GO ITEM #1
July 10,2014
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
July 8, 2014
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
Amanda Mihill, Legislative
Attorney~~~t
Worksession:
Bill 28-14, Cable Communications -
Organizations
Community Media
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).
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 platforms. 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. Bil128-14 would:
• redefine "community access organization" to "community media organization" and
broaden the applicability of the Code to "community media engagement platforms",
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.
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This packet contains:
Bil128-14
Legislative Request Report
Memo from County Executive
Fiscal and Economic Impact statements
Letter from MCM requested comments on by-law changes
Executive response to MCM
Council response to MCM
Executive Testimony
MCM Testimony
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Bill No.
28-14
Conceming: Cable Communications ­
Community Media Organizations
Revised:
4/16/14
Draft No.
L
Introduced:
May 6,2014
Expires:
November 6, 2015
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
~No~n~e::..._
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council President at the Request of the County Executive
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
expand the scope of the County's community media contracting authority; and
generally amend County law concerning cable communications.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter
SA,
Cable Communications
Sections
SA-3
and
SA-32
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double undedining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
...
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original hill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added
by
amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the
bill by
amendment.
Existing law unqffected
by bill.
...
...
The
County Councilfor Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No.
28-14
1
Sec. 1. Sections 8A-3 and 8A-32 are amended as follows:
8A-3. Definitions
2
3
4
5
...
...
...
Community [access] media organization
means a nonprofit corporation that
provides services to:
(
1)
6
7
support the production of local programming or the operation of local
access channels, or both;
8
9
(2) serve viewers as well as program producers; and
(3) promote high quality productions, responsible and diverse points of
view, and balance in subject matters.
...
...
...
8A-32. Community [access] media organizations.
10
11
12
13
14
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16
(a)
The County may contract with one or more community [access] media
organizations using funds from the Cable TV Special Revenue Fund or
any other funds the County designates for community [access] media in
the
approved
County
budget
and
under the
County
cable
17
18
19
communications plan. Unless prohibited or otherwise limited under its
contract with the County, the cable communications plan, or any
executive regulation, a community [access] media organization may
also receive revenues from other sources.
20
21
22
!.hl
The purpose of
~
community media organization
equipment, facilities,
IS
to provide
and
community media training,
centers,
23
community media engagement platforms to enable residents, businesses
and community organizations to engage with, connect
~
24
25
and inform
other residents, businesses, community organizations, governments and
agencies
!2y
using community media.
Supporting community
26
27
engagement, communication, and education through community media
G
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BILL No. 28-14
28
and use of community media engagement platforms builds better
understanding among
~
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30
31
32
diverse population, increases opportunities for
participation in and awareness of local culture and government, and
promotes quality of life and economic development.
[(b)]
W
The County may require a community [access] media organization to
perform one or more of the following functions as specified in the
contract between the County and the community [access] media
organization:
(1)
manage the community media engagement platforms, including
public access channels assigned to it by the
County~
33
34
35
36
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39
[[and]]
community media websites[[,.1] and social media, and manage
community media centers,
facilities~
and equipment;
(2)
establish policies and procedures for the [form, content, and
scheduling of public access channels] use of any community
media engagement platform and any community media center,
facility, or equipment;
(3)
train members of the community in the production of [cable
programs] community media and use of any community media
engagement platform;
(4)
maintain [facilities and] any community media engagement
platform and community media center, facility, or equipment for
community
use~
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including use by the general public, any
community organization, and the business community;
(5)
provide technical [access channel] community media engagement
platform and community media center, facility and equipment
assistance and support to the County, any participating
51
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BILL
No.
28-14
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58
[municipalities] municipality, and any educational [institutions]
institution;
(6)
promote the use and benefits of [the public, educational and
government access channels] community media and any
community media engagement platform;
(7)
produce and [transmit] distribute local community media,
including community news", [and other] programs and other
media content; and
(8)
undertake any other [cable] community media-related activity
specified by the County as being in the public interest.
[(c)] @Acommunity [[access]] media organization must:
(1)
determine independently in the public interest and without
government interference the content and scheduling of
programming for [the public access channels assigned to it] any
community media engagement platform;
(2)
develop and implement policies to ensure fair, non-partisan and
unbiased coverage of issues on [the public access channels
assigned to it] any community media engagement platform and
may not promote the candidacy of any candidate for public
office by extending opportunities for use not extended to other
candidates for the same office;
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63··
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69 .
