CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL

P. O. Box 87

Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Newtown, CT

 

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:04 p.m., Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Chairman Gregory Davis at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.

 

ATTENDEES:  Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Gerry Belanger (Newtown Alternate), Douglas Branson (Kent), Kevin Burns (Newtown), George Fletcher (New Milford), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Mike Muttitt (Monroe), and Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent), Gene Rosen (Newtown)

 

From Charter: Greg Van Antwerp (Public Access) and Heidi Vandenbrouch (Public Relations)

 

ROLL CALL: Members of the council introduced themselves and Chairman Gregory Davis reviewed the packets for tonight’s meeting. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT:  None

 

SERVICE PROVIDER REPORTS:

Heidi Vandenbrouch announced that Tom Cohan is out of town and unable to attend this meeting.

 

Heidi Vandenbrouch- (Public Relations) reported on the following:

·        There are now 55 Latino channels

·        Fairfield County will go all digital on September 9th and Litchfield County will go all digital on September 16th.  After these dates, everyone must have a cable box in order to receive service.  Customers that have Basic cable will receive two free boxes for two years.  Customers that have Expanded Basic will receive two free boxes for one year and customers that already have digital will receive one free box for one year.  A letter will be sent to customers explaining their respective tiers.

·        Newtown Alternate Representative Gerry Belanger complimented the tech service for Charter. 

·        Charter Spectrum will be launched soon after the digital launch.

·        Heidi Vandenbrouch spoke briefly of the Comcast, Time Warner potential merger.

 

 

Greg Van Antwerp- (Public Access) spoke of the following:

·        CTV-21 received two national Beacon Awards from the Association of Cable Communicators.  The two categories that were awarded were community relations and education.  

·        The Advanced Training classes will start on the 1st Thursday in October.

·        Charter is now on Twitter @CTV_21

·        Presented the Public Access Report for May and June 2014 and spoke of the many training classes.

·        There will be a training class conducted at the New Milford Senior Center on Friday, July 11th.

·        It is hopeful that the connectivity between AT&T and UVerse will be completed by the end of next week.

·        Greg Van Antwerp gave his personal observations on the vision of the future of community access.  He distributed the following brief outline, explained his reasoning, and finished to a round of rousing & appreciative applause.

 

*  That  whoever is running community television for area 19, it should remain as the founders envisioned – to enhance a sense of community, promote a diversity of viewpoints as an alternative to commercial ‘casts.

 

*  To provide a consistent community resource for educating the public in the use of communication devices for sharing community based programming, ideas and opinions regardless of ability, age orientation, handicap, etc.

 

*  To be offered free (outside of internet service fees) to anyone who would like to see it (Meaning, if you have internet access you should not have to pay an additional fee or membership surcharge to view).

 

*  To never to converted to an on-demand-only form of ‘cast.

 

*  No producer should be more than 30 minutes from their production facility.  Beyond 30 minutes, an producer has the option to use the studio geographically closest to them.

 

*  To continue to strive to be connected to the community it serves, as piec of a larger thing, and not the piece itself.

 

*  To always move participants toward self-sufficiency, with a minimum of hands-on by the staff except in training or skill building scenarios. (Public Access)

 

*  To have the content remain free of commercial interest use, directly or by proxy.

 

*  To continue to be a safe haven for expressing ideas and opinions free of reproach.

 

SPECIAL BUSINESS

Annual Council Officer Elections

Carmella Amodeo reported that the following people have expressed interest in serving as officers for the council: 

Chairman: Gregory Davis

Vice Chairman: Mike Muttitt and George Linkletter

Secretary: Kevin Burns

Treasurer: Paul Katzmark

 

Since there were two members that expressed interest in becoming Vice Chairman, it was suggested that the council hear from the interested parties.  George Linkletter was not present at this meeting.  Mike Muttitt gave a brief description of his background and his desire to become Vice Chairman. 

 

Carmella Amodeo made a motion to accept the slate of officers for Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer as presented.  Gene Rosen seconded the motion.  Vote: All in favor

 

There was a brief discussion of the candidates for Vice Chairman.

