The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

January 9, 2014

Enid’s PEGASYS issue is about transfer of power

ENID, Okla. — The days could be numbered for PEGASYS as we know it.

The public-access television station, founded in 1986, is a mostly independent nonprofit agency funded by the city of Enid.

In the pre-digital 1980s, community producers were plentiful, and the programming was popular.

Now PEGASYS is in the spotlight as some question its sustainability.

After joining the PEGASYS oversight panel, new Ward 6 City Commissioner David Vanhoser took aim at the station. This happened after commissioners approved $240,000 to move the agency from the now-razed Kress building to The Non-Profit Center.

The city currently spends $185,000 supporting annual operations and payroll for PEGASYS.

Scrutinizing the public’s benefit from those city funds, the commissioner wants to fold PEGASYS into the city’s public relations department under PR Director Steve Kime. By putting it back under the city’s control, commissioners would be in charge of what to keep, what to cut and what to expand.

The nonprofit’s board of directors and Executive Director Wendy Quarles’ position would be eliminated.

Vanhooser also wants to cancel funding for The Non-Profit Center move, and instead spend around $100,000 on a studio elsewhere.

PEGASYS provides independent transparency by broadcasting city commission and board of education meetings.

If the agency’s current affiliation with the city ends, equipment likely would revert to the city’s sole ownership and two current employees there would become city employees.

Critics, questioning why the city manager and commission oppose PEGASYS, could perceive this as a City Hall power grab.

“The (city of Enid) does not have enough to do and it wants another agency to run,” said PEGASYS Board member Bill Maxwell. “The commission believes it can confiscate the public, nonprofit entity and convert it into a city propaganda machine.”

By the end of this month, the PEGASYS board will vote on whether to award the construction contract.

Ultimately, this is about transfer of power. Who is in charge: the PEGASYS board or the city commission?

And how autonomous would PEGASYS remain under the direction of City Hall? Would it still provide citizens an independent voice or become a municipal mouthpiece?

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff’s office, emergency management get new home

    The sheriff’s office and emergency management office will move in October or November to the former Grady Robbins Army Reserve Center on Oxford. The building has been unused since 2011 when the Armed Forces Reserve Center opened at Vance Air Force Base.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Airline passengers should not be casualties of war

    Nowhere in the flight attendants’ patter did the word “missile” appear, and the chance their gleaming Boeing 777 would be brutally slapped from the sky likely never even appeared even as a niggling doubt lurking in the darkest corners of the passengers’ minds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lady Liberty_MD.jpg Statue of Liberty replica should be repaired, returned

    Maybe we could learn a little from past history. Most know the original national monument was given by the people of France in recognition to a friendship that bloomed during the American Revolution.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steps can be taken to prevent West Nile Virus

    Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, dizziness and muscle weakness, although in rare cases it can cause severe neurologic disease such as meningitis, paralysis or encephalitis. Some cases can be fatal.

    July 16, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads