PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
May 11, 2004 Minutes
CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
P. O. Box 87
Public Regular Meeting – Tuesday, May 11,
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:40 p.m., Tuesday, May 11, 2004 by Vice-Chairperson Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
Vice-Chairperson Carmella Amodeo, William Fredrickson (Southbury), John Bell (Kent), Rachel Goodkind (New Milford), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), Carl DeVoe (New Milford), Thomas Amatruda (Woodbury), and Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent).
For Charter: Dick Elwell.
No public present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
A motion was made by W. Fredrickson to accept the Minutes of the March 9, 2004 meeting as presented, the motion was seconded by K. Donahue. There being no discussion, a vote was taken and the Minutes of the March 9, 2004 meeting were approved. The motion carried unanimously.
J. Zaloski, Treasurer, was not in attendance nor was her report forwarded on to the council. C. Amodeo asked that this item be tabled until the next meeting. There was no objection to this request.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:
D. Elwell advised the Council of an issue which arose in Connecticut. CTN was somewhat partnered with CPTV. The budget is approved through the state and CTN is funded through CPTV. CTN has, in the past, tried to become its own entity and have control over its own destiny and budget. This year, Senator Sullivan, who has been pro-CTN, pushed for legislation to make it mandatory for cable companies to carry CTN on their basic service. D. Elwell said that this might become an issue that the Council will have to confront at some point in time. Charter presently carries CPTV2 which is carried in Litchfield County. Comcast carried CTN on their analogue service. Then, at the end of the session, moved CTN to their digital service.
As an aside, K. Donahue advised the Council that Channel 908 provides a digital weather channel which allows an individual to program in a town so that person can obtain weather information for a given town.
D. Elwell advised the Council of federal legislation regarding smart cards (or cable cards). New TV sets have programmable cards which allow the TV sets to pick up the digital programming that Charter offers rather than having a cable box. This is in an effort to alleviate consumers from having to obtain a cable box after purchasing a cable ready TV set. Charter presently has cards available which are approximately $1.89. C. Amodeo asked what happens when the programming changes. D. Elwell explained that consumers would need to have their cards re-programmed.
Another issue in legislation is a-la-cart service. The industry’s opinion is that such a service would increase rates and knock out niche channels.
D. Elwell advised the Council of a recent award Charter was given for its Lyme Disease program.
D. Elwell distributed the most recent Community Vision 21 Newsletter and public access report.
COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
C. Amodeo advised the Council that there was no correspondence in the PO Box as the Post Office might be holding the mail pending receipt of payment for the PO Box.
C. Amodeo advised the Council that John Bell has requested he not be re-appointed to the Council. His term ends June 30, 2004.
C. Amodeo desired to address Agenda issues out of order and there was no objection to her request.
Video Festival ~ Update:
J. Bell advised the Council that there was nothing new to add as he and R. Goodkind have not been in contact with J. Zaloski. K. Donahue advised the Council that there is an interest at Trumbull High School in participating in the Festival. C. DeVoe advised the Council that Brookfield High School is conducting its annual Student Film Festival. S. O’Rourke asked if the judges were in place for the festival. C. DeVoe said no. S. O’Rourke asked if the judges needed to be in place in order to promote the festival. K. Donahue felt that was not necessary. The Council could promote the festival with basic information such as categories, prizes and submission date(s) so the participants could shoot over the summer with plans to edit in the fall. The judges could be selected in the interim. S. O’Rourke felt judges should be in place. C. Amodeo suggested the Committee get together again and asked if J. Bell could stay on the Committee. J. Bell said no but offered to assist as long as he was able to. C. Amodeo asked R. Goodkind to touch base with J. Zaloski and report back to the Council at the July meeting. T. Amatruda suggested emailing information regarding the Festival to the Council prior to the next meeting to be reviewed. C. DeVoe suggested announcing the Festival in June, provide a reminder in September and the submission deadline would occur in October or November. He also suggested promoting the Festival by showcasing a past winner.
Member Items and Issues:
K. Donahue advised the Council that she is continuing to work on building the membership list. She is close to being able to send out a mailing to all the First Selectmen/Mayors in the franchise regarding membership on the Council.
By-Laws ~ Update:
A motion was made by C. DeVoe to accept the Charter Communications Cable Advisory Council By-Laws as presented in the handout to the Membership on May 11, 2004. The motion was seconded by J. Bell.
C. DeVoe explained to the Council that there were not many changes. By-Laws from another southern Fairfield County committee was used as a model. The duties of the officers were delineated in the model and applied to the Council’s By-Laws. C. Amodeo pointed out that in 1.1, the new Towns that have been added to the franchise are listed. C. Amodeo pointed out another change—issuance of checks—6.3. Originally, the amount was $50.00 that could be expended at the discretion of the Chairperson and amounts exceeding $50.00 shall require prior resolution of the Council. The amount was changed to $500.00 to reflect current costs. C. DeVoe pointed out that it was in keeping with the model By-Laws. He also pointed out that the signing of the checks was the responsibility of the Secretary/Treasurer which was not in the Council’s previous By-Laws. A discussion regarding the positions of Secretary and Treasurer ensued. K. Donahue asked what happens with the position of Secretary in light of the fact the Council has a paid Secretary. C. Amodeo pointed out that if the Council decided to return to the original position of Treasurer/Secretary, the Treasurer would oversee the Secretary and wording would need to be added where the Treasurer/Secretary position would work hand-in-hand. C. Amodeo pointed out that over the years, every time the need arose for a task to be completed, a position was created. K. Donahue felt that recruiting more members may have an impact on executing some of the duties of the Council or conducting more meeting throughout the year. C. DeVoe pointed out that the By-Laws that have been presented to the Council were a starting base—something that had been lacking. He pointed out that the By-Laws can be amended. K. Donahue directed the Council’s attention to 9.0 Revising and Amending By-Laws: These By-Laws may be amended or revised by a vote of the Council at a meeting called for that purpose provided the changes or revisions have been submitted to the membership at least seven (7) days prior to said meeting and provided the changes are not in conflict with State Statutes. She question the amount of members needed to conduct such a vote. C. DeVoe noted the seven-day submission requirement. He pointed out that there is no guarantee that submissions will be read. If the members are concerned, they will read the documents sent to them and they will show up to the meeting if for no other reason than to vote an item down.
There being no further discussion, a vote was taken and the By-Laws were approved. The motion carried unanimously.
There was a brief discussion concerning nominations and elections. The consensus was to conduct the nominations and elections at the July meeting. The term of office could be retroactive.
A motion was made by C. DeVoe to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 p.m. The motion was seconded by J. Bell and carried unanimously.
Respectfully submitted by: Amy Holding, Recording Secretary
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at Charter Communications
offices in Newtown, 7:30 p.m.
Cable Advisory Council