Chapter 2.36


2.36.010    Established--Purpose.

2.36.020    Committee.

2.36.030    Cable regulation board created.

2.36.040    Membership.

2.36.050    Powers, duties and expenses.

2.36.060    Hearings.

2.36.070    Rate changes.

2.36.080    Violations of franchise.

2.36.090    Complaints.

2.36.100    Evaluations--Performance evaluation sessions.

2.36.110    Annual report.

2.36.120    Change of ownership.

2.36.130    Bonds and letters of credit.

2.36.140    Office of cable communications.

2.36.150    Majority vote of cities.

2.36.010 Established--Purpose.

An interlocal community access committee is established. The purpose and duties of the committee are as follows:

A. Community Access Plan. The committee shall develop a community access plan to provide for maximum community involvement and utilization of the access channel. The plan shall include appropriate safeguards against direct and indirect program censorship and governmental interference with, or control of, program content. The committee shall submit annually a written advisory report to the board reviewing said plan, recommending changes to it and fully describing actions of the committee and operations of the community access channel for the preceding year.

B. Censorship. The interlocal community access committee shall assure that operation of the access channel capacity remains free from direct or indirect program censorship and governmental interference with, or control of, program content. (Ord. 1052 §2.1, 1998)

2.36.020 Committee.

A. Committee Membership. The community access committee shall be composed of four members. The cable regulation board shall select committee members to represent each city/town from people who have a demonstrated interest in community access. The board may appoint additional committee members from people who have a demonstrated interest in community access. Appointment shall be by majority vote of the board.

B. Meetings--Quorum. The committee shall meet each month, or as necessary in accordance with the Public Open Meetings Act. A quorum shall consist of three members. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

C. Officers. The committee shall select its own chairman and secretary. The secretary may be a member of the committee or a staff member. The cable communications officer or his designee shall be an ex officio member of the committee, but shall have no vote.

D. Terms. Terms shall be for periods of two years. Terms shall expire on December 31st, in odd numbered years (1995, 1997, 1999, etc.) for appointees representing Granger and Toppenish and even number years (1996, 1998, 2000, etc.) for appointees representing Wapato and Zillah. (Ord. 1052 §2.2, 1998)

2.36.030 Cable regulation board created.

There is created a cable regulation board which shall represent the town of Granger and the cities of Toppenish, Wapato, and Zillah in cable television franchise administration and franchise negotiations with a cable television franchise holder and the supervision of public/education/government (“PEG”) access. (Ord. 1052 §§3, 3.1, 1998)

2.36.040 Membership.

The following shall be the membership of the board:

A. Board Membership. Each city/town council (of Granger, Toppenish, Wapato and Zillah) shall appoint one member of its council to the board. Each council shall appoint an alternate to serve in the absence of its member. The alternate can be a member of the council or other representative of the city. The member and alternate should subscribe to the cable television system.

B. Term. Each council may change its representative at any time, but must review its representatives in January of every even-numbered year.

C. Vote. Each council’s member of the board shall have one vote.

D. Officers. The board shall elect from among its own number a chairman and vice-chairman. The board may select one of its members as secretary or a member of the cable communications office or other staff member for this position.

E. Meeting Rules, Quorum. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. A quorum is established when three members are present. (Ord. 1052 §3.2, 1998)

2.36.050 Powers, duties and expenses.

The board is granted the following powers and duties:

A. The board shall review all proposals submitted by cable companies for a cable television franchise and conduct whatever hearings that it deems necessary. The funds which accompany each application, if any, shall be deposited in the cable television fund of the city providing financial services, which funds shall be available to the board to meet any expenses which it shall incur in the review process. Any excess funds shall be utilized for administration of the franchise or activities related to access channel programming and operation;

B. To retain a consultant or consultants if it so deems same necessary to prepare recommendations to the councils on the awarding of the franchise;

C. To conduct negotiations with the applicants, if any, prior to the award of the franchise. After the award of the franchise, the board shall be the contact agency for the franchise holder. Nothing in this clause shall prohibit the franchise holder from dealing through the office of cable communications with the staffs of the individual cities in matters of rights-of-way, street repairs or other matters involving the municipal services of the individual cities;

D. The board will oversee the operation of the franchise and enforce the conditions of the franchise document;

E. The board shall have the power to create and supervise the office of cable communications (“OCC”). The authorities and responsibilities of said office are stated below;

F. The board shall review proposed changes to the system as suggested by the franchise holder and shall approve, modify or reject such proposal;

G. To receive any reports received from or required from the franchise holder and conduct whatever investigations as needed into the content of said report;

H. To review basic service rate increase requests and conduct hearings, if needed, and approve, modify, or reject such request. Such decision shall not be subject to comment or review unless requested by two city councils within thirty days of the board’s decision;

I. To adopt such regulations to carry out its functions as stated herein;

J. To establish rules and regulations for use of access channels upon recommendation of the community access committee;

K. The board to fulfill its obligations to establish rules and regulations for the use of access channels shall have its expenses of operation paid out of a portion of each city’s franchise fee. Each city agrees to provide a proportionate share of funds for the work of the board and OCC.

