URTV to hold special meeting on board member’s dismissal

URTV will hold a special meeting of the public access channel’s membership on April 29 to vote on the dismissal of Davyne Dial, a member of the station’s Board of Directors who has been outspoken in her criticism of management.

According to a notice on URTV’s Web site, the meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. in URTV’s Studio A and all URTV members in good standing since before Feb. 28 of this year may vote.

“It is my hope that those members who want URTV to be the beacon of openness and free speech it was established to be, will show up and vote against my removal,” Dial wrote in a statement to Xpress.

In a Feb. 9 meeting URTV’s executive committee voted to recommend dismissing Dial and Richard Bernier, who has also been vocal in his criticism of the station’s management and a perceived lack of transparency. The meeting will only deal with the dismissal of Dial, who was elected by URTV’s membership.

In her statement, Dial was blunt in her criticism of some of the current board members.

“What has happened to Mr. Bernier and myself when we have tried as members of the Board of Directors to abide by the bylaws and management agreement with the city and county, has been months of bullying harassment, intimidation and grief, in an aggressive attempt to coerce us to resign, by certain board members, usually [Secretary] Ralph Roberts and / or [Board President] Jerry Young and [Treasurer] Joe Scotto.”

In the past few months, URTV has faced a number of controversies, including a confidentiality clause in a now-repealed oath, a memo from Young directing board members not to speak to the press and questions about whether the board has followed open-meetings law.

Dial and Bernier have also criticized what they see as a lack of initiative to expand the membership and forge partnerships before URTV’s agreements with the city of Asheville and Buncombe County expire in 2010. However, some producers have voiced their support for management, asserting that many improvements have been made over the past few years and that URTV is working well.

Under URTV’s bylaws, a special meeting of the membership may be called by the Board of Directors or by a signed request from 15 members or 10 percent of the membership, whichever is larger. No vote to hold such a meeting was taken at URTV’s most recent board meeting. Young and URTV Executive Director Pat Garlinghouse have not yet answered requests from Xpress to clarify when the members requested the meeting.

At the last URTV board meeting, producer Dale Joyner submitted a petition signed by 26 URTV producers calling for Dial’s dismissal, asserting that she’d spread “undue negative publicity and false rumors to URTV that have served to bring URTV negative press at a very critical period.” However, Joyner’s petition didn’t call for a special meeting.

Also under URTV’s bylaws, Board of Directors members can only be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the board—and this is how removal has been handled previously. However, North Carolina law does allow the members of some non-profits to remove board members they’ve elected.

—David Forbes, staff writer


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23 thoughts on “URTV to hold special meeting on board member’s dismissal

  1. tatuaje

    I have tried to stay out of this fight. It seems so childish & silly. The confidentiality clause in the oath was not very well thought out and, finally, was corrected.

    But as a producer at URTV, I’ve gotta say….enough is enough. We’ve apparently gotten beyond petty squabbling. Now you are endangering my ability to do what I do.

    URTV has done a pathetic job handling these controversies. Garlinghouse, you could’ve prevented this instead of circling the wagons and shutting down reasonable discourse. This should’ve ended 3 months ago.

    I will be at the meeting. As far as I can tell from having researched every word that has been printed in The MX about this issue (I wish there was more information, but unfortunately, as far as I can tell, URTV has yet to be cooperative with local media), Davyne Dial has done nothing to warrant removal beyond speaking her mind. And isn’t that, in the end, what public access strives to promote?

    So Dale Joyner, I hope you come prepared with logical, reasonable FACTS pertaining to why Davyne Dial needs to be removed from her position. Not assertions, not innuendo, no ‘I’m the Queen of URTV’ attitude, but with verifiable FACTS. It’s a 40 minute drive for me to get to the station. I really, really hope you aren’t wasting my time.

    Because if this is purely personal and you don’t really have an acceptable reason for dismissal other than your personal dislike for what Ms. Dial has said, then YOU are really the one having a negative effect on URTV at “a very critical period.”

  2. i know Davyne Dial,and i am sure that any of the membership that have been around from the start of urtv,know how much she has always supported public access tv…many people have put in a lot of work,to get urtv to the point that we have public access now..Davyne Dial has been fighting to hold on to that freedom of speech that we have through urtv ,and now is the time for the members to come out in support of one of the best board members that we have ever had…
    from the inside,i can tell you that the people trying to oust Davyne Dial,have no respect for the mission of urtv…
    if urtv loses Davyne Dial we all lose..

