Presentation on theme: "1 About the Cable Franchise We have been silent, since we filed the lawsuit."— Presentation transcript:
1 About the Cable Franchise We have been silent, since we filed the lawsuit.
2 I was voted in by the people in 1998 to build and operate a Cable TV. Franchise in the city limits of Blackwell.
3 The City forced us to go to a “Vote Of The People”, even though they could of just simply approved it.
4 They did not believe we would be able to pull it off.
5 The fact is many of our leaders worked against us starting rumors.
6 The City never tried to help us, in fact quite the opposite.
7 What did we do to create such animosity? The fact is we did nothing improper! Other then we built it, when they thought we couldn’t!
8 Time is our testament. Our problem was we did too good of a job, or we did not fail like expected.
9 We were successful, and our customers liked us, we thanked them and treated them with kindness. We loved them because they chose and supported us.
10 We did strange things, like put a camera in our office so they could watch us work on our head-end equipment.
11 We put a camera on top of the grain elevator, and played music. Occasional pointing it at the City buildings.
12 We filmed football games, parades, the Kay Co. Fair.
13 We filmed weather events, provided weather radar and live storm coverage. We even had our own storm spotters.
14 I loved doing the weather, but kind of lost interest after the City started attacking me. they tried to make me stop doing it, claiming I was endangering the town.
15 We worked our tails off. 60 hours a week minimum, never got a vacation, we were on call 24hrs a day, and we barely saw our children.
16 And there was never enough money to pay ourselves during the first 8 years.
17 We struggled financially, just like most of our customers. We understood and tried to work with them when they were short.
18 We lost a lot of money being nice, but it paid off in the long haul. I certainly hold no grudges, life is to short. Besides I can’t remember anyways.
19 We worked with our customers, never calling them and harassing them for money.
20 We would put up on TV, “We NEED YOUR Payment, X- Number of people have not yet came in.” It worked better than postage. The City didn’t like that either. We just tried to save money, keep low prices.
21 Our customers knew we needed their support, those payments built this system. I owe you back. I haven’t forgotten. So that is why I fight for what I believe is right for all of us.
22 And Julie knew every single one of you by name. Plus your address, your kids, parents, cousins, and how much you owed.
23 We did what we said we were going to do! You can’t fault us on that. This is a tough town to go to church in, I think we got invited twice.
24 We tried very hard but were never excepted. That’s because of the City’s tactics against us, and they let it be known.
25 It took this franchise battle and Julie’s death to truly discover what was really behind their actions, and I truly believe this with all my heart.
26 We were liked by the plain folk, those ones that didn’t have something to hide, gain, or loose.
27 The City knows this, they were worried and still are. Our mistake was, that we were more popular than they were. They will go to any length to prove and discredit us. Just like this franchise battle.
28 Is this not the most stupid thing you ever seen. They have spent so much money, just to throw a local person out of town, it should be criminal. They will lie to you and say that’s not true, but I will testify in the name of my father it’s true.
29 We tried to support the City, and in our own way, we did. Low cable prices saved everyone thousands of dollars. That saved money, in turn, went back into the local economy.
30 We also paid the City $20,000 dollars yearly in electric usage that would of not otherwise been available, if we were not voted in by you. Today it is more like $44,850 a year. We’re in the same boat as you, just bigger.
31 Yes, it’s true, we paid our franchise fees late. We always struggled. It was a rough eight years.
32 My City never helped me, my Chamber never helped me, the BIA, tried to destroy me. Cordell was in the BIA in the 1990’s. He was there when DW Boyd was the BIA attorney, and Boyd said there was no contamination on the smelter property.
33 We came out in support for the school when they needed a new roof, parking lot, and Gym.
34 We offered to build the school a fiber optic system that tied all the schools together, FOR FREE.
35 Instead they went with AT&T and paid them.
36 We provided the City, Police Dept. and Fire Station with Free Internet for 7 years.
37 They canceled my service and now pay AT&T $1,500 a month.
38 Now our franchise says I must build studios at the High School and City Hall at my expense. City Hall always refused to allow us to film their meetings. Now they want me to build them a studio.
39 Now I am required to give 3% of all revenues collected, in addition to the Franchise Fee, as a Grant to the school. This will be Billed to you, so they can run a community access channel.
40 I must give this to the school as a grant, paid to them quarterly. If I fail to do so, they will cancel our Franchise.
