November 9, 2006
(For Board: November 17, 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, November 9, 2006, at 10:50 a.m., Chair Boro presiding.

Committee Members Present (6): Chair Boro; Vice Chair Martini; Directors McGoldrick, Newhouse Segal and Reilly; President Middlebrook (Ex Officio).

Committee Members Absent (3): Directors Dufty, Kerns and Sandoval

Other Members Present (3): Directors Eddie, Grosboll 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; Attorney David J. Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary H. Witt; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Marketing and Communications Director Kellee J. Hopper; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Patsy Whala

Visitors Present: Kevin Bartram, Principal, Sponsorship Strategies, LLC

     
1. Status Report on State/Federal Legislation
     
 

General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on the status of the following state legislation:

Successful Passage of Proposition 1A – Transportation Funding Protection, Legislative Constitutional Amendment:  Ms. Kupersmith commented on the recent election and the successful passage of Proposition 1A.  Proposition 1A amends the State Constitution to limit the conditions under which Proposition 42 can be suspended, and treat any suspension of funds as loans to be paid in full within three years of the suspension.  She noted that this was good news for the District.

Senate Bill 988 – Ms. Kupersmith reported on the status of Senate Bill 988 (SB 988), the bill that would designate the Golden Gate Bridge as a Safety Awareness Zone.  She stated that, in developing a plan, staff discovered language in the bill that may allow the District to seek funds to support implementation of the plan.

Ms. Kupersmith reported that, due to the November 7, 2006 election, there is no current federal legislation to report upon at this time.
     
2.
Authorize Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Sponsorship Strategies, LLC, Relative to Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2007-D-2, Development and Implementation of a Corporate Sponsorship Program
     
 

In a memorandum to Committee, Marketing and Communications Director Kellee Hopper, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation to authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Sponsorship Strategies, LLC, for consultant services to analyze the potential for a corporate sponsorship program and to implement said program if approved by the Board of Directors. 

The report stated that the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2006-061 at its meeting of July 28, 2006, approved the issuance of Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2007-D-2, Consultant to Provide Development and Implementation of a Corporate Sponsorship Program.  The primary objective of the RFP was to seek proposals from firms with extensive experience in designing and implementing sponsorship programs that will generate revenue.  These programs must be sensitive to the fact that the Golden Gate Bridge is a public agency and is duty-bound to preserve the Bridge’s dignity and safety, while recognizing its image as an international icon of historical engineering and architectural significance.

The report also stated that on Monday, September 25, 2006, the District received five proposals and that the proposals were reviewed by an Evaluation Committee consisting of District staff.  Interviews were conducted with the three highest-ranking firms that demonstrated their ability and experience in providing sponsorship consulting services.  The three firms invited were:
  1. Sponsorship Strategies, LLC, Novato, CA
  2. The Active Network, Inc., Huntington Beach, CA
  3. The Superlative Group, Inc., Cleveland, OH
     
 
Based on the evaluation of both the proposals and interviews of the three firms, staff recommends authorizing execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Sponsorship Strategies, LLC (Sponsorship Strategies), for Phase I of the Corporate Sponsorship Program (Program), the asset identification and program development phase of the Program, in an amount not to exceed $89,920. Sponsorship Strategies provides the most relevant experience and approach to developing customized sponsorship programs, as well as maintains a clear understanding of the sensitivity that this project will require. Sponsorship Strategies clearly demonstrated their understanding of the need to respect the District’s position as a public entity charged with the preservation and operation of a landmark facility. In addition, this RFP is not federally assisted and there are no Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements applicable to this Program. Sponsorship Strategies indicated that one of its team members is a DBE; therefore, DBE participation might be anticipated during the performance of the RFP.

The report further stated that, to assist staff in carrying out Phase I, the President of the Board of Directors has decided to establish an advisory committee that will provide staff with guidance and oversight of this Program. If the Board decides to move forward with Phase II, the Board President will decide at that time if an advisory committee will be prudent for that phase as well. Phase I should take approximately six months to complete. While only $25,000 was budgeted in this year’s operating budget for this project, full funding for Phase I will be found in the FY 06/07 Operating Budget through savings that accrue as the year progresses.

