URTV board approves new bylaws

In a special meeting Thursday, URTV’s Board of Directors unanimously approved new bylaws that concentrate more power in the board’s hands, but kept the current membership structure intact.

Originally, the new bylaws proposed for URTV would have done away with the station’s current membership entirely, replacing members with categories of “associates” created by the board and eliminating their ability to elect members to the board or vote on matters before the station. However, after URTV cancelled its last board meeting when board members couldn’t enter the locked Buncombe County Television offices, those parts were removed.

“All of my concerns have been addressed,” new board member Matt Howard said before the vote.

The new bylaws give the board’s executive committee — consisting of the public access channel’s officers — all the powers of the whole board between meetings, except for dissolving URTV, changing the bylaws or appointing new board members. It also increases the size of the board, from 11 to 13. The two additional members will be appointed by the sitting board of directors.

Also, the new bylaws create an appeals process for board members that are removed from their seat (by a two-thirds majority of the board). Those board members can appeal to the Executive Committee within 48 hours of their removal.

Ironically, in the two most recent attempts to remove board members — those of Davyne Dial and Richard Bernier — it was the executive committee that recommended their dismissal in the first place.

The special meeting, which was announced on Tuesday, was in violation of URTV’s own bylaws, which require seven days’ notice before such a meeting.

Bernier, who was not present for the meeting but has not yet been formally removed from his seat, objected to it on those grounds, saying the short notice didn’t allow sufficient time to consider the implications of the bylaw changes.

“I’m concerned that this is being rushed upon us to consider; without considerable time being spent to go over in detail what each change means,” Bernier wrote in an e-mail. “Since much of the new bylaws are written in a vague manner, it is difficult to understand what they mean and what the implications are. Personally I’d like to go over these changes line by line for clarification & even open this up for our membership to ask questions along with the general public.”

Reactions to the bylaws at the meetings differed, URTV producer Christopher Chiaromonte applauded the bylaws change and simply said “Bravo!” while John Blackwell compared the vote to fascism.

“It was unanimous — wasn’t that the way they did it in Germany?” he said.

Producer Robert Howland, who has been critical of the attempts to remove Dial and Bernier, expressed mixed feelings about the bylaw changes.

“It seems like there has been some positive progress with the board,” he said. “The progress that I’m seeing unfold today is that member-elected board members can still vote. You’ve moved in that direction and I appreciated that.”

“But where I’m hazier is the conflict of interest, balance of power and oversight issues,” he continued. “I guess maybe there should be more county and city members. This is a really sticky area, but it’s critical that in case things go amok, for any reason, things can be reined in. I guess I’m saying I trust the city and county more than the internal board structure to rein things in.”

Dial was also present to weigh in on her removal from the board — done by a 33-12 vote of URTV members — which she has asserted was done improperly.

“I put up a good fight,” Dial said. “You got your way and now I’m off.”

Dial read a letter from Mayor Terry Bellamy expressing appreciation for Dial’s “efforts to uphold the bylaws.”

Before the meeting, there was an argument between parliamentarian Bob Horn and Blackwell about his filming from the front row.

“You have to be back in the room with the other camera [operated by Chiaromonte],” Horn asserted. “You’ll be fine. It’ll pick up fine.”

“I don’t believe so, I’ve had trouble in the past,” Blackwell replied.

“If you can’t do that, then we request you leave,” Horn said.

“I think I’ll stay and film from a spot where my camera can pick up,” Blackwell said.

“This is our meeting, you’re a guest; if you can’t abide by our rules, you’ll have to leave,” Horn answered.

However, Blackwell remained throughout the meeting and filmed from his seat.

State open meetings law allows a board to establish a single area for cameras to be set up, but also specifies that the area cannot impede the camera from filming.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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32 thoughts on “URTV board approves new bylaws

  1. Speaker of Truth

    Mr. Forbes, as usual in his slanted haste, has again gotten several points wrong. They include but are not limited to:

    1. This was not a special meeting, it was simply the rescheduled regular board meetings. As such, it met all requirements in both the old and new bylaws.

