The Finance and Personnel Committee tonight will consider paying an Emmy-nominated videographer $40,000 to work, on average, 20 hours a week over the next year rebuilding CAR 25.
Mayor John Dickert is recommending Sandy Petrykowski, vice president of Soura Films, be given the one-year deal to overhaul CAR 25, the city's cable-access TV station. Petrykowski has worked for ABC News, CNN, NPR, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
Read the proposed contract here. Petrykowski's duties, under the contract, include:
* Create a programming grid for CAR 25
* Oversee development, shooting and editing of programs to air on the station
* The videos will showcase the people, places and events going on in the city
* Submit recommendations for new CAR 25 equipment
* Develop and recommend new look, style and internet format for CAR 25
* Develop, produce, shoot and edit feature stories about matters of publicPet concern
* Make progress reports to the City Council and the Cable Access Commission
Petrykowski appears to have the chops for the job. Here's her own website listing her credentials, and here's a transcript of a report she did from Egypt for CNN.
If approved, Petrykowski would be paid $3,333 a month for 12 months. She would work a maximum of 1,040 hours under the contract (20 hours per week), and either she or the city can terminate the contract with 30 days notice.
If the city needs Petrykowski to work more than 1,040 hours the contract would need to be amended to included additional money.
Update: The Finance and Personnel Committee put off a vote on the contract Monday night to allow the city's Cable Commission to take a further look at the proposal.
The meeting drew a large crowd, which included Mayor John Dickert.
Alderman Michael Shields, who attacked the mayor's hire of a public information officer, again challenged Dickert's request. He questioned why the city appeared to be giving someone a contract without hearing specifics on what they do if they received the contract.
Paul Ancona, who presented the request, said he was confident Petrykowski would improve the station without sapping resources set aside for CAR25. He noted the station is in the process of hiring a part-time employee to work on CAR25, and is also planning to buy new equipment for the station. Petrykowski, working with CAR25's full-time employee Scott Nelson, would be the third piece in revamping the network.
The Finance and Personnel Committee voted to send the proposed contract back to the Cable Commission for further discussion. It will also be taken up by the City Council meeting as the Committee of the Whole.
Following the meeting, Petrykowski said her experience working at national and international networks qualified her to work on CAR25. One basic improvement would be to create a programming grid so viewers can know when to tune in to watch a show.
"My hope is to make it destination viewing," she said.
Petrykowski added CAR25 has a real opportunity to fill a niche. Chicago and Milwaukee TV stations now serve the area with little attention to Racine. CAR25 is an opportunity for Racine to broadcast its own stories on TV and on the Internet. Petrykowski said her background working in TV around the world made her a good fit to create a high-quality Racine TV station.
"Telling a story is telling a story anywhere," Petrykowski added. "Production values are the same. A dedication to quality will go with you anywhere you go."