Harford Cable Network oversight rules changed

The Harford Cable Network Board will be required to constitute a quorum and to discuss the executive director's job performance annually instead of twice a year, under legislation passed by the county council last week.

The network will no longer have to get its own a financial audit by the county auditor, either, but will still be audited as part of the county council's regular annual audit.

The passed the legislation, which was introduced by Councilman Dion Guthrie, during its Jan. 10 legislative session.

In addition to providing some additional oversight of the cable network, the council also considered a revised rate card and bylaws for the organization, which is run under the direction of the county council

The network board, which is based at Harford Community College, will have to establish a majority of voting members for its board, instead of just eight voting members.

HCN's board consists of 14 members appointed by the county council, plus one council member who serves ex-officio and does not have a vote. In addition to one citizen appointed by each council member, the board members include one member each from the three cable companies serving the county, the president of HCC and four other citizens.

Guthrie said this week the law was changed so if the board is expanded in the future, it will always have to have a majority present in order to transact business.

With the passage of the legislation, the network will be required to meet with the council administrator yearly to discuss the job performance of the executive director.

No one spoke at the public hearing on the legislation.

HCN operates a cable channel that broadcasts local programs, including county council, school board and city council meetings in Havre de Grace and Aberdeen, local high school athletic events, educational and other public programming fare. The network's operating budget comes from franchise fee revenue the cable companies pay to the county, as well as from selling air time.

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