July 27, 2006
(For Board: August 11, 2006)

 

REPORT OF THE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
AND PUBLIC INFORMATION COMMITTEE

 

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

Honorable Members:

A meeting of the Governmental Affairs and Public Information Committee was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, California, on Thursday, July 27, 2006, at 10:55 a.m., Chair Boro presiding.

Committee Members Present (5): Chair Boro; Vice Chair Martini; Directors Cochran and Newhouse Segal; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio). Director Cochran was appointed Committee Member Pro Tem for this meeting only.

Committee Members Absent (5): Directors Dufty, Kerns, McGoldrick, Reilly and Sandoval

Other Members Present (1): Director Stroeh

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; Terminal Superintendent and Acting Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division Rebecca Wessling; 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 reported on the status of the following federal legislation:
     
 
  • Golden Gate Bridge Moveable Median Barrier Project:  Ms. Kupersmith reported that the District was unsuccessful in receiving any federal funding for the Moveable Median Barrier project in either the House or Senate version of the current Congressional appropriations process.  She stated that Senator Boxer has expressed support for the Moveable Median Barrier project and will continue to seek federal funding for this project on the District’s behalf.  Ms. Kupersmith further noted that in the current cycle of appropriations, it appeared that projects in the State of California did not do well with regards to federal funding.  She explained that out of a total of 400 funded highway projects nationwide, only one project from the state of California received federal funding.  She stated that staff will also seek funding for the Moveable Median Barrier project from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), as well as the State Infrastructure Bond.
     
 
  • Water Resources Development Act/Larkspur Ferry Channel Dredging: She reported on the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which includes language that calls for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to take on permanent responsibility for the dredging of the Larkspur Ferry Channel.  She stated that the WRDA expired in 2000 and that the reauthorization has been stalled for several years, but is now finally moving forward through Congress.  She noted that the author of the bill, Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, recently toured the Larkspur Ferry Channel and the District’s facilities at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.  She stated that Congressman Duncan is supportive of the District’s efforts to have the Corps assume responsibility for dredging.  She also noted that the District will be positioned well as the WRDA goes to the House and Senate Conference Committee, since Senator Boxer is likely to be on that Conference Committee when it meets in September 2006.
     
  Ms. Kupersmith reported on the status of the following state legislation:
     
 
  • State Infrastructure Bond: Ms. Kupersmith reported that a meeting of the State Transit Assistance Infrastructure Bond Working Group was held in the District’s Board Room on Monday, July 24, 2006. She stated that this working group, a consortium of Bay Area transit operators, congestion management agencies, public works directors, ports and airports, is tasked with setting regional funding priorities for State Transit Assistance (STA) funds, as well as for funds from the proposed State Infrastructure Bond. She noted that while transit shortfall capital funding received a very high priority, the working group believed it would be too premature to set funding priorities for the State Infrastructure Bond, which will be decided upon by voters at the November 2006 election. She further stated that the working group also discussed updating the regional transit capital shortfall program, and the possible funding of lower-scoring priority projects, such as facilities repairs and maintenance. She noted that the District, with many aging facilities that are 30 to 35 years old, would be keenly interested if infrastructure funding becomes available for repairs and maintenance of the District’s facilities.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
2. Approve the Issuance of a Request for Proposals for Corporate Sponsorship Program Development
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation regarding the issuance of a request for proposals for the development of a corporate sponsorship program.  The report stated that the District’s Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability calls for the development of revenue from non-traditional sources, including the investigation of a corporate sponsorship program.  Over the past few years, the District has been approached several times by corporations interested in sponsorship opportunities, but without the benefit of a clear plan guiding such sponsorships, the Board has been reluctant to pursue these opportunities. The report also stated that the Board directed staff to pursue development of a sponsorship program that would clearly identify the financial potential to be gained, as well as develop a set of guiding criteria that would assist the Board in pursuing and evaluating sponsorship opportunities.

The report stated that staff researched similar sponsorship programs underway at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and used that research to develop a proposed Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire a consultant with experience in developing sponsorship programs for public agencies.  The report noted that the RFP outlines guiding principles for this sponsorship program to assist potential consultants in evaluating their interest in working with the District.  The RFP clearly states that safety, security and operations are the District’s highest priorities and will not be compromised in any way by this program.  The program must be sensitive to the District’s customers and employees, and recognize the District’s position as a public entity charged with preservation and operation of a landmark facility of worldwide prominence and significance.  Any program to be developed for the District must build upon and re-enforce a positive public image for the District and must abide by the same guidelines and restrictions that govern the District’s transit advertising program.  The selected consultant will work with the District to refine and expand upon these guiding principles to develop specific criteria for evaluating potential sponsorship opportunities.

