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1998 Version of LAB guidelines

From: http://www.pacifica.org/board/docs/lab.html



Pacifica's Local Advisory Boards play an important role in the life of each station to provide Pacifica and especially the local station manager with a sense of community needs and issues. (according to CPB minimum compliance, see below).

The LAB serves under the direction and guidance of the Pacifica National Governing Board and is monitored by the Chair and Executive Committee. The Pacifica Governing Board shall annually review the LABs performance and certify that they are meeting the Pacifica Policies Governing LABs. If it is determined that a LAB is out of compliance, the Pacifica Board Chair and Executive Committee has the authority to institute reorganization or reconstitution of the LAB.


FEDERAL LAW - CPB The Local Advisory Board shall carry out such functions as are assigned to it by the Pacifica Foundation Governing Board and shall otherwise comply with the requirement of Section 396(k) of the Communications Act.

Minimum compliance with the Act mandates that the Governing Board must:


1. establish a community advisory board.

2. undertake good-faith effort to assure that:

a. its advisory board meets at regular intervals.

b. the members of the board regularly attend the meetings of the advisory board.

c. the composition of the community advisory board is reasonably representative of the diverse needs and interests of the communities served by the station.

Responsibilities of the LAB are:


1. review the programming goals established by the station.

2. review the service provided by the station.

3. review significant policy decisions rendered by the station.

4. advise the governing board of the station whether the programming and other policies of the station are meeting the specialized educational and cultural needs of the communities served by the station, as determined by the advisory board. The advisory board may make recommendations to the governing board to meet those specialized needs.

C. The governing board, if it desires, may delegate other responsibilities to the advisory board to assist the governing board or station personnel. The responsibilities that can be delegated to a community advisory board, however, are limited. The law states: "In no case shall the community advisory board have any authority to exercise any control over the daily management or operation of the station."


1. To annually review the programming goals of the station and inform the Governing Board if they are being met. This annual review will be done in conjunction with the Governing Board annual program review meeting.

2. To annually review the service provided by the station and inform the Governing Board of the results.

3. To annually review the effectiveness of station policies regarding special educational and cultural needs of the communities served by the station and to inform the Governing Board of the results.

4. To recommend to the Governing Board a process that will allow the station to meet its educational and cultural needs.

5. To annually advise the Governing Board of LAB performance and the roster of the LAB.

6. To be prepared to represent the station before the community.

7. To apply professional acumen and expertise on behalf of the station, performing such functions as requested by the Governing Board.

8. Local Advisory Board members may participate in fundraising efforts.

9. At the direction of the Executive Director, to participate in the annual evaluation of the General Manager.

10. At the direction of the Executive Director, to participate in the search for the General Manager.


1. In no case shall the LAB have any authority to exercise control over the day to day management or operations of the stations.

2. Harmony with the Governing Board:

The LAB shall have duties, responsibilities and powers as derived from the Pacifica by-laws, policies or other statements of the Governing Board. No actions may be taken by the LAB that would pre-empt, in whole or in part, the authority or responsibilities of the Governing Board.

REMOVAL of a LAB member shall be either by the Executive Committee of the LAB or by a 2/3 majority vote of LAB members present and voting at a regular or special meeting of the LAB. Written notice shall be given at least 15 days before the meeting to all LAB members specifying the proposed removal and stating, in general terms, the grounds for dismissal. If the LAB fails to remove a non-complying member, the Chair of Pacifica's Governing Board may exercise the removal. A LAB member may be removed for the following reasons:

1. if not a subscriber to the station;

2. misses three consecutive meetings;

3. if the LAB member fails to inform the local station General Manager, Pacifica Board Chair (or designee), or Executive Director before speaking or writing publicly about official policies and procedures of the local Pacifica station;

4. violates confidentiality of discussion concerning local station or Pacifica board business, including personnel or finance matters occurring in executive session.


NUMBER OF MEMBERS The LAB will consist of not less than twelve (12) nor more than twenty-four (24) members. These members are recruited by the LAB through the Nominating Committee process and should be representative of the communities the station serves.

STATION PERSONNEL Station personnel may serve as ex-officio non-voting members of the LAB. Station personnel are defined by the Governing Board as those who are paid a regular salary, or those volunteers who have a regularly scheduled program or who work more than 5 hours per month in programming or in administration on a regular basis. Station personnel who are serving as of this date (3/1/98) may retain their vote until the end of their existing term at which their voting rights are non-renewable.

