Wednesday, September 16, 2009

WGMC's Wine & Jazz Fundraiser Gets Green Light From GCSD Lawyers

Recently, I asked how far should zero tolerance policies reach in the Greece School District. I brought up the Wine & Jazz Fundraiser scheduled for Thursday night at the Memorial Art Gallery as an example. I asked : "Should this public service radio station of the district nix the alcohol in keeping with the district's zero tolerance policies?"

Apparently, the BOE asked the Harris Beach law firm for an opinion. I received an email which states that  a written legal opinion from Harris Beach "green lights" the use of wine during this event. It goes on to say:

"The reason given is that the district, while holding the license for the station, does not exercise control over Greece Community Broadcasting, Inc, a non profit organization. Greece Community Broadcasting , Inc. exists for the purpose of raising the necessary funds to keep the station operating via its donations. The district does not provide any funding toward the operation of the station. The fundraiser is not a "workplace event" thus is not covered by our current related district policies on alcohol use."

I find this opinion to be most interesting. Since WGMC resides inside Olympia High School and gets use of district facilities and equipment free of charge, it puts GCSD in a parental role. The station remains there at the pleasure of the school district, sort of like the adult child who returns home and gets to live in the basement rent-free. Since mom & dad own the house, they can make the rules, set a curfew, etc. If the adult child doesn't like the rules, he/she is free to leave. I think the same is true for GCSD who is ultimately responsible for WGMC.

Every hour on the hour during BOE meetings there is an announcement reminding us of that fact: "You're listening to WGMC 90.1FM, a public service of the Greece Central School District."

Could WGMC survive without rent-free facilities in GCSD? Methinks not, just my two cents worth.


Anonymous said...

here is a link that explains the status of this inc.

It appears that this is not just a fund raiser org but also is the corp that does the broadcasting and "informing." This is not a separate organization from WGMC.
and who pays the salaries of the man at the top of the station? their assets would not cover even his salary.

Anonymous said...

You can't have it both ways. It cannot be a "public service of the Greece Central School District" and at the same time be a "non profit incorporated organization".

Furthermore, if it is a public service of the Greece Central School District, than district funds would have to pay to operate it.

In the same breath they claim that the station can host fundraisers off the premises under the station name, exempting itself from liability, when in fact and indeed it is a taxpayer supported endeavor if even ONE dollar of taxpayer supplied funding is applied, which facilities DO count.

This is as crafty as the BS they tried to pull when trying to takeover the public television station.

From the Department of State Corporate listings:

Initial DOS Filing Date: MARCH 02, 1983
County: MONROE
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
Current Entity Status: ACTIVE

Selected Entity Address Information DOS Process (Address to which DOS will mail process if accepted on behalf of the entity)
Registered Agent

Note that the address is that of Athena High School. Therefore, the School District has listed the school's address as the corporation's address.

They state they DO own the license (FCC), but have no control over the not for profit corporation?

Harris Beach - the lawfirm of Maggie Brooks, the employer of most of the Greece Town Board.

Will this BS ever cease?

The event is in violation of the school's zero tolerance policy. The problem is with the guy who runs the station.

According to the stations website: "Jazz90.1: Member Supported Jazz Radio in Rochester, N.Y. » Listen ..."

Member supported? Horsesh*t - it's Taxpayer supported!

But contact data on the website says to send demo CD's to:

Please send the above information to:

Jazz90.1 Concert Series
attn: Rob Linton
1139 Maiden Lane
Rochester, NY 14615

To Rob Linton...this Rob Linton:

The same Rob Linton who fails to mention ANYWHERE that he works for a not for profit out of a school district building, and instead touts the fact that it's one of a handful of 24 hour jazz stations in the country.

24 hours? The school building is accessible to them? Hmmm...l i a b i l i t y

Here's MPN's take on the event:

Take a look at the pictures on their website. This does not look like a school sponsored event:

And of course, what's an annual crooked Greece event without Jackie Auboiger:

or Jeff McCann, wearing their nice Town of Greece taxpayer supported clothing:

Here they are at Jim Alesi's International Jazz Festival - note the signs. Where's any mention of it being a Greece Central not-for-profit?

