Minutes, Monday, September 14, 2009

Minutes, Monday, September 14, 2009

Postby Cable Committee » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:44 pm


Meeting Minutes

Monday September 14, 2009 – Douglas Municipal Center

Prepared by Pat Aldrich

Members Present: Mitch Cohen, Michelle Fontaine, Fred Fontaine, Rich Preston, Bob Werme
Staff Present: None.

Meeting Opened by Mitch Cohen @ 7:02pm

1.) Minutes: None available.
2.) Correspondence: Personnel Board memo indicating that they voted to not be videotaped any longer. They had based this decision on some research one of their members had done through the state’s Public Records office. After Mitch confirmed the board’s intention directly through their chair, he reminded them of the Open Meeting Law, in which anyone can bring a video recorder into a meeting. The Cable Committee could vote on not taping the Board due to specific topics or executive session issues, but there was no clear indication on why they did not wish to be taped at the time. Mitch invited them to this Cable Advisory Meeting, but they wanted to have another meeting with their own Board to discuss some of the general issues that he’d brought to their attention. They should be getting back in writing with any decision or questions. This issue has come up with other meetings like the Assessor’s Meeting, which meets almost exclusively in executive session.
Charter Complaint from Mark Serra – Email to Mitch: Periodic outages that would interfere with his home alarm system, he had trouble contacting and getting a response from Charter, but the problem has been resolved. An issue he raised was the fact that he had been paying on a Maintenance Contract as part of his Charter Bundle, and was asked to pay additional fees to resolve his problems, but they did decide to finally waive the fee. Mitch asked the committee for their approval to contact Tom Cohan at Charter for some clarification on some of these issues. Bob mentioned that there is an escalation phone line that helps get issues resolved faster, but Mitch noted that as a Committee, the proper way to contact Charter is through Tom Cohan, but he will ask if we could possibly have and give out the escalation line to customers with issues. Mitch also noted that complaints used to come through almost once a month, and have dropped to once every few months, so things are getting better.
3.) Finance: Expenditures: Mitch did not have the numbers, but mentioned that the DVD-R was in and running, as long as some blank videotapes and other supplies for daily office use. He noted that next meeting we can decide on buying another DVD-R for the backup. Mitch also mentioned that he is preparing the online budgetary pages, and asked the committee for their approval on making the information public in this matter, since it is public information, and he hopes it will set an example to other committees.
4.) Public Access Programming: Michelle asked if the programming needs to be from Douglas, Mitch said that the programming does not need to necessarily come from Douglas, but we are trying to encourage this. Michelle said that she could open the conversation with the Library Director (Ann Carlson) about setting up a camera as previously discussed for things like Children’s Readings, things of that nature. Octoberfest was mentioned as a possible target for content, Mitch said that in the past there has been a lot of taping from different volunteers, but no real program has been put together for a while. Rich mentioned the need to facilitate public programs through an outreach by the Committee with an offer of a long term equipment loan. A simplified basic bundle of equipment with instructions and a simple post-production touch up (mostly one camera shots with tripod, intro, credits) as an incentive to encourage local programs. He also noted that we should now identify these entities and then make an effort to reach out to them with our proposal. From there, we could create a basic application for other public entities interested. Instead of the previous idea of granting the equipment to different entities, we could pose it as a long term loan, so that we will remain the owners. Mitch said that we should put together a letter detailing our proposal. Rich said that he would go ahead and draft that letter that will be approved by the board before we send it out. Training and support could also be offered. Michelle mentioned that we could also use the town Bulletin Board to reach out after the beginning phase opens up. NOTED ENTITIES: Jenckes Store, Library, Historical Committee, Churches, Sports, Fire and Police Dept., Senior Center. There was discussion about particular parameters of the program that may need to be detailed. Goal for next meeting, Draft Letter with Parameters, 8-10 target entities, formulate a policy form addressing the rules and details. Rich noted that we are looking for longevity with this outreach program idea, not something quick and frivolous, but some long term programming from local producers. Michelle also mentioned the Video Alumni party, which became a detailed discussion on how to operate it, including refreshments, taping of the party, creating a video montage of all the students who have been through the class, and picking a possible date to shoot for. Mitch asked Michelle to set up a time and date to practice with the green screen.
5.) Equipment Purchase: Arthur Griffin (video recording assistant) had asked if we could put a fourth camera in the Resource Room to assist in taping meetings, as some angles are difficult to get. Although there had been a plan to triangulate the angles of the current three cameras, but that would compromise current coverage. We would need about $1,250.00 for fourth camera plus the cables. The current recording setup would handle this addition, but it would be a little more technical than the current setup. Fred mentioned that we could possibly set up a fourth camera as a static shot on wide to get a room shot, which would be less expensive. Mitch did inform him that there is quite a lot of movement and changing positions within many of the committees. Michelle mentioned that it would be nice to get Pat’s outlook on this matter at the next meeting. Mitch invited the rest of the committee to pull up a meeting on the web and look at the current coverage in the Resource Room.
6.) Missing Members: Eben Cheseborough has stepped down from the committee, though being asked to stay on by Mitch. He is submitting a letter of resignation, which will open another vacancy. Mitch has been trying to get in touch with Carole Field, as she has missed some consecutive meetings. Mitch opened up the invitation for at least one opening, for which interested parties should come in to the town hall and fill out an application as per town policy.
7.) Next Meeting: October 5, 2009 with invite to Personnel Board. Fred said that we should contact Mark Serra a day or two before the meeting to get a heads up on how he’s doing, and show that we are following the progress and appreciate his detailed concerns.
8.) Adjourn: Mitch made motion to adjourn at 7:55 pm, unanimous favor.
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