Letter to the Editor


Community Volunteers and Residents Depend On RCTV

Submitted by Kathy Pouliot    1-14-21

To the Raymond Board of Selectmen:

Raymond Community Television (RCTV) is a crucial resource in our community. Especially now as we prepare to vote on March 10th about many important school and town issues. The School and Town Deliberative Sessions are happening soon on January 30th and February 6th, respectively. The importance of the services that RCTV provides cannot be overstated.

RCTV broadcasts and records town meetings and public hearings. Anyone can watch those meetings on television or online, as they are happening, real-time, or view those meetings later via an on-demand option online. In addition to broadcasting public meetings live and on-demand, RCTV broadcasts and streams public service announcements from recreational events to legal notices.

The main RCTV computer server that is used to perform all of the broadcasting and recording of meetings is in jeopardy as it is over 15 years old and is intermittently failing to perform properly. It may very well stop functioning, which could cause a lapse in services, and possibly necessitate emergency repair costs which can be very expensive especially when it comes to recovery and restoration of data.

When I worked for Raymond Coalition for Youth (RCFY) as the Communications Coordinator for over four years, I became aware of the immense resource RCTV is. That was before COVID-19 required many of the meetings to be held virtually, making RCTV’s services essential. RCTV recorded many RCFY programs and forums regarding important issues about drug trends in youth in our community, recovery and treatment resources, school services available to students and families, etc. Seeking support for any of these issues can be daunting and RCTV provides a discreet way to access helpful and possibly life-saving information.

Having also participated in the first iteration of the Solid Waste and Recycling Advisory Committee within the last two years, as the secretary, I can tell you that there were times I needed to watch meetings at home on RCTV so that I could review portions of the meeting that I needed clarification on, and to help make sure I had the minutes correct.

The funds required in order to replace the RCTV main server have already been raised (by Comcast subscribers) and are in a savings fund precisely for the purpose of maintaining and replacing equipment when needed. The purchase of a new main server for RCTV does not require any money from the Town of Raymond or Raymond taxpayers. There is no tax impact. This is what the money in their account is for. The fact that the fund has a substantial balance is proof that the Cable Committee does not spend money without it being absolutely necessary. I do not understand why the Board of Selectmen voted against the Cable Committee’s request to purchase a new server and I have already written to them to urge them to reconsider their vote.

I hope and pray that the RCTV server continues to function until after voting day, so that everyone in our community can watch the deliberative sessions and other important meetings being held in between now and then. Even if I am able to attend meetings in person and take notes and document amendments, I will still need to be able to review recordings of meetings.

Respectfully,
Kathy Pouliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Develop an attitude of Gratitude !!
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melody Beattie ~