Cable Advisory: MCAC Minutes
mik - Fri, Oct 15, 2004, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 10/13/04
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 10/13/04
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford

Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:13 p.m.

The first item on the agenda was approval of the minutes from the 9/14/04 meeting.
Chris and John approved; Mike abstained, as he was not present at the 9/14 meeting. Since both Roy and Sammy arrived late, they neither approved nor disapproved the minutes.

The second item on the agenda was a report by John Reynolds regarding Comcasts response at the 10/12/04 Selectboard Meeting to the Towns request for 1) information on the feasibility of new drop and uplinks; 2) Dry Hill Road hook-ups.
John reported that Comcasts Dan Glanville and Steve Fitzgibbons told the Selectboard that they had satisfied the terms of the contract regarding free cable origination; any further origination sites would incur installation costs. Since the original MCAC request for hook-ups was lengthy, they suggested that the MCAC narrow the list to include the most important sites. John will arrange for an MCAC meeting with Comcast (proposed for Nov. 23) to discuss this matter. Regarding Dry Hill Road, Glanville stated that his engineers had counted houses to determine whether the road now qualified for cable hook-up and found that there were only 18.5 houses over 8/10ths of a mile, instead of the required 20.

The third item on the agenda was further discussion of the local access criteria. The document was revised (see revision below, Appendix A). All members agreed that a public hearing (public comment session) will be held on Nov. 3 to gather additional feedback from the public. The committee also agreed that there will be no discussion of items at this hearing; the committee will simply listen to responses and take them under advisement. Mike also suggested, and the members approved, that responses by email or snail mail could be sent to the MCAC in advance of the hearing. Chris will post the Criteria electronically at once the revised criteria are approved by the MCAC as a whole. In addition, the criteria will be posted on GCTV as a PSA; in the libraries, at Town Hall, and will be printed in The Montague Reporter.

The meeting adjourned at 8:54 p.m. The next meeting will be the public hearing on 11/3/04.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno,
Recording Secretary

Appendix A: Local Access Criteria (revised)

· 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 maintain a studio in Montague.
· The proposed organization must demonstrate a strong commitment to PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming.
· Preference will be given to organizations with experience in providing local access
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 line-item first-year of operation budget, as well as staffing plans, program development, community involvement, and proposed community training
· job descriptions;
· personnel policies
· a proposal for monitoring on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns;
· a proposal for monitoring 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 statement describing how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming including outreach to the community and schools;

The designated provider will:

· be responsible for programming free from censorship;
· be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers;
· make the studio available on a fixed schedule;
· provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Selectboard regarding activities, income and expenses. The report shall include all capital expenditures and a current inventory reflecting equipment purchased and retired and expenditure of resources. .
· 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 written complaint/compliment file available to the general public.
· broadcast all town meetings, all selectboard meeting and, as determined by the MCAC in consultation with the provider, 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
· make every reasonable effort to encourage Montague-based programming

Contract Terms (these are suggestions; the MCAC recognizes that standard contract terms must be included per town counsel)

· a contract 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.