GRAND JURY'S REPORT ON:
FINDING 1 - RECOMMENDATION 1:
Finding 1: The County of Santa Barbara has franchises coming up for renewal within the next five years. All cities in the County except Guadalupe have a cable franchise that will have to be renewed during that time period.
Recommendation 1: "The County of Santa Barbara and its cities should start now to plan for their franchise renewals by studying available technological information and selecting the best qualified staff to head such important telecommunications review."
The City of Carpinteria's franchise agreement with Cox Cable expires in the year 2000. The City recognizes the need to commence the research and planning process far in advance of that date and has begun that process. Currently, the City is exploring the advantages and disadvantages of joining the City and County of Santa Barbara in a collective renewal process.
As with any process that involves continually changing technology, the City is cognizant of and actively involved in information exchanges, professional educational opportunities regarding cable operations in general and the renewal process specifically.
The Carpinteria City Manager has experience in negotiating a franchise renewal in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area that had a 10 city cable consortium. The appropriate staff member(s) will be selected and professional educational opportunities will be made available to provide the necessary skills and comprehensive understanding of telecommunication to ensure the City of Carpinteria receives maximum benefits from its franchise renewal process.
FINDING 2 - RECOMMENDATION 2:
Finding 2: Because of the rapidly changing telecommunications technology, the County of Santa Barbara and its cities need to work together to develop a common plan for telecommunications needs and services in the County.
Recommendation 2: "The County of Santa Barbara and its cities should explore establishing a joint powers authority to develop regional telecommunication policies and long term strategies."
Grand Jury Response
Calbe TV Franchise Renewal
Absolutely, Consortiums of cities who, through joint powers authority, are very successful in other parts of the nation and together are able to secure and maintain quality operations that meet current and also provide for future, as yet undetermined, needs.
The City of Carpinteria would support exploring the concept and development of a multi-City consortium to develop regional telecommunication policies and long term strategies. No one city now has, or will have in the future, all the resources and expertise to address the complex subject of telecommunications.
FINDINGS 3, 4, 6, 7, AND 8 AND RECOMMENDATIONS 3, 4, 6A, 6B, 7 AND 8A, 8B
These Findings and Recommendations are directed only to the City of Santa Barbara. It would be inappropriate for the City of Carpinteria to respond to questions relating to another City's operations