Cable agreement still pending

Although the city and Time Warner Cable are close to closing the deal on a 10-year contract renewal, a few issues must be ironed out.

Since the last City Council meeting Oct. 28, the only change in the language of the contract had to do with parental control information. That was enough to make City Council member Elissa Yount express a desire Monday night to extend the public hearing yet again so that the public would have an opportunity to review the change.

Beyond the opportunity for public scrutiny of the contract, Yount expressed a concern about cable wires being wrapped around poles as a result of cable service cancellation or termination.

Cable wiring is frequently left in place in residential settings to facilitate the provision of service to the next occupant.

According to Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert, the issue was discussed in committee. He told the assembled council members that the committee had been advised that if dangling wires were an issue, they could be handled “with a phone call.”

Brad Phillips, a regional vice president for Time Warner, addressed the council, saying he had talked with his company’s construction department and had asked it to “sweep the county” and clean it up methodically. He indicated that this is an ongoing process.

“We’ll make sure we address it,” he assured the council.

Yount inquired of Phillips as to what would prevent Time Warner from leaving dangling wires in the future. Phillips replied, “What keeps us from doing this is we don’t want anything hazardous of ours in the streets.” He further advised the council that he was willing to go back to committee to discuss the issue.

Seifert continued to argue against a contract provision for the dangling wire issue, stating that the only recourse would be to quit the contract, something the city can already do with 30 days’ notice. Yount countered that there was a stronger chance of the problem being addressed if stated in the contract.

Council member-elect Robert Gupton showed the council photographs of dangling wires in the vicinity of Oxford Road. He claimed that although he had reported the wires six months ago, nothing had been done by Time Warner.

Although City Attorney John Zollicoffer came prepared with a resolution to extend the contract, Phillips advised the council that such a resolution was not necessary. Federal law allows service to continue without an extension so long as the parties involved are in active negotiation for a contract.

The contract expired Tuesday.

It was moved that the public hearing be continued until the Nov. 28 council meeting. Also stated in the motion was a request that the city attorney draft contract language to address the dangling wires. The motion passed unanimously.