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Montague Cable Advisory Committee: Corkboard

Minutes and messages from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee.

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mik - Wed, Nov 10, 2010, 7:42 P
Cable Advisory Committee Vacancies
The Board of Selectmen are looking for individuals interested in being on the Cable Advisory Committee. The Town will be starting the Cable Contract Renewal process over the next 3 years and this committee will play a large part in the renewal process.

Letters of interest should be sent to:

Board of Selectmen
Town of Montague
1 Avenue A
Turners Falls, MA 01376
 
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mik - Thu, Nov 17, 2005, 12:00 A
Provider Contract Draft
AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE TOWN OF MONTAGUE
AND
PROVIDER

January 1, 2006
Montague, Massachusetts


Section 1 --- DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this Agreement, the following words, terms, phrases, and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning. When not inconsistent with the context, the masculine pronoun includes the feminine pronoun, words used in the present tense in- cludes the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word shall is always mandatory and not merely directory, except where noted. Where the following definitions are in conflict with definitions in law, it is the express intent that the definition in federal law shall take precedence.

(a) Agreement: this agreement, unless stated explicitly otherwise

(b) Cable Service: The one-way transmission to Subscribers of video programming or Other Programming Services, together with Subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection or use of such video programming or other programming service.

(c) Cable Television System or Cable System: A facility consisting of a set of closed transmission paths 19 and associated Signal generation, reception and control equipment designed to provide Cable Service (in- cluding video programming) to multiple Subscribers within a community unless such system does not use 2 any public rights of way.

(d) Channel or Video Channel: A portion of the electromagnetic frequency spectrum which is used in a 23 Cable System and which is capable of delivering a television channel. With respect to PEG Channel, I-Net and I-Loop channel requirements, the definition of channel shall also mean a minimum allocation of 6 Mhz of bandwidth.

(e) Contracting Authority: The Board of Selectmen of the Town of Montague

(f) Educational Channel: Any channel, or portion thereof, which has been allocated for use by the Public Schools or its designee(s).

(g) Effective Date: January 1, 2006

(h) FCC: The acronym for the Federal Communications Commission or any successor agency.

(i) Governmental and Public Channel: Any channel, or portion thereof, which has been allocated for use by the Town, the Contracting Authority or its designee(s).

(j) Institutional Network: A communication network which is constructed and operated by the cable operator and which is generally available only to Subscribers who are not residential Subscribers.

(k) PEG: The acronym for Public, Educational, and Governmental; used in conjunction with Access Chan- nels, support and facilities.

(l) PEG Access Channels: Any Channel(s) made available for the presentation of PEG Access program- ming.

(m) Programming or Video Programming: Programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station.

(n) PROVIDER:

(o) Public Access Channel(s): Any channel, or portion thereof, which has been allocated for use by mem bers of the community to communicate their activities, opinions and ideas without interference or censor- ship through the creation of cable television programming and other means.

(p) Public Schools: The Gill-Montague Regional School District.

(q) Renewal License: License between Town and Comcast of Massachusetts/Virginia, Inc. effective on August 25, 2003 for a period of ten (10) years.

(r) Subscriber: Any person, firm, corporation or other entity who or which elects to subscribe to for any purpose, a Cable Service provided by the Licensee by means of, or in connection with, the Cable Televi- sion System.

(s) Town: The Town of Montague, Massachusetts.

Section 2: DESIGNATION OF ACCESS PROVIDER

Subject to the terms and conditions herein, the Contracting Authority hereby designates ______ as the Designated Access Provider effective January, 1, 2006.

Section 3: DURATION

This Agreement shall be effective upon the date of its execution for an initial period of three (3) years.

Section 4: TERMINATION

4.1 This Agreement shall terminate upon the adjudication of the bankruptcy of PROVIDER.

4.2 This Agreement may terminate if the Contracting Authority determines that PROVIDER has failed to fulfill its responsibilities pursuant to the terms and conditions herein.

(a) Before any such termination, provider shall be given a minimum of sixty (60) days advance written notice, which notice shall set forth the reasons for the proposed termination and shall advise that it will be provided an opportunity to be heard by the Contracting Authority before any such action is taken. Said notice shall state the date, time, and place of such hearing. In no event shall such hearing be held less than thirty (30) days following delivery of such notice to

(b) At said hearing, PROVIDER will be provided an opportunity to respond to the reasons for the proposed termination and to discuss them with the Contracting Authority. The PROVIDER shall be entitled to reply in writing to said reasons, a copy of which response shall be delivered to the Contracting Authority no later than thirty (30) days following said hearing. The Contracting Authority shall make no decision concerning termination until it has considered said response.

4.3. The PROVIDER may terminate this Agreement by a majority vote of its Board of Director at a regular meeting where this item shall appear on the agenda, as specified by the By-Laws of the Corporation.

(a) PROVIDER shall provide the Contracting Authority with at least sixty (60) days advance written notice of its intention to terminate this Agreement. Said notice shall set forth the reasons for the proposed termination and shall advise the Contracting Authority that it shall be provided an opportunity to be heard by the Board of Directors regarding such proposed termination before any action is taken. Said notice shall state the date time, and place at which said hearing shall occur. In no event shall said hearing be held less than thirty (30) days following receipt of such notice to the Contracting Authority.

(b) At said hearing, the Contracting Authority shall be provided an opportunity to respond to the reasons for the proposed termination and an opportunity to discuss them with the Board of Directors. The Contracting Authority shall be entitled to reply in writing to said causes and reasons for termination, a copy of which shall be delivered to the Board of Directors no later than thirty (30) days following said hearing. The Board of Directors shall make no decision concerning termination until it has considered said response.

4.4. All equipment purchased by the Town or its designee(s) under the terms of this license shall be the property of the Town. Upon termination of this Agreement, equipment so purchased cannot be used to satisfy any present or future indebtedness of PROVIDER and is subject to continuing access by the Town, including the right of removal.

Section 5: RENEWAL

This Agreement may be renewed for five (5) years upon the expiration of this Agreement subject to positive performance reviews and Town Meeting approval. The process leading to renewal of this Agreement shall be initiated by a written request from PROVIDER to the Contracting Authority at least one year prior to the end of this Agreement. The request shall include comments on the current Agreement and any items for discussion as part of the renewal process.

Section 6. OBLIGATIONS OF PROVIDER

6.1. PROVIDER will maintain its status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational corporation eligible for exemption from taxes under federal and state law.

6.2. PROVIDER will maintain a governance structure (Board of Directors) which recognizes its obligations to the Town. the schools and the community.

6.3. The purpose of public access is to allow members of the community to communicate their activities, opinions and ideas without interference or censorship through the creation of cable television programming and other means. With respect to the Governmental and Public Access Channel, PROVIDER will

(a) be responsible for programming free from censorship of program content;

(b) develop and promote programming including but not limited to cultural, literary, educational, governmental and public affairs programming on the Governmental and Public Access Channel (Channel 15);

(c) make the public access facilities and channels available in a non-discriminatory manner to encourage the exchange of ideas and opinions on a broad range of topics;

(d) be responsible for fund-raising to supplement Public Access operations; and

(e) be responsible for consistent outreach to the various segments of the community to encourage use of the public access channel.

(f) cablecast 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.

6.4. With respect to the Educational Access Channel (currently Channel 17), the PROVIDER shall work with the Contracting Authority and the Public Schools respectively to agree mutually on the responsibilities of PROVIDER, which may include asking PROVIDER to follow the policies and guidelines for programming the Educational Channel established by the Contracting Authority and the Public Schools respectively.

6.5. PROVIDER shall manage and operate the PEG Access channels, equipment and facilities on a non- discriminatory, non-commercial basis. In managing and operating the channels, PROVIDER will carry out such activities as

(a) holding workshops for the purpose of teaching television skills to individuals and community groups;

(b) managing funds designated for PEG access television;

(c) scheduling PEG cablecasting;

(d) managing and maintaining PEG facilities and equipment;

(e) being responsible for ensuring an acceptable level of technical quality of all programs cablecast on its system, pursuant to FCC regulations. PROVIDER is not obligated to cablecast any PEG Access program that does not meet the FCC technical standards. However, a decision not to cablecast a program due to technical problems shall in no way involve consideration of the actual content of the program itself. PROVIDER shall not be held responsible for technical problems under control of the cable system.

6.6. PROVIDER shall promulgate regulations governing PEG access including but not limited to levels of service, use of equipment and facilities, training programs, membership, outreach activities, cablecasting procedures and operating policies and procedures.

6.7. PROVIDER shall maintain a studio in Montague and make the studio available on a fixed schedule.

6.8. PROVIDER shall maintain a log of programming that is cablecast on the PEG channels, and a record of PEG producers. Logs shall be available for public inspection and retained by PROVIDER for a minimum of three (3) years.

6.9.Provider shall, at its own expense, provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Board of Selectmen regarding activities, income and expenses. The line-item financial report shall include at a minimum all Montague-specific capital expenditures, direct and indirect personnel expenses, and a current inventory reflecting equipment purchased and retired and expenditure of resources. The report will serve as a means of evaluating the performance of PROVIDER and identifying new goals and directions. This quarterly report shall contain at least the following items:

(a) a summary of the activities in the development of the PEG access program;

(b) a summary of input received from community members and organizations;

(c) the most recent Montague-specific budget report as provided to PROVIDER Board;

(d) changes in staff roster or staff job descriptions from prior reports;

(e) description of outreach presentations, mailings, surveys and results;

(f) description of fundraising;

(g) description of training;

(h) description of facility and equipment use;

(i) description of PEG access programming by channel; and PEG programming developed by PROVIDER staff.

6.10. PROVIDER shall maintain a written complaint/compliment file available to the general public

6.11. The President and Administrative Director of PROVIDER shall make themselves available from time to time to advise the Cable Advisory Committee and Contracting Authority on matters concerning PEG Access.

6.12. PROVIDER shall engage in outreach activities designed to inform Town residents and organizations about the availability and use of PEG access channels and to encourage their use.

6.13. PROVIDER will keep a current database of access programs in its library and make it available during normal business hours.

6.14. PROVIDER will indemnify and hold harmless the Town and its elected officials, appointed boards and commissions, employees, and agents from and against all losses, damages, liabilities, claims, demands, judgments, settlements, costs, and expenses including penalties, interest and reasonable attorneys’ fees and disbursements resulting from or arising out of a) any breach by PROVIDER of its obligations under this Agreement; b) any personal injury or property damage occurring after the effective date of this Agreement arising out of the use by any person of the facilities or equipment owned or leased by PROVIDER (other than personal injury or property damage resulting from the negligence or willful misconduct of the Town or its elected officials, members of appointed boards and commissions, employees or agents); or c) any personnel grievances concerning the hiring, firing and conditions of employment of PROVIDER employees. Except where PROVIDER is primarily at fault under Massachusetts statute and case law, or under common law principles, PROVIDER’s obligation under this section shall not apply to claims, demands, actions or suits arising from the Town’s government or educational access cablecasting activities.

6.15. PROVIDER shall require every access user to indemnify the Town and PROVIDER and hold both harmless against any claims arising out of any program or program material produced and/or cablecast, including but not limited to, claims in the nature of libel, slander, invasion of privacy of publicity rights, non-compliance with applicable laws, license fees and the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.

6.16. PROVIDER shall provide a community calendar on the public access channel(s) for the purpose of announcing programming and access services, making public service announcements, and allowing the Town, schools or other non-profit organizations to make certain announcements. The community calendar shall be updated regularly and appropriately to serve cable subscribers in the best fashion. The community calendar will be transmitted when regular programming is not scheduled.

6.17. PROVIDER shall maintain workers’ compensation, liability, general comprehensive and non-owned vehicle liability insurance coverage in force throughout the course of this Agreement naming the Town as co-insured and will provide the Town with certificates of insurance annually.

6.18. Provider shall assume the cost and responsibility for insuring Town-owned equipment used to meet the local access needs.

6.19. PROVIDER shall be responsible for locating and arranging for use of its facilities, including payment of rent, for the PEG access purposes under this contract, except that PROVIDER shall not have to pay for or maintain any Town or school facilities used for PEG access purposes.

6.20. PROVIDER shall maintain line-item accounting, budget, and business systems for the management, operation, protection, investment, and oversight of the Montague facility and community access services that comply with generally accepted accounting practices.

6.21. PROVIDER shall provide community access services to those who live, work or attend school in Montague on a first-come, first-served, non-discriminatory basis using PROVIDER facility, equipment, staff and other resources as PROVIDER deems necessary and appropriate to fulfill community access management needs.

