JOINT CABLE TELEVISION ADVISORY BOARD
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2004
MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 4, 2004:
Walt Iwaskiw advised he had one change to the minutes. On page 2, under Old Business, the committee was discussing the Local Alert System not the Community Alert Network. Patrick Foster moved to approve the minutes of February 4, 2004. The motion was seconded by James Manahan and passed unanimously.
Members Present: Walt Iwaskiw, Chairman; James Bowe, Member; and James Manahan, Member Representing Newtown Township; Patrick Foster, Vice-Chairman; and Don Smith, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough. Not in attendance was Scott Harp, Liaison Representing Newtown Township.
Also present was Joseph Czajkowski representing Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.
Also present was Rand Jaslow, past Newtown Borough Liaison.
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman Walt Iwaskiw called the meeting to order at 7:43 p.m.
James Bowe made a motion to appoint Patrick Foster as Vice-Chairman for the year 2004. The motion was seconded by Walt Iwaskiw and passed unanimously.
MINUTES OF JANUARY 7, 2004:
James Bowe moved to approve the minutes of January 7, 2004. The motion was seconded by James Manahan and passed unanimously, with 1 member abstaining.
Walt Iwaskiw advised that the Township has provided the committee with an email address for residents/business owners to express any concerns with regards to cable. Members agreed all of the committee should be copied on the emails received. Walt Iwaskiw asked for a volunteer to manage the emails received. James Manahan advised he would manage the address for any emails received. James Bowe also offered to help in resolving any issues received through the email address.
The committee members discussed the goals for the year 2004.
- Finalize the proposed revised cable ordinance.
- Educate the Township/Borough residents that the cable committee is here to help should they be having any problems with Comcast and customer service.
- Improve communications via cable.
James Bowe made a motion to approve the goals listed above for the 2004 year. The motion was seconded by Patrick Foster and passed unanimously.
The committee discussed possible ways to educate the Township/Borough residents with regards to cable. The committee discussed possible ways to get the Township/Borough residents’ responses with regards to cable service.
The committee discussed the audit. James Bowe listed what needs to be done concerning the audit and that it must be completed this year. He suggested contacting other local municipalities to possibly share the cost of the audit. Walt Iwaskiw advised he would discuss with the Supervisors.
The committee discussed how to improve communications via cable. James Bowe advised he would discuss with Comcast to see what they would allow with regards to sponsorship. Members discussed ways to improve the character generator and content for the educational channels.
The members discussed the Committee’s Mission Statement. The committee reviewed a draft copy of the proposed Mission Statement. The members were in agreement of the draft and had no revisions or additions. Walt Iwaskiw advised he would email the proposed Mission Statement to the Supervisors for their review.
The committee discussed the Community Alert Network (CAN). Walt Iwaskiw asked if there have been any changes in how the system works. Joseph Czajkowski advised there have been no changes and explained how the system works. Members discussed an estimate for the cost of the equipment received from Comcast. Walt Iwaskiw asked if the Township were interested in the system, would Comcast consider installing the equipment required. Joseph Czajkowski advised that Comcast would not be interested in installing the equipment. Joseph Czajkowski advised that the County would rather have control over the emergency alert system.
Joseph Czajkowski advised that Comcast has added Starz Kids to their digital tier.
Joseph Czajkowski advised that the OTN is now complete and working properly. He also advised that Comcast is working with the Township in regards to accessing the OTN site from the parking area behind the Staples store. The committee members expressed concerns with vehicles parking on the bypass. Joseph Czajkowski advised that the Comcast vehicles would now access the OTN site from the parking area behind Staples. Members also questioned the generator located at the site. Joseph Czajkowski advised that Comcast has been having problems with the permanent generator and the temporary generator will hopefully be gone this week.
Joseph Czajkowski advised that in the spring Comcast would be starting the process of lining up all the channels through out the county. He advised that the cable product would be the same in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. He advised that all Townships’ government channels would have the same channel line up number. Walt Iwaskiw requested Comcast to provide 90 days notice for the channel changes.
The committee discussed the digital front. Walt Iwaskiw questioned if and when the FCC has required Comcast to go digital. Joseph Czajkowski advised that Comcast is prepared when the change is implemented, but could not confirm an exact date.
The committee discussed the Newtown Industrial Commons. Joseph Czajkowski advised that the project is 75% complete; there have been delays due to bad weather. He advised that Comcast has started to market the area.
The committee discussed the status of The Ridings of Newtown. James Bowe advised he has been approached by Continental Property to meet and discuss the issues the residents of The Ridings have expressed. Members agreed the issues are between The Ridings and Comcast. James Bowe advised he would send correspondence to the Supervisors and Bob Pellegrino with regards to this matter.
Walt Iwaskiw questioned Comcast’s’ billing. He updated the committee on an invoice received from Comcast. Joseph Czajkowski advised he would look into the matter.
James Bowe advised he had a problem with his cable modem and Comcast was very quick to repair the problem.
OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:
The committee discussed the following:
- The change in meeting nights to the first Wednesday of the month is conflicting with some member’s schedules. Members will look into ways to resolve the scheduling conflicts.
- Advertising for new members from the Township and the Borough. Walt Iwaskiw advised he would mention in his report to the Supervisors. Members discussed advertising on the Township’s character generator
- Members discussed continuing to send Dr. Joseph Ugras correspondence with regards to the committee. The recording secretary will contact Dr. Ugras, to see if he would like to continue to receive correspondence with regards to the committee.
- Members discussed sending an updated committee member list to Ralph Douglas.
- James Bowe and Walt Iwaskiw advised they both have possible new members for the committee.
- The contract between the Township and Council Rock School District with regards to the educational channel. Members agreed to discuss further at the March meeting.
- The Council Rock School District educational channel. Members discussed receiving copies of the minutes from their meetings.
- Cable competition.
James Bowe made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Patrick Foster. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:18 p.m.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 3, 2004. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., in the Newtown Borough Hall.
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary