MUNSTER | MUNCAB-TV, the citizens advisory board that produced popular cable TV segments about the town since 1985, has been dissolved.
In a unanimous vote Monday, the Munster Town Council officially disbanded the board. For the past five years, no programming has been produced.
Last October, the council terminated the lease for the town’s studio at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, and ended the employment of the employee who originally ran the cable TV programming.
Town Council President Joseph Simonetto thanked the board members for their years of service, which included being in-the-field reporters for “This Week in Munster"
Other council members concurred.
This dissolution signals a new direction for communicating with residents, businesses and those who may want to relocate to Munster.
The Town Council and the town manager’s office will now perform the board’s duties as outlined by the council members during previous meetings and study sessions.
Assistant Town Manager Clay Johnson has been assigned to handle projects related to video programming used by the town.
Several meetings between the members of MUNCAB, the Town Council and town officials produced three major goals for the town’s new outreach program. Those goals were outlined in a memo to the Town Council from Town Manager Tom DeGiulio and Johnson, presented at Monday’s meeting.
They are education of the community on town services and programs; public information, which is a quick outreach to residents and the public with all town departments feeding information into the system; and showcasing the town and its assets to residents, visitors and those looking to relocate to Munster.
“There are a multitude of areas of programming content that can be produced under these categories that would be of benefit to Munster residents,” the memo stated.
The plan will be to use much of the content “to develop advertising for our many enterprise operations such as The View (restaurant), Centennial Park Banquet Facility and Golf Course, swimming pool and recreational programming,” according to the memo.
A variety of venues will be used to communicate with community stakeholders. The town’s website is being overhauled and will include video-on-demand and other technologies. YouTube could be another option.
Johnson will be responsible for putting together proposals and bid packages for productions to be aired on these venues. Parties interested in providing video to meet these goals will be asked to submit demos of their work along with bids. Those could include local high school and college student videographers as well as professionals.
The Town Council will decide what level of video service is required, the memo said.