6.22. PROVIDER shall make every reasonable effort to recruit Montague residents to serve on the Board of Directors.

6.23. PROVIDER shall make every reasonable effort to develop Montague-based programming.

6.24. PROVIDER shall participate annually, within ninety (90) days of the anniversary of the contract, 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, including, without limitation, public access programming, managing the annual payments for PEG access, training residents, community outreach, scheduling the PEG programming, and any other requirements as set forth in the contract.

Section 7: OBLIGATIONS OF THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY

7.1. The Contracting Authority shall insure that the terms and financial arrangements regarding PEG access in the Renewal License with Comcast are executed and implemented in a timely manner. The PROVIDER shall receive funding support provided in the License Agreement between the Contracting Authority and Comcast of Massachusetts/Virginia, Inc. effective on August 25, 2003.

7.2. The Contracting Authority and the Cable Advisory Committee shall be responsible for advising PROVIDER on policies, guidelines and programming the governmental portion of the public/governmental access channel.

7.3. PROVIDER may at any time file a written complaint with the Contracting Authority concerning operations of the cable system that have a bearing on PROVIDER’s performance under this Contract. The Contracting Authority shall investigate said complaints pursuant to the manner spelled out in the Renewal License and/or other rules or regulations established by the Town.

7.4. The Contracting Authority shall designate an individual to serve on the Board of Directors of PROVIDER.

7.5. The Town is a governmental entity that is subject to the Public Records laws of the Commonwealth. The Town shall comply with that law and shall honor all public records requests submitted to it relating to all aspects of this Agreement.

7.6. The Contracting Authority retains the right to audit PROVIDER’s financial affairs at the Town’s expense. PROVIDER shall cooperate in the preparation of such audit.

7.7. The Town shall not consider the content of public access programming, including the producer’s choice of subject matter and the point of view expressed, in making any decision regarding the allocation or appropriation of funds for PROVIDER, or the termination of this contract.

7.8. The Town shall, at its sole cost and expense, but only to the extent lawful for local governments, indemnify and hold harmless PROVIDER against any claims arising out of the Town’s breach of this contract. Indemnified expenses shall include but not be limited to all out-of-pocket expenses such as attorney’s fees.

Section 8. OBLIGATIONS OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

8.1. The Public Schools shall designate an individual to serve on the Board of Directors of PROVIDER.

Section 9: PERFORMANCE EVALUATION HEARINGS

Annually, PROVIDER shall take part in a Performance Evaluation Hearing overseen by the Cable Advisory Committee. PROVIDER will be provided ninety (90) days notice of such hearing. The purpose of said hearing shall be to determine whether PROVIDER is performing its responsibilities pursuant to this Agreement including, without limitation, public access programming, managing the annual payments for PEG access, training residents and scheduling the PEG channels. The Cable Advisory Committee shall prepare a report after each said hearing, which shall be available to PROVIDER and the general public. Problem areas identified at the public hearings and in the Town’s report shall be addressed by PROVIDER in a timely manner. After the first three annual performance evaluation hearings, the frequency of said hearings may be changed if PROVIDER is renewed for five (5) years.

Section 10: SEVERABILITY

If any section, sentence, paragraph, term or provision of this Agreement is determined to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or by any state or federal regulatory agency having jurisdiction thereof, such determination shall have no effect on the validity of any other Section, sentence, paragraph, term or provision, hereof.

Section 11: MISCELLANEOUS

11.1. At all times during the Agreement term, should the parties hereto agree that equipment necessary for operation of an Institutional Network is to be located within the facilities of PROVIDER, the Town shall have the right to establish and enforce, and PROVIDER will comply with and implement, rules and procedures that the Town deems appropriate and necessary for purposes of data security, including physically locking, and regulating access to, whatever space may house the equipment holding or transmitting such data. The Town will be given physical access to such space(s) during the Agreement term.

11.2. This Agreement is the entire Agreement of the parties and supersedes all prior negotiations, Agreements, or contracts whether written or oral.

11.3. PROVIDER shall not assign or transfer any interest in this Agreement without prior written consent of the Town, provided, however, that nothing herein shall prevent PROVIDER from subcontracting the performance of any provision or obligation required by this Contract, as long as PROVIDER remains primarily responsible to the Town for the performance of such provision or obligation.

11.4. This Agreement may be amended upon the mutual Agreement of the Town and PROVIDER. Amendments shall be in writing and effective upon execution by duly qualified officers of the Town and PROVIDER.

11.5. This Agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The parties hereto subject themselves to the jurisdiction of the courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, county of Franklin, for the resolution of any dispute, action or suit arising in connection with this Agreement.

11.6. Any notice required to be given or served upon any party in connection with this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been given and received a) three business days after the registered or certified letter containing the notice, properly addressed, with the postage prepaid, is deposited in the United States Mail; or b) if made in any other manner, upon the actual delivery to and receipt by the party to whom it is addressed. Notice shall be given to the parties at the following addresses:


SIGNATURE PAGE

For the Town:


__________________________________ _________________________________
Chair, Board of Selectmen


____________________________________________________________________
Selectman


____________________________________________________________________
Selectman


For the PROVIDER


_____________________________________________________________________
President, Board of Directors
 
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mik - Fri, Nov 11, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 11/8/05
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 11/8/05
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford
Absent: Roy Rosenblatt
In audience: Joseph Gochinski and Carrie Healy (GCTV Board Members)
Michael Muller and Michael Farrick (MCCI Board members)


Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

Chris distributed to the members copies of MCCI’s certifications of tax compliance and non-collusion that he had forgotten to bring to the last meeting.

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

Mike Naughton first suggested that the MCAC consider GCTV’s objections to providing additional information. He cited, in particular, the last two paragraphs in GCTV’s letter containing follow-up information:

’Greenfield Community Television strongly objects to the Montague Cable Advisory Committee’s decision to request and accept materials required by the original RFP after the stated closing date. We feel that this is a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the original RFP proposal, as approved by the Montague Board of Selectmen.

In accepting substantial addenda from MCCI, GCTV feels that the Cable Advisory Committee has failed to follow it’s [sic] own rules of procedure as outline [sic] in the RFP document, and has therefore tainted this otherwise fair and open process.’

Sammy felt that GCTV’s objections regarding their having received the letter asking for information late was also important. Chris read the entire letter.

Mike noted that while GCTV claimed not to have received the email asking for additional information, other members, copied on the document had received the information, and that GCTV had waited two days to inform the CAC that they did not have the letter. For him, the major issue was GCTV’s objections quoted above.

Chris agreed that this was an interesting point, and noted that in his previous experience with RFPs, the closing date was the closing date. At the same time, he stressed that the goal of the CAC was not to annoy either of the proposers, nor to subvert the process. Instead, he felt the CAC was providing an additional opportunity to both parties to clarify their proposals.

John argued that the request may have been contrary to the letter of the RFP but that the spirit in which additional material was sought was consistent with fairness and openness.

Sammy said he had, himself, brought additional information for the committee to consider, and was inclined to agree with John.

Some further discussion along these lines ensued. Mike then made a motion to bring the question to a vote.

Motion: The CAC should not consider in their proposal evaluation materials received after October 28, 2005.

Vote: Mike, Chris, aye
John, Sammy , no

Motion failed.

The next issue was posed by Sammy who argued that the CAC should extend by three weeks its date for making a decision in order for him to gather more information against MCCI. He specifically wanted to get an answer from the MASS Charities Division regarding whether The Montague Reporter was a legitimate enterprise for a non-profit corporation as they raised revenue from advertising.

Mike noted that he personally didn’t see why this was an issue. GCTV, he noted, also had underwriting, as did PBS and NPR, etc. Chris agreed, but suggested that Sammy pursue this independently if he wanted.

Mike also objected to the extension, as did Chris. John felt that the CAC should make a decision at the next meeting. He brought up the issue of Town Meeting being asked to vote on a contract on Dec. 7th.

Mike made a motion that Friday, November 11th be the end date for receiving an additional information, whether from the proposers or from CAC members.

Vote: unanimously in favor

Sammy next presented his list of questions to MCCI. (Appendix A)

His first issue was that of Board membership. He distributed copies of documents obtained from the state showing MCCI’s Board Membership from 2000-2005. He pointed to the name Catherine King on the 2000 state document and noted that she was not listed by MCCI in their proposal. Chris pointed out that MCCI only included documentation of their board membership since 2001 and that the state records squared with the addendum to the proposal. Sammy next stated that in the case of Michael Saari, he was not even a Montague resident for a portion of his time. Mike asked what was wrong with that. The Committee decided that this area was settled and that no further questions of MCCI need be asked.

Sammy next brought up the issue of MCCI’s claim of having ’a history of cooperation with local access television stations in the area." Sammy challenged this assertion, saying that MCCI had not cooperated with GCTV. Mike, John and Chris all felt this was a legitimate question and the committee agreed to ask MCCI to provide an answer by Friday, Nov. 11th to the following question: ’Provide more detail about MCCI’s history of cooperation with other PEG Access stations.’
It was also decided to ask GCTV, in the interest of fairness, to provide any other information that they though might be helpful to the CAC (See Appendix C)

Sammy’s next issue was related to a new law/rule that governed the high school’s employment of outside personnel might affect MCCI’s proposed plan to perform work at the high school. Chris said he’d never heard about this but that it was worthy of consideration as it would clearly affect both MCCI and GCTV. Mike and John agreed. John asked Sammy to obtain more information for the committee by Friday, November 11th.

As many of Sammy’s other questions seemed to have been already answered by MCCI either in the proposal or in their addendum, the CAC did not feel any further information was needed from MCCI.

Near the conclusion of the meeting Mike Naughton, who has been writing a narrative of the evaluations for the BOS stated that he had finally come to believe that in the end the decision came down to one’s personal opinion about what one wanted in a cable provider. He noted that both proposers had submitted strong proposals, and reminded the committee that the BOS would make the final decision.

John stated that he felt that saying this was making a mockery out of the whole evaluation process. Mike said he didn’t feel that way. Chris once again argued to move forward to a vote to send to the BOS.

At the end of the meeting, Mik Muller presented a letter to John asking that it be read into the record. John declined to read it aloud but did share it with the CAC members. Chris asked if this now constituted a public document that should be put into the minutes. Mike and John both agreed that it did. Sammy did not take a position. The letter is attached as Appendix B.

The meeting adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary


APPENDIX A Sammy’s Questions

For the CAC,
I think the most concern I have with MCCI’s proposal is with their listing of board members and the years they have served. As well as, their insurance certificates and tax returns. Especially in the light of their relationship to this project of thiers called the Montague reporter. I wish to know more about the details about this newspaper that has an annual budget of $60,000 60% of which the MCCI proposal is saying is garnered from advertising therefore making it for the past three years a profit organization.
I would like to pursue a question to the Charities division as to how ethical, as well as, legal this may be for a non profit group?

As far as the board memberships are concerned.For instance Mike Saari is listed as four years I know for a fact personally that Mr. Saari was in California and out of Montague for at least 2 of these years. Mr. Muller and Mr Langknecht are listed as four and a half years. But according to the tax returns documents it is only a bit different? Also the time that Mr. DeGuise first took over for Mr. Singleton Are there any records or dates to this change?
Recently october 14 05 there is a documentation of the change of board members submitted to the --------- Why was this filed so late and right before this proposal was given? Mr. Muller continued to list him as a board member on the web site he hosts. Now in this latest proposal he states that he is now "Back" from his other involvments elsewhere and will join the board again.

A)I want to know exact dates?
This all having to do with the status of MCCI as a bonafide non profit organization following all the regulations set forth by the attny general and the Charities division. If there are any questions that will be raised from this are.
I will move to have MCCI disqualified from this RFP bidding process. I have also had access now to the pubic tax returns of MCCI there are dates and listings there of other board members that I know for a fact were not members of their board and some of the address’s that are listed are very inaccurate and some that are actually non existant?
1) Can we please try and clear this up?
2) Why did we as a committee not received the proper signitures on the 2nd page of thier proposal where as GCTV’s proposal had it theref for all parties in nine copies to see?

3)And why did they not include the simple RFP copies that were to be included as well as the other certificates or copies there of as well?

4) To the President of MCCI Mr Muller. Have you ever gotten in touch with the Charities division yourself in order to clearify this rlationship with MCCI and their for profit project the Montague reporter? If so could you please provide copies to this committe of any and all correpondance with this agency.

I didn’t realise that we were to recieve less of the requirments because this was The town administrators responsibility? I was rather disturbed by this.

1) Concern: MCCI’s proposal (on page 28) asserts that ’MCCI has a history of cooperation with local access television stations in the area." However, there is a concern about what appears to be a historical failure or refusal of MCCI members to cooperate with one of the largest and most respected local station in the areaGCTV. Accordingly, please address the following related questions.

Question A: Specifically describe MCCI’s history of cooperation with GCTV. Your answer should include, though not be limited to, a detailed history of the following:
· Cooperation of MCCI board members with GCTV’s board, executive director, and staff
· Participation and volunteerism of MCCI board members to assist GCTV in filming Montague BOS meetings.
· Efforts to encourage cooperation between Brick House personnel and GCTV.
· Efforts to ensure that video productions made with GCTV facilities contain credits reflecting GCTV’s contribution.
· Use of the studios in Turners Falls by MCCI board members
· Use of MCCI’s newspaper to promote GCTV to its readers. (e.g., printing schedule of Montague shows on channel 17; reporting positive aspects of GCTV and encouraging local involvement.
· Use of website (operated by MCCI’s president) to promote GCTV to the local online community (e.g., posting GCTV announcements, advertisements, etc.)
· Use of GCTV training by MCCI board members

Question B: Is MCCI’s proposal asserting that Brick House programs were made in MCCI’s facilities?

Question C: Does the Brick House have a production contract with GCTV’s Crocker Studios?

2) Concern: MCCI’s proposed projected budget (on page 11) sets forth estimates that are not fully substantiated. Accordingly, please address the following related questions.

Question A: For each item listed below, specifically describe: i) how you estimated these figures, (ii) what sources did you use to arrive at these figures, (iii) from what sources you expect to receive these funds, (iv) what experience and success you have had raising such funds:

· Contribution Income
· Grants
· Administration
· Program Expenses
· Building and Property

3) Concern: MCCI’s proposed list of board members sets forth member names and their years of service, which appear inconsistent with MCCI’s public tax returns, and the actual time periods that members were present in Montague. Accordingly, please address the following related questions.

Question A: For each proposed board member, state the actual dates of active membership on MCCI’s board.

Question B: To the extent that MCCI’s public tax returns are inaccurate and/or inconsistent with actual board membership and fiduciaries, clarify the inaccuracies/inconsistencies in member/fiduciary names, addresses, and dates.

4) Concern: Further information is necessary to assess MCCI’s stability and status as a legally-compliant not-for-profit organization over the last three years. Accordingly, please address the following related questions, focusing on the past three years.

Question A: Identify the location of MCCI.

Question B: Specifically describe the relationship, interaction, and agreements existing between MCCI and their project the Montague reporter.

Question C: Specifically set forth a statement of the Montague Reporter’s annual budget and profits, and clarify how this relates to MCCI as a non-profit organization.

Question D: Itemize the expenses, including rent, incurred by the Montague Reporter. Explain how these expenses are paid to or by MCCI.

Question E: Confirm whether any MCCI board member will receive any compensation for MCCI-related products or services.

Question F: Explain the reason for and nature of MCCI’s recertification on October 14, 2005.
Question G: Describe MCCI’s health and liability insurance coverage.


5) Concern: A new law/rule governing the high school’s employment of outside personnel may affect MCCI’s proposed plan to perform work at the high school. Accordingly, please address the following related questions:

Question A: What impact, if any, do such rules have on MCCI’s proposed plan to work with the high school, and how does MCCI intend to work within such legal limitations?

6) Concern: MCCI’s proposed hours of operation, and use of volunteers, appears inadequate to ensure its commitment to filming and televising BOS and other municipal meetings. Accordingly, please address the following related questions:

Question A: Specifically explain how MCCI will ensure full coverage of municipal meetings, given its plans to remain closed on Monday and to use limited staff.

7) Concern: Further information and documentation is necessary to assess MCCI’s inventory of equipment and editing facilities. Accordingly, please address the following related questions:

Question A: Specifically identify the purchase date and price of each item of equipment listed in MCCI’s proposal.

Question B: Specifically identify the present location of each item of equipment listed in MCCI’s proposal. If any listed item is located at Crocker Studios, explain your method for determining that it belongs to Montague, rather than GCTV.

Question C: Specifically account for and provide receipts for each piece of Montague equipment sold in the tag sale when MCCI lost the assignment four years ago.


APPENDIX B Letter from Michael Muller to the CAC

Letter to the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) and Montague Board of Selectmen

In attending the MCAC meeting of Tuesday, November 1st, MCCI Board president Michael Muller and Board Member Michael Farrick witnessed a display of bias so extreme against MCCI and our proposal by committee member Sam Gilford, that it may contradict the function of the MCAC.

Mr. Gilford openly stated at one point during the evaluation period of the meeting that he would give MCCI only ’Non Advantageous’ ratings for the remainder of the criteria voting because what MCCI proposed was ’just words on paper.’

By definition, a proposal is just that: words on paper, and the evaluation criteria clearly states that votes are to be determined by the content of the proposal that speaks to the criteria being voted on.

Mr. Gilford’s comment makes it appear that he made his decision regarding the criteria without even consulting our proposal.

Regards,
Michael Muller, president
Montague Community cable, Inc.
24 Third Street
Turners Falls, MA 01376

Appendix C: Letter to GCTV, hand delivered on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 9:30 a.m. to Crocker Studios, and emailed to Mr. Gochinski

MONTAGUE CABLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

November 9, 2005

Mr. Joseph Gochinski
President, GCTV Board of Directors
C/0 Crocker Studios
Turners Falls, MA 01376

Dear Mr. Gochinski,

I am writing on behalf of the Montague Cable Advisory Committee to invite you to
supply any additional information regarding the questions the MCAC posed to GCTV
last week. We realize that you were rushed to answer these questions due to the
delay in receiving the communication. Because of this we feel it only fair to
allow you until Friday, November 11th to submit any additional information. You may send
these electronically to the chair, John Reynolds
<johnlynnreynolds@verizon.net> or if you prefer, you could deliver these in
hard copy to the Town Administrator on Monday morning (as Friday is a holiday).
He will then pass them on to us. We will be meeting next Tuesday, November 15
to continue our discussion and evaluation of the proposals.

For the Committee,


Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno
Recording Secretary, MCAC
 
View All Comments
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
 
View All Comments
mik - Mon, Oct 17, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 10/13/05
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 10/13/05
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford

Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:23 p.m.

The first item on the agenda was to discuss how to evaluate proposals due on Oct. 28, 2005. John said he would collect proposals (photocopy if necessary) and distribute to members on Oct. 28. The CAC decided that they would hold the next meeting on Nov. 1 at 7:00 to discuss proposals. The CAC unanimously agreed that, as usual, this would be an open meeting, and that deliberations would be public. Chris asked if we would have a follow-up meeting for presentations from proposers. Mike said he felt that if the proposals were complete we could decide on Nov. 1. Roy added that he didn’t see that we would gain further information from a presentation. Sammy agreed, saying that he didn’t feel we needed additional airing of comments on the same issues. The CAC decided to attempt to make a decision on Nov. 1st. Mike proposed that another meeting be scheduled for the following week just in case the CAC had questions for the proposers. He further suggested that all questions be put in writing and sent to the respective proposers in advance. The CAC agreed unanimously that was a good idea. November 8 was set for a subsequent meeting, if needed.

The next question was to the evaluation process, itself. Roy suggested that we read the proposals over the weekend and come to the meeting on Nov. 1 ready to discuss. Chris noted that we had agreed to weigh the criteria equally, but that we would also review the proposals to ensure that the submission requirements had been met. The CAC agreed that this was the case. Roy suggested that if the basic submission requirements were not met, the proposal could be rejected. The CAC agreed.

The second agenda item was discussion of the letter to be sent to GCTV asking for an accounting and inventory. John presented the letter that he had given the BOS on October 10. The BOS had suggested that a request for accounting be placed first, and inventory request second. The CAC eventually came up with the following:

Dear Mr. Gochinski:

The Montague Board of Selectmen requests an accounting of the funds that have come to you from Comcast for the running of Crocker Studio since November 2001. We are specifically seeking an accounting of funds, both for operational expenses and the purchase of capital equipment expended for providing PEG access in Montague. This should include an accounting of all capital grant money and quarterly payments.

Please provide a line-item presentation of expenditures, by category and position. (See attached sample.) In addition please present an updated inventory of equipment purchased with Montague subscriber money. This inventory should include date of purchase, purchase price, serial number (if applicable) and current estimated value.

Sincerely Yours,
BOS


(This letter was sent, as is, on Oct. 18.)

The meeting adjourned at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary
 
View All Comments
mik - Sun, Aug 21, 2005, 12:00 A
RFP as of 2005/8/19
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR PROGRAMMING, MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF PEG ACCESS IN THE TOWN OF MONTAGUE

September 6, 2005

MONTAGUE, MASSACHUSETTS


I. GENERAL INFORMATION AND OVERVIEW

The Town of Montague, Massachusetts (hereinafter ’Town’), acting by and through its Board of Selectman, will receive sealed Proposals for the operation of the Town’s local access cable TV station, the Designated Access Provider.

Sealed Proposals must be submitted at or before (insert date)


Montague Board of Selectmen
Montague Town Hall
1 Avenue A
Turners Falls MA

Proposals received after the specified submission time will not be accepted. Sealed envelopes containing Proposals Forms must be clearly marked in accordance with the Instructions to Contractors.

Completed Proposal with all required materials must be submitted with all responses.

Complete instructions for filing Proposals are included in Sections IV and V.


The Town reserves the right to waive any informalities in, or to reject any and all Proposals if it deems it to be in the public interest to do so.

II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

On August 25, 2003 The Board of Selectmen of the Town of Montague granted a ten-year License to Comcast of Massachusetts/Virginia, Inc. (’Comcast’) to operate and maintain a Cable Television System within the corporate limits of the Town of Montague. In part, the License provides for payments by the Licensee for Public, Educational and Government programming, management and operation in the Town. Specifically, the license provides a License Fee to the Town equal to five percent of Comcast’s Gross Annual Revenues ($85,609.09 in FY ’04). Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 166A, Section 9, all License Fee payments by the Licensee are payable on a quarterly basis to the Treasurer of the Town of Montague, though the Town may make provision for payments to be made directly to the Town’s Designated Access Provider. In addition, the Licensee issues payments to the Town for capital equipment and leasehold improvements in the amount of $100,000 spread over the ten-year contractual period. Equipment purchased by the Town or the Designated Access Provider under the terms of the licensed capital payments is the property of the Town. An inventory of existing access equipment and a schedule of capital payments are available on request.

The License further provides that it is the sole responsibility of the Montague Board of Selectmen to select the Designated Access Provider. Pursuant to the terms of the Contract, this Designated Access Provider shall provide Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access Programming to Subscribers. The Designated Access Provider will be responsible for the quality of the audio/video signal up to the cable system insertion equipment. Comcast will provide, maintain and align all RF/Fiber-Optic/Digital equipment used to insert, transmit or distribute PEG access signals over the cable subscriber network.


III. PURCHASE DESCRIPTION/SCOPE OF SERVICES

A. The Town seeks a qualified, responsible and responsive provider , 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 Board of Selectmen 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 Board of Selectmen 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 its application:

A. a mission statement.
B. an organizational plan.

C. a 3-year business plan that demonstrates allocation of resources, a capital plan, and a financial plan including a line-item first-year overall operational budget. Proposer will also include a detailed line-item operational budget specific to Montague with specific detail regarding expenditures for staffing, 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 training 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:

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

2. 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.

3. 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).

4. the Town reserves the right to reject any Proposal if in its sole judgment and discretion 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.

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 bound by any oral representation..

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 rejected.

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.

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

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

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

M. 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.

N. 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.

O. 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.

P. 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. The authorization to award a contract for an initial period of three (3) years will be made by the Montague Board of Selectmen in 2005. Upon such authorization, the contract will be awarded to the successful Proposer and will be administered by the Board of Selectmen. 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.

B. 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 a selection committee chosen by the Board of Selectmen. 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.

C. 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.

D. 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.


VII. QUALITY REQUIREMENTS


A. The Proposer must be a not-for-profit corporation

B. The Proposer must submit a plan that meets all of the requirements as specified in this RFP.

VIII. COMPARATIVE EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

Proposals will be judged using three categories: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous, and Not Advantageous

1. Montague Community Representation
Highly Advantageous: Applicant is based in the Franklin area 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 Hampshire or Franklin area, and does not have a clear provision for allowing at least 30% of its board members to be Montague residents.
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. ff
Not Advantageous: Applicant does not have at least one year of experiencein the areas listed above.

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 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
4. Organizational 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.

5. Technical Qualifications

Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least three-years experience in cablecasting and can demonstrate the consistent ability to provide 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 that it is has some capacity to provide a reasonable degree of quality 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.


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.

7. Community Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused proposals for monitoring 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 monitoring 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 monitoring 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.


Contract Provisions

The corporation or individual(s) whose proposal is selected as the most advantageous proposal will be expected to enter into a contract with the Town.


A. Payment for Services -- As provided in the license between the Town of Montague and Comcast, the Designated Access Provider via the Town of Montague will receive operating funds available for PEG access services ($85,609.09 in FY ’04) on a quarterly basis. In addition, the Licensee issues payments to the Designated Access Provider via the Town of Montague for capital equipment and leasehold improvements in the amount of $100,000 spread over the ten-year contractual period between the Town and Comcast. Accountability for use of these funds is addressed under reporting requirements.

B. Term of Contract -- A three-year contract, with a five-year option to renew (subject to positive performance reviews and Town Meeting approval) will be issued by the Board of Selectmen to the chosen local access provider on January 1, 2006.

C. Liability -- The Designated Access 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, including but not limited to, claims in the nature of libel, slander, invasion of privacy or publicity rights, no compliance with applicable laws, license fees and the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.

The Designated Access Provider will maintain worker’s 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 Access Provider will assume the cost and responsibility for insuring Town-owned equipment used to meet the local access needs.

D. Termination -- The Town will require that any contract include provisions for its termination upon the adjudication of the bankruptcy of the Designated Access Provider and termination if the Town determines that the Designated Access Provider has failed to fulfill its responsibilities pursuant to the terms and conditions of the contract. The Town will agree to provisions which balance the interests of the Designated Provider with those of the Town, and to balanced procedures for fair hearings. The Town will require that upon termination of the contract, the Town and the Designated Access Provider will agree as to the disposition of outstanding obligations of the Designated Access Provider, and the disposition and transfer of all equipment acquired under the terms of the license.

E. Public Performance Evaluations -- Annually, within ninety (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, including, without limitation, public access programming, managing the annual payments for PEG access, training residents, community outreach, scheduling the PEG programming, and any other requirements as set forth in the criteria.

F. Reporting Requirements -- On a quarterly basis, the Designated Access Provider will provide at its own expense financial and operating reports to the Board of Selectmen. The financial reports will provide line item information including personnel costs, purchases of equipment and services, as well as overhead costs. The operating reports will reflect input received from the community, a list of community outreach activities, programming lists and schedules, studio workshops and other activities as per the criteria. These reports will serve as an ongoing means of evaluating the performance of the Designated Access Provider and identifying new goals and directions.

.
Dated:


The Town of Montague by:

______________________________________________

Town Administrator/Chief Procurement Officer


_______________________________________________
Town Counsel
Certify as to form




The CONTRACTOR _________________________________________________
[authority or agency]


________________________________________________
Director


________________________________________________
Board President



CERTIFICATE OF TAX COMPLIANCE



Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 62C, sec 49A, I hereby certify under penalties of perjury that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, I am in compliance with all laws of the Commonwealth relating to taxes, reporting of employees and contractors, and withholding and remitting child support.




___________________________ _____________________________________
Social Security or Federal I.D. number Signature: Individual or Corporate Officer




_________________________________
Date



PLEASE PRINT

Corporate Name: ________________________________________________



Address: _______________________________________________________



City, State, Zip Code: _____________________________________________






CERTIFICATE OF NON-COLLUSION




The undersigned certifies under penalties of perjury that this Proposal or proposal has been made and submitted in good faith and without collusion or fraud with any other person, business, partnership, corporation, union committee, club or other organization, entity or group of individuals.



Signature of individual submitting Proposal or proposal





Name of Business
 
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mik - Sat, Jul 30, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 7/27/05
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 7/27/05
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford

Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.

1. John opened the meeting by saying that he had received no response from Steve Fitzgibbons of Comcast about the use of Channel 17 for Montague programming instead of it remaining the education channel. Chris stated that he had checked the FCC regulations and did not find any mandate for an exclusive education channel. Mike noted that in the assignment letter of intent Marty McGuane touts Channel 17 as being dedicated to education. He followed up by saying we need to get an answer as to why this is being changed. John will call Fitzgibbons again.

2. Minutes from the 3/2/05 and 3/22/05 meetings were approved unanimously.

3. The discussion next turned to Chris’ document (see below) that he had prepared in response to the changes to the RFP suggested by Al and Patricia. Mike noted that Category VII should be Category VIII. Mike further noted that he agreed with Patricia’s suggestion that ’local’ be defined as Franklin/Hampshire Counties. He noted that in the former contract with AT&T the contract had specifically named Montague as local. This was changed by Sam Lovejoy in the negotiations with Comcast so that there was no mention of Montague or any entity providing local access.

Roy said that he was generally satisfied with the informational document and reiterated that 30B was intended to eliminate bias. All but Sammy agreed.

On the three-year duration, Mike said he felt this was right with a Town Meeting vote. He also noted that the reason for not requiring specific cable experience was that it allowed more entities to compete. Mike will send a longer explanation in writing to Chris to include in final document.

There were also a few suggestions for other changes. The draft document (Appendix A) and the final document (Appendix B) are presented below. Chris will send on to Frank and the Select Board within two days. CAC members agreed to read and respond within the next 48 hours.

The meeting adjourned at 7:07.

Respectfully Submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary






APPENDIX A: Background Information Regarding the Select Board’s Proposed Changes to the RFP (DRAFT)

The CAC reviewed the changes suggested by Dr. Ross and Ms. Pruitt regarding the RFP. We thought it might be useful to offer the following explanations as to why we included the information we did, and what led us to the specific wording of certain sections. This information is not to be construed as a rebuttal. It is simply informative.

The first issue seems to be that of following MGL Chapter 30B. Counsel advised that while 30B does not have to be followed, it certainly can be followed, a sentiment echoed by Patricia Pruitt in her response. Our sense was that while this was not a specific requirement, 30B does provide a useful level of professional requirements, ensures that there is true, open and fair competition, and provides important safeguards for the Town. Indeed, the original purpose of Chapter 30B was to guard against bias and ensure a standardization of procedures. For these reasons, we decided that the RFP was a sounder document if we followed 30B.

The provisions Dr. Ross noted in Section V (Submission Requirements) as being unnecessary, are part of 30B. In reviewing these we feel that while they are not essential, they do provide the Town with a high degree of assurance that those submitting proposals do so in a uniform and professional manner. Provision K, for instance, requires that proposers submit on time; Provision M details the procedure for withdrawing a proposal and ensures that any changes a proposer makes after submission are done so in writing. The other provisions are of a similar nature. We feel that these are common-sense rules, and provide the Town with safeguards.

Whether 30B is followed or not, this is an RFP; hence our confusion over Al’s wishing to delete the term ’RFP.’


Specifics:

III (Purchase Desc) Provision P: Patricia Pruitt’s wording seems appropriate

IV (Submissions) Provision C

The CAC, after much deliberation, felt that 3 years was an adequate amount of time to demonstrate the proposer’s intentions. A longer period, we felt, was probably unrealistic given the changing nature of cable.

Provision I

The CAC felt that is was important that a proposer account for inventory and anticipate purchases from Comcast capital allotments in order to determine a group’s fitness for responsibly outfitting a studio.

Provision J

FCC guidelines mandate that a PEG provider run regular community training sessions. The purpose of this provision is to gather information as to a proposer’s intent to run such training, as well as determine what types of training a group intends to offer Montague citizens.

V (Submission Requirements) Provision 0


VI (Rules for Award) Provision B

After much deliberation the CAC felt that a three-year award was adequate to ensure continuity with cable, as well as provide a limitation on the contract. From our examination of the practices in other MA communities, we discovered that a three-year contract is fairly standard for a new provider. As noted in the contract terms, the assignment is renewable provided the provider is performing satisfactorily following a review. We also believe that this provides an important safeguard for the Town to dismiss a cable provider deemed unsatisfactory without incurring the possibility of litigation.

Provision C

The Select Board is, of course, free to appoint a new committee to review the proposals. We volunteered to take on this task as we felt that after eight months of examining cable issues, in our own community and in others, and having written the RFP, we feel we understand PEG issues quite well. The CAC welcomes the appointment of new members to the Committee.

VII (Comparative Evaluative Criteria)



1: Our reason for suggesting that at least 50% of the provider’s board members be Montague citizens was because this is Montague local access. That the provider be based in the ’local area’ was compromise wording. We feel that it is ’highly advantageous’ that Montague residents be well represented on the board.

2: Again, to substitute ’Franklin County’ for ’Montague’ seems to slight the importance of our Town and community in favor of a larger entity.

3: The three-year requirement allowed for younger and newer non-profits to compete.

5: The wording of ’similar studio’ was inserted to allow for organizations (such as those who have operated studios within schools, or who have managed public facilities) to compete.


Contract Provisions: B: see IV (C) above.

Provision E

Patricia Pruitt’s suggestion seems sound.



APPENDIX B:

Background Information Regarding the Select Board’s Proposed Changes to the RFP (Final Document)


At a meeting on July 27, 2005, the CAC reviewed the changes suggested by Dr. Ross and Ms. Pruitt regarding the RFP. We thought it might be useful to offer the following explanations as to why we included the information we did, and what led us to the specific wording of certain sections. This information is not to be construed as a rebuttal. It is simply informative.

The first issue seems to be that of following MGL Chapter 30B. Counsel advised that while 30B does not have to be followed, it certainly can be followed, a sentiment echoed by Patricia Pruitt in her response. Our sense was that while this was not a specific requirement, 30B does provide a useful level of professional requirements, ensures that there is true, open and fair competition, and provides important safeguards for the Town. Indeed, the origional purpose of Chapter 30B was to guard against bias and ensure a standardization of procedures. For these reasons, we decided that the RFP was a sounder document if we followed 30B.

The provisions Dr. Ross noted in Section V (Submission Requirements) as being unnecessary, are part of 30B. In reviewing these we feel that while they are not essential, they do provide the Town with a high degree of assurance that those submitting proposals do so in a uniform and professional manner. Provision K, for instance, requires that proposers submit on time; Provision M details the procedure for withdrawing a proposal and ensures that any changes a proposer makes after submission are done so in writing. The other provisions are of a similar nature. We feel that these are common-sense rules, and provide the Town with safeguards.

Whether 30B is followed or not, this is an RFP; The Committee was not clear on why Dr. Ross wishes to delete the term ’RFP.’

We would also like to add that in coming up with the criteria for this draft RFP, our goal was to encourage as many potential candidates as possible. Unlike some other RFPs (e.g. the landfill, or the Strathmore project), the pool of potential responders in this case seems relatively small, and so much of our effort was devoted to trying to keep it as big as we could. In doing so, we tried to balance our recognition that an organization that is already providing PEG access or is producing community television has an obvious advantage with our belief that an organization with strong ties to the Montague community
and a good track record of public service and financial management might well be an appropriate steward of the town’s cable subscribers’ funds. In the end, we are looking for the best PEG access provider for Montague, and that means having both technical expertise and an strong commitment to serving our community in all its idiosyncratic diversity.


Specifics:

III (Purchase Desc) Provision P: Patricia Pruitt’s wording seems appropriate

IV (Submissions) Provision C

The CAC, after much deliberation, felt that 3 years was an adequate amount of time to demonstrate the proposer’s intentions. A longer period, we felt, was probably unrealistic given the changing nature of cable.

Provision I

The CAC felt that is was important that a proposer account for inventory and anticipate purchases from Comcast capital allotments in order to determine a group’s fitness for responsibly outfitting a studio.

Provision J

FCC guidelines mandate that a PEG provider run regular community training sessions. The purpose of this provision is to gather information as to a proposer’s intent to run such training, as well as determine what types of training a group intends to offer Montague citizens.

V (Submission Requirements) Provision 0

Federal and State law requires only that a bidder for a contract be in current tax compliance. MGL Chapter 62C, Sec. 49A states that a firm cannot be in current tax compliance if any delinquencies in past years have been unresolved. As a result, there is no need to insert a specific number of years.


VI (Rules for Award) Provision B

After much deliberation the CAC felt that a three-year award was adequate to ensure continuity with cable, as well as provide a limitation on the contract. From our examination of the practices in other MA communities, we discovered that a three-year contract is fairly standard for a new provider. As noted in the contract terms, the assignment is renewable provided the provider is performing satisfactorily following a review. We also believe that this provides an important safeguard for the Town to dismiss a cable provider deemed unsatisfactory without incurring the possibility of litigation.

