Monday, March 17, 2014

Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho still not happy with high salaries at Friends of WLRN

Here's something to ponder as you try to decide whether or not to pony up some of your hard-earned money during the second week of radio station WLRN's pledge drive.

Daniel Ricker of the Watchdog Report yesterday emailed this update on the ongoing enmity between Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho and the people in charge at the school board-owned radio and TV station WLRN, and the station's fundraising arm, Friends of WLRN.
>>>> Supt. Carvalho questions why WLRN Friends reserves are so “shockingly healthy,” with $10 million in the bank, suggests the station should benefit given “staffing and equipment needs,” he tells Audit Committee

Alberto Carvalho.
A discussion at the school board’s Audit and Budget Review Committee Tuesday of WLRN and Friends of WLRN shows that when it comes to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. He still thinks some of the Friend’s employees salaries are in excess and he is wondering why Friends, the station’s fundraising arm is sitting “shockingly healthy,” on some $10 million when clearly the station has some staffing and equipment “needs,” he said. [Emphasis mine.]

He also believes Friends should move into the station’s building and Friends “could pay rent,” if they wanted to and he thought bringing Friends back to the district building made sense since Friends job was to raise money for the station, he said.

When Carvalho took the helm back in Sept. 2008 he started to review all the agreements the nation’s fourth largest school district had and found in the case of WLRN and Friends some charter and agreement changes were made back around 1995 and the changes were never approved by the school board or superintendent, which owns the station’s FCC license and one of the past changes removed the District superintendent being allowed to remove a board member on the boards, as well as approving the radio and television station’s general manager (Which has since changed).

Board Chair Perla Tabares Hantman ... has wanted to go to some of the WLRN Friends board meetings where a board member is on the board, but many of these meetings are held in Broward or other areas, [and] that makes it difficult to attend. Since the station’s signal goes from Palm Beach to Key West [the Broward meetings] allow listeners in those areas to also chime in on how the station is doing and being run.

She said of the “next three meetings, one is in Ft. Lauderdale, another is being held on Brickell,” and the rest are in Ft. Lauderdale she said and that makes it “difficult,” for her or other school board members to attend. 
In addition, Carvalho said the WLRN board chair has told him that any requested information on “personnel and payroll,” will be “available in May,” he told audit committee members inquiring about the matter.

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