[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Buffalo 12-23-1997, effective 1-9-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Common Council of the City of Buffalo hereby finds and declares that the citizens of the City of Buffalo are entitled to the best possible service from telecommunications service providers. The City wishes to treat all telecommunications service providers in a nondiscriminatory and fair manner by creating to create an environment where telecommunications service providers can efficiently and effectively serve the citizens of the City of Buffalo. At the same time, the City must ensure that telecommunications service providers are complying with all applicable laws and regulations and any licensing or franchise agreements with the City.
It is, therefore, in the best interest of the City that an Office of Telecommunications be established. That Office would be charged with advising the City on franchise compliance, assisting various City departments in franchise matters, monitoring access operations, serving as a liaison between the public and the telecommunications service providers, keeping the City apprised of national and local developments in telecommunication issues and recommending policies and procedures pertaining to telecommunications to the City.
There is hereby established the Office of Telecommunications, to be administered by a Director, who shall be the head of the Office and who shall be appointed conjointly by the President of the Council and the Mayor and removable at the pleasure of the Common Council. The office shall have such other employees as the Common Council may provide.
The Director shall possess the ability to prepare clear, comprehensive, technical and administrative reports.
The duties of the Director shall include:
Submitting an annual report to the Common Council, Comptroller and Mayor on or before the 31st day of March each year. Said report shall include an analysis of the local cable company's compliance with the requirements of the franchise agreement, an analysis of current and prospective activities of telecommunications service providers with the City, an explanation of any legislative or technical development that may impact upon the field of telecommunications and any other communications.
Serving as a liaison for the City with the cable operator, state and federal authorities concerned with cable communications, other telecommunications service providers and with any organizations established to administer access channels.
Receiving, investigating and resolving complaints concerning the operation of the system.
Receiving and reviewing all data and reports and making such recommendations to the Common Council and Mayor as warranted.
Coordinating and overseeing development of the government access channel and the implementation of a multimedia institutional network for the City of Buffalo.
Monitoring the operator's compliance with the franchise agreement and assist all appropriate City departments responsible for some aspect of the franchise agreement, including assessing fines against the operator for nonmaterial breaches of the franchise agreement.
Reporting to the Common Council on a regular basis and making policy recommendations.
Recommending studies, surveys or other actions ensuring the cable company's compliance with the franchise agreement and fostering the development of advanced cable technology in the City of Buffalo.
Negotiating with current and prospective telecommunica-tions service providers operating or seeking to operate within the City.
There is hereby established a Telecommunications Advisory Board in the City of Buffalo.
The Board shall consist of seven members appointed by the Common Council. The terms of the members shall be for three years, except that of the members first appointed, two shall serve for a period of one year and two shall serve for a period of two years. All members shall serve without compensation.
The Board shall adopt its own bylaws and elect its own Chair. The Board shall hold at least six meetings a year and keep an accurate record of its meetings and activities.
The Telecommunications Advisory Board shall make recommendations to the Common Council, Mayor and Comptroller as requested or deemed appropriate regarding policies related to cable communications in the City of Buffalo.
[Added 11-3-1999, effective 11-17-1999]
The Office of Telecommunications will operate and manage the City's videoconferencing facilities. The Director shall develop rules for the facilities' use by City and noncity personnel. Rates governing the use of the facilities shall be as set forth in Chapter 175, Fees, of the Code of the City of Buffalo.