Judge to City: Poplar Bluff Internet Owes You $0
Poplar Bluff Internet, Inc. owned and operated SEMO.net from 1995 until 2012. Brian Becker is founder and majority shareholder of Poplar Bluff Internet, Inc.
As I’ve hinted and casually stated over the course of the last eight months…in their haste, Doug Bagby and Wallace Duncan forgot to exclude their judgment against Poplar Bluff Internet, Inc. when they sold City Cable back on April 1st.
The DAR reported, on at least two occasions, that the debt was not a part of the deal citing an email and some quotes by a NewWave representative. But anyone who read the purchase agreement knew the DAR was wrong (which, by the way, appears to be the norm these days).
The hearing was held on Thursday in the Butler County Courthouse. Doug Bagby had been subpoenaed by the City to testify regarding the negotiation process. Judge Ligons would not allow him to testify. Derrick Kirby, Poplar Bluff Internet’s legal counsel said, “I don’t believe there is any ambiguity. And without ambiguity, I believe the court is confined to the four corners of the contract.” Ligons agreed.
Later that day, the judge signed an order effectively stating that the city transferred that debt with the sale of City Cable to NewWave.
The four-year-saga between Poplar Bluff Internet and the City of Poplar Bluff is officially over.
Sounds like you PB’ers need to get a Google Fiber petition going.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I will stick with the DAR anyday! What a joke!
They don’t service my area.
I guess it would have been really great if the all of the contract had been available to the council and the constituents the night of the sale, oh, like it’s supposed to be. (I just happened to be there on another matter that night) You know, maybe read it before you agree to it. I find it beyond belief that an attorney who specialized in cable only law was not consulted before the sale. Frankly, the “keep it local” mantra can only go so far when such matters of these are in play. It goes without saying, that PB has a lot of smart people, however, it’s wise to see outside counsel to make sure all the “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” are crossed. I find it fascinating that such a commotion is made about outside consultants when probably 95% would seek medical care from Cape or St. Louis should we want an expert opinion. Does that mean our local medical professionals are incompetent (maybe a few are) but if I need spine surgery I want to consult to someone who does it all day long. Not a person who does 2 a month. So, now, maybe Poplar Bluff can get on with improving “our” town. And Brian and NuWave and do whatever they find prudent.
Happy for Semo.net
Just wish we had better options for Internet that also surrounded more areas . I have Hughesnet and it’s not the best either ..ð
Im opting out of new wave. Will not pay 26$ a month for basic cable. That stuff is for the birds
not me i abandoned that shipwreck 5 years ago. Enjoy
Already started with this $8 a month user fee. Total bs
Hallelujah !!!!!! Congratulations.
They will get it from us by charging more on our bills.
lol New Wave will gladly collect their money
It is still a very large debt
Super glad it’s over for you both!! Hugs
This is interesting.
He has people support from people who understand the situation. He has opposition from those who don’t and the city.
As with any case u have people support people for all the wrong reasons yet somehow we expect the world to change
Congrats, Brian. I’m glad this happened :D
I need to get Internet
Understand just as all your subsribers should do
We didn’t pay “all” of the bill, we paid most of it.
Sorry old one
My method of discourse is also to put my fingers in my ears and yell “nananananana”.
Just know I didn’t and would ever vote for the people on city council. I use to like Jack but that went to hell. I would never use his services again. Cause at the end of the day we got another good ol boy system to replace the new one.
Does this mean New Wave will sue PBI to get that money?
Seriously u think I read the DAR. Lmao that paper is a joke. As for the city not going to shambles. How is it not. please explain that. Our city counsel is a joke whom care nothing for the citizens. Our mayor is a joke. Kaplan for example. I mean it’s really going to grow the economy spending our money else were. How did Kaplan last jobs end up? Now on to these complaints. U still used the services correct knowing what the charges were. I mean a smart business man wouldn’t continue to rack up charges. U should of discontinued use until they fixed it. Instead u continued to use it. Help me understand why I should believe the city is going in right direction coming from you. Remember u didn’t pay a bill because u didn’t agree but keep using it. Makes perfect since.
The city isn’t going to shambles, it is actually being turned and going in the right direction. Don’t believe the DAR, the decisions made so far have been very good ones.
No, Thomas. The first bill with the new rate, we paid what we’d paid the month before (about $24k) and disputed the extra $10k. They asked us to suspend the dispute policy for them to discuss it, we said yes. The second month’s bill came and we paid $24k and disputed $10k. They ignored the dispute. That happened every month until we sued them.
Denise Wyatt Magruder so in your thinking say a electric rate increase happens. Everyone should just pay the old one since they don’t agree with old one. Then when they send u a bill waste more city money to challenge a bill u know u owe. Makes perfect since to me.
Denise Wyatt Magruder fact still remains Brian Becker knew about rate increase and still used it.
I know Denise Wyatt Magruder u were there u know all about it huh. People as yourself is the reason city is going to shambles
Your rights Brian Becker really. Didn’t realize u had the right to run up big bills then act like it ain’t owed. Where do I find that right at. Now say u challenged it from when it first happened (rate increase) I could see u well within your rights. But to run up a big bill then challenge it to act as if u are in your rights is absurd. I bet if everyone that subscribe to your services used the same rights u asserted then we’re would u be
Thomas Stucker again..you have no idea what happened….
Yes, it actually is. We couldn’t do anything until they actually charged us the rate.
I am sure city policy isn’t wait till u owe outstanding bill to challenge it
So u took steps when the rate increase first happened. Or did we wait for the big bill
Thomas, I took the proper action. I disputed the bill according to city policy, the city refused to follow their policy so I sued them. Once the case was over (May 2014), the city no longer owned the asset we were arguing about (sold April 2014). I’m not sure why you fault me for doing my rights.
