Cable Advisory Council
of Charter Communications

PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
March 12, 2002 Minutes
Cable Advisory Council
P. O. Box 87
Newtown, Connecticut


Public Regular Meeting - Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Newtown, Connecticut

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:43 p.m. March 12, 2002 by Chairperson, Carl DeVoe at the offices of Charter Communications in Newtown, Connecticut.

Fred Standt, Treasurer, Jill Zaloski, Leslie Siegel, Eugene Rosen, Tom Joyner, Judith Eslami, K. Cornet, J. Mustich, Carl DeVoe, Chairperson. For Charter: John Dee, Greg Van Antwerp.

No public input.

A motion to accept the Minutes of the January 22, 2002 meeting as submitted was made by F. Standt and seconded by J. Eslami. K. Cornet commented that he has not been in attendance and does not feel the minutes are long enough to reflect the matters discussed at the meeting, specifically related to C. DeVoe’s discussion of the questions posed to the DPUC relevant to refranchising. A vote was taken against the motion to accept the minutes, and the motion passed with 6 in favor and 3 abstaining. J. Eslami asked if it was possible for absentee members to get a copy of the tape. C. DeVoe indicated copies can be made if requested.

Fred Standt issued the Treasurer's Report
Opening balance of the checking Account (1/22/02). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 325.31
CHECKS WRITTEN: Newtown Secretarial Svc. (#162 -$164.97)
Closing balance 3/12/02. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 160.34
Opening Balance on the Money Market Account (1/22/02) . . . . . . . . . . $ 10,515.60
Interest 1/30/02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.45
Interest 2/12/02) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.32
Closing Balance (1/22/02) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 10,543.37
1 yr. plus CD @ $10,000 + $830.21 int. to date = $10,830.21

TOTAL FUNDS = $21,533.92

MOTION to accept as submitted was made by J. Eslami, seconded by T. Joyner and carried unanimously. T. Joyner questioned whether SNET ever made payment and F. Standt stated they had not and that they have not responded to his phone calls.

C. DeVoe indicated no letters of complaint were received this period. He questioned J. Dee as to the resolution on letters from the last meeting, and J. Dee indicated he did not have those items at hand. E. Rosen noted he had received a phone call from an individual voicing a complaint, and this will be discussed later in the meeting. C. DeVoe indicated most of the correspondence received was from Charter’s attorneys to the DPUC, with one being a transcript with corrections, late file Exhibit 17, CATV report, notice of channel addition, brief of Charter Communications, CATV report for January 2002, and the reply to the brief of the OCC. E. Rosen elaborated on the phone call he received, indicating the individual stated he had spoken with P. Hopper. This individual, a Mr. Stoller, stated he is an investigative reporter, but was calling as a private citizen. He indicated he was very angry about having been asked to sign a paper following a service call, which he had been told was a verification of service performed, but he later deemed to be a contract of some sort, stating that he then began being billed for service which he did not intend to purchase or want. He further indicated he had several conversations with Charter, after which the service was terminated. E. Rosen stated that he requested Mr. Stoller put his complaint in writing and send it to him, however he has not received it. E. Rosen has Mr. Stoller’s name and number at home and will provide it at a later date. J. Dee indicated that it is customary for people to sign a work order upon completion of the work being performed, and stated these forms are subject to approval by the DPUC. He further stated that this is in fact a form of a contract, as it outlines the services performed and any associated charges. E. Rosen stated he would provide J. Dee with Mr. Stoller’s number. J. Dee checked service records and located a service call to add service to a customer with that name, and indicated that when they were contacted and asked to remove the service, it was done so immediately, as well as all charges were cancelled. He indicated this service was initiated as a result of a telephone call specifically requesting the service. He does not note any comments in the file. J. Dee indicated he would place a call to the customer to resolve any misunderstanding the customer may have.

