The 100.3 Bay FM stoush continues.
In an attempt to rectify 100.3 Bay FM’s ‘long history of dictatorships, bullying and infighting’ (see our earlier article) “a group of members tried to win the election in order to quash dictatorship and run as a legitimate association,” according to Bay FM Community Radio Association member Tanya Thompson, who has responded to our reports on the board dispute at the station (see previous report).
She has told radioinfo: “The person’s elected as President and Secretary were parachuted in shortly before the nominations closed, without being members, and according to one of them during a ‘meet and greet’, they already had the numbers (even though they knew virtually no one at BCRA).”
According to Thompson, ratification of members re-commenced on the 3rd October last year, “however, the previous President and Secretary clearly did not want to show their cards and mention James and Marcus in the minutes, and therefore, these two were not ratified, nor was the third parachuted person, who walked out of the election after it commenced.”
Local politics are a factor in the election process, in Thompson’s opinion. She says that at least one of the candidates “parachuted in” has political links to station patron, Mayor Karen Williams, who chaired the election.
“After the election, the committee members were refused access to the office, files etc…, the Treasurer was not allowed access to the petty cash tin, book or the files,” says Thompson, who also believes that “alterations were made to resolutions passed by the committee,” which did not comply with the BCRA Constitution.
“The so called President and Secretary were not acting in designated roles appropriately, not before their ousting on the 12th December, nor since, despite their protestations in the contrary. The elected Management Committee was not functional nor Constitutional,” she says.
After the accounts were frozen by the ousted president James Harling, the other remaining committee members have kept the station running from their own resources, according to Thompson:
“The members ‘actively running the association’ at that stage were highly regarded professionals… These active committee members had been with the association for considerably longer than James and Marcus, some as long as 20+ years.
“As of today, some of these committee members have paid outstanding station debts to maintain the operation of BayFM, from their own pockets, maintaining insurances, office supplies, registration of vehicles, [and] day to day running expenses.”
A meeting of all parties in the dispute is expected to be convened at the Office of Fair Trading in coming weeks to try and resolve the issues to a point where the organization can continue to operate functionally. Station members have told radioinfo they will keep us informed of the progress.