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Fairfield Looks To Expand FairTV

FairTV program director Gerry Speno films and broadcasts many of Fairfield's government meetings.
FairTV program director Gerry Speno films and broadcasts many of Fairfield's government meetings. Photo Credit: Greg Canuel

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield’s government-access television stations have grown a lot in their few years under town control. Now town leaders are looking to make FairTV an even bigger part of town life.

The Board of Selectmen reorganized the FairTV Operational Committee on Wednesday, and gave its four new members the task of developing plans to spread the network’s reach.

“In simplest form, this charge is to promote the growth and use of FairTV,” First Selectman Michael Tetreau said Wednesday.

FairTV operates Cablevision Channels 78 and 79, set aside for educational and government access. It airs live and pre-taped sessions of many town government bodies, as well as public affairs and informational programs. The network also offers streaming videos of its programs online .

The FairTV Operational Committee was set up in 2006 to oversee the network’s operations. But the committee had not met in months while waiting for new organization. Program Director Gerry Speno has managed the day-to-day operations of the network.

The Board of Selectmen appointed four new members to oversee the changes to the network. The appointees are former FairTV chair Jim Kennelly, television news producer Alexis Harrison, entertainment lawyer Pamela Jones and Thomas F. Flynn, who studied FairTV as part of a League of Women Voters panel.

“We really hope in a way, this will broaden people’s sense ownership—regardless of party or affiliation—over FairTV,” said newly appointed member Jim Kennelly. “The way that people are proud of their beaches, they should feel the same way about this.”

The reorganized committee is set to dissolve on June 30, 2013. By then it will file a report on a more permanent replacement, which might include a proposal for a town ordinance or charter change that would make it an official fixture of Fairfield’s government.

“FairTV has become such a big part of our culture that we need to make it more formal, and perhaps even look at an ordinance, having the RTM [Representative Town Meeting] make it a more formal part of the town culture,” Tetreau said.

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