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ill
[require that each officer, director, and executive director file a
confidential financial disclosure statement in accordance with
Chapter 19A with respect to all communications-related activities
and interests] develop and implement policies and programs that
promote organizational sustainability and viability;
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BILL
No. 28-14
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[(4)
have on its board of directors one voting member selected by
each ofthe following:
(A)
the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland
Municipal League;
(B)
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the City of Rockville
the City of Takoma Park; and
each franchise except for limited franchisees;]
(C)
(D)
[(5)
86
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develop and implement fair and reasonable procedures to allow
members of the community access organization to nominate and
elect 8 residents of the County to serve on its board of directors.
Member means any individual who resides in the County and, at
least 15 days before the deadline for voting for directors;
(A)
is certified by the organization to use the organization's
equipment or facilities; or
(B)
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request the organization's program guide;]
[(6)](1) promote and encourage [programming] creation of community
media content representing a diversity of community interests
and needs; and
[(7)]ill make a good faith effort to meet the affirmative action and
minority, female, and disabled procurement goals that apply to
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County government.
Any officer, director, or executive director of
~
community media
organization must file
statement
under
~
confidential financial disclosure
19A
with
respect
to
any
Chapter
communications-related activity or interest.
[(d)]
ill
A community [access] media organization must provide a copy of its
current articles of incorporation and bylaws to the County Executive
~
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BILL No. 28-14
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and the County Council before the organization contracts with the
County. Any proposed amendments must be submitted to the County
Executive and County Council for review and comment at least 60 days
before the organization takes fmal action on the amendment.
The
organization must submit a copy of all adopted amendments to the
Executive and the Council within 5 working days of adoption. The
organization's articles of incorporation and bylaws are subject to all
County laws, including those enacted after the County contracts with
the organization.
[(e)] (g) A community [[access]] media organization must provide the County
with regular and complete financial reports as well as all other reports
required under its contract with the County.
In
addition, it must provide
the County with an annual independent audit, including a copy of any
accompanying management letter.
Approved:
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122
Craig Rice, President, County Council
123
124
Date
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
125
126
Date
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk ofthe Council
Date
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill
28-14
Cable Communications
-
Community Media Organizations
DESCRIPTION:
Amends Chapter 8A, Section 32 of the County Code
to
reflect
changes in media technology and organizational sustainability needs
by: expanding the scope of County's existing authority
to
contract for
community media services distributed over cable television systems
to enable the County to explicitly contract with a community media
organization that will provide services and training for community
media distributed over multiple media platforms; and by enabling the
contracted community media organization to elect board members
who
will
help ensure the sustainability and viability of the
community media organization.
This portion of the County Code is significantly outdated.
When this County Code section
was
last amended in 1996, cable
television was the primary means by which residents created and
distributed media content and the Internet was nascent concept. Thus
the County Code primarily references access cable television. Today,
media content is still being created for cable television, but is also
streamed via the Internet. Video can be shared on websites and via
mobile devices. In addition, social media - such as Facebook,
Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest - provide other media platforms to
share community information.
The County
Code
needs to be
updated to expand the scope of the County's contract authority to
directly include community media training, creation and distribution
over the many media platforms now used by the public.
Moreover, while the County will continue to support community
media, a community media organization also
needs
to
be able to
generate other means of financial support and to provide outreach to
the other members of the community who are not current users of the
community media facilities. The community media contract funding
is provided solely by the County with the municipalities funding
separate cable television centers. However, the current County Code
requires the community media organization's board to be comprised
of three residents from municipalities, one representative selected by
each cable franchisee, and eight residents of the County. While the
current County Code permits the community media organization to
raise additional funds, the stated requirements for selecting board
members do not necessarily advance the organization's ability to
recruit board members who will facilitate organizational
sustainability. To address this, the currently contracted community
media organization
has
updated its by-laws to promote election of
board members that will advance organizational sustainability and
submitted such changes for County Executive and County Council
review as required by the County Code. However, unless updated,
the older County Code
board
membership requirements
in
Section
8A-32 will continue to constrain a community media organization's
ability
to
elect a board that advances organizational sustainability and
viability.
PROBLEM:
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GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
The first objective of the County Code amendment is to expand the
scope of the County's contracting authority to explicitly enable the
County to contract with an organization that will distribute
community-created media over multiple media platforms and offer a
robust variety ofmedia training opportunities for residents, local non­
profit organizations and small businesses.
