Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting at Montague Center Library on 3/22/05
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford, Roy Rosenblatt
Chairman John Reynolds called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.
John Reynolds announced the agenda was primarily to discuss the Select Boards voting to issue an RFP on March 14.
Sammy brought up the issue of the charge the Select Board gave to the CAC, stating that he felt the CAC had gone well beyond the charge in voting to create the RFP. Chris read the charge into the record. Mike noted that given the charge it seemed logical to follow through with the RFP. Roy agreed stating that the criteria originally developed by the CAC had been rolled into the final version of the RFP. John attempted to cut off the discussion, saying that we seemed to be beating a dead horse. We had done the RFP, it had been accepted, and the Board of Selectmen had voted to issue it. Mike agreed, adding that he felt it was now in the hands of the Select Board to hash out, and for counsel to comment.
Roy noted that he hoped counsel would address the issue of 30B. Roy also stated that he had called Angela at the IGs office asking for an opinion. She said she would get back to him in 4-6 weeks.
Sammy argued that 30B had nothing to do with it because GCTV was a non-profit corporation. Roy countered by saying that they were still receiving Montague money and that any contract for that size for longer than three years had to be approved by Town Meeting, and TM had not approved, nor had it been submitted for approval. GCTV does not have a contract, said Roy. They cant without TM approval.
Sammy pointed out that MCCI had signed a letter (noted by Dr, Ross at the SB meeting) that stated MCCI would not contest the assignment of the cable assignment to GCTV. Chris countered that MCCI wasnt contesting; the CAC was.
Sammy said that MCCI had originally brought the issue forward.
Mike asked for a copy of the letter. John suggested he get it from Frank. Mike added that he felt at this point the letter was irrelevant and had nothing to do with the work of the CAC.
Chris expressed the hope that the Select Board would meet with us to present their issues. Mike expressed similar hope.
John asked what questions the CAC wanted to ask counsel.
Roy said he wanted to learn whether their was any connection between the Comcast contract and the letter of intent with GCTV.
Chris asked why this mattered. They seemed perfectly separate to him as nothing in the Comcast contract specifies GCTV as a provider.
Mike stated that he felt it was important because PEG access was important. He added that he felt the CAC should play an oversight role over the cable provider.
John brought the issue back to what questions the CAC wanted to ask counsel. The following questions were posed:
Is GCTVs Letter of Intent a contract? If so, of what nature, type, and duration?
Is there any relation between the town’s contract with Comcast and its agreement with the PEG provider?
What about the document that MCCI signed (referred to by Al Ross)? Is it relevant to this process?
We would also very much like to get a decision from the Inspector Generals Office regarding whether 30B is applicable to local cable assignment. Specifically, we feel it important to clarify these key issues:
Is an RFP required?
Is 30B applicable?
Roy made a motion to approve the list. Chris seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The second major item for discussion was the role of CAC in relation to the provider. Mike felt it very important to clarify the CAC role, noting that without direct authorization from the Select Board he could ask GCTV for financial documents. John agreed that this was very important and that he hoped when the Select Board met with the CAC this question could be clarified. He added that he thought the CAC should play an oversight role. Mike said he felt the Select Board would have to be pushed if the CAC were to push GCTV. Sammy argued against the CAC having oversight authority, saying that the CAC role should be to review contracts. Roy strongly disagreed saying that the CAC could be whatever the Select Board wanted it to be.