Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tentative minues of April 2011 Telecom Board meeting

Telecommunications Board Meeting Minutes
April 21, 2011, 5:30pm Room 219, City Administration
Chairman Aubrey Shepherd welcomed.
Present were Aubrey Shepherd, Blake Pennington, Russ Davis and Michael Spencer. Not present were Brandon Lederl and Fred Cusanelli. Also present were Fritz Gisler, the Government Channel Manager; Anne Shelley, Fayetteville Public Access Television Executive Director: Lindsley Smith, City of Fayetteville Director of Communication
APPROVAL OF MINUTES of February 17 meeting. Pennington motioned and Davis seconded. All approved.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA: Gisler requested that Item 6 be moved to immediately after adoption of the agenda. Pennington motioned and Spencer seconded. All approved the change and adopted the agenda.
Anne Shelley, Fayetteville Public Access Television Executive Director, highlighted a few points from the submitted report.
1. Exceeded contractual obligation of new candidate producers by one
2. 67 offered classes first quarter vs. 52 last year
3. 217 new programs. More new shows than repeat
4. Sense of professionalism and team effort
5. All forms updated
6. Tracked users by Wards
7. Outreach- created a Fayetteville Public Access TV brochure and quarterly Highlight Newsletter on website.
8. Your Media- Board Task Force strategy: Outreach, Finance/fundraising, FPATV Operations. Perhaps an insert in the water bill
9. Training- new class schedule
Shelley spoke of the complaint, which is included in the packet, and the satisfactory resolution. Shelley expressed satisfaction with the complaint process. Spencer asked if Mr. Wells was satisfied.Shelley responded that Mr. Wells appeared to be. Pennington asked “ What do you intend to fill with now?” Shelley said there is plenty of programming in the library to use.Davis complimented the numbers and Shelley added she would be watching cancellations and no- shows from the classes. Spencer suggested tracking the cancellations as a good gage of public interest. Spencer complimented the good work and
thanked the staff. Shepherd asked if there had been any complaints about the COX channel move and Shelley answered that there had been none.
REPORT FROM THE MANAGER: FAYETTEVILLE TELEVISION CENTER/GOVERNMENT CHANNEL Gisler remarked on the City's satisfaction and confidence with the operation of Fayetteville Public Access by Your Media and talked about the website revisions of faypublic.tv. Gisler talked about accessfayetteville.org and the link to faypublic.tv. He added that all the information about Fayetteville Government Television has been updated. Gisler told the board that a regular program schedule has been implemented. Davis asked if the content was available on COX's guide. Gisler said that it is a goal to get that done and that he plans to enhance the website so there will be an automatically updated schedule.
Davis asked if the Fayetteville Public Access domain was owned by the City or Your Media. Shelley replied that it is owned by the City. Shepherd asked the cost and Shelley said she believed $120 for two years with Green Geeks and just the name not the hosting service.Flint Woods, staff, builds and maintains the site. Shepherd asked about the bandwidth and Davis asked if any social media was driving traffic to faypublic.tv. Shelley said that was an outreach goal for next quarter. Your Media has a U of A public relations/marketing focused intern.
Gisler complimented the staff for the work day painting. He also talked about the new graphics being created for the Government Channel and signage. He mentioned visits to the Television Center by State Representative Debbie Hobbs and the Spring International students.
Spencer talked about page 13 and obligations of the contract with Your Media and the number of producers. He asked if any other obligations of the contract were being measured. Did any fall short? Spencer asked that a chart of deliverables be sent to him. Spencer also asked that areas that need work be included in the reports.
BOARD DISCUSSION OF COX COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES Gisler talked about the free wifi on the downtown square which COX provided. Shepherd reported that Jim Bemis tested all around and it was easy. Pennington said the Market vendors liked it. Spencer asked for monthly reports of usage if it can be tracked. Spencer also asked what is being done to advertise the free wifi and suggested signage.
Gisler reported that there have been no calls concerning the channel migration. Shepherd said that COX will still provide the converter box.
REPORT ON THE STATUS OF THE AGREEMENT WITH FAYETTEVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO OPERATE THE EDUCATION CHANNEL Gisler said the draft of the contract has been sent to the Board members and included in the packets. He reported that ta preliminary agreement was in legal review with the School and the City.The agreement is to go before the School Board and then to City Council at the second meeting in May. Gisler asked for advisory information to be submitted quickly. Davis and Pennington said they did not see any concerns. Spencer asked if staff had any problems or concerns about page 3, sponsor credits. Gisler said it legally bound the channel to be non-commercial. Davis asked how the channel could bridge the gap, how to continue to maintain programs, without the sponsorship to help raise funds. Gisler explained the sponsorship opportunities.
Shepherd called for a motion. Davis moved to approve the contract as it is but if any major changes were made by the lawyers the Telecom Board see them and discuss them at the next meeting. Pennington said he does not want to approve a document that is not finalized but that he supports the meaning of the document. Spencer said he would like to see it when it came back from the attorneys.
Davis mentioned again that they all had read it and were in favor of it. Gisler suggested adding “baring any substantial changes” to the motion. Shepherd asked when the School Board would see it and Gisler responded that the School Board would like to have it effective July 1.
Spencer asked who are the City representatives in the negotiation. Gisler answered Lindsley Smith, City Communications Director; himself; and Susan Norton, Chief Information Officer for the Fayetteville Public Schools. He added that Alan Wilbourn, Public Information Officer, was present. Gisler also added that Peggy James, Video Production Instructor and Cary Pollock, Technical Director for F.P.S.T.V., were at the meeting.
