CABLE ACCESS ADVISORY COMMISSION

October 30, 2006

 

PRESENT:  Ernie Bedford; Jason Brown; Don Deibert; Bob Granstra, Linda Malekadeli;

Norm Neher

 

ABSENT:  Roy Green

 

ALSO PRESENT:  Melissa Barnard – Library; Brandi Pfohl – Secretary

 

I.                    CALL To Order

By Malekadeli at 7pm

 

II.                 WELCOME New Members

Jason Brown, Video Professional, and Norm Neher, MPS representative, introduced themselves.

 

III.               APPROVAL - of September 13, 2006 Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.  Neher abstained.

 

IV.              PUBLIC Hearing

Ordinance and Rule Change

Beacom reviewed the proposed changes to the MCTV Fees Ordinance and Rules and Procedures as submitted to the commission (agenda packet).  Malekadeli opened the public hearing for public comments.

 

Cynthia Chilcote, director of the Midland Volunteer Center, stated her organization is in support of the $25 message board fee. Beacom reviewed the comments that were sent to MCTV (agenda packet).  Two were opposed, two were in favor, and one proposed not charging a fee for students.  Deibert suggested parents could pay the students fee. Neher proposed the idea of a scholarship for students who can’t afford the fee. Beacom said if the Friends of MCTV are successful, perhaps they could provide scholarships. Regarding the opposition to the fees from some message board users,  Neher asked whether it would be possible not to charge a fee for the first five messages submitted. Beacom said that would be difficult to track. 2, 500 messages were submitted last year. Deibert stated $25 is a small amount for an organization to pay it if they want to use MCTV. It would cost more to put an ad in the Midland Daily News.  Deibert said he was sympathetic to the persons opposed to the fees but the reality is the funds for MCTV are going down and MCTV needs to raise revenue. 

 

V.                 OLD Business

1.      CAAC Goals, 2006-07

Beacom reviewed the goals. He stated the joint meeting with City Council will not be scheduled in December.   

 

2.      CAAC Annual Report, 2005-06

Beacom stated the annual report was sent to City Council on the consent agenda and was accepted without comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.      Friends of MCTV Update

Beacom stated the $5,000 needed to open an Operating Fund under the umbrella of the Midland Area Community Foundation has been raised.  Malekadeli stated the group is working on the Honors Night fundraiser. Sponsorship letters were sent out.  Access users will receive a letter asking them to become members and make a donation. A silent auction will also be held at Honors Night.  Beacom stated the Articles of Incorporation were filed by Drummond Black, local attorney and former mayor. He thanked Don Deibert for his work on the legal aspects of setting up the Friends. Officers were elected: Ann Kerns-President, Linda Malekadeli-Vice-President and Treasurer, Judy Kuehl-Secretary, Don Deibert, Jim Malek and Robert Clark- Board members.  Beacom stated a show will be taped on November 14 to introduce the Friends of MCTV and their goals to the public.  Next Friends meeting will be on November 15 at the MCTV studio.  Malekadeli encouraged people to attend.

 

4.      Legislation Update

Beacom reviewed the status of the video franchise legislation being discussed at the state and federal level.  Besides the loss of some of the franchise fees, Beacom said the proposed legislation would require MCTV to pay for the equipment needed to send the access channels signals to the phone company when it starts to provide video service. Deibert asked what will the cost be.  Beacom stated that depends on the technology but it could be up to $15,000 per channel. Beacom also said this legislation still allows the phone company to “cherry pick” which customers they want to serve, while the cable company is currently required to pass by every home in the city. Neher voiced concern about the reduction in the franchise fees because the schools receive a portion of that for MPS-TV’s operation.

 

VI.              ANNOUNCEMENTS

Reception for Brandi Pfohl, Wednesday, November 1, 4-5:30pm.  ACM Fall Conference will be held in Lansing, November 16-18.  There is a one day rate if commission members would like to attend on that Friday.

 

VII.            ADJOURNMENT – Next Meeting, November 8, 7:00pm

Granstra moved to adjourn, Deibert seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 7:40p.m.