MEETING REPORT / PETERSON COMMENTARY / COMMENTS / EVENTS

January 31st, 2016

I. MEETING REPORT
II. BILL PETERSON COMMENTARY
III. COMMENTS
IV. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

*** NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING IS TOMORROW, JANUARY 25TH ***
A resolution requiring a balanced budget will be voted on. Please be
there to make the local be more “RESPONSIBLE”.

===================================

I. 1/25/16 MEMBERSHIP MEETING REPORT

LOCAL 47 meeting – 7:30 1/25/16
Quorum Barely reached.

HIGHLIGHTS – or LOWLIGHTS
1) Amount spent on “TIME IS NOW” - $50,000
(Not including Officer/Staff time)
2) Most important question not answered:
If you get the 50% plus 1, but find that the number of
mutilated, blank or otherwise bad ballots bring It below
50%, will you still consider the 50% plus 1 reached?
3) Number of LOCAL members eligible to vote – 6,059
4) Revenues 3,462,589 – down from last year.
5) $276,000 in deficit spending in the typical year.
6) When asked if any members had requested the info
on who has and hasn’t voted, the president answered
no, when he knew in fact a member in good standing
HAD asked for the info.
7) President was asked who he nominated for the
financial committee.
He named THREE people with a long history in the
leadership of the RMA (Past or Present) and these
are the only ones President Acosta nominated or
even thought to nominate?…
People from the very group that is the most
responsible for Local 47’s financial plight?

MEETING DETAILS

Roll Called

Reports:
2 resolutions for the evening

PRESIDENT:
Says we cannot vote on the (Balanced Budget) resolution
because there had not been the 21 day notice to inform
membership.

PRESIDENT: “If the body wants to vote on it they can.
Will be implemented in May, so April meeting could work.”

PARLIAMENTARIAN: Not up to the body, the 21 day notice
cannot be waved, so there’ll be no vote on it tonight.

CO-WRITER OF RESOLUTION
Co-writer of Resolution – There is 21 day notice to vote
on a resolution, but also there has to be 15 days notice
of any meeting, which didn’t come out in time. If we
cannot vote on the resolution, we cannot have a meeting.
[EC: Was also told later that the local never called them
to tell them the resolution would not be voted on.]

50 Year pin presented

PARLIAMENTARIAN: says there is NO notice requirement
for club meeting.

MEMBER: You’re wrong. Section 5 article 1, does require
notice. If we transact business it can be challenged, the
issue must be resolved.

Article. 5 section 4 under secretary duties, yep,.. the
notice is there.

Parliamentarian was wrong and correctly by member.

Point of info: Where is it in the bylaws that the day
the overture is brought to the post office is the
date that counts, rather than when the members get it.

COUNSEL – says when it’s mailed is the date.
Member tries to speak and
PRESIDENT tries to limit debate by calling for a
limit on debate, is stopped by member because
member has the floor.

MEMBER: Perhaps have the officer reports given,
then go to Club meeting. If it is the choice of the
officers to postpose the resolution the writers
will not object at this point but reserve the
right to file complaint later.

President moves to limit debate, majority vote
in the affirmative.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
Legislative committee chooses to delay report
until the resolution can be voted on.

Minutes from special meeting corrected, moves
to adopt the minutes.

Minutes are approved.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Task force about recording contracts was formed.
After research, task force recommends to IEB July
2015 meeting.
Results are on website.
Since then met with members of IEB and Video
Games companies. Lots of discussion, agreed to
keep talking. Will continue to talk.

Created Composers Caucus – Issues that effect
composers.

Fi-core, non-union. – No mass exodus from Local
occurred.
[EC: Why bother, the union is not going after non-
union recording as long as it’s kept down low,
though the opposite is professed.]

Lots of nego, 24 collective bargaining agreements
signed. Greek theater will keep covering musicians.

Gave cudos to employees who helped.

Additional drop of $100,000 in income.
Reduced Local’s costs by .5 million dollars
In 2016 we’ll continue the functioning of
our Local.

VP REPORT

Echoes what John said about employees.
Involved with many negotiations.
Have learned: All musicians have a voice, all
have ideas, but main thing we’re still all
musicians and all care about the business
and industry.

Took part in SRLA Nego. in New York. Lots
of different ideas. Very tough negotiations.
Went with Eric Dawson, who has done it for 8 years.
Will be 3rd round here in LA. Hoping to have
usable contract for all.

Went to PBS Negotiations in New York. Attitudes
were more helpful. Round 2 is happening tomorrow.
All have high hopes.

Attended NAMM Show… it’s asinine that we have
no presence there. Next year we will.
(Applause from members)

Went to writer’s guild awards, will attend the
“Made in Hollywood Awards”, for those who
made movies in Hollywood.

Took building committee to Burbank site.
Toured the site. Note read from building committee
member about sale. Much of the speech is the
same we’ve heard for months. Nothing new.
[EC: almost identical to the FMA Report sent
out last week by the blog.]

Day after special October meeting,.. the day with
rain we had a huge leak in the auditorium.

Attended Gold Golf Classic meeting – at Mountaingate
Country Club hopefully.

Dick Nash’s birthday is tomorrow. Please wish
him well for his birthday.

MEMBER: We don’t need a full elevator. We need
secure parking, new building does not have secured
parking.

VP: There are 50 spaces that are fenced at the new
building. Less than full elevator would not be ADA
compliant.

SECRETARY’S REPORT

Report on 3rd quarter
Revenues 3,462,589 – down from last year.
Costs $3,225,293 – Reduction of over 500,000
Leave us a surplus of $236,596

Report was cumulative year to date, not just the quarter.

2016 dues are due

Monthy Jazz sessions – 1st Saturday of every month
are happening. “All union” internet music station
can be linked from website or download app “live 365”

We have free notary service for all members 323 993-3159.

DIRECTOR: About whether it’s a valid meeting… the Local
47 beat was emailed out more than 21 days before, and
all meetings have been announced previously.

MEMBER: Posting something on the website or through
email does not meet the notice requirements.

MEMBER Was the October Overture sent out on time?
MEMBER (Has Oct overture) – Page 7 – notice for special
meeting and membership meeting. NO mention of January
meeting. So there was no notice of the January meeting.

Until bylaws are changed, email or electronic notice
doesn’t count.

DIRECTOR:
Moves that no formal business be conducted during
meeting.

MEMBER: Let’s not create another problem.
Motion rescinded

MEMBER:
-Last year discussed having awards ceremony
for $80,000. That was the cost of replacing the roof!
-ADA Compliance – we are grandfathered in, do NOT
need ADA compliance, though it is often said otherwise.

NEW BUSINESS:
MEMBER:
-Troubled by all the inconsistencies of the plan to sell.
Area is being gentrified, not going downhill, as was
said at the previous meeting.
-Developer is planning new huge complex near Arclight.
If it’s worth 24 million now, will be worth 30 million
in a few years.
-Too many inconsistencies. Are being bombarded
with calls, radio appearances….
-I’m insulted by the whole thing.
-As former member of election board, we always had
a PO Box to keep ballots, not kept in the Secretary office.
-With all the realtors out there, why is one of ours a
member? If there’s no building chosen yet, why have
all these drawings been made. Who’s going to hold
the money? Sounds like we’re just handing over millions
to the Officers of the Local.

PRESIDENT: Wants to form Financial Committee of
qualified people. Already met with attorney, If sale
goes through, investments will be put into an
“Endowment” so it is kept safe and cannot be spent
other than appropriate costs.

Can’t put deposit on building until the referendum
is passed. It will be a long process.

ELECTION BOARD PERSON:
50+1 must vote; then 50 plus 1 must say yes.
Ballot Process:
-Keep track of number of ballots
-Have PO box 9399 at Cherokee St. Post Office
-Can also bring them in and drop them in locked
box at the guard desk.
-Once a week PO box is emptied, but keep track
of bar code on envelope so they know who’s voted.
-Scan ballot number to see who’s voted and keep
a list,… then kept in the Secretary’s office. Election
board has only key. That is where they’re stored.
-Phone bank operation to call those who’ve not
voted… hence multiple calls.
-When Feb 2nd comes along – All ballots will be
put in numerical order, will take the later ballot
when there are two for a member.
-Then: once duplicate ballots are removed.
Election board will open all the envelopes, move
privacy ballots into another container, then they’ll
all be mixed together to protect ID’s. Privacy
envelopes will be opened, votes will be counted twice.

Then results will be announced.

Questions:
MEMBER: PRES of RMA: RMA made decision not
to take a stance on the referendum.
Does anyone outside have access to the list of
those who’ve voted.
Only those directly involved. - 8-10 folks.
Issues – Contractors could get the info to choose
who they hire, Members on Orch committees, are
also at risk,…

When I was on election board always had an
outside co. Why was there no outside company
brought

PRESIDENT: The executive board decided that.

MEMBER: Ballot wording is bad.
President: Yes means yes, no means no. there
is no problem.

MEMBER: No faith in vote. On Nov 3rd – sitting
on desk were 75-100 ballots saying return to
sender, not locked up. What happened to ballots
that were returned to sender.

EMPLOYEE: Returned ballots are stored across
from reception, and are still there.
Trying to contact those members.

MEMBER: People are being called and asked
to vote yes,…. Not just to vote, but to vote yes…
that’s not ethical.

PRESIDENT: That concern has been raised a few times.

PRESIDENT: Everything we did was vetted legally.
So they CAN lobby members to vote yes. You may
not like it but it’s legal. No precedence for this
type of action from the local.

MEMBER: I don’t mind being called to get the
vote out, it’s that they try to convince you HOW
to vote.

MEMBER: How many ballot have been turned in?
Secretary reported 2800.

Do you count returned to sender ballots as votes?
Answer NO.

Who has access to the info of who’s voted, to
executive officers, board members, phone banks folks.
Answer: If there were concerns about confidentiality
that’s where you’d look.

MEMBER: Number of eligible voters as of cutoff date?
Secretary reports: 6,059
According by election board – what were the thousands
extra ballots about –
how many of the extras were used? Is there tracking
on those ballots?
Name must be attached to a number for it to be valid.

Why were members asked how they voted if it was a
secret ballot?

PRESIDENT: We wanted an idea of how the vote was going.

Do you have an up-to-date accounting of expenses
for the “Time is Now Campaign”?
Secretary: Approx. $50,000 (fifty-thousand!)

MEMBER: Wouldn‘t this discussion be better in
the club meeting.

DIRECTOR: Try to understand the position the board
has been in. Hearing a great deal of wanting to know
about ballot process and anger that the board knows
who has voted and who hasn’t. How can you keep
track of who’s voted. No one’s asked me,… we were
elected. And we have the info.

Can’t have strict accounting without the info.

MEMBER: Shouldn’t those who are against the sale
have the same amount of funds? The same use of
facilities. If it’s ok for the Local, the members
should have the same access to get their point across.

About PO Box – Once the postmark goes on the
envelope, that is when it’s good? Board said when
it’s postmarked,… but not when it arrives.

PARLIAMENTARIAN: Date of notice is when it’s
postmarked. Not when it’s received.

COUNSEL: The Post office decides when it’s
postmarked. The organization decides when
it has to be received.

MEMBER: You listed who had access to the
voting info. If you have 50% plus one ballots,
but some are found to be bad, can you still
say you have the 50% plus 1

QUESTION NOT ANSWERED

LOCAL MEETING ADJOURNED

——-

MEETING MOVE TO CLUB SIDE

CLUB MEETING

Member: Typo in resolution. Noted.
Minutes approved.

VOTED TO AMEND THE BYLAWS -
LIMITING PRESIDENT’S POWER IN NATURAL EMERGENCIES

Resolution read by VP Baptist.

Basic Motion: Article 9, sec. 1
According to the present Club Bylaws - Between
meetings the president can make emergency
decisions on all matters. Whenever a quorum
cannot be convened, the president can decide
during emergencies,… i.e. natural disasters, etc.

RESOLUTION CO_WRITER: Amendment: Is really
to bring the CLUB more into alignment with the
bylaws of the Local.

In old club bylaws the president can decide all
matters between the meetings.
With this change, he cannot,.. it must be an
emergency. Wanted to bring it over from the
Local’s bylaws.

COUNSEL: Part of the statement could be in conflict,…
Put Period after “United States of America”

PARLIAMENTARIAN: AMENDMENT TAKES 3/4 vote:
Writer accepts change.

MEMBER: Tried to ask question, called out
of order by board member.

SAME MEMBER: Was there something that made
you think of doing this?