Davis asked the board members if they would want to approve the contract if there were no major changes. Shepherd said that historically contracts go through the Telecommunications Board and asked if the School Board needed the contract approved for budgetary reasons. Gisler said it has no budget impacts. Spencer asked if there was any reason it had to be voted on. Gisler explained the advisory position of the Telecommunications Board for City Council. Spencer asked if the board took the time to review it after the attorneys would there be any impact to business operations. Davis answered that the school year was about up and asked when it was set to go into effect. Gisler said before the end of the fiscal year, the end of June, and reiterated that he and Smith planned for it to go before City Council the second meeting in May. Shepherd asked if the School Board would have seen it and Gisler replied yes and that their attorney would have signed it,
Davis mentioned waiting to review it at the next meeting. Pennington said it would go to Council with or without the Telecommunications Board opinion. Gisler added that if the board had an opinion it would be included in the packet presented to City Council.
Penningotn said to go with Davis's earlier motion. Davis restated the motion and added pending no significant changes and assuming that Mr. Gisler would let them know before the next meeting if there were any significant changes. Davis then said assuming the significant information stays the same he moved to say that the board was in agreement with this document. Pennington seconded. Spencer asked how the board's opinion would be drafted. Shepherd said it would be in the minutes. Pennington asked if Smith and Gisler would present the opinion at the City Council meeting. Gisler told them a statement written by Smith would be included in the supporting documentation for the agenda item. He added that he would be present at the meeting to represent the Telecommunications Board as liaison.
Motion passed with 3 ayes.
REPORT FROM THE INTERNET SUB-COMMITTEE No report but it was confirmed that Spencer is to be a member. It was not decided when they would meet.
REPORT FROM THE COMPLAINT PROCEDURE COMMITTEE Shepherd said that Jim Bemis wished to hear the report. Davis said he believed Bemis had read it and was pleased. Pennington gave a brief report. He said the committee had met with City staff to prepare a proposed document for the Telecom Board to view. Pennington said that he has had it for a few weeks but not had the time to closely look at it or schedule a meeting. Pennington said that he would schedule a meeting in the next two weeks with Leder, Davis and anyone else who wanted to look at it more closely. Shepherd said he had tried to find the document and added that he hoped the board would maintain the policy that any business related to this goes to anyone involved, including Bemis and Marvin Hilton. Pennington clarified that the document had gone to the sub-committee members but in the future he would include the other board members and Bemis and Hilton.
Gisler added information about Windstream/KDL, an internet service provider, and their request to use the City of Fayetteville's rights of way to install fiber optic to provide wholesale internet connectivity services. He stressed that this issue is within the purview of the Telecom Board. Gisler said that the City wants to have more meetings with Windstream before agreeing to anything. Shepherd asked about digging in the rights-of-way and Gisler said he would keep the question of their construction process on a list. Davis said he was curious about specifically where the lines would be run.
Davis asked if Gisler personally anticipate this to be fast tracked and moved quickly or drawn out over several months. Gisler responded that the City Administration had very specific questions for Windstream and would hold special meetings. Davis asked if the meetings would be public or private and Gisler answered that they would initially be private but if it goes forward there would be public input meetings and that representatives of the company should address the Telecom Board. Davis said that Windstream could be good a good thing but would appreciate that Gisler let the board know when it is on the horizon.
Gisler then said there was a telecommunication issue for consideration very shortly which was facing the entire country concerning the use of City rights-of-way for telecommunication infrastructure. Telecommunication service providers are going to State Legislature to ask for State wide franchising. The question of what governmental organization will control the franchising with the various telecommunications service providers is something directly within the pervue of this Telecom Board. Gisler mentioned three specific concerns. 1. The City may lose some of it's ability to negotiate and control some of it rights-of-way for Telecommunication Infrastructure. 2. As this has happened through out the country many of the protections and provisions for public and government television have been eliminated. Public Access channels are going dark because of state wide franchising. Federal legislation, Community Access Preservation Act (CAP Act), will be brought before Congress. Gisler recommended that the board members research this and suggested Alliance for Community Media and NATOA .
Gisler said this Board is the point for the City to be looking at these types of issues because they have direct impact on the telecommunication infrastructure of our City. He added that the City needs to be well represented at the State Legislature and that the City of Fayetteville needs to be a leader. Shepherd asked that Gisler provide the Board with documents as they come available and Gisler responded that he absolutely would.
AGENDA SUGGESTIONS FOR MAY 19, 2011 MEETING Pennington proposed that the next three meetings be held in room 326. Davis mentioned that if the Board hates room 326 they could move back after one meeting. Shepherd asked that the Board members watch meeting the meetings recorded in each room and see if they come up to standards. Spencer asked for staff's opinion and Gisler said that what Pennington had said about room 326 being a more conversational,more intimate, more comfortable environment was most important. Davis asked what constituents were saying about meetings in room 326 versus room 219. Gisler answered that he had gotten no specific complaints. Shepherd mentioned not seeing the speakers and Gisler added that he has had more negative comments about meetings in 219 not being conducive to discussion with the public.
Motion to move to room 326 for a three month trial was made by Pennington and seconded by Davis. The motion was approved.
Davis added that it was important to invite public feedback.
Shepherd complained about the scheduling and about there being no schedule in the newspapers. Gisler mentioned it was voted by the City Council not to run agendas and schedules in the papers as a cost saving.
Pennington announced that Mike Russell has resigned and thanked him for his two years of service on the Board and as vice-chairman. It was decided to open nominations for vice-chairman and put that on the agenda for next month. Shepherd appealed to the public that new board members are needed.
ADJOURNMENT Motioned by Pennington and seconded by Davis.

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