The second objective is to enable the contracted community media
organization
to
become more vibrant and relevant by electing board
members who will assist the community media organization in
supplementing County financial support with other means of
financial sustainability. The revised County Code specifically
requires the community media organization "to develop and
implement policies and programs that promote organizational
sustainability and viability," and removes references to a specific
number of board members, allocation by residency, or
recommendation by cable franchisee.
The revised County Code retains the provisions that the organization
submit by-law changes to the County Executive and County Council
for review, have board members and the executive director submit
financial disclosure statements to the County, and continue to
promote diverse programming and procurement compliance.
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
Department of Technology Services
The Department of Technology Services estimates that no additional
work years are required to implement this bill and that there would be
no fiscal impact from the proposed changes to the County Code. The
County Code enables the County to contract for community media
services but does not obligate the County to fund community media
Community media contract appropriations are made annually as part
of the County Executive's proposed and County Council approved
annual budget.
Revision of the County Code will enable the County to contract for
services which enable the community, non-profits and small
businesses to enhance their use of media to better communicate ideas
with the public, potential customers, decision-makers and elected
officials.
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
NtA
Mitsuko
R.
Herrera, Department of Technology Services,
240-777-2928
NtA
Nt
A
F:\LAW\BILLS\1428 Community Media Organizations\Legislative Request Report.Doc
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND 208Sll
Isjah
Leggett
County
Executive
MEMORANDUM
March 24, 2014
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Craig Rice, President
County Council
~
Isiah Leggett, County Executive--k::(
tfd---­
Legislative Request - Revision of Chapter SA) Section 32, Community Media
Organizations
I am requesting that the County Council enact legislation to revise Chapter SA,
Section 32 ofthe Montgomery County Code,
to
expand the scope of the County's current
community media services contracting authority.
The attached proposed revision ofCounty Code Section SA-32 seeks to expand
the scope ofthe County's current contracting authority to explicitly authorize the County to
contract with community media organization(s) to provide content, training, and distribution of
community-created content over mUltiple media platforms
(i.e.,
in addition to cable television,
Internet video and social media as well). The attached legislative request to revise the County
Code further specifies that the community media organization must develop and implement
policies and programs that promote organizational sustainability and viability. The County
Code, however, does not require the County to fund community media. Appropriation of
community media funding is addressed as part of the annual budget.
In
addition, the attached legislative request to revise County Code Section
8A-32
no longer
~ecifies
an allocation ofboard members by geography or recommendation from the
cable franchisees. The organization's by-laws govern the board election process. The revised
County Code retains the provisions that amendments to the organization
t
s by-laws be submitted
to the County Executive and County Council for review and comment, that board members
submit financial disclosure statements to the County, and that the organization continue to
promote diverse programming and procurement compliance. The County's current community
media vendor has submitted revised by-laws for review and both the County Executive and
County Council have responded favorably (see attached response letters), To complete revision
of the proposed by-laws, the County Code needs.
to
be amended as discussed above.
The current County Code Section SA-32 authorizes the County to contract with
one or more community access organizations to manage public access cable television channels
and provide training to the public. A portion of cable television franchise
and
public,
educational. and government access fees are allocated to support this contract. This section of
montgomerycountymd.gov
/311
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Craig Rice, President, County Council
March 24, 2014
Page 2
the County Code was last updated in 1996, when cable television was the primary means of
distributing community-created media and prior to the widespread use ofthe Internet and social
media to distribute community media. Thus, the current County Code primarily references
contracting for cable
television~related
services. In
additio~
there was less need in 1996 for the
community access organization to find other sources of financial support to supplement funding
provided by the County under the contract. The current County Code permits the community
media organization
to
raise revenues from other sources but does not place any specific emphasis
on doing so. Lastly, the current County Code" requires that the community media organization's
board members be comprised of three residents from municipalities, one representative selected
by each eable franchisee (Comeast, RCN and Verizon), and eight residents of the Gounty. The
municipalities provide no funding to support the community access contract, but rather, provide
that the municipalities fund their own cable television stations. Under federal law, the cable
franchisees are prohibited from controlling the content of community media television channels.
