Former school board chair John Hollar today announced his candidacy for mayor of Montpelier. He made the announcement at Onion River Sports. Hollar, 51, spoke about the positive qualities of Montpelier, including its parks, active citizens, and vibrant downtown. He also referenced two major challenges the city faces: Montpelier’s high tax rate, which he said is among the highest in Vermont, and its declining infrastructure. ‘These two competing demands will present us with some very difficult choices in the months and years ahead,’ he said. ‘But we cannot afford to shy away from them because they are hard.’ Hollar said he chose the sporting goods store as the venue for his announcement because the store epitomizes what is great about Montpelier ‘ its thriving downtown business, great employees and high quality service and merchandise. Hollar also said that he is an avid biker and cross-country skier. Hollar said that he would spend the next eleven weeks of the campaign ‘talking to as many people as I can to determine what our community values, and what our priorities are.’ Hollar has practiced law in Montpelier for 21 years and is a partner with Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, where he is co-chair of its Regulated Entities and Government & Public Affairs groups. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (BA 1982) and Georgetown University (JD 1989). He’s lived in Montpelier since 1990.Hollar is married to Jennifer Prescott Hollar, a 5th generation Montpelier resident, and they have three sons.The City of Montpelier uses a city manager type of government. The mayor is elected by the entire city every two years and sits on the City Council. The other six councilors represent three electoral districts and are also elected every two years. The council is the legislative body and the city manager runs the government.12.20.2011
Press Association Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey believes any attempt to screen live Premier League matches on Saturday afternoons could be “catastrophic” for the English game. Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to open an investigation under the Competition Act 1998 claiming that “significant consumer harm resulting from escalating rights costs” can be addressed by making changes to the way in which live rights are sold. The Premier League’s current domestic live TV rights increased by 70 per cent to £3billion after Sky and BT Sport shared seven packages in the last auction for the 2013-16 rights. The next Premier League tender is expected to go out in the new year with the next set of three-year deals announced before the end of the season. Ofcom is expected make a decision on a review before the end of November, but even if it does announce an investigation it is likely to be a matter of years before an outcome, meaning the next TV deal would not be affected. Virgin Media’s complaint is understood to suggest that fans in the UK have to pay £51 monthly for access to all top-flight matches on TV, while it is £25 in Italy, £21 in Germany, £18 in Spain and £10 in France. Virgin Media is not planning to bid for the Premier League rights but carries Sky Sports and BT Sport on its cable networks, so it passes on the costs of live Premier League football to its own customers. Mike Fries, chief executive of Liberty Global which owns Virgin Media, said earlier this year the company had no intention to bid for live Premier League TV rights. Brigitte Trafford, Virgin Media’s chief corporate affairs officer, said in a statement: “The rapidly rising cost of Premier League live broadcast rights means UK fans pay the highest prices in Europe to watch football on TV. Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to investigate how the rights are sold ahead of the next auction.” The Premier League said its sales process had always satisfied regulators in the past. It said in a statement: “Live Premier League audio-visual rights have always been sold in a transparent and open process. Regulators have examined our rights packaging and sales process in considerable detail in the past and found both of them to be compliant with UK and European competition law. “If Ofcom chooses to investigate this complaint, we will of course be happy to demonstrate to Ofcom that this is the case.” The complaint claims fans are forced to pay over the odds to watch games on television, that consumers do not benefit from competition between channel providers in terms of the cost, and that the restriction on the number of matches being shown live limits consumer choice. Harvey, whose comments have been echoed by the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), said: “Football’s long-standing blocked hours on Saturday afternoons are there to protect attendances at all levels of the domestic game and their continued existence has to be in football’s wider interests. “Ticket revenue remains the biggest single source of income for Football League clubs and is worth around £200m per season to our clubs. Therefore, any move to allow televised matches to compete with games played at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon could potentially be catastrophic for the game in this country.” Virgin Media predicts that there will be a further 60 per cent rise in the cost of the rights in the next auction. FSF chairman Malcolm Clarke backed lower costs for watching matches on TV – but not at the expense of losing the closed window between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturday afternoons. Clarke said: “We have always supported the closed window. If you have all Saturday afternoon games on TV you would have the destruction of the traditional English game. “It would clash with Football League games and amateur games and we would not support that. “Anything that keeps the cost down for fans is good, and we would prefer Premier League clubs have ticket prices to encourage people to go to the games and not watch it on TV, but for those who can’t they shouldn’t be paying through the nose.” Harvey was speaking after it was revealed cable giant Virgin Media has lodged a formal complaint with the broadcast regulator Ofcom about TV rights sales. Virgin Media wants Ofcom to open a formal investigation into the way the Premier League sells its broadcast rights.
Below is a list of groups that received funding from the City.PROGRAMS AND SPECIAL EVENTS: $1,500 – Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion (requested $1,500) $1,500 – Lions Club Youth Jam Can Curling (requested $1,500)$2,100 – Fort St. John Literacy Society, for bus passes (requested $2,100) $8,352.00 – Women’s resource society, for bus passes (requested $12,384) $1,500 – Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club (requested $1,500) $2,200 – Gradfest (requested $2,200) $2,500 – Stage North (requested $2,500) $15,000 – Fort St. John Arts Council – Grant money allocated to user groups (requested $20,000) $5,000 – Spirit of the Peace Pow Wow Society (requested $5,000) $2,000 – Fort St. John Arts Council – flower pot program (requested $2,000) $15,000 – SPCA – spay and neuter program (requested $15,000)DEPARTMENTAL BUDGETS: $2,500 – Fort St. John arts council – fee for service- administration fee for coordination of grants to umbrella groups – community services (requested $2,500) $5,000 – Tourism Fort St. John Board – community services (requested $10,830) $5,000 – Fort St. John arts council – high on ice snow and ice sculpting fee for service – community services (requested $5,000) $40,000 – SPCA Pound keeper agreement- animal control (requested $40,000) $52,500 – Victim’s services – RCMP operations (fixed amount)CAPITAL: A one-time grant-in-aid allocation was included in the 2010 operating budget for $40,000, for capital improvements to the North Peace Historical Society/Fort St. John Museum. (requested $40,000)Advertisement Local non-profit organizations finally got their funding results on Monday, after a four-week halt on Grant-in-Aid decisions from the City Hall.In October, the City held numerous meetings with dozens of organizations ranging from sports groups to art councils.Each group requested funding to support annual operating budgets and special events. But in December, City Councilors decided to delay their decision on any funding until the New Year.- Advertisement -And although requests totaled $1,078,366 for 2010, not every group got what it asked for.Instead, the City handed out slightly more than $876,000 – that’s up roughly $41,000 from ’09.City Councilors met on Monday at City Hall, to make decisions on the funding. A report from City Staff explained that some user groups were becoming dependant on the grants, and many had no alternative plans should the City cut the annual funding.Advertisement OPERATING $10,000 – North Peace Historical Society/Fort St. John Museum (requested $10,000) $250,000 – North Peace Cultural Centre (requested $300,000)$25,000 – North Peace Justice Society (requested $35,000) $10,000 – Fort St. John Curling Club (requested $91,132.16) $380,000 – Fort St. John Library (requested $388,000)Two grant-in-aid requests were turned down, including:$10,000 for the Arts Council, for operational expenses for the ArtsPost.$27,720 for the New Totem Archers, for indoor rental space.———————–This story originally indicated that the Victim Services Organization had requested only $15,000. This was incorrect. The organization actually receives a fixed amount on an annual basis. Energeticcity.ca apologizes for this error.