Cable Advisory Council
of Charter Communications

   
PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
 
     
January 14, 2003 Minutes
 
         
 
Cable Advisory Council
P. O. Box 87
Newtown, Connecticut

MINUTES

Public Regular Meeting – Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Newtown, Connecticut


There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:50 p.m. January 14, 2003 by Chairperson, John Sabo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.


ATTENDEES:
Fred Standt, Alex Forbes, Jill Zaloski, Tom Joyner, Judith Eslami, William Fredrickson, and John Sabo, Chairperson. For Charter: John Dee, Dick Elwell and GregVan Antwerp.


PUBLIC INPUT:
No public present.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
J. Eslami read the minutes from September 17, 2002. A motion was made by W. Frederickson to accept the minutes. J. Zaloski noted we should check on correct spelling of “Wesconn”. A vote was taken and the minutes were approved with a vote of 6 in favor and 0 against and 1 abstention.


TREASURER'S REPORT:
F. Standt noted that figures in the September 17 report, as shown in the November 2002 Notes, were incorrect and the ending balance should be shown as $10,635.63. F. Standt distributed the Treasurer’s Report for the current period and indicated that the interest rate on the current CD is not as good as it had been and suggested shopping for a better rate when it comes up for renewal. F. Standt noted that he had communications with the bank regarding a notation on the last bank statement, which indicated there had been withholding on the account because the EIN did not match the EIN on record with the IRS. The discrepancy appears to be because they were trying to match the EIN on the account with Charter Communications and not the Council. He will write a letter to the IRS to resolve this issue. The bank cannot return the withholding to the account until the IRS authorizes it. J. Sabo indicated a letter from People’s Bank was received, dated November 18, 2002, that appears to be related to this issue. He gave the letter to F. Standt. T. Joyner made a motion to approve the current Treasurer’s Report, as submitted. J. Eslami seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. J. Sabo indicated approval was still needed on the 5/23/02 and 9/17/02 submissions. W. Fredrickson made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s report from 5/23/02, as submitted, and the report from September 17, with noted corrections. The motion carried unanimously.

Opening balance of the checking Account (11/13/02). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,021.54
CHECKS WRITTEN: Newtown Secretarial Svc. (#168 -$333.79) -333.79
Closing balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 687.66
Opening Balance on the Money Market Account (11/13/02) . . . . . . . . . . $ 10,635.63
Interest 11/29/02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.02
Interest 12/30/02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.04
Closing Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 10,652.69
1 yr. plus CD @ $10,000 + $1,147.59 int. to date = $11,147.59
(Matures 8/27/03)


COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

J. Sabo commented on the letter he sent to members regarding attendance at meetings and the mission of the council. He stated that members need to commit to attending the meetings and also recognize that the objective of the council is to offer advice to Charter relative to issues and concerns of the communities served by Charter.

J. Sabo indicated a letter had been received from Frances Murray of Sherman regarding pricing and the elimination of the senior citizen discount in favor of a needs-based discount. The letter was given to J. Dee for response. J. Dee and D. Elwell explained the qualifications for a needs-based discount, which is based on their eligibility for the ConnPace and/or ConnMap programs. T. Joyner, representative from Sherman, commented on the elimination of the senior citizen discount and indicated he felt that Charter could extend the discount to seniors without hardship and that he felt it sends a very bad message to discontinue or change the program, stating that most people will not take the necessary steps to obtain the discount as they do not want to be viewed as needy. W. Fredrickson, a newly appointed representative from Southbury, indicated he had a problem with customer service when he contacted Charter for information on cable. J. Dee explained that the problem existed because of the fact that many of the calls are routed to a call center, located in Florida, which is not managed by Charter and thus they have little control over the effective management of this group. J. Dee further indicated they are switching to a group in Enfield where Charter will be able to manage the flow of calls routed to this center and hopefully resolve the customer service issues.

J. Sabo indicated a letter had been received from David McDevitt of New Milford regarding difficulty in getting a billing dispute resolved. The letter was given to J. Dee for response.

J. Sabo indicated a letter had been received from the State of Connecticut regarding a customer with a bounced check. J. Dee explained that Charter’s policy is to give individuals who have issued a check that is returned for insufficient funds ten (10) days to make payment on that check. This individual did NOT make good on the check within the 10-day period. J. Dee indicated that Charter had responded to the letter but has not heard back from the State regarding this matter.

J. Sabo indicated a letter had been received from the Town of Southbury, appointing William Fredrickson to the Cable Advisory Council.

J. Sabo read the list of representations and the towns represented. He indicated he had received an e-mail from J. Jorgenson, a representative from Brookfield, tendering his resignation. He further indicated there are several towns that do not have representatives appointed and suggested that anyone who has contact with people expressing an interest in joining the council should encourage them to send a letter to their town official asking that they be appointed. Towns currently without representation are Bridgewater, Kent, New Fairfield, Trumbull and Woodbury. In addition several towns have appointed representatives that have not been attending meetings, and/or do not have the appropriate number of representatives. This makes it increasingly difficult to attain a quorum at meetings. J. Eslami read from the DPUC regulation regarding appointment of individuals to the Advisory Council, indicating educational representatives are appointed by the Superintendent of Schools and town representatives are appointed by the First Selectman or Mayor. She further indicated that in regional school districts, members are appointed for each town within the region as long as they are in towns serviced by Charter.

J. Sabo commended Greg Van Antwerp and his staff for the quality of the signal for educational access channel, indicating Heritage Village is now receiving limited programming of the educational access channel for 4 hours a day.

J. Sabo indicated there were several pieces of mail in the Advisory Council mailbox at the Post Office that were misdirected and should have been sent to Charter Communications. He gave these pieces of correspondence to J. Dee.

J. Sabo questioned a piece of correspondence received relative to a “Legal Notice” published in the newspaper Voices, which contained information relative to the Council and its membership. J. Dee indicated this is a requirement and that J. Vance has responsibility for ensuring these notices are published. The correspondence was given to J. Dee. J. Sabo noted that the membership list, as published, was not up to date.


OLD BUSINESS:
Scholarship Committee Report – P. Hopper was unable to attend the meeting but had asked the recording secretary to inform the chairperson that only 3 or 4 tapes had been received to date. The deadline for submission is 1-15-03. She also asked that the recording secretary inquire as to whether or not the council wanted to extend the deadline to allow time for additional submissions. If this is done, it will require additional communication with the press and additional flyers will need to be distributed. J. Sabo posed the question to the council, and J. Eslami made a motion to extend the deadline until March 15. F. Standt seconded the motion. Following discussion by council members in which concerns were expressed regarding the fact that this would be unfair to those individuals who had submitted their tapes in accordance with the rules and regulations previously distributed, a vote was taken. In a unanimous vote it was decided that the deadline would NOT be extended and that awards would be made based on current submissions. If there is no submission for a particular category, an award in that category would not be made.

Web Site – J. Sabo indicated he had obtained a domain address for the Advisory Council web site – cableadvisorycouncil.com (as well as .net and .org). He distributed a sample of the type of information he proposes be placed on the site, and asked for members to review this information and offer comments and suggestions.

NEW BUSINESS:
T. Joyner indicated he would be resigning from the Council, stating that he would attempt to have a new individual appointed immediately.


CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:

J. Dee reviewed the new channel line-up, to be effective February 1, 2003, and associated costs.

G. Van Antwerp distributed the most recent Community Vision 21 Newsletter and public access report.


ADJOURNMENT:

A motion was made by W. Fredrickson to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 p.m. The motion was seconded by J. Eslami and carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted by: Lorna J. Szalay, Recording Secretary

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown, 7:30 p.m.

   
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