At the conclusion of Phase I, if the Board approves activating the implementation of Phase II, the compensation structure provided by Sponsorship Strategies will be based on revenues generated, as follows:

  • 10% commission on gross revenues generated that amount to $1 million or less, accrued on an annual basis;
  • 8% commission on gross revenues generated that exceed $1 million, accrued on an annual basis; and,
  • 6% commission on gross revenues generated that exceed $3 million or more, accrued on an annual basis;

with an advance against future commissions of $7,500 per month for the first eight months of Phase II. 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 introduced Kevin Bartram, Principal of Sponsorship Strategies. She stated that Sponsorship Strategies clearly evidenced the understanding and sensitivity to issues associated with this project, as well as recognition of the importance of the Golden Gate Bridge as an asset. She also stated that this project is potentially controversial and needs to be approached in a sensitive way. Ms. Kupersmith further stated that, when and if the Board approves proceeding with Phase II of the project, staff will present the additional details of that component to the Board. She noted that the District’s Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability identifies a potential revenue stream of $4 million over five years from a corporate sponsorship program.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

     
 
  • Chair Boro commended staff for their efforts in bringing this item to the Board of Directors.
     
 
  • Director McGoldrick made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He inquired as to whether the compensation for Phase II of the project was locked in or if the compensation rates are negotiable. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the compensation rates were negotiated as part of the contract presented today as required in the RFP. Further, she stated that the compensation rates submitted by Sponsorship Strategies reflect the industry standard.
    • In response to questions raised regarding ethical conduct, such as Sponsorship Strategies receiving income from both the District and the sponsoring company, Kevin Bartram stated that Sponsorship Strategies will be an exclusive advocate for the District and will adhere to professional standards of conduct. Ms. Kupersmith added that language on this issue would be included in the final contract.
     
 
  • Director Moylan inquired as to when the advisory committee will be formed.  In response, Chair Boro stated that, if the Board of Directors approve the recommendation at its meeting of Friday, November 17, 2006, the President will then establish an advisory committee that will work with the staff and the consultant to update the Committee/Board regarding key issues and developments, and to present any recommended actions for consideration.
     
 
  • Director Newhouse Segal inquired as to whether Sponsorship Strategies would be targeting only corporations as sponsors.  In response, Mr. Bartram stated that they would be seeking sponsors from both corporations and non-profit organizations.
     
 
Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors MARTINI/REILLY 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 authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Sponsorship Strategies, LLC, Novato, CA, in an amount not to exceed $89,920, relative to Request for Proposals (RFP) 2007-D-2, Consultant to Provide Development and Implementation of a Corporate Sponsorship Program, for the asset identification and program development phase (Phase I), with the understanding that requisite funds are available in the District’s FY 06/07 Operating Budget, and with the further understanding that Phase II of the Program will not be undertaken unless specifically approved by a separate action of the Board of Directors.

Action by the Board – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

     
  AYES (6):     Chair Boro; Vice Chair Martini; Directors McGoldrick, Newhouse Segal and Reilly; President Middlebrook
NOES (0):    None
ABSENT (3): Directors Dufty, Kerns 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:
 
1.
WTA CEO Report for October 20, 2006;
 
2.
Agenda for the October 26, 2006, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors;
 
3.
Notice of Cancellation for the October 11, 2006, meeting of the Planning and Development Committee;
 
4.
Notice of Cancellation for the October 10, 2006, Administrative/Finance/ Legislative Committee;
 
5.
Agenda and Minutes for the September 28, 2006, meeting of the WTA Board of Directors;
 
6.
Notice for the September 20, 2006, meeting of the WTA Community Advisory Committee;
 
7.
Minutes of the July 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.

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 11:30 a.m.
     

 

Respectfully submitted,

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