Provision C

The Select Board is, of course, free to appoint a new committee to review the proposals. We volunteered to take on this task as we felt that after eight months of examining cable issues, in our own community and in others, and having written the RFP, we feel we understand PEG issues quite well. The CAC welcomes the appointment of new members to the Committee.

VIII (Comparative Evaluative Criteria)

Provision 1

Our reason for suggesting that at least 50% of the provider’s board members be Montague citizens was because this is Montague local access. That the provider be based in the ’local area’ was compromise wording. Indeed, our original wording was ’Montague-based,’ a designation borrowed from the Town’s previous contracts with AT&T and Comcast. In our compromise we decided on ’local area’ to be more inclusive. We welcome the Select Board’s efforts to further delineate ’local.’

On the second point, we feel that it is ’highly advantageous’ that Montague residents be well represented on the board since this organization will be providing PEG programming for Montague, not any other town.

Provision 2

Again, to substitute ’Franklin County’ for ’Montague’ seems to slight the importance of our Town and community in favor of a larger entity.

Provision 3

The three-year requirement allowed for younger and newer non-profits to compete. The CAC felt that this might help to broaden the field of proposers.

Provision 5

The wording of ’similar studio’ was inserted to allow for organizations (such as those who have operated studios within schools, or who have managed public facilities) to compete. The CAC felt that if we restricted proposers only to those who operate TV studios, we would be severely restricting the field.


Contract Provisions: B: see IV (C) above.

Provision E

Patricia Pruitt’s suggestion seems sound.



Respectfully Submitted (via electronic mail)

The Montague Cable Advisory Committee

John Reynolds (chair)
Sam Gilford
Michael Naughton
Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Roy Rosenblatt
 
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mik - Sun, Jul 17, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 7/13/05
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 7/13/05
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford
Others: Patricia Pruitt, Jeff Singleton

Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m.

John opened the meeting by asking the Committee members what they felt the CAC should do to expedite the RFP process for the Select Board’s August 8th meeting.

Mike suggested that since Frank was going to annotate the RFP with input from Select Board members, the CAC should get copies and prepare a written response. He then asked whether the CAC as a group wanted to make a joint response or whether each CAC member should respond individually. Chris said that he felt it would be stronger and more unified if the CAC as a whole made a response to the suggested changes. John agreed. Roy also agreed but said that it was essential to get Frank’s annotated version as it was difficult to decipher all of Selectmen Al Ross’s comments because of his handwriting. Roy then asked Select Board member Pruitt, present in audience, if she thought Frank could get this document together quickly. Patricia responded that she wasn’t sure but would ask Frank about it.

Sammy noted that since the CAC prepared the RFP, it was not up to the CAC to provide more input. Chris agreed with Sammy but noted that it was important and legitimate for the CAC to provide some explanation, if and when necessary, for the proposed changes to the document.

Roy next noted that he wasn’t sure what Al Ross had in mind by wanting to strike the 30B provisions, stating that nothing says we can’t follow 30B, even if 30B itself isn’t stated. Patricia asked what the importance of the 30B provisions were. Roy responded that they were intended to create a level playing field. John noted that it kept the process fair and unbiased. Roy stated that a number of the provisions were simply common sense items such as timely delivery, no changes after the fact, etc.

Sammy brought up the question of bias in that members of MCCI were present during the work sessions by the CAC on the RFP. Mike responded that no MCCI member was in on the drafting or wording and that there was no collusion between any member of the CAC and MCCI. Roy noted that the Select Board alone would be making the final draft and making the decision. As far as he was concerned this was a dead issue, and a non-issue.

Sammy noted that he felt people were parading as ordinary citizens when they had a vested interest in the outcome and that it did matter.

Jeff Singleton, in the audience, responded that he had never disguised himself as an ordinary citizen when he was representing the interests of a group to whom he belonged, whether the Finance Committee or formerly MCCI.

Sammy acknowledged that he wasn’t talking about Jeff.

The question then came back to Frank’s annotations. Mike asked Patricia Pruitt what she thought Frank’s intentions were. She responded that she thought he was going to prepare a document that stated the positions of each SB member, and suggested that this would simply be a compilation of the different views on each of the points. She noted that Al already had Al’s input and she would be giving him her ideas in the next day or so.

Roy again stressed that time was of the essence. Mike suggested that perhaps the CAC could take a look at the changes proposed by Al and Patricia Pruitt and respond in advance. Chris said he thought he could do this. John suggested that this would be good as long as it was in the spirit of cooperation and explanation. All agreed. Chris suggested that perhaps he could email the minutes of the RFP meetings to the Select Board as they clearly explained all of the inner struggles to arrive at the language and points. Mike felt that this was perhaps a bit too much information for anybody to sort through. A point-by-point explanation, he said, would be more relevant and useful. Chris agreed.

Mike suggested that perhaps the CAC could spend some time attempting to decipher some of Al’s points. ’Local’ was obviously of importance, he noted. John said that he remembered this was compromise wording. Chris agreed. Mike said he had originally proposed ’Montague’ for ’local’ but that the committee had decided that this was too narrow. But how to define what local is? Chris suggested that the SB could wrangle with this issue. The CAC seemed to agree.

Patricia noted that following 30B was still an issue. She asked the CAC if they felt this was essential for the RFP to be meaningful. Roy responded that 30B simply creates equality among bidders, ensuring that no particular bidder can have an advantage. It works, he noted, then went on to say that there are real advantages to Montague if the 30B submission requirements are followed. These provisions protect Montague and the Select Board. But it is, he stated, the SB’s call. The CAC supports 30B and 30B language. Mike noted that while the SB could strike 30B it was there for a reason and he didn’t feel it was harmful in any way to the RFP or the process. Patricia said she felt she had a clearer understanding.

Next, Jeff Singleton asked the CAC about GCTV’s appropriation of Channel 17 for Montague programming.

John said he didn’t know quite what to make of it but noted that Channel 17 was supposed to be the dedicated educational channel. Mike noted that when GCTV first got the assignment this one of Marty McGuane’s major selling points was that he would make a viable educational channel out of Channel 17. John said he would call Steve Fitzgibbons at Comcast to ask about the appropriateness of the switch. Sammy suggested that John call Marty. John asked Sammy to call Marty and get an explanation. Chris said he would look at the FCC regs.

In conclusion, The CAC decided that Chris would attempt to draft an informational background document to send on to Frank regarding the RFP changes. Chris said he would do this right away and have it ready for discussion at the next CAC meeting scheduled for July 20.

The meeting adjourned at 8:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary
 
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mik - Fri, Mar 25, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 3/22/05
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.

The meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording secretary
 
View All Comments
mik - Sat, Mar 5, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting at Montague Center Library on 3/02/05

Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford, Roy Rosenblatt

Chairman John Reynolds called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

A brief discussion of the minutes of the 2/18/05 meeting followed. Originally, Sammy had objected to the recording secretary’s terminology in referring to a dispute between Sammy and two MCCI members, Mik Meuller and Mike Langnecht. Sammy withdrew his objections and the minutes were unanimously approved.

Mike introduced a new Comparative Evaluative Criteria. The new system expanded the categories (see below) as well as contained three distinct evaluative rankings: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous and Not Advantageous. Mike felt that these rankings were both evaluative and easier to follow than the previously suggested rankings of Highly Advantageous and Advantageous

John expressed his opinion that these did seem to work better. Roy and Chris concurred. The Committee next turned its attention to Mike’s new criteria as below:


COMPARATIVE EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

Proposals will be judged using three categories: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous, and Not Advantageous

1. Montague Community Representation
Highly Advantageous: Applicant is based in the local area, and a majority of its board members are Montague residents.
Advantageous: Applicant is based in the local area, and at least 30% of its board members are Montague residents.
Not Advantageous: Applicant is not based in the local area, or Montague residents comprise less than 30% of its board membership.

2. Experience with PEG Access Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least two board members or employees with greater than three years’ experience in at least two the following areas:
· Providing PEG or equivalent access in Montague or similar communities.
· Involvement in Montague community-based or community-oriented organizations (this may include applicant’s organization, if applicable)
· Producing programming for PEG access provider(s)
Advantageous: Applicant does not have two board members or employees with greater than three years’ experience in the areas listed above. Applicant has two or more board members or employees with greater than one year’s experience in at least two of the areas listed above.
Not Advantageous: Applicant does not have at least two board members or employees with greater than one year’s experience in the areas listed above.

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 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
4. Organizational 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.

5. Community Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused proposals for monitoring 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 monitoring 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 monitoring 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.


Mike noted that he felt this compressed the information into a readable and identifiable scheme but that he was open to any and all suggestions.
The first issue for discussion was Mike’s proposal ( # 3) that ’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 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.’

Roy questioned why providing cable services was not part of this criterion.

Mike responded that he felt it was more important that a non-profit be experienced in business and financial management than that they have cable experience. John made the point that this would perhaps allow more players into the bidding process. Chris felt that the category was a bit broad and that cable providing should be important.

Roy suggested that another criterion be added addressing local services.

Chris suggested the following: ’Applicant has operated a studio or similar facility in Montague for at least three years, and it is has been open to the public at least 30 hours per week on a regular basis.’ Roy agreed, suggesting that the criterion be headed ’Local Services.’ Roy then made a motion to accept this. Chris seconded. Passed unanimously.

The next item for discussion was board representation. Sammy questioned why Mike was proposing that at least 50% of the board members be Monatgue residents. (#1)

Mike stated that he felt this was important because the provider was to be providing cable for the Town of Montague, and therefore a high degree of local input on the board was useful. He also pointed out that a 30% membership would still equate with ’Advantageous.’

Sammy continued to disagree. Roy made a motion that the CAC vote to accept that a majority of board members be Montague residents. Chris seconded. The motion passed 3 to 1, with Sammy voting no, and Mike abstaining.

Despite the vote, discussion continued. Sammy was still arguing against the issue. Mike made a motion to revote the issue with new wording. Instead of stipulating that a majority be Montague residents, Mike suggested that at least 50% of the board be Montague residents. Roy seconded. Motion passed 4 to 1 with Sammy voting no.

Further discussion followed over fine points in the document. The final draft as worked out by the CAC is presented in Appendix A. Chris will revise the last draft with the changes and forward copies to CAC members. Once approved by CAC members Chris will forward on the RFP to the Select Board for the March 14th meeting.


The meeting adjourned at 8:41.

The next meeting was scheduled for 3/22/05

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording secretary


Appendix A: Final RFP document draft to be submitted to Select Board (approved by all members except for Sammy who withheld his approval feeling that the CAC should not have created the RFP).

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR PROGRAMMING, MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF PEG ACCESS IN THE TOWN OF MONTAGUE

(insert new date) 2005

MONTAGUE, MASSACHUSETTS


I. GENERAL INFORMATION AND OVERVIEW

The Town of Montague, Massachusetts (hereinafter ’Town’), acting by and through its Board of Selectman, will receive sealed Proposals for the operation of the Town’s local access cable TV station, the Designated Access Provider.

Sealed Proposals must be submitted at or before (insert date)


Montague Board of Selectman
Montague Town Hall
1 Avenue A
Turners Falls MA

Proposals received after the specified submission time will not be accepted. Sealed envelopes containing Proposals Forms must be clearly marked in accordance with the Instructions to Contractors.

Completed Proposal with all required materials must be submitted with all responses.

Complete instructions for filing Proposals are included in Sections IV and V.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is being administered under the provisions of Chapter 30B of the Massachusetts General Laws.

The Town reserves the right to waive any informalities in, or to reject any and all Proposals if it deems it to be in the public interest to do so.

II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

On August 25, 2003 The Select Board of the Town of Montague granted a ten-year License to Comcast of Massachusetts/Virginia, Inc. (’Comcast’) to operate and maintain a Cable Television System within the corporate limits of the Town of Montague. In part, the License provides for payments by the Licensee for Public, Educational and Government programming, management and operation in the Town. Specifically, the license provides a License Fee to the Town equal to five percent of Comcast’s Gross Annual Revenues (a total of approximately $72,352.32 annually). Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 166A, Section 9, all License Fee payments by the Licensee are payable on a quarterly basis to the Treasurer of the Town of Montague, though the Town may make provision for payments to be made directly to the Town’s Designated Access Provider. In addition, the Licensee issues payments to the Town for capital equipment and leasehold improvements in the amount of $100,000 spread over the ten-year contractual period. Equipment purchased by the Town or the Designated Access Provider under the terms of the licensed capital payments is the property of the Town. An inventory of existing access equipment and a schedule of capital payments are available on request.