I respectfully request that this proposed legislation be submitted to the County
Council. Ifyqu have any additional questions. please contact Mitsuko Herrera, 240-777-2928.
cc:
Timothy Firestine, Chief Administrative Officer
Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Ramona
Bell-Pearso~
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Harash (Sonny) Segal, Director, Department ofTechnology Services
Ivan Galic, Acting Cable and Broadband Administrator, DTS
Mitsuko Herrera, Policy, Planning and Special Projects, DTS
Attachments: By-Law Comments Letter from
18iah
Leggett, County Executive to Nancy Poole,
" Chair, Board of Directors, Montgomery Community Television
By-Law Comments Letter from Nancy Navarro, President, County Council, to
Nancy Poole, Chair, Board of Directors, Montgomery Community Television
Legislative Request Report
"Economic Impact Statement
Fiscal Impact Statement
Draft Bill
to
Revise Montgomery County Code Section 8A-32
Montgomery County
Code
Section 8A-32, As Would be Revised
Current Montgomery County Code Section 8A-32
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Economic
Impact
Statement
Expedited Bill xx-I", Community Media Organizations
Background:
This
legislation would amend Chapter SA, Section 32 of
the
County Code
tb
reflect
changes
in
media technology and organizational sustainability needs that would:
• Expand the scope of the County's existing authority
to
contract for community
media services distn'buted over cable television
• Enable
the
County to contract
with
a community
media organization
(CMO)
that
will
provide services
and
training.
and
• Enable
the
contracted CMO
to
elect board members who
"Will
help ensure
sustainability and viability of the CMO.
1. The sources of informafioD, assumptions, and methodologies used.
.
Department ofTechnology Services (DTS)
2. A
description of
any
variable
that
eould
atleet
the
eeonomie
impact
estimates.
DTS
assumes
that
there
is
no
f1scal
impact from
the
proposed changes to
the
County
Code.
The
proposed changes
to
the
County Code
will
also have no economic impact
on County employment, spending, saving, investment, incomes,
and
property values.
3.
The
Bm's
positive
or negative
effect,
if
any
OD
employment, spendiDg,
saving,
investment, iDeomes, and property values in the County.
Because
the
expedited bill-amends the County
Code
to
reflect changes in media
technology and organizational sustainability,
it
will
have no economic impact.
4. U
a
Bill
is
likely
to
have
DO
economic
impact,
why
is that the
case?
Please see paragraph 3.
S.
The foUowing eontributed
to
and concurred with
this
analysis:
David Platt and
Rob Hagedoorn.,
Finance; and 1vfitsuko Herrera, Department
of
Technology Services.
Department of
Finance
Page 1ofl
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Fiscallmpact Statement
Council Bill XX-14, Community Media Organization
1. Legislative SUIIllIiary:
This legislation would amend Chapter 8A, Section
32
ofthe Montgomery County Code to
reflect changes in r,nedia technology and organizational sustainability needs that would:
• Expani/
the scope ofthe County's existing authority to contract for community
media fe1'Vices distributed over cable television,'
• Enable the County to contract with a community media organization that will
provi~
services
and
training;
and
Enabl~
the contracted community media organization to elect board members
who will help ensure sustalnability and viability ofthe community media
organization.
2.
An
estimate of
ch~ges
in
Cotmty revenues and expenditures regardless of whether 1he .
revenues or expenditures are assumed in the recommended or approved budget. Includes
source of
infonnapo~
assumptions, and me1hodologies used.
The bill does not 4hange County revenues or expenditures. It amends the scope ofthe
County's current
~uthority
to contractfor community media services. Changes in
revenues
and
expenditures for community services are addressed as part ofthe annual
budget process.
:
3. Revenue and
ex~diture
estimates covering
at
least the next 6 fiscal
years.
i
Revenue.
and
expenditures for community media are currently allocated to andfrom the
Cable TV
Special~evenue
Fund.
The
Cable Communications Plan directs the use ofthe
revenues in this
Fund.
Revenue from Franchise Fees and PEG Operating and Equipment
Grants are used to
fond
the current Community Media expenditures as well as other
similar media orgfmization expenditures. From the FY15 Preliminary Cable Plan:
FY
Franchise
Fee
(Revenue)
PEG Operating
and
Equipment Grant
(Revenue)
$2,239,000
$2,293,000
$4,138,000
$4,138,000
$4,179,000
$4,221,000
Community Access
Programming
(ExpenditW'es)
$2,369,000
$2,472,000
$2,578,000
$2.690.000
$2,810,000
$2,938,000
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
,
;
$16,719,000
$17,091,000
' $17,238,000
$17,437,000
$17,709.000
$17,990,000
,
:
~
i
!