WRITER: 1992 was the last time the club bylaws
were amended. In the former Local bylaws, the
president could do anything he wanted. This is
mostly housekeeping, though the club bylaws
really have a lot of inaccuracies. This is an
important time, it’s best that there be more
control over what the president can and cannot do.

Since the boards (for Local 47 and the Club) are
one and the same, they should have the same
powers and same limits.

MEMBERS: Clarification – if there was an earthquake,
the president would not be authorized to make a
needed decision.

CO-WRITER: This definition was drafted directly
out of Corporate code. It is standard language.

COUNSEL: Corp board code talks about transferring
power to president from board in emergencies.

BREAK TO VOTE – 5 minutes.

RESULTS:
Resolution votes: required 75 percent
55 voted
39 yes
16 no,….

Does not pass.

MEMBER:
Comment about ballot wording: In the 4 page
mini-overture the wording of the ballot question
was perfect. Putting the building price in the
wording made the only difference between voting
yes and voting no is the price point. Cannot be trusted.

COUNSEL: The definition of the meaning of the question
is up to the drafter – No means NO and Yes means YES.

Question: How did the realtor who is not on the
board, or election board or in the administration
for the local in any way, get that private info on
who has and hasn’t voted to use to send out
personalized emails?

DIRECTOR: Phone banking is open to all members
volunteering.

COUNSEL: Members have free speech.

MEMBER: Well the realtor member, who is not on the
board or in the administration in any way shape or
form, got the info and used it to send personal emails.
Who’s to say any of those doing the phone bank can’t
use that info as well, or give it to anyone they want,
since it’s freedom of speech? All you have to do is
volunteer for the phone bank and you can get the info.

MEMBER: Talked to President personally. We’re in great
position. Am surprised that the election process is
causing so much controversy. Also surprised that the
“stay where we are” position has not been put out
there as much.

As to the Building committee members long support
statement, should be here to answer questions about
their position.

Shouldn’t say THE SALE, should say the “Proposed”
sale. The board should be neutral and not so
vehement for the sale.

Couldn’t we get a variance on the height restriction.
Wouldn’t that we Let’s talk the city and state into
putting more cash in the area.

Commission will be 1 million.
Takes thousands of gigs to equal that.

MEMBER: 1.5 million in the club, bylaws currently
state that excess go the local.
When talking about the costs, you said you had a
plan to create finance committee.
You have a lawyer write endowment papers
and limited trust.

Right now the trustees are the only ones who
can decide where the monies go and keeping
the investment documents,. AND the trustees
need to be able to access their investment funds
if the local comes up short on being able to pay bills.

BUDGET
$276,000 in deficit spending in the typical year.

The bylaws are in conflict with your plan for the money.

Campaign has been totally lopsided, dissenting
voices have not had the chance to be heard. It
has all been weighted on the yes side.

PRESIDENT: May need to come back and amend
the bylaws to set up the financial situation if
the sale goes through.
-Have addressed the campaigns lack of equality
many times,…. Will not again.

MEMBER: As more questions come up, there are
even more questions. Who has access to the
voting info. What would happen if a member
were to request that info.

PRESIDENT: Not aware of a request.
[EC: In fact a request HAD been made by a member,
Robert Hirschman, who is also the Lawyer for other
members concerned about the sale. The President
asked the counsel if there had been a request. He
directed the President to say no, when he knows
a request had been made.]

MEMBER interjects – Asked secretary About getting
the vote / no vote info – was told the numbers he
can be given but not the names.

Trustee makes recommendations, gives them to
board, board decides. Talking about an endowment
is putting cart before the horse.

[EC: President was asked who he nominated for the
financial committee.
He named THREE people with a long history in the
leadership of the RMA (Past or Present) and these
are the only ones President Acosta nominated or
even thought to nominate?...
People from the very group that is the most
responsible for Local 47’s financial plight?

If you ever needed proof that President Acosta is
in the pockets of the RMA, you’ve got it now.
Absolutely inexcusable and a real insult.]

MEMBER: Always an outside company to handle votes.
Lots of us are really fearful of the voting being handled
totally in house. One of the most important decisions
ever made will be done in house?

ELECTION MEMBER: Anyone who wants to can come
and observe the vote count. Find the inference a bit
insulting.

DIRECTOR: Election committee is totally trustworthy.
We’re all members of the same union, and I have the
utmost respect for you.

MEMBERS: I am confident you’ll do the job wonderfully,
it’s just that this most important of votes is not done
like the regular elections, with an outside company.

Why would this adjustment be made? Hire an accountable
company to count the vote.

SECRETARY: In general our elections may have as many
as 50 members running for different offices. In this case
it’s either yes or no.

MEMBER: Election committee will be up all night just
opening and sorting votes… I personally have total
trust in the election board. They will be honest and
immaculate and do it only out of a desire to help.

To be a witness you have to apply within 5 days

PRESIDENT: Not in this case, you can ask the day
before and be admitted.

MEMBER: If we’d had an outside company, there’d
be no problem with ballots being left out on desks.
We’d not have to be putting up with this.

MEMBER: What about the 1000 extra ballots, can
you account for them all.

PRESIDENT: They stay at the Local until requested
by a member.

MEMBER: I got no calls….Why is that? I’ve been
hearing about repeated calls to members,..
but I’ve gotten no calls, Am I on some list?

PRESIDENT: No

MEMBER: I asked for money to make opposing
argument, for equal time, and was told no.

No answer from President.

Member calls for adjournment,…
(that’s how you shut down discussion)
Call is made and passed.

Meeting adjourned at 10:17

=====================================

II. BILL PETERSON COMMENTARY

Bill Peterson was the President of Local 47 from 19 to 19

I have recently written to many of you about my questions
& concerns about the sale of 817 N. Vine. Since I have been
a member of Local 47 for over 50 years, and have been
an active member, playing trumpet & writing, of the live
music, and studio scene, then Business Representative
in Electronic Media engagements and have been an elected
Officer of Local 47, as V.P. and President, I have a long
relationship with Local 47 and it’s  members.

I have had many questions asked of me from my fellow
members, which I have expressed to Pres. Acosta, V.P.
Baptist & Sec. Treasurer Lasley. 

I note that there seems to be an urgent campaign to sell
the building and adjacent property at 817 N. Vine St.
This is the one and only asset Local 47 has, apart from
the skills and talents of our membership. Aside from
phone-bank calls, and printed material urging the
membership to vote, the reasons for this sale are obviously
not apparent to our members. I choose this document
to make comment on the sale of the property. I will not
be attending or speaking at tonight’s meeting, as I am
recuperating from a total shoulder surgery and cannot
drive or even play trumpet for a few weeks.

Contrary to some comments I’ve received, I have no
reason or feeling that anyone is trying acquire wealth
through the sale of building & adjacent property.
However, with respect to both sides in this matter,
I feel that the elected officials; Officers & Executive
Board have been pushing for this sale as soon as
possible, without giving the membership a chance to
consider what this would entail. This is borne out by
the many members who are questioning the advisability,
and reasons for the sale.

I sent a list of concerns & questions that members have
shared with me, along with those I felt needed  discussing
to Pres. Acosta & his assistant. Pres. Acosta told me he had
never received this list. Knowing of the problems in
communicating by computer, I sent these questions of mine,
& the concerns of members to him again.

He very promptly answered this time. 

I believe that the one tangible asset Local 47 has, is the
817 N. Vine St. property, along with our talented members.
I feel that such a sale, and the undertaking of building of
all the components we now possess at the Vine St. location
at a new site, would cost an unknown or undisclosed amount.
No figure have been offered to the membership as to what
these costs would be. No mention of the officials contacting
a contractor, architectural designer or architect has been
revealed. Would there be adequate parking, such as is
needed for tonight’s meeting, or simply going to the Credit
Union, if that asset moves along with us?

My point is a very simple & basic one, and it is this:

If Local 47’s finances now consist of anywhere from $900 K.
to just over one mil K., and the if the amount of work dues
does not increase dramatically, then the officers have a
right to worry about re-roofing the building, or fixing
whatever electrical items are needed. So far, all I’ve seen
was a column by V.P. Baptist alluding to such a vast amount
of repairs that it makes good sense to sell our asset, and
invest in a new location in Burbank. This sale of the present
building, and investing in a new site,  where ever it is, will
entail a great deal of expense;  new construction,  tearing
walls out and building rehearsal rooms, business & executive
offices, an auditorium, (which is rented occasionally at our
current location), & considerable other rebuilding anew. I
am not aware of the amount of free parking or its proximity
to this new site. Would it really be comparable to what
the Local has at present? 

What I have brought to mind is that when I joined Local 47 ,
transferring from San Bernardino Local 167 in the mid ’50’s,
I was told to go to the Palladium immediately, as a very
important meeting was being held. I arrived to find Phil Fischer,
the AFM West Coast Representative, crying at the podium,
pleading with the members who were forming a new bargaining
unit, The Guild. That very day, I met Uan Rasey, who explained
to me that the recording members have never been able to have
access or say-so in the bargaining for Phono recordings, or
any other contracts under which they worked. Soon after, I
did my 1st session in LA.,  for Van Alexander, for Gordon
MaCrae at Capitol A . The session paid approximately $50.00,
& I was very pleased to receive the check, as well as have my
1st date with Manny Klein, Bobby Guy & Conrad Gozzo, as
well as all the wonderful players, of whom I had only heard.
 
However, the Guild, as you know, got Sinatra & Reprise Records
to recognize the Guild as the organization with which they
would negotiate. This meant that AFM President Petrillo &
those who followed into the AFM Presidency, could not
funnel increases in wages  into  the Caesar, & James C.
Petrillo Trust Funds, and the players who did the work
got to raises, and would have a say in what was in their
contracts. The very presence of the Guild made Petrillo
& Co., modify their high handed approach to our members.

Incidentally the Phono Scale increased to $100.00.

If we remember the past, we can better plan, work and move
forward to bring film, TV, game shows, recording, jingles,
and all the work that Local 47 has been a leader. I am not
suggesting formation of another Guild. But I firmly believe
that we can take measures to rebuild our place in as the
place to score Films, TV, Game Shows, jingles & all other
forms of recording.  We must also remember that contract
negotiations which are best conducted not by suing the
other side, but by recognizing that the other side has their
wants and needs, as we do.

I know the Secondary Markets Clause has been factor that
has caused  the big studios to forgo working here, and led
\to scores being done in Seattle, London, Nashville, British
Columbia and Belgrade. I had dinner with our member, Jay
Cooper, a prominent attorney, and fine woodwind player.
He alluded to memos from the heads of many of the top
studios to producers they were in business with, not to
score here. 

I feel that we all recognize that if we are to survive in this
business, there has to be a way to bring this vital work
back to  Local 47. Of course I know too, that the RMA
wants to keep the secondary markets fund alive. This is
totally understandable… I have benefitted from this Fund
for many years. But what of all the competent players that
get little or no work as things now stand? What are we to
do, when the proceeds from the sale of the building is
used up, without being added to by new work dues, etc.?

I am not a magician, but I have been a player, and an
officer of our Union, and I think that we need to explore
& expedite other avenues with the Studios, and indeed
with our own RMA members. It’s been said, “The only
thing you can count on is Change” … and that certainly
holds true in all phases of our lives, as well as in this
business of music

It is wonderful that John Williams & J.J. Abrams scored
the new Star Wars film here. I understand that my old
friend  John has another film with Steve Spielberg,
which begins scoring here soon.

Just a note: When I was VP, I had plaques made inscribed
to John & Steve, from the Local, thanking them for scoring
‘HOOK’ here.

Steve took this quite seriously, and as he descended from
the podium in front of an orchestra of over 100, he looked
at me gratefully, and told me, “I can’t tell you how much
this means to me!” Of course I know that plaques alone
are not going to persuade employers to come back to Los
Angeles & Local 47 musicians to score their films.
Lawsuits are certainly necessary to enforce our contracts,
but a compliment will do more to engender a working
relationship than a slap.

Without changes to contracts, and the implementation of
better relations with the employers we want to attract
back to the local scoring stages, the money realized by
the sale of our single tangible asset, will be spent trying
to keep the Local going at some new  location in Burbank,
and those funds from the sale of the building & adjacent
property will be spent in a losing cause. Without the
regrowth of scoring & recording in this town, it will be
impossible to keep Local 47 alive & viable!

Just suing employers does not take the place of exploring
and talking with those from whom we wish to gain
employment again.

Yours for keeping the members’ needs, and Local
47’s fortunes at the top of everyone’s list!

