Town of Lamoine, Maine
Town of Lamoine – Cable TV Committee
The meeting came to order at approximately 7:00 PM at the Lamoine Town Hall
Present were: Committee members Frank Murray, John Wuorinen, Laura Trepanier, Henry Ashmore, Linda Feury, Patty Heath and Town Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon. Absent but excused was Nicholas Pappas. The group introduced themselves to one another
Chair Selection – On a motion from John and a 2nd from Frank, Henry and Linda were selected as chair and vice chair on a unanimous vote.
General Discussion – The committee looked briefly at the cable TV setup in the front room at the town office. They noted it was quite warm in the room from the heat of the day and the transmission equipment.
There was discussion on what kind of equipment might be needed to start producing broadcasts of meetings. The group felt it would be good to see what the City of Ellsworth has for a setup. There was a brief discussion about having a facility to call in to meetings. Some discussion followed on what times to offer programs and what events to attempt to televise. It was felt that at a minimum a camera with a tripod would be needed. There was some concern that televising meetings could lead to grandstanding. There was some discussion about possibly getting some equipment donated, either from radio or TV stations.
The group felt it would like to meet with someone with experience running a cable TV channel. Stu suggested either Gary Fortier of Ellsworth or Jeff Dobbs of Bar Harbor. Linda suggested that other towns be surveyed to see what they have for equipment and policies. It was discussed that about $8,000 in cable TV funds have come into the town and might be available to purchase equipment. There was a discussion on the basic equipment needed, including a camera and recording equipment. The group felt they would like to meet with Mr. Fortier of Ellsworth, possibly at that city’s facility.
Programming Policy – The group said it would like to see policies from other communities. Linda suggested finding out what the FCC regulates. Stu said he could contact Adelphia for that.
Volunteers – The committee discussed possible areas to draw volunteers from, including high school students, voters, and HAM radio operators. In addition to production help, volunteers of a technical nature would be needed to wire up the town hall.
Timing- There was discussion of when the committee would like to be ready to broadcast meetings. It was felt as soon as possible, but there is a lot of work to do first.
Committee’s Role – Henry asked if this is a policy making body, and whether it would be a hands-on group, or a rule making group. Stu said the group could decide what it would like to be and suggest that to the Board of Selectmen
Frank said the group should develop policies to recommend to the Selectmen. Henry asked if they recruit volunteers, who would be in charge. Frank said the process should go to the Selectmen. Henry asked if the committee would be administrators of this. John wondered what authority the committee should ask for. Henry asked if a volunteer is screwing up, who oversees it. John said it would be the committee, because no one else is going to. Discussion followed on making recommendations to the selectmen on the volunteer “hiring” guidelines. Stu said he would recommend to the Selectmen that they delegate that to the committee.
Budgeting authority – Henry asked if this fund goes through the budget process. Stu said it has not as the funding has come from a grant and franchise fees from Adelphia, but it probably should. Discussion followed on putting this through the town budget, and the proper format for that. It was felt the committee should discussion the use of the Cable TV fund with the Selectmen.
More discussion followed on budgeting and programming policies and access decisions.
Conclusions – The committee would like to report back to the Board of Selectmen for that Board’s August 19th meeting. The group said they hope to have some basic information and could talk about a start-up time. John said the beginning effort could be modest with just one camera, and the committee could seek support for its goals. He said the group needs to have its role defined, permission to move forward, and permission for the committee to decide a number of things.
Future Meeting(s) – The committee said they would like to have Stu set up a meeting with the City of Ellsworth to view their facility. John said he’s out of town until July 28th. Others were not available on August 2nd or August 16th. An evening meeting seemed to work best.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.