Minutes for Keep BT Local Cooperative 2017/08/28
Board Members Present: Alan Matson, Andy Montroll, Al Wagener, Dave Mount, David Lansky, Megan Epler Wood
Via Phone: None
Other KBTL members present: Shay Totten
Location: Alan Matson’s Office, 5 Lawson Lane, Burlington, VT 05401
Meeting Monday, 5:30 PM, August 28, 2017
1. Call to order – 5:34 PM
2. Appoint Scribe – Al W.
3. Approve Minutes from 06/19, 06/26, 07/17, 08/09 – Approved.
4. Public awareness –
a. Communications Strategy – Alan and perhaps others will attend tonight’s CC meeting.
Al W. & Alex Chaffee made some changes to website
1. PR group
2. Press and press inquiries – We expect to hold a press conference before leafletting.
3. Emails to members re bid, upcoming events, etc. – We plan to email members to report on CC meeting and upcoming leaflet.
4. Talking points, written pieces, etc. – A leaflet is being written for citywide distribution.
There was discussion about the history of Adelphia/Comcast, which led to creation of BT: A local, homegrown telecom began as state-of-art, was sold and re-sold, but the larger companies that bought it had no interest in updating it. They claimed that Burlington was too small a market to justify the expense. It was agreed that “we’ve already seen this movie”. Why would we want to watch it again? It was suggested that it would make a good cartoon: Little fish being eaten by bigger fish, with the biggest fish waiting nearby. The City thinks they can prevent it by putting limits on future sale, but why would we want someone who no longer wants to run a business to keep running it?
Other thoughts expressed were:
That the current approach disqualifies the civic engagement that has created the Burlington we know and love. Further, that civic engagement has been hollowed out for the benefit of a few people.
That the stage was set by the deal made with Bluewater, which entitles it to 40% of the proceeds and veto power over any bid which either does not exceed an undisclosed value or does not provide an undisclosed amount of that value in cash.
That Burlington Telecom is worth $30M to at least one bidder, but the City wants to sell it away for $15M, not to the people who own it, but to somebody else.
There was a brief discussion about the leaflet and possible trainings for people who will distribute it.
5. Timeline – Not discussed.
6. Member Equity discussion – Not discussed.
End Executive Session
8. New Business – None.
9. Next meeting date/location – 5:30, 9/11 at Alan Matson’s Office
10. Adjourn – 6:56 PM