by Penny Pedersen
October 28, 2004
I served with Dawn on the KRBD Board of Directors for several years during a time of great transition. A fiscal crisis at the state level slashed budgets for public radio around the state. Funding levels for the Southern Southeast Region was not enough to keep all stations open; closures would be necessary. Instead of accepting the solution handed to us, Dawn, as President of the Board, spearheaded an alternative solution: to consolidate functions common to the radio stations district wide, thus eliminating duplicate costs and saving money. The goal was to keep all radio stations in Southern Southeast Alaska open providing local news and information for their own communities.
The solution did not come easy consensus needed to be built, details needed to be ironed out so the plan could work in the real world, and the plan needed to be sold to the funding source. Meetings were contentious, we did not always agree. However through Dawn s leadership we remained committed to the goal of no closures. In-fighting would close us, cooperation would succeed. In the end the plan was not only successful for Southern Southeast Alaska; it became a model for other radio stations around the state.
I believe the fiscal situation facing public broadcasting mirrors our current state fiscal crisis. Funds are dwindling. We are told the only solution is to cut services, leaving communities and services fight for their piece of the fiscal pie. We can choose leaders who subscribe to simplistic cutback solutions or we can choose someone who can 1) take stock of the serious issues 2) come up with solutions based on success for all 3) create consensus 4) work out the details for short and long term 5) sell the plan.
If you are looking for new answers to the problems plaguing the state, vote for someone who can get the job done. Vote for Dawn Allen-Herron.
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