    2. It was not an unanimous vote — two members, Richard Bernier and Sandra Bradbury — were not in attendance. The rumor is that Mr. Bernier was unable to find the meeting place.

    MountainX and Mr. Forbes must truly be in desperate shake to continue this endless spate of yellow tabloid nonjournalism. One or two articles a month about URTV might be justifiable but no reasonable _real_ editor and reporter would allow this unchecked vilification to continue while letting those off the hook who perhaps come much closer to deserving it (Wally Bowen and WPVM certainly springs to mind here).

    “Death throes” writes Mr. Tim Peck? Yes, but it appears to be journalistic fairness. Firing David Forbes and apologizing to this readership would be a nice start. Mr. Ellison and Mr. Forbes, come to your senses, please.

  2. 1. This was an illegal meeting. That alone qualifies it as special. Also, the rescheduled meeting was not announced TO THE PUBLIC in accordance with the governing bylaws. This is a violation.

    2. A unanimous vote refers to a vote taken of members in attendance at a called meeting where all present vote alike without dissent. The board vote meets this definition. Therefore, the vote was indeed unanimous, just as Mr. Forbes reported.

    3. Now who should be fired?

  3. URTV-isn't_4_U

    Here is the subject heading for the recent meeting to vote on radically changing URTV’s bylaws, that was sent out by Garlinghouse.

    “[i]Subject: Re: special called meeting[/i]

    Looks like it was a special meeting to me…and not properly announced. The county commission just lost a case on zoning becasue they ran one day short on their meeting announcement to vote upon the zoning change. Can someone say [B] class action [/B]???

  4. Sundance

    Changing the bylaws would be a special meeting “Speaker of Truth” and proper notice was given the first time URTV was going to meet and Pat conveniently forgot the keys and combination to the Buncombe county studio but she failed to give proper notice this time of the rescheduling just like she failed to give proper notice when she changed the voting format to remove Dial. Remember the vote illegal vote to remove Dial that did not follow the bylaws?

    Perhaps the only person needing to get the facts straight is you?

    Maybe you are the one who needs to learn not to report in a “yellow” and biased fashion?

  5. i have a little video here,from the meeting..
    ralph tells the parliamentarian Bob Horn,that he can’t call for a vote,before the meeting is called to order..
    it’s all pretty funny…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S1z7e08ewY

    richard,good work….
    “Bernier, who was not present for the meeting but has not yet been formally removed from his seat, objected to it on those grounds, saying the short notice didn’t allow sufficient time to consider the implications of the bylaw changes.

    “I’m concerned that this is being rushed upon us to consider; without considerable time being spent to go over in detail what each change means,” Bernier wrote in an e-mail. “Since much of the new bylaws are written in a vague manner, it is difficult to understand what they mean and what the implications are. Personally I’d like to go over these changes line by line for clarification & even open this up for our membership to ask questions along with the general public.” ”
    yes,i think the general public have a stake in this,and should have a say..

    when you put the old bylaws,and new bylaws up together,side by side,and have a look at them,it is a real eye opener..
    i think if anyone who would realy like to know what this has all been about ,will do that ,it will be clear…

  6. This is a public meeting?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S1z7e08ewY

    Why is a member of staff sitting in on a board of directors meeting?

    This is not, as the chairman claims, his meeting and the public is a guest. This is a public meeting and attendees are not present by permission, they are there in accordance with the law that requires that public meetings to conduct the public’s business be open to the public. The law constrains the public body, not the public.

    Why has the board still not read the statute on open meeting?

