Council members unhappy with Zito Media service

Members of city council announced during their Monday evening meeting that they were recently informed by Zito Media that rates will be increasing as of April 1. According to a letter sent to the city by Zito Media, the company plans to adjust its rates for its Classic Cable service, High Speed Data service and for certain premium channels. The letter from Zito Media states that, "effective that date, the rate for Classic Cable service will be $47.25, an increase of $1.77. The rate for High Speed Data service will be $31.95, an increase of $1.44. The rates for HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime will each increase by $1.00."Councilman Denny Nero remarked that he was unhappy that the company plans to increase its rates, especially after hearing about issues that area residents have been having with the service. Councilman Dick Dornisch added that while an increase was understandable, he too was bothered by the continuous criticism the service has received from residents. "There doesn't seem to be much resolution to any of that," Dornisch said of the complaints. "And then there comes along on top of all that an increase, which makes it a bit more distasteful." Mayor Sally Geyer inquired whether the city has the option to look at other cable television providers when Zito Media's contract expires. Council members responded that while the city does have the option to invite other cable television providers to come in, it is no guarantee that any will or that their rates will be lower. "Usually their rates are much higher, the ones that usually come in," Nero said. Nero noted that council still needs to meet with Zito Media to discuss service issues, adding that council has already sent the company one letter regarding the matter. Two residents also addressed council regarding the issue of Zito Media's continued poor service. Fred Haas explained to council that he has been having continuous issues with Zito Media's cable television service. "I've been having all kinds of trouble with [Zito Media]. There are bars that are going across my screen and then it goes out blank," Haas said. "I've called them up and told them about it eight or 10 times and they said Thursday they are going to come out and put a new machine in for my place."Council members encouraged Haas to also send Zito Media a letter detailing the issues so that there was a paper trail. City Solicitor Mark Jacob also indicated that Haas should contact City Manager Dave Greene if Zito Media fails to show up Thursday to correct the problem. Jacob also suggested that Haas put his complaints in writing."Under the franchise agreement [with Zito Media], that triggers a special process in there," Jacob said.