May 29, 2023
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury

2000-2001 Final Report:

Administrative/Information Services

San Mateo County Telecommunication Authority
(SAMCAT)/Regional Community Programming
for San Mateo County (SAMNET)
1998 Recommendation
Response by Agency
2000-2001 Activity
7. SAMCAT should collect dues from member cities to allocate to SAMNET until its production capabilities are sufficient to be self-supporting. SAMCAT is currently collecting dues from the county as well as member cities which have cable connections. It is the director's opinion that the current production facilities may not generate sufficient funds to be self-sufficient by relying on dues only. The SAMCAT Board is currently developing a five year strategic plan which will include funding beyond membership dues. The strategic plan is complete and adopted by the SAMCAT Board. It includes dues and proposed fees for services. The plan is still in flux as new technologies and resources become available. Current budget is over $600,000. Private sources have raised $155,000. Some programs are underwritten by local sources.
8. SAMCAT should evaluate the recommendations of the Stanford Alumni Consulting Team (ACT) to ensure continuous operation of SAMNET. SAMCAT will complete its five year strategic plan which will speak to many of ACT's recommendations. The five year strategic plan was completed and adopted by the SAMCAT Board.

ACT Recommendations:
a) Hire a director..

Currently has an interim director and is developing a job description for an assistant director. A director and assistant director have been hired.
b) Establish a non-profit agency to manage the station.. The SAMCAT Board makes all decisions with regard to SAMNET The SAMCAT Board functions as the Board of Directors for SAMNET. SAMCAT currently has a joint power authority which includes all but two cities in the county.
One or more of the participating agencies could donate space for a station facility and offices.
The SAMCAT Board requested space from participating agencies.. Office space was obtained from the city of San Carlos and studio space was obtained from SamTrans.
a) Production equipment is now owned by KCSM.
Negotiate with SamTrans to obtain equipment. SamTrans telecommunications equipment has been obtained by SAMCAT.
b) The director is employed by CSM and is 1/4 time SAMNET. Seek to obtain a full-time SAMNET director. The current director is an employee of the San Mateo County Manager and is assigned 90% to SAMNET.
c) Production costs are high because KCSM relies on union labor. Volunteers and interns are not allowed at the KCSM studios. Develop a less costly staffing program in the strategic plan. SAMNET currently has some union help and is developing a volunteer component. Broadcasting is the only service provided by CSM.
d) No mobile cameras were available for local events. The studio cameras can be transported in a van for remote production. Remote productions are being made on a limited basis with portable equipment
e) No fixed cameras were set up to record county meetings and events Cameras will be set up in the supervisors' chambers when renovation is done. Meetings in the supervisors' chambers are being video taped and broadcast on a regular basis.
f) Not all cities were able to switch between local content and SAMNET. Arrange with each city user to install a switching system to allow local content and SAMNET. All local city users can now switch between local content and SAMNET.
g) Sponsorship, advertising, and fees are not developed. These topics are discussed and developed in the five year strategic plan. Some sponsorships have been developed with local newspapers and AT&T.
h) Funds for the operating budget should come from a mix of public agencies, corporate sponsorships, service fees, and grants. Strategies for collecting fees as well as securing grants and sponsorships will be included in the five year strategic plan. In addition to sponsorships, SAMCAT is developing additional grants. A fee schedule has been developed and is in use.
i) A community outreach program should be developed. A community outreach program will become a part of the five year strategic plan. SAMNET has helped local cities develop and has broadcast 160 local programs in the past 16 months. Next year's goal is to broadcast 25 high school football games.
j) There is no production education program or volunteer organization. These two programs will become a part of the five year strategic plan. These plan elements have not been completed.


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