NEWTOWN AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF June 6, 2007
Members Present: James Bowe, Chairman; Barbara Jankowski, Member; James Manahan, Member; Harry Stevens, Member and Jerry Schenkman, Liaison Representing Newtown Township; Patrick Foster, Vice Chairman/Treasurer Representing Newtown Borough. Not present was Robert Hafner, Member Representing Newtown Township and Don Smith, Liaison Representing Newtown Borough.
No representative from Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. or Verizon attended the meeting.
CALL TO ORDER:
Chairman James Bowe called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.
MINUTES OF APRIL 11, 2007:
James Manahan moved to approve the minutes of April 11, 2007. The motion was seconded by Barbara Jankowski and passed unanimously (4-0).
Patrick Foster arrived after the approval of the minutes.
The Committee members discussed the Comcast newsletter that Brian Jeter emailed to them.
The Committee members discussed the changes to the Limited Basic package and the Expanded Basic package.
James Bowe advised the Committee members that he is considering stepping down as Chairman of the Committee, he explained why and advised that he would like to remain a member of the Committee. He advised the other members on what is involved with being Chairman.
The members discussed James Bowe’s decision and what other member would make a good Chairman. The members recommended Harry Stevens be Chairman.
James Manahan made a motion to accept James Bowe’s resignation as Chairman. The motion was seconded by Patrick Foster and passed unanimously (5-0).
James Manahan made a motion to nominate Harry Stevens as the new Chairman of the Committee. The motion was seconded by James Bowe and passed unanimously (5-0).
James Bowe advised the Committee members that he still has not heard anything from the Council Rock North representative with regards to the candidate debates.
Jerry Schenkman advised the members on his attendance at the Council Rock School Board Meetings. He suggested mailing a letter to the Superintendent to discuss the Committee’s request and advised that Supervisor Phil Calabro is the Township’s liaison to the Council Rock School Board.
The Committee members discussed the schools being used for voting and the students’ involvement.
Harry Stevens advised on Supervisor Phil Calabro’s involvement with the Council Rock’s Science Club.
The Committee members discussed Council Rock’s Political Science Club.
James Bowe requested Barbara Jankowski to contact The League of Women Voters to find out what they would recommend in terms of the Committee moving forward.
James Bowe requested Harry Stevens to contact Supervisor Phil Calabro and request him to speak with the local science club.
The Committee members discussed drafting a letter out lining the Committee’s request. James Bowe advised that he would prepare the rough draft and email it to the members for their review.
Jerry Schenkman discussed the Chancellor Center with regards to being a possible venue.
Jerry Schenkman suggested that the Committee create an independent committee to handle the candidate debates. He also suggested that the debate involve representatives who are running for Township Supervisors and the Council Rock School Board.
The Committee members discussed approaching the Borough to see if they would like to be involved in the debates.
The Committee members discussed having the students involved with preparing the questions.
Comcast Franchise Negotiations
Jerry Schenkman updated the members with regards to the Comcast Franchise Negotiations. He advised that the Township has retained Dan Cohen, Esquire. He discussed an upcoming preliminary meeting on June 18, 2007. He invited the Committee members to attend and advised that the meeting would begin at 12:00 P.M. and be held at the Doylestown Borough Hall (57 West Court Street). He advised that there are nine (9) municipalities involved in the consortium. James Bowe and Harry Stevens advised they would try to attend the June 18 th meeting.
The Committee members discussed the Franchise Fees received from Verizon.
The Committee members discussed Verizon carrying the Township’s Government Channel (Channel 22). Jerry Schenkman advised on the discussions that took place at the Verizon negotiations. He suggested that the Committee discuss the matter in the next report to the Board of Supervisors.
Barbara Jankowski commented on having a representative attend the Committee’s meetings. She advised on past discussions with Dan Reavey. The Committee members agreed to request the Board of Supervisors to contact Verizon to find out who the Township’s contact person is.
OTHER BUSINESS/MEMBER COMMENTS:
Harry Stevens commented with regards to the Franchise Fees that the Township receives from Comcast and Verizon, he suggested that the Township tracks them. Jerry Schenkman suggested that the Committee discuss the request for the Township to track the Franchise Fees in the report to the Board of Supervisors.
The Committee members discussed who would give the report before the Board of Supervisors this month. Jerry Schenkman suggested that both James Bowe and Harry Stevens be present. James Bowe advised that he would give the report and introduce Harry Stevens to the Supervisors.
The Committee members discussed updating the contact list. The Recording Secretary advised she would update the contact list and email it to the members for their review.
The Committee members discussed the July meeting. Members agreed to cancel the July meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:26 P.M.The next meeting is scheduled for August 1, 2007. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M., in the Newtown Borough Fire Station located at 14 Liberty Street, Newtown.
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary