Committee Corner: June 2021

Committee Corner: June 2021

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:  Bob Duthaler (Chairs), Dave Garb (Vice Chair)

The meeting consisted of reports by all the committee chairs with a focus on the JAG Awards and the Eastern Video Expo.  Other items discussed were establishing an annual date to change the members only password and establishing a special membership discount rate for those that attended the conference.  Both were approved.  The Managing Director presented a Conference Marketing Plan that would spread out distribution of content about the conference across the next three months.  Each month a different component would be explored and include a variety of conference articles for our newsletter combined with the release of a specific group of videos of conference events.  The board unanimously agreed.  This will begin in JAG’s June Newsletter that will come out at the end of the month and continue in July, August, and September.

EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Geoffrey Belinfante (Chair), Dustin Dumas (Vice Chair)

Since much of our newsletter this month will cover the success of our virtual Eastern Video Expo, I thought I would report on the ongoing struggles we on the External Relations Committee have experienced trying to understand how we can best use social media to increase awareness of JAG and by extension increase membership.  We see increases in website traffic, and hits on our YouTube page, but we haven’t seen any great increase in membership.  Right now, the same seems to be true with ads that we purchased on Facebook to promote the Conference.  We have seen little evidence that those ads have generated registrations.  It’s a little like the used car salesman who does the pitch but can’t seem to close the deal.  We know these things take time, and certainly there can be no doubt that the social media presence is worthwhile, but ultimately there is no better substitute for a person-to-person recommendation.  If you know of an organization, independent producer, or even a supplier who might benefit from membership.  Please let me know.  Geoff Belinfante External Relations Chair. geoffbel512@gmail.com

FINANCE COMMITTEE:  Linda Besink (Chairs), Jeff Arban (Vice Chair)

Thanks to all members who have paid their dues for 2021.  Please consider joining the Finance Committee.  We do important work with a minimal time commitment – one meeting per month for about a half hour.  We can always use another set of eyes.  For more info email lbesink@gmail.com.

PRODUCTION COMMITTEE:  Lee Beckerman (Chair), Anthony Pagliuco (Vice Chair)

The Production Committee met on June 15th.  We discussed video testimonials for the website and have determined we are good with them for the time being, but that we may consider seeking out some limited higher profile ones in the fall at the League of Municipalities Conference.  Lee distributed a rough draft of the first script in a series on how to shoot an interview titled “How to choose a location”.  The Committee will review the script and submit notes.  The videos from the Conference were discussed and the committee will work to edit and brand the sessions and distribute them in concert with other marketing efforts by the JAG leadership.  We are also working to create a new JAG highlights/sizzle reel for the League of Municipalities floor booth to replace the current one which is over 5 years old.

Legislation Committee:  Dave Garb (Chair), Linda Besink (Vice Chair)

The 621 Order Update:  6th District Court made a decision on this order.  The good news is that they ruled to knock down the value calculation of what your station “X” amount will be.  The FCC is not going to be dealing with this for now, but they left the door open to revisit it in the future.  They are still trying to figure out the Mixed Used Rule, since we are not just cable anymore.  And PEG Channel Capacity is also status quo, for now.

Now the bad news.  They did impose the fee on information services.  The court has decided that In-Kind Benefits could be treated as franchise fees.  This is basically equivalent to a tax!   However, if these benefits are to be deducted from the franchise fees, it has to be done so at cost, not fair market value & the company cannot profit from its obligations.  This also precludes possible derivation of revenue from Broadband that the cable industry provides.  More will be coming on how to deal with this in future articles.

As we had heard during the video expo, Closed Captioning is beginning to rise to the forefront once again.  Now don’t start to freak out, but we must start to plan for it.  The bottom line about this is that currently the FCC doesn’t require us to carry it, however, if someone with disabilities from your township demands it, we need to provide it through the ADA requirements.  Otherwise, lawsuits could occur and it could be costly.

You need to find out what the civic structure of your municipality is and access the needs of your citizens.  Even down to the individual.  While doing so, try to keep in mind, how do we pass our obligations on to them?

The Legislative Committee is in constant need of your eyes, ears, thoughts and contacts in order to keep PEG informed and fresh in the minds of all of our lawmakers.  For further information on our work, or if you would like to join our committee, please contact me.

Membership Committee:  Stephanie Gibbons (Chair), Darryl Love (Vice Chair)

First I would like to welcome three new members: the towns of Kenilworth and Fanwood and Independent Producer Patricia Dunn. The committee will be reviewing member suggestions and requests that came from the results of the survey and present its recommendations to the Executive board.  The committee has been working with the Finance and External Relations committees along with the JAG’s Managing Director and its President to make sure members are receiving information through all the avenues of communication: the listserv, newsletter, access to the member’s only section of the website and access to the Connect server for sharing content. If you believe you are not receiving any of these items please contact me at: Stgibbons@verizon.net.

The committee continues its efforts in reaching out to members who have not yet renewed their membership this year.  Please consider joining the membership committee. Our next meeting is scheduled for Jul. 6 Stgibbons@verizon.net.

Leadership Development Committee:  Dave Garb (Chair), Doug Seidel (Vice Chair)

One of our continuing objectives in the Leadership Committee is to reach out to all of our members to discuss the importance of joining one of our other committees. Doing so will add your skills to the effort of assisting JAG to grow and continue to be the voice of the New Jersey PEG community.  This LDC Committee focuses on the development and promotion of JAG by reinventing our marketing strategies and social media platforms.  We also aid and work with all of JAG’s other committees to help them achieve their individual goals.

At our recent Eastern Video Expo, we reinstated the Recognition Award to honor an outstanding member who has contributed to JAG’s success.  This year’s recipient is Doug Seidel.  Doug was voted to receive this honor which recognizes his overwhelming involvement by serving on a number of our very active committees.  His creative ideas and technical expertise has moved JAG in a new and professional direction.  The work Doug has done, especially in making this year’s video expo succeed, shows that he is truly one of our future leaders.

We are also going over our Policy and Procedure documents and updating different sections as needed.  Chairs and/or Vice Chairs from their respective committees make up the Leadership Development Committee (LDC), as well as those individuals that are skilled and knowledgeable in areas that are needed to make this committee shine.

JAG Awards Committee:  George Fairfield (Chairs), Bob Nicholson (Vice Chair)

The JAG Awards committee thanks everyone who attended the Awards Presentation.  You all made it a big success.  Congratulations to all the winners.  Your award certificate(s) are on their way to you.  The winners will have the option to purchase a trophy with your specific award on it.  The information is to follow soon.   If you have any questions, please email gfairfield@piscatawaynj.org.

Conference Committee:  Bob Duthaler/ Geoffrey Belinfante (Co-Chair) George Fairfield (Vice Chair)

In the final month prior to the Eastern Video Expo the committee met weekly.  During this time the final details were put in place and those last minute fires were put out.  We reached out to all our sponsors and panelists to ensure their involvement would go smoothly and addressed any final questions.  Just prior to the expo we spent time working with Zoom technical support to build the 53 different events that would happen over the three days on the conference.  We also spent time instructing the 9 moderators, 5 virtual trade show booth hosts, 6 infinity table hosts, and 12 Vendor presentation hosts on the operation of their events.  That may seem like a lot of people but surprisingly it was done with nine committee members.  Eight months of preparation was complete and we were ready to “Go Where JAG Had Never Gone Before”.  Over the next three months there will be many articles written and videos posted that will tell the story of JAG’s Virtual Eastern Video Expo 2021.  We hope we succeeded in fulfilling our obligation to the membership.