    “A public body may regulate the placement and use of equipment necessary for broadcasting, photographing, filming, or recording a meeting, so as to prevent undue interference with the meeting. However, the public body must allow such equipment to be placed within the meeting room in such a way as to permit its intended use,” http://snipr.com/j4zrz

  7. B_S_Monitor

    quasi–governmental
    : supported by the government but managed privately, a quasi–governmental body——————->>>>>

    URTV is in this category, and as much as they would like to convince people otherwise, THEY (URTV) and the Board are supported by the public, therefore it is the public’s business. The public is not there at their pleasure but they are there to serve the public. Get it right mr. parlimentarian. This is not your private business, it is the public’s business.

    Some folks who are associated with URTV are wondering why all the media attention is being hoist upon URTV and are mad about the attention…they don’t care if URTV obeys Open Meeting laws, and follows the management agreement. What these folks don’t get, is that a group who openly violates basic law…will do much more behind the scenes. The attention is focused upon them because it’s obvious the management and Board could care less about sticking to well established bylaws, management agreements & principles.

    Looks to me like it’s ok to see other folks rights being kicked around and trampled on as long as you stay in good graces of certain people. You who think this is all a bunch of hooey, just wait your turn will come. Only then you’ll understand what all the fuss is about.

    I’d love to see s compilation of all the resistance /denial of and evasion tactics to avoid being filmed by the ED, that have been captured on film this last few months. I notice she is whispering her instructions to the Board in this video. Could that be why they were trying to bully the camerman into moving to the rear…she appears downright paranoid at being captured on film. Why is that?

  8. Seeker of Truth

    Pat Garlinghouse’s nomination (Christopher Chiaromonte) for a Board Seat was the opening story tonight on WLOS ch.13 at 5:30. Seems Brother Christopher (Mad Monk) was suggestion some seriously dangerous and short-sighted methods of discouraging cigarette smoking. He made these comments last week on his late night TV show.

  9. Matt Howard

    I cant speak for my fellow board members on this, and dont claim to. But I have no fear of being filmed during a board meeting.

  10. “Pat Garlinghouse’s nomination (Christopher Chiaromonte) for a Board Seat”

    How does a staff member nominate anyone for the board of directors?

  11. Seeker of Truth Lies

    Seeker of Truth is still looking for the truth in all the wrong places.

    I watched the story. It was crap. Brother Chis has not been nominated for the board and he WAS NOT the producer of the show in question (it was Coy somebody) and it was taken out of context on top of that.

    Besides, this is public access television, URTV is not responsible for the programs at all, the individual producer is!

    Read about public access at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_access_tv

    And Dr. Mumpower was WRONG in his statement — it is not funded by tax money. That’s the biggest myth I see repeated over and over on Mountainx. Read our lips — it is NOT tax funded.

  12. Seeker of Truth

    Correction: While it looked like a clip from Bro. Christopher’s show on Channel13, it wasn’t his show after all. The show in question ran at 4:00 am last Friday.

    However Bro. Christopher was Pat’s choice for the Board back in the fall. No one gets on the Board without her “allowing” them to be there.

  13. Seeker of Truth

    [quote]Seeker of Truth Lies:Brother Chris has not been nominated for the board [/quote]

    The below message was sent out to Board Members on Nov. 18, 08…see Brother Christopher at bottom of list.
    date Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 9:22 AM
    subject Nominating Committee
    hide details 11/18/08

    Reply

    All-

    The discussion from the nominating committee for URTV had a meeting last week to discuss candidates for the Board. There are two issues that represent an immediate need: ……..
    ……….. we want to fill the open two slots on the Board.

    The following persons are candidates:

    Paul Snow (resume attached)
    Pam Silvers (from AB Tech)
    Binnie Lake (a community leader)
    Randy Thomas (producer)

  14. Sundance

    “Seeker of Truth Lies” you are flat out wrong! URTV does indeed receive public funding via PEG funds. Those PEG funds are paid from Charter directly to the county and city, not URTV. Those funds go into the city and county coffers and then those governmental bodies decide how much funding they are going to give URTV to support your hobby.

    Since the money is distributed by county and city officials, who are elected by the public, the PEG funds are indeed “Public”.

