Committee are (from top left): Phil Kearney, Bob Adams,
Toby Zabinski, Mike Manente and Paula Patterson.
From a press release issued March 6th by the Milford City Hall:
Milford Government Access Television Committee Holds Inaugural MeetingThis is the committee to which I was appointed during a rather contentious Board of Aldermen meeting (link) that basically morphed into a very public vetting and somewhat embarrassing confirmation hearing. The main problem the minority Republicans had with me was that I was a member of the Democratic party, and there are no Republicans on the board (three D's and two U's, or is it two D's and three U's? I forget); and that I'm a "left-leaning blogger", apparently residing somewhere in the political spectrum between William Ayers and Che Guevara, and who knows what kind of programming I'd put up on that channel?
Milford, CT, March 4, 2009: The newly appointed Milford Government Access Television (MGAT) Committee held their first meeting on February 24 in the Platt Vocational Technical School Library Media Center.
The Committee was created in November 2008, in part to ensure all Milford government programming is available to the citizens of Milford. The Committee is responsible for assuring MGAT complies with the policies and procedures established by state and federal laws and regulations. In addition, the Committee is responsible for rafting the annual budget request for MGAT, and for advising Mayor James L. Richetelli, Jr. on MGAT personnel selection, appointment and employment.
The Committee consists of new Chairman Mike Manente, Phil Kearney, Paula Patterson, Toby Zabinski, and Bob Adams. MGAT’s Senior Line Producer/Broadcast Director Dennis Guaglianone also attended the first meeting.
Among other business, a brief history of MGAT was presented, covering the development and evolution of Milford's government access TV. Sol Silverstein, Chair of the Town of Orange Government Access TV (OGAT), discussed how the Orange commission operates. The 2009-10 budget was reviewed, along with a discussion on how the recent Area 2 Cable Advisory Council (CAC) grant will be utilized.
Although the vote to confirm me was a 9-6 split exactly along party lines; and the vote was the ONLY non-unanimous confirmation vote during an evening where something like 100 board and commission members were confirmed, I feel this is an opportunity for me to prove how non-partisan a person should be when working diligently on a project that will benefit everyone in the city, not just members of a single party.
As I've often said, my only goal in MGAT is to help bring total transparency to the process of local government. I think we all win by demystifying the process and opening up the meetings to those who might not otherwise have the chance to be there in person. The tangible results are likely two-fold: both good and bad policies receive wider exposure, and more people may be compelled to participate in local government.
With those sorts of results, we can safely assume we'll ALL benefit.