Grange hall available for rent!
Montague Cable Advisory Committee
mik - Tue, Sep 28, 2004, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 9/14/04
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee meeting of 9/14/04

Present: John Reynolds (chair), Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Absent: Mike Naughton

The meeting was called to order at 7:15.

Minutes of the 8/24/04 meeting were approved unanimously.

The first item of business was a report by John Reynolds on the requests to Comcast for 1) connections to Dry Hill Road; 2) installation of upstream capabilities at Town Hall; 3) drops at other Montague locations; 4) mailing out subscriber satisfaction survey; 5) providing the MCAC with a cable map.

John reported that Comcast is sending out its own team to assess whether Dry Hill Road is eligible for a line extension. Comcast is assessing the costs to hook up Town Hall and have requested specific information regarding the other public buildings for which downstream drops have been requested. Comcast will not be able to send out the MCAC-initiated subscriber satisfaction survey. Another mechanism will, therefore, have to be found for assessing customer satisfaction. Comcast will try to get a cable map to the MCAC.

The rest of the meeting was taken up with a discussion of Chriss working draft of criteria for determining how to assess potential and present local access providers. Appendix A (below) contains Chriss document as submitted, followed by the revised document that reflects the input from the meeting.

The next meeting of the MCAC will be held on October 13, 2004 at the Great Falls Discovery Center. This meeting will be devoted to developing evaluative and submittal criteria for the public hearings on local access.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary


APPENDIX A
Local Access Criteria (Working Draft)

General:
· The proposed organization must be a 501(c)(3) corporation.
· The proposed organization must have a minimum of five-years experience in providing local access.
· The present (or eventual) facility must be located in Montague.
· The proposed organization must demonstrate a commitment to PEG programming.

Specific: Each proposal should contain the following from each proposing organization:

· a mission statement containing a statement of philosophy;
· an organizational plan;
· a 3-year business plan that demonstrates allocation of resources, staffing plans, program development, community involvement, proposed community training, etc.;
· a capital plan;
· a detailed statement of staff qualifications and background;
· a proposal for assessing on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns;
· a proposal for assessing on an ongoing basis customer satisfaction;
· a proposal for enhancing basic funding through grants, underwriting, etc. Any history of acquiring grants for public access purposes should be included;
· a detailed inventory of present equipment in working condition that could be used for local access purposes and/or what equipment the organization plans to purchase over the first three years to enhance community programming;
· a proposal demonstrating how the organization intends to conduct workshops in the community facility; what the topics will be; and a proposed schedule for these workshops;
· A detailed statement demonstrating how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming;
· A statement demonstrating the proposed ratio of Montague-originated programming to that of external programming as well as plans for increasing this percentage;

Proposals should also include statements demonstrating how the proposing organization intends to comply with the following obligations expected of the local access provider:

· be responsible for programming free from censorship;
· be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers;
· develop and promote programming;
· make public facility available on a fixed schedule of at least 30 hours per week;
· assume fundraising responsibilities;
· be responsible for continual and consistent community outreach;
· be responsible for outreach to the schools;
· provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Selectboard regarding activities and expenditure of resources. The financial statements must be specific in regard to overall personnel costs. Expenses for overhead, including equipment purchased and maintained, must be detailed.
· be responsible for ensuring an acceptable level of technical quality of all programs;
· maintain a log of programming available to the general public.
· maintain a complaint/compliment file available to the general public. These should include downloaded emails and/or notes of telephone responses.
· demonstrate an ability and willingness to broadcast annual town meetings and other important government meetings or public hearings
· maintain a library of recent and current local access programs
· provide and maintain a community calendar as a PSA

Contract Terms

· a contract (not letter of intent) should be issued by the Selectboard to the chosen local access provider for a term of three years;
· the designated provider will maintain workers compensation, liability, general comprehensive and non-owned vehicle liability insurance naming the Town as co-insured in force throughout the term of the contract and will provide the Town with certificates showing compliance;
· the designated provider will require every access user to indemnify the Town and the designated access provider and hold both harmless against any claims arising out of any program material produced and/or cablecast;
· the Town will assume the cost and responsibility for insuring equipment used to meet the local access needs;
· Annually, within 90 days of the anniversary of the contract, the designated provider will take part in a public performance evaluation. The purpose will be to determine whether the provider is performing its duties pursuant to this contract.
· The contract may be terminated by the Town if the designated provider files for bankruptcy or is found, after the annual review, to be in serious breach of its responsibilities to the citizens of Montague.




Local Access Criteria (REVISED VERSION)

General:
· The proposed organization must be a 501(c)(3) corporation and must furnish evidence of this including by-laws, and membership on board of directors.
· The proposed organization must have a minimum of five-years experience in providing local access.
· The studio must be located in Montague.
· The proposed organization must demonstrate a strong commitment to PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming.

Specific: Each proposal should contain the following from each proposing organization:

· a mission statement;
· an organizational plan;
· a 3-year business plan that demonstrates allocation of resources, a capital plan, a financial plan including a detailed first-year of operation budget, as well as staffing plans, program development, community involvement, and proposed community training
· detailed job descriptions;
· personnel policies
· a proposal for assessing on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns;
· a proposal for assessing on an ongoing basis customer satisfaction;
· a proposal for enhancing basic funding through grants, underwriting, etc. Any history of acquiring grants for public access purposes should be included;
· a detailed inventory of present equipment in working condition that could be used for local access purposes and/or what equipment the organization plans to purchase over the first three years to enhance community programming;
· a proposal demonstrating how the organization intends to conduct workshops in the community facility; what the topics will be; and a proposed schedule for these workshops;
· A detailed statement demonstrating how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming including outreach to the community and schools;
· A statement demonstrating the proposed ratio of Montague-originated programming to that of external programming, as well as plans for increasing this percentage;

The designated provider will:

· be responsible for programming free from censorship;
· be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers;
· make public facility available on a fixed schedule;
· provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Selectboard regarding activities and expenditure of resources. The financial statements must be specific in regard to overall personnel costs. Expenses for overhead, including equipment purchased and maintained, must be detailed.
· be responsible for ensuring an acceptable level of technical quality of all programs;
· maintain a log of programming available to the general public.
· maintain a complaint/compliment file available to the general public. These should include downloaded emails and/or notes of telephone responses.
· demonstrate an ability and willingness to broadcast annual town meetings and other important government meetings or public hearings
· maintain a library of recent and current local access programs
· provide and maintain a community calendar as a PSA

Contract Terms [All members agreed that these boiler-plateitems are best left to lawyers]

· a contract (not letter of intent) should be issued by the Selectboard to the chosen local access provider for a term of three years;
· the designated provider will maintain workers compensation, liability, general comprehensive and non-owned vehicle liability insurance naming the Town as co-insured in force throughout the term of the contract and will provide the Town with certificates showing compliance;
· the designated provider will require every access user to indemnify the Town and hold both harmless against any claims arising out of any program material produced and/or cablecast;
· the Town will assume the cost and responsibility for insuring Town-owned equipment used to meet the local access needs;
· Annually, within 90 days of the anniversary of the contract, the designated provider will take part in a public performance evaluation overseen by the Cable Advisory Committee. The purpose will be to determine whether the provider is performing its duties pursuant to this contract.
· The contract may be terminated by the Town if the designated provider files for bankruptcy or is found, after the annual review, to be in serious breach of its responsibilities to the citizens of Montague.