    “Seeker of Truth Lies” it is you who should get your facts straight and stop living in a fantasy world, not the Mountain X.

    As for Brother Christopher, a convicted sex offender, being nominated for the board by Pat is just par for the course and only shows her continual poor judgment and incompetent management skills.

    By the way, aren’t there occasionally children at URTV? Aren’t there laws prohibiting known sex offenders from being around children? If there are laws in regards to that, how is URTV protecting the children?

  15. URTV_is_4_U

    From the Asheville Management agreement sited by Tim Peck,
    the city & county amendment clearly states the URTV is publicly funded. Therefore it is required to follow the laws established for such entities, no matter how inconvenient those laws may be for certain people.

    So, it’s a kinda/ sorta tax…depending on how you view public access.

  16. Matt Howard

    Seeker of truth said: ” No one gets on the Board without her “allowing” them to be there.”

    untrue

    I never sought Pat’s permission or approval to be on the board. I was appointed by city council. She had no say in my appointment. You are free to consider me an exception if you want, but “No One” is simply not accurate.

  17. Matt is correct, “no one” is an exaggeration. However, from my observation, anyone not appointed by city/county has to pass muster with her, when it should be the opposite. That’s why the board size was changed in the bylaws, so she could keep her Pat seal of approval majority. Read the bylaws changes and decide for yourself who most benefits from those changes.

  18. James L

    I think the unwarranted drama in Asheville surrounding public access and what’s happening elsewhere are all very predictable signs of people resisting inevitable change. The continuation of public access cable television and even public access radio is an entirely futile effort.

    Technological, marketplace, viewer habits and governmental changes have made these outlets irrelevant as mediums of free speech. The people clinging to their camcorder and/or microphone with delusions of grandeur to compete with mainstream media just can’t let go.

    The hugely reduced cost and accessibility of computers, video equipment, and widespread online distribution methods available to the general public has changed the playing field forever. When these public outlets were initially provided, it was precisely because no typical member of the public could afford or acquire production tools or access the distribution systems. Now every kid can broadcast their opinions to the entire world via multiple web based outlets and equipment available at the public library or the discount store.

    No longer can members of the public claim they have no forum for their opinions. As always, they need only attract an audience the least bit interested in what they have to say. Just because radio and television tools have become so cheap and accessible that anyone can call themselves a producer/director, it doesn’t change the fact that the audience will decide if you’re any good. What community media advocates often erroneously point to nowadays as free expression, is simply people play acting as producers, directors and Jr. Steven Spielbergs to amuse themselves and their friends. If they actually had anything to communicate, they’d use the mainstream social networking and communication tools that everyone else pays attention to.

    The public does not need to continue funding this outdated so-called “free speech outlet” when it’s no longer relevant and has been replaced by more effective methods available for free or near to it. And as staunch supporters continue to come to the defense of these costly and outdated models, other models continue to become more useful, more effective and less costly. It’s about relevance and message, not about personal ego or vanity, and the change has already come. It’s just a matter of how long the public keeps this old dog on life support.

  19. Sundance

    In regards to the new Bylaws…I know they did not remove the membership structure at URTV but did membership appointed board members lose their voting rights, like Pat, Jerry and Ralph wanted?

    And Once again, since there are new bylaws how come they are not available on the website? The Bylaws available on URTVweb.com are from June 2005!?

    More non transparency and secrecy from Pat, Ralph and Jerry?

  20. jeff turner

    james l calm down,i dont have grand d-illusions,about producership,or any of those things you speak of,ive had different entertainers,preachers,sunday school teachers veterans,women children,various musical groups of differing taste,we discuss various current issues,and important information,i personally give soil and water conservation reports,and report on available grants through our office,we have phone guest,we talk about topics such as petcare,aging parents,transportation issues,each show being different .ala variety,people do watch,worldwide as well on the webcast,i made friends with folks in malaysia who watch by web,
    no-sir the things you speak of maybe how you would act as a would-be spielberg,not myself or my guest,the gospel groups ive had on air are local artist and some of the best at musicianship and vocal harmonies,,i beg to differ with your opinion of the producers at URTV,,sincerely,jeff turner

  21. Sundance

    Well Jeff how about you and all the producers at URTV start footing the cost of your hobby entirely without receiving any type of public funding including PEG funding. If you did that then no one could really say anything could they?

