CABLE ACCESS ADVISORY COMMISSION

NOVEMBER 9, 2005

 

PRESENT: Don Deibert, Bob Granstra, Roy Green, Jim Huber, Linda Malekadeli

 

ABSENT:  Todd DuBois, Fred Johnson

 

ALSO PRESENT:  Ron Beacom – MCTV, Melissa Barnard – Library, Brandi Pfohl – Secretary

 

I.                    CALL To Order

By Malekadeli at 7pm

 

II.                 APPROVAL Of September 14, 2005 Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.

 

III.               PUBLIC Comments

None

 

IV.              OLD Business

1.      CAAC Goals

Beacom reviewed goals.

Goal 1:  Review City staff’s five-year budget response plan (later in this meeting).

Goal 2: Promote awareness of public access

A- Beacom stated he is available for service club presentations,

B- Jim Huber presented the Rosemarie Byers Award at Honor’s Night,

C- Billy Bethune, MCTV Production Assistant will be working with commission members to produce public service announcements (PSAs).

Goal 3: Host Alliance for Community Media Spring Conference in May 2006.

 

2.      Annual Report, 2004-2005

Beacom stated City Council accepted the report without comment through the consent agenda at the October 10 meeting.

 

3.      Federal Legislation

Beacom reviewed the legislation that threatens existing franchise agreements and fees.  Malekadeli called for the public to contact their representatives to state their views against the legislation.

 

V.                 NEW Business

1.      Ku Klux Klan

Beacom stated the program “This is The Klan” was submitted for cablecast by Randy Gray.   He has received 3 emails in opposition and City Hall received 3 emails also in opposition.  Green questioned if the 3 emails MCTV and City Hall received were from the same people.  Beacom stated no.  Granstra questioned why the first airing was at 11pm.  Beacom said through the Rules and Procedures the staff has some leeway to schedule programs which are considered “specials.” With the submission of a second program, Beacom said it’s now considered an “outside series” and therefore falls under different guidelines which require it to be shown during the day during the week as long as the producer doesn’t check off boxes that indicate the program contains adult language, violence, etc. Granstra asked whether the producer checks off the boxes for time shifting or the staff.  Beacom stated it falls on the responsibility of the producer; staff cannot preview programs because if a program were previewed and prevented from being cablecast, the City could be found in court to violate a person’s First Amendment rights or if the program was previewed and approved, the City could be a party to the program if a court later found the program to be obscene, etc.  Malekadeli asked if a child appropriate time was considered when scheduling the program. Beacom said it’s fair to say most people would say there is no appropriate time for the program to be shown.

 

 

2.      Budget Response Plan    Resolution commission support cable communication fund as submitted by city staff

Beacom reviewed the cable franchise fund response plan. (Agenda packet)  Malekadeli asked how many new users a year.  Pfohl stated 30-40 on average.  Granstra asked how many free copies are made in a year.  Beacom stated approximately 180 last year.  Green asked what is involved in the audit with Charter.  Beacom stated the auditors make sure everything that should be included in the franchise fee is included.  Also stated an audit has not been done in a few years.  There is no guarantee anything additional will be found.  Deibert asked when the non-renewal of the payment to MPS would take effect.  Beacom stated at the end of June 2007.  Beacom reviewed the Cable Communications Fund five-year financial plan.  Malekadeli asked about the miscellaneous revenue in 2004-05.  Beacom stated it was from sale of equipment.  Deibert questioned why there would be a projected increase in franchise fees given the increasing number of people going to digital/satellite service. Beacom said the projection comes from Charter. There was a recent increase in rates.  Deibert asked if MCTV also provides staff support in addition to money to MPS.  Beacom stated staff and volunteers do support the production of programming for MPS.  Granstra asked if any money is coming out of the General Fund to support all the commission meetings being cablecast.  Beacom stated all of the money for that comes from the Cable Fund.  Huber stated MPS is very dependent upon volunteers of MCTV to provide programming and on MCTV staff for the ZOOM class. Huber stated the administration feels the schools should continue to receive a portion of the franchise fees. Malekadeli questioned how the reduced positions at MCTV will affect show productions. .Beacom stated there will be less staff time to assist. We can’t project whether that means the number of shows produced will decline.  Malekadeli asked how MCTV’s facility hours compare to other access stations.  Beacom stated that varies. A fair amount open to the public at noon, leaving mornings for the staff to do station productions.  Granstra asked if the financial projections are wrong and the revenues end up higher, would the City reinstate the production assistant to full time.  Beacom stated he can’t answer that now, just have to monitor it year to year.  Granstra questioned if there needs to be concern about the proposed legislation.  Beacom stated yes, he has been encouraging the public and access users to let their senators and congressman know about their opposition to the legislation.  Deibert moved to approve the resolution.  Granstra seconded.

4 yeas – Deibert, Malekadeli, Granstra, Green

1 nay - Huber. 

Resolution stating commission support cable communication fund as submitted by city staff.

Huber stated the MPS administration feels as long as the franchise fee exist, even a small amount should go to the schools. Granstra asked what would have happened if the commission did not support the plan.  Beacom stated the plan would still go to Council with that noted and that the commission would have the option to make their own recommendations.

           

VI.              ANNOUNCEMENTS

1.      ACM Spring Conference, May 4-6, 2006

Beacom stated the theme for the conference is “Raise Your Voice” with Missy Davert, director of the Center for Independent Living as the keynote speaker.  Highlight events include a hospitality bus tour of Midland on Thursday night and the “Resonators” performing at the Library Auditorium on Friday night. Green asked if the agenda has been set yet. Beacom said it’s not been completed. The goal is to have content that appeals to public access, schools, government and technical people.  Green commented the legislation would be a good topic. Beacom stated the conference will end with that topic on Saturday.

 

2.      Honors Night

The Rosemarie Byers Community Voice Award was given to the Midland Area Community Foundation.  Char Rosin, Angel & Julie De Jesus and Judy Rose received MCTV’s highest individual honor, the Community Voice Award.

 

“Northwood Football Replay,  produced by Bob Hartley, won the Philo T. Farnsworth award in the sports talk category while MCTV itself was a finalist in the PEG access compilation category. The Philos are a regional competition.

           

VII.            ADJOURNMENT – Next meeting, February 8, 2006

Meeting adjourned at 7:59pm