During the discussion at tonight’s City Council meeting, both council members and citizens were told that “Exhibit A” (the Purchase Agreement which was supposed to be attached to the ordinance) would not be available to view until after the council voted to sell City Cable for $17.5M
Jim Chrisman, seemingly exasperated, stood at the podium and said that he would never have imagined Nancy Pelosi coming to Poplar Bluff but here we are being told we have to pass the bill before we can know what is in the bill.
Many citizens asked the council to wait until the next session to vote. Greg West asked “Why the hurry?” He requested to know what was in the deal, but got no where. He asked why the citizens were not being given time to understand the deal being made. One woman in the chamber said she didn’t know anything about it until tonight’s discussion. Angela Pearson made a motion to push the vote off 2 weeks, no council member would second the motion. Angela White asked the council some great questions and later asked them to consider delaying the vote til next Monday. Pearson made that motion too, but no council member would second it.
I’ve always been told that there is some law, rule or regulation that hinders the city from taking money from Municipal Utilities to pay City’s general fund bills (or their insurance debt). Tonight I asked Doug Bagby where the profits from the sale would go: in Municipal Utilities accounts or in City accounts. Bagby said that the city owns City Cable and the city will get the proceeds. But I don’t see how, all the assets being purchased are owned by a department of Municipal Utilities. It would seem very difficult to sell Municipal Utilities assets and deposit the money into the city’s coffers. I guess we’ll have to wait to see how the accountant records this transaction and whether it passes the auditors scrutiny.
The consultant for the city went on and on about how great of a deal this was because the City is being offered 9.3 x EBITDA. EBITDA (which stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) is what for-profit company’s use to show their profitability. The only problem is that City Cable isn’t a for-profit business. For-profit companies work to make their EBITDA number as high as possible, Municipalities are not driven by profits so their EBITDA number is purposefully low.
We were told tonight that the City’s 2013 EBITDA was $1.89M which is about 24% of earnings; 36% to 40% of earnings is closer to the industry standard which means that if City Cable was a for-profit venture trying to maximize profit-margins their EBITDA would probably be above $2.8M. The consultant used four recent network sales to justify the price being offered. He used no sale of a publicly owned network in his calculations. All four comparables were private, for-profit company transactions.
Only a fool would sell a municipal asset based on EBITDA. But then again, I’d never believe anyone would sell something for $17.5 million dollars without seeing the purchase agreement.
Here are the earnings over the past 6 years. Since City Cable has never been operated to “make a profit” then one way to look at this is that the city finally was able to make a profit on the sale of City Cable. Let’s be clear, this was a profitable deal for the City. My point all along has been it isn’t profitable enough based on the real-world value of City Cable, and for that I have no answer:
Our city laws actually prevent council from “passing a bill to know what’s in the bill”. I warned Council that the City couldn’t pass an ordinance if it wasn’t available for viewing prior to the meeting, Wally smugly told the council that I was wrong.
Below is city statute 110.120 which requires any ordinance, which would include it’s attachments, to be in writing and available before the meeting. If it is not available before the meeting, then they are required to read the entire ordinance (including the attachment), not just the title, in order to pass it. The city passed the ordinance tonight by reading only the title of the ordinance twice, and in so doing violated SECTION 110.120 of City’s code.
No ordinance shall be passed except by bill and no bill shall become an ordinance unless on its final passage a majority of the members elected to the Council shall vote therefor and the “ayes” and “nays” shall be entered on the journal. Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced to the Council in writing and shall be read by title or in full two (2) times prior to passage. Both readings may occur at a single meeting of the Council. If the proposed ordinance is read by title only, copies of the proposed ordinance shall be made available for public inspection prior to the time the bill is under consideration by the Council. Upon the request of any Councilman, the ordinance shall be read in full. No bill shall become an ordinance until it shall have been signed by the officer presiding at the meeting of the Council at which it shall have been passed. (R.O. 2007 §2-157; Ord. No. 5215 §1, 10-3-88)
The network contains 266 miles of fiber
The network passes by more than 12000 homes (I couldn’t read the number of businesses)
10000 sq ft MU/City Cable office is part of the deal (according to Bagby)
50Meg service will be offered
Of the 11 Employees, 3 are being hired by the City
The other 8 employees have no guarantees of employment
6 of the 8 are unionized and their Union Rep said they were protected from losing their job due to the sale of City Cable
April 1st is when New Wave takes ownership
I expect that New Wave (www.NewWaveCom.com) will do an amazing job for Poplar Bluff. They are a service oriented company and one thing most can agree on, City Cable never was service oriented. Many users in Poplar Bluff will welcome the 50Meg connection New Wave will offer. And I’m sure all of the TV technical issues will be corrected soon as well.
And since New Wave was able to buy City Cable at a fraction of its value, hopefully that means they won’t need to raise our rates any time soon.
After graduating from Mizzou with Computer and Electrical Engineering degrees in 1985, Brian Becker spent a decade singing Christian Rock and being a labeled artist with Benson Music Group of Nashville. In 1995, he and several investors started the area's first Internet Service called PBMO.net and by 2000 the company was serviing Internet access in over 50 communities throughout Southeast Missouri as SEMO.net. In July 2014, Becker again made a major pivot and became Publisher of the SEMO TIMES: a weekly print and daily online news and entertainment source for the region.
