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Montague Cable Advisory Committee
mik - Wed, Nov 3, 2004, 12:00 A
Public hearing on Local Cable Provider Criteria
Over the last couple of months the Cable Advisory Committee has been working on a set of criteria that we feel a local cable access provider should meet. On November 3, at 7:00 p.m., in the Selectboard Room at Town Hall, the Committee will hold a public hearing to receive comments from the citizens of Montague. Below, please find the criteria for which we hope to receive comments.

MONTAGUE CABLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Local Access Criteria (Working Draft for Public Comment)

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 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 meetings 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.