Bill Peterson

===================================

III. COMMENTS

 
Hello Again!
 
I received a call today from a member who wanted to
know, if a  member does not vote….can the Union
take some kind of action against them? They have lists.
 
Is this what this referendum has come to?….
You don’t choose to return your ballot (for
any reason) and because of the endless
phone calls and emails targeted at YOU
(member x)… now member  x feels threatened
that not returning the ballot might affect ones
future as a member?
 
This perspective was also brought up at Monday
nights meeting, by the new head of the RMA no less.
Essentially, …What if Contractor X, wants to
promote the Local 47/Club effort? (Example….
Hi xxx, heard you haven’t turned in your ballot…
by the way, I have a double at XYZ studio on Feb. 2.
 
I told the parties it was time to chronicle these encounters!
 

————————–

I would like to make a comment about last night’s 1/25
Union and Club meeting:

In general I believe I think this sale is a good idea and I
guess I had better get my ballot in soon.

There was a lot of emotion and ill will last last but I
thought that there was one set of comments that
were more disgusting than others.

The president of the RMA got up and said the RMA
has no opinion on this sale, a first, but speaking for
himself he didn’t like that people involved knew who
had voted and this could be a scary thing for work
if a contractor found out.

HOW OUTRAGEOUS!

The biggest thing the RMA does is have a yearly
fundraiser where they have a contractor stand
on the podium and say how important buying
tickets are, even if you don’t or can’t go still buy.
And the RMA only gives tickets to the “first” chairs
to sell in their sections.

Are you kidding me? How outrageous this RMA
president is! People complain that the Union is
spending too much money on this vote so they
are just trying to contact people who have not
voted, many of which for one reason or another
did not get a ballot.

[EC: Pretty Rich the RMA complaining that folks
might get blackballed for their actions, eh?]

————————

NO, NO, NO! Don’t sell our building. Not only
is it historical but it has so much potential
that only non business people (i.e. our
officers and board) would think of doing
such a thing. Unbelievable!

Read the rest of this entry »

2ND LAWYER LETTER / PRESIDENT / MARSHALL / FMA / COMMENTS / EVENTS

January 24th, 2016

I. 2ND LAWYER LETTER TO LOCAL 47 COUNSEL
II. A FORMER PRESIDENT SPEAKS
III. THE MARSHALL SPEAKS
IV. FMA REPORT
V. COMMENTS
VI. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

*** NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING IS TOMORROW, JANUARY 25TH ***
A resolution requiring a balanced budget will be voted on. Please be
there to make the local be more “RESPONSIBLE”.

===================================

I. 2ND LAWYER LETTER TO LOCAL 47 COUNSEL

Re: Correspondence to AFM Local 47 dated January 5, 2016

Dear Mr.(Local 47 Counsel)

Pardon the delay in responding to your letter of January 8.

And thank you for the offer to meet with the Board. My clients’
decline based on past experience with the Board, which has
been tone deaf to the concerns and grievances of many
members – especially regarding the sale of 817 Vine Street.
We have no expectation the Board will sufficiently address
the issues raised in my letter of January 5.

Your letter also fails to respond to many of the issues.

These include the knowing failure by the Board to correct
continuing, erroneous misrepresentations, including, significantly,
the amount of “surplus revenue” available to invest after 817
Vine Street is sold, a new building is purchased, and renovations
are completed. The failure is grievous because the entire object
of the exercise in selling 817 Vine Street is to provide Local 47
with an “$11 million fund” which will produce sufficient interest
or dividend income over the long haul to ensure the “continued
viability of Local 47.” I am certain a lawsuit will be filed by
those who relied on the representation against those responsible
if the representation turns out to be false.

There was no mention in your letter of the Board’s choice not
to provide for an independent third-party to keep custody of
the ballots until they are counted, or for independent, third-
party supervision of the ballot count. Yet the board spent
$15,000 to aggressively promote the sale of 817 Vine Street,
including printing of entirely unnecessary color ballots and
promotional materials. Nor has the board explained why, in
the referendum count, it has departed from the standard
required in the Bylaws for the election of officeholders;
especially when the Board claims this referendum is “the
most important vote” members will ever make.

Nor did you address the misleading and confusing
language of the ballot. One of the points I raised in
my January 5 letter was the absence of an explanation
what a “yes” vote, and what a “no” vote, mean. Many
members have questioned me on this point. That —–
(Member Realtor) finally addressed the confusion in
his email “blast” to members on January 6, 2016 admits
the confusing nature of the language.

And regarding the —- (Member Realtor) email, is a list
of those member names and email addresses who have
not so far voted available to all members? In that regard,
(Member Realtor) states “I saw your name on a list a week
ago or so that you have not sent in your ballot yet.”

If available to members, in my capacity as an active
member of Local 47, I request a copy of the list within
the next 48 hours.

And I also found it interesting that (Member Realtor), in
aggressively soliciting “Yes” votes on behalf of himself
and the Board, failed to disclose that he was going to
personally benefit by receiving a large chunk of the $1
million real estate fee/commission if he could persuade
recipients of his email to vote for the sale.

Finally (Member Realtor), who is apparently acting as an
authorized representative of the Board in his email blast,
alludes to the extensive and annoying methods employed
by the Board in drumming up “yes” votes when he states:
“Please vote! I am writing you instead of Union phone bank
contacting you time after time; I figured you would appreciate
that.”

You also failed to address the need by the Board for an
independent appraisal of 817 Vine Street, given their
utter lack of experience in the purchase or sale of
commercial real estate, especially unique property
such as 817 Vine Street.

As previously noted, how the referendum has been
handled by the Board has led to great distrust among
the members. And the distrust appears to be the
proximate cause of the increasingly desperate measures
now undertaken to drum up enough votes to authorize
the Board just to count the votes received.

Yours sincerely,

ROBERT HIRSCHMAN & ASSOCIATES

============================

II. A FORMER PRESIDENT SPEAKS - BILL PETERSON

Subject: Questions & concerns from many members re: sale
of 817 N. Vine & adjacent property

Local 47 Officers John Acosta, Ruck Baptist, Gary Lasley,
Gordon Grayson and Members of the Executive Board.

I am Bill Peterson, a 50 year + member , recording trumpeter
and former Vice President & President of Local 47. Here are 
questions & concerns I have been asked, and I have had myself,
regarding the sale of the 817 N. Vine St., the building & 
adjacent property, and subsequent move of Local 47 functions
such as offices, auditorium, rehearsal rooms, et al, to Burbank.

I want to make it clear that I have had many calls and emails with
questions I have been asked by members as well as some of
my own to which I would like an answer. 

1.  Who is the appraiser who did the appraisal of the present
site, and when, and at what cost was this appraisal accomplished? 

2.  When was the listing of 817 N. Vine, (building & property),
given to a real estate  agent or firm? 

3.  How was this decision made? How was a real estate agency chosen?

4.  Was this done before notifying the Musicians Club & Local
47 membership of any of these moves, or the plan to move ?
Was a competent architect, building designer or architect hired to
make an estimate of the cost to Local 47 to build or make needed
facilities at the Burbank location such as an auditorium, rehearsal
rooms, offices, archival area, et al?

5.  What is the true financial status of Local 47?  The total financial
& property assets of Local 47? Profit/ Loss figures for the last 3 years?
Is a balance sheet available to all interested members, which shows
the assets, real, cash, and investments of the Local?

6.  Is the new location practical, in terms of on-site parking for members,
orchestras that need or wish to rehearse there, and parking which is safe,
free, and close and available, such as the Local members now enjoy?

7.  Will the sale of the present property eventually result in another raise
for the officers of 47? Will the top three  executives; President, 
Vice President & Sec. Treasurer be granted higher salaries ?

8.  Why have the Local Officers & Executive Board decided to put ballot
boxes in the Secretary Treasurer’s offices? Why wasn’t an organization 
such as the League of Women Voters or a similar organization chosen
to hold this Voting procedure?

This vote concerns the very life of the Local, and is too vital and sensitive
to handled by placing ballot boxes in a sitting Officer’s office.

This question casts no aspersions at any officer or individual, but points
up the fact that the very Local 47 financial present & future is at stake here.

9. How much of Local 47’s, and the Local Memberships’ funds  been spent
to launch the campaign to sell 817 N. Vine & the adjacent property?

What cost has the printed material & mailing, &  phone bank been?
      
10.  Have any monies been offered to members, (individual or groups),
who do not agree with the aims of this campaign?
 
11. Why was knowledge of the plan to sell 817 N. Vine St, Local 47 &
Musicians Club  building and adjacent property not announced in a logical,
straightforward way to the members of the Local? Many members
learned of the plan as a rumor which “leaked out” bit by bit!

12. What are the exact figures, dollar amounts, please), of number of
film & TV sessions, (live & film) as well as recording a game-show sessions,
and the amount of work dues collected from these sessions, for the
last five years?

In Closing, I feel it incumbent upon you to answer these questions as
elected officials of our Local, In order for the membership to make any
kind of responsible and informed vote on this plan.

Fraternally yours,

Bill Peterson

===================================

III. THE MARSHALL SPEAKS

To my friend, teacher, coach & colleague —— —-,
and all of you listed above, I offer my thoughts on the
sale of 817 N. Vine St., and adjacent property….

If you agree or disagree, I applaud you for considering
what I have written. Feel free to share this, if only to stir
up discussion before a decision to sell or not to sell is
made. I point out what I believe are the real, underlying
problems that face our officers & Exec. Bd.

What this is really about is:

1.The lack of what my license plate proclaims… “MO GIGS”!  
The Local’s finances are at a low  of perhaps $900,000.
This is because there are not enough films, TV, Video games,
etc. being scored in L.A. Instead the Pres. of the AFM, Ray
(”Wild”) Hair, has been busy suing the studios for this or
that infringement …

2. The Local is worried about the costs of doing business,
such as replacing the roof at 817 N. Vine, updating the
electricals, etc, and some improvement to the façade
of the bldg. The Officers & Board feel that they can sell
the bldg., (worth little) & adjacent property, (worth a lot!),
so they can move the operation to Burbank and use part
of the sale proceeds to construct rehearsal rooms, an auditorium,
etc. - in other words have some of what the Local already has,
plus put $ in the bank.

I feel that a move to Burbank, or Petaluma, or Colton, California
is not the answer to Local 47’s woes. The property at 817 N.Vine
stands glowing like a cash cow. Even if the property is sold, but
no new work comes into Local 47, so that no new income comes
gushing to the Local, cash can easily be used up. I think it’s great
that the salaries of our officers are very handsome indeed, Pres.
upwards of $130 K per year, Veep & Sec. treasurer at least $ 93 K.
but if the Union can’t afford to put a new roof on the building,
perhaps the Officers could consider ‘contributing’ part these
salaries back to Local 47 coffers, so as to keep a roof over
their heads.

3. No one seems to remember the effect that Uan Rasey, Vince
DeRoas and all the others had when they & others,  started
“The Guild”! That organization forced Petrillo & those who
followed him into the AFM presidency, to pay attention to
the needs and desires of the players, such as:
To be consulted & involved in negotiations with the studios,
and receive the “Raises” which Petrillo got,  but funneled
into the James C, & Caesar Petrillo Trust funds. My 1st
record date, with leader Van Alexander for Gordon MacRae
at Capitol Studio paid $ 60.00… When the guild got Sinatra,
& his label “Reprise”,  to sign with The Guild to be the
bargaining agent of Phono musicians, scale went up
amazingly to $100.00 a session.

$. So, what to do? Sell the bldg., & property, sit on the
proceeds after buying & outfitting new digs in fabulous
downtown Burbank, the new hub of Show Biz, according to
our elected officials, (or Petaluma, or Fontana!!), and wait for
the work of scoring  films, TV, Video games, jingles, & so to
magically flow back! Well, if we don’t do something new and
inventive, like realizing that BOTH sides of the table have
items they want, need, and are determined to get!! …
And unless we find new ways, new negotiations, etc., to
bring the work back to this town, the work won’t return —
it ain’t gonna happen!! The Local will eventually run out of $,
and the Officers won’t collect the generous salaries they receive. 

Sure,  having John Towner Williams score the new StarWars
here is a good move in the right direction, but after joining
attorney/deal maker Jay Cooper one evening,  a couple of
months ago, I heard that the majors have memos to producers,
etc. that order, “Do not score films in L.A. using the Local 47
forces!” (Or words to that effect).

