WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa extends contract for Community Media Center


Santa Rosa granted a third temporary contract extension to the Community Media Center of the North Bay on Tuesday to allow more time to resolve a difficult negotiation process.

The center operates the city TV public access channels and tapes City Council and school board meetings. It faces layoffs without more income, said Executive Director Dan Villalva.

The center claims the city owes it more than $500,000 and has repeatedly postponed contract negotiations to resolve this and other issues.

City Manager Kathy Millison said the extension will allow operating funds to continue flowing to the center, but that budget pressures are largely to blame for the impasse.

“There are a lot of changes going on with the city and the community media center right now,” Millison said.

Villalva said the center wants a five-year contract, but has been unable to agree on a funding stream that works for both sides. The center opened in 1997, has a budget of nearly $900,000 and employs 14 people, he said.

It broadcasts four channels and helps members of the community produce television programs and videos in its Mendocino Avenue studio. Its slogan is “Empowering community through access to media training, technology and production.”

There is debate about how some franchise fees paid by service providers like Comcast and AT&T can be used by the city and the center, Villalva said. “It’s a complex story,” he said.

Council members expressed support for the work of the group and the hope negotiations can be resolved soon.

“I think it’s really important for the council to be aware of how the negotiations are moving forward,” Susan Gorin said.

13 Responses to “Santa Rosa extends contract for Community Media Center”

  1. Kay Tokerud says:

    This is public discourse. You just like to make fun of people. So, I can comment on your comments when I want to. Sounds like you can dish it out but can’t take it very well. Nothing you say will stop me from making my comments about the articles.

    This particular article made no mention of all the people who attended the meetings who criticized the county Board of Supervisors for being members of ICLEI and following their program of restricting the use of rural properties. You should do your homework and then you would be able to make intelligent comments on this very important subject.

    I attended 3 meetings altogether on this matter in the last year. Did you go to any of the meetings? Do you own property? Rural property? United Nations Agenda 21 is being pushed by ICLEI, a NGO non-governmental organization as recognized by the United Nations in every city, county and State in the United States. Sonoma County is a major player as supervisor Valerie Brown sits on their national board. Millions of people know about all of this and there are millions of entries on the internet regarding UN Agenda 21.

    If you would spend about 5 minutes looking it up you might not want to make silly comments about the people who know about it. There are a number of books written about UN Agenda 21. In fact, UN Agenda 21 is a 300 page book and I have a copy. I also have the children’s book about UN Agenda 21. Both were published by the United Nations and are available on Amazon.

    I look forward to hearing from you after you have taken some time educating yourself about UN Agenda 21. Oh, and by the way, humor is often lost in the written word and many of your posts are incomprehensible. Thought you’d like to know.

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  2. Lets be Reasonable says:

    Council meetings will continue to be broadcast, regardless of whether the Media Center is involved or not – period. It is an expected mandate of local government. This is not the only thing that the Media Center does, however. The question is, should the City continue to subsidize those other activities, or should they contract with someone else to do the broadcasts, or maybe attempt to do it themselves, for much less, and use the money saved elsewhere. I’m not an expert on what else the MC does (help others create public education pieces?), but that would likely be lost if the City does not renew the contract with them.

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  3. Social Dis-Ease says:

    Freedom of Speach.
    Sometimes we like what others have to say, sometimes we don’t.
    Such is the texture of a Free Society.

    Through the ‘Net Neutrality’ program Washington is trying to pass a bill (SOPA) that will censor the internet.

    Rolling your eyes once in a while is the price we pay for 1st Amendment rights.

    Unfortunately, this is probably softening us up for the idea of dumping the Media Center next year.

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  4. The Oracle says:

    @Kay. You think WSC is about public discourse? This is infotainment sprinkled with a some reasonable posts; and irony is one way to expose other posts’ content without attacking the people posting them, and do so without expecting the conversation to be anything more than the infotainment it is. If, on the other hand, someone makes a reasonable point, I won’t respond with irony. Such was the case when I asked you about your opinion on the mayor’s reassurance. Such was the case with this post, though I think your response misrepresented my infotainment. Maybe I’ll see you at the next Coalition meeting; and you’re always welcome at Delphi.

