mission-related history

These are some events prior to KRFC changing the mission statement which may help interpret that event

Summer 1997 - Paul attends his first Grassroots Radio Coalition conference, while other board members (Greg, Joann?, ?) attended first in 1996. PRFR(KRFC) board attendance, and later board+volunteer attendance, is fairly heavy each year, peaking in summer 2003.

July 18, 2001 - John signs the multi-party settlement document so PRFR would finally get a frequency.
November 8, 2001 (from board email) - PRFR board unanimously approved the mission statement. Work began on the mission statement in September 2001. Some of the missions used as examples are on this web page.
November 14, 2001 - Paul sends the following email to the board:
I'm forwarding this longish essay because it is well written and topically relevent to our bylaws discussion and our tensions between democracy and discipline, besides being an interesting glimpse into Pacifica's problems.
In part the essay proposes a definition of democracy:
It seems essential to first define what is meant by the terms "democracy" and "accountability " Here's what it means to me: (what does it mean to you?)

1) The people affected by a decision are the ones who make it
2) People who are doing work decide how they do that work.
3) People doing work on behalf of others must be accountable to those others, and work on behalf of the needs of others as well as their own.

October 21, 2002 - Paul writes to the board:
I am reluctant to raise this issue because most folks, including me, want to avoid it and assume we're all just nice folk who will do the right thing. But we have two gifts in front of us which make this examination timely. First let me put out an observation about how our board functions.

Often we use an abbreviated form of Robert's Rules when we vote on things, with the outcome decided by majority. When there are dissenters, we make some effort to hear them out and check that they are not terribly opposed to the resulting decision. I think this may be working pretty well (not having been in the minority yet I'm not sure everyone would agree).

But there is no _structural_ reason or incentive to listen to and try to accomodate dissent, as there is in consensus for example. At any time we could start ignoring our minority because what structure we have (Robert's + majority) allows that, but I believe that is at odds with our notion of democracy in our mission statement. I think we need a structural safeguard of some sort.

My neighbor Don Flick is offering his abilities regarding group democratic process. He is an experienced facilitator having several years of practical consensus experience both in co-housing and Quaker Friends meeting.

In my experience unspoken structures and decisionmaking methods never really "just work" for long, so the sooner we start the better.

October 22, 2002 - Board member Jo Ann says
I too would be very interested in some training in the true democratic process as alluded to in our mission.

November 15, 2002 - Greg sends the following email to the board regarding an intense discussion of PRFR's politics in the prior night's board meeting:
a few thoughts on lasts nite good discussion on politics and who we are??

1. this has and will be a continuing theme in many if not all community radio stations. it is the main focus of the past and continuing tribulations at pacifica. [do we serve more people or do we stay true to the founders mission]. these disagreements caused the founder of pacifica to commit suicide.

2. we can never serve all the people, so why even pretend that we can or will.

3. as a community/public radio station on the left side of the dial there will be and probably always will be the perceived notion that we are left of center if not very left. the board is also left of center and we created this thing so lets be left and proud of it. this does not exclude inteligent and thought provoking discussion of all points of view.

4. lets continue to have discussion on the subject.

November 22, 2002 - Board minutes include this:
plan for hiring general manager
a. need a people person
b. someone who understands the grassroots mission
January 7, 2005 (Board Minutes)
Everyone suggested that the mission statement needs to be shortened to 1 or 2 sentences
Clarify what democratcially managed means
Mission statement is evolving, a living document
Propose establishment of a planning committee with board members and community members to work on mission statement, define democratically managed, etc.
Tess Heffernan might be a good choice to work with this committee (professional facilitator)
Need to establish a planning committee to establish who we are!"

January 26, 2005 - At a meeting of the Public Affairs Committee (Paul, DavidC, Kristianne, Sandy, Chester, RichN, Carmen, Jim Volpa), board member Jim Volpa said the board is considering bringing in an outside facilitator to re-write the mission statement.

