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Montague Cable Advisory Committee
mik - Fri, Jan 21, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 1/18/05
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting at Montague Center Library on 1/18/05

Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Chris Sawyer-Lau├žanno, Sam Gilford
Absent: Roy Rosenblatt


Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:11 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting, as stated by John, was to review the RFP drawn up by Roy, with additional edits from Chris and John. He noted that the Section entitled ’Contract Provisions was inappropriate for this RFP and would not be considered.

Sammy asked about a point of order, challenging whether Mik Muller and Mike Langknecht, audience observers and MCCI Board Members, could be seated at the same table as the committee. John, Mike Naughton and Chris all concurred that this wasn’t a problem but John stated that he wanted it to be understood that audience comments were to be held until after the committee had deliberated. Sammy reluctantly deferred on this, but raised an objection to the committee discussing an RFP at all. His opinion was that this was not the charge from the Select Board, and therefore he couldn’t understand why the committee had taken on the task of writing one. John stated that we had unanimously agreed at the meeting of 11/3/04 that Roy would write an RFP. Sammy said that he had not agreed to this, only to the criteria. Mike N. stated that the RFP was the outcome of the criteria that we had all approved at the last meeting. He further noted that the charge to the Committee was ambiguous, at best, and that as a committee we had the right and responsibility to interpret the charge. Chris agreed with Mike N, stating that this was the logical outcome of writing the criteria, and this represented the only fair way to solicit bids for the cable contract. Sammy continued to disagree, saying that an RFP doesn’t apply to a 501(C) 3 corporation . Mike disagreed, saying that from his research this was standard practice among towns, and that an RFP was the only appropriate process for evaluating potential providers. Sammy continued to argue the point. Mike Langknecht shot back that Sammy was attempting to derail the process. John called Mike L. out of order. Mike L. left, then returned a few minutes later. In an attempt to end the discussion, Chris made a motion to vote as a Committee to create an RFP to the Select Board.’ Mike N. seconded. John attempted to amend the motion to read whether the MCAC believes that the RFP reflects the previously agreed upon criteria. Chris said he thought we should vote first on his motion. John agreed. The vote was John, aye; Chris, aye; Sam, no; Mike, aye. The motion carried.

Sammy next questioned whether the criteria the Committee previously accepted were accurately reflected in the RFP, and moved that the MCAC vote as to whether the criteria listed in Sections III and IV of the RFP draft were what the committee had previously agreed upon. Chris suggested that we review the items before voting. All agreed. Sammy then stated that he did not feel that III-B -- ’The term of the contract will be 3 years commencing on June 16th 2005 and terminating on June 15, 2008’ was agreed previously upon. Chris again suggested that we review the items one by one, but added that a three-year contract had been part of the original criteria. Sammy said that it was an item in the extra provisions that were supposed to be checked by counsel. He then noted that GCTV has a ten-year contract with the Town. Chris and Mike emphatically stated that this was not the case. Mike noted that the Town has a ten-year contract with Comcast and that the Comcast contract has nothing to do with the limit terms for the provider. Indeed, Mike said, GCTV only signed an open-ended letter of intent with the Town of Montague. Sammy said he wanted to see this letter, and produced a transcript of the Select Board meeting in which then Selectmen Sam Lovejoy and Ed Voudren voted to give a ten-year contract to Comcast, with Pat Allen voting no. Chris noted that the record Sammy had produced showed only that the Select Board had agreed to a ten-year contract with Comcast, and that the agreement with GCTV was separate. Sammy asked to see proof. John agreed to research the matter.