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  5. The Oracle says:

    Good points, Christmas. Most regular public speakers at the council meetings are even more entertaining and less informative than most commentators on WSC. But our elected officials should be expected to question proposals; and our elected officials should be expected to justify their votes; and we should be able to witness it. It’s about transparency and accountability. The price they and we pay is the irrational attention-getting public speakers with their irrelevant rants about Catholic conspiracies, etc. I think of them as the entertainment portion of the broadcast, much like how I approach many WSC posts. I never expect the council meeting to be an Oxford debate. I think of most public comments as an opportunity to witness some deleted scene from The Simpsons. It’s a fun way to spend one’s retirement.

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  6. Kay Tokerud says:

    @Oracle You may not have been present at the recent meeting where the director of the Community Media center made a presentation before the Santa Rosa City council to attempt to maintain their funding. Many people were in attendance holding signs in support of the center. The funding is temporarily still there but there is obviously some problem as indicated in the PD article.

    If you disagree with the points I made about the importance of having the council meetings televised I would be happy to hear your point of view on the matter. Your posts have been short on substance and long on personal attacks so far on this site. Why don’t you give your name like I do so people will know where you’re coming from. I guess it’s easier to criticize people from behind your anonymous moniker. Some oracle.

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  7. Its Christmas, Time for Toys says:

    The Santa Rosa City Council is not going to stop televising the Tuesday Night Follies. They think they need the publicity.

    After attending and watching some council meetings I wonder why they would they would ever want to televise these little shows.

    Each act is the same. A little group or an individual stands up, sometimes repeatedly, and spouts off about something unrelated to the topic, reading a poem they wrote or babbling on about nonsense.

    Most of the time it is about some down and out agency or group begging and crying for city funds they think they richly deserve.

    Meanwhile a seemly bewildered, stunned or bored City Council sits there listening in silence to the diatribe.

    This not representative democracy in action, it is the mad raving of loons trying to get the attention of loons.

    Where are the arguments about street lighting and potholes? At least those are subjects most taxpayers are interested in.

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  8. The Oracle says:

    Kay, many of us can not attend council meetings and rely on Community Media’s broadcasts. During last week’s council meeting the mayor reassured us that Community Media will continue broadcasting our council meetings. Do you have reasons to trust or distrust the mayor’s reassurances?

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  9. A Look At The Future says:

    Billy is on to something here. What is the public service that Community Media offers? Why is the city council funded it? Where does that $900,000 go?

    The disinfectant of public scrutiny needs to be shined on the Community Media Center.

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  10. Kay Tokerud says:

    Let’s get some details here. Why are things complicated and changing? Is the city trying to shut down the community media center by stopping the funding? Every citizen should be deeply concerned that we could lose one of the most important, if not the most important avenue for getting information about our local government and local issues. City council meetings are televised and I watch every one if I don’t personally attend the meetings. Without the Community Media Center broadcasting important meetings as well as locally produced shows the public will be considerably less informed and less able to learn about and weigh in on important local issues that affect them.

    We are in very difficult times right now and the public is having a hard time believing that our government is functioning properly or that they even have the best interests of the citizens in mind when they make new rules and regulations that apply to everyone. An assault on our ability to be informed of important meetings and commentary in our local area will negatively impact the people. Let the City of Santa Rosa know that you don’t want them to defund the Community Media Center!

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  11. The Oracle says:

    Well said. Billy. Whenever I don’t know anything about a public service, I don’t inquire. I just assume all of its expenses go to labor costs and conclude the program should be the City’s lowest priority.

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  12. The Oracle says:

    I don’t understand. If it’s not broadcasting infotainment and reality shows, how does community media provide a public service?

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  13. Billy Rider says:

    The City of Santa Rosa needs to put the Community Media Center on the bottom of the long list of programs it should fund. If they have a budget of $900,000 and a staff of 14, that works out to an average salary of $64,286 for each of the 14 employees.

    Where is that money going? Who watches the programs they produce? How many viewers do they have for their programing?

    All we have seem is a lot of crying about “we are broke and we need taxpayer money or people are going to be laid off.” News flash, public sector programs and jobs are disappearing because of falling revenues. Why should the Community Media Center be excluded from the club?

    What service does it really provide other than make work?

    End the $900,000 subsity and spend it on necessary public services that are not funded now.

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