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Montague Cable Advisory Committee
mik - Thu, Nov 3, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 11/1/05
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 11/1/05
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford
In audience: Art Gilmore, Michael Muller and Michael Farrick (MCCI Board members)


Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:08 p.m.

John asked audience members present to hold questions until after the evaluation session.

1. Minutes of 10/13/05 meeting approved unanimously.

2. Discussion/Evaluation of Proposals from MCCI and GCTV

Mike Naughton began the sessions by stating that he felt it would be useful to go through the submission requirements to determine that both proposers had complied. In this regard Chris noted that he had obtained from Frank copies of MCCI’s Certificates of Tax Compliance and Non-Collusion. These had been submitted to the Town Administrator with the MCCI proposal but had not been included in the copies for the CAC. Chris, however, confessed that he had forgotten to bring these documents with him but would bring them to the next meeting. Chris also noted that technically MCCI was in compliance as these documents had been submitted on time and that the RFP had not explicitly stated that copies needed to be made. He thanked both GCTV and MCCI for supplying the CAC and the Board of Selectmen with copies.

The CAC accepted Chris’ word that the documents had been obtained. Later that evening, however, Sammy Gilford (who arrived after this explanation) raised the issue again and Chris once again explained it. Sammy, however, was not content with Chris’ explanation. After further discussion, Chair Reynolds, asked the committee to refocus.

Mike brought up the following points regarding submission requirements:

1. In regard to Item B of the Scope of Services section of the RFP Mike noted that GCTV’s articles of Organization did not say anything about Montague. Chris and Roy noted that the by-laws of GCTV did and that they were satisfied with this.
2. Mike’s next point was that GCTV did not state their hours of operation (Item G of Scope of Services).
3. Mike also noted that GCTV had not mentioned keeping a programming log (Item K of Scope of Services)
4. Mike was also somewhat bothered by GCTV’s response to Item L of the Scope of Services: ’broadcast all Town Meetings, all Board of Selectmen meetings and, as determined by the MCAC in consultation with the provider, other important government meetings or public hearings.’ He noted that while MCCI clearly stated they would do this, GCTV was less clear, leaving the matter to a Community Outreach Committee (to be formed) who would report to the GCTV Executive Director, who would have the final say. Chris said that this, too, bothered him but that he felt that GCTV, in the main, had complied with this requirement. John and Roy agreed with Chris on both points.
5. Mike’s next concern was with Item P: ’recruit Montague residents to serve on the Board of Directors.’ He said he did not see any mention of this in the GCTV proposal, only that Montague residents could serve on the Board.

Sammy, who had just arrived, objected that MCCI had not provided a three-year business plan in their proposal. Roy pointed out that they had. Sammy said there was no budget beyond the first year. Chris and Roy stated that the RFP only required a first-year budget.

Discussion resumed regarding Mike’s points. The CAC agreed that while they were valid, they did not seem to be sufficient to disqualify either proposal.

John suggested that the CAC turn to the Comparative Evaluation Criteria. He read Item 1:
Montague Community Representation
Highly Advantageous: Applicant is based in Montague and has a clear provision for allowing 50% of its board members to be Montague residents.
Advantageous: Applicant is based in the Franklin/Hampshire area and has a clear provision for allowing 30% of its board members to be Montague residents.
Not Advantageous: Applicant is not based in the Franklin or Hampshire area, and does not have a clear provision for allowing at least 30% of its board members to be Montague residents.

Mike began by saying that the proposals showed that Montague-based MCCI had 100% Montague membership; that GCTV was neither Montague-based nor did they have a majority of Montague members. The committee concurred.
VOTE: MCCI: Highly Advantageous (5)
GCTV: Advantageous (5)

Chris read Item 2:

Experience with PEG Access Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least three years’ experience in the following areas:
· Producing local programming for PEG access in the Franklin/Hampshire area or similar communities.
· Involvement in Montague community-based or community-oriented organizations (this may include applicant’s organization, if applicable) producing local PEG programming
Advantageous: Applicant has between one and three years’ experience in the areas listed above.
Not Advantageous: Applicant does not have at least one year of experience in the areas listed above.

John stated that it seemed to him both proposers should receive a highly advantageous ranking. Others (except for Sammy) concurred.
VOTE: MCCI: Highly Advantageous (4, Sammy abstaining)
GCTV: HighlyAdvantageous (5)

John read Item 3:

Organizational Strength
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) corporation for at least five years. A majority of applicant’s board members and employees have been with the organization for at least three years. Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having produced clear and detailed financial reports at least yearly. Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources.
Advantageous: Applicant has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) corporation for at least two years but less than five years. At least 30% of the applicant’s board members and employees have been with the organization for at least three years, and a majority of them have been with the organization for at least one year. Applicant has at least a one-year history of having produced clear and detailed financial reports at least yearly. Applicant can show at least a one-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources.
Not Advantageous: Applicant is not incorporated or has been incorporated for less than one year. A majority of applicant’s board members and employees have been with the organization for less than one year. Applicant has no history of having produced clear and detailed financial statements on a regular basis. Applicant has less than a one-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources


This Item provoked a fair amount of discussion. Chris noted that MCCI had failed to produce a 3-year financial history. He also felt that while GCTV had provided information about grants for 2004 in the form of underwriting, GCTV had not listed its sources nor indicated whether this money was used exclusively for Montague, nor whether any grant/underwriting continued in 2005. In this regard, John wanted to know what the date on MCCI’s Family of Man grant was. The CAC agreed that these questions needed to be asked of both parties. Sammy noted that he had done his own research on MCCI’s Board membership and that what he had discovered did not agree with the terms of service listed in the MCCI proposal. He stated that he had documents to prove his assertion. John suggested that this point be addressed in the questions for MCCI. Mike and John were both unsatisfied with GCTV’s financial history since they did not break down Montague expenses or funding but were rolled into the general GCTV budget. Chris pointed out that these were audited documents. Roy said that since we hadn’t stipulated Montague information these seemed to him sufficient. John, suggested that this be one further question to ask of GCTV. The CAC decided to pass on this item until the Nov. 8 meeting and agreed that at the end of the meeting the CAC would compile a list of questions.

The next item for evaluation was Number 4:

Organizational/Operational Plan
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused mission statement, organizational plan, and business plan, and these documents strongly support applicant’s ability and commitment to providing the services described in this RFP.
Advantageous: Applicant has submitted a mission statement, organizational plan, and business plan, and these documents support applicant’s ability and commitment to providing the services described in this RFP.
Not Advantageous: Applicant’s submitted mission statement, organizational plan, and/or business plan are vague and/or incomplete and/or do not support applicant’s ability and commitment to providing the services described in this RFP.

This item also provoked a fair amount of discussion. Neither Chris, Roy not Mike felt that GCTV’s plan was well focused. As Mike pointed out, there is no clear section detailing this plan; rather it has to be put together from various sources. Roy was very bothered by GCTV’s suggested staffing patterns. Others agreed that it was impossible to determine how many hours GCTV intended to have Crocker Studios open. Roy was also quite bothered by the low salaries GCTV intended to offer its Crocker Studio employees. Chris noted that he had done up the numbers in regard to personnel costs for Crocker in the GCTV proposal and that numbers didn’t add up. Roy felt that GCTV had not really demonstrated a strong ability to provide the services. Mike and Chris agreed, noting that they were also concerned that GCTV was willing to have fairly low-level employees be in charge of Montague. Mike also was worried that these employees would have little control over the facility as they had to seek approval for almost all functions from the GCTV Executive Director. In contrast he noted that MCCI intended to have its highest- level employees in charge of Montague. Sammy pointed out that MCCI assumed they could move right into Crocker Studios. This may not be the case, he noted. The committee concurred. John suggested that this point be addressed in the questions.

VOTE: MCCI: Highly Advantageous (4, John, Chris, Roy, Mike)
GCTV: Advantageous (3, Chris, Roy, Mike)
GCTV: Highly Advantageous (2, John, Sammy)
MCCI: Not Advantageous (1, Sammy)


The next item was 5:

Technical Qualifications

Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least three-years experience in cablecasting and can demonstrate a high degree of technical proficiency in all aspects of cablecasting, including providing reliable visual and audio signals, maintaining equipment and a facility, and providing technical support to producers.

Advantageous: Applicant has at least two-years experience in cablecasting and can demonstrate a reasonable degree of proficiency in the technical aspects of cablecasting, including generally reliable visual and audio signals, generally maintaining equipment and a facility, and providing limited technical support to producers.

Not Advantageous: Applicant has less than one-year experience in cablecasting and/or cannot demonstrate an ability to provide for the technical aspects of cablecasting.


All members of the CAC felt that GCTV should certainly receive a Highly Advantageous ranking here, and all members except for Sammy felt that MCCI should also. Roy pointed out that MCCI had experience from 1991 until 2001 in this area, and that their hiring of Robin Mide to serve as Technical Director clearly demonstrated that they would have a very high degree of future technical capabilities. All members but Sammy agreed who claimed that MCCI had no record in this regard.

VOTE: MCCI: Highly Advantageous (4, John, Roy, Chris, Mike)
GCTV: Highly Advantageous (5)
MCCI: Not Advantageous (1, Sammy)

The next item for evaluation was 6:

Local Services
Highly Advantageous: Applicant operates a studio or similar facility in Montague for at least three years, and it is open to the public at least 30 hours per week on a regular basis.
Advantageous: Applicant operates a studio or similar facility in the Franklin/Hampshire area, and it is open to the public at least 10 hours per week, but fewer than 30 on a regular basis.
Not Advantageous: Applicant has not operated a facility in the Franklin/Hampshire area, or has operated one for less than one year.

Because neither GCTV nor MCCI had explicitly answered this question, the CAC put off considering this item until November 8.

