Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, April 20, 2007

Casey Brown asks City Council for resolution opposing S.B. 117

The following letter from Norwood resident Casey Brown was delivered to City Council this morning. Ms. Brown highlights how some of the bill's provisions can negatively impact all of us, including our youth.

Dear President of Council and City Council Members,

I am writing you in regards to Senate Bill 117 that was proposed in March. You may recall the bill’s mention in your OML Legislative Bulletin dated March 23, 2007 and March 30, 2007, which I have attached. I have also included an analysis of the bill as provided by the Community Programming Board.

This bill should be a serious concern to Norwood’s elected officials. This bill as proposed basically allows for the elimination of PEG (public, educational, government) channels. Those are the channels we have all come to know as the ones that carry such fine shows as ‘Perspectives” and “Quick 20”! Seriously though, the ability to eliminate these channels using the “unrealistic standard of 9.6 hours of local, non-repeat programming each day, is not even met by the local broadcast channels” is outrageous and eliminates one of the few communication channels Norwood citizens have. And to add to it, we could not require them to assist in providing for the equipment and facilities they must currently provide through the franchise agreement.

As you can see, there is much mention of the rights taken away from municipalities in the analysis of the bill. For example, public right of way is seriously compromised in this bill. Norwood loses the right to effectively control this service to its citizens. Video Service Providers can operate in our city’s boundaries without our permission and we have no right to ask for anything of value in return, which would certainly eliminate free cable service to government buildings and schools. . And complaints can still be made to the city for service, but we have no control, as no franchise agreement exists.

Finally, lest you think that the public access facilities are only used by politicians and sports smack shows, consider the following. I have been mentoring a middle school student for over a year now, and I encourage him regularly to participate in activities outside of school. This year he joined the video club offered at the middle school. His participation in this club has helped him hone his new talent of acting, and has allowed him to learn some unique skills, while sharing positive experiences with his peers. And they had a lot of fun!

Please consider passing a resolution in opposition to this bill. More information can be obtained from the members of the PACE board if needed. This bill would take too much away from Norwood and its citizens.


Casey Brown
Ashland Avenue
Norwood, OH 45212