Letters to the Editor

Details of BITV equipment have been documented | Letters | May 13

Some of you have followed BITV’s closure with interest. That is understandable considering BITV’s community presence for 26 years. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide you with a brief, first-person commentary.

I continue to be proud of my association with BITV and of what was accomplished there.

In the end, the loss of city support necessitated that the organization closed, which was a loss to our community in many ways. The BITV Board of Directors voted to close and dissolve the organization.

There have been questions raised about the distribution of equipment. The specific details of that process are lengthy, but be assured we undertook that process with careful consideration of doing it lawfully.

The RCWs regarding 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations were researched and lawyers were consulted. We did what the state and IRS required with the community’s best interest in mind.

Assets fall into two categories: the actual broadcasting equipment, and other non-broadcasting assets, which were used by staff, volunteers and for classes. The city has acquired all the broadcasting assets. The city has this broadcasting equipment stored in the Comcast building and has the production equipment at City Hall.

It was our goal to keep all the assets on Bainbridge Island so that it could continue to serve our community. We drew up a plan, which was designed to benefit as many local non-profit organizations as possible.

We filed our plan with the state Attorney General and it was approved. BITV also provided financial accounting to the city for every quarter since 2003. There are letters and documentation for all of this.

Throughout the years, BITV’s services and management have been praised by hundreds of partners and individuals.

It’s sad for us to be forced to close a successful business for reasons beyond our control.

It’s unfortunate that some individuals have chosen to make accusations for political gain or selfish interest.

All of us poured our hearts and lives into making it a success.

This will be my last public comment on the station’s closure, as I pursue private endeavors and spend time with my family on Bainbridge.

As always, I end with a sincere thank you to the volunteers, employees and board members who made a positive difference.

I also thank the hundreds of supportive individuals, agencies, businesses and students that loved being a part of BITV.

Scott Schmidt

Bainbridge Island

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