~
~
@
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4.
An actuarial
analysis
through the entire amortization
period
for each bill
that
would affect
retiree pension or
group
insurance costs.
The
btllluis
no impact on retiree pension or group insurance costs. The bill affects
County contracting authority and does not alter County staffing levels.
5. Later actions that
may
affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the bill authorizes future
spending.
.
The bill expands the scope
0/
the County's current community media contracting
authority. Ii does inat authorize foture spending nor create future spending obligations.
Decisions
regardi~gfuture
spending/or community media are addressed through the
County budgetingiprocess.
6.
An
estimate
ofth~
staff
time needed to implement the bill.
Routine stafftime ;associated with County Executive and County Council review
0/
a
proposed bill, and administrative staff time to update the County Code
if
enacted.
,
7.
An
explanation ofhow the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other duties.
The
bill
expands
the scope
0/
the County's current community media contracting
authority. Impact: on staffresponsibilities to address the revise scope
0/
media services
is
de minimus and part ofthe normal course ofrevising RFPs as contracts are renewed
8.
An
estimate of costs when an additional appropriation
is
needed.
No additional appropriation is needed
9. A description of
apy
variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
Cable franchise
r~enues
and changes in restrictions for use
0/
those
funds
could affect
the amount
0/
revenue available to support community media. County Executive
and
County Council interest in expanding or reducing the level
0/
expenditures for community
media could affict revenue
and
cost estimates.
10. Ranges of
revenu~
or expenditures that are uncertain or difficult
to
project.
The
bill expands t!re scope afthe County's current community media contracting
authority. It does 'not affect revenues or expenditures. Decisions regarding expenditures
for community me}Iia are addressed through the budgeting process.
@
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11.
If
a
bill
is likely
t~
have no fiscal
impact,
why
that
is the case.
The bill expands tl,te scope ofthe County's current community media contracting
authority. It does :not affect revenues or expenditutes. Decisions regarding expenditures
for community media are addressed through the budgeting process.
12.
Other
fiscal
impa~
or comments.
None.
13. The following corltributed to and concurred
with
this analysis: (Enter name and
department).
Mitsuko Herrera, pepartmenl ofTechnology Services.
Dennis Hetman. Office ofManagement
&
Budget
~d~
ennUi
'A.
Hilghes,
~
Office of Management
and
Budget
Date
3/1/14
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mcm
January 15, 2013
The Honorable Nancy Navarro
President
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Dear Ms. Navarro:
As Montgomery County's community media center, Montgomery Community Television, Inc.,
doing business as Montgomery Community Media (MCM), has made great strides recently in
improving its level of service to our county. We are extremely proud that the Alliance for
Community Media named MCM the best Public, Education and Government access
organization in the U.S. for 2012. While this achievement is a great honor, we must always
strive for continuous improvement.
To that end, on November 7, 2012 the MCM Board of Directors voted to revise its current
bylaws making the most significant changes to MCM's governing structure since the
organization was created in 1985. The goals of the new bylaws are to:
• Make MCM a more self-sustainable nonprofit organization by focusing the Boanfs efforts on
strategic planning and fundraising to assist MCM management in diversifying its revenue
streams beyond the County Cable CommunIcations Plan.
• Decrease the large size of the Board from the current maximum
of
26 members to 15
members and establish term limits. Twelve members who possess relevant skill sets to
assist management in strategic planning and revenue development
will
be selected from
among our diverse community. Three members will be MCM access users elected by MCM
access users who pay an annual fee to use MeM's equipment and facilities. All Board
members will be limited to serving two consecutive 3-year terms.
• Secure funding to.provide for additional DigitallMedia Literacy programs to increase
residents' and local nonprofit organizations' understanding of the rapidly expanding New
Media and Social Media communications platforms.
montgomery community media
mymcmedia.org
access.
19
7548StandishPface • Rockvllle,MD2085S • Phone301.424.1730 Fax301.294.7476
Services
of
Montgomery CommunItyTelevlsl'on.lnc.
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Page 2 - The Honorable Nancy Navarro
According to County Code, Section BA-32, Community Access Organizations, aAny proposed
amendments [to the bylaws] must
be
submitted to
the
County Executive and County Council for
review and comment. •. before the organization takes final action on the amendment.· While the
Code offers a period of 60 days for your comments on our proposed bylaws, it would be most
. helpful to receive your advice sooner. In addition to the proposed MCM Bylaws,
I
have also
enclosed for your reference the current MCM Bylaws, the current County Code Section SA-32,
and the proposed County Code, Section BA-32.
