Cable Television Advisory Council for Hamden, New Haven and West Haven (Connecticut) BY-LAWS
Approved August 19, 2006 – Revisions in accordance with Title 16 of the General Statutes of Connecticut and DPUC Regulations in effect on August 7, 2006
The organization shall be known and designated by the name of “Cable Television Advisory Council for Hamden, New Haven and West Haven” hereinafter referred to as “Advisory Council.”
The Advisory Council is established under the authority of the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC). Sec. 16-333-24
The Advisory Council shall interpret and disseminate information regarding Cable Television (CATV) regulatory developments and service, and shall solicit reaction to such information so as to advise the franchise holder operators of the opinions of those who subscribe to the service the operators provide. The Advisory Council shall pay special attention to such matters as service to the public, public access regulations, and franchise renewal.
1. The Advisory Council recommends to the DPUC the most qualified organization to operate community access programming and annually reviews the organization’s rules, regulations, policies and procedures governing the provision of community access programming. Sec. 16-331a(b)
2. The Advisory Council shall review all community access programming which has been subject of a complaint. Sec. 16-331a(j)
3. The Advisory Council may give advice to the management of the franchise holder upon such matters affecting the public, as it deems necessary. Sec. 16-330-30
4. The DPUC shall designate the Advisory Council as an intervenor in any contested case before the DPUC involving the franchise holder. Such franchise holder shall provide to the Chair a copy of any report, notice or other document it files with the DPUC. Sec. 16-331c(1)
5. If the franchise holder fails or refuses to furnish adequate service to any customer, the Advisory Council may file a written petition with the DPUC alleging the failure or refusal. The DPUC shall hold a hearing on such petition and, not later than one hundred fifty days after receiving the petition, shall issue a written decision on the petition. The franchise holder shall thereafter furnish service to the customer in accordance with the conditions prescribed under the DPUC’s decision. Sec. 16-331c(1)
6. The Advisory Council shall assist the franchise holder with the establishment of specific goals for community access and with a periodic assessment of the achievement of those goals. The franchise holder will incorporate into its annual report to the DPUC, the Advisory Council’s comments on the effectiveness of the community access program and the achievement of the program’s goals. Sec. 16-331a-11
7. The Advisory Council shall annually on a date not later than the thirty-first day of January, file a written report with the DPUC concerning its activities for the preceding twelve month period ending December 31. Sec. 16-330-30
8. The Advisory Council shall annually, as of January first, provide the DPUC with an accounting of any funding or services received. Sec. 16-331c
9. Upon the request of the Advisory Council, and for good cause shown, the DPUC shall require the organization responsible for community access operations (CTV) to have an independent audit conducted at the expense of the organization. Sec. 16-331a(h)
10. The Advisory Council, in conjunction with the franchise holder, shall notify subscribers of the time and place of any upcoming Advisory Council meeting, of any vacancies that may exist on the Advisory Council and of the name of the council Chair and address of the Advisory Council. The notification may be provided via the community antenna television system at a sufficient frequency that subscribers may reasonably be expected to become aware of the meeting or by publishing on a quarterly basis the information in a newspaper having general circulation within each municipality in the franchise area. Sec. 16-333l(b)
A. The members of the Advisory Council shall be appointed as follows:
1. The chief elected official of each town in the franchise area shall appoint one or more members who are residents of said town in accordance with the population of said town as determined by the most recent United States Census. Each of the three towns in the franchise area is entitled to four appointments. Insofar as is possible, said appointments should reflect and be representative of the cultural, educational, ethnic, and economic makeup of the population inhabiting said towns. Sec. 16-333-25a
2. The board of education in each town in the franchise area shall appoint one member of the Advisory Council. Such member shall reside in said town, or be a member of said board of education, Sec. 16-333-25b or be employed by said board of education.
3. One member shall be appointed to the Advisory Council to represent all of the libraries of general public use located in the towns within the franchise. In the town having the largest population therein, as determined by the most recent United States Census, the public library board charged with oversight and management of the town’s public library shall appoint the Advisory Council member. The appointed member shall be an inhabitant of a town within the franchise area, who is a library board member or a professional library staff employee of either a public library or private eleemosynary library of general public use in a town within the franchise area. If the town with the largest population fails to appoint the library representative within seven months, the Advisory Council will request, at its discretion, an appointment from one of the other towns. Sec. 16-333-25c
4. Each franchise holder shall appoint one member, who shall possess some expertise in the field of cable television and who shall serve without vote on the Advisory Council.