J Dee indicated there is ongoing communication between the DPUC and OCC, and no decision has been made on the franchise renewal yet. He indicated a “draft decision” should be received within 60 to 90 days. J. Dee stated the progress on the new building has slowed a little, due to dealings with the Town, and indicated they need to have a water test performed on the water hydrant because of the sprinkler system, and since water is provided by a private company there are procedures which must be satisfied, which in turn slows the process. J. Dee anticipates completion of the building by the beginning of May. He discussed the new call center and its capabilities. J. Dee indicated they replaced the TV Guide with Community Vision 21 for Heritage Village customers, based on their request to add community access. Charter has not yet received a response from them, however, on the proposal for providing basic service.
J. Dee indicated customer service is fully staffed at this point. He also stated that Video on Demand service had been launched in all of Fairfield County and is being beta tested in the New Milford area and should be available in all of Litchfield County by April 1. J. Dee again noted they are looking to sell the paging business, which currently consists of about 1400 customers. J. Dee also noted they are launching a new Worldgate interface in early April, with simplified features. Additionally, he stated that negotiations with YES (Yankee’s Entertainment & Sports network) are ongoing. All of the equipment is in-house, and it’s scheduled to launch in the next week or so if an agreement is reached. He also indicated there are some issues with MSG and Fox Sports due to loss of team games and the related expense for those channels. J. Dee also indicated they are receiving a number of calls from customers asking for FX, and indicated they may be able to offer FX, depending on the outcome of the agreement with YES. He further indicated that all of this is being done without any rate increases. A question was raised regarding the expense of adding YES to expanded basic. T. Joyner expressed the opinion that it should be added as a separate tier, and that the expense for carrying the network on expanded cable should not be borne by those who don’t want it. J. Dee indicated that he was not involved in the negotiations and was not sure that it could be carried as a separate tier. K. Cornet stated his dissatisfaction with the bundling of programs and suggested customers be polled. He further indicated he is still experiencing problems with snow on the lower channels. J. Dee indicated Great American Country was added to the lineup and stated they would be meeting with the Mayor of New Milford to discuss the studio. G. Van Antwerp distributed the Public Access Reports. He indicated he did not have complete statistics on the New Milford studio, but indicated it was around 10 shows produced. They have been doing a lot of tours, and several are scheduled for the next few months. Greg discussed the Homefront Live program on January 20 and indicated it was a great program and there were several calls. He further indicated the 11th intern session has started, and there are approximately 13 or 14 regular interns. The last mobile truck production was a Masuk High School basketball game with Newtown. A truck shoot had been scheduled with the Newtown Friends of Music but had to be cancelled due to lack of interns available (Sunday). However, some of the interns taped the artist at a performance on Monday. G. Van Antwerp indicated the next truck shoot is scheduled for late March or early April in New Milford regarding a community pool. Greg also distributed the latest newsletter. G. Van Antwerp indicated Gina, who worked in his department, has moved on and her replacement, Dave King, has been hired. He has two years’ experience and had been working at the Winsted community access group. Greg also noted there are ads running to promote the mobile truck. G. Van Antwerp also presented the DPUC annual report, which reflects Charter’s activities for the past year.

Scholarship Committee Report – J. Eslami and E. Rosen indicated they would like to wait until P. Hopper was present to discuss this issue.

Web Site – T. Joyner indicated he had spoken with J. Vance and J. Dee regarding hosting the web site, and they indicated web space would be provided on an Earthlink server. Since that would not allow for a unique domain name, that was not deemed to be the best solution. J. Vance provided T. Joyner with a contact name so he could discuss options, and to date he has not yet received a response from that individual. C. DeVoe indicated the Council has the funds to pay for a domain name, and suggested that might be the best alternative so long as the ability to link to other sites exists. T. Joyner indicated his notes from initial conversations on this issue reflect the site should include programming information on Channels 21, 17, link to the CTV21 site, solicit public input on various issues, encourage people to e-mail the Council, solicit opinions about content and programming, surveys, publicize Council representatives for each town, and provide additional cable-related information. Members discussed a possible domain name and agreed the name should begin with “Cable Advisory Council”, so it is not confused with the “Charter Communications” web site. C. DeVoe asked about timeframe, cost, etc., associated with development of the site, and T. Joyner indicated that would depend on the response from the person he contacted at J. Vance’s suggestion. J. Dee indicated he does not believe Earthlink provides the services we are looking for. A motion was made by F. Standt to authorize T. Joyner to obtain quotations for establishment of a web site, with T. Joyner, in consultation with the Chairperson, being authorized to spend up to $1,000 for development of such web site. If the expense is to exceed $1,000, it will be discussed at the next council meeting. J. Eslami seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

C. DeVoe opened the floor for nomination of Officers (Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary/Treasurer), indicating the election would be held at the next meeting (May 14, 2002). K. Cornet nominated P. Hopper for Chairperson, which was seconded by J. Mustich. C. DeVoe nominated E. Rosen for Chairperson, which E. Rosen respectfully declined. In addition, T. Joyner and F. Standt indicated they would accept nominations to their current positions of Vice Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer, respectively. ANY OTHER NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE NEXT MEETING, PRIOR TO THE VOTE.

A motion was made by J. Zaloski to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m. It was seconded by T. Joyner and carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted by: Lorna J. Szalay, Recording Secretary

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown, 7:30 p.m

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