We hope that you and the entire County Council will join in our excitement about the positive
changes these new bylaws
will
bring
as
MCM moves toward becoming
a
more self-supporting,
sustainable, and impactful nonprofit organization serving all of Montgomery County.
Sincerely,
~.~
President, Board of Directors
Enclosures:
Current Montgomery Community Television Bylaws
Proposed Montgomery Community Media Bylaws
Current County Code, Section SA-32, Community Access Organizations
Proposed County Code, Section SA-32. Community Access Organizations
cc:
Councilmember Valerie Ervin
Councilmember Hans Riemer
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND 20850
raiah Leggett
Coullty
Execufive
February 14,2013
Ms. Nancy Poole, President
Board ofDirectors
Montgomery Community Television
7548 Standish'Place ,
Rockville, Maryland 20855
Dear Ms. Poole:
Thank you for sharing
with
me the new bylaws for Montgomery Community
. Televisiol1, lne., and for giving me
the
opportunity to provide feedback
On
this thoughtful
document
While
r
continue to suppod Montgomery Community Television's funding
through the Cable Comntunications Plan, I applaud your efforts tl? move the organization
into a more sustainable position as a nonprofit
that
can effectively serve the diverse
communities ofMontgomelY County.
.
Although cbange is never easy, the MCT Board ofDirectors has demonstrated
courage in taking this important step forward. The bylaw changes
will
enable
MeT
to
better
llleet
the demands that face nonprofit organizations today.
Thank
you
for
yO'lit
efforts, and for rmding new
ways
to enrich the
quality
ofJife
for all who live and work in Montgomery County.
montgomerycountymd.1I0V/311
240-773-3556 TTY
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCil
ROCKVILLE,
MARYLAND
OFFICE OF TH£
COUNCIL
PRESIDENT
February 26.2013
Ms. Nancy Poole, President
Board ofDirectors
Montgomery Community Television
7548 Standish Place
Rockville, MD 20855
Dear
Ms. Poole,
Thank you for providing a copy ofthe proposed new bylaws for Montgomery
Community Media. The Council is encouraged about
the
direction MCM is taking, especially
your efforts on new media
and
social media platforms. These activities are already expanding
community engagement, and will be a
great
resource for the Council as we move forward
with
our Open Data
and
broader Digital Government initiatives.
We are also grateful to the Board ofDirectors for your efforts to enhance sustainability
for MCM. By reconstituting your governing structure
and
broadening its base ofsupport, you
are adding diverse skill sets to your organization as you grow new revenues and services to the
community. We have no particular comments on the bylaws, and look forward to receiving the
flnal adopted version for our files.
We know these are challenging times, and we applaud your efforts
in
facing these
challenges
head~on
as you strive to meet
the
communications needs ofMontgomery County
residents.
Sincerely,
t&
Council President
STELl.A B. Wt;;FUiE:/'t
COUNCIL
OFFIOE
BVlLDING •
100 MARYI.A"'D
AVIUiUS: • ROOKVILI-E:,
/ll!ARYI..AND 2.0850
240/777-7900
• TTY 240/777-79'4 • FAX 240/777-1989
WWW.fwlONTGOMERYCOI.f)lfl'YMD.GOV
"
PRINU'D Ol'f R!C'ICLED PAr!!.'"
@
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/3
TESTIMONY ON BEHALF OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE ISIAH LEGGETT
BILL 28-14 - COMMUNITY MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS
GO COMMITTEE HEARING
JULY 8,2014
Good morning. My name is Ivan Galic, and I am the Acting Cable Administrator for
Montgomery County. Thank. you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of County Executive
Leggett in support of Bill 28-14, Community Media Organizations. Bill 28-24 amends Chapter
8A, Section 32 of the County Code, to enhance the County's current authority to contract for
community media services.
Current Section 8A-32 authorizes the County to contract with a community access
organization to provide training, equipment and management for public access cable channels,
and other cable-related activities deemed by the County to be in the public interest. It also sets
forth board member requirements and compliance requirements for that organization. This code
provision was last updated in 1996 - over 18 years ago. Bill 28-14 will modernize the County
Code to reflect changes in media and organizational missions.
