meeting of March 24, 2004, the Reno City Council considered the
following recommendations from the Citizens Cable Compliance Committee.
Recommendation from the Citizens Cable Compliance
Committee regarding Mandatory Attendance at Citizens Cable Compliance
Meetings by Qualified Cable Service Provider Representatives.
12c. Recommendation from Citizens Cable Compliance Committee that
Charter Communications be found in Non-Compliance with Reno Municipal
Code Section 5.90.1370 regarding notifying customers of complaint
procedures and be ordered to come into compliance.
The council turned down the first request under advice from staff
counsel that the city has no power to compel attendance because
of a lack of specific provisions in the current franchise agreement.
The CCCC has encountered problems in the past both with Charter
non-attendance and refusal to provide even publicly available
documents. Charter notified CCCC Chairman Andrew Barbano after
the council hearing that the company would provide no qualified
executive at either the committee's March 25 meeting or the live
call-in town hall scheduled for April 1.
The council postponed action on the second issue for further study.
CCCC Chair Andrew Barbano pointed out to the council the details
of the Federal Communications Commission regulation regarding
what information must be provided to consumers in an annual notice.
Charter VP Marsha Berkbigler admitted that the document at hand
was deficient. Nonetheless, freshman Councilmember Dwight Dortch
wanted the council to support the staff recommendation to vote
down the committee's request.
At the CCCC meeting of March 25, Council Liaison David Aiazzi
stated that he would request that city attorneys justify with
proper legal points and authorities its arguments in opposing
both committee recommendations.
The committee spent almost its entire March 25 meeting reviewing
the draft franchise agreement, proposed revisions to the new master
cable ordinance which the committee spent months on last year,
and staff and member recommendations. The committee posed questions
to the staff which will have answers ready for the live cablecast
on April 1.
The most important decision the committee made at its meeting
lay in a unanimous vote to recommend that the council forward
the franchise draft to the city's Financial Advisory Board for
a full review of its monetary aspects.
City staff and Charter have not concurred with cable consultant
Robert Sepe's recommendation that Charter be required to provide
a cashable letter of credit rather than an insurance policy (surety
bond) to guarantee that the company can financially fulfill its
obligations under the proposed 15-year contract. (Dr. Sepe recommended
a maximum eight-year franchise in his $54,000 community needs
study presented to the city last year.)
City staff informed the committee that letters of credit are not
required in other jurisdictions. CCCC Vice-Chair Floyd Dean stated
Charter's deteriorating financial condition, Reno should be
the first. He then moved that the committee urge the council to
have the agreement reviewed by the longstanding financial panel.
(CCCC Recording Secretary Gorman is a member of the finance board.)
The committee adjourned at 8:50 after two hours and five minutes.
next meet on Thursday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers
at Reno City Hall. It will be cablecast live on
SNCAT/Charter Cable Channel 13 in Reno-Sparks with two reruns
and stay in touch.
CITIZENS CABLE COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE (CCCC)
LIVE CALL-IN TOWN HALL MEETING
April 1, 2004
Reno City Hall
490 South Center Street, Council Chambers
Reno, Nevada 89501
City invites Reno residents to tune in to a special Citizens Cable
Compliance Committee meeting and live call-in program. The meeting
will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Reno City Council Chambers at 490
South Center Street with a presentation of the major provisions
of the proposed 15-year cable television franchise agreement between
the City of Reno and Charter Communications.
Residents may call in beginning at 7:00 p.m. with questions or
comments about the proposed contract. The live call-in number
is (775) 334-2402. Calls will be taken at least until 8:00 p.m.
and the time may be extended if callers are still waiting. Reno
residents are also invited to come to the meeting and present
testimony in person, if they prefer.
here for information about obtaining a copy of the proposed
Cable Franchise Agreement and Master Cable Ordinance.