Petition to Reform Public, Education and Government Access Oversight Board (PEGAOB)
Petition summary and background
The Mayor of Albany and the Albany Common Council find and declare that it is in the public interest of the citizens of the City of Albany to establish a board (PEGAOB) to oversee implementation of PEG (Public, Education and Government) access, a cable television studio located in the basement of the Albany Public Library, to promote the creativity of the people in the city.
The purpose of the Oversight Board is to:
- Assist in the development of public, education and government access television in the City including by promoting the use of the public studio to citizens and groups throughout the City;
- Oversee the cable television public access facility/studio and assist the Public Access Coordinator, whom shall be responsible for the day to day operation of the public access facility/studio;
- Review memorandums of understanding between the city and relevant entities to assure implementation of PEG access.
*** Part 38: Public, Education and Government Access Oversight Board (PEGAOB); Article XLIX General Provisions; § 42-375 Purpose; scope of authority ***
Let it be known that the following issues exist:
- The television studio for Channel 18 Albany has now been 'closed' or 'dark' for several months since May 31st with no end in sight;
- Current television show producers for Channel 18 are no longer able to record and produce new programming, which has resulted in rerun after rerun being shown on Channel 18. There is additional older and in some cases rarely if ever seen programming available (stored on the server unit) but an experienced scheduler just needs to select them to air;
- The existing video and audio equipment in the studio needs major upgrades in order to provide better quality and more reliable programming. However, studio needs are 'minor' compared to major needs in City Hall. The funds currently exist to do all of these locations with new modern hardware/software, it's just not being spent and must be;
- Concerned citizens have been in attendance at Common Council meetings voicing their concerns, however no action is taking place to resolve said issues;
- The hiring of a Public Access Coordinator to manage the studio needs to be a top priority, however the PEGAOB is not taking this matter seriously; and
- It is necessary to have more than one Public Access Coordinator available (two part-time positions or one full time and one part time or two full time and, in time, more staff members) in order to prevent another shutdown of the studio for several months;
- Additional funding in the 2018 CIty of Albany budget is necessary ($12 to 28K additional, on top of the current $15 & $20Ks ($35k total)).
We, the undersigned, are united and concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now to reform the current PEGAOB and, if necessary, eliminate and replace current members whose action impede the progress of Channel Albany. We feel that the PEGAOB is in direct violation of the board’s mission, which is evidenced by its gross mismanagement and poor oversight of this extremely important and necessary public service.