The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 27, 2014

Dissolution of PEGASYS on agenda

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — What could be one of the final meetings of the PEGASYS board is scheduled for noon today.

There is an item on the agenda to consider the dissolution of the nonprofit corporation that has, for the past 28 years, overseen operations for Enid’s three public-access television channels.

Enid City Commission voted last week to pull funding from PEGASYS, reacquire the equipment and terminate its contract. PEGASYS has operated since 2007 on an annual budget of $185,000, paid from the city’s general fund. It previously was funded directly as a percentage of the city’s cable franchise revenue from cable provider Suddenlink.

The agency also has hundreds of thousands in savings that were earmarked for an upgrade to high-definition equipment.

In ending the contract, city officials cited disappointment with PEGASYS — including a lack of fundraising and performance.

PEGASYS board members have planned two separate executive sessions to privately discuss legal and personnel matters.

Now without a mandate or operational funds, they will discuss the employment of Executive Director Wendy Quarles. The city has promised a compensation package if she loses her job, which would cover five months salary. Two other full-time employees will be offered jobs with the city.

The agenda also has a closed-door meeting scheduled to discuss litigation options for the disposition of assets. There also are more than $30,000 in donations to its capital campaign that now may be reimbursed.

Operation of the three television channels, viewable by Suddenlink customers and those who watch their videos posted online, will be handled by the city of Enid’s public relations department starting Feb. 1.

An advisory board is being assembled to study how the service should be structured come July 1, the beginning of the budgetary year. Its duties are expected to continue past that point.

Those wanting to apply to serve on the board must submit an application, which is available online or at city hall.