5. Appointment of Advisory Council members shall be subject to the following limitations: Sec. 16-333-25d
a. No paid employee of a nonprofit organization providing community access operations may serve on the Advisory Council.
b. No employee of a CATV company, its subsidiaries or affiliates, may serve on the Advisory Council except in the position of franchise holder representative. An employee includes any person working full or part time or performing any subcontracting or consulting services for the franchise holder. Sec. 16-331d
c. At least one seat, but no more than 25 percent of the total seats to which appointments may be made to an Advisory Council, may be filled by persons who also are members of a board of directors of a nonprofit organization providing community access operations.
d. Advisory council members who also serve, as a member of a board of directors of a nonprofit organization providing community access operations, shall recluse themselves from voting on any financial matters related to their access organization.
B. Term of Members
Each member of the Advisory Council shall serve for a term of two years from the first day of July in the year such member is appointed. At the end of the two-year term, a member may remain on the Advisory Council until re-appointed or replaced. If an Advisory Council member has three consecutive unexcused absences or does not attend 50 percent of meetings duly noticed and held within a 12 month period, then the member will be deemed to have resigned from the Advisory Council. Sec. 16-333-26
The chief elected official from the town in which a vacant seat exists shall appoint a member to fill such vacancy if any other appointing authority fails to make an appointment within six months of the time in which a vacancy occurs. Sec. 16-331d
Members of the Advisory Council shall serve without compensation. Sec. 16-333-28 Compensation shall include the receipt of any free or discounted cable television service, either basic or premium. Sec. 16-331b
E. Duties of Members
1. It shall be the duty of all members of the Advisory Council to attend all regularly scheduled meetings.
2. Members may be excused from attending a meeting only on the grounds of sickness, absence from town, or business conflict. In order to qualify for an excused absence, a member must contact an officer of the Advisory Council prior to the meeting in question.
3. Each Advisory Council member, upon vacating his or her seat on the Advisory Council, shall make available to his or her replacement all documents and correspondence deemed relevant by mutual accord with the replacement member.
III. OFFICERS OF THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
A. Election of Officers
The Advisory Council shall elect its own Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer at the second regularly scheduled meeting of the operating year. Sec. 16-333-29
1. The Chair shall appoint a committee for nominations consisting of three members. The committee shall solicit interest for positions and submit a slate of candidates to the Advisory Council at the meeting designated for such purpose.
2. Nominations for officers shall be accepted from the floor prior to the casting of ballots.
3. The election of officers shall be by secret ballot. The candidate receiving the majority of votes cast shall be selected. In the event no candidate has a majority, subsequent ballots shall be taken with the candidate receiving the fewest votes being eliminated after each subsequent ballot until a candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for selection. In the event the lowest vote-getter is tied, a special ballot will be cast between the two tied parties, and the candidate receiving the majority on this special ballot shall remain in the running, and all others shall be eliminated.
4. The Secretary will tabulate all ballots.
B. Term of Officers
Each officer shall serve a term of one year from the first day of July to the last day of June.
C. Duties of Officers
a. Shall prepare a detailed agenda for each regular meeting and special meeting.
b. Shall, following consultation with the Advisory Council, make appointment recommendations, if necessary, to the chief elected official or board of education in the town or towns planning to fill a vacancy.
c. Shall appoint members of standing or select committees
d. Shall assign a date and location of meetings, provided the Advisory Council fails to do so. Should a meeting be cancelled or postponed, the Chair shall assign an alternate date and/or location.
e. Shall represent the Advisory Council’s agreed-upon positions in all issues brought before the DPUC, or shall appoint a representative to do so.
f. Shall, if it is necessary to vacate the chair, appoint a Chair Protem. The first adjournment puts an end to the appointment.
g. Shall prepare an annual report to be presented at the annual meeting for Advisory Council approval.
h. May hold a caucus of all non-franchise holder members of the Advisory Council before or after the regular meeting of the Advisory Council to facilitate the discussion of issues or actions which may affect the franchise holder.
a. Shall administer the Advisory Council attendance policy and take roll call.
b. Shall conduct correspondence regarding town representative appointments. The Vice-Chair will also monitor the appointment or resignation of members.
c. Shall, in the absence of the Chair call meetings to order and preside over the meeting, as would the Chair.
a. Shall act as the recording officer of the Advisory Council and the custodian of its records, except when specifically assigned to others. The records should include minutes of all regular and special meetings, register of roll members, and member attendance as recorded by the vice-chair.
b. Shall notify all officers and committees of their appointments.
c. Shall furnish all members and chief elected officials with all papers referred to them.
d. Shall keep a book of by-laws and standing rules In addition, a record of all correspondence shall be kept, as well as a book of federal and state regulatory documents.
e. Shall send out proper notices of all called meetings and other meetings when necessary.
f. Shall conduct correspondence for the Advisory Council except as otherwise provided herein.
g. Shall maintain a list of standing and select committee members.