The License further provides that it is the sole responsibility of the Montague Select Board to select the Designated Access Provider. Pursuant to the terms of the Contract, this Designated Access Provider shall provide Public, Educational and Government (PEG) Access Programming to Subscribers. The Designated Access Provider will be responsible for the quality of the audio/video signal up to the cable system insertion equipment. Comcast will provide, maintain and align all RF/Fiber-Optic/Digital equipment used to insert, transmit or distribute PEG access signals over the cable subscriber network.


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:

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

F. 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.

G. 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).

H. 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.

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

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

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

M. 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.

N. 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.

O. 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.

P. 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 three (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.




VII. QUALITY REQUIREMENTS


A. The Proposer must be a not-for-profit corporation

B. The proposer must submit a plan that meets all of the requirements as specified in this RFP.

VIII. COMPARATIVE EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

Proposals will be judged using three categories: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous, and Not Advantageous

VIII. COMPARATIVE EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

Proposals will be judged using three categories: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous, and Not Advantageous

VIII. COMPARATIVE EVALUATIVE CRITERIA

Proposals will be judged using three categories: Highly Advantageous, Advantageous, and Not Advantageous

1. Montague Community Representation
Highly Advantageous: Applicant is based in the local area, and at least 50% of its board members are Montague residents.
Advantageous: Applicant is based in the local area, and at least 30% of its board members are Montague residents.
Not Advantageous: Applicant is not based in the local area, or Montague residents comprise less than 30% of its board membership.

2. Experience with PEG Access Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has at least two board members or employees with greater than three years’ experience in at least two the following areas:
· Providing PEG or equivalent access in Montague or similar communities.
· Involvement in Montague community-based or community-oriented organizations (this may include applicant’s organization, if applicable)
· Producing programming for PEG access provider(s)
Advantageous: Applicant does not have two board members or employees with greater than three years’ experience in the areas listed above. Applicant has two or more board members or employees with greater than one year’s experience in at least two of the areas listed above.
Not Advantageous: Applicant does not have at least two board members or employees with greater than one year’s experience in the areas listed above.

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 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
4. Organizational 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.
5. 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 Montague, 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 Montague, or has operated one for less than one year.
6. Community Programming
Highly Advantageous: Applicant has submitted clear and focused proposals for monitoring 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 monitoring 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 monitoring 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.




Contract Provisions

The corporation or individual(s) whose proposal is selected as the most advantageous proposal will be expected to enter into a contract with the Town.


A. Payment for Services -- As provided in the license between the Town of Montague and Comcast, the Designated Access Provider via the Town of Montague will receive operating funds available for PEG access services in the approximate amount of $72,352.32 annually on a quarterly basis. In addition, the Licensee issues payments to the Designated Access Provider via the Town of Montague for capital equipment and leasehold improvements in the amount of $100,000 spread over the ten-year contractual period between the Town and Comcast. Accountability for use of these funds is addressed under reporting requirements.

B. Term of Contract -- A contract will be issued by the Select Board to the chosen local access provider for an initial term of three (3) years

C. Liability -- The Designated Access 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, including but not limited to, claims in the nature of libel, slander, invasion of privacy or publicity rights, no compliance with applicable laws, license fees and the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.

The Designated Access Provider will maintain worker’s 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 Town will assume the cost and responsibility for insuring Town-owned equipment used to meet the local access needs.

D. Termination -- The Town will require that any contract include provisions for its termination upon the adjudication of the bankruptcy of the Designated Access Provider and termination if the Town determines that the Designated Access Provider has failed to fulfill its responsibilities pursuant to the terms and conditions of the contract. The Town will agree to provisions which balance the interests of the Designated Provider with those of the Town, and to balanced procedures for fair hearings. The Town will require that upon termination of the contract, the Town and the Designated Access Provider will agree as to the disposition of outstanding obligations of the Designated Access Provider, and the disposition and transfer of all equipment acquired under the terms of the license.

E. Public Performance Evaluations -- Annually, within ninety (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, including, without limitation, public access programming, managing the annual payments for PEG access, training residents, community outreach, scheduling the PEG programming, and any other requirements as set forth in the criteria.

F. Reporting Requirements -- On a quarterly basis, the Designated Access Provider will provide at its own expense financial and operating reports to the Select Board. The financial reports will provide line item information including personnel costs, purchases of equipment and services, as well as overhead costs. The operating reports will reflect input received from the community, a list of community outreach activities, programming lists and schedules, studio workshops and other activities as per the criteria. These reports will serve as an ongoing means of evaluating the performance of the Designated Access Provider and identifying new goals and directions.

.
Dated:


The Town of Montague by:

______________________________________________

Town Administrator/Chief Procurement Officer


_______________________________________________
Town Counsel
Certify as to form




The CONTRACTOR _________________________________________________
[authority or agency]


________________________________________________
Director


________________________________________________
Board President



CERTIFICATE OF TAX COMPLIANCE



Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law chapter 62C, sec 49A, I hereby certify under penalties of perjury that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, I am in compliance with all laws of the Commonwealth relating to taxes, reporting of employees and contractors, and withholding and remitting child support.




___________________________ _____________________________________
Social Security or Federal I.D. number Signature: Individual or Corporate Officer




_________________________________
Date



PLEASE PRINT

Corporate Name: ________________________________________________



Address: _______________________________________________________



City, State, Zip Code: _____________________________________________






CERTIFICATE OF NON-COLLUSION




The undersigned certifies under penalties of perjury that this Proposal or proposal has been made and submitted in good faith and without collusion or fraud with any other person, business, partnership, corporation, union committee, club or other organization, entity or group of individuals.



Signature of individual submitting Proposal or proposal





Name of Business
 
View All Comments
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-Lauçanno, 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.
 
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mik - Mon, Jan 17, 2005, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 1/11/05 with Comcast
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 1/11/05

Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Steve Fitzgibbons (Comcast) and Peter Mones (Comcast)
Absent: Roy Rosenblatt, Sam Gilford


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

The purpose of this meeting was for MCAC to meet with Comcast reps. Items on the agenda were:

1. Status of Tech School
2. Status of Town Hall and Police Department Uplinks
3. Clarification on other requested uplinks
4. Clarification of Dry Hill Road cable hook-up feasibility
5. Cable map request

Steve Fitzgibbons opened the meeting by providing a brief overview of recent Comcast activities and initiatives relative to previous requests. He noted that the High School auditorium was completely finished for both up and down links. He also stated that he had received a request from the High School representative, Marty Espinola for an estimate to also provide an uplink from the football field.

1. Status of Tech School

In response to a question from John about the Tech School, Steve noted that he not received any response from the town about the Comcast Aug 25, 2004 estimate of $39,717.50 for hooking up the Tech School for live cablecasting.

John asked whether the cooper cable presently installed was suitable for use.

Pete responded that it could not be used because any uplink for cablecasting had to be linked directly to the Hub (in Crocker Studio). The distance prevented copper from being used.

John asked why the copper feed from the Tech School could simply be linked into the head end in the Industrial Park. Pete responded that an uplink required the signal to be transmitted directly to the Crocker Hub.

This led Mike to question why the Hub was in Crocker.

Steve responded that it had been located there because that was where the studio was located. He stated, however, that in other towns such as Warren, Palmer and Buckland the hub was situated in the Town Hall.

Mike asked whether the hub would have to me moved if for some reason Crocker Studio was no longer used for local access.

Steve responded that it would definitely have to be relocated if this were to happen, and suggested that Town Hall was probably the best location.

Mike asked who was going to pay for the Tech School installation. Steve noted that Comcast, as per the contract signed with the Town, had given the Town a sum approximate to this amount for this purpose.

Mike asked where the money was.

John responded that it was in an account held by Town Hall.

Mike wondered whether this figure was still realistic since it involved trenching and it might be possible to pull cable through the existing conduit. Steve said hed get back to the MCAC on the matter after hed investigated it further.

Mikes next question was whether Montague ought to bear all of the cost for the Tech School or whether it should be divided among all the towns represented at the school. Chris noted that only Montague residents (and students at the Tech School) would be able to view the cablecasts, so it seemed logical that Montague should bear the cost. Chris also noted that Comcast had allocated the money to Montague, not to the Tech School so it wasnt really a cost for the Town. Steve noted that it could be a good PR move on Montagues part, as well.

Mike said he could see this argument but wondered whether it might be feasible to attempt to draw in businesses in the Industrial Park to help offset expenses, particularly if the line had to be trenched to the head enda distance of over 2000 feet.

Steve thought this was a viable possibility.

Pete said it would likely interest businesses more if what was going in was passive coax that could be used for internet. All agreed that this was a point worth pursuing.

2. Status of Town Hall and Police Department Uplinks


The next question from John was about the status of proposed uplinks in Town Hall. Steve said that Comcast had completed an estimate for wiring both the upstairs meeting room and the Police Department and presented the committee with a copy of the estimate. The total, for both uplinked sites was $320. All members present indicated how pleased they were by this figure. MCAC will urge the Select Board and Town Administrator to act on this immediately.


3. Clarification on other requested uplinks

John asked next about the other requested uplinks, most notably the Discovery Center. Pete stated that The Discovery Center was already up and down linked. John said he had no idea that it was already set. Chris and John will attempt to discover the outlets on Thursday, the 13th of January and determine whether modulators were also in place.

4. Clarification of Dry Hill Road cable hook-up feasibility

Steve reiterated that because there were only 18.5 houses over a one-mile stretch of Dry Hill Road, it was not feasible to provide cable service to this road. Once 20 houses were present within the one-mile stretch, then, of course, Comcast would install cable.

Chris asked about the feasibility of Comcast simply running a line up the road and allowing residents who were farther away from the road to pay for bringing cable from the road to their homes. Steve responded that their estimate was $34,362 for running a cable up the road, and therefore the residents would have to wait until their were more houses.

4. Cable map request

In response to Johns request for a Cable Map, Steve said he would arrange to have one sent to the MCAC.

The meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno
Recording Secretary
 
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mik - Sun, Nov 7, 2004, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 11/3/04
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 11/3/04
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno, Sam Gilford

Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:09 p.m.

Minutes from the 10/13/04 meeting were approved unanimously.

The second item on the agenda was the conducting of a public hearing on the local access criteria circulated on Montaguema.net and in The Montague Reporter in the form revised at the 10/13 meeting.

Participants in the audience made a variety of comments in response to Johns reading of the Criteria.

Mik Meuller asked what was meant by the proposed organization must demonstrate a strong commitment to PEG programming.John noted that the intention was that the proposal show this. Roy suggested that a proposing entity submit a workplan detailing this commitment, not that the organization needed to have prior experience with providing PEG programming. John emphasized that the first section dealt with general matters; the next sections with specifics of what the MCAC wanted in a proposal. Mik also read a statement from Jeff Singleton which asked, among other items, that Montague citizens be represented on the Board of Directors.

The next question, also from Mik, was about monitoring customer satisfaction.All on the MCAC agreed that this was not easy but that the MCAC wanted to see some sort of proposal for monitoring satisfaction. Mike Langnecht, also in attendance in the audience, asked whether we were seeking to monitor technical or programming quality. Chris suggested that the issue was programming. A lively discussion then followed as to what constituted satisfaction. Mike Naughton suggested that it was up to the provider to suggest how satisfaction could best be measured.

The next major topic for discussion was from Mik, regarding the issue that the designated provider ensure an acceptable level of technical quality.The issue here, as clarified by Mike Langnecht, was whether the provider should be responsible for non-studio originated programming. He felt it was important to differentiate between provider material and submitted material. After some back and forth on the issue, John suggested that it was up to the provider to make sure that a program shown on the channel be of sufficient technical quality that the audio and video quality be of a caliber that most viewers could recognize as viewable. He then asked Marty McGuane, also present in the audience, what GCTVs policy was. Marty declined to comment, saying that he was there only as an observer, but that GCTV did have a policy.

The next major item for discussion centered on what was meant by the MCACs calling for broadcast (corrected by Marty to cablecast) of Town Meetings, etc. Mike Farrick, in attendance, noted that covering other government meetings aside from the Selectboard and Town Meeting would depend on manpower. The MCAC members agreed that this was an issue which, as Mike Naughton pointed out, was why we had added the clause in consultation with the provider.He also noted, however, that the MCAC expected the provider to air government programming and that the provider must have a plan to do this.

