P. O. Box 87
Regular Meeting - Tuesday, March 12, 2002
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
FUNDS = $21,533.92
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.
COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE:
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.
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.
submitted by: Lorna J. Szalay, Recording Secretary
MEETING: Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at Charter Communications offices in Newtown,