  3. I read of the arrival of URTV back in early 2006, and I was the first person in the door at the first producers workshop (Fall ’06), and the first person to hand over a membership check to the Executive Director (Kurt Mann.) I have been and always will be a solid supporter of URTV, giving of my time, thought and financial support. My husband’s cash contribution last year was the largest contribution given to URTV.

    I have seen many of the early members and staff who gave their blood, sweat and tears, to build out the studio and get the station going, either pushed out of URTV for some minor infraction or made to feel unwelcome. This has been painful and dis-heartening to watch happen. We should be building on our membership, not dividing and pushing members away. Since I was elected by the membership last summer, I have felt that my first concern was for the membership that elected me. It came to my attention that the membership had declined sharply, (from 623 in June of ’07 to approximately 250 to 275 this January), while I was never given access to the actual membership numbers, though I ask on several occasions…. I was able to get a good approximation of the membership numbers based on the paid membership fees that are shown on the profit and loss statement. It has been stated that members who are not producing are not wanted or welcome. This attitude has been expressed at board meetings or in private emails, that these “failed producers will not be coddled.” How imperious and downright wrong!!! So my main concern as a Board Member was and is…till I’m dismissed, our members, their well being and encouragement, as it relates to URTV. If that means “I’m wrong, then I don’t wanna be right”. Frankly, producing is hard, time consuming and draining and can get expensive so any dues paying member who is out in the community resting up from a production or perculating an idea, is still an asset to the organization and should be appreciated by the Board and URTV’s management and staff. It is the job of management & staff to be respectful and welcoming to paying members (producing or not,) it is what they are paid a good salary to do.

    Boards are ostensibly established to fulfill the a role of checks and balances. It is an ideal our Democracy is founded upon….. if what has happen through the past months to Mr. Bernier and myself, is any example of what happens to other caring, responsible Board Members, it is a thankless job to try to do what is right. When it became apparent that we took our appointment seriously and wanted to follow bylaws…we immediately became targets for removal. It has been months of behind the scenes, harassment, intimidation tactics, coercion and bullying to “encourage” us to resign. What Mr. Bernier and I have not done is turn tail and run due to all the behind the scenes, huffing and puffing. We have been accused by a fellow Board Member of creating a ” cause célèbre ” in an attempt to minimize what has happened and cast the blame on us. The media has taken notice of the goings on and shenanigans and has presented a very accurate portrayal of the continuing “irregularities and questionable board actions.” If the issues had not been so blatantly outrageous, this media spotlight would not be shining on the Board and management. However well over 20 fair and balanced articles, does give most objective people and idea of what we’ve been dealing with. We have not instigated this ongoing controversy, but we have stood our ground when intolerable events happened…we wish this hadn’t been necessary, but kow-towing is not in my or Mr. Bernier’s blood. URTV should be well beyond the pettiness revealed in this series of expose’s and working toward securing URTV’s shaky future. Well on it’s way to become a beacon of free speech, a celebration of our diversity and creativity in Western North Carolina, that was envisioned by the many hardworking people and organizations that spent years bringing URTV to Buncombe County.

    URTV’s Board reflects a microcosm of what is going on in with boards in cities, counties, and states. Boards have not been doing the job of fiduciary scrutiny and oversight. Cronyism, greed and irresponsibility run amok is the reason behind the downfall of gi-normous American companies (Enron, GM, CitiBank) we thought could never happen. The failures on Wall street and the Banking Industry, and on and on, ad infinitum, if Boards had been doing proper oversight, we would not be in this international financial mess. If your stock portfolio has disappeared into thin air, or your pension is gone, it may very well be because of Boards not fulfilling their oversight responsibilities, looking the other way, or going along to get along.

