For the third time in four weeks, the Beverly Hills City Council has failed to renew an agreement with Century Southwest Cable Television, and put off consideration of the cable franchise contract until March 3.
Before approving the delay, the council narrowly defeated a motion to reject Century's contract offer. Mayor Charlotte Spadaro and Councilman Robert Tanenbaum favored canceling the agreement, while Vice Mayor Benjamin H. Stansbury Jr. and council members Donna Ellman and Maxwell Salter voted to continue negotiations.
The city has grounds to cancel the agreement because Century has failed to provide the financial guarantees the city requested last year to show that it could run the 9,000-subscriber system, said Charles Firestone, special counsel for the city of Beverly Hills. He added, however, that "none of these grounds are barriers" to an agreement with Century.
The Connecticut-based Century was part of a five-company consortium that bought cable giant Group W Cable Inc. from Westinghouse Electric Corp. last June for $2.1 billion.