Wednesday, October 1, 2008
CAT board objects to newly appointed Telecom Board member
Alderman plans to contest Hilton’s appointment to board
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Former Fayetteville Cable Administrator Marvin Hilton’s time as a member of the city’s Telecommunications Board may be short lived.
Hilton, who served as the city’s cable administrator from 1995 until this past May, was appointed to the board Sept. 16 by the city’s nominating committee despite the fact that his application to fill an empty spot on the board was denied by the committee in early June.
At the Fayetteville City Council’s agenda-setting session, Alderman Brenda Thiel told everyone that she planned on making a motion that the council reconsider Hilton’s appointment. Thiel said a letter from Colleen Pancake, president of the Community Access Television board of directors, protesting Hilton’s appointment was the main reason she planned to bring the motion forward.
The letter stated that Hilton had a troubled history with the TV station while he was the city’s cable administrator and when he was fired by the city, he was escorted out of the building by a police officer. The letter documented several cases of harassment by Hilton against TV station personnel, to the point the station had to file a restraining order against him.
Pancake’s letter explained that her board was concerned that now Hilton has inserted himself in a position of authority over the station by sitting on the Telecommunications Board. The letter states that Hilton “[by] way of reinserting himself into the chain of authority over Community Access Television, may take up much of this Council’s future valuable time with the same behavior we have brought to your attention.”
Alderman Kyle Cook, chairman of the nominations committee, said that Hilton’s application in June was denied because of his recent termination by the city. Cook said that after three months of receiving no applications, the committee reviewed Hilton’s resubmitted application and forwarded a recommendation to the City Council that Hilton be approved to sit on the board effective Sept. 16.
“Nobody else applied,” Cook said. “(The position) was advertised, and none of the opposing parties put forth an application.”
Cook added that he had time to talk to Hilton and discuss some misunderstandings and that he felt comfortable appointing Hilton to the Telecommunications Board.
“He’s been working hard behind the scenes,” Cook said.
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