Perhaps we can meet and listen to what Jay Cooper, highly respected
member & attorney, might say, and perhaps get new, fresh, creative
ideas to create “MO GIGS”! Suing the ‘big, bad studios’, thereby
making them our enemies is not going attract them back to hiring
Local 47 players!!! But the folks that run the studios are business
men & women, whose job it is to turn a profit with the product!
Gee! what a concept?!

They want the best price to score their films that they can get.
The Secondary markets payment has been a great addition to
scoring musicians’ incomes. But if there is no work, then, then,
of what benefit is the Back End payment. Especially to those,
outside of the 100 or 150 musicians who are called to do what
little work there is!

There are hundreds of competent players who do dark dates, etc.,
because they are not working, and they have to pay their bills. I
cast no aspersions or stones, (& until my shoulder heals I won’t be
casting anything but spit!)! Perhaps new, creative ways to be found,
thought of, brainstormed, by the musicians who work & those who
don’t, to attract the employers back! It’s a dream, I know, but I
fervently pray that the days of 2, 3, & 4 dates a day, can, & will,
return. I had my day doing the work, but I want all the fine players
in this Local to have that opportunity and that gift too!

The bottom line is, as my license plate proclaimed,

“MO GIGS”!

“The Marshal” has done spoke!

{EC: We couldn’t agree more!]

=====================================

IV. FMA REPORT

[EC: No one can say we don't print opposing views. However,
this seems like a simple restatement of all the Local talking
points with much of it in the exact wording the Local has used.

Was this all written personally by Lisa, or was she given verbiage
to pass on?

If this was so honest and forthright on the Local's part why
all the deception, duplicitous ballot and bait and switch meetings?

We don't buy it.

As to the ballot, the fault lays squarely at the feet of the Local 47 counsel.
As we've pointed out before, the wording was perfect on the 4 page,
"Mini-Overture". As President Acosta pointed out, the wording was
changed directly at the behest of the counsel.

We still say not voting is the only way to guarantee your vote counts
as a no.]

Dear Freelance Musicians Assn - FMA Members:
 
Report on possible Local #47 building sale:
As you may know, we are being asked to vote whether to sell
our Local #47 building, and buy another location. Deadline
for ballots is Monday, Feb 1 (either by mail, or via a special
ballot box at our Local.)
 
Two things happened this week:
1. The Building Committee was given many new details as to
“why” this action is being brought to a vote now.
2. On Thurs Jan 14, we saw the entirety of the potential new
property, both inside and out, with our own eyes.

Based on the information below, I am personally recommending
a “Yes” vote regarding the building sale and relocation.

And I am additionally asking that all FMA members please return
their ballots ASAP. (“If” you have already mailed in your ballot with
a “No” vote, but are reconsidering in view of the following info,
please contact Secretary/Treasurer Gary Lasley, who will put you in
touch with the Election Board for a new ballot.)

(This info below was previously not mentioned to the rank & file -
why is that? But now we have details!)

1. Why are we considering selling now?
a. Several “big ticket” repairs, which have been delayed for varying
lengths of time, are now at the point where they “must” be done
without further delay, including:
1. Desperately needed new roof
2. Electrical building grid is at capacity (due to the ever-increasing
needs of computers & security.)
3. Earthquake retrofit concerns (Many homeowners face this same
dilemma: “Get a loan & fix what we’ve got vs. sell and move to
something better?”)

b. Property values are still rising (but currently extremely volatile
stock market.)
c. Property taxes, which have always come out of Local #47’s budget,
are getting more difficult to afford
 
(It is my opinion that up til now, our Officers and Executive Board were
hoping for a turnaround in our music business economy.
It is embarrassing to admit that our #47 revenue has decreased
substantially.

Sadly, the time to “wait and see” must now be over. Our reserves
are lower than ever before.
Rather than take out a huge loan for repairs (which we might not
be able to repay!) our leaders feel we should take different action.)

2. Why this particular building?
a. Many favorable features, including:
                                                   
i.     29 different rooms, many of them already finished:

1.     One very large room, which could become an auditorium
2.     Three conference room-size areas, one of them very large
3.     Many rooms are finished offices, each approximately 15 x 20
4.     I lost track of number of bathrooms - at least 10?
5.     Kitchen/break room, very spacious, plus 2nd smaller kitchenette
6.     15K sq ft back area (used to be Digital Symphony)
7.     Three additional units to the left of the main one
8.     One additional unit to the right – could become Musicians Credit Union
(if they choose to come with us + change their Charter)
9.     We would own the entire structure

ii.     Electrical has its own 12KW substation – solely for this building, new
transformer
iii.     20 foot ceilings throughout – many currently “hidden” by drop-ceiling panels
iv.     Earthquake retrofitting two years ago to current code
v.     Security system throughout the building, modern with cameras, separate
entry code boxes for many rooms
vi.     Computer optics already installed
vii.     Terrazzo stone floors throughout (some rooms covered over in carpeting)
viii.     Red brick exterior walls
ix.     Current “Mezzanine” upstairs w/additional office – we could build
additional 2nd story offices if needed
x.     144 parking spaces – including 55 behind a gated secure fence in
back – plus extra available spaces those hours when the nearby school
and AAA are closed.
xi.     Close to Freeways!
xii.     Three restaurants in a separate structure on the property:

1.     Subway
2.     Caesar’s Pizza
3.     Japanese Sushi restaurant

-        With leases, which would generate rental income well more than
sufficient to pay all property taxes
 
Also previously not mentioned to the rank & file (I have no idea why not):
Two neighbors to our prospective property, Peer Music and Team Music,
were previously typical, ugly “strip mall” locations.
What their respective architects did with their property space is truly amazing
– modern, spacious, light, steel & glass, etc.
Please stick your head into both companies and ask for a quick look-see.

I must admit that when I saw the photos by one of our members a few
months ago, (taken through exterior windows at the front of the property)
I was discouraged – it looked like simply an empty shell.

I am very glad I waited to give you this report until the Building Committee
“tour” on Thurs. 

I had no idea of the size and amenities of the new building.
It’s huge, folks.
Nobody likes moving. However, I see this as a wise move for our
Local in view of the obstacles.
 
Only 2,200 ballots – total – have been returned so far. PLEASE VOTE.
 
I must give our Officers and EB only a C+ on their communication skills.
So much of the angst of the past few months could have (in my opinion)
been easily avoided, had the info above been presented along with the
ballots. :)
 
Kindest Regards,
Lisa Haley
President
Freelance Musicians Assn – L.A.

===================================

V. COMMENTS

TACET THE VOTE!!!

——————————-

With regard to selling the Local 47 Building/Property:

Now is not the time to liquidate our material assets
such as real property because the Stock Market is
sinking like a stone and no one knows what’s going
to happen to the value of the dollar.

I understand we have 5 offers - each for $24 million.
Obviously we have an item that will sell @ almost
anytime we choose.

With no mortgage and money in the bank and lower
overhead (which could be made lower with a few
salary reductions) we should maintain our current
position - at least until after the election when
we know which the wind is blowing.

Anonymous

P.S. I’ve seen the proposed building over in Burbank.
The building does not look like it has good bones.

———————-

Hello

I just read your message regarding the protection of
the approximate $8m surplus.

It would seem to me that this would have been
organized and presented to the membership long
before there were offers for the sale of the building.

My ex husband was a trombone player, and became
the President of the Musician’s Guild (Union) of
Quebec, Canada, as well as  involved in private and
Guild related real estate. 

Nothing is left to chance in the 3 in stacks of paper
for any business or real estate transaction, and
yet your column is suggesting what MIGHT happen
to the millions of dollars being moved, and the
ways you MIGHT protect this money.

As a  non business person, I perceive this to be
totally backwards. These details should be ironed
out and presented to the membership BEFORE
there is a sale, and definitely before there is
even a vote to sell the property

One member’s thoughts,

===================================
Read the rest of this entry »

COMMENTARY / FACING THE MUSIC / EVENTS

January 17th, 2016

I. MEMBER COMMENTARY
II. FACING THE MUSIC
III. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

*** NEXT MEMBERSHIP MEETING IS MONDAY, JANUARY 25TH ***

===================================

I. MEMBER COMMENTARY

Did the Local Officials mismanage their fiduciary duties?

With all attention solely placed on the sale of Local 47
property here are some questions to consider that preceded
this historical event.

1. What has the locals elected officials demonstrated to maintain
solvency of the union falling short of selling the property?

2. Did the previous administration mismanage the union, lead
by president Trombetta and Espinosa before him, before
handing over a financial faulty union to the next administration?

3. Why was $15,000 dollars spent on a PR firm rather then
spending the money more wisely to hire a company to
evaluate the union’s financial distressed situation and
consider other alternatives to financial solutions rather
then the quickest short-term solution to liquidate the
local’s property?

4. Was a short-term fix prudent for a long-term current
problem with the potential to inevitable raid and deplete
the excess cash from the sale of the property?

5.What makes more sense continue to pay down $50,000
a year against a loan, according to the local 47 Accountant
“did not have the authority to be made in the first place”,
or pay $100,000.00 a year on real estate taxes for the
unions foreseeable future?

6. Which organized group has been influencing and directing
the local which put the union in despair and into this situation
in the first place?

7. Have the last two elected presidents subscribed to this
groups influence in order to receive their lucrative salary?
The same group that voted titled officers an increase years
ago when work was disappearing and still went and voted
the top officials a raise for “a job well done on their behave”
whose behave? “Heck of a Job, Brownie time”

8. Is it time for the union to stop being guided by a group
whose interest is exclusively in their own benefit at the cost
of the majority of the 7000 membership?

9. Why do you think the same 200 voting members were
persuaded or advised through directed calls from “Dateline
Answering Service” to show up at union meetings over the
last two decades? The same 200 whose decisions were
directed by support from an inside group that lead to
the demise of the local through loss of work they refused to
do.

10. Through a pattern of pandering have past elected titled
officials and elected board mishandle their fiduciary duties?

====================================

II. FACING THE MUSIC
 
A few quick facts.
 
-The local has less than a million dollars left in the bank.
-They could have gotten the membership on their side with the sale
if they’d not chosen at every turn to be dishonest, secretive and underhanded.’

For example:
The membership should have been told IN JULY that the building
was going to be listed to get a sense of it’s worth. While they say
they’d talked about it since February, and mentioned it in a few
reports, a mention in a report is not a formal announcement to
the membership of the intent to sell, regardless of the machinations
of the officers and counsel to paint a different picture of reality.

-The board created suspicion by taking down the main listing within
days after a member asked about why it was there.
-The board created major distrust by purposefully pulling a bait
and switch of the meeting on the October 5th, 2015 meeting,
taking what was definitely billed as a Local 47 meeting and changing
it to a “club 47 meeting”, restricting the member input. The only
evidence was the inside cover of the overture which conveniently
was sent out one day before the 5th. Tricky that.
-Then trying the same thing from the opposite direction at
the membership meeting later in the month. Saying a motion
could not be made because it was not a Club meeting. Now
that’s cojones.
-Misdirection again and again and frankly, abhorrent conduct on
the part of the board and their mistreatment of the rights of the
members to know what is being done in their name.
 
Only the board is responsible for the distain in which they are
currently held by a majority of the membership because of their
underhanded conduct, regardless of whatever supposed legitimacy
of their project exists. Their conduct will lead many to say,
“If it’s what they want I’m against it, because they cannot be
trusted.”

Here’s the Irony,

The recent administrations of Local 47 (Over the past 15-20
years or so) have run the Local into a ditch. Monies are down
because they cow-tow to the most selfish among us, a small
cadre of RMA leadership and hardliners, who, using the IEB as
their puppets, block any progress in contracts to make us
competitive in the world market and bring work back. Those
few, seeing the not-so-slow slow death of the Local’s finances
and work, don’t care as long as their July checks are secure.

Indeed the conduct of past leadership of the RMA along
with their puppets at Local 47 and the AFM are in large
part the authors and finishers of the situation we find
ourselves in.

TECHNOLOGY
 
Certainly technology has played a role, Like being able
to sit in your studio here and record live with orchestras
all over the world on a BUYOUT basis) and new recording
options in places as far flung as Macedonia, Nashville (Now
doing movies as well), Canada, Mexico, France, London,
Prague, Bratislava, most recently Vienna, etc, etc.

The fact is however, If the RMA’s boy at the AFM and the
RMA Leadership had not alienated entire industries, made
enemies with the obnoxious conduct of AFM officers and 
bowed to the RMA’s every whim, we might still have a
major place in the recording market.
 
When the situation arises where the only people who’ll
work with us are those who are forced to by contracts,
or the lack of recording availability in London, its only a
matter of time until they can break the contract and we’ll
never see them again. Nor do we deserve to.

