An open letter from a prince of a guy:
Dear WFHB family,
Watching the events of the last few weeks unfold has been tremendously difficult for all of us. Decisions were made that many of us didn’t understand. Frustration boiled over as communication failed on all sides. Mistakes have been made and the blame game got intensely fierce. I felt it so deeply and personally that there were times I got physically ill. I didn’t sleep for days at a time. I felt torn in different directions by people I thought were my friends spewing nonsense or trying to make me their poster boy or martyr. This was never about me.
I walked a SUPER fine line as the Friends of WFHB site grew. I posted no opinions, resolving instead that my role was to provide context and answer questions objectively. I held my breath to see if this new forum could survive the firestorm that gave birth to it and the ensuing growing pains. I abhorred the ignorance of a select few who espoused intolerance, yet as someone who has dedicated his entire professional career to this organization, which professes to exist to cultivate open dialogue, I knew that price had to be paid if we are to honor our mission. Meanwhile I was sickened by the notion that genuine expressions of concern and dissent could be marginalized or shamed or dismissed by the false legal specter of “libel” puffing up its chest to suppress constitutionally protected speech.
Community radio was created to call that bluff.
And now, finally, a decision I can get behind. The selection of Cleveland Dietz as GM is the natural conclusion to a process that began when I recruited him to take over for me this summer. Cleveland was my “right hand man” and I insisted that he be offered the position of Interim GM. At the time he doubted whether he was up to it and maybe others did too, but it is obvious to staff and board that he has worked his ass off to remove all doubt. I will personally do whatever I can to support Cleveland and that’s exactly what you need to do too.
While I’m bossing you around, there’s another matter to tend to: the future of our board of directors. I’ve heard it suggested that the board hold a “reboot” election in which all nine board seats are put up for grabs in a special election in which current board members could run alongside new prospects generated by the fresh interest in station affairs. A fascinating idea, but all six remaining board members would have to agree to this so I doubt it will happen. At the very least we have three seats open RIGHT NOW that you can apply to fill by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Could we PLEASE get a freakin’ board treasurer?!! Since the three-year board terms are staggered, several more may come open at the annual meeting in June. Either way, I believe board prez Joe Estivill is genuinely interested in representative government. For years he and I have both been begging for more participation from participating members. Maybe this whole mess is what finally gets people to realize:
I am WFHB and so are YOU. Everyone has a seat at this table.
With much love and respect,
WFHB Volunteer, Former GM, Former News Director