PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
May 3, 2005 Minutes
CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
~ Minutes ~
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting – Tuesday, May 3, 2005 (rescheduled from May 10th due to scheduling conflicts)
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:06 p.m., Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005 by Chairperson, Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
Jill Zaloski (Monroe), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), William Fredrickson (Southbury), Steve Donahue (New Milford), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), George Linkletter (Sherman)
From Charter: Greg Van Antwerp, Jackie Saulnier (for Len Romano), John Palinkas.
No public present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes approved (Motion by Fredrickson, second by Donahue).
Jill received the 2003 and 2004 checks from Charter for the Advisory Committee ($2,000.00 for each year, based on franchise agreement). Jill indicated that we will need to do the audit for 2004. She will create a package for us to review at the next meeting. We will need to allocate an extra 30 minutes at the next meeting to review the audit (probably split into two groups to review).
We also need to a make a payment for the annual fee for our PO box. In addition, we got another bill from the Lakeview Journal for $127.00. John will give it to Greg to investigate. We need to check the franchise agreement for the frequency of when we need to advertise for the Council and who pays.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:
Charter was a finalist in the Education category of the CTPAA (Cable Television Public Affairs Association) Beacon Awards.
John asked that we please promote the upcoming production orientation meeting scheduled for May 26th at 6:00.
The Video Festival Awards will be airing in the next three weeks, they are in the process of being edited.
CTN will be getting it’s own channel (19) – C-SPAN II will be moving to expanded basic (Channel 64). The change will happen 6/30/05. March 2005 statistics: 764 new basic subscriber, 685 disconnects for a net of 79. The trend of a net loss of subscribers finally seems to be turning around. The telephony test in still going on in Massachusetts and has expanded beyond employees to include general customers. John did not know when it would expand to Connecticut.
Charter has come up with a new promotion for the Community Access Channel. Starting May 16, walk ins to the customer service center will get a ticket for a free studio tour/mobile production unit.
Kate Donahue shared with Charter that Trumbull’s Educational Access Committee is creating a survey to look at viewership of their educational access channel.
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:
Jim Lang sent a report in his absence. He reported that Charter has reduced call response time and increased system reliability to almost 100%. Community access fees (allocated by state regulation from Charter’s revenues to support community access programming/production) has increased to $6.27 per sub per month – an increase of 3%.
Gene Rosen discussed a subscriber issue he had that he passed onto Greg who got the subscriber to the right person at Charter to solve the problem.
We asked Charter about a recent outage due to modem upgrade. There was no notice from Charter to let modem customers know there was planned maintenance that could result in outages. What made it worse was that the call center in Kentucky that was handling our calls didn’t know about the problem either. The Council recommended to Charter that they notify customers of planned maintenance and the potential for outages in advance.
Steve Donahue asked about the possibility of making a quick link available to the Advisory Council when subscribers pay their bill online.
Jill did a GREAT job on the video festival. There were 10 entries – 5 students and 5 adults. First place went to Adam Bagger (adult) and Mike Brown (student); 2nd place, Ed Bozek (adult) and Eric Bagger (student); and 3rd place, Herb and Tim Anderson (adult) and a group of 3 students (Nick Custodio, Ashley Sullivan and Jon Gorton). The Community Spirit Award went to Simon Melzer. We need to continue to push the internship program and use of the mobile unit and we really need a full committee for next year. We will put the committee development on the agenda for next meeting.
We need to send out a flyer NOW for next year’s competition. Same criteria. Kate will do. It will go on the web page, out to schools, town clerks and libraries. We will need to resend the announcement in September (note to add to agenda).
Nominations: Need to postpone to next meeting.
We need to ask members to call or email Carmella if they will not be attending the meeting – her contact info should go at the end of every set of minutes and meeting notice.
We also need to solicit towns for members. We asked Charter to see if any of their other systems have successful recruitment strategies. We should post openings in the production studio and get articles in local newspapers.
Steve is working on improving our website. He will be looking at other Council websites, considering additional links to add to our website. If you have ideas, please forward to him.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Respectfully submitted by: Kate Donahue, Secretary
Cable Advisory Council