Sammy stated that he had reviewed the RFP and was in agreement that the document did reflect the previously agreed upon criteria with the exception of the contract terms. Chris, again suggested that the MCAC review the items one by one. The members agreed and looked at each item. Mik Muller, present in the audience, asked if he could speak about item III-A that stated that the provider would ’pay the Town an annual fee.’ All agreed that this was incorrect and agreed to strike this phrase. The next edit was on item III-E. Mike N noted that the phrasing was not exactly that which the Committee had agreed upon. III-E read ’must demonstrate a strong commitment to PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming.’ Mike suggested that it be reworded to state, ’must demonstrate a strong commitment to providing PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming to the Montague community.’ Sammy said that it should read ’local viewing area,’ noting that he considered Greenfield also local. John suggested that the item be reworked to read ’’must demonstrate a strong commitment to providing PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming to the Montague and local communities.’ Mike Langnecht asked if he could comment. John agreed. He suggested the phrase ’local service area’ be adopted in place of ’Montague and local communities.’ His suggestion was approved.

Mike N next brought up an omission in the RFP. He noted that one of the criteria agrred upon previously was that ’montague residents must be represented on the Board of Directors.’ The MCAC inserted this as Item III-Q. Mike N also noted that IV-G should read, ’a proposal for monitoring on an ongoing basis customer/community satisfaction,’ not simply ’customer satisfaction.’ The change was accepted. All other criteria were accepted as written in the RFP. Chris suggested that the contentious item III-B, regarding contract terms, be stricken and moved to the section under ’Contract Provisions.’ This was unanimously agreed upon. Mike N then moved that a vote to be taken as to whether the criteria in the RFP accurately reflected the previously agreed upon criteria. The vote was unanimous that with the changes, the criteria were now in place as previously written and agreed upon. (The Before and After RFP wording is included in Appendix A.)

The next issue for discussion was that of Section VI ’Rules for Award.’ Chris made some suggestions for typo corrections. (See Appendix A.) Mike suggested that IV-D be stricken. IV-D read: ’As used herein, the term ’responsible and responsive Proposer’ shall be defined as Proposer who has demonstrated the skill, ability (financial and otherwise), integrity and reliability necessary to the faithful adherence to the terms of the contract and who has submitted a Proposal which conforms in all respects to the RFP. Specific Quality Requirements are set out in this Request for Proposal in the section VII below.’ The MCAC agreed. Mike next suggested that VI-E and VI-F be reviewed. These items read as follows:

E. An award is expected to be made within approximately sixty (60) days after submission of Proposals in a notification sent by registered mail. If the Proposer to whom the award is made fails to execute a Contract and return it to the Town within ten (10) days, the Town may, at its option, determine that said Proposer has abandoned the contract and an award may then be made to the next recommended Proposer.

F. Proposers may be investigated by the Town to determine if they are qualified to perform the requirements of the Contract. All Proposers shall be prepared to submit within five (5) three (3) days of the Town’s request, written evidence of such additional information and data necessary to make this determination. The Town reserves the right to reject any Proposal if the evidence submitted by, or subsequent investigation of such Proposer, fails to satisfy the Town that the Proposer is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the contract.

Mike’s feeling was that ’ten days’ may not be a long enough time period for a response. He suggested inserting ’business’ between ’ten’ and ’days:’ i.e., ’ten business days.’ Mik Muller noted that he though even ’ten business days’ was too restrictive. Some discussion ensued as to whether a provision be added that at the Town’s discretion the period may be extended. The MCAC ultimately decided unanimously not to accept this wording.

Mike next suggested that VI-G be stricken as it was redundant. Unanimously agreed. (See Appendix A)

The next item for consideration was Section VII. John felt that this section was redundant. All agreed. Chris moved that the Section be stricken. Approved unanimously. (We have sense learned that Section VII will have to be reinstated per Chapter 30B rules.)

Finally, the MCAC examined Section VII -- Comparative Evaluative Criteria. John was bothered that the criteria were too general. Other members agreed. The MCAC decided to work on these criteria for the next meeting.

At the end of the meeting, Mik asked John if he could speak. John assented. Mik took the opportunity to state that he thought Sammy was working for GCTV and that he was doing his best to disrupt the process. John called Mik out of order. Mik acknowledged that he shouldn’t have attacked Sammy personally.

The next meeting was tentatively set for Jan. 31 at 7:00. (This date has since been cancelled, and a mid-February date has been suggested.)