    As to Ms. Joyners public statement that I “sent slanderous material related to URTV, it’s board, it’s executive members to the National Alliance of Community Members, (whatever that organization is???) to be distributed throughout the country,” I’d need to see her evidence. I have no recollection of this type of action. Slander is spoken, so ostensibly I’d would be traveling all over the country for months to achieve what she is saying I’ve done. As for her statement that Ms. Dial is only here (at URTV) for the T-Party,” I think the history I’ve stated above pretty much negates that notion, therefore her statement is simply ridiculous. And truthfully, I’ve never had a minute of conversation with Ms. Joyner, she does not know me…..so how she’s mustered up so much venom toward me is perplexing. As a black woman she certainly is aware of prejudice, rather than personal experience, so where does the heat come from???? As an aspiring spiritual leader espousing God and love, personal experience with another human being, before casting judgment would seem on the forefront of her principles. It’s certainly always worked well for me.

  4. The call for a vote of members to remove Ms. Dial is apparently based on cause. That cause, as articulated by Ms. Joyner is spreading “undue negative publicity” and “false rumors.”

    I presume that Ms. Joyner will respect fairness and membership responsibility and will explicitly elaborate, in detail and with evidence, on these assertions before any vote of the membership is taken on April 29th.

    Once this evidence is presented and the membership has had a chance to absorb and understand it, I have confidence that they will exercise their responsibility with the best interest of URTV at heart.

  5. Evaluate_Now!!

    This whole Board needs to go, and get some people on there that really know and care about Public Access. Or at least aren’t under the thumb of the executive director. Otherwise anyone who bucks against the “chosen few” Roberts, Horn, Scotto, Young, and possibly a couple of others will run off anyone else, who doesn’t follow the party line Garlinghouse edicts to them. Those boys lost their “you know whats” a long time ago. These are the types of so-called men, she surrounds herself with.

    Here’s what Houston City Council did to clean up Houston Media…..You can use this link to access Houston Chronicles archives, then key in Garlinghouse…set the dates for Jan 1 2005 thru Dec. 31, 2005…..the whole story is there.

    Date: THU 09/01/2005
    Section: B
    Page: 3
    Edition: 3 STAR

    MediaSource has 8 new board members / All but one city council member OK replacements


    The City Council approved eight new board members Wednesday to oversee Houston MediaSource, the city’s embattled cable public-access channel.

    The new members, approved by all but one council member, will replace those on the 15-member panel whose two-year terms expired at the end of last year.

    The terms of the seven remaining board members expire Dec. 31.

    The newly composed board must deal with two months of controversy over the channel airing a few programs earlier this summer that had nudity and profanity.

    The council repeatedly has delayed the renewal of MediaSource’s $800,000 contract, which the panel is set to consider next week. ……………

    Key in Garlinghouse and dates for Jan 1 2005 thru Dec. 31, 2005…..the whole story is there.

  6. just a few good lines from 2005,in texas…

    “Everyone was concerned and somewhat panicky,” said Patti Garlinghouse, the channel’s executive director. So Garlinghouse took a step that was, for her, unprecedented: rallying backers to speak up.”

    “It’s time for new leadership over there,” he said when asked whether he supported Garlinghouse.”

    “And he said it would be “unfair” for new board members to vote to replace Executive Director Pat Garlinghouse without first hearing her accomplishments.”

    “Jowett praised Garlinghouse for overhauling the channel’s procedures, improving community education programs and increasing participation by citizen producers. ”

    “Garlinghouse, who supporters say is being made a scapegoat to quell the controversy, couldn’t be reached for comment late Tuesday. ”

    “He then replaced most of Garlinghouse’s supporters on the access channel board, making inevitable her resignation last week. ”

    “The announced departure of longtime executive director Patti Garlinghouse, who plans to step down Dec. 21, also helped sway at least one skeptical council member to support the contract.”

    just like urtv was going on before garlinghouse got here,all this b.s. was going on in texas before garlinghouse got here…that’s just the way she rolls..

    please help send all this b.s. back where it came from…it’s time to put urtv back on track,and we need the members to help,right now..

    can anyone back me up on this? – (public access tv dose not need to be like this,and should not be like this..)public access tv dose not need to be fun,but it can be,and i think it should be….

  7. Matt Howard

    Lets get the distractions out of the way first.
    The stuff in the Houston Chronicle I came across almost a year and a half ago. Sorry, but it dosent make her look bad. If she knocked heads with politicians while defending first amendment issues in Asheville, she would be a local folk hero. But this went down in Houston (my least favorite city in America btw). And it looks like politics made her fall on her sword. Give me facts, dont expect me to read between the lines and see what you want me to see.

    That said…..

