Sunday, February 10, 2008
Kingston Public Access at Risk of Shutting Down
We have all heard the rumors and rumblings over the possible closing of Kingston Public Access TV on February 29th due to lack of funds to maintain operations. The KPA commission has asked that the City of Kingston take $10,000 from the City's general fund to provide emergency funding for the station.
Some producers have claimed that the Mayor and certain Aldermen want to silence them because they are critical of the current administration. I disagree with that logic, the criticism is not working...the Mayor and his Council all won reelection. I do believe that the Mayor and certain Aldermen are hesitant to fund KPA because of a current commission that refuses to hold producers accountable to the rules and procedures that they have adopted. Also, there is an outstanding $3,000 liability that the Commission owes the City that needs to taken care of.
At this point the deadline for the Council to give money to KPA has passed and in order to maintain funding the Commission needs to raise $800 to continue for another month.
During that month the Commission must immediately make an appointment with the Cable Committee and the Mayor to find a way to agree on funding. My suggestion would be for the Council to make the Commission do the following :
By March 5th Enforce all the current rules that are in place; which includes cutting back all hour long programing to a half an hour.
By March 10th Present the council with a full accounting of all monies that have been raised and spent. As well as providing the Council with a budget that will include what the City funding would be used for.
By March 15th Come up with a payment plan between the KPA Commission and the City Comptroller's office to pay back the $3,000 that is currently owed to the City.
By March 20th Present to the Council a plan to become self sufficient. The City of Kingston should not be paying for KPA on a permanent basis.
After all these milestones are met, then the City's Cable committee should recommend to the full council to take the necessary money out the general fund to pay for KPA. Public Access is an important tool that has been abused by many for a long time. I think if the Council is shown that KPA will work with them and enforce their own rules, they will be willing to help KPA get on it's feet.
Posted by Jeremy Blaber at 9:04 PM