The last item was 7:

Community Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused proposals for meeting community PEG needs, interests, and satisfaction, along with proposals for workshops. Applicant’s submission strongly demonstrates a commitment and ability to broadcast Montague Town Meetings and other meetings as described in the Scope of Services.
Advantageous: Applicant has submitted proposals for meeting community PEG needs, interests, and satisfaction, along with proposals for workshops. Applicant’s submission demonstrates a commitment and ability to broadcast Montague Town Meetings and other meetings as described in the Scope of Services.
Not Advantageous: Applicant’s proposals for meeting community PEG needs, interests, and satisfaction, and its proposals for workshops are vague and/or incomplete. Applicant’s submission does not clearly demonstrate a commitment and ability to broadcast Montague Town Meetings and other meetings as described in the Scope of Services

This item also provoked a fair amount of discussion. While Roy felt that MCCI’s proposal was clear and focused, he felt that GCTV’s was not. Mike was concerned, as before, that too much power resided in GCTV’s Executive Director, and that while GCTV’s proposal to form a Community Outreach Committee was a good idea, he also noted that it was hard to get anyone to serve on any committee. He was also concerned with how much real power this committee would have. Mike was also bothered that GCTV was touting the imported program ’Democracy Now!’ as somehow being a local initiative. Chris and John shared these concerns about GCTV. Chris did feel though that GCTV was taking steps in the right direction. He also felt that MCCI had clearly detailed its plans for community outreach and was pleased with the alliance it had formed with The Brick House. Sammy could not see any strength in MCCI’s proposal.

VOTE: MCCI: Highly Advantageous (4, John, Roy, Mike, Chris)
GCTV: Advantageous (3, Mike, Roy, Chris)
MCCI: Not Advantageous (1, Sammy)
GCTV: Highly Advantageous (2, John, Sammy)

With that vote, John asked for questions from the audience. Art Gilmore complimented the committee, noting that the CAC had come a long way since he’s attended meetings at its inception. Doug Finn, operating the camera for GCTV, stated that he could answer a few of the questions about GCTV. He stated that the salaries for Crocker employees were not yet fixed, and that Crocker was now open 30 hours and would be open 30 hours in the future. Mik Muller of MCCI asked for clarification about the financial history documents. Roy stated that we wanted a line-item accounting of expenses and income for three years.

3. The CAC drew up a list of questions for both proposers. The letters sent with these questions are below:

Dear Mr. Gochinski,

I am writing on behalf of the Montague Cable Advisory Committee to ask you for some more information regarding GCTV. As you know, the committee met last evening to discuss the proposals. In the course of the meeting, a few questions arose for which we would like answers in writing by Monday, the 7th of November. You may send these electronically either to me or to the entire committee (in the cc line above). Or if you prefer, you could deliver these in hard copy to the Town Administrator who will pass them on to us. We will be meeting next Tuesday to continue our discussion and evaluation of the proposals.

1. In Section VIII, Number 3 of the RFP we ask the following: ’Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources.’ While you did inform us that GCTV received underwriting in 2004, could you please indicate sources? Also, we were wondering if that underwriting continued in 2005. Could you also let us know whether this underwriting was used exclusively for Crocker and for what purpose?

2. Also in Section VIII, Number 3 of the RFP we ask the following: ’Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having produced clear and detailed financial reports at least yearly.’ While we realize that you did supply this information in the form of audited financial reports, we are hoping that you could also supply us with income and expense reports for Crocker Studios during this period.

3. In Section VIII, Number 6 of the RFP we ask the following: ’Applicant operates a studio or similar facility in Montague for at least three years, and it is open to the public at least 30 hours per week on a regular basis.’ We could not find in your proposal information related to hours of operation or staffing. Could you please supply that information? In addition, could you clarify the number of hours you envision Crocker Studios to be open in the future, and explain the staffing patterns? We were also wondering if the salary range you indicate for these positions is correct.


Sincerely,

Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary, MCAC



Dear Mr. Muller:

I am writing on behalf of the Montague Cable Advisory Committee to ask you for some more information regarding MCCI. As you know, the committee met last evening to discuss the proposals. In the course of the meeting, a few questions arose for which we would like answers in writing by Monday, the 7th of November. You may send these electronically either to me or to the entire committee (in the cc line above). Or if you prefer, you could deliver these in hard copy to the Town Administrator who will pass them on to us. We will be meeting next Tuesday to continue our discussion and evaluation of the proposals.


1. In Section VIII, Number 1 of the RFP we ask the following: ’Applicant is based in Montague and has a clear provision for allowing 50% of its board members to be Montague residents.’ Could you please document you board membership over the last four years?

2. In Section VIII, Number 3 of the RFP we ask the following: ’Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having produced clear and detailed financial reports at least yearly.’ We did not find this information in your proposal. Could you please supply us with income and expense reports for MCCI during this period.

3. In Section VIII, Number 3 of the RFP we ask the following: ’Applicant can show at least a three-year history of having sought and received funds from grants or similar sources.’ While you did inform us that MCCI received two grants, could you please supply us the date for the Family of Man grant?

4. In the proposal you state that MCCI intends to move into Crocker Studios if, in fact, MCCI is awarded the contract. Could you please let us know what your contingency plan might be should Crocker Studios not be vacated by that date?

Sincerely,

Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary, MCAC

The meeting adjourned at 10:07. The next meeting will be held at the Montague Center Library at 7:00 p,m, on November 8, 2005 to continue the evaluations.

Respectfully Submitted

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary