COUNTY OF SANTA BARBARA

COUNTY OF SANTA BARBARA

Stephen Shane Stark

County Counsel

105 East Anapamu Street

Suite 201

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Telephone: (805)568-2950

FAX: (805) 568-2982

E-Mail: SSTARK@SBARBARA

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COUNTY COUNSEL

June 14, 1996

Honorable William J. Gordon, Presiding Judge

Santa Barbara Superior Court

County Courthouse

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Re: Response to Grand Jury Report on Cable TV Franchise Renewal.

County Counsel adopts the County Response prepared by the County Administrator as its Response to the pertinent recommendations and findings of the Grand Jury Report. We wish to add the following specific comments.

* The field of telecommunications is complex and rapidly changing. In order to take advantage of future developments in technology, the County should approach franchise renewal carefully and with a long view. We agree with the Grand Jury that County staff should be prepared for renewal by becoming well-informed in advance of renewal time, and that experts should be consulted as necessary to assist in the renewal process.

* Telecommunications law has been substantially changed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Before franchise renewal occurs, there may well be further changes in or interpretations of the law as it relates to local government regulation and franchising of cable TV. Communications law is, like the technology, complex and changing. County counsels and city attorneys throughout California are becoming educated about the impacts of the 1996 legal reform; we will participate in this effort. If necessary, we will advise the Board of Supervisors as to whether expert legal advice from outside counsel should be obtained in connection with franchise renewal.

We commend the Grand Jury for their forward-looking approach to the issue and for the hard work necessary to produce this thorough report.

Respectfully submitted,

STEPHEN SHANE STARK

County Counsel


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