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COUNCIL MOVING AHEAD ON CABLE

The City of Brookings took another step toward fine tuning its efforts to offer residents a cable television alternative Monday night when it appointed Mayor Bob Hagbom and councilor Rick Dentino to the board of directors of Pelican Bay Telecommunications.

The 5-1 approval vote placed two more people on the board that will consist of two members of city government, two representatives of the port and one citizen at large. The Port of Brookings Harbor named commissioners Ken Byrtus and John Zia to the board last week. Port manager Russ Crabtree and city manager Leroy Blodgett will sit as non-voting members on the board. The citizen at large position will be appointed by city government.

At the council meeting, Brookings resident Martin Palmer asked to be considered for the position. He said he has 20 years experience in telecommunications and also has experience in finance and funding, which is something the television portion of the company needs.

The port founded Pelican Bay Telecommunications as a nonprofit corporation a year ago to offer a wireless Internet service to port businesses and residents of the lower harbor plateau area. When the council directed city staff to research the possibility of providing cable television to Brookings residents, it found it needed some administrators.

In exploring funding options, there needed to be an entity to oversee spending, Blodgett told the council. It was determined that (Pelican Bay Telecommunications) was the vehicle to drive this process.

Councilor Lorraine Kuhn vehemently opposed the proposal.

I dont think that the City of Brookings should be involved in a nonprofit organization of any kind, Kuhn said. We have a lot of other issues and I dont think we need to be involved with this.

She cited street and other infrastructure improvements as more important to city residents than offering an alternative cable television service.

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