JANUARY 12, 2005


Convened: 5:33 p.m.

Adjourned: 7:00 p.m.


Present were:      Chairperson Councillor Joseph M. Petty

                             Councillor Juan A. Gomez @ 5:50 p.m.

                             Councillor Barbara G. Haller, temporary member

Cable TV Advisory Committee Members William S Wood, Jack Lahey, Michaelene B. Mundras, William Nay, Michael J. Cicero and Thomas Colletta


Also:                    City Manager Michael V. O’Brien

                             DPW Staffperson Robert Fiore

                             Deputy City Solicitor Michael Traynor

                             Telecommunications Staffperson Judy Warren

                             Charles Campbell, Worcester Public Schools

                             Technical Services Director Paul Covello

                             City Clerk David J. Rushford, clerk





1.       Petition of Councillor Joseph Petty request the City of Worcester assume the lease cost for streetlight in front of 29 Tallawanda Drive.

          #12 CC November 30, 2004

Recommend Approval




Speakers concerning the renewal of the contract for providing cable television services in the City of Worcester:


1.                             Rev. Michael Bafaro, 53 East Central Street, Worcester

2.                             Jay O’Brien, 244 Belmont Street, Apt # 103, Worcester

3.                             Scott J. Babbitt, 244 Belmont Street, Apt # 811, Worcester

4.                             Barbara T. White, 38 Upland Gardens Drive, Worcester

5.                             Michael Bowie, 11 Forbes Street, Worcester

6.                             Mauro DePasquale, 146 Morningside Road, Worcester

7.                             Phil George, 3602 Knightsbridge Close, Worcester

8.                             Sylvia Jaffee, 49 Lynnwood Lane, Worcester

9.                             Frank Beshai, 42 Orton Street, Worcester

10.                        Ramona Marangos, 15 Algonquin Road, Worcester

11.                        Judy Langlois, 117 Morningside Road, Worcester

12.                        Zara Dedi, Channel 13 receptionist

13.                        Michael J. Armendo, Creston Street, Worcester, via e-mail

14.                        Pat Cushman, via e-mail

15.                        Yvette Prayor, via e-mail

16.                        Fran Anthes, Crown Hill resident, via e-mail



Chairman’s Order request the City Manager provide the City Council with an outline of the services provided under the terms of the current contract for cable services from Charter Communications.


Chairman’s Order request the City Manager provide the City Council with quarterly reports on resolutions to cable television issues.


Chairman’s Order request the City Manager to obtain from Charter Communications for the information of the City Council a complete listing of the various discounts offered to subscribers.


Chairman’s Order request the City Manager provide the City Council with information identifying what the technology access is that we need over the next ten years as a community, and how do we include the various components to achieve same in a cable contract.


Chairman’s Order request the City Manager provide the City Council with a list of all recent financial and in-kind contributions made by Charter to community efforts.


Chairman’s Order request the City Manager request Charter Communications engage with Advisory Committee to answer following questions:



On November 4, 2004, Charter made the following statement in its Form 10-Q Quarterly Report to the Securities and Exchange Commission:  We have a history of net losses. Further, we expect to continue to report net losses for the foreseeable future. Our net losses are principally attributable to insufficient revenue to cover the combination of operating costs and interest costs we incur because of our high level of debt, depreciation expenses that we incur resulting from the capital investments we have made and continue to make in our business, and amortization and impairment of our franchise intangibles. We expect that these expenses (other than amortization and impairment of franchises) will remain significant, and we therefore expect to continue to report net losses for the foreseeable future.”  What effect will these growing losses have on the Worcester operations?



Are the Worcester operations' revenues separately reported to corporate?



What are the assets of the Worcester operations as "assets" were discussed by Carl Vogel in the November 5, 2002 analyst conference call?



Does Charter intend to divest any "non-strategic assets" of the Worcester operations as discussed by Carl Vogel in the November 5, 2002 analyst conference call?



Have the assets of the Worcester operations been specifically pledged at any time since September 3, 2001 so as to secure any credit facilities used for general corporate purposes?



Given Charter's current debt load, is the company in violation, technical or otherwise, of any of its covenants associated with any debt or credit facilities?



With a reduced capital expenditure program proposed for 2003, what capital expenditures will Charter make for the Worcester operations?



Has Charter been notified by any Issuing Authority in any state that it is in violation or default of its License?



What are the separate churn figures for Charter's analog, digital, and modem customers?


Chairman’s Order request the City Manager report to the City Council the feasibility of creating a public electric company in the City of Worcester.


Points to consider:

1.                             programming broadcast throughout Worcester County

2.                             billing, service shut-off and collection issues

3.                             electronic bill payment problems

4.                             rates and multiple providers

5.                             hp community representation

6.                             community programming and countywide broadcasting

7.                             choices of cable providers

8.                             customized programming as an options

9.                             ethnic programming, listing of public access programs through Charter

10.                        franchise peg fee

11.                        reduced rates for social security and public sector retirees

12.                        changes to the billing cycle

13.                        on-hold call issues


Communications of the City Manager


2.       Relative to government channel policies.

          #16A CM  May 28, 2002

          In Committee January 13, 2003 – Held

          In Committee May 3, 2004 - Held

Recommend Hold


3.       Relative to issues regarding Charter Communications.

          #15B CM  May 20, 2003

          In Committee May 3, 2004 – Held

Recommend Hold


4.       Relative to outstanding Charter Communications items.

          #15B CM  July 1, 2003

          In Committee May 3, 2004 – Held

Recommend Hold


5.       Relative to a supplemental list of items concerning cable television.

          #15D CM  August 12, 2003

          In Committee May 3, 2004 – Held

Recommend Hold


6.       Relative to a notice from Charter Communications concerning its introduction of CableCARDs beginning on July 1, 2004.

          #15A CM  June 1, 2004

Recommend Hold


Communication of James DelSignore, City Auditor


7.       Transmitting report relative to City receiving proper compensation under the franchise agreement between the City and Charter Communications.

          #150 CC  August 12, 2003

          In Committee May 3, 2004 – Held

          In Committee June 23, 2004 – Held

Recommend Hold