h. Shall, in the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair, call meetings to order and preside until the election of a Chair Pro-Tem takes place.
i. Shall endorse on all correspondence, reports or regulations received by the Advisory Council their date of reception, and what action is taken. They should then be preserved in the Advisory Council records.
j. The Secretary may appoint an assistant to carry out some of the above duties of the office.
a. Shall act as the Advisory Council’s banker, holding the funds deposited to the Advisory Council and paying out on the order of the Advisory Council.
b. Shall issue and sign all checks on the treasury authorized by Advisory Council. The Chair shall cosign checks made to the Treasurer.
c. Shall present a report at least four times a year as directed by Advisory Council vote or by the Chair. Reports should consist of any information regarding the receipts and disbursements previously authorized by the Advisory Council, and should include vouchers.
d. Shall present an annual fiscal report at the annual meeting. The report shall consist of any information regarding the receipts and disbursements made during the Advisory Council’s operating year.
e. Shall, in the absence of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, call meetings to order and preside until a Chair Pro-Tem is elected.
D. Removal of Officers
An officer of the Advisory Council may be removed for abuse of authority or misconduct in office. Removal from office requires a two-thirds vote of the membership, provided that the charge against the officer has been made in writing and a copy has been filed with the Secretary or the Chair at least two weeks before such vote is taken. The Secretary shall notify all members of the pending action at least one week prior to the meeting. Should an officer be removed, a special election to fill the vacancy shall be held at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The Secretary shall send a special notice to all Advisory Council members at least one week before the special election. Removal from office does not affect one’s membership status.
The Advisory Council shall rely upon two types of committees to undertake preliminary work on matters that require detailed research:
A. Standing Committees
1. Shall examine ongoing issues of business such as publicity, funding, and state and federal regulation.
2. Shall be established by majority vote at the first regular meeting of the year.
3. Shall consist of at least three members appointed by the Chair. The Chair may serve as an ex-officio member.
4. Shall exist for a period coinciding with the Advisory Council’s operating year.
5. Shall report to the Advisory Council or Chair as requested by either.
6. Shall have the power to establish subcommittees.
7. Shall require the participation of at least three members to transact business legally.
B. Select Committees.
1. Shall examine special issues or business such as by-laws, amendments, special allocation of funds, or any programming that might be initiated by the Advisory Council.
2. Shall be established by a majority vote at any regular Advisory Council meeting.
3. Shall consist of at least three members appointed by the Chair. The Chair may serve as an ex-officio member.
4. Shall have the power to establish subcommittees, and serve as a body for a period established by a majority vote of the Advisory Council.
5. Shall report to the Chair or Advisory Council, as requested, by either.
6. Shall require the participation of at least three members to transact business legally.
A. Regular Meetings
1. Shall be held monthly on dates to be determined by vote of the Advisory Council.
2. Shall be held in locations determined by Advisory Council vote or by the Chair. Should a meeting be postponed or cancelled, the Chair shall establish an alternate date and/or location.
3. Shall be held in locations conductive to public attendance at least two times in the operating year.
4. Shall require the attendance of at least a majority of active members.
5. Shall adhere to the agenda prepared by the Chair and be adjourned by a majority vote.
6. Shall be open to the public.
B. Special Meetings
1. Shall be called by Advisory Council vote or by the Chair or by the majority of the members upon due notice to all members of the Advisory Council. Sec. 16-333-29
2. Shall be conducted, as are the regular meetings.
C. Annual Meeting
1. Shall be held during the last month of the Advisory Council’s operating year.
2. Shall be held in a location determined by Advisory Council vote.
3. Shall be conducted, as are the regular meetings.
1. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern debate and voting procedure.
2. Quorum for conducting business shall require 50% of qualified voting members.
3. No member shall vote on a motion or amendment if not present.
4. Motions shall be passed by a majority vote.
5. Motions are tabled for further consideration by a majority vote.
6. No motion shall be passed that conflicts with a rule of higher order, i.e. State or Federal law.
Each CATV franchise holder shall annually contribute to the Advisory Council an amount not less than $2000. The Advisory Council may, at its option, receive any or all of its funding through in-kind services of the CATV franchise holder. Sec. 16-331c
VII. AMENDMENT OF BY-LAWS
All amendments of these by-laws shall be proposed in writing at a regular Advisory Council meeting and shall be forwarded to the by-laws committee. The committee shall report at the next scheduled meeting, when the proposed amendment may be acted upon and accepted by two-thirds of the membership eligible to vote. Should the committee fail to report at the proper time, the matter may be considered by the membership and immediate action taken thereon.
VII. INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS
If agreed at a regularly held meeting, a specific issue may be discussed and voted upon using email on the Internet. Voting shall be the same as per Paragraph V.D. August 19, 2006