We my not have a choice but to sell the building, because
the financial situation has become that dire, thanks to
greed, incompetence and neglect, to the benefit of a few…
 
BACK THE TRUCK UP
 
But really, why bother? Why not let the slide continue until the
Local is no longer self-sustaining and dies.
 
Why?
 
Simple. The ONLY way this Local will survive in the long term is
to take control of our contracts back from the RMA, shut them
out so some real advances can be made. Without major structural
changes to the inner workings of the AFM and the Local and
the expulsion of the RMA from it’s controlling interest, selling
the building and getting a new one will only delay the inevitable
demise. We need new income, from every market possible.
 
Eventually, those millions will be gone if the sale goes through,
since not enough money is coming in for the Local to prosper.
Not without an increase in work and dues. It will simply take
longer to die. It’s not brain surgery, it’s economics.

The fact is if we cannot make in a building that is paid for
we cannot make it period.

The solution to bring work back is relatively simple.
There are sessions happening everyday, only they’re dark.
Create a buyout contract for: Video Games, Trailers, Libraries,
Samples, low budget films, limited pressings, festivals, etc.
All are now being done elsewhere or non-union.

Every session we bring back on contract is dues money
for the Local, monies that the Local is not seeing now.
Contractor’s who’ve been spoken to say they could get
the work back with buyout contracts, and a new crew
of players who’ve not alienated producers.

WHILE WE’RE AT IT

Why is the Local telling folks who are doing dark dates
to “Just keep it on the down low and it’s fine”, while
trying to destroy folks who are doing it the right way,
paying dues to the local and becoming fi-core so they
can legally do both union and non-union jobs? The Local
is charging fi-core folks almost the same dues per year
as regular members.

Show us folks who’ve never done a non-union event
and I show you an empty room. EVERYONE has done
non-union, non-contract work, at least those who are
fi-core feel strongly enough to take a real stand and
not just get assurances from the Local’s president that,
“You’ve been a good member all these years, just keep
it quiet.”

We need to build the future of this Local, and pry away
those who care only about themselves at the expense
of everyone else.

We NEED to get the middleclass that’s left back to work,…
that’s what Seattle did,… and more recently Nashville.

And thus endeth the rant you probably stopped reading
a few paragraphs ago.

THE COMMITTEE
Read the rest of this entry »

DIDN’T TAKE LONG / DESPARATE / WAR CHEST / ANOTHER VIEW / COMMENTS / EVENTS

January 10th, 2016

I. WELL, THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG
II. A DESPERATE MOVE
III. A WAR CHEST FOR LAWSUITS?
IV. ANOTHER VIEW
V. COMMENTS
VI. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

===================================

I. WELL, THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG

Two days after the Lawyer’s letter was hand delivered to the
Board of LOCAL 47, the Local’s Counsel sent a letter to
the Lawyer, Robert Hershman, demanding the names of ALL
of the members he represents.

This was exactly why the two main plaintiffs, Helen Crosby
and Charles Fernandez, agreed not to share the names
of their like minded colleagues with Mr. Hershman

The Counsel couldn’t refute anything in the letter, so he wants to go
after those members who dare question the Local’s edict.

The identity of those members who’ve contributed to the costs
of the lawyer’s fees and those who haven’t but support the cause in
other ways will NEVER be given to the Local. The main plaintiffs
consider those names sacrosanct, and the Local has no right to
them.

The charges are just as legit whether they represent one member
or 200, or 2000.

We see no need to expose colleagues to the possibility of retaliation
for exercising their rights as union members.

It is that guarantee of anonymity that has helped the COMMITTEE
over the last 10 years become the most trusted place for friend
and foe alike to express their thoughts without fear of retribution.

The co-plaintiffs will protect their like minded members
with exactly the same ferocity.

THE COMMITTEE

===================================

II. A DESPERATE MOVE?

It has come to our attention that one of the
realtors is sending letters to their friends in the
local to elicit a yes vote.

It appears to be a form letter, but is personalized
to the individual.

The Phrase “I saw your name on a list a week ago or so that you
had not sent in your ballot yet.” is contained in the letter.

So how did the realtor (member or not) gets access to a list that
contains private information about the voting members?

The Realtor is:
1) Not on the board.
2) Not on the election committee.
3) Not a member of the administration in any way.

So who gave them access?

Yet another inside job by the Local to grease the skids,
even if that means giving inappropriate access to private
info of members voting, or non-voting habits.

Can those against the sale request and receive the names of
those who’ve not voted? If not, this was totally inappropriate.
But they’ll find some excuse and brush it off, knowing most of
the membership will say nothing and do even less.

Are you supporters starting to sense a problem yet?

Is there anything they won’t do? When will the other
shoe drop.

This entire referendum from the start has been a poster child
for the saying, “Better to ask forgiveness than permission”

The entire letter, received by more than one member,
Appears below….

From: name redacted
Subject: music note
Date: January 6, 2016 Time Stamp Redacted
To: Recipient name redacted

Happy New Year! Please read the following and advise me how to respond.
I have been harassed by the VP’s secretary, who had the balls to ask
which way I was voting!?~~ Now this….

——

Dear, Recipient name Redacted

I hope the New Year finds you well. I of course am the Union
member Realtor handling the upcoming sale of the Musician’s
Union. I saw your name on a list a week ago or so that you had
not sent in your ballot yet. We are getting very close to the
ballots necessary but I would hate to not make the quota and
have to waste time and Union money starting over, etc.

In case you haven’t been following, in short, the Union wants to
sell it’s building (about 24 million) and buy and modernize another
building (10-14 million). Keeping a similar sized building and all
the amenities we have now plus a few new ones. So we would put
about 10 million into a safe investment and could use the interest
to promote musical activities and more work!

A Yes vote means the Union is allowed to sell the building for
22 million or more. A No vote means there will be no sale.

Please vote! I am writing you instead of Union phone bank
contacting you time after time, I figured you would appreciate
that.

IF you have misplaced or lost your ballot, NO PROBLEM,
please let me know I and will direct you to a way to get a new one.

I know because I am often guilty of not taking a minute or two
to fill out a ballot, but I believe this is important for the future
of our Musician’s Union and our livelihood.

So could you just reply back to me and let me know you got
my email and whether you wish to vote or not. We have to
contact over 6,000 members and I don’t want to keep
contacting you over and over if you have sent in or are
in the process of sending in ballot.

Thanks

[EC: According to the person who received the letter,
they had not heard from him since college and now wants
support to get thousands of dollars in commissions.

While the realtor does not lose his right as a member to voice
his support or to solicit...he should have recused himself in
this instance.  Except to perhaps his actual friends in his sphere.

But again, the use of the members private voting status (Supplied by
someone at the Local) to us is egregious.]

===================================

III. ANOTHER VIEW

Hi Committee

I wanted to clarify one part of the voting procedure used in
the sale of the building.    

The voting procedure for election of officers does not necessarily
have to be used in other instances where a vote of the membership
is required.  

Federal law requires that In an election, all measures must be
taken to ensure that no candidate has an unfair advantage over
another. Therefore, no candidate may use union funds (newsletters,
union phones, union website, union logo or letterhead, union
credit card, etc) to promote their candidacy. 

Similarly, no union officer or candidate for election should have
access to the balloting process which includes the creation or
printing of the ballot, distribution of the ballot or collection
and tabulation of the ballots.  Most locals have a mechanism
for the creation of an election committee which has the responsibility
of conducting the election which includes all of the items previously
mentioned.  

I don’t believe there is a legal requirement that all non-election issues
follow the same procedure in terms of the membership voting an
issue up or down.  So under Local 47 bylaws, there may not be a
procedure in place for non-election membership voting which means
any decisions regarding a membership vote would be entirely at the
discretion of the board.  

While the attorney seems to imply differently, I don’t think there is a
legal bar for the Officers or board of Local 47 to use the local newsletter
in support of a yes vote on the sale and I doubt if there is a legal
requirement to allow those in opposition to be given space in the
newsletter.  

However, Mr. Hirshman raises a terrific moral point in terms of the
voting process in that he ties this important decision of a lifetime
for the members of Local 47 to the transparency that is apparent
when the election voting procedures are utilized. And transparency
is needed in all matters that affect the membership.

Wishing everyone the best for 2016.

==============================================

IV. A WAR CHEST FOR LAWSUITS?- MEMBER COMMENT

In doing a web search, it looks like the AFM has been
busy filing lawsuits against major industry players in 2015.

April 27, 2015 Variety (US edition)
Case filed 4/24/15. Levy, Ford & Wallach/Bredhoff & Kaiser
AFM v. Warner Bros. Paramount, and MGM

May 7, 2015, Hollywood Reporter…Case Filed 5/26/15. Levy,
Ford & Wallach… AFM v. Columbia, Paramount, Twentieth
Century Fox,Universal City, Walt Disney Pictures, and Warner Bros.

July 8, 2015, Variety ….AFM v.Sony …Michael Jackson’s “This Is It”
Case filed in New York.

Aug. 11, 2015, Hollywood Reporter…”The American Federation
of Musicians of the United States and Canada continues on
its aggressive legal campaign …..”
AFM v. Sony, Universal Music Group,Warner Music branches
Warner Bros. Records and Atlantic, and Disney’s Hollywood Records.

International Musician September 22, 2015…AFM files suit
against the French company KIDAM.

Seems like the AFM would love to access that 10 million war
chest the Local would get if they get the votes to sell….
And who would get any small amount of work that is gotten
through lawsuits? The RMA of course. Nothing ever changes
for the Local’s true masters.

Nice big paycheck for the counsel too. What a surprise.

===================================

V. COMMENTS

A beautiful expose on the attitude of the union to be like
a government and to manipulate the vote of its constituents
/members.

It was never easy to answer the call of the union to sell
the building as they set up their strategy to not allow
equal time to members that opposed the sale.

A sad commentary on equality.

It is time for the union to wake up and stop is myopic
vision of our business and also change legal council
that panders to the union view and never considers the
member view.

Shame on the Officers and Directors. You all can do better
than that. Such a wishy washy rubber stamp on our future.

——————————–

Useful information. Fortunate me I found your website by
chance, and I am surprised why this coincidence did not
happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

Read the rest of this entry »

SPECIAL EDITION!!!… LAWYER LETTER TO LOCAL 47 BOARD

January 6th, 2016

Colleagues,

The following letter was delivered to the Board of Local 47 on behalf of Lawyer Robert Hirschman and concerned members of Local 47 concerning the conduct of the Local in regards to the potential
sale of the property.

It’s a good read and will give you, FINALLY, many of the views of those opposing the sale.

Please send all your comments to the blog.

THE COMMITTEE

From: Robert Hirshman and Associates

January 5, 2016 Via Personal Delivery
Musicians Club Board of Directors
and Officers
AFM Local 47 Board of Directors
and Officers
817 North Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
John Acosta, President
Rick Baptist, Vice-President
Gary Lasley, Secretary-Treasurer
Judy Chilnick
Dylan Sky Hart
Bonnie Janofsky
Pam Gates
John Lofton
Andy Malloy
Phil O’Connor
Bill Reichenbach
Vivian Wolf

Re:
Violations of 29 USC 501 et seq. (LMRDA)

Dear members of the Boards of Directors and Officers:

I am a member of Local 47 and the Musicians Club.

In my capacity as a lawyer, I represent several members
of Local 47/Musicians Club who, along with the interests
of all other members, are aggrieved by the manner in
which the Board is handling the proposed sale of the
Musicians Club’s principal asset, the real property
and improvements located at 817 North Vine St. (“the Building”).

Based on a review of minutes of the Board of Directors of
the Musicians Club and of Local 47; information, both orally
and in writing, presented to the members at the special
meeting of members on October 5, 2015; written materials
circulated in the Overture and on the website; the referendum-
ballot mailed by authority of the Board and Officers to the
members in October, 2015; and on conversations with
various Board members and Officers, I have concluded
that the Board of Directors, and each of them, are in breach
of their respective fiduciary duties to the members, in
violation of 29 USC §501, the Labor-Management Reporting
and Disclosure Act (LMRDA)

Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, Section 501

Section 501 (a) of the LMRDA, entitled “Fiduciary Responsibility
of Officers of Labor Organizations,” provides, in relevant part, that,

“The officers … and other representatives of a labor organization
occupy positions of trust in relation to such organization and its
members as a group. It is, therefore, the duty of each such person,
taking into account the special problems and functions of a labor
organization, to hold its money and property solely for the benefit
of the organization and its members and to manage, invest, and
expend the same in accordance with its constitution and bylaws
and any resolutions of the governing bodies adopted thereunder,
to refrain from dealing with such organization as an adverse
party or in behalf of an adverse party in any matter connected
with his duties.…”

“The purpose of Section 501 is to deal with misuse of union
funds and union property in every manifestation by union
officials.” (See Wood vs. Journeymen Barbers, Hairdressers,
Cosmetologists and Proprietors International Union, 454
Fed 2nd 1347, 1354 (7th Cir. 1972.) Furthermore, Section 501
is broad in its reach and has been applied not only to the
monetary interests of the union and its members, but to any
area of the union officials’ authority. (See Stelling Et Al.
vs. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
Local 1547, 587 Fed 2nd 1379, 1386-87, 9th Cir. 1978,
cert. Denied, 442 U. S. 944 (1979).)

