Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District

September 25, 2009





Honorable Board of Directors

Golden Gate Bridge, Highway
  and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A Special meeting of the Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Friday, September 25, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., Chair Pahre presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Pahre; Vice Chair McGlashan; Directors Elsbernd, Newhouse Segal, Sanders and Snyder; President Boro (Ex Officio)

Committee Members Absent (0): None

Other Directors Present (8): Directors Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, Reilly, Sobel and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (15): Directors Cochran, Dufty, Elsbernd, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Sanders, Sobel, Snyder and Stroeh; Second Vice President Eddie; First Vice President Reilly; President Boro

Committee of the Whole Members Absent (4): Directors Brown, Campos, Chu and Moylan

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorneys David J. Miller, Madeline Chun and Julie Veit; Deputy General Manager, Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Deputy General Manager, Bus Division Teri W. Mantony; Deputy General Manager, Administration Z. Wayne Johnson; Marine Projects Manager/Ferry Division and Acting Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division Christian Stark; Acting Executive Assistant to the General Manager Sonia Pedlar; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy Whala

Visitors Present: None


Approve Amendments, Clarifications and Technical Changes to Master Ordinance 2009, Relative to Expressive Activities and Special Events

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt, Attorney David Miller and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to adopt an Ordinance updating and amending Master Ordinance 2009 regarding the use of District property for expressive activities and special events.

The report stated that on February 27, 2009, the Board of Directors enacted the Master Ordinance 2009, which amended Master Ordinance 2007, regarding the use of District property for expressive activities and special events. The opportunity to observe application of the updated ordinance in practice during this period has prompted staff to recommend that the Board consider: (1) supplementation of certain findings that underlie the Board's actions; and, (2) adoption of various technical clarifications and amendments to the updated ordinance.

The report stated that it is the District’s policy to accommodate expressive activities to the extent feasible taking into account the District’s overarching safety, operational and security needs and to the extent possible, allow the public to engage in expressive activities on District property so long as the activities do not compromise the district’s business and operations, user and staff safety and District security. At this time, the Board desires to confirm that the General Manager or her designee, has the authority to enact rules and regulations to effectuate the goals of the Ordinance.

The proposed amendments to the updated ordinance address the following subjects:

  a. Expansion of number of events per day at each facility and refinement of hours of permitted events;
  b. Findings pertaining to sticks and poles prohibition;
  c. Violations; and,
  d. Delegation of authority.

A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, David Miller summarized the staff report, stating that the proposed amendments include: 1) re-establishment of the time limits for permitted activities to be completed by 2:00 p.m., as with past practice, so as not to affect commute traffic; 2) allowance for up to two permitted activities per day, on a demonstration basis, to accommodate the increase in requests, provided that ample security is available to supervise the event, noting that there would be a mandatory 60-minute break between events in order to allow District personnel to clear the sidewalks; 3) enactment of technical changes and provision of clarifications; and, 4) authority for the General Manager to carry out rules and regulations to effectively implement Master Ordinance 2009, including the potential to revoke or deny permits according to set of standards. In conclusion, Mr. Miller stated that Master Ordinance 2009 is designed to alert the public regarding the ground rules for conducting permitted activities on the Bridge sidewalks and other facilities in a lawful manner and consistent with the standards established by the Board.

Discussion ensued, including the following comments and inquiries:

  • Director Sanders inquired as to how the item had been vetted. In response, Mr. Miller stated that the Board had a comprehensive discussion on this matter, and as a result of the discussion, in February 2009, amended the Ordinance related to expressive activities. Mr. Miller also stated that, since that time, staff has evaluated the effects of the newly enacted Ordinance, and are now recommending technical changes and clarifications to further refine the current Master Ordinance 2009.
  • Director Sobel inquired if the District collects fees for special events to recover District expenses, expressing his concerns regarding the District’s costs associated with overseeing expressive activities. In response, Mr. Miller stated that the Board adopted a policy in February 2009, to not charge fees. Mr. Miller noted that the California Highway Patrol also does not charge fees for their oversight of expressive activities.

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors STROEH/KERNS to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration:


The Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve amendments, clarifications and technical changes to the Master Ordinance 2009, relative to expressive activities and special events, as outlined and attached to the official Ordinance.

Action by the Board at its meeting of September 25, 2009 – Ordinance

AYES (15): Directors Cochran, Dufty, Elsbernd, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Sanders, Sobel, Snyder and Stroeh; Second Vice President Eddie; First Vice President Reilly; President Boro
NOES (0): None


Public Comment

There was no public comment.



All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 10:05 a.m.



Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Barbara L. Pahre, Chair

Rules, Policy and Industrial Relations Committee