CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Newtown, CT


There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Chairman Gregory Davis at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.


ATTENDEES: Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Douglas Branson (Kent), Carl Braun (Woodbury), Kevin Burns (Newtown), Donna Cassidy (Trumbull), Kathy Colavito (Brookfield), Ken Cornet (Washington), Ray Juskiewicz (New Fairfield), Jim Lang (Trumbull),George Linkletter (Sherman), Joe Mustich (Washington), Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent) and Ken Swain (Bridgewater)


From Charter: Tom Cohan (Director of Government Relations), Greg Van Antwerp (Public Access), and Heidi Vandenbrouch (Public Relations)


ROLL CALL: Chairman Gregory Davis called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. Council members introduced themselves. The board went over the packets with meeting documents.


PUBLIC INPUT: None


SERVICE PROVIDER REPORTS:

Tom Cohan: Director of Government Relations Tom Cohan spoke of the following:


Heidi Vandenbrouck:



Greg Van Antwerp:


Jim Lang asked about the cost and use and refurbishing of the Mobile Truck Unit and whether or not this expenditure is justified. There was a brief discussion regarding this.


TREASURER’S REPORT:

Treasurer Carl Braun read the following Treasurer’s report. The checking account balance is $4,333.07, the money market account balance is $6,159.38 and the 12 month CD has a balance of $13,509.38 for a total of assets at $23,352.34.


Jim Lang made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented. Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor

(Treasurer’s report attached to the minutes of this meeting)


OLD BUSINESS

November meeting minutes- George Linkletter made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2012 council meeting as presented. Jim Lang seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor


2013 Meeting Schedule- Donna Cassidy made a motion to accept the meeting schedule for 2013. Jim Lang seconded the motion. Vote: All in favor

The meeting dates for 2013 are: January 8th, March 12th, May 14th, July 9th, September 10th and November 12th at 7:00pm at Charter Communications.


December 11, 2012 Strategic Action Committee Meeting Minutes- Gregory Davis noted that the minutes of the Strategic Action Committee were included for the council members’ review. The next SAC meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00pm at the Newtown Municipal Center.


PURA Response to three Advisory Council Actions

Chairman Gregory Davis spoke of PURA’s response to three motions sent to them from the Advisory Council. This was discussed at length at the December 11th Strategic Action Committee meeting. The three responses were:


AT&T Interconnection Status Report

Gregory Davis read an email from AT&T Area Manager Kinson Perry regarding the interconnection between Charter and AT&T. To that end, AT&T has attached a standard channel survey for each town and asked for a contact person per town. Gregory Davis asked council members to get together with elected officials and residents to get this survey done. Gregory Davis will coordinate the information for the survey and make sure it is completed. It was noted that Trumbull, New Fairfield and Monroe are already interconnected.


COUNCIL CHAIRMAN REPORT

Region 12 PEGPETIA Grant Application Status

Gregory Davis noted that he received an email from Pua Ford from the CT League of Women Voters & Special Council to PURA indicating that the PEGPETIA grant money was swept for $3.6 million in the deficit mitigation bill last month. There is no money is this fund because directors didn’t get the information done in time.


Jim Lang noted that Dr. Gary Cialfi from Trumbull put together the paperwork for the PEGPETIA Grant for Trumbull and has offered to help any school or town with paperwork if needed. If anyone is interested, they can contact Council member Donna Cassidy.


Ray Juskiewicz from New Fairfield noted that the New Fairfield School District applied in October 2012 for a PEGPETIA Grant and received a letter on January 3, 2013 that they have been awarded $25,768.00.


Community & Education/Local Government Access Television Interconnection status

Gregory Davis spoke of the Community & Education/Local Government Interconnection and noted that the designated community access provider television channels are not available on AT&T U-Verse and noted that six years after the law was passed, 66% of the Cable Franchise Areas remain unconnected. Mr. Davis reemphasized this and noted that importance of interconnection.





Cable Channel Layout Advisory- High Definition TV upgrade

Gregory Davis spoke of a television in his home and difficulty finding HD channels on many different devises and spoke of a chart that he comprised organizing channel numbers.


Donna Cassidy made a motion to move the following draft motion that the cable advisory council recommends that Charter make serious effort to maintain the signal order of the analog channels across and into the full digital TV services. Charter should publish a current detailed channel map with cable channel number assignments sorted by content. Ken Cornet seconded the motion. Vote: All in favor except Jim Lang who abstained


It was noted that Charter will take this under advisement.


NEW BUSINESS

Advisory Council Annual Report to PURA

Gregory Davis went over an Annual Report sent to PURA that will be submitted for Docket #13-01-06. This includes a list of Advisory Council members, dates of meetings and a summary of Advisory Council activities and twelve major accomplishments by the council from January 2012 to December 2012.


Carmella Amodeo noted that the date on the Accounting of Financial Activities within the Annual Report should read 2012 instead of 2011. Chairman Davis noted that he will correct this before sending the report.


Donna Cassidy made a motion to allow the Annual Report to be submitted as amended. Ken Cornet seconded the motion. Vote: All in favor


Travel Expense Policy Reimbursement

Gregory Davis noted that the council voted to September to request a response from PURA regarding the appropriateness of reimbursing members for mileage to and from meetings. PURA responded that it was appropriate to reimburse mileage for council members.


Gregory Davis went over a draft motion to adopt a reimbursement policy. There was a discussion of where the starting point for reimbursement should be. Chairman Davis suggested that mileage should be calculated from the post office from the town where the member lives. Jim Lang suggested that mileage be calculated based on the member’s home since some towns have a central post office that may or may not be close to their home. It was decided to have the member’s home as the starting point.


There was a discussion of the tax implications for members being reimbursed as well as the council’s ability to sustain this fund. It was noted that the budget from Charter to the Advisory Council is $2,000.00/year. It was noted that this amount has not been raised since 1975.


Joe Mustich made a motion to accept the draft motion to reimburse members according to the Travel Expense Policy at a rate of 55 cents a mile. Donna Cassidy seconded the motion.


George Linkletter made a motion to amend the previous motion to have the Travel Expense Policy sunset after two years (January 2015) and have it retroactive to January 2013. Ken Cornet seconded the motion. Vote to amend motion: All in favor- except Carmella Amodeo and Donna Cassidy opposed)

Vote on original motion as amended: All in favor except- Carmella Amodeo, Donna Cassidy and Jim Lang


Chairman Davis will write a letter to PURA informing them of the council’s new travel expense policy.


OPEN FORUM

Ray Juskiewicz asked what amount Charter spends on Public Access, Educational Access and Government Access. It was noted that this is all Community Access and is not broken up.


Carmella Amodeo praised Charter for all their hard work and speed with getting up a network at Chalk Hill School that will house Sandy Hook students in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook.


Chairman Gregory Davis will send a letter to Charter expressing the Advisory Council’s appreciation for their wonderful response in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.


It was noted that former Advisory Council member John Bell passed away.


ADJOURNMENT:

Ray Juskiewicz made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:53pm. Ken Cornet seconded the motion. Vote: All in favor


Cable Advisory Council Regular Meeting Minutes, Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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