For example, in International Longshoremen’s vs. Virginia
International Terminals (928 Fed. Supp. 655 (E. D. Va.)
the U.S. District Court opined that a union official may
be held liable under Section 501 for mismanagement,
secrecy, failure to disclose, failure to process grievances,
and failure to conduct union affairs as a “position of trust.”
(See also International Longshoremen’s vs. Virginia
International Terminals (928 Fed. Supp. 655 (E. D. Va.)

Grievances of Members Relating to Way the Boards/Officers
Have Handled the Proposed Sale of the Local 47 Building

My clients’ grievances (as well as the grievances of countless
others) with respect to the proposed sale include (1) breach of
the duty of impartiality, (2) misuse of union funds, (3) making
false and misleading representations to the members, (4) failing
to disclose material facts to the members, and (4) failing to
take steps to protect property, and acting imprudently with
respect to the proposed sale.

Breach of Duty of Impartiality

Section 501 (a) provides, in relevant part, that “The officers…
occupy positions of trust in relation to such organization and
its members as a group.”

The phrase “as a group” means that the organization and its
governing body must act impartially and avoid favoring
the interests of certain members over those of other members.
That is especially true here where the Musicians Club
Constitution and Bylaws requires a vote of the members
to sell or transfer the Clubs real property, viz., 817 Vine St.
In this situation, the only role of the Board and officers is to
put the question/referendum to a vote of the members.

California law is in accord: “The fiduciary duty of a trustee
includes the duty to deal impartially with the beneficiaries.”
Hearst v. Ganzi (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 1195, 1200 [52
Cal.Rptr.3d 473, 475].

However, the Board and officers of the Musicians Club
and Local 47 have breached their fiduciary obligations
to the members in the following respects:

The Board and officers, in all of its written and oral
communications with the members, have taken the
one-sided, biased position that the property must be
sold to ensure the viability of Local 47 in the future.
In doing so, the Board spent $15,000 with Bridge
Street, Inc., a public relations/lobbying firm, who
devised and designed four color written materials
circulated to the members, and included in the
Overture, unabashedly and vigorously promoting
a “yes” vote on the referendum. Moreover, the
Board and officers mounted a telephone “blitz”
campaign, at significant cost to local 47, urging
members to vote “yes” on the referendum, as if
a sale of the building were the only choice for
the survival of the union.

And in that “blitz” significant misinformation
was disseminated to the members, including
that the Local was in debt to the tune of $700,000,
when in fact Local 47 has reserves of $900,000.

Based on the materials reviewed, there appears to be no
effort made by the Board or officers to be impartial to
the “members as a group” with respect to the referendum.
Crucially, no effort was apparently made to include not
only an argument in favor of the sale, but an argument
against the sale. Thus, the Board and officers breached
their fiduciary obligations to the “members as a group.”

Moreover, there is a compelling argument to vote “no”
on the referendum, which the Board completely ignored.

In the slideshow presented by the Board and officers at
the October 5, 2015 special meeting of members (and
also available on the Local 47/Musicians Club Website)
it is claimed that in 1950 the Local used the entire
building, whereas today, “the local occupies less than
50% of the building.” Yet the Board and officers admit
that the reduction has positive benefits in that there has
been a reduction from 52 full-time employees to 22
full time employees, generating a significant savings
in staffing costs. Furthermore, a vacancy of half the
building has resulted in the receipt of significant rental
income to the Local. For example, rental income in 2014
was $170,000, and it is expected that rental income in
2015 will be about the same.

Moreover, the Board admits, insofar as revenues and
expenses, that “we are living within our means,” which
I interpret as there are sufficient revenues to cover
operating expenses.

With respect to what appears to be the Board’s main concern
“Building Repairs,” the Board estimates that the “approximate
cost of renovations [are] over $300,000,” including $80,000
for exterior repairs, $50,000 to upgrade the electrical grid,
$200,000 to replace the roof, and re-model and reconfigure
the interior to lower costs of utilities.

However, when compared to paying $1 million for broker
fees, escrow and closing costs if the building is sold,
$300,000 to renovate the existing building appears to
be a bargain. (See Exhibit 1 attached.)

There are several ways the amount can be financed. First,
the Musicians Club is indebted to the Local in the amount
of approximately $500,000. Perhaps that loan can be called,
depending on its terms. If not, because the Club owns the
building outright and free and clear of any liens or mortgages,
the Club is in a position to obtain a first mortgage at a
very favorable interest rate (in the current economic climate)
and use the money to repair, renovate and rehab the building.
Thus, a loan of $300,000 at an interest rate of 4.5% payable
over 15 years would require monthly payments, including
principal and interest, of about $2100 or an annual amount
of $25,000. An increase in membership dues of a mere $3.50
per year, per member (designated as a building or mortgage fund),
would cover the cost of the mortgage payments. The question
should have been put to the members as to whether they would
agree to an increase of $3.50 per year to keep the building. Instead,
the Board presented the sale as a panacea to solve all of its financial
problems, now and into the future. That appears to be an unrealistic
adventure in Fantasyland, as far as I’m concerned.

Furthermore, improvements to the building will likely increase
the amount of rent paid by tenants.

In addition to the Board’s abject failure to include in materials
accompanying the ballot an argument against a sale, the ballot
itself is confusing and potentially misleading. It provides:

“Shall the officers of the Musicians Club of Los Angeles
(the Club) be authorized to sell the Clubs real property –
located at 817 Vine St., Hollywood, CA 90038 – for not
less than $22 million to the successful highest bidder?”

While a “yes” vote likely means the officers may sell the
Property to the highest bidder provided the bid is no less
than $22 million, the meaning of a “no” vote is unclear.
Does it mean the officers are prohibited from selling the
Building for less than $22 million if there is no more
than one bidder? Or does it mean that the officers may
sell the building to the only bidder even if the price is
less than $22 million?

In that regard, the Board should have included what
we’ve all come to expect from a referendum vote –
an explanation of what a “yes” vote means, and what
a “no” vote means. The failure to do so was a breach
of the Board’s fiduciary obligations to the members
to fully and fairly inform the members.

And with respect to the ballots, I have heard that several
members received an envelope with no ballot in it. Given
the demonstrated self-interest of the Board for a “yes”
vote that leaves open the question of possible ballot
stuffing to ensure the vote is in favor of a sale. And
that suspicion is raised solely by the biased manner
in which the Board handled the whole referendum
process.

Additionally, the manner in which the ballots of those
members who voted and returned their ballots, leaves
open the question of Board impartiality, given their
demonstrated fervor to obtain a “yes” vote.

According to the procedure established by the Board
with respect to the referendum, completed ballots are
retained in the office of the secretary/Treas., Gary
Lasley, a vocal proponent of a “yes” vote.

Yet Local 47 Bylaws provide for significant safeguards with
respect to the impartial safekeeping of completed ballots
until they are counted. In fact, completed ballots are retained
by the Post Office until they are ready to be counted. And then
on the day appointed to count the ballots, counting is done
under the supervision of an impartial, independent third-party
organization to ensure the count is accurate. No explanation
was given for the departure from this long-standing practice.
And, again, the devious and inappropriate manner in which the
Board has handled the referendum reasonably leads to suspicions
of misdealings and a lack of trust among the members.

Yet the Board has rebuffed all complaints that the procedures
it adopted lack transparency and the safeguards of impartiality.

(2) Other Concerns of the members

(a) At the Special Meeting of members on October 5, 2015 the
Board represented it had at least two offers to purchase the
Local 47 Building for $24 million. The same representation
was made by the Board in writing. (See attached marked Exhibit “1”)

Yet on the referendum/ballot, the Board seeks authority to sell
the Building for not less than $22 million, representing a potential
loss to the Musicians Club/Local 47 of $2 million – an amount
which, according to members of the Board, would solve the
alleged financial “problems” of Local 47. But there was no
explanation in the ballot or materials accompanying the
ballot on this significant discrepancy. And if the vote is
“yes” the property can be sold for $22 mil.

(b) Neither in its minutes nor elsewhere has the
Board made a binding commitment to members
to replace the Building, once it is sold.

Nor has the Board permitted the members to vote on
any aspect of replacement premises, if any, or its
location and amenities.

What assurances do the members have there will be
a replacement building if 817 Vine St. is sold?

In that regard there is no provision in the Musician’s
Club constitution/bylaws permitting the Club to
purchase a new building.

(c) While the minutes of the Musicians Club Board
Meeting of April August 11, 2015 recite that “the
Board Of Directors for the Musicians Club of Los
Angeles has determined, after a duly diligent inquiry,
that it is in the best interest of the Musicians Club
to solicit potential offers to purchase the Clubs
property located at 817 Vine St., Hollywood…”
However, the Board has not shared with the members
the contents and details resulting from the “diligent
inquiry.” Thus, many members question the Board’s
decision to present the issue to the members for a vote.

(d) On Exhibit 1 the Board, whether negligently or
intentionally, represents the amount of the “surplus
revenue” available after a sale of the building, purchase
of a new building and renovations to the new building.
There, the Board represents that the “surplus revenue”
will be $11 million when in fact, based on its own
figures and on the ballot language, the surplus revenue
may be no more than $8 million, an overstatement
of $3 million. Thus, if the building sells for $22 million
(as the Board will be authorized to do based on the
ballot language), and estimated closing costs are $1
million (as the board represents – $999,600), the
surplus revenue will only be $8 million. How can
the members rely on the diligence, accuracy, and
business acumen of a Board which makes such
inexcusable errors?

(e) None of the Board members claim to have significant
experience in the valuation or sale of commercial property,
particularly unique commercial property such as our building.
It takes a high level of expertise to determine the fair market
value of a unique building. And in my significant
experience as a real estate and business attorney, I would
only trust an appraiser holding the designation of Master
of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) to reach an accurate
conclusion of value of 817 Vine St. Yet a prominent
Board member and officer was heard to naively say
that he was relying on the potential buyers to set the
price (that is, “value”) of the building.

Moreover, my long experience as a real estate attorney
informs me that real estate brokers, whether representing
a buyer or seller, have an inherent conflict of interest
between representing the interests of their client and
representing their own interests to earn a commission.
With this conflict of interest in mind, I do not rely on
a broker or agent’s opinion of value of a property, unless
the property is a cookie cutter, tract home, where the
value of one house is likely to be the value of all
homes of the same floor plan. But 817 Vine St. is a
unique one-of-a-kind building and its location (the
land value) is somewhat unique.

Yet the Board has not hired an independent appraiser
(beholden only to the Board) to determine the fair
market value of 817 Vine St. Instead – and given the
inherent conflict of interest – it is imprudently
relying on a broker’s opinion of the value of the
property. In my opinion, that is another breach of
fiduciary duty by the Board to the members.

CONCLUSION

To avoid significant legal costs I suggest a meeting
next week with the Board to discuss the members
grievances and determine if there is an amicable
resolution acceptable to both sides which must
necessarily involve a recall of the current referendum,
the distribution of accurate financial information, and
an argument against a sale, as well as an argument for
a sale. Local 47 has about 7,000 members, the vast
majority of whom are not actively involved in union
activities. These folks, who have voted, have done so
in reliance on false representations, on the lack of accurate
financial information, and on a totally one-sided argument
in favor of a sale. That situation must be remedied before
we can say there has been a meaningful vote by the members.