    I get where Dale’s passion comes from. Both she and I have found URTV to be a transformative experience that developed our strengths. We both feel very protective of the place. But I will be voting to keep Davyne where she is.
    It’s one thing if you dont agree with her judgement, everyone has that right. But some have mischaracterized her motives. I’ve had several conversations with her about this whole mess since it started, and you have my word, she is not trying to destroy URTV.

    So I guess I find myself disagreeing on some fine points with people on both sides.

  8. R.Bernier

    “I question if this procedure by the membership to remove a sitting board member is legal based on URTV bylaws.”

    I would like to confirm this with our Executive Director if this is proper & and legal however based on her recent violations of Open Board Meeting Laws along with violating both County & City agreements – I can not depend on getting the correct information from our current URTV Executive Director Pat Garlinhouse.

    Director Member Davyne Dial is credited in getting the board meetings filmed,oversight of our by-laws & speaking up when the board runs amock.

    If members who are concern with free speech & following Open Board Meeting Laws then they should question Joe Scotto, another elected member from the membership and take him to task by the membership & ask why he supported breaking the open meeting laws & never spoke out to the violations with citzens request at the time of the Board Meeting.

    I would think they demand an outspoken member elected board member which would speak up on their best intrest instead of just going alone
    to get along.

    This has become a much larger issue & will only grown unless the current power structure fully address all their violations along with being willing to talk to the press, which they refuse to do at this time.

    I would hope that the board would be open to have a community forum which URTV Board Members & Executive Director Garlihouse would answer questions from the community,members of the board & media.

    The current Chairman of the Board Rev. Jerry Young advised the Board at our last Board Meeting that the Executive Director
    (Pat Galinhouse) was out of town, however it was confirmed that Garlinhouse was at URTV all along.

    It was also stated that current Executive Director Garlihouse was quoted saying ” I am not going to the board meeting – I just cant deal with the issues” which was advised to another Board Member directly from Chairman Rev.Jerry Young.

    This leads me in having a trust issues with members on the Executive Committee (aka-power structure) & have many concerns of the ability & knowledge of the current Executive Director Pat Garlinhouse of URTV based on recent remarks.

    This black eye is from the Power Structure & the Exective Director – shamfull.

    Remember, we would not be here today if the Power Structure would do what they are expected to do and follow the agreements that URTV has with the City of Asheville & Buncombe County.

    URTV foundation is free speech ,level playing feild for everyone – its the only place in Buncombe County that is a true mealting pot for all views – just dont find yourself sitting on the board & not going along to get along.

    Richard Bernier
    Citizen & Supporter of URTV.

    You need facts Mr.Howard?
    Video of Director & Exective Members not allowing full filming rights of the meeting.

    Buncombe County had to reissue a resolution for URTV to follow open board meeting laws, they broke the one they agreed upon less than two years ago.

    I stand on facts which the power structure will not address even to the media. I will add this to the angenda again – lets see if they can be open with the public & media in our next meeting.

  9. Matt Howard

    Actually, Im totally aware that Pat has not handeled the board meetings well. I was there when she said John Blackwell could not film the meetings, and remember it quite clearly. Turns out legally he can, and she was wrong. I also remember her being at URTV three hours before she was “out of town”. Though I realisticly cant account for her whereabouts during the meeting. My only point is that the Houston Chronicle articles are not damming evidence. I went through them all. If you went solely by those she looks like a first amendment good guy.

  10. R.Bernier

    “Not handle well” –

    No it was a clear violation which the power structure will not address. They only want to remove two board members for not going along to get along.

    Maybe you will join the efforts & encourage the power structure to placed on the agenda & allow people to voice their remarks without a person calling out “point of order”.

    This remeinds myself of Gormer Plye on tv saying
    “Citizens Arrest”.


  11. Paul_Rice

    What catches my eye out of the Houston Chronicle coverage of Patti Garlinghouse, is the questionable $45,000. in travel expenses, why/how the City replaced half the board …and how those revelations relates to our situation. She allows no light to be shed on internal spending (which amounts to about $100,000 annually) that’s a lot of unaccounted for spending. ….and this board, like that board; needs a complete overhaul, because of their laziness in fulfilling their oversight rose. It appears that certain troublesome patterns are repeating. JMHO

  12. matt,i understand what you are saying,and you are right…i push things a bit to far some times…i was only looking at little parts,like

    [panicky,” said Patti Garlinghouse,

    rallying backers to speak up.

