New poll: Should the city fund BITV?

The City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation tonight about the various options it has to broadcast city meetings.

The council decided last month to pull all funding for Bainbridge Island Television and to cancel its contract with the public access station. The overriding reason was to cut costs. The council is trying to build a $2.4 million savings reserve largely through cuts to city services, staffing levels and community service groups like BITV.

At the council’s direction, the city administration has spent the last week gathering information about how other jurisdictions broadcast city meetings, and the various costs involved.

Meanwhile, BITV has warned it will cease operations by mid-December if the city doesn’t restore some or all of the nearly $300,000 the station was expecting. BITV has used its B News program to rally supporters for its cause. The station has also lobbied the council at nearly every public meeting and took to the streets last week to protest the cuts.

The council has held firm, stressing that the city has no obligation to fund BITV. City leaders believe there are several lower-cost options for broadcasting city meetings, and that much of the nearly $300,000 can be put toward shoring up the city’s fragile budget.

So, what do you think? Should the city restore BITV’s funding? Should the city give some – but not all – of the money? Or, should the city find another lower-cost broadcasting alternative and let BITV find other sources of income? Head over to the poll on the right to cast your vote.

As for the last Bainbridge Conversation poll, it looks like most of this blog’s readers want the municipal court to stay on Bainbridge Island. Sixty percent of the 100 voters said it’s important to have the court in the community it serves. Forty percent voted in favor of the move, saying relocation to Poulsbo will save some desperately needed money. As you may have read, the council voted late last month to begin negotiations to move the court.

8 thoughts on “New poll: Should the city fund BITV?

  1. The question should be, Should the PEG (Public Education Government) fees and the Franchise fees which are collected by Comcast from Comcast subscribers, be used as they have historically been used, to fund Public Access Television?

  2. At the council’s direction, the city administration has spent the last week gathering information about how other jurisdictions broadcast city meetings, and the various costs involved.

    Due diligence should be conducted prior to making a decision regarding whether or not to cut funding.

  3. Why should BITV be first among equals and retain all (or even half, if your poll results support that — I believe it should say “some,” not necessarily halF) funding because they provide a valuable community service when the arts community, whcih makes as compelling an argument, loses 100% of their funding?

    At a wonderful event late last month, BI Arts and Crafts appealed to the community and received strong financial support from donors to enable them to keep their programs alive. With two channels on which to put forth a call for donations, BITV instead appears to be campaigning on an “it’s all or nothing” platform.

    I do look forward to seeing them present a more moderate approach to the council/city admin and to a disclosure of where/what other funds they get, which got derailed in Wednesday’s council meeting. In addition to donations, they currently get all membership funds, all underwriting, and any grants they can capture. We may be seeing only part of the picture and I’d like to see the council see the whole.

  4. at least of the 21 no votes, only Comcast subscriber votes should be counted since only subscribers are paying this ‘tax’

    IOW, Tristan, this ‘poll’ is bogus

  5. Tristan, How about this:

    Should Comcast customers refuse to pay next months Comcast subscriber fees to protest the City’s plan to repurpose these subcriber fees to cover shortfalls in a top heavy administration?

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