October 28, 2005
(For Board: November 18, 2005)

REPORT OF THE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
AND PUBLIC INFORMATION COMMITTEE/
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

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

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Governmental Affairs and Public Information Committee/Committee of the Whole was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Friday, October 28, 2005, at 9:50 a.m., Chair Boro presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Boro; Vice Chair Martini; Director Dufty, Moylan, Newhouse Segal and Reilly; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio). Chair Boro appointed Director Moylan as Committee Member Pro Tem for this meeting only.
Committee Members Absent (3): Directors Kerns, McGoldrick and Sandoval
Other Members Present (5): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Hernández, Pahre and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (12): Directors Cochran, Dufty, Eddie, Hernández, Martini, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly and Stroeh; Second Vice President Boro; First Vice President Moylan; President Middlebrook
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Ammiano, Brown, Kerns, McGoldrick, Murray, Sandoval and Shahum

Staff Present: General Manager Celia G. Kupersmith; District Engineer Denis J. Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph M. Wire; 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. Chiaroni; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Marketing and Communications Director Kellee Hopper; Security and Emergency Management Specialist Lisa J. Locati; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: None

     
1. Status Report on State/Federal Legislation
     
 

General Manager Celia Kupersmith stated that there were no new developments in the past month with respect to state or federal legislation.

Action by the Board - None Required

     
2. Presentation on “See Something? Say Something!” Campaign
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Security and Emergency Management Specialist Lisa Locati, Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided an informational report on a new security awareness campaign. The report stated that it is widely recognized that employees and customers of public transportation systems play a key role in the security of these systems by being able to quickly identify suspicious objects, persons or behavior and report them to the proper authorities. The report also stated that the recently introduced “See Something? Say Something!” awareness campaign is designed to reach out to employees and the District’s customers by inviting them to be the “eyes and ears” of their transportation environment and to report anything that does not seem right to them.

The report further stated that the campaign provides information and instructions to employees and customers so that they know what to do and who to contact in the event they observe an unusual or suspicious object, person or incident on a bus, ferry or on the Bridge. Beginning the week of October 24, 2005, colorful signs and posters have been strategically displayed throughout the Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry systems, as well as at the Bridge and throughout the District in administrative offices and various employee common areas. In addition, collateral material and special briefings detailing what may constitute suspicious behavior or packages have been provided to all employees along with response instructions and emergency preparedness tips. The report noted that in addition to educating employees, District staff has worked with local law enforcement agencies within the District’s service area to ensure that those agencies properly respond to reports from customers. A copy of the report, including an attached copy of the “See Something? Say Something!” campaign poster and a copy of a press release issued October 24, 2005, are available in the Office of the Secretary of the District and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Lisa Locati made a presentation to the Committee regarding the “See Something? Say Something!” awareness campaign. She stated that this type of campaign, enlisting the help of transportation employees and customers, was first developed in response to the March 11, 2004, commuter train bombings in Madrid, Spain. She further stated that many transit agencies across the United States have implemented some sort of public outreach and security awareness campaign. She described the briefings that she has recently conducted with all departments throughout the District to educate employees regarding the “See Something? Say Something!” awareness campaign. She also described where the posters will be located at District facilities, as well as being placed on all buses, ferries and at major transit hubs. She recognized the contributions of Marketing and Communications Director Kellee Hopper and her staff in developing the printed outreach materials for the campaign. She stated that since this is the first generation of this type of security awareness campaign for the District, the campaign might evolve in the future as other outreach components are developed and as the District emulates campaign elements successfully used by transit agencies elsewhere.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Hernández made the following inquiries and comments:
    • She inquired regarding the procedure that would be followed after a suspicious object, person or incident is reported. In response, Ms. Locati described the protocol that would be followed, noting that after the initial report is made to District personnel, local law enforcement would be notified if it were deemed necessary.
    • Director Hernández stated that it is important to operate with a high degree of sensitivity when reporting suspicious persons, given the fact that the Bay Area is a very diverse community with a wide variety of personal cultural expression. She inquired as to what criteria would be used when reporting suspicious persons as part of the “See Something? Say Something!” awareness campaign. In response, Ms. Locati noted that employees and the general public would be educated to report persons based on their activities, rather than based on their appearance.

Action by the Board - None Required

     
3.
Status Report from the Board Appointee on the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA)
     
 

Chair Boro, the San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority (WTA) Board Appointee, provided a status report on recent activities of the WTA. The following items were provided to the Committee:

  1. Agenda for the October 27, 2005, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors;
  2. Notice of Cancellation for the October 12, 2005, meeting of the Operations Committee;
  3. Notice of Cancellation for the October 12, 2005, meeting of Planning and Development Committee;
  4. Notice of Cancellation for the October 11, 2005, Administrative/Finance/ Legislative Committee;
  5. Agenda for the September 29, 2005, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors; and,
  6. Minutes of the June 23, 2005, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors.

Copies are available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Chair Boro reported on topics discussed at the October 27, 2005, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors, noting that a lengthy closed session was held regarding ongoing real estate negotiations with both the Port of San Francisco and the City of Alameda over potential sites for the WTA’s home port. He also stated that at the October 27th meeting, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Castleberry provided a report to WTA Board of Directors outlining the implementation schedule and status of WTA ferry service at various locations around San Francisco Bay. Chair Boro requested that a copy of the WTA CEO’s report be distributed to the members of the Board of Directors by the Secretary of the District. He further reported that at its October 27th meeting, the WTA Board of Directors also approved the issuance of a Request for Qualifications for the construction of two ferryboats for ferry service at Oyster Point in South San Francisco.

Action by the Board - None Required

     
4. Public Comment
     
 

There was no public comment.

     
5. Adjournment
     
 

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

     

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Albert J. Boro, Chair

Governmental Affairs and Public Information Committee