Yes, these look like students, and while you're there, take a glance at some of the eats and the auction items. Where does the money raised go? Where is the accounting for all of this?

Anonymous said...

If anyone drinks too much and gets into an accident afterward it will not only be this not for profit that gets sued.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SCATS said...

BLOG Administration is reposting the previous comment minus one word:

Anonymous said...
Oh yeah, and ask yourself how much these personalized champagne glasses are costing the school taxpayers.

I'll bet that xxxxx doesn't even live in Greece.

SCATS said...

To 12:16 & 12:24AM ~~ You've REALLY done some great research! Thank you!! I hope some schoolboard members take a looksee.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scat; you are absolutly right on this one.
The message to this law firm - don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining.
I might remind readers this is the same law firm that brought you life time health care for Walts - that wrote the resolution.
We fired this firm (1st thing) in 2005 only to be hired 'back' last year by the board.
There is little doubt this firm is giving the board just what they wanted IE tell me what I want to hear.
Here we go again????

Anonymous said...

there are serous problems with the way WGMC is organized and Linton is a part of that.

it's not a "community" station, no one in the community can use it but a PR arm of the school district from which it then claims exemption

SCATS said...

To 9:59AM ~~ I suspect you are correct. One thing that has always bothered me and stuck in my mind was that I remember reading in the D&C a very small out-of-the-way blurb about WGMC moving from Apollo to Olympia HS. It caught my attention at the time, because I hadn't heard anyone mention anything about it, so I was curious. Quite sometime later, the BOE suddenly "discovered" a broadcasting studio at Olympia HS.

Now, I admit, I've never seen the radio or TV studios, but it seemed odd to me that NONE of the nine BOE people at the time took note that WGMC moved or questioned why they did so. I'm wondering if they were told that the station was moving? Or was that kept secret, too, aside from that tiny blurb in the newspaper? I suspect that could be tracked down through some FOIL requests.

LeRogueBlogger said...

The law firm is correct legally but I am sure GCSD told them to find the law/loophole to make it work. Yeah I know understatement of the year.

Anonymous said...

Does Linton work for the school district?
I believe i saw where he was hired by the super.

Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, after working for 30 years within the legal system, lawyers will give you any result you want.

How do you think they make their money? They tell you it's ok to do one thing or another and if later, it turns out it's not ok, then they will defend you in the lawsuit. It's a win-win situation for them.

If there is no contest to their advice, they make their money anyway. I have never heard a lawyer tell a client they couldn't do something (unless, of course, it was totally illegal, like robbing a bank). They consult with their client, listen to what it is the client wants, then supposedly they research the law (ha ha) and advise them that it's perfectly ok.

LikeOhMyGod! said...

Like oh my god...I have the bestest idea! Let's hold an illegal wine tasting in the stealth studios at Olympia, all while watching hijacked EduCable in the hidden TV studio!!! We can even invite the board member who posted a confidential memo with this blog! Maybe afterward, we all can go down to police headquarters and shread some papers! So sweet...this sounds like a great time!

SCATS said...

To 3:45PM ~~ It sounds like you got a head start on sampling the vino! If you think the lawyer's opinion on a public gathering for a non-profit group hosted by GCSD was "CONFIDENTIAL" then I am pretty sure you are part of the problem, instead of part of the solution. I said "apparently the BOE asked for a legal opinion." I didn't say where I got my info from ... big difference ;)

Anonymous said...

I think everyone can guess who you got your "Information " from

SCATS said...

To 4:11PM ~~ You're correct. Everyone could guess. Would any guess correctly? That remains to be seen. Besides, the origin of the legal opinion isn't the issue at hand. The wine tasting tonight is.

Anonymous said...

Wow...what a hang over!