Cable Access Advisory Commission Mtg.
Please arrive by Meeting will be cablecast “LIVE” on MGTV.
Action items in Bold
I. Call to Order/Roll Call
II. Approval-Sept. 14, 2005 Minutes
III. Public Comments
IV. Old Business
1. CAAC Goals
2. Annual Report, 2004-05
3. Federal Legislation
V. New Business
1. Ku Klux Klan
2. Budget Response Plan
1. ACM Spring Conference,
CABLE ACCESS ADVISORY COMMISSION
PRESENT: Don Deibert; Todd DuBois, Jim Huber, Fred Johnson, Linda Malekadeli
ABSENT: Bob Granstra, Roy Green
ALSO PRESENT: Ron Beacom – MCTV, Melissa Barnard – Library,
Brandi Pfohl – Secretary
I. CALL To Order
By Beacom at
II. Election of Officers
1. Chair – Huber moved to nominate Malekadeli, seconded by Deibert. Motion passed unanimously. Malekadeli chair.
2. Vice-chair – Deibert moved to nominate Huber as Vice-chair seconded by Johnson. Motion passed unanimously. Huber Vice-chair.
APPROVAL - of
Minutes approved as submitted.
IV. PUBLIC Comments
V. OLD Business
Deibert questioned if the council made any changes in the attendance policy for commission members. Beacom stated none were made.
1. Annual Report – 2004-05:
Beacom reviewed the proposed annual report by the commission to be submitted to City Council. Deibert moved to accept report, seconded by Huber. Beacom will forward the report to City Council.
2. Goals – 2005-06
Beacom reviewed suggested goals for the commission for the 2005-06. Malekadeli stated she would like to continue with commission members taping PR spots on community access. Deibert moved to approve goals with the addition of the PR spots, seconded by DuBois. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Proposed 2006 Meeting Date
Beacom submitted the proposed meeting dates for 2006: second Wednesday in February, May, September and November. Huber moved to accept the meeting dates, seconded by Deibert. Motion passed unanimously.
4. Federal Legislation
Beacom reviewed the
1. Beacom announced 2005 MCTV’s “Honors Night” is on Saturday, October 15.
2. MCTV will host the ACM’s Central States Region Spring Conference,
3. Malekadeli urged anyone who utilizes community access to contact their congressman and senators about opposing the federal legislation.
ADJOURNMENT – Next
Meeting adjourned at .
CAAC Goals for 2005-06
and make recommendation to City Council.
2. Promote awareness of public access
a. Develop Speaker’s Bureau for service club presentations
b. Participate in MCTV’s “Honors Night”
c. Appear in public relations promotional videos for MCTV
Ku Klux Klan-MCTV Report
Program submitted & scheduled
Friday, September 29
Saturday, October 22
Program is scheduled to be cablecast at
on MCTV 3. It is treated as an “Outside Special” meaning
programming not produced in
Friday, October 14-Sunday, October 23
Media coverage begins. WNEM-TV 5 first reports the story after receiving the tip from a representative of the Klan. Saginaw News and Midland Daily News also report the story prior to the first cablecast. WEYI -TV 25 and WSMH-Fox 66 also broadcast reports following the first showing.
Saturday, October 22
Monday, October 31-Wednesday, November 2
Program is cablecast four times, the minimum number of times an “Outside Special” must be cablecast per the MCTV Rules and Procedures.
A second program has been submitted so the program will now be scheduled as an “Outside Series,” which means it will be shown once per week during the day. To keep a series slot, one new program must be submitted per month.
As of Monday, November 7, MCTV has received three e-mails and three phone calls while the City Manager and City Attorney’s Offices have received three e-mails. Most are in opposition or want to know why we are allowing this to be cablecast.