Oct 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Nov 1 Friday Hours will be 6pm to 11:30pm Sat hours will be 4pm - 6pm Kid Friendly (no [...]
Oct 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31
Friday Hours will be 6pm to 11:30pm
Sat hours will be 4pm – 6pm Kid Friendly (no monsters)
Sat Hours will be 6pm – 11:30pm
Sun hours will be 6pm – 10pm
Tickets will be:
$10 per person for adults (non-discounted)
$8 per person for adults (discounted)
$5 per child 10 and under (non-discounted)
Presented by Kiwanis Club – Poplar Bluff MO and Kiwanis network of school aged children enrolled in Key Club, Builders Club, K Club and other eager volunteers – ALL hoping to survive the nightmares of Kinyon School. Poplar Bluff is coming at you in full force with the science, the urban legends, the slight of hand and of course monsters of all shapes and sizes.
Come join us for a month of weekends filled with ever-changing Spookiliciousness. And we do mean ever changing. Come one week and have fun. Come the next week, get your mind blown by how different it is now. Come another time and you’ll start to doubt your own ability to remember what is real and what isn’t. This school doesn’t teach anything anymore. ITS LEARNING FROM YOUR FEAR AND ITS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER AT SHOWING YOU WHAT SCARES YOU MOST!
If you’re in school and want to participate – you must be a registered member of one of the Kiwanis groups this fall through the The Boys & Girls Club of Poplar Bluff called The Builders Club and K-Kids. High School students must be a member of Key Club. There will be lots of opportunities to be mentored as we build and design and promote this huge event opening the first weekend in October.
Watch for casting calls this summer for key players in the Haunted scenes. Lots of great ideas and warped “out of the box” thinking going on these days. We are all starting to feel a little mutant.
We’ll stay in touch. Even when you don’t know we’re there, heh heh – we’ll be there – silent but deadly!
October 4 (Saturday) 7:00 pm - November 1 (Saturday) 10:00 pm
Kinyon Kinyon School
910 Vine St, Poplar Bluff, Missouri 63901
Kiwanis Club - Poplar Bluff MO
Tim Funke sees October 24-30 as a week to put faith in motion. That is the week scheduled for the film, “A Matter of Faith” to be shown at
Tim Funke sees October 24-30 as a week to put faith in motion.
That is the week scheduled for the film, “A Matter of Faith” to be shown at Poplar Bluff’s AMC Showplace Theatre.
The film is about a Christian girl who goes off to college for her freshman year. Once there, she is heavily influenced by her biology professor, who teaches that evolution is the answer to the origins of life on earth.
Her father decides he needs to take action in order to keep his daughter from drifting away from her foundations of faith.
Funke says he first ran cross the movie on a website, and it struck a chord with him.
“I just hate bad science,” explained Funke. “I don’t care whether the topic is global warming or evolution, there are a lot of people who will throw those out to you as fact, without any real basis.”
He continues to believe those of faith must speak out equally strongly about the faith side of the story.
After checking out the movie, he found that it isn’t being shown everywhere.
“Basically, I found out that to bring it to Poplar Bluff, we had to pay the costs of getting the movie here, and we basically had to be able to promise to sell at least 1,000 tickets,” explained Funke.
As a long time owner of Aire Solutions in Poplar Bluff, and as a member of both the business and faith communities, Funke felt led to get the film to Poplar Bluff.
“We’ve had a lot of good feedback from folks, and we’ve had some pre-sold tickets, but I’m guessing the majority of people who want to see it will just show up to buy tickets at the door. But all indications are that this film will do very well in Poplar Bluff,” said Funke.
“It really is one of those films that family and friends can go to see and feel that they’ve seen something of real value. It could even change someone’s life,” explained Funke. “That is very rare these days. So often we go to see things that have no real lasting value for us. This is something worth seeing.”
To buy tickets online go to AMC SHOWPLACE 8
SEMO TIMES salutes Tim Funke and Aire Solutions for their efforts to bring this movie to our community.
24 (Friday) - 30 (Thursday)
AMC Theaters Showplace 8
3525 S Westwood Blvd, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
Tim Funke, Aire Solutions
The Grotto Presents:
The Haunted Grotto
October 24th thru 31st nightly open at 7pm.
Rain or Shine
3102 Kennedy Lane
Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
24 (Friday) 7:00 pm - 31 (Friday) 10:00 pm
3102 Kennedy Lane Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
Come join us for a ghostly fun time! Candy drop, haunted hayride, trunk or treat, haunted museum, haunted homestead, food, games, contests, vendors and more. Come help make this the [...]
Come join us for a ghostly fun time! Candy drop, haunted hayride, trunk or treat, haunted museum, haunted homestead, food, games, contests, vendors and more. Come help make this the best yet! To get involved, become a vendor, become an attraction call 996-7481
(Friday) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Doniphan Neighborhood Assistance Program