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Open letter to the WJFF board

April 17, 2013

I’m sorry, you didn’t get the memo?

We, the loyal listenership of publicly and underwriter-funded WJFF are speaking loud and clear that our community radio voice is in serious trouble, with a long list of allegations of serious fiscal and personnel mismanagement.

Excerpts from recent newspaper articles seem to read as self-congratulatory communications between Radio Catskill’s current Board of Trustees (BoT) and Winston Clark, the resigned station manger, only serve to widen the perception that the board is totally out of touch with how a community-created and volunteer-supported radio station should operate. To whit, reports that the assistant station manager had to walk over to ‘the folks next door’ to find out what had transpired at the board’s closed executive session held on Wednesday, April 10.

Of critical importance now is that the BoT make a public announcement as to who is in charge of the day-to-to operations of our local public radio station in the wake of Clark’s departure.

Who is really in charge here? I’m sorry, you didn’t get the memo?

During the former station manager’s four-year tenure, the station and our community have faced numerous challenges. Despite claims of a better financial standing of the station, reports of volunteer complaints about overall mismanagement and poor communication have reportedly increased to a point where major changes are in order.

A positive step in the right direction was the resignation of the station manager, but the board seems unable (or unwilling) to face its primary responsibilities for the position/actions of the station manager and public at large.

Fact or rumor? Reports that the current board is seeking to eliminate the few volunteer elected members of the board in favor of “inner-circle” members; allegations of fines levied by the Department of Labor for personnel irregularities; complaints of equipment poorly maintained; a lack of sufficient on-air volunteer training; a donated back-up generator that sits unused/unconnected in the parking lot. These and a long-list of other issues should be addressed in public by the board, if for no other reason than to acknowledge responsibility for these issues, or dispel destructive rumors with facts.

The next public meeting of the board will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Jeffersonville Village Hall on Wednesday, April 17.

I’m sorry, you didn’t get the memo.

Ted Waddell
Callicoon, NY