 

Carmella Amodeo made a motion to propose Mike Muttitt as Vice Chairman of the Cable Advisory Council.  Jim Lang seconded the motion.  Vote: All in favor

 

OLD BUSINESS

May Cable Advisory Meeting Minutes and June Strategic Action Committee Meeting

Jim Lang made a motion to accept the minutes from the May 13, 2014 Cable Advisory meeting and the June 10, 2014 Strategic Action Committee meeting as presented.  Mike Muttitt seconded the motion.  Vote: All in favor

 

 

 

Basic Tier Promotion

Gregory Davis spoke of the Basic Service Tier promotion to give assistance to local Senior Centers and to advise seniors of the Basic Service Tier that has a price differential of approximately $60 from the Expanded Basic.  A document was given to Council reps as a boiler plate for their respective towns.  Chairman Davis asked for feedback from the Cable Advisory Council members and asked if there was anything that the council can help with.  Stephanie O’Rourke spoke of including this information in Kent Selectmen’s Newsletter.  Jim Lang noted that he met with the head of the Senior Center in Trumbull.  Gregory Davis encouraged everyone to speak to their Senior Center Directors, First Selectmen or local Representatives.

 

 
 
 
TREASURER’S REPORT

Gregory Davis presented the Treasurer’s Report in Paul Katzmark’s absence:

Balance Sheet January 2014-May 2014

 

Assets

 

Biz Checking: Peoples Bank 12-31-13

$  1,899.41

Money Market (0.05%) Peoples Bank 12-31-13

$  6,162.97

12 month 0.3% CD Peoples Bank 12-31-13

$13,555.73

Total Assets

$21,618.11

 

 

Liabilities

 

None

$         0.00

Total Liabilities

$         0.00

 

 

Statement of Operations

 

January 1, 2014 Cable Advisory Council Equity

$ 22,434.63

Council Operations- Net change to equity

(Sec.Services & Travel Exp Petty Cash Box)

$ (356.52)

$ (460.00)

March 2014 Cable Advisory Council Equity

$ 21,618.11

 

George Fletcher made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented.  Mike Muttitt seconded the motion.  Vote: All in favor

 

COUNCIL CHAIRMAN REPORT

 

Chairman Gregory Davis spoke of the following in his Chairman’s report:

 

·        The Supreme Court ruling against Aereo which noted that Aereo was illegally violating copyright laws. 

 

·        There is not much information disclosed regarding the implied Comcast Takeover of the Charter Communications Operations in Connecticut and New England.

 

·        The FCC Ruling on Net Neutrality was pushed back to September 15th. Chairman Davis referred to related articles and spoke of links to other articles concerning this.

 

·        Presented the council with the June 11, 2014 agenda and minutes for the Statewide Video Advisory Council.

 

 

 

 

·        Chairman Davis presented the council with the ideas that he presented to the Statewide Video Advisory Council regarding a secure future for Community Access Television and initiatives to preserve the institution of Community Access.  Mr. Davis spoke of an email that he received from Ruby O’Neill (wife of State Representative Arthur O’Neill).  Dr. Ruby O’Neill noted that State Representative Arthur O’Neill would like to meet with the council and suggested contacting other stakeholders to help preserve the institution of Community Access.  It was suggested inviting Arthur O’Neill and any other interested stakeholders to attend the Strategic Action Committee meeting in August.  There was a brief discussion of stakeholders that should be invited to the meeting.  It was decided to include the Cable Advisory Council, Charter Communications, Boards of Education, Western Connecticut State University Professors and Roxbury’s First Selectman. 

 

·        Gregory Davis spoke of a letter from Tom Cohan at Charter notifying the Town of Roxbury that Charter will no longer maintain their account in a free service status.  It was noted in the letter that Charter will disconnect service if there is no response by July 12, 2014.  Mr. Davis spoke of a letter that he sent to Tom Cohan in response to this.

 

NEW BUSINESS

DR-R19CWAC-14-07-08-M1-ESSENTIAL BST- Tabled until the next meeting.

DR-R19CWAC-14-07-08-M2-BST DENIED-Tabled until the next meeting.

 

OPEN FORUM- None

 

ADJOURNMENT

Gregory Davis made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:55pm.  Jim Lang seconded the motion.

Vote: All in favor