COUNCIL MEETING BROADCAST SCHEDULE
City Council meetings are cablecast live at 7:30 on the first and third Monday of each month. Council meetings are also replayed on the following schedule: Tuesday – Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday at 2:00 a.m. The City of Monroe’s government cable channel, Monroe City Cable Network, cablecasts on Comcast Cable Communications Channel 18 and 915 and on Charter Communications Channel 190.
City of Monroe Policy and Operating Procedures for the Governmental Access Cable Television Channel
Under Section 611 of the Communications Act of 1934, the Federal Communications Commission authorizes municipalities to create and operate a government access channel on cable television systems owned by one or more franchise holders. The FCC allows municipalities to establish rules which govern the use of government access channels. This policy and operating procedures document explains the purpose, administration, scope, and editorial management of the City of Monroe government access channel in addition to furnishing other general information.
The City of Monroe government access cable television channel (hereafter referred to as the Channel) is intended to promote government accountability through showing the decision-making process and by disseminating information about government’s role in protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare. The Channel will be an advocate for improvement in Monroe’s residential and business communities by providing informative, educational, and entertaining programming.
The City of Monroe Channel operates under the authority of the Mayor and City Council through their designee of the city manager, who directs the day-to-day management and administration of the government access channel through his/her designees. Access and use of the Channel is the responsibility of the City of Monroe as established through these policies adopted by City Council.
The hierarchical priorities that follow in descending order provide general guidelines about the types of programming that will be cablecast on the Channel.
1. Programming that involves issues of public safety and health.
2. Programming that relates to ordinances and resolutions adopted by Mayor and City council.
3. Programming initiated by the city manager or his/her designee.
4. Programming from city departments/offices.
5. Programming from city boards, city commissions, city committees, component units, any other advisory body that Mayor and Council may create, any other unit of local, State, and Federal government as authorized by Mayor and Council and their designee, and from any commercial or non-profit sources that are consistent with the Purpose of the Channel.
CHANNEL OPERATING HOURS
Live and taped programming, including an electronic bulletin board, will be cablecast on the Channel 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.
USE OF THE CHANNEL
Access to the Channel is reserved for City of Monroe departments/offices, city boards, city commissions, city committees, component units, any other advisory body that Mayor and Council may create, and any other unit of local, State, and Federal government authorized by Mayor and Council or their designee. Any non-city request to cablecast on the Channel shall be submitted in writing and considered by the city manager or his/her designee and evaluated for consistency with the standards defined in the Purpose and Scope sections of this policy. Requests to use the Channel from those who are not affiliated with City of Monroe government are encouraged to use the public access channel.
MODES OF CABLECAST
The City of Monroe will use five basic methods of cablecasting:
Generally this will consist of city council meetings, other city meetings involving elected and appointed officials, other selected public government meetings, and selected community activities that are consistent with the standards defined in the Purpose and Scope sections of this policy.
Council meetings and other meetings described in (1) of Modes of Cablecast may be videotaped and cablecast for a later time or shown live and cablecast later with repeat showings.
Locally Produced Programs
Programs produced by City of Monroe departments/offices, city boards, city commissions, city committees, component units, any other advisory body that Mayor and Council may create, and any other unit of local, State, and Federal government as authorized by Mayor and Council or their designee, which is consistent with the Purpose and Scope sections of this policy, may be cablecast on the Channel.
Outside Resource Programs
Material concerning local government operations is available elsewhere and may be borrowed for local use, like public safety programs and training films. These outside sources may be cablecast on the Channel when relevant to the City of Monroe and of interest to the Channel’s audience.
Electronic Bulletin Board
During all hours of operation when no other programming is scheduled, an electronic bulletin board will be used to provide continuously repeating messages. The messages will be about government-oriented information but may also include some general interest messages which must remain consistent with the Purpose and Scope sections of this policy.
Any public meeting that is cablecast will not be edited for content nor will editorial comment accompany any public meetings. Meeting coverage will be from opening gavel to closing gavel. However, text and graphics may be included in meeting coverage to identify speakers and provide any other supplementary explanatory information that might be helpful to the audience.
Programs produced by City of Monroe departments/offices, city boards, city commissions, city committees, component units, any other advisory body that Mayor and City Council may create, and any other unit of local, State, and Federal government as authorized by Mayor and Council or their designee may be edited for content, length, technical quality considerations, etcetera.
Electronic Bulletin Board
Information presented on the electronic bulletin board may be edited for clarity and for uniformity in appearance and formatting. The City of Monroe, its officers, employees, and agents shall not warrant the accuracy of any information cablecast on the governmental access channel.
ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL CANDIDATES
Any City of Monroe elected official, appointee, or staff member who is campaigning for elected office shall not host a program, campaign or make campaign-oriented speech on the Channel after 31 July in the year of either a City of Monroe general election or of a non City of Monroe election. However, this prohibition does not prevent a City of Monroe elected official, appointee, or staff member who is campaigning for election from appearing in candidate/ballot issue forums on the Channel that are arranged by a non-partisan organization.
A non-partisan organization (e.g. League of Women Voters) may submit a written request to the city manager to cablecast a candidate/ballot issue forum. If approved, the City of Monroe will provide staff and technical resources to cablecast the forum on the Channel. The requesting organization must invite all candidates who have either declared their candidacy or who have filed election petitions with the City Clerk’s Office. In the case of ballot proposals, the non-partisan organization must ensure fairness by inviting those who represent all positions on a particular subject. The City of Monroe reserves the right to deny a request to participate in a candidate/ballot issue forum.
RETENTION AND VIDEOTAPE REQUESTS
Videotapes of meetings and events will be retained for four-weeks with the exception of City Council meetings, which will be archived for one-year. At the end of these periods videotapes may be reused and the original material recorded over. After minutes of a meeting have been approved, the written transcript becomes the legal and official record of that meeting. Requests for videotape copies of any program should be made to the Clerk’s Office. Payment for a videotape must be received at the time the order for the tape is made.
Adopted by Monroe City Council 7 April 2003