GENERAL MANAGER The General Manager serves as an ex officio non-voting member of the LAB. With the LAB chair the General Manager coordinates and supports the work of the LAB.

ELECTION Each new member shall be elected by a majority vote of the attending members of the LAB for a term of three years. No member shall serve for more than two successive terms.

OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES There shall be at least a Chair, a Vice Chair, and a Secretary. The standing committees of the LAB are the following: Community Needs Assessment, Development and Membership/Nominating. In addition, LABs may create other committees that are consistent with their function. Chairs are appointed by the LAB Chair with approval of the LAB. Each LAB Chair will serve on the Council of Chairs which will be convened at least three times a year by the Pacifica Governing Board Chair prior to regular Governing Board meetings.

NOMINATING PROCESS The Membership/Nominating Committee recommends candidates for membership on the LAB as needed. It nominates officers as well. Candidates will be selected from the station signal area. The Membership/Nominating Committee will assure that the composition of the LAB nominees reasonably reflects the diverse needs and interests of the local communities served.

Guidelines for LAB Recruitment

Each LAB will have a Membership/Nominating Committee responsible for nominating members and officers to the LAB. The General Manager will be a member.

In selecting members, LABs should keep in mind the need to provide a strong available group of LAB candidates for the governing board, as well as a strong LAB.

In addition to the primary skills needed to participate in the community needs assessment, including strong community ties, experience with survey skills and community organizing, the following should be kept in mind:

For development: experience with non-profit finance, public relations or communication, private philanthropy, or an individual who is a foundation funder, planned giving attorney/specialist etc.

For the membership/nominating committee: community activists, experience with media, and/or organizational development.

Other skills: expertise in public policy and the current status of public broadcasting.

The LAB will regularly establish its criteria for membership. Financial, development, legal, and management experience, as well as ethnic, economic and geographic criteria will be considered during recruitment. 50% of the membership must be people of color, including, but not limited to, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native American Indians and Latinos.

The committee will:

evaluate names and list in priority preference decide how to approach individuals request a resume and statement of interest evaluate the experience and skills of proposed members may interview the proposed members present new members to the LAB for a vote keep a waiting list of potential members stagger tenure use as many methods as reasonable for recruitment (public announcements, personal reference, on-air announcements etc.) OFFICERS The LAB shall bi-annually elect officers whose terms will coincide with the Foundation's fiscal year.

NOMINATION TO THE GOVERNING BOARD The LAB may nominate two members to the Governing Board. A Governing Board term is three years with a limit of two consecutive terms. The National representative's term on the LAB can be extended to allow for two terms on the National Board. LAB chairs may not serve on the Governing Board.

In order for nominees to be reviewed before the Governing Board meeting where the nominee is to be voted on, resumes or biographical sketches will be sent to the Secretary of the Governing Board at least two months before the Governing Board meeting. A biography and a statement of how the person was selected, the vote and the duly noticed meeting where the nominee was selected will be included. These nominees will be evaluated by the Secretary and the Chair of the Governing Board in order to ascertain that they meet eligibility criteria.

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Current at-large members of the Pacifica Governing Board residing in the station's signal area are ex officio non-voting members of the LAB.


MEETINGS The LAB shall meet on a regular basis no less often than quarterly, as called by the Chair. The meeting shall have of a quorum, which consists of 50% of its voting members.

OPEN MEETINGS The LAB shall hold open meetings. Reasonable notice to the public shall be given either on air, on bulletin boards or in station publications. All persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the LAB.

The Station Manager must be informed at least 10 days prior to a meeting in order to notify the public. Meetings will be scheduled at a consistent time i.e. every third Monday of every month.

Guidelines for open meetings

LAB meetings should last no longer than two hours unless a majority of the LAB votes to extend any meeting for a limited amount of time. An agenda allocating a reasonable amount of time to complete each item should be prepared by the Chair. Public comment is a regular part of each meeting and should be scheduled last. At least 30 minutes will be allotted for the public comment portion of the meeting. The 30 minutes will be equally divided among those who sign up to speak. No person will have more than 5 minutes to speak, unless the majority of the board votes for an extension of time for the speaker.

EXECUTIVE SESSION The LAB may, by majority vote, call an executive session to consider matters relating to personnel, litigation or matters involving confidential relationships or proprietary matters. In the event that an executive session is held, the reason shall be announced and noted in the meeting minutes.


The LAB chair in the signal area where the Governing Body is holding its meeting will participate in the meeting on behalf of the Council of Chairs as a non-voting participant.

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