Before the meeting adjourned Sammy once again brought up the issue of the ’Contract’ with GCTV and John agreed to research the matter. The meeting adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary


APPENDIX A -- Revised RFP Sections

III. PURCHASE DESCRIPTION/SCOPE OF SERVICES

A. The Town seeks a qualified, responsible and responsive provider under meaning of law, hereafter referred to as ’the Provider’, to operate a local access cable station and its operations in accordance with requirements set forth herein.


The proposed organization must:

B. be a 501(c)(3) corporation and must furnish evidence of this including by-laws, and membership on board of directors.

C. maintain a studio in Montague.

D. demonstrate a strong commitment to providing PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming to the local service area.

E. be responsible for programming free from censorship

F. be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers

G. make the studio available on a fixed schedule

H. provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Select Board 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

I. be responsible for ensuring an acceptable level of technical quality of all programs

J. maintain a log of programming available to the general public

K. maintain a written complaint/compliment file available to the general public

L. broadcast all Town Meetings, all Select Board meetings and, as determined by the MCAC in consultation with the provider, other important government meetings or public hearings

M. maintain a library of recent and current local access programs

N. provide and maintain a community calendar as a PSA

O. make every reasonable effort to encourage Montague-based programming.
P. allow for Montague residents to be represented on the Board of Directors.

IV SUBMISSIONS:
Each Proposer must include the following information in their application:

A. a mission statement.

B. an organizational plan.

C. 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.

D. job descriptions.

E. personnel policies.

F. a proposal for monitoring on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns

G. a proposal for monitoring on an ongoing basis customer/community satisfaction.

H. a proposal for enhancing basic funding through grants, underwriting, etc. Any history of acquiring grants for public access purposes should be included.

I. 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.

J. 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.

K. a statement describing how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming including outreach to the community and schools. This statement should include specific strategies and programs to recruit and involve the community and schools, and to broadcast local public meetings.



V. SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

A. By submitting a Proposal, the Proposer agrees that:

a. the Proposer has read and understands the RFP (Request for Proposals) and associated documents, and the Proposal is made in accordance therewith.


b. the Proposer is familiar with Federal, State, and local bylaws, rules and regulations that may in any manner affect cost of services under or performance of any Proposer.

c. the Proposer agrees that the Proposal Documents are sufficient in scope and detail to indicate and convey understanding of all terms and conditions for performance of any Proposer (the Proposer Documents will include this Request for Proposals and any addenda issued).

d. the Town reserves the right to reject any Proposal if the evidence submitted by, or the subsequent investigation of, such Proposer fails to satisfy the Town that Proposer is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the Contract documents.

B. Failure to examine the RFP, and any or all Exhibits, will not relieve any Proposer from any obligation under the Proposal as submitted.

C. Proposers shall promptly notify the Chief Procurement Officer in writing via fax 413-863-3231 of any ambiguity, inconsistency, or error which they may discover upon examination of the RFP, or other conditions which the Proposer is to be performed.

D. Proposers requiring clarification or interpretation shall make a written request via fax 413-863-3231 to the Chief Procurement Officer at least ten (10) days before the date herein set for the submission of Proposals.

E. Interpretations, corrections, or changes in the RFP will be made by written addendum. Neither the Town nor the Chief Procurement Officer will be responsible for any oral instructions made by or information provided by it or its employees.

F. Addenda will be mailed by the Chief Procurement Officer via regular mail, to every individual or firm on record as having received a RFP. Proposers must provide information including Name, address, phone number to the Town.

G. Copies of all addenda can be examined at the same location listed in the Legal Notice Advertisement For Proposals for examination of the RFP.

H. Proposers shall respond to this RFP by submission of a Proposal Packet marked PROPOSAL FOR THE OPERATION OF A LOCAL ACCESS CABLE TV STATION SERVING THE TOWN OF MONTAGUE.’ Submissions that do not comply with these terms may be eliminated.