In that regard, the LMRDA guarantees union members not
only an equal vote, but also a “meaningful” vote. Bunz v.
Motion Picture Mach. Operators’ Union, 567 F.2d 1117,
1121 (D.C. Cir. 1977). Whether members were afforded a
meaningful vote depends on “whether they were given adequate
notice and information regarding the subject matter and
nature of the vote” and whether they “had enough time and
opportunity to mount effective support or opposition to
the leadership’s position.” Bauman v. Presser, 117
L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2393, 1984 WL 3255, at *7 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

If we cannot reach an amicable resolution, I am authorized
to file a lawsuit seeking to enjoin (stop) the Local and Musicians
Club from continuing with the current ballot process, together
with an order by the court that a new ballot process begin along
the lines I have suggested in this letter. If a lawsuit becomes
necessary, the Local and Musicians Club will likely incur
hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and court costs
and is unlikely to prevail. Is that how the membership wants
its monies spent? I doubt it.

I therefore appeal to your good sense and goodwill to make a
substantial effort to resolve the legal issues raised by the
irregular and improper ballot process currently pending.

Very truly yours,

ROBERT HIRSCHMAN & ASSOCIATES

SPECIAL MEETING REPORT, MONDAY, January 4th, 2016

January 5th, 2016

SPECIAL MEETING REPORT, MONDAY, January 4th, 2016

Member’s requested meeting:
Local to explain the financials.
Quorum reached (only nine needed for the CLUB meeting.)
Over 50 attended

——————————

The Salient Points of the meeting??

1) If you send in comments about the sale before Tuesday
night (TODAY!), they CAN get into the Overture going
out next week.

2) The impression was given that you rescind your vote if
you call the Local and have your ballot pulled. You can also
change your vote by requesting a replacement ballot. They
will count the NEWEST ballot.

3) Many, many, members were grossly misinformed by
the callers trying to get them to vote yes. In some cases,
wrongly telling members that the local is in $700,000
DEBT when it’s a $700,000 deficit. The Local has
Over $900,000 in reserve.

4) Other were given the impression that their pension
could be affected if we don’t sell. (It’s not at all true.)

5) While info was put on the website no financial
analysis was done, so people might not understand
what the numbers mean.

———————

John Acosta, Rick Baptist, Gary Lasley, Lewis Levy in front.
Called to order at 7:29

Re-iterated that it’s a Club Meeting, under the umbrella of Local 47.
If you’re a member of one, you’re a member of both.

Club can adopt rules, Club plays the bills.

Officer/Director Roll taken…

Secretary reports on the call of the meeting.

ISSUE I. Nullify ballots - deemed out of order
Counsel – Article 4 section 2 deemed it out of order.
Once ballots are issued they cannot be rescinded.

ISSUE II Postpose sale till membership has been fully informed.
Itemized list of requested info.
-2015 operational budget
-2016 comprehensive balanced operational budget
-Cash flow statements for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 (estimate)
-Capital Expenditures for 2016 without moving
-Current balance sheet
-Capital Expenditures for 2016 for Burbank property
-Sales commission rate for sale of the building
-An explanation on how the sale of the building will increase
work for members
-A definition of “State of the Art”
-A business plan for spending money to make money.

Most were already in the Overture.
All info has been put up in a special place in the member’s
section of the website. Look there. —
Members only section – scales and documents – musicians club
OR
Time is now 47 Website – questions and answers –
dollars and cents – link from there.

– Realtors spoke on the subject.
Total Sales commission rate 3.5
Working with other buyer, maximum 2.5 percent.
Sale price approx. $24,000,000.

Some discussion on the amount of the commission between
Realtor and member.

Out of the commission, $100,000 would be donated back
to the Local 47 trust fund.

Member asked: Any new locations to look at buying?
Answer: Always looking – 2 other potential properties.
Burbank and North Hollywood.

Member: You don’t sell without having something else to by.
Realtor: We have some protections. – then said seller of Alameda
is eccentric and 93 years old..

Member: Any other offers on the Burbank building?
Realtor: No.

Member: What about these safeguards (contingencies)
Term of purchase are quite clear. Multiple offers on the 47 building.

Member: What plans do other have for this site that we couldn’t do?
Real: Have height restrictions. Any plans they have we don’t know.
We cannot refurbish the whole building and get it re-rented.

Member: When you advise an organization as a buyer/seller agent,
You should have two different advisors or there is a built in
conflict of interest. We cannot judge the accuracy of the
advice we’re being given if there are not multiple sources.
Real: We only represent the seller.

Member: Closing Costs – What are they?
President: $999,000 approximately.

Members: What are the financial plans:
President: Sell at highest price possible, buy another
building and re-service it for our needs. Use income
from the sale to pay bills and protect the core of the
money.

Member: Are you representing the buyer?
Realtor: It’s possible.

Member: We’re so central now, lots feel that the
value is not the only consideration.

Lots will lose touch with the union.

What other alternatives were investigated besides
building? Former President Fleischer wanted to
lease out part of the parking to make money.
President: Looking at Glendale North Hollywood,
Burbank. Majority of members are along that corridor.
5400 in California more than 50% are in that area.
Asked realtor to explain how 22 million is a lot of money.

Realtor: Offer is at 24,000,000. Commercial realty is
about what the market will bear. Put it out with no
price, and started getting offers around $18 mil.

Most of these buyers very sophisticated and very
knowledgeable. $24,000,000 is a pretty good price.

President: What about renovations?
Realtor: Union has 6 month lease back option
(Generally for $1)
After the 6 month period there’s a very reasonable
rate for renting.

Should be able to build out building in 6 months.
Anything over the agreed timeframe the builder
is fined.

Member: The previous member also asked what
OTHER alternatives to selling were seriously
looked at.

President: Under previous administration looked
at partnership with RED Studios to build parking
lot, but it was nixed. Also the possibility of a 99
year lease. The sale is what they decided to go with.

Member: What is a triple net.
Realtor: Person (Local 47) leasing back would still
pay their own insurance, utilities and property tax
till they move.

Member: This is a landmark. Not gonna find another
one anywhere. How about upgrading the building,
get an architect to design and re-do for the building.
The building is paid off! No money is owed.

President: Personally if we had the money to stay
and renovate we would. We don’t have the money.
Don’t want to leave the institution in debt. Grueling
decision. Not done in haphazard way.

Member: How about a campaign to raise money
from musicians, artists, composers to re-do the building.
President: If vote doesn’t pass that is one idea we
can look at. Have gotten many ideas. There’s no
owner’s manual on doing referendums, never been done before.
Meetings earlier might have helped.
(EC: Ya THINK?)

Member: How many have gotten calls? (Question could
not be understood) Aimless talking…

Member: We were told at the October 5th meeting
that we were $900,000 in the black. But a person
hired to make phone calls named Erich has been
telling members that we’re $700,000 in debt.

I personally don’t believe we’ve lost 1.6 million
in the space of two months.

President: We have a $700,000 DEFICIT, not debt.

Member: Were return calls made to those he talked to
make sure the “faulty” info is Corrected?

President: I called them personally.

One of the seniors spoken to was led to believe that
they could lose their pension if we didn’t sell the
building. While they’re not connects, the members
were left with that impression. Yet another indirectly
dishonest approach.

We all received the RA-RA postcard,… where was
the Local’s postcard from those who do NOT support
the sale?

President: The board decided if we did that it would
confuse the membership as to where the Local stands
on the sale.

Member: Aren’t you supposed to be IMPARTIAL?
President: We don’t have to be.

Member: If duplicate ballots are found, the most
recent ballot is counted.

Member: As for info, We sometimes get a minority
report… no such report has been given
Members was told that the local $700,000
in debt and he knows it’s wrong.

There was major dis-information put out, on both calls
he was told WRONG information. During 4 weeks,
between calls, these employees kept giving WRONG info.

Some members have reported that they’ve received
ballot envelopes without a ballot. Where are those
ballots?

President: Mail house made the mistake.

Director: Building is NOT historic, member for over the 30
years. Doesn’t have historic landmark status. It’s 7 miles
from here to the potential new building. 14 miles round
trip is not worth giving up a 9 million dollar windfall.

As far as tapping wealthy members? Good luck with that.
We have musicians relief fund, but this should not be a
strategy that we follow. Started talking about it a year ago.
Apathy is a big problem.

If we sell this and buy something else free and clear we’ll
still be free and clear.

Member: Advocate for the sale. Looking in the future, huge
Hollywood crime problem will only get worse. It might be
a good time to get out. Wants to commend the leadership
in moving forward.

Members: The building IS a historic site. Been reading
about group buyers each handling a different aspect.
It’s tough to get the information.
Asset, Liability, profit or loss, expenses,.. etc.
Joint venture idea is pretty cool. Someone could
by the building and flip it, why not have us be involved.

President: Perhaps using someone else’s credit score,..
how would that work?

Board adopted the sale as an issue. Don’t stop the
counting of the ballots, let the people speak.

Member: Ballots,..many for and many against?

Member: At the beginning you said it was a club
meeting. Also said there’s a connection with the
Local. The Club would not exist without the Local.
Don’t try to separate the two.
-Is no owners manual?,… but there are guiding principals,…
in a nutshell, 70 (Experience) 20 (Connection) 10

-Questions: Re: Revoking the ballot. Board decided it
was out of order. From a reading of the bylaws.
On that issue is there also a financial analysis on the site?
President: Nope just the info.
2221 Ballots have come in:

Member: Commend the board. I don’t believe everything
is a conspiracy.

Don’t know if it’s a good idea, but what’s important is
what’s in the best interest of the union. There are always
better ways to do things.

Not a good idea to try to manipulate an argument for
your agenda. All of the concerns are legit, but keep the
argument on the real questions not conspiracy.

Member: Members that didn’t get a ballot,.. is there a
number of the ballot? Is there no chance of “extra”
ballots appearing in the number.

All ballots have numbers on it, the number of the old
ballot is replaced with new ballot.

ISSUE III. All comments must be printed and special edition
Of overture sent out.
Special overture $6,000. 4- page. Is a major expense.
Postage is included in that price.

Is it worth sending out a special edition.
Secretary recommends no.
Member: RA –RA postcard. Postcard is $1,800
Members: How can the cost be the same” one is 4
color and one was black and white.

Color card went to member who’d not voted yet.,
Black and white went to all.

Members: I taught MBA and Law School, You can
reach out to folks to donate money. Silicon Valley,
Silicon Beach. It’s a historical building, I’m from
England $5,000 spent to FULLY inform members
of both sides of issue. It’s the right thing to doi..

Director: Special Issue – Bad Idea
Have a possibility of building a new future. We
felt it was important to sell the building. No one
spoke about it till now. Money in the bank,..
new leadership. Very proud to be a member
of the community. We’re professional musicians.

MEMBER:
While there were mentions concerning selling
since January, nothing was formally presented
till August. Only in passing.

Since we now know that many, many people
were given blatantly wrong info, some would
call them lies, mis-truths, it is more than
appropriate to set the record straight, or else
people can and will, and should say they
were misled into voting for it. There has been
blatant and apparently wide spread misdirection
and misinformation.

Member: No officers have tried to mislead us,
but that’s what people think. Union should
make a clear statement to the entire membership
the difference between 700,000 debt and 700,000 deficit.

Member: Question – If we get the new facilities,
we’ll duplicate the auditorium at the new location?
Practice rooms? Will there be input allowed in the
details of the build out. Should have 300 seat hall.

President. – There’s a building committee:
Mike Papenbrook, Lisa Haley, Mike Davis, plus two more.

Member: Special edition would be a good thing.

Member: If it’s $6,000 to send the edition, where does
the money come from
Pres: Local would pay for it.

President: Have section of next print overture with portions
of presentation and re-printing letters.

Member: Property tax here $45,000
In new place $125,000 (more than covered
by rents from restaurants.)
With a decent economy, can get 2-3 percent
On investments.

Closed debate:
I abstention. –

Vote whether to put out special edition of the overture.
Yes means print special edition
No means no special edition. Pres would try to make
sure the needed info would go out in the next print Overture.
Be in mailboxes end of next week.
Motion Fails – no special edition.

Member: Will there not be any debate in the mailing?
None was asked for. If you have more thoughts get
them in in the next 24 hours – By Tuesday afternoon
Member: If you vote yes. Special edition would go
out as soon as possible. It would be a couple of weeks.

Vote fails by a major margin:
President promises to put info in next Overture.

Meeting Adjourned After 9pm.

SPECIAL MEETING TOMORROW / TESLA / COMMENTS / EVENTS

January 3rd, 2016

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED/CLUB 47″ MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH
II. RESPONSE TO SIR TESLA
TOMORROW!
III. COMMENTS
IV. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

===================================

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED” MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH

On January 4th, Monday at 7PM please be at the Local to
voice your opinion.

Please plan now to be at the special meeting called by concerned
members about the potential sale and the Local’s methods
in regards to the sale.

