URTV Board President calls executive meeting, issues “information protocols”

URTV has called an executive session of its executive committee for Monday, Feb. 9. The topic has not been disclosed. Also, URTV Board President Jerry Young has sent out a note on “information protocol” for board members of the station speaking to the press.

Both moves come amidst ongoing controversy over transparency at the public-access channel, which receives money through the city of Asheville and Buncombe County through fees charged to cable subscribers. Some members of URTV’s board have taken issue with several measures, including a confidentiality clause in an oath (which URTV later changed) and video of the executive director making remarks that a North Carolina Press Association attorney characterized as misrepresenting the state’s open-meetings law.

The executive session of the executive committee was called by Young, originally for today, but was rescheduled for Monday at 8 a.m. in URTV’s offices at 31 College Place, since “we do not have a quorum for Friday,” according to an e-mail from Young obtained by Xpress.

Under the September 2007 version of URTV’s bylaws, the executive committee is composed of the “officers of the corporation,” which are listed as being a president, vice-president, treasurer, and clerk. URTV’s Web site, however, lists the current officers as Young, Treasurer Joe Scotto, Secretary Ralph Roberts, and Parliamentarian Bob Horn — a position that is not mentioned in the original bylaws. Executive Director Pat Garlinghouse sits on the committee as a nonvoting member.

Also according to the bylaws, “the Board may at times, by majority vote, give the Executive Committee the power to make specific decisions when no regular Board meeting is scheduled.”

An executive session, meanwhile, is generally a closed meeting of a nonprofit and requires that a quorum of the entire board (six members in this case) be present — and a majority approve going into session. Under the state’s open-meeting laws, which URTV is required to follow, the board would have to open the session, then vote to go into a closed session, which is usually used to discuss property or personnel matters.

The special meeting was a surprise to board member Richard Bernier, who, along with board member Davyne Dial, has criticized what he sees as a lack of transparency.

“This is news to me,” he told Xpress.

Young also sent out a note to board members as “a reminder about information protocol,” in which he wrote, “It is my understanding that no board member is authorized to speak to the press on behalf of URTV. Either to print publications or on web-based sites.”

He added, “I understand that as Board President I am the only spokesperson for URTV. It is also my understanding that no single board member may ever speak on behalf of URTV. I understand that I can designate the Executive Director as the Press Contact but I am the only person who can authorize information on behalf of URTV.”

Finally, Young instructs board members, “Any request for information, or response to questions, should be directed to me.”

NCPA Attorney Mike Tadych notes that members of any board required to abide by open-meetings law can limit First Amendment rights to free speech only “if they give them up in advance — through a clause or bylaw that they agree to — that limits that right. Otherwise, they can voice their own opinion.” He added that such a board can designate a spokesperson.

Young has not returned phone and e-mail requests for clarification on the meeting and the information-protocol message.

The full note from Young is below.

— David Forbes, staff writer


Dear Fellow Board Members,

This note is a reminder about information protocol with regard to URTV. It is my understanding that no board member is authorized to speak to the press on behalf of URTV. Either to print publications or on web-based sites.

I understand that as Board President I am the only spokesperson for URTV. It is also my understanding that no single board member may ever speak on behalf of URTV. I understand that I can designate the Executive Director as the Press Contact but I am the only person who can authorize information on behalf of URTV.

All official information that has been directed to the press thus far on behalf of URTV is correct and approved and has been directed by me.

Any request for information, or response to questions, should be directed to me at jericho007@bellsouth.net. I trust that all members will abide by this directive.

I would also like to mention that I do have other responsibilities outside my responsibilities to URTV. Therefore, I may not be able to respond to your emails as quickly as I would like, I do assure you that I will respond in due course.

I would also request that we take time to consider the matter that is very important to each one of us:

We have a great opportunity to make a positive impact in our community via URTV.
We need to work together on the issues that seem to constantly cause unnecessary division.
I have enjoyed working with URTV and all the staff and board members and I plan to continue as long as I can be useful.
I serve in this capacity because I was appointed by Buncombe County to represent them. I have remained a part URTV because I enjoy the work I do and I want to see the county and citizens benefit from all that URTV has to offer.

Finally there will always be those who are finding fault or some issue to criticize. As a board we need to accentuate the positive side of all the good that is being done for our community, because URTV exist. The programming, producers and people that continue to be a positive part of URTV provide us this great opportunity to make a difference in our diverse society.

I do not mean to sermonize, but that is what I do most days of my life.

Jerry Young, President, URTV Board of Directors.


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26 thoughts on “URTV Board President calls executive meeting, issues “information protocols”

  1. URTV User

    Sounds like they are clearly doing their best to maintain some level of professional conduct amongst the board members in light of one or more malcontent wannabe activists on the board doing their best to have a tantrum and get attention. I salute them for it.

    There is too much public money and community participation wrapped up in URTV to allow it to become a joke at the whim of one or two emotionally unstable people appointed to the board for lack of other volunteers. These kind of organizations have a board and are required to perform audits and meet other standards specifically to insure they operate responsibly. The local and state governments did not authorize any self appointed guardians of everything to protect the rest of us.

    URTV operates by majority board policy action and manager direction at the pleasure of the city at county. That’s all. These mechanisms are in place to maintain responsible and funtional control of the enterprise. If there is a legitimate problem, the city or county will step in and address it as they’ve done to clarify any question about open meeting standards. The rantings of upset individual board members do not direct the course of the operation and I for one am sick of hearing about all the drama from two or three pouting children. If you have a problem, resolve it with the board. If that fails, resolve it with the local government representatives. Afterwards, be maure and take the outcome like a adult rather than having temper tantrums and whining all over the internet. You’re embarassing yourselves, and annoying the rest of us.

  2. 1. The Right Reverend Young can speak all he likes “on behalf” of URTV. I encourage other board members to speak their own damn m************ minds when the law is willfully violated.

    2. It is not a function of a public board to “accentuate the positive.” This is not a Johnny Mercer song. This is the public’s business. When corruption, arrogance and secrecy threaten to take dominance in our affairs, I expect somebody to accentuate the BS.

  3. mountainman

    Amen brother Tim!! I couldn’t afford to buy boots high enough to wade through all the BS the various incarnations of dysfunctional Boards have produced over the years, so I just quit being a URTV member. Bless you for your endurance and vigilance. Thank you, HG.

  4. Deserved

    If this was a story about some malcontent wannabe’s instead of an ED overstepping and violating the law, then there wouldn’t be all this ink being printed, and the County attorney wouldn’t have had to step in. There are numerous violations in this board meeting.
    From the video it’s clear, URTV Users statement is not at all an accurate description;

  5. Tired

    I’m Tired of this.

    Tim, Peter (illuminati, mountain man, whoever you want to pretend to be this week), Blackwell, and others please pay close attention.

    Kurt is gone, Jen is gone, the days of you all getting preferential treatment are GONE!!! Please put your big girl panties on and move on. URTV did not become your personal video playground, and way to supplement your income as you had planned. If you all are no longer participating as active members at URTV explain why you care about what goes on there, other than just to find something to whine about. (you know lead, follow, or get the He__ out of the way)
    Do you all really believe that if you stir up enough crap, the city and county will turn everything over to you all? It will NEVER happen!

    URTV has evolved, why don’t you try evolving as well.

  6. URTV_4_U

    Tired? Get used to it.

    Consequences is what one gets for abusive behavior when people have had enough. Consequences can be a tough pill to swallow.

  7. JMH Law

    URTV is not a public body and is therefore not subject to OML. Furthermore, all audits have returned clean and the city and county have full faith in URTV’s current management.

  8. JMH Law

    The city attorney’s 2006 judgment was incorrect.

    North Carolina Open Meetings Law:
    In order to be considered a public body (local or state authority), subject to the OML you must be either an authority, board, commission, committee, or council of the local or state government and in addition: (1) consist of at least 2 members and, second, (2) have a function that is legislative, policy making, quasi judicial, administrative or advisory in nature (to the public).

  9. We have an interesting mix of fallacious argument here:

    1. personal insult (ad hominem)
    2. wishful thinking

    The ad hominem argument fails on its own and therefore does not stand in need of refutation.

    The wishful thinking argument (repeated ‘ad naseum’) is one that denies facts already shown: (1) URTV fulfills a government function (public access); (2) URTV receives public funding (PEG); and (3) URTV is formally and explicitly required to comply with OML as stipulated in both of the now-modified county and city agreements:

    City amendment: http://snipr.com/bmp91
    County amendment: http://snipr.com/b1803

    Unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, the fact that this unfulfilled obligation to the public had to be explicitly mandated by amendment (twice now by the county) suggests that something less than “full faith” is closer to the truth.

    Personal insult and wishful thinking are fallacious arguments and do not advance our understanding of the facts and issues at hand.

  10. Tired


    “Consequences can be a tough pill to swallow.”

    You should share this thought with blackwell and bresney!!
    I couldn’t have put it better myself!!

    Tim if you go back and read my post, I never said anything personally insulting to any of you as human beings. I just simply stated what is the obvious intent of your actions.

    Once again, I ask you why do you care about something you have admitted that you no longer participate in (to quote you)”since jen left”?

    The main facts and issues at hand is that the main people complaining don’t even use URTV.

    Please use simple words so “mountain man” and I can understand your thoughts!!

  11. Ripped Off

    At least you can watch URTV and get your show submitted and aired.
    I paied $50 to be a member of Asheville Public internet Tv and when clicked on watch tv there has been nothing. Why doesent the county look into this? When do they meet also?

  12. Matt Howard

    You can go in there, pay your fee, and use the facilities to make television. I do it all the time. URTV does what it’s supposed to do. There are obviously personality conflicts involved, but URTV is not disfunctional.

  13. Elaneon

    I have yet to see any single member of the board “speaking for URTV.” I have seen an official URTV press release that supposedly spoke for the entire board (catching at least two board members unaware until after it was released.)

    I have gotten to know the board members. They are all intelligent, articulate people. Not a single one needs to be silenced or spoken for, and certainly not without their prior consent.

    More than that. This isn’t what they signed up for. It’s not right for them to have to give up their personal opinions or their rights to express those. In fact, many, particularly those elected by the membership, are there precisely because of their opinions and ability to express themselves.

    The board is a body meant to oversee. If there is no wrong-doing to cover up, there is no reason to fight against transparency. This whole thing has been, and continues to be, handled terribly.

    To ‘URTV user’- I don’t know which members of the board you consider prone to tantrums or attention-seeking. I’ve only missed one public meeting since I have been a member, and have never witnessed the Circ du Soliel or child-like behavior kicking and screaming you describe. A more casual atmosphere where many formalities are sometimes discarded is the absolute worst of it.

    Frankly, URTV user, it sounds to me like you are the one with a personal axe and the grindstone. That, or are you a just a complete Roberts Rules Nazi?

    Either way, it is not productive to the discussion or a service to URTV to characterize the board in such a way.

    Do I like all the members of the board personally? No. Do I agree with their collective or separate opinions? About half the time, maybe. However, I do respect every single one of them greatly for giving of themselves to do what they do, and for having to listen to all the unfair criticism afterward. Talk about thankless volunteer work.

    URTV user, if you think you can do a better job- please do run next time around.

  14. dear, Ripped Off. what dose that have to do with anything ?? after going over all the records,i did not find your name as having ever paid anything…is your name Pat Garlinghouse ?? is this just a lie ?? if your name is not Pat Garlinghouse,and you are a member of ashevilletv.net,i would be only too glad to give you your 50 bucks back.. Pat Garlinghouse Pat Garlinghouse,Pat Garlinghouse,Pat Pat GarlinghouseGarlinghouse,Pat Garlinghouse,Pat Garlinghouse,Pat Garlinghouse….

  15. Ripped Off

    what records? You have a record on me?
    Are you the GM at this public accesss channel?
    why cant the public access it?

    I find this confusing. public access, asheville tv public access, with all this public accessing going on why is nothing public.

    . Asheville TV
    Sep 5, 2008 … An Internet Public Access Channel where anyone in the world can play their shows. Watch Asheville TV today.
    http://www.ashevilletv.net/ – 9k – Cached – Similar pages

    What is Asheville TV?
    Asheville TV provides the means for the public to get their shows out to the world.


  16. Tired

    Ripped Off
    Clearly asheville tv has been set up as a way for blackwell to attempt to fund his obvious and unhealthy obsession with Pat Garlinghouse!!

    He seems quite bitter that she put a proper stop to him trying to make money off of URTV.

