The job of Saugerties public access television station coordinator Anastasia Redman has become more complex. From a few volunteers and limited programming 18 years ago, the station now provides Internet streaming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to Tamara Schuppin, a member of the station’s volunteer board.
Redman has been a leader in the station’s development. Starting with a handful of volunteers and donated out-of-date equipment, the station has added streaming. Internet access to shows is available at any time, and access can be from anywhere in the world, Schuppin said.
Redman, the only paid staff member, is a part-time employee. In order to maintain her activities as a coordinator, train new volunteers and keep the station running, she is doing a full-time job and deserves to be paid accordingly, Schuppin argued. “The station’s web site states that ‘TV 23 is a vehicle for community communication, education and artistic expression and other non-commercial video on an open, uncensored and noncommercial basis,’” she said.
Redman does work far more hours than she is paid for. The volunteer board is asking the town and village boards, which joinly oversee the station, to increase the manager’s job to full-time, Schuppin said.
Among the coordinator’s jobs is training volunteers. Redman cannot train the number of people who want to be involved in production. Schuppin herself is interested in training, but the training is not available. A salary increase would free Redman to spend more time training new volunteers while managing the day to day affairs of the station, she said.
Because cable television can operate during power outages, Channel 23 was able to provide information through text scrolling while radio was knocked off the air, Schuppin said. However, because of the station’s limited manpower, a police program featuring Saugerties’ most wanted had to be dropped. “According to chief Sinagra [police chief Joseph Sinagra], this show resulted in the capture of 70 percent of the outlaws featured on it,” added Schuppin.
Schuppin has not yet approached the town government with the proposal. She was scheduled to do so this Wednesday at the meeting of the town board.