April 2021 TCCOG Report

Monthly Report

Tompkins County Council of Governments

April 14, 2021

by Councilperson Robert Lynch, Enfield TCCOG Representative

The Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG) has not met since my last report to this Board on March 10th.  However, TCCOG will have a busy two weeks ahead.  First, our newly-formed Broadband Committee will convene for its kickoff session next Tuesday morning, April 20th, via zoom.  TCCOG’s entire membership is then scheduled to meet two days later, Thursday afternoon, April 22nd.

An agenda for the Broadband kickoff meeting has just been received and forwarded to Town Board members for their review.  As you can observe, most of the introductory agenda items are process-related.  We have to gain a full understanding as to how we will proceed and prioritize.  I presume we’ll know much more following next Tuesday’s session.

I will state, however, that at first blush, one aspect of the County Department of Planning and Sustainability’s  memo, “Understanding on Sharing of Broadband Study Findings” strikes me as a bit odd.  I need to know more and hope to find answers at the April 20th meeting.  Page two of the memo states:

“Sensitive or confidential information may be discussed in non-public meetings of the Tompkins County Legislature, TCCOG broadband committee and county staff, but are not intended to be shared externally. These include:

-Details of the proposed network including:

o Proposed miles of new broadband infrastructure

o Maps of proposed broadband infrastructure

o Proposed infrastructure locations

o Proposed network architecture and technology specifications”

I question why any aspect of this study need be hidden from public view.  I believe in transparency and will urge the Broadband Committee keep as much of this study in the public view as possible.

You’ll recall that last month the Enfield Town Board joined other municipal boards in Tompkins County in supporting TCCOG’s efforts to secure a grant from the Park Foundation to underwrite the study costs of investigating Community Choice Aggregation for municipalities within our county.  Ithaca Town Supervisor Rod Howe, TCCOG’s point person on Community Choice Aggregation, today informed me the Park Foundation grant application was, indeed, submitted and timely received March 26th.  Supervisor Howe expects a decision by the Foundation in May.  I’ll keep you informed.

Robert Lynch , Councilperson

Enfield TCCOG Representative