Concerned members called for a special meeting to
address their concerns on the building sale and the Local’s
conduit in regards to the sale.

There were three areas of concern to be considered:

1) Nullification of the Ballots and the reissue of said ballots
with a totally clear meaning, not the duplicitous ballots we
were sent.

We were informed the the Local would call that Motion out
of order. Seems after some research that once ballots are
sent they cannot be recalled and must run their course.
How convenient…

2) The delay of the sale until members are fully informed of
all aspects of the sale. Who benefits, who get the money, who
oversees the money, etc.

3) Guarantee that all letters and comments sent to the Local
about the sale, pro and con are immediately printed on the
Local’s Website AND in the next print issue of the Overture.

We need your voice and your support!

Please be there.

===================================

II. RESPONSE TO SIR TESLA

Sir Telsa wrote in our last blog…

My thoughts are that the local member/realtor should
donate his entire post-tax fee to a music school or
music education program. Or something similar.
It’s a blatant and offensive conflict of interest.

Here is a response we received:

Sir Tesla

Response to Sir Tesla:

It’s not a conflict of interest unless the realtor
is an officer of the local, or if it can be shown
that one or more officers improperly benefiting
financially by using this realtor.

Except for that, why would you want the realtor to work for free?

Sir Tesla, who saw the comment on the Blog site,.. responds to the writer:

Question:  Why would the crown jewel in the AFM’s girdle,
our beloved Local 47 of Hollywood, want a professional
musician acting as the representing realtor working this
deal? One would think, that for a potential $24 million
plus commercial real estate deal (selling the old place,
buying the new place), that the local would employ a
professional realtor. One that has no real or potential
liabilities, conflicts, or entanglements.  

L47 should utilize, and at the same lofty price will
be able to easily find, a deadly, high-powered, full-time,
professional real estate attorney/agent at the top of the
game. Not a professional musician moonlighting as a realtor.

Hire a professional!

{It’s not a conflict of interest unless the realtor is an
officer of the local, or if it can be shown that one or
more officers improperly benefiting financially by using
this realtor.}

Sir Tesla writes:

I believe it’s plainly and obviously a massive conflict of interest…
and a huge liability.

{Except for that, why would you want the realtor to work for free?}

Sir Tesla writes:

The realtor should not work for free. He should pass on the work
to a suitable realtor that has no possible liabilities or
conflicts of interest.

[EC: To be fair, there are three different realtors working on
the potential sale. Two of which are full time realtors.
the company is "Hilton and Hyland".
http://www.hiltonhyland.com/

While we DO have somewhat of a problem with part of the money
going to a Local 47 member, a current or former RMA member at
that, we must admit it's not illegal, nor untoward to many. Indeed,
many members have been forced to seek alternative employment
owing to the drastic loss of work... and we all know who to look at
for that.]

===================================

III. COMMENTS

I am really glad to read this website posts which
carries tons of valuable data, thanks for providing this data.

========================================
Read the rest of this entry »

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! / JANUARY 4TH MEETING / COMMENTS / EVENTS

December 27th, 2015

****** HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE COMMITTEE******

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED/CLUB 47″ MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH
II. COMMENTS
III. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer

…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’

scoring musician

…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician

…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

===================================

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED” MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH

On January 4th, Monday at 7PM please be at the Local to
voice your opinion.

Please plan now to be at the special meeting called by concerned
members about the potential sale and the Local’s methods
in regards to the sale.

Concerned members called for a special meeting to
address their concerns on the building sale and the Local’s
conduit in regards to the sale.

There were three areas of concern to be considered:

1) Nullification of the Ballots and the reissue of said ballots
with a totally clear meaning, not the duplicitous ballots we
were sent.

We were informed the the Local would call that Motion out
of order. Seems after some research that once ballots are
sent they cannot be recalled and must run their course.
How convenient…

2) The delay of the sale until members are fully informed of
all aspects of the sale. Who benefits, who get the money, who
oversees the money, etc.

3) Guarantee that all letters and comments sent to the Local
about the sale, pro and con are immediately printed on the
Local’s Website AND in the next print issue of the Overture.

We need your voice and your support!

Please be there.

===================================

II. COMMENTS

My thoughts are that the local member/realtor should
donate his entire post-tax fee to a music school or
music education program. Or something similar.
It’s a blatant and offensive conflict of interest.

Sir Tesla

————————————-

If you owned your house outright with property tax protection…
would you really sell and make a move that would be guaranteed
to increase your overhead because you needed repairs or a new
roof? We could have had a referendum for a loan to take on such
expenses…and not just liquidate. The Club has reported a profit
every year …you don’t see something wrong with this picture?
You would liquidate? Bankruptcy is nonsense!

————————————-

As a Local 7 member, I’m pretty POed that this is the 2nd time
Local 47 has scheduled a function the same night as Local 7.

Doesn’t anybody check these things?

————————————-

I just got an email from BMI where they are going to bundle
votes to send to Congress.

How difficult would it be to bundle votes which oppose issues
in the union and present them to L47. This is something both
RMALA and 47 would overly discourage . If anything just to
have on record.

This could be an opposition voice of most of the 7000
members and sent directly to the Board in future matters
from the committee.

Someone suggested voting through emails years ago and
was shot down because they didn’t want most musicians
to have a voice only the ones who controlled the work.

Read the rest of this entry »

SPECIAL MEETING / COMMENTS / EVENTS

December 20th, 2015

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED” MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH
II. COMMENTS
III. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

===================================

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED” MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH

On January 4th, Monday at 7PM please be at the Local to
voice your opinion.

Please plan now to be at the special meeting called by concerned
members about the potential sale and the Local’s methods
in regards to the sale.

Concerned members called for a special meeting to
address their concerns on the building sale and the Local’s
conduit in regards to the sale.

There were three areas o concern to be considered:

1) Nullification of the Ballots and the reissue of said ballots
with a totally clear meaning, not the duplicitous ballots we
were sent.

We were informed the the Local would call that Motion out
of order. Seems after some research that once ballots are
sent they cannot be recalled and must run their course.
How convenient…

2) The delay of the sale until members are fully informed of
all aspects of the sale. Who benefits, who get the money, who
oversees the money, etc.

3) Guarantee that all letters and comments sent to the Local
about the sale, pro and con are immediately printed on the
Local’s Website AND in the next print issue of the Overture.

We need your voice and your support!

Please be there.

===================================

II. COMMENTS

I am glad that the special meeting will request information
regarding money. Will any officers of the local benefit
financially from the building sale? I state the obvious that
that would land them in jail. But I wouldn’t put it past one
or more when so much money is on the table. It may be just
too much to resist.

Mr. Kool Aid

————————————-

The realtor stands to make at least around $192,000
(2.5% of $22m, with a 70/30 split with the company).
From what I understand the L47 realtor is a local L47 member.

[EC: Yes, ONE of the realtors from Hilton and Hyland is a
Local 47 member, violinist and RMA Member, Darius Campo.
Some have called that a conflict of interest.

Any thoughts?]

————————————

Comment:
Our building is prime real estate. There are so many other
ways to make up any ’short fall’ with this property. There
needs to be real, successful, accomplished business people
employed to run this local. Every other suggestion is a joke.

========================================

Read the rest of this entry »

JANUARY 4th MEETING / CALL / PARANOIA / COMMENTS / EVENTS

December 13th, 2015

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED” MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH
II. CALL NUMBER THREE - MEMBER COMMENT
III. PARANOIA - MEMBER COMMENTARY
IV. COMMENTS
V. EVENTS

…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity - Former Musician’s Union officer
…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity - Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician
…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal - L.A. Symphonic musician
…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention - National touring musician

Name Withheld

===================================

I. SPECIAL “MEMBER CALLED” MEETING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 4TH

On January 4th, Monday at 7PM please be at the Local to
voice your opinion.

Please plan now to be at the special meeting called by concerned
members about the potential sale and the Local’s methods
in regards to the sale.

Concerned members called for a special meeting to
address their concerns on the building sale and the Local’s
conduit in regards to the sale.

There were three areas o concern to be considered:

1) Nullification of the Ballots and the reissue of said ballots
with a totally clear meaning, not the duplicitous ballots we
were sent.

We were informed the the Local would call that Motion out
of order. Seems after some research that once ballots are
sent they cannot be recalled and must run their course.
How convenient…

2) The delay of the sale until members are fully informed of
all aspects of the sale. Who benefits, who get the money, who
oversees the money, etc.

3) Guarantee that all letters and comments sent to the Local
about the sale, pro and con are immediately printed on the
Local’s Website AND in the next print issue of the Overture.

We need your voice and your support!

Please be there.

===================================

II. CALL NUMBER THREE - MEMBER COMMENT
How many calls have YOU gotten?

Many members have started feeling absolutely harassed
by the number of calls they’re getting trying to strong-arm
them into voting yes….

Here’s one we thought you’d enjoy:
 
Received “call number 3” today from the folks trying to get
us to return our ballots with a “yes” vote.

I am NOT making this up! This is exactly how the conversation went-

The caller, John said

1. “Our Local is $761,971 in debt! We must sell the building”
I asked about the financial statement at the Oct 5 Musicians
Club meeting - “Our Local is $900,000 in the black”

He replied that the $900,000 is “in reserve”
I asked “which is it, John? Both statements can’t be true”

2.“Our building needs a new roof! Estimate is $200,000!
We must sell the building”!

I asked why then at the Oct 26 General meeting did our
Officers state the building is “structurally sound”?

3. “Our building needs $50,000 in electrical grid upgrades!
We are “at capacity!” We must sell the building”!

I said “Since we are under Building Code laws from when
the structure was built, we are legal”

I forgot to point out to him that the 2nd floor is 2/3 empty

4. “We are out of Building Code compliance– we have no
elevator to allow wheelchair customers access to the Musicians
Credit Union”!

I said “Since we are under Building Code laws from when the
structure was built, we don’t have to have an elevator. And
if necessary we could easily move the Credit Union downstairs
to give access”.

I then asked John the all-important questions-
“Are you a Local #47 Member”? –No

“Are you employed by the advertising firm trying to get everyone
to vote “Yes” with rah-rah tactics? –No

“Are you being paid to make these phonecalls??!! –Yes –
PAID BY THE LOCAL! (Our dues)
 
I told John that virtually every member I talk with says the same
thing-

“We don’t have enough info yet to make an informed decision,
yes or no”

In other words the “callers” are now using a list of “emergency facts”
saying a yes vote is the only way to avoid disaster.

Lastly, I pointed out to John that -
The majority of our members are well educated and intelligent;
That we know better than to rush into a Real Estate decision;
That providing us all with information pro and con, rather than 
this emotional rah-rah ad campaign would have got far better
results so far;
And that these secret “frantic” actions have made everyone
wonder why are we in such a hurry?
 
I’m not against selling the building, but I want to know all the
facts first, thank you very much.
 
ANONYMOUS COMMENT – saying what everyone else is thinking.

===================================

III. PARANOIA - MEMBER COMMENTARY

“Just because someone is paranoid it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a
conspiracy.”

None of this stuff adds up. It’s all ambiguous.

Ambiguity is the protector of incompetent leadership.

All year, the S/T has reported that “We’re in the black.” Now, without
explanation, they are $700K in the red. But wait, the EB is great at
managing the finances - they said so themselves. Now, I just found
out that Local 47 is behind on its per capita payment to the AFM,
which was due in November. Yet, they were 400K plus in the
black at the end of October.

Maybe the time has come (The Time Is Now?) to do a forensic
financial audit of the local and get to the bottom of it all.
There are provisions in the Local Bylaws for it:

§V-4 (Secretary/Treasurer duties):

“(n) keep an accurate and current account of the properties and
of all financial transactions of the Local, as well as an account of
all receipts, disbursements, and transactions pertaining to security
and trust deposits, all of which shall be open for inspection by the
Executive Board or by any member at any time during normal
business hours and make certain that the property of the Local
is properly insured;”

§XIII-2 (Right to information):

“Right to Information: Every member shall have the right to information
concerning the rules, action, and other matters affecting the membership
of the Local, and shall have the right to a copy of the annual Financial
Report of the Local and to have reasonable access to any books, records,
accounts, or other supporting documents connected with the finances of
the Local. Every member shall have the right to a current copy of the
Bylaws of the Local and of the Federation.”

========================================

IV. COMMENTS

About the video on the Vienna scoring stage, it speaks
volumes about our business and the LA musicians promoting
it.

Read the rest of this entry »