Brian Becker I have never stated u are totally wrong. U do hold responsibility in also. If u didn’t agree u shouldn’t of continued use until it was resolved. How come u didn’t challenge it in court at the beginning. Instead wait and rake up the charges.
Denise Wyatt Magruder I can’t say I disagree with that. I can’t say I uphold alot the city does. Fact still remains Brian was aware and continued to use it. If he felt the rate was to high in the beginning then he should of took proper channels to remedy that. Not continue to use it and profit then act like they don’t owe it
Sorry I misunderstood, Thomas.
Brian I never said the didn’t profit now u are trying to change what I said. I said it was a short fall. Which means they didn’t make what should a been made
True, Denise. I begged them to bring in a consultant to calculate them…but they didn’t want the truth…they wanted a lie.
They should have never been allowed to do their on accounting. They had no idea what they were doing. They were not qualified to figure cable rates.
You said “they lost money” which was their narrative and it wasn’t true. Now you are saying they weren’t profiting enough. That is a different argument and I would have been happy to argue how much profit the city should receive. But the Doug and Bill knew that argument wouldn’t win support so they decided to make it say that they were losing money. It was a lie in order to get people to side with them.
Brian in your rationale. Say u had 10k subscribers and only 8k paid there bill. U are saying that the 2k would create a short fall.
Ok but that would be 800k if PBI would of paid there portion. So yes no matter how u figure it. There was still a lose. Just because there was profit doesn’t mean there can’t be a lose to.
Denise Wyatt Magruder never had I said Brian was totally to blame. His services should of been discontinued long ago.
They were not losing money, Thomas. The audits showed they made $600k the year they said they were losing money.
Ok so u feel the city should charge higher rates to u because why. Simple they were losing money. So in your explanation u should of charged those 10 heavy users 180. City has got to pay for updates among other things. So why do feel the city shouldn’t make enough to pay for updates. Let me guess they should of been getting that from higher taxes. Point is, u were aware of the rate increase. U were aware of the charges that would be entailed with new rate. U still used it. So who is to blame really Brian. When u are aware of something and u continue to use those services u are responsible. Same as with anyone. U can’t sign up for services and get a rate increase and decide well I’ll pay the old rate. It doesn’t work like that. If u didn’t want to pay it u should of discontinued use. Not continue on like it never happened. And yes if it’s a outstanding debt it’s a short fall. If u expect x amount and u get y then that equals a short fall. Keep in mind we may still have open access if they didn’t lose money on it
Thomas Stucker unfortunately you weren’t there during all this. If you want to blame someone for costing the city money..u need to go speak to Bill Bach..
It wasn’t a shortfall, Thomas. We paid every month for the services we received, the $200k was the “extra” rate that we were fighting over…
For example, we had 10 heavy usage customers who were paying us $99/month each (or about $1000). The “A” rate we paid the city was $180 for those customers, the “Z” rate raised it to $12,000 for those 10 heavy users.
We “forced” those 10 users to move to the city’s network and the city charged them $99 each for a total of $990.
The city was charging a wholesale price 12x higher than their retail price?
Though the judge saw the calculation error, the basic answer was that he did not feel he had control over their legislative decisions no matter how bad or incorrect they were.
that doesn’t mean u didn’t wilfully deprive the citizens of Poplar Bluff out of the money. Facts are u deliberately didn’t pay. Yet u still collected money from your subsribers. U profited from the city. U may have spent it all trying to get out of it but never the less u profited. For the life of me I can’t figure out how anyone supports anything u do. Just shows how naive people can be. Cause it’s the inevitable that the citizens of Poplar Bluff took the hit from u and the sale of city cable. Are u totally to blame no. City officials are also to blame for not cutting your services off as they would anyone else. So I don’t hold u totally accountable. But yes u do hold the majority. Imagine may not of had to sell if the 200000 would of been payed. How many rate increases did we see trying to cover the 200k short fall
Thomas, I’m sorry you feel that way. I really am. What you might be missing is that SEMO.net did pay for use of the network every month. For the first 10 years we paid rate A, then when Council decided to end Open Access they also raised the rates to rate Z.
That “Z” rate had a calculation error in it which was what the entire case was about. We refused to pay that amount and continued to pay rate A until Open Access ended. The entire court case was about whether the city could arbitrarily set a rate with a known calculation error in it. The judge said “yes” so we appealed that.
City Cable was sold in April and the appellant court said “yes” in May, but we legally couldn’t pay the city
Anyone to say God done this is absurd. God doesn’t support bad deeds or fraud
To funny. So now city counsel owned City Cable. Cause they didn’t get ripped off. Ultimately the city tax payers got ripped off. With the people to blame being Brian Becker old city counsel as well as the new one. Brian received payment every month that he used open access. Which it turn costed tax payers. Which Brian got the money from his subscribers and fail to pay for the use of the city. So why would anyone support this guy. He stole from the same city u support makes since. As before I use to be blinded and think Brian had a good cause until u really look and then it was nothing more than to deprive the city of what u owed. GOOD BUSINESS practice
Merry Christmas to my sweet friends! You were diligent and God has been faithful to see you through it! Happy it’s over for you!! Let your business thrive!!
Great to hear its over
Chris, that has already been done.
But now u must come tons settlement.with newwave?
Wonderful timing as a Christmas Gift!!!!!!!!!!!!Christmas Blessing!
Yes sanjay, they tried to get the judge to break the contract…luckily, the judge said no.
Good for you
Sooooo glad This has been a long time coming. Good things come to those who wait.
Have you been in contact with New Wave? Will they allow you to pay it off over time?
Karma! It’s all about Karma and the truth. Congratulations Brian!!