CABLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE MINUTES
Meeting Number 196
May 30, 2007
800 Main Street
MEMBERS PRESENT: Larry Popple, Patt Popple, Duffy Tilson
ALSO PRESENT: Johnny Suire, Public Access Director
The Minutes of Meeting #195, April 4, 2007 were reviewed. Johnny noted that the Charter Grant check of $186,552.96 had been announced at the last meeting. Larry will make the change and the minutes will be available for vote at the next meeting.
Control Room/Studio Update: The estimate for upgrading the studio and control room was received from AdTech. It would give us a top-notch operation but at $173,265 it is considerably highter than hoped. A quick review of the operating budget for the coming year indicates that this figure is about $10,000 more than would likely be available and, of course, leave nothing in reserve. Those present felt that the upgrade would have to be reduced by about $50,000 to fall into our "comfort zone".
Johnny will convey the members' feeling to AdTech and review the estimate with them with the hope that some less expensive items can be substituted or postponed.
CATV Study: Larry met with Brian Bullock and Jacquie Kelly concerning the Selectmen's request to study the feasibility of the Light Department providing cable TV in the town. Larry said he would try to work with Brian and Jacquie on this project. It will probably involve hiring a manager of municipally run cable system in Massachusetts to act as a consultant.
Cable Legislation Update: Patt and Larry attended the MassAcess conference April 13, 2007 at Newton Public Access which covered the Verizon bill which is now before the state legislature. Verizon is heavily lobbying the legislature to pass this bill. It will have major negative effects on local programming. New applicants would not have to negotiate with local government and not have to provide meaningful funding. Eventually, this would release existing cable suppliers (Charter) from supporting local access. The committee endorsed Larry's desire to contact Representative Evangelidis and Senator Chandler to oppose the bill.
Charter License Renewal: The Town Manager authorized Larry to contact Bob Spain from Charter Communications to start negotiations.
Alliance for Community Media: The annual conference will be held July 25-28, 2007 in Minneapolis. Details are available at www.alliance.org.
Community Sign: The Town Manager has asked the committee to consider purchasing an electronic sign board to replace the one in front of Bank of America at the corner of Main and Shrewsbury Streets. Johnny has obtained an estimate of $24,358 for single color board or $32,165 for a 2 color board. There would be 2 boards in a V configuration. Many concerns were expressed:
a. It could be perceived as an improper use of cable funds and not positive for HCTV.
b. Who would be responsible for programming it?
(It will probably be very time consuming)
c. How will space be allocated? It will attract many more organizations
d. It may be a major driving distraction
Publicity: The Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Scramble Golf Tournament on May 11th was successful, both in terms of raising scholarship funds and promoting HCTV. Our participation was only $100 rather than the $200 originally voted.
Johnny proposed spending $400.00 for publicity to promote HCTV on 75,000 placemats to be used at Val's and Wong Dynasty. The committee endorsed this expenditure.
Holden Days Celtic Fest will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2007. Johnny proposed sponsoring the trolley again this year with a police detail since it was a great success last year. Those present agreed and it will be put to a vote at the next meeting.
Programming: More and more original local access programming: Salute Breakfast; Candidates' Night; Good Neighbor Awards; Mountview PTA Fashion Show; Wachusett Girls Lacrosse; Memorial Day Parade (Mark Ferguson comes through); Chamber Scholarship Scramble.