Cable Advisory Council
of Charter Communications

   
PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
         
     
November 13, 2002 Notes
 
         
 
Cable Advisory Council
P. O. Box 87
Newtown, Connecticut

NOTES

Public Regular Meeting – Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Newtown, Connecticut


There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:40 p.m. November 13, 2002 by Chairperson, John Sabo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut. As there was not a quorum of council members, this was an unofficial meeting.

ATTENDEES:
Paula Hopper, Carmella Amodeo, Judith Eslami, and John Sabo, Chairperson. For Charter: John Dee, Janice Vance, Dick Elwell and GregVan Antwerp.

PUBLIC INPUT:
No public present.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
As there was not a quorum, minutes from the September 13, 2002 meeting could not be approved. This will be done at the next meeting.

TREASURER'S REPORT:
F. Standt was not present at the meeting, but he furnished the following Treasurer's Report.

Opening balance of the checking Account (9/17/02). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 408.10
CHECKS WRITTEN: Newtown Secretarial Svc. (#167 -$386.56) -386.56
Transfer to checking 9/22/02 1,000.00
Deposit Annual Check from Charter Comm 2,000.00
Transfer to Money Market Account -2,000.00
Closing balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,021.45
Opening Balance on the Money Market Account (6/12/02) . . . . . . . . . . $ 9,612.39
Transfer to checking 9/22/02 -1,000.00
Interest 8/30/02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.16
Interest 9/30/02) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.75
Transfer from checking 11/12/02 2,000.00
Closing Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 9,612.39
1 yr. plus CD @ $10,000 + $1,094.89 int. to date = $11,094.89

The Treasurer’s report presented at the 5/23/02 meeting still needs to be approved as well as the above report.

COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
J. Sabo had requested the Recording Secretary furnish copies of past minutes (1 year) for distribution to members who may not have them. These were distributed at the meeting and it was suggested that any new members be given copies of past minutes to afford them some understanding of items/issues discussed and acted on.

J. Sabo indicated a letter had been received from the DPUC asking if the council would be willing to absorb the Winsted System area as part of its membership. This was discussed and, although there were no strong objections to this, it was agreed that members would not want to travel to that area for attendance at meetings.

J. Sabo indicated a letter had been received from Eileen Sundstrom, representative from New Fairfield, indicating she submitted her resignation due to her inability to attend meetings.

J. Sabo distributed copies of DPUC regulations regarding establishment of advisory councils for cable television franchise areas. Included in these regulations is language governing appointment of members, term, etc., which includes absences. According to these regulations, any member who has three (3) consecutive absences or does not attend 50% of meetings duly noticed and held within a 12-month period will be deemed to have resigned. Following some discussion, it was agreed that a letter would be sent to members who have several absences to apprise them of this and ask that they indicate their intent to continue on the council or resign. Additional conversation centered around why existing appointees don’t attend meetings, how to attract additional members, and what can be done to ensure that people appointed attend meetings.
D. Elwell suggested an article regarding the council could be included in a newsletter, which will be distributed on a quarterly basis to selectmen and town managers, as well as the council and DPUC.

J. Vance indicated that Charter was in the process of putting together a customer survey, and indicated the council was able to include two questions in the survey. She reviewed some of the questions Charter was asking relative to quality of service and testing customers’ knowledge of services offered. J. Sabo suggested a question be included asking if the customer is aware of the existence of the council, with a notation for individuals with an interest in further information regarding the council to contact a specific council member. G. Van Antwerp also indicated information regarding the council could be put on the Community Bulleting Board. J. Eslami suggested a letter be sent to the selectmen and chairmen of Boards of Education indicating a need for them to appoint members. J. Sabo suggested including a copy of the DPUC regulations to act as a reminder that this council is established under these regulations and ask that they try to appoint people who would have an interest and would therefore attend the meetings.

J. Sabo discussed the DPUC interrogatories and the proposed responses. The first, asking if the consolidation of the western cable franchise had been discussed at an advisory council meeting, was answered no. J. Dee indicated they had gone to the State and asked if the Winsted franchise could be consolidated with the western franchise (Newtown), and their question is whether or not this proposal had ever been discussed with the council. It was agreed that this had never been discussed at a council meeting and, therefore, the answer is no. The second, asking if the advisory council had taken a position on the proposed consolidation, was again answered no. However, J. Sabo suggested there would not be any opposition to the consolidation, but indicated that meetings would not be held in that region and would continue in Newtown. He further indicated that adding the Winsted area, which currently has no council members, would increase the need for new members in that area. Additionally, he pointed out that the money that had been set aside in the northwest franchise for advisory council would then be absorbed by this council if the franchises were consolidated and one council covered both regions. There was some discussion on the possibility of videoconferencing with members of the northwest region if this consolidation takes place and new members are appointed for that region, rather than requiring them to travel to Newtown for meetings. The final question on the interrogatories is whether or not there will be changes necessary to the advisory council if the application for consolidation is approved. J. Sabo indicated the response would again indicate there would be no change in the meeting location and that this may be remedied with the use of videoconferencing. Due to time restraints in responding to the DPUC regarding these interrogatories, the above noted answers will be given without further discussion at an official council meeting.

J. Sabo asked about the possibility of changing future meetings to Wednesdays, instead of Tuesdays, but other members present indicated it would create conflicts for them.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:

J. Dee conducted a tour of the new facility.

J. Dee discussed the concept of the quarterly newsletter to selectmen, town managers, etc., indicating it would help to bring information to the forefront, which will enable them to be more informed about what Charter is doing within their communities.

J. Dee indicated they were planning an open house for the new facility. However, the DPUC is currently unable to attend an open house at this time due to ongoing hearings regarding the franchise, which prohibit them from communications in the interim. J. Dee suggested the council be a part of the open house to raise awareness.

G. Van Antwerp distributed the community access rules, indicating they review them once a year to determine if any changes need to be made. He indicated they were rewritten last year, and stated they do not need any major changes this year. He further stated there will be an open house and opportunity for public comment on these rules in December.

OLD BUSINESS:
Scholarship Committee Report – P. Hopper indicated no tapes had been received yet. She indicated she had sent out letters to all of the librarians in the franchise, along with flyers and rules and regulations. They have also been sent out to the high schools. There have also been articles in the Newtown Bee and the News-Times. P. Hopper indicated she is in the process of talking to individuals regarding judging the event.

Web Site – J. Sabo indicated he was hopeful that the web site would be up and running by the next scheduled meeting.


ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by: Lorna J. Szalay, Recording Secretary


NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown, 7:30 p.m.

   
           
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