If elected Mayor, I will place a small line in the city budget which will provide $6,000.00 dollars in funding for the Public Access Commission. This line item will be strictly for rental of studio space for Public Access Television. It will be the responsibility of the P.A. Commission to raise additional money or to seek funding from other participating municipalities for additional equipment.
I consider it very important that Public Access be restored. I cannot begin to tell you how many people have asked me when or if Public Access is returning. It might surprise some to know that this question is the most frequent question I have been receiving while campaigning door to door this year for Mayor. People in Kingston miss Public Access and very much want it restored.
Public Access allows not only for people to have their own programs, but also gives the Mayor, Common Council, and city government the opportunity to make important announcements and inform the public of the happenings of city government. Private businesses, church groups, and private organizations were able to use the community calendar to announce upcoming events and functions. There were programs offered by politicos, doctors, lawyers, religious organizations, patrons of the arts, and even private citizens talking baseball and other sports. It is a valuable tool and was enjoyed by many citizens.
I promise that if I am elected Mayor, I will restore Public Access Television and, if necessary, submit legislation to reforge the Public Access Commission. Considering that the City of Kingston receives over $300,000.00 a year from the franchise fee on people's cable bills, there is no reason why $6,000.00 cannot be found in a yearly budget of over $34 million to return Public Access Television to the air. This is especially so in light of recent news of a nearly $1 million dollar surplus from the 2010 budget.