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Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council Minutes 10/25/2017
Old Lyme Area Cable Advisory Council Minutes
October 25, 2017
369 West Road, Salem

Present: Chair Peter Sielman (Salem), Gary Mezzi (East Haddam BOE), Michael Gilroy (East Haddam, Public Libraries Rep), Cathy Frank (Old Lyme), Russ Gomes (Old Lyme; State Advisory Council rep); Public Access Coordinator Lynn Perry; Comcast Government & Regulatory Affairs Manager Matt Skane
Absent: Pam Munro (Salem BOE), Brian Bowes (Lyme), Ernest Malavesi (East Haddam)

Call to Order~
Chair Peter Sielman called the meeting to order at 7:40pm.

Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Russ Gomes, seconded by Michael Gilroy, to approve the minutes of the July 2017 meeting. Motion passed with one abstention (Michael Gilroy, who was not present at the July meeting).
Treasurer’s Report
Cathy Frank read a report submitted by Treasurer Brian Bowes:

“Our Accounts as of this morning:
Checking~ = $1,040.62
MM~ = $12,001.62
We earned $1.62 over the past three months.
I had mentioned investing the money market dollars in another investment vehicle but did not follow through. The Dow and S+P had significant gains over the past three months but what goes~up must come down! Short term bonds offer higher yields but~they also come with some risk. So……………….unless everyone wants to jump into the market the prudent and responsible thing to do is to stay in the Money~Market!!”

Cathy cautioned that there are limitations to investment vehicles open to municipal agencies per State Statute. If the Council wants to pursue investment opportunities, we should go through the Government Division of Chelsea Groton Bank, because officials in that division will be familiar with the statues.
Peter Sielman stated:  1. the Council is not out to make money, and 2. He expects the Fed to raise interest rates so we should start seeing higher interest in the Money market account.
He does not believe it makes sense to look toward investment vehicle(s) and thinks we should stay with our current accounts.
New Business
Statewide Video Council Report    
Russ Gomes reported that the Statewide Council is meeting tonight (same date as our Council), and he will contact another representative for an update. Peter said he runs into the Statewide Council chair on occasion and does not believe anything significant is on their agenda.

Comcast Report    
Matt Skane distributed an update, which is attached, as well as an Internet Essential flyer.
Comcast has extended their Internet Essentials program to seniors who meet strict income limitations.
The Virtual Town Meeting problem experienced in Salem and reported at the last Council meeting has been resolved.

Public Access Report    
Lynn Perry~said the Old Lyme studio has an additional digital editing system. One is a Mac system; the other is PC.
The Lymes’ Senior Center continues to recording their programs. The programs air at noon on Wednesday & Thursday on Public Access. Their summer concert series was shown on Public Access.
The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library has contacted Lynn. The Library received a grant from the Council this year to purchase equipment for the recording of library programs.
The interviews with 2017 scholarship awardees recorded at the studio in early summer will be Lynn’s beta test of Public Access on Demand.
The Council can see the Public Access programs and on demand programs when we meet at the Studio in 2018.

Set 2018 Meeting Dates
Members tentatively scheduled meetings in 2018 for:
January 17 at the Public Access Studio in Old Lyme
April 18 at the East Haddam Public Library
July 18 at the Lyme Public Library
October 17 in Salem

Cathy will email the proposed dates to absent members for feedback.
Michael Gilroy will provide directions to the East Haddam Public Library.

Accelerating Trend for People to Leave Cable in Favor of Streaming
Peter saw a program claiming that 20 million viewers have switched from cable to internet and he thought the Council should discuss the issue. He suggested that cost may be a primary reason for the switch.
He asked Matt if there is any conversation within Comcast on the topic.

Members restated a request from earlier meetings that Comcast consider a senior discount
for cable television. Matt said the topic has come up, and discounts do exist in other states where they are required as part of a franchise agreement.

Members asked Russ to raise the possibility of senior discounts as a statewide issue.
Peter suggested sending a copy of these Council minutes to our state legislators to alert them to the issue. Cathy will follow up with State Senators Paul Formica and Art Linares, and State Representatives Devin Carney, Melissa Ziobron, and Holly Cheeseman.

Comcast problem: Old Lyme Public Works’ status as a “government/municipal” entity
Cathy asked Matt to investigate an Old Lyme matter. The Town has always paid for cable television for the Public Works department and received a government rate.
In the spring, the IT department was advised by a Comcast service representative that Public Works was no longer eligible for the government/municipal rate.
Matt will look into the problem and contact Cathy with an explanation/resolution.
Cathy provided him with copies of email correspondence between the Town and Comcast, and will follow-up with copies of invoices.

Old Business
Salem Historical Society videos
Pam Munro submitted the following report:
The videos are not in the possession of the Board yet.

Advisory Council Grant to Lymes’ Senior Center
Lynn Perry included in her Public Access report
Advisory Council Grant to OLPGN Library
Lynn Perry included in her Public Access report

Cathy will provide Michael with information on the grant awarded to the Old Lyme Library.

2018 Scholarship applications & scholarship committee
Pam Munro submitted the following report:
Cathy and I worked on the wording to have the applicant returns go to a more generic place, not a committee person. So that is set and the 2018 applications have gone to all the high schools.~I have not done any editing on the interviews of previous winners that we taped.


Public Comment

A motion was made by Cathy Frank to adjourn at 8:29pm

2018 Meetings: schedule to be approved

Catherine Frank

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

Town Hall Hours  Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM