March 5, 2007


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

Norm Neher


ABSENT:  Roy Green


ALSO PRESENT:  Ron Beacom, MCTV Director; Melissa Barnard – Library; Judy MacDonald – Secretary



I.                CALL To Order

By Malekadeli at 7pm



II.            APPROVAL - of February 14, 2007 Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted. 



III.        PUBLIC Comments


Larry Pillepich expressed his concerns regarding topics discussed during the Feb. 14th meeting.  Topics raised were the $15,000 charge to the City for City in 15, when AT&T will making their technology available to the Midland area, and the franchise fees.



IV.            PUBLIC Hearing


1.    MCTV Ordinance/Rules Revisions


The proposed changes to the MCTV ordinances and MCTV rules and procedures, (agenda packet), and the options available to the commission were reviewed.  In summary, the changes to the ordinances are to allow for underwriting support, and the changes to the rules and procedures, specifically 6.3, 6.4 and 12, are to allow for equipment and facility rental.  It was noted that City Council requested that staff and this commission come up with a series of approaches to raise additional revenues.  The process, once complete with this commission, includes two meetings with the City Council.  The supportive e-mail from Dan Goodell, (agenda packet), was noted.


Mark Plante, owner of Imageworks, Ltd., submitted hardcopy and stated his objection to the proposed changes to the MCTV rules.  The basis for the objection included allowing publicly funded MCTV to use subsidized equipment in the private sector, and the setting of a fair market value price on equipment rental.  Plante urged the commission to reject the equipment rental portion of the proposal.


Mike Trainer, VP Operations and Executive Producer of Hardy Communications, noted he submitted an e-mail stating his position and urged the commission to reject the proposed changes and new language contained in MCTV’s rules and procedures, specifically rules 6.3, 6.4, and 12.  Reasons given were that these revisions will place city government in direct competition with local private business, and there will be a conflict of interest for both.  Trainer offered explanation to support his position and concluded that this is not a question of dollars, Hardy doesn’t do much local production, but it’s a matter of principle.


Larry Pillepich pointed out inconsistencies in MCTV’s proposals regarding advertising and fundraising.


The public hearing was formally closed and discussion followed.  The commission agreed to strike the equipment rental from the proposed revisions.  Deibert motioned for it to be dropped.  Brown seconded it.  The commission amended the proposed revisions by striking the proposed revisions in rules 6.3, 6.4 and 12.  Neher seconded it.  The amendment passed unanimously.  Neher moved to approve revisions to the ordinances as amended.  Granstra seconded it.  Approved unanimously.


It was noted for clarification that the proposed changes to the ordinance/rules and the budget are two separate items.  The budget is the big picture and will be presented to council at the first meeting in April.  The proposed changes in the budget include the increase in franchise fees, staff cut, adding new revenues through underwriting, and charging the general fund for the production of City in 15.  The resolution changes will be presented to Council at the next Monday meeting.  Once approved by Council, MCTV will start pursuing the underwriting.



V.                NEW Business





1.    Open House Saturday, April 21st from 10am - 2pm.

2.    State chapter meeting in Lansing next Wednesday, 3/14.  Expect to review the MPSC language and the FCC order.  An update will be given to the commission at the next regular meeting.




The next regular meeting is May 9, 2007 at 7pm.

Deibert moved to adjourn meeting.  Meeting adjourned at 8:05pm.