    Most ordinary folks pay for their own hobbies and past times…how come you URTV members can’t do the same rather then wanting a “public” handout without any oversight or constructive criticism?

  22. Matt Howard

    Sundance,
    URTV is not just a playpen, it is also something many people like to watch. Believe it.
    And if you consider your criticism constructive… well you strike me as the sort of person who goes through life wondering why people dont like you.

  23. Piffy!

    Matt,

    Sundance just likes to argue from his Mexican Palace. Things like “Facts” matter little to himin his quest to get all Showery.

  24. Sundance

    Well Matt as long as URTV does not follow its management agreements or ByLaws, kicks board members off who were questioning and acting in the best interest of the public whom they are suppose to serve, not Garlinghouse, it is nothing more then a play pen at the public expense.

    If you can not follow your own agreements and want to keep everything hush-hush then it should receive zero $$$ from PEG funding and pay 100% of your own costs…period.

    By the way Matt, the verdict is still out on you as to weather you will do your job correctly on that board or weather you will become a Pat another mouthpiece/puppet. You already voted to destroy the founding Bylaws, an illegal vote at that. The new ones you voted to put in place give more power to Pat and the executive committee and less to the board you serve, the members and the public that has to pay for your public funded money pit!

  25. Sundance

    “Matt,

    Sundance just likes to argue from his Mexican Palace. Things like “Facts” matter little to himin his quest to get all Showery. ”

    Your one to be talking PFKaP since your incapable of reading completely and fully comprehending what is written. Remember to practice what you preach.

  26. Sundance

    By the way Matt why is Pat and the board trying to tell the city and county whom to appoint to the URTV board. Have a look for yourself.

    http://www.ashevillenc.gov/WorkArea/showcontent.aspx?id=17394

    There should be zero recommendations and interference from URTV is fulfilling these positions and this is another reason why URTV should not receive anymore funding.

    Dale Joyner is the last person in the world that needs to be on that board seeing how she made a bunch of charges and then produced zero evidence to back up her charges and would not even confront Dial with evidence face to face at the illegal removal meeting. She would not even attend the meeting or be on camera…as a matter of fact she tampered with another person’s property…did she not?

    Here experience shows zero qualifications to sit on that board and while she says troubled youth is a passion and commitment of hers you folks really do not need to have and children at URTV as you have a convicted sex offender walking the hallways.

  27. Vox Clematis

    Connect the Dots, Folks
    All successful institutions have been organized based on the assumption (thank you Samuel Adams ) of human weakness.
    Things just work better with a system of checks and balances and accountability. That is why this state has open record & open meeting laws. We are governed by a division of powers and for the most part it works, not perfectly but it’s better than any other form of government. With this in mind, let us look at how URTV is being run and ruined.

    The Board is now a collection of rubber stamping, dittoheads,
    the Board meetings are totally staged by Garlinghouse, there is no discussion, no disagreements, no room for questioning why. Every decision is made behind closed doors and presented and voted upon publically but with a KNOWN outcome or nothing come to the agenda or to the vote.

    All the demonization of anyone with a brain who ask WTF? is going on, is run off by her or her designated pit bulls. The result is a dismal and mediocre amount of programming sprinkled occasionally with a decent or thought provoking show. URTV has digressed to a stunningly poor example of what Public Access has the potential to be for a community.
    And an Executive Director run amok with too much power over a treasured publicly funded asset, who answers to NO ONE.

    The worst is yet to be revealed, stay tuned…. connect the dots folks, we have been conned by a professional con artist.
    Vox Clematis

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