Saturday, May 01, 2010

New RFPs Posted

Friday's Courier News contained two legal notices requesting proposals, one for videography services and one for photography services. Applicants must respond to Purchasing Agent David Spaulding by May 20.

Those who have followed City Hall doings for a while know that Laurence Rice, who takes photos of city events and tapes City Council meetings and other events for the local community cable station, is facing layoff this month. His official title is Media Technician I and he has been on the job since 2006.

By way of background, Rice provided content for the former Comcast Channel 74. Until the advent of a new cadre of members of the Plainfield Cable Television Advisory Board in recent months, the local channel was considered somewhat mediocre, with frequent repeats of older programs and intermittent glitches.

Since the board reorganized under Chairman Lamar D. Mackson, several strides have been made, including updating of the schedule, talks with FiOS that led to programming on their Channel 34 and other initiatives.

So the loss of Rice at this juncture is a step back for the future of local programming.

Whether it is Rice or some other qualified person who responds, the RFP is key to the future of local programming.

One might quibble over the need for an official city photographer, but if Comcast and FiOS are to serve the public well, there must be an experienced city videographer to supply content.

This issue is more complicated than what I am posting here. As much as things seem to be improving, one question is how vital local programming is and at what cost. Are there other ways to disseminate information at lower cost?

This may be a question for a new City Council committee on City & Neighborhood Services. Councilwoman Linda Carter chairs the committee and members are Councilman William Reid and Councilwoman Bridget Rivers.

If you want to direct questions or comments to these officials , all their e-mail addresses and phone numbers are on the city web site at

One thing that is not on the city web site as of today is the RFP descriptions that appeared in the Courier News. Hoping to see it soon.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much does the city expect to spend on these services they are apparently contracting out?

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be great to have an experienced videographer working on a part-time basis to provide content for the city portion of the station. But the point is, it is a PUBLIC access station, and Rice, who is a crony of RObinson-Briggs, is ill-equipped to serve the public. He serves the mayor only. The station is for the public to provide content, too, and that has not occurred AT ALL under the current administration for the past 4 years.

12:16 AM  

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