MCTV 3 is a public access channel. That means it’s a First
Amendment/Free Speech forum. Also, City ordinance requires that programs be
submitted by residents of
for Cable Access Advisory Commission
SUBJECT: Cable Communications Fund Budget Response Plan
INITIATED BY: Ron Beacom, MCTV
SUMMARY: This resolution supports the City of
1. Budget Response Plan
2. Five-year Financial Plan
1. Four (4) votes required to approve resolution
TO: Cable Access Advisory Commission
SUBJECT: Cable Communications Fund Budget Response Plan
During the budget process for the 2005-06 fiscal year, City staff presented to City Council and the Cable Access Advisory Commission information that showed that the Cable Communications Fund would be in a deficit at the end of the 2005-06 five-year plan, fiscal year 2009-2010. The City Council directed the City staff to develop a Budget Response Plan during the 2005-06 fiscal year to address this projected deficit by reviewing revenues, expenses, and services.
FUND BALANCE GOAL
The fund balance goal for the Cable Communications Fund is $75,000. However, the current adopted, five-year plan shows a deficit of $34,025 after the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
Over 99% of
the revenue for the Cable Communications Fund is the franchise fee collected by
the City from the cable television provider, Charter Communications. That
franchise fee is 5% of the gross revenues Charter generates in
Less than one percent of the Cable Communications Fund is derived from fees for making videotape copies and training, interest on the fund balance, and the occasional sale of used equipment. This amounts to just over $4,000 this year.
For several years, Charter and its predecessor, Bresnan Communications, projected a five percent increase in the franchise fee and, for several years, the fee often exceeded their projection. However, given increasing competition from satellite providers, the loss of franchise fees collected on cable modem services, and other factors, the franchise fee no longer exceeds projections and recently has fallen short.
Following is the recent history of the fees collected and the percentage change from year to year:
Year Revenue % Change
1999-00 $358,183 +19.4%
2000-01 $393,636 + 9.9%
2001-02 $445,413 +13.2%
2002-03 $444,310 -.2%
2003-04 $431,738 -2.8%
2004-05 $446,609 +3.4%
It should be noted that this chart reflects an overpayment made by Charter in 2002-03 and then an adjustment on that overpayment in 2003-04.
The following areas have been reviewed to potentially enhance revenues:
a) User fees
b) Franchise Fee Audit of Charter Communications
a) USER FEES
exception of access users being charged a one-time training fee of $10 and a
tape duplication fee for those who want a copy of a program, no user fees are
currently charged for the use of the MCTV equipment and facilities. A user fee has never been proposed because a
majority of the access users are volunteers who donate their time on behalf of
many non-profit organizations in
The Cable Communications Fund in fiscal year 2004-05 collected $891 for tape duplications. At most, in the past six years, the City has collected $1,457 in a single year.
Based on City ordinance, the duplication fee is $10 per half hour of content. However, the MCTV Rules and Procedures allow for one free copy to be given to the producer except for the cost of the media ($5 for a VHS tape or DVD).
History shows that a large majority of the copies made by staff are free copies for producers and the organizations they represent. Several inquiries are made by the public but requests are rarely processed for programs longer than two hours in length because, at a minimum, the charge is $40.
The mission of MCTV staff is to either produce programs for government access or assist in the production of programs for both public access and educational access. Tape duplication is an additional service that takes staff time away from producing programs.
The elimination of free copies and the restructuring of fees charged for copies of lengthier programs could increase revenue. The initial goal would be to collect approximately $2,000 in the first fiscal year.
The 2005-06 budget includes an appropriation of $10,000 for a franchise fee audit of Charter Communications to determine whether the appropriate amount of franchise fees was paid in a given year. Since the budget was adopted, City staff has found an audit agency specializing in cable franchise fee audits that will conduct the audit on a contingency fee basis. Any recovered franchise fees would be shared 50%/50% between the City and the audit agency with no expense to the fund.
1) Revise tape duplication policy and
2) Continue with plans to audit Charter Communications’ franchise fee
Expenditures in the 2005-06 Cable Communications Fund budget are separated into the following three categories:
Category Amount % of Budget
Personal Services $333,000 58% of budget
Supplies & Other Charges $198,000 35% of budget
Capital Outlay $41,900 7% of budget
Reductions in Capital Outlay were made in the Cable Communications Fund five-year plan during the 2005-06 budget adoption process. Since then, the Personal Services and Supplies & Other Charges categories have been reviewed to potentially decrease expenditures.
There are four full-time positions and five part-time positions on the MCTV staff. The full-time positions include the following:
2) Production Director
3) Production Assistant
4) Office Assistant
The part-time positions are a pool of five production assistants responsible for the coverage of the meetings of seven of the City’s advisory boards and commissions and assist in the coverage of City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Their total hours as a group are budgeted at 1,050 hours for the year.
is supplemented by a 40-hour per week production intern with temporary
employment (one year) and a work/study student from
provides a variety of services for the three forms of access television in
Some weekday mornings, weeknights and Saturdays staff aren’t available because of the production schedule, vacations, and holidays. Saturdays are primarily used for access user training.
Staff is also available to work Saturday evenings and Sundays for programs videotaped using the production trailer. Examples include the Midland Symphony Orchestra, Midland Concert Band and the Dow Corning Tennis Championships.
Supplies & Other Charges
Supplies, rent, professional services, administrative services, computer services, promotions, equipment maintenance, reserve for contingencies, and a payment to the Midland Public Schools to support the educational access channel are included in Supplies & Other Charges.
The Midland Public Schools Channel (MPS-TV 17) was created in fiscal year 2002-03 as a result of survey results showing citizens wanted a channel devoted to schools. The City entered into an agreement with the Midland Public Schools in which the City Council agreed to pay the Midland Public Schools $40,000 for start-up equipment, and then $20,000 per year for next four years for continued financial support. Fiscal year 2006-07 marks the end of the agreement.
1) Since personal services make up over 58% of the budget, some reduction in staff will be necessary to eliminate the deficit. Any reduction in personnel will result in a corresponding reduction in services. The reduction in public access services will be achieved through two staff changes. Currently, the MCTV production assistant and production intern work a combined 80 hours per week. That will be reduced to 48 hours per week by:
a) Reducing the full-time production
assistant position to a 24-hours per week, part-time position.
b) Converting the temporary production internship to a 24-hours per week, part-time position.
One position will work primarily with public access, while the second will work primarily on government access productions. Some of the current duties of the full-time production assistant and the intern will be reassigned. Savings in the first year would equal $30,000.
The number of hours the facility will be open will vary based upon production demand. For purposes of these budget projections the average number of hours for operation may be reduced from 66 hours per week to 50 hours per week.
2) Non-renewal of the $20,000 payment to the Midland Public Schools for support of MPS-TV 17.
In order to address the projected deficit in the Cable Communications Fund, the following recommendations are proposed:
1) Implement franchise fee audit of Charter Communications
2) Revise tape duplication policy and fees
3) Reduce staff and facility hours
4) Non-renewal of payment to the Midland Public Schools
the proposed changes would be effective
The projected balance after 2009-10 would be $59,477, just below the $75,000 fund balance goal. The Cable Communications Fund will be continually monitored to determine further action.
Attached is the five-year plan as adopted in the 2005-06 budget and the five-year plan with the recommended changes.
WHEREAS, the City Council directed the City staff to prepare a budget response plan to address the Cable Communications Fund deficit identified in the 2005-06 five-year financial plan; and
WHEREAS, the City staff has prepared for review by the Cable Access Advisory Commission the Cable Communications Fund Budget Response Plan that includes several recommendations that will eliminate the deficit; and
WHEREAS, the Cable Communications Advisory Commission has reviewed the Cable Communications Fund Budget Response Plan as submitted by City staff; now therefore
RESOLVED, that the Commission supports the Cable Communications Fund Budget Response Plan as submitted by City staff.
I, Brandi Pfohl, Recording Secretary, City of Midland’s Cable Access Advisory Commission, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of a
Resolution adopted by a yea vote of all the Commission members
present at a regular Meeting of the Commission held
Brandi Pfohl, Secretary