41 I’m told I must not lease out Ch. 2 to iRock Inc., Taxpayers for Transparency, or any other third party, this is in direct violation of federal law which says I must. I must have City approval and follow their rules. Government Censorship.
42 If I don’t stop leasing our Channel 2, they can fine me, cancel our Franchise, and take my cable system. There is even a clause that says after they take my cable system, I have to run it for the City for 12 months. FREE
43 Who could agree to Franchise terms like those? Could you?
44 Would you spend 10 years of your life building a good business and agree to a contract with the City that said they could take it away from you and make you work for them for free. Sounds like communism to me.
45 There are so many catch “22’s” in this document. So much reporting that we will be spending all our time doing meaningless tasks and our customers will be the ones that will pay and suffer from it.
46 The City’s Franchise is now a 39 page document in small print. The original was only 7 pages long.
47 The Pole Rental Agreement is another example of unrealistic demands upon us.
48 They are requiring me to pay $3.50 per attachment. There are multiple attachments on many of the poles.
49 The agreement says the BMA is the owner of the poles. This is a lie, the BMA does not own the poles, the citizens do. The BMA leases them.
53 We the citizens, through the City of Blackwell, own the poles. The Blackwell Municipal Authority, (BMA) manages our utility systems and they take all the revenues. The BMA simply leases the systems from the City. The revenues all go to the BMA to guarantee the notes it barrowed from the banks. This Franchise, the City is forcing me to sign, says that the BMA owns the poles.
54 For the BMA to say that they own the poles is like your landlord finding out you took out a mortgage on your rental home.
55 Federal law allows Cities to collect up to 5% of gross revenues for the use of the public right of ways.
56 The City wanted 5% of all our revenues which will be billed to you and pole rental of $3.50 per attachment. To disguise this illegal scheme, they are trying to get me to go along with breaking State and Federal laws. By signing a contract that says the BMA owns the poles.
57 My forced signing will then allow them to charge other users in the future like AT&T pole rental. Another legal battle that will cost you dearly.
58 I know I have spent a ton fighting this Franchise Agreement, I can only imagine how much a big corporation like AT&T would be willing to spend.
59 The City is also pulling this on Freeport. The BMA is suing Freeport, too.
61 The City wants Freeport to pay the BMA so that City/citizens cannot have control of the money.
62 The City leases all the revenue producing utilities to the BMA for $1.00, yet the City bills you, collects it, then gives all the money to the BMA.
63 Then the BMA divides this money up, and gives the City what it originally put in its budget.
64 If, Sally did not put enough on the budget, then they are short.
65 Then WA-La, City is $500,000 short.
66 The City brings in $14 million. Now they are going to increase electric costs 10%, water and sewer 25%, and trash 45%.
67 The accountant told them they were doing very good. In fact, the City banked $1.5 million more in one fund and $1.3 million in another fund, but the somehow City budget was going to be $200,000 underfunded.
68 And the accountant did not recommend a rate increase.
69 So at the next council meeting they brought in an opposite opinion, and said we were going to be $500,000 short and you need to raise rates.
70 OK, I went to Blackwell High, but I figure we got about $3 million more than we need in two other areas, and $500,000 short in another area. That means we got $2.5 million. So we simple amend the budget.
71 Oh, that’s right Sally has never filed an amended budget before, so they don’t know how to do it. But they do know how to raise rates.
72 They agreed to wait until after the elections to raise the rates. Or see if anyone runs against them next week.
73 Is there truly not anyone in this town who can run. Surely there is someone who cares, who is willing to work hard, study the issues, and make common sense decisions. Its just two days a month. Meetings only last 15 minutes, and you get to spend 14 million dollars.
74 You can sign up to run on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this coming week. That the 11 th 12 th and 13 th of January.
75 Anyone who lives on the East side of Main can sign up. That’s Nita Carroll’s district.
76 And anyone who lives between Main and 13 th and on the North side of Ferguson and South side of McKinley can run against Max Wirtz.
77 Back to our cable franchise.
78 We were required to attend a settlement conference. We went and talked about it, that was our mistake, they then claimed we had an agreement, I never agreed to any of it other than a 10 year term.
79 But somehow even after the judge ruled we had cause on, Defamation, 5 th and 14 th Amendment Due Process Violations, and Violations of the Cable Act…
80 …he ruled we had a verbal agreement. So we never got our day in court.
81 We are now forced to appeal this decision. And we did appeal it Monday.
82 If we loose, and can’t get to court...
83 …this could be the last of these messages.
