Share this article

print logo

IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE AT PUBLIC-ACCESS TV

Their record of mismanagement is bad enough, but now Buffalo's cable-television public-access operators have added another reason to replace them.

The board of the non-profit Buffalo Community Television Inc. has voted to dump the board member who blew the whistle on payroll errors and has been an outspoken critic of the organization. For spotlighting the badly run operation, Bernadine J. Kennedy was shown the exit by her colleagues.

The proper response at City Hall, which provides most of the money for public-access programming, would be to change operators. Fillmore Council Member David A. Franczyk has a resolution on Tuesday's Common Council agenda that would set up a process for potential new operators to submit their proposals. Good. The Council should pass the resolution and move Buffalo Community Television out of the picture once and for all.

A private auditing firm has uncovered $46,000 worth of transactions involving former Executive Director Michelle Howard that "appear" improper. Strip away auditors' talk, and it means they suspect stealing. A criminal investigation is in progress.

A lax board hired Ms. Howard without a background check that would have shown a 1991 conviction for forgery, grand larceny and falsification of business records. Then it gave the executive director far too much financial latitude.

The board's notion that it now can run the whistleblower, Ms. Kennedy, off the premises because she "broke the rules" ought to be the last indication the Council needs to seek a replacement operator. It should pass the Franczyk resolution Tuesday, with no delay via committee referral.

There are no comments - be the first to comment