AGENDA ITEM 5A
July 15, 2014
July 10, 2014
Amanda MihiU, Legislative
Bill 28-14, Cable Communications - Community Media Organizations
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee recommendation
(3-0): enact with
Bill 28-14, Cable Communications Community Media Organizations, sponsored by the Council
President at the request of the County Executive, was introduced on May 6, 2014. A public
hearing was held on July 8 at which 2 speakers supported Bill 28-14 (©19-22). A Government
Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee worksession was held on July 10.
Bill 28-14 would expand the scope of the County's community media contracting authority and
generally amend County law concerning cable communications. The Executive's transmittal
memorandum explains that the revisions would allow the County to contract with community
media organizations to provide content, training, and distribution of community-created content
over multiple media platfonns. Additionally, Code amendments are recommended to implement
revisions consistent with by-law changes of the County's current vendor (Montgomery
Community Media) to which the Council and Executive responded favorably.
At the public hearing, representatives from both the Executive and Montgomery Community
Television summarized the bill and the reasons it was proposed. Bill 28-14 would:
• redefine "community access organization" to "community media organization" and
broaden the applicability of the Code to "community media engagement platfonns",
which would include television, radio, internet, and social media;
• require a community media organization to "develop and implement policies and
programs that promote organizational sustainability and viability"; and
• remove specific requirements for board members.
As Executive staff noted in testimony, Bill 28-14 would retain the requirement that a community
media organization submit by-law changes to the Executive and Council for review and
comment at least 60 days before the organization. Council staff incorporated several technical
amendments into Bill 28-14 after introduction, including replacing language beginning on ©4,
line 75 that was within the brackets to accurately reflect existing law.
enactment with these technical amendments.