Source: Sherman Publications

My Way
My Way
Some thoughts on our cable board and the future

by CJ Carnacchio

December 07, 2011

It was certainly interesting reporting on the termination of Don Huegerich as station manager for Oxford Community Television (see Page 1).

As I covered the Nov. 30 meeting of the Oxford Area Cable Communications Commission (what a mouthful), a few thoughts occurred to me and since itís the season of sharing, here they are.

I donít understand why two government entities that contribute zero dollars to the cable commission Ė namely the Oxford Public Library and Oxford Community Schools Ė are allowed to have voting representatives on the board.

These entities donít have any skin in the game, so how come they get to help make decisions concerning how cable funding is spent and the future direction of OCTV?

It really bothers me that the school district gets two votes on the commission, the same amount as the single largest funding contributor, Oxford Township.

It bothers me that the school district gets two votes, which is equal to Oxford Villageís representation and double that of Addison Township and Leonard, who each get one vote. All three communities contribute funds.

The other thing that concerns me is the school districtís desire to forge a ďnew relationshipĒ with the cable commission and OCTV.

Donít get me wrong, Iím all for local governments collaborating and sharing resources in an effort to save money and deliver services in a more efficient manner.

But frankly, in the 12 years Iíve covered local government, Iíve never known the schools to be a very good partner when it comes to helping its fellow entities.

I was here when the school district chose to stop funding the Downtown Development Authority when state law gave it the ability to opt-out of the tax capture.

I was here when the schools told OCTV it had to move its station out of the old high school because there was no room for it in any of the districtís renovation plans.

I was here when the school district didnít want to contribute any funding to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Glaspie and E. Burdick streets, even though traffic from the middle school and high school was creating significant problems there.

I was here when the school district didnít wish to help pay for the paving of Ray Rd., even though they greatly contributed to the increased traffic on it. (That happened well before the township got federal money to do it.)

Based on these past experiences and the fact the district currently contributes zero funding to OCTV, I would be extremely wary of any offers from the schools.

One word of advice, if the cable commission does make a deal with the district, get every last detail spelled out in writing. Donít rely on handshakes or verbal promises.