Now that the highly visible and sometimes contentious election is history, everyone must work together to address the many issues and challenges that face KBBI in these difficult times for nonprofit organizations. Those who expressed strong dissatisfaction with recent KBBI policies and programming changes now have some board representation, but making the transition from harsh criticism to constructive cooperation is not always easy.
Experience of four decades has exposed me to the challenges one faces in moving from the role of citizen advocate and independent professional critic to the role of responsible board member, officer, adviser and consultant to the same governments and organizations one has previously attacked. This transition demands reflection and re-examination, patience and a sincere spirit of cooperation to accomplish the common goal of improving an invaluable institution without damaging it.
It is incumbent on the new KBBI board to develop mutual understanding and a spirit of cooperation and compromise that will strengthen the station and add to its many achievements and noteworthy contributions to this community. The KBBI staff had already implemented major compromises with those who were dissatisfied. A continuing give-and-take is needed from all sides.
In reflecting on the election, it should be clearly remembered that it was extremely close. There were many months of repeated public challenges to actions taken by the KBBI staff and board, coupled with highly unusual advertising and public campaigning by a coalition of critics designed to gain positions on a nonprofit board.
In spite of these unorthodox efforts, the most vocal critic was elected by the slim margin of two votes. The four newly-elected members include one incumbent who was re-elected and another new member who has publicly expressed moderate and conciliatory views on the contentious issues.
This mixed outcome signals considerable KBBI membership endorsement of the station's policies and the recent programming changes. The membership will continue to monitor and evaluate the progress of those who now carry the mantle of responsibility. More work combined with responsible and constructive fine-tuning is needed since major changes seldom completely satisfy anyone, myself included.
Rather than punishing an invaluable community institution by withdrawing financial support, as some short-sighted businesses and individuals had publicly proclaimed, now is the time to increase our support and redouble our efforts to build on the excellent progress and recent accomplishments of KBBI. Instead of attempting to weaken those who promote views we do not share, Marga and I have decided to increase our financial support and other contributions to KBBI.
We urge everyone to find it in their hearts to put aside past grievances and personal ambition and join in continuing to build a stronger KBBI that will contribute even more to the community that it already serves so well.
David C. Raskin