Minneapolis Telecommunications Network
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Board Members Present: Joel Rainville, Floyd Child, Mark Engebretson, Joan Higinbotham, Tom Cassidy, Marido Huber
Board Members Absent: Robert Vose, Tamir Nolley, Vusi Zulu
Ex-Officio Present: Lance Leupold
Others Present: Pamela Colby, John Akre, Hamil Griffin-Cassidy, Martin Hallanger
Higinbotham called the meeting to order at 5:33 p.m.
I. Opening Business
A. Comments from public, staff, and board - Introduction of new board member Joel Rainville
B. Approval of agenda. MSP Engebretson, Child
C. Minutes from the May board meeting. MSP Engebretson, Child
A. City of Minneapolis - C. John Harrison not present
Colby reported that Harrison has been working on the proposed merger of MTN with the City Office of Video Services.
B. Minneapolis Public Schools - Melissa Winter not present
C. Time Warner Cable - Lance Leupold presented
There are over 79,000 subscribers this month to the Minneapolis cable system.
D. Executive Director's Report - Pam Colby presented
Colby encouraged Board Members to attend the June 25th Schiff breakfast meeting. The topic will be the future of MTN.
She mentioned recent press attention in the Minneapolis Observer and City Pages about the proposed City/MTN merger.
Colby will be meeting with MAP for Nonprofits on the MTN business plan.
She presented a list of community event coverage.
Child suggested MTN repeat its candidate outreach policy. Colby explained that two years ago letters were sent to all registered candidates. The letters detailed various ways candidates could use MTN to get their message out. One option included the opportunity to pay a flat fee for a crew and studio time to make a show about their candidacy. Rainville asked about equal time. Colby said that the responsibility of cable programmers is to provide equal opportunity. Higinbotham suggested that as this is a standing policy, MTN would proceed again this year to notify candidates.
Huber is concerned that the proposed MTN/City Cable merger is already considered a done deal by the city Communications Department staff. Huber was also concerned that the Franchise Manager is also the Communications Department director. Higinbotham pointed out that Colby has been working on educating City Council members about this matter. Colby said that this would continue.
E. Treasure's Report - Child presented
Child pointed out that MTN is showing a small net loss so far this year. Motion to approve the Treasurer's Report. MSY Huber, Engebretson
III. Priority Items
A. Lease Renewal
Colby reported that MTN's landlord John Rimarcek signed the five-year lease presented to him by Board Chair Robert Vose. Colby said that the lease contains an early release option should it be necessary. Vose will sign the lease unless there are any objections. There were no objections. Child asked about the MTN administrative space. Colby said that the landlord has not decided what part of MTN's current space he might want to exchange. Child asked about the use of second floor bathrooms. Colby said that access users would lose use of them in February of 2005. Higinbotham offered congratulations on the success of the lease renewal.
B. Public Relations Committee Report - Cassidy presented
Cassidy presented the MTN information cards that he produced and suggested that board members leave them everywhere they can. Higinbotham suggested that producers hand out these cards with their shows highlighted. Engebretson suggested sending them to City Hall as well.
Cassidy said that the committee suggested setting up a free speech camera at community events. Press releases will also be sent out to community papers on a regular basis.
The committee is also working on the MTN Handbook Cassidy suggested that Board Members provide their input on policies to him by the end of July. He would then meet with staff in August.
C. July Board Meeting
Higinbotham pointed out that traditionally the Board has not met in July and August. Colby asked committees to stay active in the summer. Higinbotham suggested putting an August board meeting on the calendar, as most present board members thought that they would be able to attend.
Meeting adjourned at 6:13 p.m. MSP Child, Huber