L. The board shall recommend an annual budget for franchise administration and supervision and operation of PEG access. Such budget shall be adopted by ordinance of the city/town providing financial administration services and approved by resolution of the remaining cities/town. (Ord. 1052 §3.3, 1998)

2.36.060 Hearings.

A. All hearings required by the board shall be open to the public and shall be subject to the provisions of the state Open Public Meeting Act. Notice of public hearings shall be published at least ten days in advance of such hearing in a paper of general circulation within the four communities. The report of the board resulting from such hearing shall be in writing and shall state the decision and the basis for the decision.

B. Rate increase hearings shall be at the request and expense of the franchise holder who shall pay any expenses incurred therein. The hearing shall be held before the board pursuant to public notice and shall be held in the evening to insure maximum public participation. After the hearing or hearings, the board shall make a decision on the application which shall be the final determination on rates for the four municipalities. (Ord. 1052 §3.4, 1998)

2.36.070 Rate changes.

In order for any rate increase to become effective, the increase must have a sixty percent affirmative vote by the board. (Ord. 1052 §3.5, 1998)

2.36.080 violations of franchise.

The board shall investigate all violations of the franchise which come to its attention in order to protect the public service, health or welfare. The board shall make recommendations to the councils regarding actions it deems appropriate for franchise violations it discovers. (Ord. 1052 §3.6, 1998)

2.36.090 Complaints.

The board may receive and investigate any unresolved complaint about the franchise holder’s service which may be filed with the board or referred to the board by the office of cable communications. After consultation with the franchise holder, the board may adopt regulations establishing methods and procedures to insure that complainants have recourse to a satisfactory hearing and method for settling complaints. The regulations shall not become effective until approved by the councils. (Ord. 1052 §3.7, 1998)

2.36.100 Evaluations--Performance evaluation sessions.

The board shall evaluate pursuant to such criteria and standards as the board previously shall have adopted or established by franchise, each grantee’s system as provided by franchise and, based on the evaluation, issue a report to the councils with any recommendations for action by them. Any such criteria and standards promulgated shall be provided to the franchise holder together with any changes therein. (Ord. 1052 §3.8, 1998)

2.36.110 Annual report.

The board shall prepare an annual report at the conclusion of each calendar year. The report shall cover activities of the board during the past calendar year; planned activities of the board during the coming year; the use of fees which it received; the general performance of the franchise holder; the development and use of systems within the cities; anticipated new services in the cities; any recommendation of the board; and such other matters as the board may deem appropriate. (Ord. 1052 §3.9, 1998)

2.36.120 Change of ownership.

The board shall investigate the background of any proposed owners of the franchise holder before such change shall be effective. After making its investigation, the board shall approve or deny the change of ownership as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 1052 §3.10, 1998)

2.36.130 Bonds and letters of credit.

The board shall review the status of bonds and letters of credit posted by the franchise holder and make recommendations concerning their sufficiency. All bonds and letters of credit shall name the cities and the board as insured. (Ord. 1052 §3.11, 1998)

2.36.140 Office of cable communications.

A. The board shall create the office of cable communications (“OCC”) for day-to-day administration of the cable system and the franchise. This office shall serve to permit the franchise holder to contact one person for information, instructions and other matters pertaining to the administration of the franchise.

B. The OCC shall be directed by an individual employee of one of the cities as cable communications officer (“CCO”) and shall be appointed by the board with the con sent of the employing city. The costs of salary, benefits and expenses shall be paid out of monies received for local administration of the franchise. The percentage of time spent on the cable management will be the percentage of pay and benefits paid by the cable fund.

C. The duties and powers of this office shall be as follows:

1. To carry out all directives of the board;

2. To give full reports to the board on matters requested by the board;

3. To carry out the day-to-day business of administering the franchise, including but not limited to coordination of local access;

4. To receive and investigate complaints of residents of the cities, individual councils, or the board, and attempt to resolve them with the franchise holder. In the event the complaints cannot be resolved, then the matter shall be forwarded to the board, together with a report for action;

5. To schedule meetings of the board and prepare the agenda therefor;

6. To conduct investigations ordered by the board on behalf of the board and prepare staff reports and recommendations for the board;

7. To review all rate applications and prepare staff reports thereon;

8. To receive requests for changes from the franchise holder and advise the board on the changes;

9. To prepare a proposed annual budget for consideration by the board and subsequent approval by the city councils;

10. To assist the board in preparing the annual report;

11. Serves (or designee) as ex-officio member of the community access committee, but shall have no vote. (Ord. 1052 §3.12, 1998)

2.36.150 Majority vote of cities.

The town of Granger and the cities of Toppenish, Wapato and Zillah recognize that this joint enterprise (a joint cable television franchise and PEG for the four communities) will succeed only if there is the ability for the franchise holder to uniformly serve all four communities. To this end, each municipality council agrees that all services and rates will be uniform in all cities. If there are hearings on rates or other decisions of the board which may go to the individual councils, the councils agree to be bound by the majority vote of three of the councils. (Ord. 1052 §3.13, 1998)