Meetings

January 13, 2005
(For Board: January 28, 2005)

REPORT OF THE FINANCE-AUDITING COMMITTEE/
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Honorable Board of Directors
Golden Gate Bridge, Highway
and Transportation District

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Finance-Auditing Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, January 13, 2005, at 10:20 a.m., Chair Stroeh presiding.

Committee Members Present (8): Chair Stroeh: Vice Chair Pahre; Directors Cochran, Eddie, Murray, Reilly and Shahum; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (1): Director Boro
Other Directors Present (3): Directors Harrison, Kerns and Smith

Committee of the Whole Members Present (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Kerns, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum, Smith and Stroeh; First Vice President Harrison; President Middlebrook
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Herná ndez, Martini, McGoldrick and Sandoval; Second Vice President Boro

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney David J. Miller; Deputy General Manager Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chironi; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James P. Swindler; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Planning Director Alan R. Zahradnik; Capital/Grant Programs Manager and Acting Auditor-Controller Nina Rannells; Budget and Program Analysis Manager Jennifer Mennucci; FasTrak Program Coordinator Sally Hinds; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Trainee Patsy Whala

Visitors Present: None

1.

Authorize Actions Related to Grant Programs

a. Authorize Filing Grant Applications with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Federal Transportation Enhancement Activity Funds for Merchant Road Improvements; and, Committing the Necessary Local Match

In a memorandum to Committee, Capital and Grant Programs Manager Nina Rannells, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’ s recommendation for approval to submit an application with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation Enhancement Activity funds, in the amount of 283,000, to support Merchant Road Improvements.

The report stated that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has developed a fund programming process that allocates a portion of federal Transportation Enhancement Activity (TEA) funds to county Congestion Management Agencies (CMA) for development of funding priorities for local transportation projects. TEA funds are intended to support projects, such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety and educational activities, landscaping and scenic beautification, and historic preservation.

The report also stated that in response to the solicitation from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) for programming consideration for San Francisco’s county share of Fiscal Year 2006 TEA funds, staff submitted a request for funds. These funds support improvements to Merchant Road by adding a Class II bicycle lane, as well as sidewalk, lighting and landscaping improvements. This work is part of the Toll Plaza Area Transfer Points/Pavement Rehabilitation project.

The report further stated that in accordance with MTC’s Regional Transportation Improvement Program Policies and Procedures for receiving federal and state transportation funds, the District Board of Directors is required to adopt a resolution authorizing application for capital funds and approving related certifications and assurances as listed in the staff report. A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Finance-Auditing Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize the General Manager to execute and submit an application and related assurances with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation Enhancement Activity funds, in the amount of $283,000, to support Merchant Road Improvements; and, authorize committing the necessary local match.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Kerns, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum, Smith and Stroeh; First Vice President Harrison; President Middlebrook
NOES (0): None

b. Authorize Filing an Application with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Regional Measure 2 Funds to Support Implementation of the Golden Gate Ferry Faregates Project

In a memorandum to Committee, Capital and Grant Programs Manager Nina Rannells, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’ s recommendation to authorize the General Manager to execute and submit an application, related assurances and allocation request with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Regional Measure 2 funds, in the amount of $1,600,000, to support implementation of the Golden Gate Ferry Faregates capital project.

The report stated that in March 2004, voters passed Regional Measure 2 (RM2) raising the toll for all vehicles on the seven State-owned toll bridges in the San Francisco Bay Area by $1.00. This extra dollar will be used to fund various transportation projects within the region that have been determined to reduce congestion or to make improvements to travel in the toll bridge corridors. RM2 funds have been set aside for capital projects that will integrate the regional fare payment system, TransLink, which allows customers to use a single smart card to ride Bay Area buses, trains and ferries. The TransLink consortium has established a list of projects eligible for funding under TransLink, and the Golden Gate Ferry Faregates (Ferry Faregates) project is included in the project list.

The report further stated that in accordance with MTC’s RM2 Regional Traffic Relief Plan Policies and Procedures for receiving capital assistance, the District Board of Directors is required to adopt a resolution authorizing application for RM2 assistance and approving related certifications and assurances as listed in the staff report. A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Finance-Auditing Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize the General Manager to execute and submit an application, related assurances and allocation request with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Regional Measure 2 funds, in the amount of $1,600,000, to support implementation of the Golden Gate Ferry Faregates capital project.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Kerns, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum, Smith and Stroeh; First Vice President Harrison; President Middlebrook
NOES (0): None

   
2.

Authorize the Setting of a Public Hearing Relative to Establishing Golden Gate Transit Larkspur Ferry Special Event Ferry Fares to SBC Park for 2005

In a memorandum to Committee, Planning Director Alan Zahradnik, Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division James P. Swindler and General Manager Celia Kupersmith presented staff’s recommendation to set a public hearing on February 10, 2005, for the purpose of receiving public comment relative to establishing Golden Gate Transit Larkspur Ferry Special Event fares to SBC Park for 2005.