The next item for discussion was that of maintaining a library.Marty noted that all producers at GCTV must donate a finished program to the station and that currently GCTV has over 10,000 titles in its library. Mike Farrick suggested that this was a normal pricefor the use of a stations equipment. Marty then stated that while he agreed, the program was the intellectual property of the producer, and that the tape could not circulate but be viewed only ion the studio. The MCAC agreed that this was what they had in mind. Other issues on this topic included the feasibility of digitizing tape so that it was available on a DVDa process currently underway at GCTV. Mike Naughton suggested that the topic needed further discussion at the MCAC level but that we needed to move on.

The last major discussion of the hearing focused on the legal criteria. Sammy wanted to know why legal counsel hadnt prepared this. John responded that before this could become an RFP it would have to go through counsel, and that these were only suggestions of what the MCAC absolutely wanted legally in a possible RFP. Roy noted that all but one of the items (annual review) have to be in place. Roy also noted that contracts have to be limited to three years unless Town Meeting votes otherwise.

As the hearing came to an end, Mike Langnecht asked what the structure of the process was and whether there was a timetable for action. Roy stated that under Chapter 30B of the Mass General Laws the town was required to ask for an RFP. Sammy questioned whether 30B really applied. Roy said he felt it did as the amount of money involved required it. Marty McGuane spoke up that since taxpayer money was not involved 30B was pointless, and that Comcast money was not subject to 30B. Roy answered that while Comcast was not in control of the money, the Town was, and therefore 30B applied. He also noted that the AG was unclear on the matter but that he felt the Town should still follow Chapter 30B and issue an RFP.

As to the question of the timetable, Mike Naugton asked whether the MCAC should submit a final document to the Selectboard or meet with the Board in advance to go over our ideas. The consensus was that the MCAC should submit a final document with its recommendations to the Board rather than involve them needlessly in our process.

The public hearing segment of the meeting adjourned at 8:15. The MCAC members stayed on, however, to discuss the issues brought up during the meeting and to revise the Criteria in response to the suggestions and questions. During the deliberation, the Local Access Criteria was further revised (see Appendix A). Roy said that he would try to put together a draft RFP for the next meeting. He asked Chris to write up a preamble to the document regarding the background of local access in Montague. Chris agreed. The meeting adjourned at 9:33.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno


Appendix A: Revised Local Access Criteria (11/3/04)

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 providing PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming to the Montague community.
· Preference will be given to organizations with experience in providing local access
· Montague residents must be represented on the Board of Directors

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/community 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 establishing reasonable standards for acceptable 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 Cablecast all Ttown Mmeetings, 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.
 
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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.
 
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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 montaguema.net 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)

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 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.
 
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mik - Tue, Sep 28, 2004, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 9/14/04
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee meeting of 9/14/04

Present: John Reynolds (chair), Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Absent: Mike Naughton

The meeting was called to order at 7:15.

Minutes of the 8/24/04 meeting were approved unanimously.

The first item of business was a report by John Reynolds on the requests to Comcast for 1) connections to Dry Hill Road; 2) installation of upstream capabilities at Town Hall; 3) drops at other Montague locations; 4) mailing out subscriber satisfaction survey; 5) providing the MCAC with a cable map.

John reported that Comcast is sending out its own team to assess whether Dry Hill Road is eligible for a line extension. Comcast is assessing the costs to hook up Town Hall and have requested specific information regarding the other public buildings for which downstream drops have been requested. Comcast will not be able to send out the MCAC-initiated subscriber satisfaction survey. Another mechanism will, therefore, have to be found for assessing customer satisfaction. Comcast will try to get a cable map to the MCAC.

The rest of the meeting was taken up with a discussion of Chriss working draft of criteria for determining how to assess potential and present local access providers. Appendix A (below) contains Chriss document as submitted, followed by the revised document that reflects the input from the meeting.

The next meeting of the MCAC will be held on October 13, 2004 at the Great Falls Discovery Center. This meeting will be devoted to developing evaluative and submittal criteria for the public hearings on local access.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Sawyer-Laucanno
Recording Secretary


APPENDIX A
Local Access Criteria (Working Draft)

General:
· The proposed organization must be a 501(c)(3) corporation.
· The proposed organization must have a minimum of five-years experience in providing local access.
· The present (or eventual) facility must be located in Montague.
· The proposed organization must demonstrate a commitment to PEG programming.

Specific: Each proposal should contain the following from each proposing organization:

· a mission statement containing a statement of philosophy;
· an organizational plan;
· a 3-year business plan that demonstrates allocation of resources, staffing plans, program development, community involvement, proposed community training, etc.;
· a capital plan;
· a detailed statement of staff qualifications and background;
· a proposal for assessing on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns;
· a proposal for assessing 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 detailed statement demonstrating how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming;
· A statement demonstrating the proposed ratio of Montague-originated programming to that of external programming as well as plans for increasing this percentage;

Proposals should also include statements demonstrating how the proposing organization intends to comply with the following obligations expected of the local access provider:

· be responsible for programming free from censorship;
· be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers;
· develop and promote programming;
· make public facility available on a fixed schedule of at least 30 hours per week;
· assume fundraising responsibilities;
· be responsible for continual and consistent community outreach;
· be responsible for outreach to the schools;
· provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Selectboard regarding activities and expenditure of resources. The financial statements must be specific in regard to overall personnel costs. Expenses for overhead, including equipment purchased and maintained, must be detailed.
· 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 complaint/compliment file available to the general public. These should include downloaded emails and/or notes of telephone responses.
· demonstrate an ability and willingness to broadcast annual town meetings and 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

Contract Terms

· a contract (not letter of intent) 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 the designated access provider 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 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. 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.




Local Access Criteria (REVISED VERSION)

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 have a minimum of five-years experience in providing local access.
· The studio must be located in Montague.
· The proposed organization must demonstrate a strong commitment to PEG (Public, Educational, Government) programming.

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 detailed first-year of operation budget, as well as staffing plans, program development, community involvement, and proposed community training
· detailed job descriptions;
· personnel policies
· a proposal for assessing on an ongoing basis community needs, interests and concerns;
· a proposal for assessing 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 detailed statement demonstrating how the organization will manage and maintain PEG programming including outreach to the community and schools;
· A statement demonstrating the proposed ratio of Montague-originated programming to that of external programming, as well as plans for increasing this percentage;

The designated provider will:

· be responsible for programming free from censorship;
· be non-discriminatory in its hiring of staff and/or independent producers;
· make public facility available on a fixed schedule;
· provide detailed quarterly reports to the Cable Advisory Committee and the Selectboard regarding activities and expenditure of resources. The financial statements must be specific in regard to overall personnel costs. Expenses for overhead, including equipment purchased and maintained, must be detailed.
· 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 complaint/compliment file available to the general public. These should include downloaded emails and/or notes of telephone responses.
· demonstrate an ability and willingness to broadcast annual town meetings and 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

Contract Terms [All members agreed that these boiler-plateitems are best left to lawyers]

· a contract (not letter of intent) 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.
 
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mik - Thu, Aug 26, 2004, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 8/24/04
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 8/24/04
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Roy Rosenblatt, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno
Absent: Sophie Libby


Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

The first item on the agenda was approval of the minutes from the 8/3/04 meeting. Mike offered a correction, stating that he did not recall saying that he would speakto members of local access organizations. Instead, he said that he would email representatives from GCTV and MCTV. With the correction, the minutes were accepted unanimously. In addition, all agreed that the minutes should be posted on the Montaguema.net website, and, when the town finally has a viable website, on the towns site as well.

The second item on the agenda was a report by John Reynolds regarding Comcasts response to his request for 1) information on the feasibility of new drop and uplinks; 2) a cable map; 3) mailing as enclsure in Comcast bills of subscriber survey. John reported that Mr. Fitzgibbons was taking all matters under advisement, and would respond shortly.

The third item on the agenda was a report on Chris house counting of the Chestnut Hill roads to determine whether there were a sufficient number of houses to request Comcast to install cable. Chris reported that his survey revealed that there were not sufficient houses within any one aerial mile stretch of road but that if East and West Chestnut Hill Roads were combined it might be possible to make a case. His report is attached (Appendix A).

The fourth item on the agenda was a report by committee members on their research of information related to local access issues.

John noted that Sophie had had no success obtaining information from the schools regarding what they desired from the local access provider.

Mike emailed and received responses from board members and producers at both GCTV and MCTV, as well as input from corkboard users. He noted that there was general agreement from both GCTV and MCTV that local access meant PEG (Public Education Government) access, and that the role of local access stations was to train the community in the use of equipment, production techniques and to provide a forum for programming of community issues.

In addition, Mike surfed the net to determine what the government mandate for local access was, and what other local access providers were doing. He reported that he discovered few real guidelines beyond the importance that local providers provide PEG access. He did, however, add that many of the local stations cited the first amendment as a rationale for not censoring material beyond generally accepted community standards, and that, most stations considered local access to be a soap boxfor airing ideas and issues. How these stations run, who runs them, and their links to town government were questions difficult to determine. Most of the local access providers he looked at seemed to be 501C corporations, but in some cases the towns themselves ranor at least oversawoperations.

In response to Mike, Roy noted that South Hadley ran its own station. In this connection he noted that the Cable Advisory Committee itself could, in fact, run the local access station. No one on the committee seemed eager to take on this task.

Further discussion centered on who develops policies and procedures for local access providers. Roy stated that in most cases with which he was familiar the provider developed these, with advice from town government or cable advisory committees.

Mike stated that the FCC mandate for local access was very open as to what policies, programs and procedures should be. Jeff Singleton, present in the audience, took exception to Mikes notion that the FCC mandated local access, and said that, in fact, the mandate from the 1970s had been overturned by a ruling in the late 80s. In response, Mike suggested that even if the mandate had been overturned, local access was already firmly in place; however, he believed that the 94 or 96 Telecommunications Act restored the mandate. The conclusion was that local accessmandated or notwas in place all over the country, and that despite many government guidelines, most local access stations subscribed to the PEG ruling.

This discussion then spiraled into the relationship between Comcast and the local access provider. Roy stated that Comcast does not oversee local access, the town does. John , however, pointed out that the Comcast contract with Montague does contain some general provisions regarding local access, that are not in the standard Comcast contract. In response to Chris question as to how these got there, no one was sure, though John stated that these were not part of the original agreement and had been added presumably by the Selectboard.

This then led to the question of the Letter of Intent that the Town signed with GCTV. John asked if anyone knew what the common practice was in other towns. Again, no one could offer much information, though Roy did state that Amherst had a contact with Amherst Community TV, not a Letter of Intent. He also noted that ACTV was awarded this contract through an RFP bidding process. Mike went on record stating that he felt Montague should follow Amherst in this regard, noting that for an assignment worth $65,000 to $70,000 the Town should have a contract with the provider. Chris agreed, noting that there was a major difference between a Letter of Intent and a contract. A contract, Chris said, is authored by the town; a letter of intent is authored by the provider. John and Roy concurred with both Mike and Chris that a future assignment should be by contract rather than letter of intent.

Chris next reported on his surfing of local access web sites to discover what these stations put forth as their mission statements. His report is attached (Appendix B). In general, he echoed Mikes findings that most local access stations expressed a commitment to PEG programming, as well as training the community in production techniques. He agreed to pass on to CAC members his electronic links to local access sites.

In response to Chris report, John brought up the issue of the CAC writing a mission statement. Roy stated that he thought this was not the CACs job; rather, the provider should write its own mission statement. John agreed, but suggested that the CAC should provide some specifications as to what the mission statement should contain. All agreed, with Mike noting that he felt the CAC should develop a two-tier approach. The first tier should consist of general specifications; the second could involve more detailed requests.

The next item on the agenda was a response to Chris draft of the Cable Subscriber Survey. Mike said he felt some additional questions were necessary involving level of service and type of connectiondigital or cable. He said he would send on his specific suggestions to Chris by email. There was also considerable discussion of format and type size so that a fairly long survey could fit in the Comcast bill. Mike also asked John if he would contact Comcast to see whether a one-page survey could be included. [Since the meeting John learned that Comcast will not be able to send out a survey.]

