A lack of oversight of Mid-Coast Television resulted in a lack of program quality surveys and left station leaders to self regulate, outcomes the grand jury suggested should be changed in a seven-page report released yesterday.
Contractually obligated to two organizations, the city of Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, Mid-Coast Television was not given the financial oversight the public should expect. As a result, contractual actions like seeking new funding and conducting community surveys were not completed. A seven-page San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury report suggested a more cooperative relationship between the three groups to better serve the community.
MCTV is a nonprofit founded in 1983, which reaches 6,000 Comcast television subscribers. Programming includes recent public governmental meetings; archival footage of festivals and social events; archival public service and special interest shows; slideshows promoting local services and upcoming events; and candidate debates.
MCTV is contractually bound to two agencies that share responsibility for the funding and the oversight of the station, the county and the city of Half Moon Bay. The 1998 agreement with Half Moon Bay requires MCTV to develop a viewer survey as a tool for public feedback and improvements. No such survey was conducted, according to the grand jury report. The station has, however, expanded services available online.
The organization has one paid employee, the president and station manager. The Board of Directors approve operational policy. Earlier this year, the board voted to change the bylaws eliminating membership outside the board, which eliminated a member’s right to inspect station records.
Half Moon Bay city officials and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors should work with MCTV to communicate and coordinate agreements, according to the grand jury recommendations. The groups should also create a strategic plan to improve quality and relevance of service. New revenue sources for the station should be sought and improvement-based community services should be developed.
The full seven-page report can be viewed online at www.sanmateocourt.org/grandjury.