By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
KeizerTV is indeed getting money from the city.
In an early October Keizer City Councilor meeting, KeizerTV leader Rex Robertson and David Dahle gave an update on their social media efforts.
“We love you,” then-mayor Lore Christopher told Robertson and Dahle that evening. “We’ll give you money.”
Shortly after, city leaders were prepared to give KeizerTV more funding from Public, Educational or Governmental (PEG) funds until the Keizertimes raised questions about a lack of bidding for the services.
City Manager Chris Eppley initially explained why the bidding wasn’t needed, but changed his mind after meeting with city attorney Shannon Johnson.
“After discussing more closely with Shannon, we both think it’s borderline enough that we’re going to tell K-23 to nix the social media service until we can run the full RFP,” Eppley said. “We’re going to leave the budget adjustment in place so we have appropriate (funds) to cover this new service for whoever gets the K-23 contract. Thanks for questioning. We try to do things right here but obviously can miss asking ourselves the question if something falls under the state bidding rules or not.”
Two proposals ended up being submitted and a recommendation was made to award the new public service TV contract to KeizerTV. The recommendation was approved unanimously.
KeizerTV has built and operated the city’s K23 channel over the last 13 years. KeizerTV employee Phillip Wade, an aspiring filmmaker, broadcasts city council and other meetings live on K23 and repeats them on a rotating basis.
The KeizerTV bid was to do all services – including expanded social media work – for $8,000 a month, plus a rate of $45 per hour for additional work. The UCan2Media proposal, which called for up to $500 in internships for high school students as part of the project, had a bid of $8,750 a month.
UCan2Media is jointly run by McNary High School teacher Jason Heimerdinger and Josh McMurrin, who formerly worked with Heimerdinger on K23 projects.
The KeizerTV proposal was bolstered with references from former city councilors Joe Egli and Jerry McGee, as well as Keizertimes publisher Lyndon Zaitz, Vickie Hilgemann and JoAnne Beilke.