I. Proposals by corporations shall be executed in the corporate name by the president (or other corporation officer accompanied by evidence of authority to sign). The corporate address and phone number and state of incorporation shall be shown below the signature.

K. All names shall be typed or printed below the signature.

L. Timely delivery of Proposals at the location designated shall be the full responsibility of the Proposers.

M. Any Proposals received after the time and date specified shall not be considered.

N. Any Proposal may be withdrawn by the Proposer or his duly authorized representative by written notice received by the Town at the address for receipt of Proposals specified in the Request for Proposal prior to the time scheduled for the opening of such Proposals or authorized postponement thereof. No telephone or telegraphic Proposal, change in Proposal, or withdrawal of Proposal will be received or recognized. A Proposal may be amended or modified only by withdrawing the Proposal and resubmitting another Proposal prior to the time for opening Proposals.

O. Each Proposer shall execute an affidavit on the Proposal form provided, to the effect that the Proposal is in all respects bona fide, fair and made without collusion or fraud with any person. As used in this paragraph, the word ’person’ shall mean any natural person, joint venture, partnership, corporation or other business or legal entity. Failure on the part of the Proposer to observe this provision shall be cause for rejection of this Proposal.

P. Each Proposer shall execute an affidavit, substantially in the form provided with the Proposal form, to the effect that, pursuant to M.G.L., C. 62C, S. 49A, he or she has complied with all laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts relating to the payment of taxes. Failure on the part of the Proposer to observe this provision shall be cause for rejection of this Proposal.

Q. Insurance certificates indicating coverage for public liability, property damage, and worker’s compensation insurance, in accordance with Contract requirements (Exhibit J.), must be filed by the successful Proposer within thirty (30) days upon the signing of any contract. The Town shall be named as an additional insured in all policies held by Proposer. Certificates shall be from insurance companies qualified to do business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in a form satisfactory to Town Counsel in his sole judgment.


VI. RULES FOR AWARD

A. Proposals are solicited and will be awarded pursuant to the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30B as amended and supplemented. Whenever the requirements of this RFP are inconsistent with or prohibited by Chapter 30B, Chapter 30B shall prevail.

B. The authorization to award a contract for an initial period of 3 years will be made by the Montague Select Board in 2005. Upon such authorization, the contract will be awarded to the successful Proposer and will be administered by the Town. Annually, within 90 days of the anniversary of the contract , the designated provider will take part in a public performance evaluation overseen by the MCAC. The purpose will be to determine whether the provider is performing its duties in compliance with the contract.

C. The contract will be awarded to the responsive and responsible Proposer with the most advantageous proposal as determined by the ranking of proposals based on the Comparative Evaluation Criteria. This analysis will be conducted by the Cable Advisory Committee; the final determination will be made by the Montague Selectmen. Final award of the Contract is at the sole discretion of the Montague Selectmen. The Town, in its sole judgment, reserves the right to reject any and all Proposals if it deems to be in the public interest to do so. Any Proposal which is not prepared and submitted in accordance with all requirements of the Proposal documents, or which contains erasures, alterations, additions, errors or irregularities of any kind may be rejected. The Town reserves the right to waive any and all informalities as to form. Matters as to substance shall not be waived. The Town reserves the right to deem any such omission which is not an omission of substance as an informality for which such Proposal will not be rejected, and to subsequently receive such information or data prior to award of the contract.

D. An award is expected to be made within approximately thirty (30) days after submission of Proposals in a notification sent by registered mail. If the Proposer to whom the award is made fails to execute a Contract and return it to the Town within ten (10) business days, the Town may, at its option, determine that said Proposer has abandoned the contract and an award may then be made to the next recommended Proposer.

E.. Proposers may be investigated by the Town to determine if they are qualified to perform the requirements of the Contract. All Proposers shall be prepared to submit within ten business days of the Town’s request, written evidence of such additional information and data necessary to make this determination. The Town reserves the right to reject any Proposal if the evidence submitted by, or subsequent investigation of such Proposer, fails to satisfy the Town that the Proposer is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the contract.