Cable Advisory Council
of Charter Communications

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

Minutes

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


There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:39 p.m., Tuesday, July 13, 2004 by Vice-Chairperson Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.

ATTENDEES:

Vice-Chairperson Carmella Amodeo, John Bell (filling in for Stephanie O’Rourke for Kent), Rachel Goodkind (New Milford), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), Carl DeVoe (New Milford), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Barry Diamond (Trumbull), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Jill Zaloski (Monroe), Frank Catalano (Newtown).

For Charter: Dick Elwell and Greg Van Antwerp.

PUBLIC INPUT:

No public present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

A motion was made by K. Donahue to accept the Minutes of the May 11, 2004 meeting as presented, the motion was seconded by R. Goodkind. There being no discussion, a vote was taken and the Minutes of the May 11, 2004 meeting were approved. The motion carried unanimously.

TREASURER'S REPORT:

J. Zaloski, Treasurer, presented her report to the Council (March, 2004—July, 2004).

Opening balance (May) of the checking account. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 498.26
Check #202, Newtown Secretarial -53.00
Deposit, Transfer 4/17/04 from Money Market 500.00
Check #203, Office Wizards -411.08
Check #204, Newtown Post Office (Annual Fee) -100.00
Check #205, Ben Haase (Webmaster—three months) -90.00
Deposit, Transfer 6/3/04 from Money Market 1,000.00
Check #206, Office Wizards -431.19
Check #207, Ben Haase (Webmaster—thru Dec. 2004) -180.00
Deposit, Transfer 7/13/04 from Money Market 500.00
Closing balance (July, 2004) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,232.99


Opening Balance on the Money Market Account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16,143.15
Withdrawals/transfers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/17/04 -500.00
6/3/04 -1,000.00
7/13/04 –500.00
Interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31.94
Closing Balance (7/13/04).. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $14,175.09
Total Funds Available $15,408.08

1 yr. plus CD @ $10,000 (Renewed ~ 8/27/03 /New Maturity Date 8/27/04)
Opening Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 11,282.40
Closing Balance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 11,315.74

TOTAL ASSETS: $26,723.82

A motion was made by K. Donahue to accept the treasurer’s report as submitted. The motion was seconded by R. Goodkind and carried unanimously.

J. Zaloski pointed out that Charter’s $2,000.00 annual contribution to the Council is due at this time. D. Elwell asked that an invoice be submitted and the request would be processed.

C. Amodeo advised the Council that she had a meeting with J. Zaloski concerning the Council’s expenses. She advised that while Charter contributes $2,000.00 on an annual basis, the Council’s expenses are in excess of $2,000.00 annually which concerned her. A lengthy discussion ensued among the Council members. A rough breakdown of expenses are as follows: $30.00 per month for web space; $30.00 per month for the Webmaster to maintain the website; $8.25 per month for the post office box; $200.00 per month for secretarial services.

B. Diamond questioned how Charter arrived at the $2,000.00 annual figure. D. Elwell explained that the amount is mandated. D. Elwell pointed out that in the past, SNET also contributed $2,000.00 annually to the Council for expenses.

C. Amodeo pointed out that the James Diaz Video Festival might be in danger of no longer being conducted as a result of the Council’s expenses nor will the Council be able to offer grants.

Suggestions were made to ask Charter for an increase. C. DeVoe pointed out that the DPUC should make yearly adjustments but it has never been challenged. The DPUC is following the Connecticut Statutes. Should the Connecticut Statutes change, the DPUC would be obligated to follow them.

It was decided that the Council needed to know how much its yearly expenses are prior to petitioning the DPUC for more funding. C. Amodeo asked that J. Zaloski submit a breakdown of monthly/yearly expenses and the matter be re-addressed at the Council’s next meeting in an effort to find ways to cut its yearly expenses.

A discussion ensued with regard to researching higher interest rates for the Council’s CD.

A motion was made by B. Diamond authorizing J. Zaloski to look into better CD interest rates and if found J. Zaloski is authorized to change banks for the Council’s CD. The motion was seconded by R. Goodkind and carried unanimously.


CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:

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

D. Elwell reported no changes have occurred since the last Council meeting (i.e., no rate increases, no channel changes, no service issues arose, no phone service issues arose). He reported that the Winsted area is being required to provide 100% serviceability. The project should be completed at the end of the year. The CTN coverage issue arose during the impeachment process as it is not carried in the Fairfield County area. He reiterated the goal is for cable companies to carry CTN on their basic service. CTN’s desire is to be carried by Charter full time. He welcomed any suggestions from the Council.

COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

C. Amodeo advised the Council of the following items received: a bill from EarthLink; lawyer’s statement; and, communication from the State of Connecticut regarding Pegasus.

No Council members reported receiving communication/correspondence directly.

OLD BUSINESS:

By-Laws ~ Update:

C. Amodeo reviewed the By-Laws with the Council. She pointed out the office of Secretary/Treasurer and asked if the Council desired a combined office or preferred to separate the office—Secretary and Treasurer. Sections 4.1, 6.1 and 6.4 would need to be corrected for consistency. C. DeVoe desired the position to remain combined pointing out the difficulties the Council encountered in the past with obtaining volunteers to serve as officers in addition to serving as Council members. J. Lang suggested separating the offices and electing the same individual for the two separate positions noting that in the future, should additional members wish to serve as officers the flexibility is in place. If the positions are collapsed, the flexibility is lost. The consensus of the Council was to separate the offices.

