. Imagine now that you officially request (within a week of your dismissal) that management provides to you their clearly-stated guidelines explaining the appeals processalong with a specific list of actual charges against you that necessitated your dismissal. Several weeks now go by; you have yet to receive such guidelines. Then, suddenly management convenes an emergency session where they vote to withhold from you the specific reasons for your dismissal, which, in effect, prevents you from adequately preparing your appeal.

How could anyone in good conscience claim that such a scenario is fair? How could anyone in good conscience not also take notice and object to such a blatant & willful disregard for the necessity of fairness? It puzzles me that a vast majority of KRFC volunteers (and programmers) now appear so meek (or unconcerned) as to allow this to happengiven that some day they too may be summarily dismissedeven after years of servicefor reasons never explained, for reasons, given no evidence to the contrary, that are obviously in this case retaliatory & spiteful in origin?

Who in good conscience would dare remain a member of such a group?

Kevin Foskin