The last item on the agenda was a discussion of the charge from the Selectboard regarding setting criteria for a possible RFP. Jeff Singleton, present in the audience, asked about a timetable. Roy responded that bidders generally had 30 to 45 days to respond to an RFP; that at least 6 weeks were needed between the time of issuing an RFP and making a decision on which bidder should be awarded the assignment. He also noted that the AGs Office had RFP forms. He felt that the CAC could and should, at the very least, develop the specifications for what the town wanted from its local access provider, and that public hearings should be held to help determine these criteria. John asked whether these hearings should be held before or after the CAC had done its initial formulation. A consensus was reached that the CAC should come up with a set of draft specifications that would be presented to the public. The question then arose as to whether the bidders would be able to make public presentations. Roy cautioned that the Town had to be careful about not deviating from the specific regulations contained in MASS Law Chapter 30B if public presentations were to be allowed. Mike noted that he felt public presentations were needed, and hoped that we could have them without violating any of the provisions of Chapter 30B. In the end a general consensus was reached that the CAC draft at the next meeting a set of specific guidelines for what we expect from a local access provider. In this regard, Mike had some specific suggestions: 1) that the future provider report to the CAC; 2) that if the CAC were to recommend an RFP and if the Selectboard agrees, and if the contract should be awarded to someone other than GCTV, that GCTV be given ample time to disengage; 3) that a new contract should be put in place to coincide with the quarterly payout from Comcast.

The next meeting of the CAC will be held on September 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Discovery Center in Turners Falls.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno, Recording Secretary, MCAC





APPENDIX A to 8/24/04 MCAC Minutes

Chestnut Hill Roads Residence Count

On August 10th, my granddaughter, Imogene Pruitt-Spence, and I made a count of houses on the various Chestnut Hill Roads (East Chestnut, West Chestnut, and Chestnut Hill Loop) to determine eligibility for cable. According to the Comcast contract, the criteria is that there be at least twenty residences within one aerial mile.

Our findings:

East Chestnut: 23 houses over 1 and 5/10 of a mile.

West Chestnut, from Spaulding Brook Road to the intersection of East Chestnut, and Chestnut Hill Loop: 9 houses within 8/10th of a mile.

Chestnut Hill Loop: 8 houses within 9/10 of a mile.

Our conclusion is that only East Chestnut is perhaps eligible for cable hookup. Even then, the problem is that within a one-mile segment, there are not sufficient houses to make this road clearly eligible. Again, the need of a cable map is essential, as its unclear who, where the cable line ends. As for Chestnut Hill Loop, because it does not seem to fulfill the stated criteria of aerial mile,it would not seem to qualify for tabulation purposes as an additional connecting point to any of the other Chestnut Hill Roads. If West Chestnut was counted along with East Chestnut, a better case could perhaps be made, but again density is still an issue

I feel the best strategy to pursue would be to ask Comcast to do a count. Because of the cluster of houses at the intersection of West Chestnut, East Chestnut and Chestnut Hill Loop, they might feel it worth running cable into the area.



Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno
MCAC member








Appendix B to MCAC Minutes of 8/4/04

A Compilation of Local Access Mission Statements

Over the last couple of weeks I have compiled the following series of mission statements from a variety of local access stations. Although there are differences between each providers statements, there are also many similarities. The salient points seem to be these:
Local access is localby and for the citizens of each of the towns.
PEG programming is a major emphasis for all these stations.
Training is a key element to encourage, retain and foster citizen participation.
Diversity in views and programs are essential.

I begin with a dictionary definition of public access,then provide a collection of mission statements.
Public Access: The availability of television or radio broadcast facilities, as provided by law, for use by the public for presentation of programs, as those of community interest. (American Heritage Dictionary)

Mission StatementInternational Open Channel Organization
Community or public access television is still a quite unknown alternative to privately or government run commercial or public service television. However, this local television "run by the citizens for the citizens" is now expanding in several countries. Some of the reasons might be that fully-professionalized television has become too much streamlined with a heavy load of an one-way information and entertainment output depriving the viewer of the communication process. Community channels provide an electronic forum to express social and political concerns, as well as the opportunity to share valuable information with friends and neighbors. There is a need to put television in the hands of the common citizen.



Amherst Cable Television operates Public, Educational and government access television channels serving Amherst and Pelham. It is an organization dedicated to meeting the communitys interests and needs for the arts, education, community events, local government and informational programming through access to community media, training in the use of that media and the transmission of programs over appropriate technologies. The public access channel is based upon the publics right to freedom of speech. The Public, Educational and Government Access Television channels are Amherst and Pelhams only local television channels.

Our Mission...
FCTV (Falmouth Cable TV) is an independent, non-profit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors drawn from the Falmouth community, whose mission is to help all Falmouth citizens and institutions realize their potential through the medium of cable television, and to encourage and facilitate their fullest participation in the production and distribution of quality programming by and for the Falmouth community.
FCTV is committed to fostering a welcoming and empowering environment where Falmouth citizens may obtain hands-on training in video production techniques and media literacy, and enjoy free access to professional television equipment for the purpose of creating community programming that provides a unique, valuable, and locally-relevant option in non-commercial programming.
Public Access television can be an invaluable tool for strengthening expression, communication, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in a community, and to this end FCTV is especially committed to providing non-discriminatory access to the television medium to all Falmouth citizens and institutions.


Athol"Orange Community Television, Inc. is a nonprofit cablecasting corporation that is dedicated to community improvement and enrichment through responsible, diverse and informative programming. It is the commitment of the corporation to involve and train people of all ages who live or work in the Athol or Orange communities to become members or program producers, bringing issues and happenings of the area to all Athol and Orange viewers.

BATV General Information:
Billerica Access Television is a non-profit, non-commercial access television facility whose mission is to encouorage open extensive communication through BATV while promoting diversity and responsibility. BATV provides production resources, training, and time on the Public, Educational, and Governmental access channels. The facilities are provided exclusively for the production and presentation of non-commercial television programming of interest and / or benefit to the residents of Billerica. BATV’s Community Bulletin Board is available to individuals and organizations to publicize non-commercial activities and events.
You’ll have access to change what is viewed on TV. Use the power of TV to meet goals that are important to you.

Easthampton Community Access Television, Channel 5, offers the resource to anyone who lives or works in the town of Easthampton to learn to produce their own television program, airing on our own local cable channel. Whether you want to present an oral history project about Easthampton, document local sports, present a theater or music production, the only things which limit what you can learn and do are your time and your imagination. So, stop complaining about what television is and help make it something you want to see!

Somerville Community Access Televisions mission is to provide a public access media center that enables a vibrant, diverse, and evolving community to express its creativity, explain its ideas, share its cultures, and embrace the individuals right to freedom of speech. SCAT supports and promotes television and other multimedia productions, with community-driven content, through education and training, facilities and equipment, and production assistance. Through SCAT, Somerville becomes a stronger, better-informed, and a more open community.

Greenfield Community Television, Inc is the public access station serving Greenfield and Montague, Massachusetts. GCTV is currently seen by viewers in Greenfield, Montague, Gill, Buckland and Shelburne. Celebrating 12 years on-the-air, with an ever-growing list of volunteer producers from throughout Franklin County, GCTV produces weekly live coverage of the Montague Selectmen’s meetings, live coverage of the Montague Town Meetings, bi-weekly live coverage of the Greenfield Town Council and Greenfield School Committee, and quarterly meetings of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. GCTV offers a variety of equipment for use by Community Producers in two locations. In Greenfield, equipment and facilities include:
- A fully equipped three-camera main production studio with 24 channels of audio;
- A/B Roll editing with NewTek’s Video Toaster (Edit 1);
- Cuts editing with SCALA titling software (Edit 2);
- Digital non-linear editing using DVRex RT by Canopus (Edit 3);
- Field production equipment including S-VHS and MiniDV cameras;
- Portable light and sound kits, as well as portable production units.
Additionally, GCTV operates Crocker Studios in downtown Turners Falls, providing residents of Montague and Gill with
- A 3-camera studio with 12 channels of audio;
- Cuts editing using Newtek’s Video Toaster for titles;
- Variety of field equipment available for check-out.
Training classes are held on a regular schedule in both Montague and Greenfield -- please drop us an e-mail for more information, or to sign up for a class.
Greenfield Community Television is building a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in downtown Greenfield. The new "Victoria Studios" will be built on the site of the historic Victoria Theater, which was razed in 1998.

Cambridge Community Television is a public forum for all Cambridge residents, businesses and organizations. CCTV provides training and access to telecommunications technology so that all may become active participants in electronic media. CCTV strives to involve the diverse population of Cambridge as producers and viewers, and to strengthen its efforts through collaborations with a wide variety of community institutions.
 
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mik - Mon, Aug 16, 2004, 12:00 A
MCAC Minutes 8/3/04
Minutes from the Montague Cable Advisory Committee (MCAC) Meeting on 8/3/04
Present: John Reynolds, Mike Naughton, Sophie Libby, Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno
Absent: Roy Rosenblatt


Chair, John Reynolds, called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

The first item on the agenda was the election of chair and recording secretary. Mike Naughton nominated John Reynolds as Chair, citing his experience in the position and his long-time involvement with the committee. Chris seconded the motion. After a brief discussion, John was unanimously reelected as Chair of the Committee.

Sophie nominated Mike to be recording secretary. Mike turned down the request noting that he was already acting in that role for two other committees. John nominated Chris; Mike seconded the motion. Chris agreed. Chris was unanimously elected as recording secretary.

The next item on the agenda was a lengthy discussion of the Cable Subscriber Satisfaction Survey and the need to assess the performance of both Comcast and GCTV. Chris handed out his draft of a document to the other Committee members and asked for comments. Mike raised the issue of how the survey would be used and how the information would be gathered. Chris suggested that perhaps it could be mailed out in the Comcast bill, noting that this method would ensure that all subscribers received the survey. The members agreed that this was a good idea but that the present length of the survey would have to be cut, and most likely, the Channel 15 specific questions would have to be excluded. John Reynolds agreed to contact Steve Fitzgibbons at Comcast to see if Comcast would be willing to include the survey in the bill mailing. The question remained of who would pay for the return postage.

Further discussion centered on other mechanisms for gathering subscriber information. Among the possible additional collection methods were: 1) a PSA on Channel 15 inviting subscribers to phone in their answers to the survey; 2) disseminating the survey as an insert in The Montague Reporter; and 3) using the Monatguema.net internet site for both posting and acquiring answers. Jeff Singleton, present in the audience, noted that non-subscribers should also be able to have input into the process. Chris, John and Mike agreed but noted that the subscribers pay (indirectly) for local access. Sammy Gilford, also present in the audience, suggested that a person-to-person poll be conducted, perhaps at Food City or other venues. John agreed that this was a good idea.

The third item on the agenda was the Dry Hill Road hookup. John explained that he and Chris had already counted the houses on the road and determined that there were 20 houses within one mile of each other. He further noted that the Selectboard has already received a letter requesting Comcast to investigate. Chris then put forward a citizen request that Chestnut Hill Road also be surveyed to determine whether the resident there also qualified for cable access. Chris volunteered to count houses; Mike said he would go along if a time that was convenient to him could be arranged.

The final item on the agenda was to discuss the charge from the Selectboard regarding local access. The Committee began the discussion by attempting to determine how to approach the charge, in particular the creation of a mission statement and evaluation criteria. Sophie asked what the mission statement was supposed to be, and whether it was a mission statement for the MCAC or for the local access entities. The Committee after some discussion decided that it was a mission statement to which a local access provider should subscribe. John further explained that the goal was to attempt to establish what the town and subscribers felt a local access provider should do. Once this confusion was cleared up, the Committee split up tasks for assessing the community as to what they feel the mission of local access television should be. Sophie volunteered to contact the schools; Mike will speak with board members and producers at both GCTV and MCTV, and seek input from corkboard users; John will contact local town officials and community organizations such as The Brick House, Catholic Social Ministries, the Senior Center and the Libraries; Chris will talk with other nearby local access providers and search the internet for mission statements.
In response to suggestions by audience members Mike Langnecht and Sammy Guilford, the Committee also stated that they welcomed input from the community at large either through email, phone or a letter.

The meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for August 24, at 7:00 p.m. in the Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall.

Respectfully Submitted,


Chris Sawyer-Lauçanno
 
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mik - Wed, Jul 14, 2004, 12:00 A
Selectboard Charges to the committee
The Cable Advisory Committee’s responsibilities are to:

1. Inform and educate the towns people about the television service being provided to them.

2. On an annual basis assess the cable needs of the community. This would include the needs of the schools and other public gathering places in the town.

3. Conduct regular meetings with the cable company to discuss results of the yearly assessment and the suggested policy changes that might arise.

4. Report to the select board at least annually relative to the cable company’s compliance with the contract and license.

5. Supervise the company’s response to complaints and response to citizen’s questions regarding the cable system.

6. To keep abreast of community programming issues.

["Cable company" refers to Comcast, not public access assignee]
 
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Cable Advisory Calendar
Story Time
Wed, October 20
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Montague Libraries
StoryWalk @ Peske Park
Wed, October 20
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Montague Libraries
Music & Movement
Thu, October 21
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Montague Libraries
Story Time
Wed, October 27
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Montague Libraries