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Westfield, Mountainside, Berkeley Heights, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Union County, NJ News July 16, 1999
"Serve, Educate and Entertain" Story & Survey

July 1, 1999

To: The Business Unit (Tom Repasch, Joe Spector, Neil Sullivan)

From: Horace Corbin

Re: The Westfield Community TV Board (WCTV), Draft Plan

Premises: Westfield wants its community TV to be the best it can be commensurate with public and government agreement to the costs and value. Westfield strives for quality, integrity and appeal for the media. Public funds will be employed for operations. The enterprise will be non-profit and not for profit.

An effective and accessible operation shall be created for airing content produced by the public or for the public. A baseline of content shall be self-produced and aired including education, government and public service announcements. Content will embody the diverse culture and activities of Westfield and the surrounding area. This policy brings with it all associated benefits, freedoms and obligations. Content will be unrestricted but subject to prohibitions regarding libel, obscenity, copyright, and commercial use.

WCTV shall promote the production of creative content of others for airing to include talk shows, community events, arts, music, history, cultural, sports, general interest and like material. WCTV shall create and establish community announcement and emergency response airing capabilities and service. WCTV shall earn the public trust. WCTV shall create society bridges and develop interest for its operations via quality programming. WCTV shall serve as the public advocate for local TV.

Charter:

The WCTV Board of Directors shall be created. The Board members initially shall be established by the Westfield Town Council. The Board shall consist of seven directors serving terms initially as: two members for one year, two members for two years, three members for three years. Thereafter, new members shall be chosen by the board for terms of two years each from a list as determined by the nominating committee. The nominating committee shall consist of the Mayor, a representative of the public school system and three at large members as selected by The Board. The Board shall elect its Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer; each of whom shall serve two year terms. The Board shall establish by-laws and operating procedures.

The Board shall create WCTV as the operating organization. WCTV shall be an independent, non profit organization fully authorized to conduct business and to enter into contracts. WCTV shall manage and administer all Westfield TV activities. WCTV and The Board shall be in continuous existence except as may be otherwise determined by act of the Westfield Town Council.

The WCTV Board of Directors shall serve as public advocate for Westfield TV and like media contracts such as with cable and other providers. This advocacy shall apply to contracts that currently exist or that may be entered into in the future by the Town of Westfield.

The WCTV Board shall determine WCTV policy, oversee resources and hiring of management. WCTV management shall administer the functions of the WCTV operations. WCTV and The Board shall promote the media for the public good. The WCTV Board shall install WCTV management for administrating the enterprise and the funds. As allowed by law, WCTV shall procure funding from public agencies, donations, gifts and other sources.

WCTV shall operate in a business enterprise fashion and will not function as a government agency. WCTV shall publish an annual report available to the public. Copies of all annual reports of WCTV shall be maintained in the Westfield Public Library.

Financial And Operations:

WCTV shall be capitalized in the amount of $50,000 by The Town of Westfield. WCTV shall receive annual operating stipends from the Town of Westfield in the amount equal to net revenues received by the Town from cable TV and like providers (This amount in 1999 is $40,000 per year). WCTV shall receive other revenues as may be agreed to with other agencies, public and non profit organizations. WCTV may solicit and receive gifts and donations from all sectors of society and business as permitted by law. As appropriate and allowed by law, WCTV may collect fees for services.

Within 6 months of formation, WCTV shall establish and maintain a permanent place of business and an operating staff. The place of business shall be freely accessible to the public in the town of Westfield. WCTV, within this period, shall create written plans, budgets and by-laws. WCTV shall update and amend these documents in writing at times it sees fit. Within thirty days of enactment of documents, up to date copies of such shall be placed in the Westfield Public Library.

WCTV shall create and follow a one year and a three year business plan in writing. These plans shall be correspondingly updated annually.

In current perspective, the one year plan and goals shall be generally as shown below.

One Year Plan:

Organize the personnel, committees and content schedules.

1. Hire staff and establish place of business with all operating necessities
2. Accommodate Public School TV operations.
3. Invest the capital and create production capabilities.
4. Produce baseline content and assist others.
5. Establish the framework for airing productions by others.
6. Operate in the analog TV media mode.
7. Produce regularly and respond to public feedback.
8. Enlist, organize and train volunteers.
9. Plan for the future.
10. Enhance financial resources and plans.
11. Initiate advocacy review and plans.

Narrative: In the first year, WCTV shall establish regular business operations in the Town based on analog TV production technology with baseline content to include Town Council and other such meetings. Productions will be taped and aired until such time that live productions may become suitable. The baseline content of WCTV shall also provide for the airing of productions of the Westfield High School and the Westfield Board of Education.

WCTV shall hire staff for the operations. WCTV shall organize volunteers from a broad cross-section of the community to supplement operations. WCTV shall procure and bring into operation the necessary equipment for the regular analog production needs in its downtown office. A feed point for the tape productions shall be established at WCTV’s place of operation.

WCTV shall air public material as created on video tape by others, in that such material is not for profit and fits the guidelines for public TV.

WCTV shall initiate its public advocacy activities by reviewing existing contracts and working arrangements. WCTV shall solicit public comment and reviewing media alternatives and trends.

WCTV shall operate within its budget constraints.

The budget for year one is envisioned to be:

Capital Input $50,000
Operating Input $40,000

Oapital Expenditures $50,000
Salaries $25,000
Rent and Expenses $15,000

Within three months of establishment, WCTV shall create a three year plan for Board approval. WCTV shall operate according to its business plans. Changes to plans shall be kept current and in writing. Plans shall be available for review by the public.

Regards,

Horace Corbin

The Westfield Leader Page Minder
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