The report described how the proposed RFP would be structured, noting that Phase I of the project would involve developing a proposed sponsorship policy, including guidelines and procedures for implementing such a program.  If the Board approves proceeding with implementation, Phase II of the project would involve seeking out and negotiating sponsorship opportunities, as well as identifying tasks to be undertaken in implementing and administering the contract.  The program is expected to focus most heavily on the Golden Gate Bridge, but will also encourage exploration of sponsorship on the District’s buses and ferries.

The report further stated that the proposed RFP will be broadly advertised and resulting proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  1. Firm qualifications and experience
  2. Project Team qualifications and experience
  3. Project approach and understanding
  4. Proposed cost for each Phase of the project
     
 

It is anticipated that the proposed RFP will be advertised in August 2006, with proposals due four weeks after issuance, and that a recommendation to hire a consultant would be presented to the Government Affairs and Public Information Committee and the Board of Directors for consideration in November 2006.  The report also stated that once a consultant has been hired, it is suggested that the President of the Board appoint a small advisory committee to guide staff in implementing the contract.  Subsequently, the consultant will report findings and recommendations to the Committee and the Board for formal consideration and action.  A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Celia Kupersmith summarized the staff report and explained that staff is seeking direction from the Committee and the Board to move forward with investigating the feasibility of a corporate sponsorship program, which has been a component of the Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability for several years.  She highlighted some of the guiding principles that would drive such a program, including the recognition that the District is a unique public agency with responsibility for the Golden Gate Bridge, a landmark icon of international significance.

Discussion ensued, including the following:
     
 
  • Director Stroeh inquired as to whether any other public agencies in California have undertaken a corporate sponsorship program.  In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that most of the large cities in California have done a similar program, but that a municipal agency is not necessarily comparable to the District.  She noted that most of the unsolicited inquiries regarding sponsorship programs that the District has received over the past few years have been related to the Golden Gate Bridge.  She stated that, for that reason, staff has sought comparable programs in New York, with landmark facilities such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
     
 
  • Director Newhouse Segal inquired as to how the proposed RFP will be advertised. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the RFP would be it will be advertised at a national level, seeking firms and individuals with related experience, particularly with landmarks of historic significance.  She stated that staff anticipates a wide range of responses to the RFP, and will be seeking a consultant that can help guide the Board in deciding what type of corporate sponsorship program for the District to pursue.
     
 
  • Chair Boro commented that the National Park Service has had noted success with its Proud Partner program, and would be a useful model program for the District to consider.  He noted that revenue generation is one of the central goals of the District’s financial plan, and that time is of the essence to pursue a corporate sponsorship program.  He further noted that the Golden Gate Bridge is a common feature of local advertising, and that would be prudent for the District to capitalize on its own asset.
     
 
Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors MARTINI/STROEH to forward the following recommendation to the Board of Directors for its consideration.
     
 
RECOMMENDATION
     
 

The Governmental Affairs and Public Information Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve the issuance of a Request for Proposals for consultant services to analyze the potential for a corporate sponsorship program and implement said program if directed.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
 
AYES (5):     Chair Boro; Vice Chair Martini; Directors Cochran and Newhouse Segal; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio)
NOES (0):     None
ABSENT (5): Directors Dufty, Kerns, McGoldrick, Reilly and Sandoval
     
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 of the Whole:
 
1.   Notice of Cancellation Notice for the July 12, 2006, meeting of Planning and Development Committee;
2.   Notice of Cancellation for the July 11, 2006, meeting of the Administrative/ Finance/Legislative Committee;
3.   Agenda for the June 22, 2006, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors;
4.   Agenda for the June 21, 2006, meeting of the Community Advisory Committee;
5.   Notice of Cancellation for the June 14, 2006, meeting of Planning and Development Committee;
6.   Agenda for the June 13, 2006, meeting of the Administrative/Finance/Legislative Committee;
7.   Agenda for the May 25, 2006, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors;
8.   Minutes of the May 25, 2006, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors;
9.   Agenda for the May 10, 2006, meeting of Planning and Development Committee;
10. Agenda for the May 9, 2006, Administrative/Finance/Legislative Committee;
11. Agenda for the April 27, 2006, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors; and,
12. Minutes of the April 27, 2006, 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 that the WTA Board of Directors would hold its next meeting on July 27, 2006, in the Berkeley City Council Chambers, to discuss the recently released report on Berkeley/Albany Ferry Terminal Site Location Alternatives.  He noted that there has been very positive support for ferry service from the people of Berkeley.

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 11:15 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Albert J. Boro, Chair
Governmental Affairs and Public Information Committee