Atlanta Likely to Fund People TV for Another Year
(APN) ATLANTA — The City Council of Atlanta appears likely to approve a funding measure to extend the life of People TV, an Atlanta public access channel, for one year.
The Finance/Executive Committee unanimously approved the funding last week, at the November 30, 2011, meeting.
The proposed ordinance would transfer 180,000 dollars from the non-departmental budget for public access operations and support to People TV through the end of their current contract at the end of 2012.
The ordinance would also authorize the Mayor to enter a new agreement with a public access provider when the current agreement with People TV terminates.
“What this legislation does is that it appropriates money for People TV and public access through the duration of their contract,” Katrina Taylor-Parks, Office of the Mayor, told the Committee.
“And it authorizes the Mayor, once approved by Council, to go into a new agreement with another entity, with a new entity, at the expiration of their current contract,” Taylor-Parks said.
She added that the Mayor will be nominating new Board Members for People TV, something that his office has neglected to do for two years.
As APN had previously reported, Council Members Kwanza Hall (District 2), Natalyn Archibong (District 5), and CT Martin (District 10) had introduced an ordinance to appropriate funds to People TV; however, it did not specify an amount nor where the funds would be coming from.
This bill had been held in Finance/Executive Committee until last week, when the committee adopted a substitute bill, based on language proposed by Mayor Kasim Reed’s office.
Councilwoman Felicia Moore (District 9), however, proposed amending Reed’s language to making sure that if People TV is not able to create a business plan viable enough to sustain itself through the end of 2012, that the Council has a say in what other entity, if any, would provide public access programming for that cable channel. The Committee adopted Moore’s amendment.
“It says, if they’re unable to operate that the mayor is authorized to enter into an agreement with another entity for no more than one year with a new entity to operate as our public access provider using the funds appropriated herein,” Moore said.
“I would want to amend that to read that the Mayor be authorized, upon the approval of Council,” Moore said.
“Cause I don’t know who we’re just gonna pluck out of the air and I just don’t necessarily want to give a blanket authorization. I think the Council may want to weigh in on who this temporary replacement will be,” Moore said.
“It was the intent to go through a process when we begin to look for another provider–if it’s not still People TV–but there will be a process for chosing the provider beginning in January 2013 which would definitely include Council,” Taylor-Parks said.
“I just want to say that I thank you and I thank the Mayor’s office for really this great breakthrough for People TV,” F. Pres President, a producer from People TV, said.
“The work is not over… But with the involvement of producers and the general public… and of course with the City Council, we can put together a great strategic plan to take us through 2012, 2013, and beyond, with People TV,” President said.
“I do not see People TV closing its doors at the end of 2012 at all with a new entity. People TV is a part of the city. It is a beacon here. And we need to save People TV,” she said.