WRFI Board Meeting, 10/11/22
1) Discussion for meeting with new board members. Potentially on Tuesday, 10/18/22, 6:00 pm. Checking with potential candidates. Working on time.
2) Consent agenda: approve minutes. Checking on spelling of potential board member’s name from minutes. Corinne also needs a name fix. Redact names of potential candidates. Remove Executive Session for public distribution. Corinne moves to approve with adjustment. Second, motion passes 7-0.
3) Corinne nominates Peter to take over position of Board Recorder. Second and motion passes 7-0.
4) President Report: A possible board candidate.
5) GovCo Report. Ideas to adjust Bylaws to “When increasing or decreasing the number of directors, the board shall observe a non-binding guideline that approximately 75% of the directors should reside within New York state’s Southern Tier”. Suggested change “Southern Tier” to “FM Broadcast Area”. Change to “When increasing or decreasing the number of directors, the board shall observe a non-binding guideline that approximately 75% of the directors should currently reside within ICR FM Broadcast Area”. Carlos moves to add this language to Bylaws, second, passes 7-0. For clarity, will add the following to ICR Board Bylaws:
“When increasing or decreasing the number of directors, the board shall observe a non-binding guideline that approximately 75% of the directors should currently reside within ICR FM Broadcast Area”.
Discussion of Bylaws possibly benefitting from updating based on 11 point framework, to create a review of the Bylaws. Plan to create committee to look at Bylaws in the name of updating. GovCo will work on building a committee to put this into action.
Also strategic planning for creating a skills matrix and survey to collect data on skills and resources that the board has access to, and what we could use to fill in holes in the board. GovCo will work on this idea.
6) Development Committee Report. Set time for 1st Tuesday of month, 5:00 pm, contact Corinne to get an invite. They are applying for grant from Tompkins County Community Recovery Fund. Part of application involves identifying matching funds; Felix and Corinne have been identifying matching fund potentials. Looking for $8-10K from donors. Would be helpful to have a board members to help with networking.
7) GM Report. Felix reports 100% go for tower build, company has been paid, we are scheduled for Nov 1-4 (weather wiggle room is built in). Tracking information for transmitter and antenna is in hand. Equipment is arriving soon. Discussion of time between new tower being finished and time on the air. Possibly filing something is needed. Felix will investigate. Studio A is very close to being functional and active. Possibly use for upcoming candidate’s forum and interviews. Corinne asks about trailer; deadline is April 1st. Felix asks about a garage/build location for modifying trailer during cold weather. Folks will investigate. Joe mentions Greenstar Warehouse as a possibility.
Felix summarizes a grant (Tompkins County Community Recovery Fund, see above) proposal:
“WRFI is seeking to bring back—and expand—our successful local news programming and make improvements to our physical infrastructure that will build resiliency and civic engagement across Tompkins County. Since the onset of the pandemic, our net operating revenue has fallen due to increased expenses and relatively flat income. Initially, we were able to meet the challenge of reporting on the pandemic even while operating during the shutdown. Eventually, however, we had to make the tough decision to go without news staff to ensure successful completion of other urgent projects, including our transformative signal expansion which is set to come to fruition in early November, 2022.
The Generating Informed Resiliency project would fund the return of WRFI’s part-time News Director position for two years and provide support for a small group of paid community news fellows. Reporting would focus on issues affecting our region’s community health and resiliency: public health, economic hardship, climate change, COVID, systemic injustice, elections, and more. For six years WRFI employed a part time news director who trained and organized scores of volunteer reporters. The Generating Informed Resiliency project would fund the return of WRFI’s part-time News Director position for two years and provide support for a small group of paid community news fellows. Reporting would focus on issues affecting our region’s community health and resiliency: public health, economic hardship, climate change, COVID, systemic injustice, elections, and more. For six years WRFI employed a part time news director who trained and organized scores of volunteer reporters.”
Grant is asking for $150K. Bryan speaks in support of Public Health focus for grant proposal. Joe asks question about ethics asking a current donor to help us get further grants, general consensus is that that works ok. Corinne, Bryan, and Felix will work on further grant issues; Corinne working with Felix on main grant proposal, due before next board meeting.
Felix reports Fund Drive was big success; brought in $7400 during drive, $2800 for recurring, total for drive about $9700. 65 new members. Discussion of further fund drive for December, and potentially no fund drive in the Spring; December drive dovetails in with end of year giving. Spring drive didn’t do real well in 2022 (1st Spring drive done). Felix discusses looking towards major donors, suggests a 20% each Member, Major Donors, Underwriting, Grants, Other model for funding.
Felix reports on help from Elijah, a kid working at the station a few days a week on a grant funded position. Helping with on air content. Possibly 20 weeks?
Felix reports on the transmitter lease issue that needed solving, seems to be solved; John and Felix met with our attorney, who pointed out that in NYS, a landlord needs to notify tenant about a renewing annual lease via registered mail, which did not happen. Felix thanks Joseph, Carlos, and Fred who went out to the tower and removed all the old material that needed removal.
Felix discusses potential of joining local Chamber of Commerce; possibly worth the light cost (~$350 year) for networking potential. Possibly worth trying membership for a year. General consensus seems it is worth trying a year membership.
Meeting adjourned 7:43 pm.