84 We will have to behave! You will be on your own!
85 Just kidding I’m not going to stop until we get the job done, It’s time for you to help, now is the time!!!
86 Here are the goals!
87 1. Bid out our Electricity to get the lowest price.
88 2. Use City employees to run our water and sewer system once again.
89 3. Establish a group of monitors to watch the clean-up and fine them if they don’t follow well established standards..
90 4. Test all our City employees who have been forced to expose themselves to hazardous waste
91 5. Determine possible liability costs for the City employees and any uninformed contractors that were possible exposed.
92 6. Do not even consider settling with Freeport until we know everything!
93 7. Begin testing all children not just for lead but cadmium, antimony and silver.
94 8. Fight to get Blackwell back on the National Priority Listing.
95 9. Get the CDC into town and help to resolve longstanding issues.
Push to bring charges against the guilty and let the rest GO to testify for us.
Re-Empanel a new environmental steering committee.
Dissolve the BMA or limit its use.
99 Mark Cordell Max Wirtz Brad Becthel Nita Carroll Hudsonpillar
100 We also need the people to understand, that your City filed suit against Freeport only for damages to its property. They did not and are not suing for your personal injuries.
101 All past and present City employees are not covered. They are not doing anything for you!
102 Just recently a major water line broke on the Site, and the City of Blackwell sent its employees to dig in the contamination without protection.
103 In 1992 the EPA tested the very same spot wearing disposable coveralls, booties, gloves, and a full- face air-purifying respirator to collect just a few small dirt samples.
104 That area contains elevated Thorium. Thorium is used in producing nuclear fusion, hence Thorium Rods.
105 This same area, where you dump your trash off and played baseball (13 th Street and West Blackwell) contains high levels of Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Antimony, and Arsenic. Arsenic is a known cancer causer.
106 Anyone who dug on the site, played ball at the Ball Field located on the corner of Blackwell and 13 th, or worked on the Industrial Park are likely to have been exposed to heavy metals. Safeguard your medical records you may need them.
107 Here is a partial list on what to look for. Kidney problems persistent fatigue poor coordination premature birth learning disabilities seizures or coma bladder cancer lung cancer memory problems miscarriages colon cancer
108 Abnormal heart rhythm aggressive behavior anemia edema skin cancer muscle weakness decreased bone density inability to concentrate muscle weakness COPD leukemia progressive supra nuclear palsy
109 Brittle nails with Mee’s lines encephalopathy hyperkeratosis peripheral neuropathy polyneuropathy proteinuria headaches hair loss Lou Gehrig disease type II diabetes birth defects neurological Lupus
110 Our Smelter was not just your run of the mill smelter…
111 In 1939, it was reported that the Blackwell Zinc Smelter was the third largest in the World.
112 Our Zinc Smelter was the largest in the United States.
113 In 1951, the Blackwell Zinc Co. finished construction on the largest sintering plant in the US. The Sintering Plant consisted of 3 separate building with a combined 81,000 square feet of floor space.
114 The Sintering Plant had over 4,800 feet of belt conveyers and the average sinter output during the first year was 18.2 tons per hour. The plant consumed up to 300,000 cubic feet of natural gas PER DAY.
115 Blackwell supplied 13% of the cadmium for the entire US. It sold million pounds from this smelter.
116 This Zinc smelter produced 3,359,920 tons….THATS TONS of ZINC 3.34 million tons
117 The water discharge reports from March 1973 indicated the overflow from the smelter pond that went into the legion park creek and eventually into the Chikaskia where we got our water from. 68,115,333 gallons of water discharge into our creek that the children play in and the City still refuses to put up warning signs.
118 In 1971 OU conducted a air quality program and they were measuring sulfur admissions. The guys tried to conduct the measurements from the site but they were so high they could not use them. They had to go a mile away before the reading lowered enough to determine a pattern of emissions.
119 There has been documented releases of airborne waste of 85 Million pounds.
120 The debris from broken condensers, retorts, and slag is enough to bury Blackwell in one foot of this highly contaminated waste.
121 If you dare to challenge the fact that Blackwell isn’t highly contaminated, you must have something to loose personally.
122 If you (The City) are afraid to admit the seriousness of this situation, we are not. You can stay with your podium and keep your job. The rest of us have our quality of life to save.
123 Also, don’t forget to sign up to run against Max Wirtz and Nita Carrol beginning Monday morning on the 11 th, 12 th, and the 13 th of next week. Come by 1004 W. Doolin and get your donation, after you signed up for candidacy. - Greg Deffner