The report summarized the District’s fare policy, as stated in the Short-Range Transit Plan. The report noted that with respect to special event service fares, District policy has been to set fares to cover direct operating costs of these discretionary, special services at a “breakeven” level. Based on this premise, it is estimated that costs in 2005 will increase and require a fare increase. The report described the operating costs associated with running special event bus and ferry service and how staff arrived at the proposed increased fares. The report further outlined how the District’s special event fares compare with other Bay Area transit providers’ fares. In addition, Staff compared special event fares with the costs associated with an individual driving to and from, as well as carpooling, to Pacific Bell/SBC Park. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Finance-Auditing Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize the setting of a public hearing on Thursday, February 10, 2005, at 9:30 a.m., Board Room, Administration Building, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, for the purpose of receiving public comment relative to establishing Golden Gate Transit Larkspur Ferry Special Event fares to SBC Park for 2005.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Kerns, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum, Smith and Stroeh; First Vice President Harrison; President Middlebrook
NOES (0): None

   
3.

Authorize Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with OSI Collection Services, Inc., Relative to RFP No. 2005-D-4, FasTrak™ Collection Services

In a memorandum to Committee, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with OSI Collection Services, Inc., to collect all outstanding toll revenue from unpaid violation notices, at a commission rate of twenty-nine percent on collections and twenty-nine percent on judgments, for a period of one year, commencing in January 2005.

The report stated that a violation occurs when a vehicle passes through the Toll Plaza and there is no valid FasTrak™ account registration and no payment. The FasTrak™ Customer Service Center sends toll evaders a first notice requesting payment. If no response is received, a second notice is sent. In 2004, the District notified account holders that it would begin to implement the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registration hold process whereby toll evaders, who did not respond to the first or second notice, would be unable to register their vehicle until outstanding tolls and penalties are paid. Violation accounts targeted for DMV registration holds are those with at least one violation occurring during the past year.

The report also stated that, on November 9 2004, the District issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for FasTrak™ collection services to target unpaid violations that are not eligible for or, because of age, not appropriate for DMV registration holds. In accordance with common industry practice, the District will allow the selected collection agency to take a percentage of the amount collected as compensation for their services. As part of their proposal package, proposers were requested to submit a commission rate for revenue received from collections, and a commission rate on revenue received from judgments, if any. Three proposals were received by the District as follows:

1.

GC Services Limited Partnership, Houston, TX

45% commission on collections; 45% commission on judgments

2. Law Enforcement Systems, Inc., Long Island City, NY
5% commission on collections; 45% commission on judgments
3. OSI Collection Services, Inc., Rancho Cordova, CA
29% commission on collections; 29% commission on judgments

The report further stated that the evaluation panel found the proposal from OSI Collection Services, Inc. (OSI), to be the most responsive. OSI provided a detailed, comprehensive work plan and a full description of how they would fulfill the scope of work using an integrated approach of mailings with pro-active telephone follow-up. OSI maintained their approach to staff training, coaching and leadership development, as well as their intention to dedicate a team specifically to the Golden Gate Bridge account. They demonstrated an understanding of the need to work pro-actively and cooperatively with violators to find workable payment solutions to promote exceptional customer service. In addition, OSI currently provides collection services for the California Department of Transportation.

OSI submitted the lowest bid, with an estimated $40,000-$50,000 savings over the next lowest bid. It is projected that of the estimated $555,000 in tolls and $3,175,000 in penalties to be sent to collections, approximately $746,000 will be collected. Of this amount collected, $216,340 would be paid as commission to OSI Collections Services, Inc., leaving the District an estimated $529,600 in collections revenue. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Finance-Auditing Committee recommends that the Board of Directors authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with OSI Collection Services, Inc., of Rancho Cordova, California, relative to RFP No. 2005-D-4, FasTrak Collection Services, to collect all outstanding toll revenue from unpaid violation notices, at a commission rate of twenty-nine percent on collections and twenty-nine percent on judgments, for a period of one year, commencing in January 2005.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (11): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Kerns, Murray, Pahre, Reilly, Shahum, Smith and Stroeh; First Vice President Harrison; President Middlebrook
NOES (0): None

   
4.

Closed Session

Ms. Kupersmith advised the committee that the closed session item listed on the agenda as Item No. 5.a., Report of Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos, Rudy, LLP, would be continued until the January 27, 2005, meeting of the Finance-Auditing Committee.

   
5.

Comments from Committee Members

  • Director Pahre inquired as to whether the District should be concerned with obtaining state funding for projects due to the State of California’s budgetary crisis. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the California State Department of Transportation has programmed $160 million for the District, which has been incorporated through the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project. 
  • Director Murray stated that the Transportation Authority of Marin met on January 12 and expressed their concerns about the $800,000 funds to be shared between the District and the Marin County Transit District that is at risk due to the state’s budgetary crisis. She requested staff to look into this matter. In addition, Director Murray suggested that the District launch efforts to partner with the California Transportation Commission to lobby legislative delegates for this funding. 
  • Director Kerns inquired if the District has a legislative program, and suggested that one of the District’s top priorities should be to protect Proposition 42 funds.
  • Director Smith stated that the California Building and Construction Trades Council has begun a campaign to protect Proposition 42 funding.

Action by the Board – None Required

   
6.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

   
7.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

J. Dietrich Stroeh, Chair
Finance-Auditing Committee

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