A motion was made by J. Lang whereby the Council, at its next regular meeting, would vote on changing the language for Sections 4.1, 6.1 & 6.4 regarding the offices of Secretary and Treasurer (4.1: from Chairperson, Vice Chairmen, and Secretary/Treasurer to Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer; 6.1 from Secretary/Treasurer to Treasurer; and, 6.4 from Secretary/Treasurer to Treasurer). The motion was seconded by C. DeVoe and carried unanimously.

Video Festival ~ Update:

J. Zaloski distributed the following informational sheet:

3-8 minutes length/VHS
Judging Criteria: Originality, Creativity, Artistic Merit, Technical Merit, Effective communication of a theme, Suitable for viewing on CommunityVision 21

Special category for Editing: “All entries will be judged and may qualify for an additional award recognizing outstanding editing.”

Open to amateurs and students only

Judges: 3-4 (TBA), No Committee members, Charter employee, or teachers of student entries

Entry Fee: None

Multiple entries may be submitted on separate VHS tapes. Entries will not have name of person submitting available on outside of tape. Credits should be at the end of the entry tape.

3 Awards for each age group: (as per: funding limitation each year)

Student: Ages 14-18
1st 500
2nd 250
3rd 100

Adults: 19 & Up
1st 500
2nd 250
3rd 100

Special Award for Editing: Single award $200 (if applicable)

NOTES:

** Entries may be submitted from residents within Charter’s viewing area including Newtown and Winsted areas.

** Advisory Board members should submit name and contact of their local papers to expedite getting event covered. School and town papers will be contacted.

Same individual can win an award in both video and editing categories.

Non-winning entries from previous year may be re-submitted.

Previous winners may not re-submit same entry but can submit new entry.

All entries will receive a certificate of participation.

**Entry Deadlines:

Submission Date: ________________ 2004
Award Date: ________________

Festival viewing at Charter Public Access Studio. Entries should be aired on CommunityVision 21 after Festival.

Can CommunityVision 21 interns help create an “ad” to air on TV about the Video Festival?

Will Charter be contributing to the awards again this year?

With regard to interns helping to create an “ad”, G. Van Antwerp said he would ask a staff member. He recommended doing a community bulletin board ad.

J. Zaloski advised the Council that no information has been distributed to the schools notifying students of the Festival as she felt more concrete information needed to be put together. G. Van Antwerp expressed concern with changing the criteria after publication of the press releases as he has already received an entry. R. Goodkind informed the Council that the press release included the information distributed to the Council members. She included a submission date and an award date.

A lengthy discussion ensued with regard to the awards. G. Van Antwerp suggested eliminating the special award for editing and focus on community involvement. C. DeVoe agreed and suggested creating an award for enhancing a sense of community involvement. C. Amodeo suggested creating a community theme award at each level ($100 teen category, $100 adult category) in addition to awarding $100 for special editing. C. DeVoe pointed out that special awards could be given at the judges’ discretion that enhances a sense of community involvement. J. Bell suggested providing a receipt for the entries. C. DeVoe suggested sending the participants a postcard informing them that their tape was received. C. DeVoe suggested changing the category student to youth.

It was decided that two community enhancement awards would be given: $150 for the youth category and $150 for the adult category. In order to maintain the editing award, additional funding needed to be allocated.

A motion was made by K. Donahue to allocate an additional $150 for a Judges’ Choice Award that may be given at the judges’ discretion. The motion was seconded by R. Goodkind and carried. C. DeVoe opposed the motion.

It was noted that $1,000.00 would be contributed by Charter and $1,150.00 would be contributed by the Council for the Festival awards.

The consensus of the Council for a submission deadline was November 19, 2004. C. Amodeo asked that the one submission G. Van Antwerp received be notified of the submission deadline. The date for the award ceremony would be determined at a later date.

NEW BUSINESS:

Member Items and Issues:

K. Donahue advised the Council that she sent out a mailing to all the First Selectmen/Mayors and Superintendents in the franchise regarding membership on the Council. Of note, the Council should have 30-50 members.

Officers Nominations/Elections:

C. DeVoe entered the name of Carmella Amodeo as Chairperson.

No other names were entered.

The vote on C. Amodeo as Chairperson was unanimous.

K. Donahue entered the name of Jim Lang as Vice-Chairperson.

No other names were entered.

The vote on J. Lang as Vice-Chairperson was unanimous.


C. DeVoe entered the name of Kate Donahue as Secretary.

No other names were entered.

The vote on K. Donahue as Secretary was unanimous.


C. DeVoe entered the name of Jill Zaloski as Treasurer.

No other names were entered.

The vote on J. Zaloski as Treasurer was unanimous.

ADJOURNMENT:

A motion was made by C. DeVoe to adjourn the meeting at 10:25 p.m. The motion was seconded by K. Donahue and carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted by: Amy Holding, Recording Secretary

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown, 7:30 p.m.

   
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