Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fayetteville's Telecom Board

Greg Harton had a very insightful article on the problems occurring on the Telecom Board.
The Government Channel has made its own news lately as Mayor Dan Coody's public information and policy advisor, Susan Thomas, took on the role of enforcing Government Channel policies after she fired longtime city employee Marvin Hilton. Hilton had served as a proverbial punching bag for some members of the Telecommunication Board, and he took it. Thomas, who is no shrinking violet, required only a few weeks before she'd had enough and started pressing for clarity of authority and policy when it came to Government Channel policies and procedures and the role of the Telecom Board. It apparently got nasty enough that Thomas asked to be relieved of her role of interaction with the Telecom Board until clear lines of authority and policy were established.

While blame is being scattered among the Telecom Board, the Administration and a few aggressive public members, the final authority is the City Council. It's their responsibility to make sure that the Telecom Board members are fulfilling their responsibilities and are following the policies and procedures of the Telecom Board. The City Council has the authority to remove any member who isn't compliant. That may be seen by some of the more activist people as limiting free speech but the Council has a duty to the public to make sure that the Telecom Board is working. I agree with Greg that the Board is an ongoing disappointment and I think it's time for the Council to get some balls and deal with it.

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