In 1996, the primary way that the public distributed media was by creating cable
television programs.
• Cable television programs are still created, but the public also creates videos, pictures and
media content for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Vine.
• Media is still distributed over cable systems, but it is also distributed over the Internet.
• Media can be viewed on televisions, but it can also be viewed on computers, mobile
phones and tablets all in the category of present and future "community media
engagement platforms."
As our appetite for community-created and shared media content grows, so too does the need to
provide the public with access to modem training and technology that enables the public to
leverage all forms of current and emerging media platforms.
Bill 28-14 modernizes the County Code by replacing references to "cable" and "public
access" and "television" with the broader terms "community media" and "community media
engagement platforms." It is increasingly difficult to predict what new form of media will
emerge. Thus, Bill 28-14 uses the term "community media engagement platforms" to
encompass cable television, radio, Internet, social media and media that may emerge over the
next 20 years. With enhanced contracting authority, the County can create requirements in
specific contracts as needed to ensure we are meeting the community media services needs of
today and the future. Bill 28-14 has no impact on the funding - funding for contracts will
continue to be addressed annually through the budget process.
In
addition, community media organizations have evolved during the past 18 years as
well. Whereas they once entirely relied on fundingfrom cable franchise fees, savvy community
media organizations are supplementing government financial support with other means of
financial sustaihability. These organizations are expanding fund-raising and grant opportunities,
(Ii)
Page 1
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and partnering with local businesses, community foundations and non-profit organizations. But
these organizations also now need to heavily rely upon their volunteer boards to support these
outreach efforts. Thus, Bill 28-14:
• Requires the community media organization that the County contracts with "to develop
and implement policies and programs that promote organizational sustainability and
viability."
.
• Removes County Code requirements for a specific number of board members, allocation
of board members by residency, or allocation for board member recommended by a cable
franchisee.
• Defines the purpose of a community media organization, to ensure that the community
interest is not overcome by a focus on financial sustainability.
The revised County Code would retain the current provisions that require a community
organization under contract to the County to:
• Submit by-law changes to the County Executive and County Council for review,
• Have board members and the executive director submit financial disclosure statements to
the County, and
• Continue to promote diverse programming and procurement compliance.
Thank you again for the opportunity to testify today, and we urge your favorable
consideration ofBil128-14.
Page 2
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Public Hearing on Bill 28-14, Cable Communications-Community Media Organizations
July 8,2014
memo
Nancy Poole
President, Montgomery Community Media
Good morning! My name is Nancy Poole and I am President of the Board of Directors of
Montgomery Community Television, which does business as Montgomery Community Media.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony in this public hearing, and to urge your
passage of Bill 28-14, Cable Communications-Community Media Organizations.
I have been involved with public access in Montgomery County since 1983. Since 1991, I have
been on the MCM Board of Directors, and for most of that time I've been an officer-a Vice
President or the President.
During my years of association with MCM, I have witnessed dramatic changes to the way media
is created by and distributed to the community. Thirty years ago, I doubt that any of us could
have imagined the Internet or its effect on the development and dissemination of information; or
smartphones that combine the capabilities of the telephone, still- and videocameras, and the
personal computer; or the widespread use of something called social media.
I am proud that MCM has kept up with the constantly changing communications culture, and as
a result, in the last two years, received the Alliance for Community Media's highest award for
Overall Excellence in Community Media. Unfortunately, the relevant County Code has not kept
up, presenting two compelling reasons for amendment:
1
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• First, the current Code addresses only public access television services, restricting the
County's community media contracting authority. The amendment will expand the County's
contracting authority to enable a contractor to distribute community-created media over
multiple media platforms as well as offer a robust variety of media training opportunities for
residents, non profits, and small businesses.
• Second, the amendment will enable MCM to become more vibrant and relevant by electing
Board members who will assist in supplementing the County's financial support with other
means of financial sustainability.
Encouraged by the County Executive and this County Council, in 2012, the MCM Board of
Directors began a transition to a new governance structure by developing new Bylaws. I'm sure
you can understand that it was not easy for the Board to determine that new and different
leadership is necessary to assure the continued success of MCM. As difficult as this was, the
Board now looks forward to completing the transition, pending approval of the Code
amendment.
On behalf of the Board and staff of MCM, I strongly encourage you to approve the County Code
amendment at your earliest convenience. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to
strengthen community media development and dissemination in Montgomery County for many
years to come. Thank you.
2