    I’m still trying to figure out tim peck’s obsession with all of this. He really doesn’t seem to want to explain.

  17. Tired writes: “I’m still trying to figure out tim peck’s obsession with all of this. He really doesn’t seem to want to explain.”

    Actually, I have done nothing but explain, explain, explain. How you could have missed it, I can’t explain.

    URTV is a valuable asset that is being mismanaged into the ground. The recent controversies, course-corrections, and suspicious secrecies are part of a long-standing pattern of corruption and abuse.

    Thankfully, there are a few who understand this and have the courage and passion to reverse its downfall.


    URTV should be saved. I expect that it will be.

    If you still don’t get it, please keep that fact to yourself. You’re not the only one who is Tired.


  18. Tired

    Thank you for the explanation.
    If you feel URTV is being “mismanaged into the ground” who do you feel could do a better job? of managing the place?

    I am genuinely interested in your thoughts about who could do a better job. Unlike blackwell and bresney, I respect what you have to say, and you have always seemed genuine and unlike them, you never tried to make money off URTV. So, seriously who do you think could do better.

  19. URTV_is_4_U

    If the Board was doing their proper role of oversight we wouldn’t be in this position. An incestuous relationship has developed so the board has lost their role in the checks and balances set up in the bylaws. This has to change!

    A diverse group like Asheville surely has people who would serve well in the capacity of a management committee…URTV has had two Executive Directors that that haven’t worked out…so a committee experienced in public access, production and most of all people management, to oversee this valuable assett is my suggestion. As it happens now, anyone who the executive director develops a conflict with gets run off, this is not good people/talent management. At first I was willing to give the executive director benefit of doubt, but too many people have been run off. Too many conflicts have occurred in the two years she has been here. It’s like a soap opera, with constant drama, drama, drama. . URTV needs their members and producers.

    I’m not Tim, but I think he’s been spot on here.

  20. Tired,

    I am certainly not in a position to recommend an Executive Director. URTV did a nationwide search for the last one and I would recommend that they repeat this process.

    As for the board, the Executive Committee just secretly voted off the two most critical members. This process is out of order and should not be considered legitimate.

    I would recommend voting off of the board those who are serving as stooges for the ED and replace them with members who are more like the ones that were just voted off.

    Again, that’s not my call. But the city and the county need to look into this.

    More to come…

    (thanks MX)

  21. URTV Bylaws
    June 2005

    Article 4

    6. A Director may be removed by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting Directors then in office. A Director proposed to be removed shall be entitled to at least ten (10) days notice in writing by mail before the Board meeting at which such removal is to be voted upon, and shall be entitled to speak on the matter prior to the vote.

  22. Randy


    Randy here. I along with John Blackwell own Asheville TV. I personally know everyone that has paid (because I took their money) and have talked to everyone that is a paid member of Asheville TV and let them know that we are moving our servers from one place to another. All members are ok with the fact that Asheville TV will be up and down for a few more weeks.

    The person that is named Ripped Off is not a paid member of Asheville TV. How do I know, because again, I have talked to all paid members of Asheville TV and even offered anyone their $50 back and 1 year free for the fact that we are moving and would be down for a few weeks.

    Not one of them took me up on the offer and not one of the complained. Goes to show you that Ripped Off is not telling the truth here.

    I have tried to stay out of all of this mess. But when you drag Asheville TV into it you drag me into it. I am not a person to be messed with and can assure you of that.

    So who ever you are Ripped Off, I suggest you back off and stop telling non-facts. And if it happens that you are a real member of Asheville TV and tell me one thing to my face and talk about me behind my back, then please tell me your real name so I can give you your $50 back and then we can part ways.

    So either tell the truth (that you are not a member) or tell your name so I can give you the $50 back before you have a fit! As I see it either way you don’t tell the truth!

    And John Blackwell agrees with me because he too has offered you the $50 back if you are a real paid member LOL.

    The above may sound like double talk but it’s not really. Think about it. If this person is a real paid member, and I have talked to all paid members and they all say they are ok with it being down a few weeks then they lied to me about that because of what they just said above about being ripped off.

    On the other hand, if they are not a paid member then they lied above about saying they are a paid member. Either way they don’t tell the truth do they?

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