Tuesday, May 24, 2011

County GOP Opposes Cable Fee Hike

Nashville, Tenn. –According to a news report this morning in The Tennessean, Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Nashville government are proposing major increases in the fee cable television subscribers pay for public, educational and government access channels, known as PEG programming.

Metro Government plans to charge and collect millions of dollars in higher fees from Davidson County television subscribers to make PEG channels available in high-definition quality, put new cameras in the mayor’s media room, purchase a mobile production van and build a new production studio. The media report states that Metro Nashville’s plan is to charge customers of Comcast Cable a 1,200 percent increase in their monthly PEG fee.

Kathleen Starnes

The Davidson County Republican Party opposes this plan, and offers the following statement by County GOP chair Kathleen Starnes:

At a time when families are watching every dollar, Metro Government is proposing huge fee increases on just about every household that has cable television service, so the government can go on a shopping spree and buy a bunch of toys for the IT department. The Davidson County Republican Party believes this is bad public policy and terrible timing in light of the economic challenges facing families.

Mayor Dean presented his budget and made a big deal about ‘no new taxes,’ but this is a tax increase, plain and simple. Government should be making plans to rein-in spending, not fattening its wallet for a spending binge on fluff, like making programs such as the Bat Poet and Something about Zombies available in high definition. The priorities of this administration appear to be out of step with Davidson County families and their budgets.

Let us be clear – the County GOP considers an open and accessible government an essential ingredient in its relationship with taxpayers. Metro Channel 3 works just fine and serves an important purpose, but it does not require new expensive bells and whistles, or expansion for the purpose of providing homemade TV shows and other non-essential programming. I encourage all residents of Davidson County to voice their opposition to this proposed fee by contacting their local council member and the Mayor’s office. County Republicans plan to make this fee increase a campaign issue and demand opposition to it by the candidates we endorse.

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