Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cable Franchise Fees

Dear City of Racine Alderpersons,

I am in support of restoring the PEG channel along with the public
production facilities because it is a valuable asset for many
Community Members and allows the free exchange of thoughts and ideas.

I was looking through the Wisconsin State Statutes which concern Video
Service MUNICIPAL LAW 66.0420- the link is here:
Where I found this section - 66.0420 (3) 5. (e.) 2 (b):

"b. If a municipality specified in subd. 2. a. has granted any cable
franchise that is in effect immediately before January 9,2008,
the municipality shall, no later than 10 business days after receipt
of the copy, notify the applicant in writing of the number of PEG
channels for which incumbent cable operators are required to
provide channel capacity in the municipality, the amount and
type of monetary support for access facilities for PEG channels
required of incumbent cable operators as described insub.(7)
(em), and the percentage of revenues that incumbent cable operators
are required to pay the municipality as franchise fees".

In my humble opinion - this section implies that when City of Racine
created the PEG channel, it also specified a certain amount on cable
franchise fees to be solely used for that channel - and that for City
of Racine to end the PEG channel, without reducing the Franchise Fee
by the former specified amount - would mean that City of Racine is
operating in violation of State Statute.

Perhaps one of the Alders could ask City Attorney Scott Letteney for
an opinion of that State Statute and how much City of Racine
designated from the franchise fee to fund the PEG channel.

Everything was fine at CAR 25 until former Mayor John Dickert decided
he didn't like voices of dissent or criticism - like that of George
Meyers or Wayne Clingman. In what can be described at best as being a
questionably legal action - John and Mary Jerger Osterman gave it to
Friends of John, who didn't even actually want it - and then moved it
from Downtown Racine to the Village of Mount Pleasant (!!!) while Ron
Thomas and Mary Jerger Osterman cried about how they could attract
people to Downtown Racine; the channel fell into re-runs of syndicated
shows and dirty rap songs, was abandoned, and then taken up by the IT

Please make the right choice to restore CAR 25 with it's allocated
funding. I won't be there tonight - but HOT Government will - shining
the light on darkness.


Tim & Cindy

No comments: