CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Minutes of Strategic Action Committee Meeting –
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Newtown Municipal Center
A meeting of the Strategic Action Committee of the Cable Advisory Council was held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at the Newtown Municipal Center, Newtown, Connecticut.
Chairman Gregory Davis called the meeting to order at 7:15pm.
ATTENDEES: Chairman Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Vice Chairman Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Ken Cornet (Washington), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Paul Katzmark (Southbury), Joe Mustich (Washington) and Ken Swain (Bridgewater). Committee member Donna Cassidy was not in attendance.
The purpose of the Strategic Action Committee is to guide the chairman and to determine roles and responsibilities of the Advisory Council and how to better serve subscribers.
The committee members affirmed that the minutes for the October 9, 2012 Strategic Action Committee meeting were accurate as submitted.
Chairman Gregory Davis provided the committee with a packet of information which included:
Strategic Action Committee Agenda for 12-11-12
List of SAC members and telephone numbers and e-mails
Minutes from the October 9, 2012 SAC meeting
Letter from Kimberley Santopietro from Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in response to inquires made by the Cable Advisory Council (Western CAP Region 19) after their September 11, 2012 meeting.
Cable Advisory Council Chairman Report- Motion for PURA Advisory Action for Prime Directive, Access Interconnection and Travel Expenses Reimbursement
ATT Statewide U-Verse Community Access Programming Menu Survey
Letter to PURA from Chairman Gregory Davis regarding the Prime Directive motion made at the Sept. 11, 2012 Cable Advisory meeting
Letter to PURA from Chairman Gregory Davis inquiring about the Travel Expense Reimbursement
Chart showing the round trip mileage for members of the Cable Advisory Council
Letter to PURA (cc: to Tom Cohan, Director, Government Relations New England/NY regarding Access Interconnection.
SAC Mission Statement
SAC Reference Documents
PURA RESPONSE TO THE SEPT. 2012 ADVISORY COUNCIL MOTIONS
Chairman Davis spoke of a response he received regarding motions made at the September 11, 2012 Cable Advisory Council meeting and subsequently sent as inquiries to PURA.
Prime Directive- It was noted by PURA that the Prime Directive of the Advisory Council is to “give advice to the management of the cable television company upon such matters affecting the public as it deems necessary”. It was noted that the Annual Report for the CAP (Community Access Provider) must be submitted on docket.
Mileage Reimbursement- An inquiry was sent to PURA regarding whether or not the Advisory Council members may be reimbursed for mileage incurred in traveling to Council meetings. According to PURA, the Advisory Council is not a charity and council members may be reimbursed at the IRS mileage reimbursement rate. Chairman Gregory Davis provided the committee with a chart of the number of miles that each member travels.
Treasurer Carl Braun submitted the following opinion regarding the mileage reimbursement proposal: I suggest reimbursement for travel expenses start with the first meeting of 2013 and be payable by mailed “check” at the end of the year. Based on attendance, “all” members will be compensated at the 2013 approved rate (56.5 cents/mile) calculated as the distance from their home address to Charter’s facility times the number of meetings attended (special meetings would be tallied on a similar basis). Attendance will be taken from the Council’s meeting attendance sheets. Chairman Davis noted that reimbursement would only apply to members with current appointment letters.
There was a discussion among the committee members regarding the Council’s annual budget and the expense involved with reimbursement. It was noted that the process for reimbursement should be as simple as possible. It was noted that the Council’s annual budget is $2,000/year which would not cover the expense of reimbursement. Chairman Davis will ask everyone to calculate the mileage from their home to Charter at the January meeting. There was a discussion of possibly asking Charter for an increase in funds. It was decided that Gregory Davis will confer with Tom Cohan (Director of Government Relations for Charter) regarding this issue before the January meeting.
Community Access Interconnection- A motion was sent to PURA and to Charter asking them to explain to the Council any obstacles that prevent interconnection of community access operations between Charter and AT&T. The response from PURA indicates that the Authority does not as a matter of law, have the authority to order Charter and AT&T U-Verse to reach an interconnection agreement by any specific date and cannot require that the parties accept or sign an interconnection agreement. Jim Lang suggested that council members talk to their legislatures to get the law changed. Gregory Davis noted that he expects legislation to be introduced in January that affects interconnection.
SAC MISSION POOL
Chairman Davis asked the committee to give ideas, strategies and concepts of priorities that the committee should focus on. Ken Cornett suggested that the council members talk to their First Selectman to see what issues are a priority and which ones should be brought up to State Representatives to best serve and represent the constitutes.
Ken Cornett noted that a priority that should be addressed is the price of a cable box and Charter’s policy for charging per box. There was a suggestion that letters written to local papers may encourage Charter to rethink their policy.
Gregory Davis made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:02pm. Paul Katzmark seconded the motion- Vote 7-0-0 (Motion approved)
Cable Advisory Council Strategic Action Committee