Time to air issues

The five members of the board of Millicent community radio station 5 THE-FM have responded to calls from a section of the local community for a public meeting to discuss aspects of the operation of the 35-year-old facility.

The disgruntled community members were not able to convince the community radio station to call a special general meeting in Millicent.

As a result, they have arranged an open forum for 6.30pm on July 21 at St Alphonsus Hall in George Street with a Mount Gambier media identity expected to be its independent chairman.

Some of the backers of the public meeting were formerly involved as active on-air and behind-the-scenes volunteers with the radio station.

They have expressed their dissatisfaction to 5 THE-FM management while others have lodged complaints with regulatory bodies.

The SE Voice has approached THE-FM for comment about the proposed public meeting and received a written reply in recent days from a partner in a prominent South East legal firm.

The letter was a copy of one he had sent to the community member who is organising the July 21 public meeting.

The lawyer said he was acting on behalf of the 5 THE-FM board: Judy Altschwager (chairperson), Sheryl Lowe (manager and deputy chairperson), Pamela Crowe (secretary) and Collette Dredge and Nicole McRostie (board members).

In essence, the lawyer said the request for a special general meeting of the community radio station had not been made in accordance with the constitution of 5 THE-FM.

He referred to two letters dated June 6 and June 20 from the disgruntled community members seeking a special general meeting of 5 THE-FM.

“Such letters fail to satisfy the criteria required for a Special General Meeting as set out in the 5 THE-FM Constitution,” stated the lawyer.

“The letter of requisition is not prepared on behalf of at least 25% of all 5 THE-FM Members (Rule 16(3)).

“Neither you, nor any of those persons listed in your letter of June 6, 2022 are members of the 5 THE-FM Association.

“Whilst we acknowledge some have been members previously, during financial year 2021/2022 not one of those people listed in your letter paid a subscription fee and therefore pursuant to Rule 63(3) on the Constitution, as the subscription was outstanding for more than three months after the due date of July 1, 2021, those people that were a member in the prior financial year ceased to be a member from October 1, 2021 and to those people who have not paid a subscription in recent years would not have been a member since having last paid the subscription 2 of 3 fee.

“We note that all of those persons listed in your letter of June 20, 2022 have not been a member for many years.

“Therefore, the request to convene a Special General Meeting fails because it was not called by members of the 5 THE-FM Association.

“Furthermore, the request to convene a Special General Meeting of 5 THE-FM fails as the requisitions were not signed by the requisitioners.

“For this reason, we have advised the 5 THE-FM board members they are not required to call and convene a Special General Meeting.

“We have advised the 5 THE-FM board the requisitioners are not in a position to convene a Special General Meeting as they are not members of the association and therefore are not in a position to convene and conduct such meeting.”

Backers of the July 21 public meeting are understood by The SE Voice to have a different interpretation of the Constitution of 5 THE-FM.

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