Cable Advisory Council
of Charter Communications

   
PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
 
     
January 13, 2004 Minutes
 
         
 
CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
P. O. Box 87
Newtown, Connecticut

Minutes

Public Regular Meeting – Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Newtown, Connecticut

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:45 p.m., Tuesday, January 13, 2004 by Chairperson, John Sabo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.

ATTENDEES:

Chairperson John Sabo (Southbury), William Fredrickson (Southbury), John Bell (Kent), Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent), Frank Catalano (Newtown), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Rachel Goodkind (New Milford), Jill Zaloski (Monroe), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Jeffrey Hackett (Trumbull), Dina Walker (Winchester ~ via tele-conferencing).

For Charter: Dick Elwell and Greg Van Antwerp.

PUBLIC INPUT:

No public present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

J. Sabo reminded the Council of their official website address (www.cableadvisorycouncil.com, .net, .org) and said that the Council’s Minutes are posted there on a regular basis. A motion was made by W. Fredrickson to accept the Minutes of the November 11, 2003 meeting as submitted, the motion was seconded by J. Zaloski. There being no discussion, a vote was taken and the Minutes of the November 11, 2003 meeting were approved. The motion carried unanimously.

TREASURER'S REPORT:

J. Zaloski, Treasurer, presented her report to the council (November, 2003—January 13, 2004).


Opening balance of the checking account. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,476.28
CHECKS WRITTEN: Office Wizards -508.96
Kathryn Wlodarczyk (videotaping) -30.00
Closing balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 937.32

Opening Balance on the Money Market Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16,399.90
Interest (Oct.-Dec.). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25.32
Withholding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . –7.09
Closing Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16,418.13


1 yr. plus CD @ $10,000 (Renewed ~ 8/27/03 /New Maturity Date 8/27/04)
Opening Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 11,248.52
Closing Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 11,265.32

TOTAL: $28,620.77

A motion was made by J. Bell to accept the treasurer’s report as submitted. The motion was seconded by W. Fredrickson and carried unanimously.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:

For the benefit of the new Council members, D. Elwell pointed out a recurring topic ~ programming rates. He reminded the Council that it is not a topic for discussion as the Council does not have jurisdiction over the rates as they are regulated by the state. One of the main reasons for rate increases is programming costs. Next, D. Elwell advised the Council that the high-speed network is now going to offer two speeds: 2 meg and a 384. The costs: $29.95 and $39.95. He then advised the Council that FX is coming into the lineup in February 2004 as well as NASCAR INCAR, NFL and FUSE (an extreme sports channel). D. Elwell pointed out that HD would be added where available. The process is moving slower than desired because the broadcast industry’s technology is somewhat behind that of the cable industry. Other additions include digital video recorders (DVR) which is a digital box that is set up with a computer. An individual has the capability to pause a live program. Your digital unit is replaced with a DVR unit which is available now. G. Van Antwerp distributed the most recent Community Vision 21 Newsletter and public access report (January 1, 2003—December 31, 2003).

COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

J. Sabo once again advised the Council that J. Zaloski has agreed to pick up the mail from the PO Box as she travels through Newtown on a more regular basis than he has been able to manage. He reiterated the need for a correspondence secretary who would deal directly with the correspondence that the Council receives. Most recently, the Council has expressed concerns with not addressing customers’ correspondence in a more timely fashion. In particular, there have been customer payments that have been inadvertently sent to the PO Box which were intended for Charter but have not addressed until the Council’s meeting. This has caused Charter’s customers to incur late fees. J. Zaloski will review the mail as it is picked up. J. Sabo pointed out the need for a correspondence secretary.

OLD BUSINESS:

Changes to By-Laws – Attendance: J. Sabo reviewed the lack of attendance the Council has had in the past for the benefit of the new members. There was a brief discussion regarding the voting process as well as what has transpired in the past in an attempt to address low attendance by Council members.

Website Progress: Throughout the meetings, J. Sabo reminded the Council to visit their website and pointed out the variety of information the site offers.

NEW BUSINESS:

Member Items and Issues:

W. Fredrickson expressed concern with finding the building locked upon his arrival as Charter’s schedule of operation has changed. He suggested possibly changing the meeting time to accommodate the Council’s meeting. J. Sabo did not feel changing the time for the meeting was necessary. He asked D. Elwell to assist in finding a solution. D. Elwell would look into having an individual available to let the Council members in for the scheduled meetings.

K. Donahue asked why Danbury’s weather information was aired in Trumbull and not Bridgeport’s weather information. E. Rosen offered some insight. He explained that towns north of the parkway were considered inland and that temperature distribution was very different. As Trumbull is on the border, if they received Bridgeport’s weather information, it would differ quite a bit from that of the Trumbull/Monroe area. Bridgeport’s weather information deals primarily with that of costal conditions. D. Elwell said he would pass along the concern to the Weather Channel representatives.

Nominations for Office of Membership Chairperson & Correspondence Secretary:

J. Sabo once again advised the Council that he would be resigning as Chairperson which should take place by the next Council meeting. He explained that Vice Chairperson, C. Amodeo, would take his place as Chairperson. J. Sabo said that he would continue to attend the meetings until he moves from the area.

J. Sabo suggested the Council open up nominations for Correspondence Secretary and Office of Membership Chairperson. C. Ziegler was nominated for the Office of Membership Chairperson at the Council’s last meeting but has since resigned serving on the Council. E. Rosen opened up nominations. No nominations were made. The consensus was to table this item to the next Council meeting.

Video Festival:

J. Sabo urged the Council to address this item and pointed out the time constraints surrounding submissions. J. Zaloski, J. Bell, S. O’Rourke and R. Goodkind have agreed to serve on the Festival Sub-Committee. J. Zaloski gave a brief background on the festival. She asked the Council to consider adding an editing section as she felt editing required a special skill onto itself. She pointed out the Council’s funds would support prizes for each of the three categories in each age group. Last year’s prizes included: $1,200 for the adult and $800 for the student. She felt that First-, Second- and Third-place prizes should be awarded at this year’s festival. In addition, she suggested a grant for schools be developed for start up. J. Zaloski gave a brief overview of the festival and what efforts would be needed. The following proposal was submitted:
~ ~ ~
Publish notices in February on public access channels, in schools, local papers, public libraries, and area senior centers in Charter’s viewing area including consolidated Advisory Board. (Get names of area papers.)

Deadline for Video Submission: June, 2004 (Date TBA)

Award Ceremony and Video Festival: July, 2004 (Date TBA)

Student Category: Ages 14—18
Adult Category: Ages 19—up

Award 3 places for each category:

Student First $_____ Adult First $_____
Second $_____ Second $_____
Third $_____ Third $_____

Consider special category for editing award $______

Outline criteria for judging.

All videos require signed releases to qualify for judging, festival viewing and airing on public access channels.
~ ~ ~
E. Rosen suggested contacting James Diaz’s family members and notifying them of the festival. They were very pleased when notified of last year’s event and being able to attend. J. Zaloski asked E. Rosen to forward any information to her.

A Grants Sub-Committee was formed of the following individuals: J. Zaloski, J. Bell, S. O’Rourke & K. Donahue.

ADJOURNMENT:

A motion was made by E. Rosen to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m. The motion was seconded by R. Goodkind and carried unanimously.

Recorded by: Lorna Szalay, Acting Recording Secretary
Respectfully submitted by: Amy Holding, Recording Secretary

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, March 9, 2004 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown, 7:30 p.m.

   
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