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CCTV: Let's put it to a vote!

I have been reading about the
Town of Concord's plan to take
control of public access cable
from Concord Carlisle TV. In
the 1980s, I was the first execu­
tive director of the first non­
profit public access corporation
in the state (Somerville) and
held the same position in Cam­
bridge. My career has gone in
a different direction and I have
no relationship with CCIV.
Having the town man­
age public access is a mis­
take fer many reasoos:
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. I have many
hatxffing potentially
�progrw1111i11g, and
does the town really want the
headache when someone com­
plains about a program? Insulat­
ing the city from liability was the
primary reasonSortrerville'set up
a nonprofit, and the vast majority
of municipalities in the state with
public access have followed suit.
2. Typically, a public access
corporation engages with mem­
bers and relies on them to vol­
unteer. Will people who just lost
their ofit vohmteer for the
town? 'This decision will most
likely result in less citizen and
more government-related pro­
gramming and increased labor
and benefits costs for the town.
With town fiber reaching over
l,ooo residences, the number
of cable subscribers is certainly
down,and revenues thatmakeup
the franchise fee are probably flat.
3.Having members and a
citizen board engages people
in their community,and the
value of citizen involvement
is not to be minimized.
I have reached out to the town
manager and Select Board on
multiple occasions and have
yet to hear back. There are
other options to consider, and
I applaud Rep. Cory Atkins and
the League of Women Voters'
initiative to call for a nonbind­
ing resolution at Town Meeting.

lrwm Hipsman, Birch Drive, Concord