In a civil though heated discussion, most PA members advised taking other steps first (see the minutes) and most agreed with the statement that "implementing the Mission Statement, as it is, is of more concern to us than changing it." (from http://krfcfm.org/pipermail/pa/2005-January/000267.html)

March 3, 2005 (Board Minutes) - "-Mission Statement. Suzanne xxxx and Art xxxx are two possible facilitators to help with the mission statement. At this time, we are putting off having either one of them come and speak to the Board. Too many other things going on right now."

A letter from concerned members dated March 1 is included in the board's minutes. It says in part:

" We strongly promote the democratic ideals inherent in our mission statement, but they don't seem to be working for everyone. There may be a lack of consensus about what those practices look like, for example:
  • Major decisions have been made without consulting stakeholders.
  • Volunteers are afraid to openly express disagreement with decisions made by station staff for fear of reprisals.
  • The processes are unclear for hiring the new development director, and for Eddie's appeal.
The above represent only a few of the broad range of problems we have observed. We request a meeting with you, without staff, within the next two weeks, to present specific examples of problems we have observed, and suggestions for moving forward together. We are especially excited about the new policy committee and opportunities for broader input from volunteers, listeners, and members, to sculpt policies which promote a shared vision of democracy. "

Finally in the policy committee report to the board:
"2. We discussed the Mission Statement review process and many questions arose. Is this project just about the MS or is it about our whole strategic plan? This may be a long process - we may or may not have the project done by our next annual meeting. Saul agreed to talk with Tess xxxx (a possible facilitator) and see if she would agree to come speak to the BOD. Subsequently, (Saul's e-mail of Feb. 28), she recommended [another person]"

April 7, 2005 (Board Minutes) -
"6. Member questions and comments:
 a. Kathleen expressed concern about rumors about changes to the
    Mission Statement and thinks that during times of "crisis", the
    station needs to be guided by the MS. Gina and Greg explained
    that observers have told us that our MS is too long and not clear
    enough and that a process that involves volunteers from the whole
    station will be used in re-evaluating the MS. The core message of
    the MS is not in question.

April 24, 2005 (Board Minutes) - 9. Board Consultant Discussion
We agreed that it would be useful to have a neutral consultant meet with the BOD to discuss our challenging issues. We identified four potential consulting sources:
May 19, 2005 (Board Minutes) - "Board Consultant Discussion
Gina met with Art xxxx (thirdsector.biz)(charges $100/hr) and with Suzanne xxxxx (charges $1,000 for 8 hr. session). Gina feels that Art may be more qualified for our needs. He suggested a meeting with a sub-set of the board to identify challenges and issues. Issues presented at this meeting included: challenges with volunteers and how we deal with them (we should get info from other stations); our mission statement ­ how to proceed and be inclusive (with neutral facilitator?); the growth as a board from working/policy development to governing; and group dynamics ­ how we work together.

[...] Dawn has said that it is the mission statement that defines everything ­ who we are / what is it that Dawn sells?

[...] After much discussion it was decided:

  • to work together as a board through the fall, with board training to happen after we have new board members.
  • to have a board sub-set meet with Art (or whoever) and look at options with a focus on the mission statement as our defining document. Gina, Susan, Greg & Beth (maybe Jim / Don?)

July 21, 2005 (Board Minutes) - "lucinda xxxx presented her strategic planning proposal. much discussion with lucinda and after her presentation about how to be inclusive and also timely in developing a strategic plan. lucinda will draft another plan after meeting input. greg will check with references. board members present will then make recommendation to full board.
Aug 25, 2005 (Board Minutes) - "General Manager Report
9) Strategic planning. Maureen xxxx has agreed to work with us in the spring. She is eager to help set the tone of inclusivity and consensus, and she will be introduced at the Annual Meeting. The planning itself will be open to all who wish to participate. Maureen suggests that Board members begin thinking about the four following questions:
-Who are KRFC's customers?
-What is KRFC in the business of doing?
-What makes KRFC different?
-What is KRFC's value ad? (If KRFC went away, so what?)
January 5, 2006 (Board Minutes) - " 9. Strategic Planning: Beth handed out a draft summary of the process and a projected timeline. She foresees having the final plan done and a public meeting on April 9. Preliminary research was started in November '05 and is continuing. A Planning Advisory Committee was also formed in November. The BOD will have its first meeting January 26.

recent history on the main page