JOINT CABLE TELEVISION ADVISORY BOARD
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 16, 2002
Minutes of January 16, 2002: Dr. Joe Ugras moved to approve the minutes of January 16, 2002. The motion was seconded by Walt Iwaskiw and passed unanimously.
Members Present: Dr. Joe Ugras, Chairman, James Bowe, Vice Chairman, Walt Iwaskiw, Member, Scott Harp, Liaison, Representing Newtown Township and Stuart Myles, Treasurer Representing Newtown Borough. Not in attendance are Ernie Bancroft, Member, and Allen Reed, Liaison, Representing Newtown Borough.
CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Dr. Joe Ugras called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.
Dr. Joe Ugras made a motion to appoint James Bowe as the new Chairman. The motion was seconded by Stuart Myles and passed unanimously.
James Bowe made a motion to appoint Walt Iwaskiw as the new Vice Chairman. The motion was seconded by Dr. Joe Ugras and passed unanimously.
Dr. Joe Ugras made a motion for Stuart Myles to continue as the Treasurer. The motion was seconded by James Bowe and passed unanimously.
Minutes of December 19, 2001:
James Bowe moved to approve the minutes of December 19, 2001 with one change. Under Comcast Update James Bowe gave an overview on the tour of the existing Jamison Facility. The motion was seconded by Dr. Joe Ugras and passed unanimously.
James Bowe advised that the major work has been completed in Tyler Walk.
James Bowe advised that he is not sure of the status at Newtown Crossing, due to several management changes at Comcast.
James Bowe advised the committee he has put in a request to Bob Pellegrino for a list of Homeowners Associations and a list of Supervisor Boards for the surrounding townships.
James Bowe advised that the Homeowners of The Ridings are questioning where it says Comcast can put equipment above ground. They feel the equipment should stay underground. James Bowe advised the committee he reviewed the Communications Act for 1996. He found information that states as a municipality we have the right to regulate the right of way as long as we do so in an even handed manner with all the utilities. James Bowe advised the Homeowners of The Ridings how things went in the rebuilding of Tyler Walk. The committee will discuss further with Comcast and the Township Manager.
The committee discussed the need to follow up with other Homeowners Associations.
James Bowe updated the committee on the status of the Excite.Com conversion.
James Bowe advised the committee on a problem Mr. Sterling of 2186 Twining Road is having with Comcast. A cable wire is strung across his driveway and the tractor-trailer trucks keep getting caught on the wire. Mr. Sterling has contacted Comcast several times with no luck. James Bowe advised he would speak with Steve Rabbitt of Comcast.
Walt Iwaskiw advised the committee on correspondence received from Ed Meell in reference to the Installation of Satellite Dishes. Copies would be mailed to committee for review.
The committee discussed the recent changes that the Supreme Court has made to the 1996 FCC regulations.
The committee discussed what the goals for 2002 should be.
a. Increase the quantity and quality of content on PEG Channels
b. Realign channels and bring local universities online
c. Develop closer ties to our neighboring municipal cable groups and participate in the Joint Cable TV Advisory Board for Bucks County – The committee agreed they would like to participate in the meetings or special events but do not want to become members.
d. Foster greater competition between cable providers for the purpose of controlling costs and encouraging continued improvement in the services they provide
e. Research and present the justification for renaming the committee to address the close association between cable and other telecommunication mediums
f. Continue to develop the good working relationship with Comcast
James Bowe advised the committee on the upcoming meeting with Toby Mochel. He invited committee members to attend.
James Bowe advised the committee on the upcoming Council Rock Cable Advisory Committee Meeting on February 11, 2002. He invited committee members to attend.
James Bowe advised the committee on the upcoming Joint Cable TV Advisory Committee for Bucks County on January 29th, 8:30 p.m. at Morrisville. They meet the last Tuesday of every month. James Bowe advised he would be attending this meeting. He suggested having a volunteer to attend future meetings.
OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:
The committee discussed asking Comcast what the specs on the bullets are. What are the dimensions and how high should they sit above ground. The committee will let Comcast know what they expect. The committee suggested having the Township set up regulations for Comcast to follow with new construction. The committee will discuss these items with the Township Manager.
Members discussed RCN.
James Bowe discussed sending a thank you letter to Cable Line.
The committee discussed being involved in the channel selection. Scott Harp advised that Comcast has control of programming. The committee can request channels.
The committee discussed the upcoming work session with the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors on Monday, January 21, 2002, at 7 p.m.
The committee discussed ways to develop content for the PEG channels. The committee discussed the possibility of having volunteers video local events (First Night, information pieces, recreation events, and cultural pieces). The committee discussed the possibility of having LaSalle Students mentor Council Rock Students.
The committee discussed the realignment of PEG channel programming.
The committee discussed the programming of Channel 23.
James Bowe advised the committee that the Bucks County Planning Commission has requested a copy of the townships cable agreement.
The committee discussed ways of creating cable competition in Newtown. Walt Iwaskiw will research information for Charter Communications. James Bowe will research Federal & State legislators, then he will draft correspondence requesting support. The committee discussed sending correspondence to the local newspapers. Scott Harp will start researching overbuilders.
The committee discussed how the community feels about their cable rates and service.
ADJOURNMENT: Walt Iwaskiw made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by James Bowe. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 p.m.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, 2002.
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary