Minutes, Monday May 11, 2009

Minutes, Monday May 11, 2009

Postby Cable Committee » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:51 pm

DOUGLAS CABLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE Meeting Minutes Monday May 11, 2009 – Douglas Municipal Center Prepared by Pat Aldrich
Members Present: Tom Devlin, Mitch Cohen, Fred Fontaine, Bob Werme, Rich Preston Staff Present: Pat Aldrich Meeting Opened by Tom Devlin @ 7:10pm 1. Minutes: 4/13 – Not ready.
2. Correspondence: Hearing: Bill to dilute local cable authority, legislatures joint committee telecommunications utilities and energy public hearing set for July 22. Bill brought up by Verizon would significantly shorten licensing negotiation times to 90 days. Mitch spoke to committee (2) years ago about ill effect on community and volunteer driven committees. Mitch expressed that it is a new twist on the old bill, where instead of being a statewide bill, it is focused on quick and consistent contract approvals that would be detrimental to volunteer boards and small towns while benefiting Verizon. Mitch asked to appear and speak in opposition to bill. Town council pointed out negotiating factors with Verizon in the case that they do approach the town. DCAC has sent letter to invite Verizon, but they have not replied. Mitch spoke to high-ranking Verizon rep at MMA conference in January who said that based on their formula, Douglas was not on 2009 schedule, though the 2010 schedule had not been set. Verizon can retrofit towns due to their owning of the poles, so they have less advance notice when approaching towns in general.
Charter Letter: Sr. Discount 10% off (65 years or older) - $1.30 a month. Charter has received info that 20% of customers receiving discount are not in that category, and will be corrected.
Charter Letter: Re-issued (2) Checks for PEG grant fund, original check did not clear.
3. Finance: Status on funding - April wages: 1,152.50, Repairs: 75.27, Office supplies: 29.43, Additional Equipment: 180.25, TOTAL MONTHLY: 1,437.40 – TOTAL YEAR (July-April 30): 18,351.55 which is on track to date. New MacPro to be purchased.
4. Cable Coordinator Report: Class Scheduling for next LEVEL 1 VIDEO CLASS: starting June 4th – July 23rd Thursday nights 7pm-10pm. Slide was made, Uxbridge Times Ad out, Telegram and Gazette, Town Website. Logo presented by Pat, Motion to adopt logo as presented – Rich motion, Mitch 2nd Unanimous favor.
5. Local Program Hour: (2) People have expressed interest in hosting.
6. Charter Communications Reorganization: Under bankruptcy laws. Ownership will change from Paul Allen (90%) reduced to (35%) with the (65%) going to stock holders. DCAC has been asked to make recommendation to Selectmen. Tom explained as per Mr. Brown (Charter) we may wish to vote consent to cancel current Charter stock and reissue new Charter stock in exchange for $3 Billion cash infusion into company. Options: Selectmen need to have town hearing on transfer of ownership, all info to be made public in various ways if standing in opposition. Town Attorney: Town Meeting will take time and expense, Selectmen don’t need to have meeting, no action is seen as no opposition – or “constructively granted”. Cable Advisory: Cash infusion may help, new ownership and reorganization could be positive, Tom suggested to let it push through without opposition. After some discussion on possible outcomes, the motion was made by Mitch to recommend to the Board of Selectmen to take no action other than providing necessary action to Town Clerk, Bob 2nd, unanimous favor.
7. Equipment purchase: nothing yet.
8. FY10 Budget: Revised budget was given out, changing some items around. Total expense of 32,355.00 with 20% capital improvement. Cable Coordinator @ 15 hours a week for 50 weeks, 4 meetings a week for cable recording assistants over 50 weeks. Coordinator’s salary 11,625.00 stipends up to 8,400.00 salary 20,025.00 with everything else pretty much the same. Set aside 8,219.00 going forward. Rich had asked how much we had in capital – Tom replied balance at June 30th 2008 was 148,799.98 – Budget for this year was 30,222.00 – Spring will receive 40,574.00 from Charter. FY10 Budget is 32,355.00 should have126,797.00 net capital. Rich motion to approve budget as presented for FY10, Fred 2nd – unanimous favor. Mitch reccomended rate increases as set by Town Meeting: 2.25% step increase as deserved. Cola 1.5% approved at Town Meeting. Cable Coordinator would go 15 – 15.57 an hour using 2.25 + 1.5 – Cable Recording Assistants would go from 40 - 41.50 an hour starting July 1st scheduled for next meeting.
9. Other Business: We need more recording assistants, help wanted, craigslist, no paid ads.
10. Adjournment: Motion by Mitch, 2nd by Rich, unanimous favor.
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