    It’s time for new leadership over there,”

    overhauling the channel’s procedures,

    couldn’t be reached for comment ]

    ,and i was reading much to much in to them…
    i am sorry,and i will try to stick to the facts,from now on…

  13. Tired

    I have a simple question for Tim Peck, Kingfish, Evaluate Now (AKA Peter Brezney) Blackwell, and R. Bernier (I’m assuming as mad as R. Bernier has been, he hasn’t paid his dues. If my assumption is wrong Richard please disregard your name from this list, If you haven’t paid your dues,
    shame on you for participating in this forum)

    Are any of you current, dues paying members of URTV?
    Well, this is a members only issue.
    So this really doesn’t concern any of you then does it!
    If you really want to get involved (instead of the daily dose of whining about how unfair the world is), please feel free to come join our fine organization.
    It’s really cool being a member of URTV, you all should try it!!

  14. “please feel free to come join our fine organization. ”

    I can’t speak for the others, but I will turn down your offer at this particular time. I am hoping that I will someday be able to join your fine organization. Perhaps if they were to follow the law, open their books, and find a competent director.

    And furthermore, I will continue to concern myself with malfeasance and mismanagement at URTV for as long as I so choose and there’s not a damn thing you’re going to do about it.

  15. elaneon

    Ms Joyner,

    Just how do you expect the membership of an organization dedicated to free speech to vote to remove a board member over an issue of free speech?

    I’m voting to retain Ms. Dial, because whether or not I agree with a single word Ms. Dial has uttered, whether or not I hate her with the venom of a billion asps, I still support her right to speak her mind. I will be supporting that right with my vote at the next meeting.

    I invite you and the other twenty something members who signed your petition to rethink a very bad idea. A vote to retain Ms. Dial is a vote for free speech, and by proxy, a vote for URTV to defend its principles and be about something worth saving.

    If Ms. Dial is truly a terrible board member who needs to go, it won’t be difficult to find a real reason to get rid of her. Right? I look forward to reading your next petition.

  16. Evaluate_Now!!

    HHmmmmmm? Questions on excessive travel expenses in Houston, and refusal to allow access to the books, here. Those books are part of the “Public Records”
    According to the county officials I’ve spoken with URTV indeed come under open record laws.
    Looks very bad, why the need for all the secrecy?

  17. Sundance

    Are any of you current, dues paying members of URTV?
    Well, this is a members only issue.
    So this really doesn’t concern any of you then does it!

    Well “Tired” the last I time I checked the web address in my browser it said I was on the Mountainx site and not urtvweb.com so as its in a public forum on this site and it is fair game to debate. If it really bothers you so badly perhaps the URTV members should go to the forums on their own site and debate this but that would require for your own forums to work and right now its a dead link.

    More censorship and denial of right amendment rights, perhaps?

    I seem to remember URTV having folks offer to help them with their forum issues but they were also run off or shunned.

  18. R.Bernier

    I would simply advised you to read the URTV bylaws which it appears that the Executive Members on the board has not done. All of the executive members on the board have failed to comply with “open board meeting laws of NC”.

    We need to protect Public Access TV here in Buncombe County, the power structure of URTV will need to review their bylaws along with both City & County agreements which appears to have been broken.

    The Board of Directors are responsible oversight of URTV & the current Executive Director. Let URTV be open to the public & address their concerns & questions which todate they have failed.

    Supporter of Public Access TV

  19. it is coming up soon.. now is the time to get on the phone,or the email,and get all good members out to vote at the meeting.. as you may know we have no email list,so everyone must call who they know…
    please help stand for free speech at urtv…

  20. Sundance

    Here is a link to part 1 of the video that was shot at the Kangaroo court held by URTV to remove Davyne Diall from the URTV board. Pay careful attention in the video and see how Dale Joyner became angry that she was on camara and her assertion that the meeting was not an open meeting as required by NC Meeting laws. Once the meeting got underway the accuser herself, Dale Joyner, was remarkably absent so no one had the opportunity to question her about her trumped up and fictitious charges!

    Here is the link:


    Is this the way you want your money, Public PEG Funds, to be wasted? Do you think people like Dale Joyner, Ralph Roberts and others at URTV should be able to run around unchecked and out of control?

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