Becker To City Council: Bach's Numbers Show City Cable Is Losing $1 Million on MyCityCable!

Aug 03, 2010

The following information was relayed by Brian Becker to City Council on Monday, Aug 2, 2010. Additional supporting information has been added for clarity:

According to Mr. Bach, every time a light switch is turned on or the faucet is opened, citizens are subsidizing MyCityCable to the tune of over $1,000,000 each year.

I am on record stating that these numbers ARE NOT accurate and the city IS NOT losing money on Internet.

At July 19th’s City Council meeting, Utilities Manager, Bill Bach, presented a five-page document of financial information to convey to the Council the need to raise the rates of the Open Access Internet partners and end an eight-year ordinance of Open Access on the City Cable network.

On the third page of that document, Mr. Bach stated the annual expense to run City Cable’s Internet service is $2.5 million dollars.

However, only six weeks earlier, Mr. Bach made a presentation at the Utilities Advisory Board, which was attached to the minutes of that meeting, which showed City Cable’s 2010 budget. City Cable only expects to receive $1.44 million dollars in revenue for Internet service, that’s an annual loss of over $1.1 million dollars.

$ 1,230,000 Internet income – 2010 budget (supplement 1)
$ 210,000 Cable Modem Rental income – 2010 budget (supplement 1)
$ 1,440,000 Total Revenue for Internet plant

$ 2,500,267 Operations & Maintenance (supplement 2)

($ 1,060,267) Annual Loss by City Cable

During that council meeting, Councilman Matthews inquired about the accuracy of the figures in Bach’s five-page document.

City Manager Bagby replied,

“The utility manager and Terry Leslie all looked at these. Uh, I know two of them independently and come up with very similar numbers. Are the numbers arguable? Yeah. Are they, uh, are they grossly negligent? Uh, no way.”

If their numbers are correct and the City is subsidizing Internet by over a $1 million per year, our city needs new managers.
If their numbers are incorrect, our city needs new managers.

  1. out-of-towner

    After reading the article in today’s DAR, I’m convinced that City Untilities/cable/internet had plenty of time to figure out how to rationalize their financial mistatements and present these skewed figures to the public. I don’t know Brian personally, but everything I’ve heard about him from friends who know him and attend church with him, I feel that he is a very trustworthy man. Brian, hang in there! You have many supporters.

  2. James

    Well look on your electric bill they have a purchase power fee that if you call them they cant explain what that is. The city is ripping people off and wont even allow at&t to expand there internet either. talk about a monopoly. Someone needs to file a lawsuit against the city and have the state auditor come as well to audit the city. there is alot of criminal activity going on at the city.

  3. Scott

    Jerry – If I understand your suggestion it is interesting but probably not practical. You are asking Mr. Becker to disclose highly proprietary information in a public forum.

    I have the feeling that Mr. Becker would appreciate the opportunity to meet with City representatives and share his deep experience related to the costs associated with providing internet access. The people served by City Cable, and all of the ISPs affected by the discontinuation of the City’s Open Access Policy, would probably benefit from such a meeting.

  4. jerry

    well sir mr Brian Becker–your opening up a can of worms lol . here is the deal you have gathered up the figures and shown them. since you are a isp company why not put all the cost figures . then compare the city figures vs what you find in cost show the comparison figure broke down even more per cost .

  5. Scott

    The City Manager serves at the pleasure of the City Council. I don’t know all the facts but on the surface it appears the City has left itself vulnerable to litigation. It also appears the City Manager is a “shoot from the hip” kind of guy and may have shot his own foot.

  6. jim

    How does a citizen go about calling for the removal of the city managers?