March 13, 2008

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, March 13, 2008, at 10:05 a.m., Chair Stroeh presiding.

Committee Members Present (9): Chair Stroeh; Vice Chair Pahre; Directors Boro, Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Middlebrook and Reilly; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (0):
None
Other Directors Present (4): Directors Kerns, McGlashan, Newhouse Segal and Sanders

Committee of the Whole Members Present (13): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly, Sanders and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (6): Directors Brown, Dufty, Hernández, McGoldrick and Sandoval; Second Vice President Ammiano

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/Ferry Division James P. Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Director of Risk Management and Safety William Stafford; Director of Planning Alan R. Zahradnik; Deputy District Engineer Ewa Z. Bauer; Budget and Program Analysis Manager Jennifer Mennucci; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko

Visitors Present: David Hoffman, Marin County Bicycle Coalition; Andrew Fremier, Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Bay Area Toll Authority; Tilly Chang, San Francisco County Transportation Authority; Norman Rolfe, San Francisco Tomorrow

     
1.

Authorize Filing Grant Applications with the Federal Transit Administration for FY 07/08 Section 5307, Section 5309 and Flex Funds Capital Assistance

In a memorandum to Committee, Capital and Grant Programs Manager Gayle S. Prior, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation for approval to file Section 5307, Section 5309 and Flex Funds grant applications with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for FY 07/08 federal capital assistance funds. The report stated that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has programmed $31,857,582 in FY 07/08 to support implementation of ten District transit capital projects. The report also stated that these grant funds are earmarked through the Section 5307 Federal Urbanized Area Formula Program and the Section 5309 Federal Capital Program, as well as Flex Funds, including the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), the federal Ferry Boat Discretionary Program (FBD) and the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP).

The grant funds will be used for the following transit capital projects, all of which are included in the District’s 10-Year Capital Plan:
1.   Replacement Buses;
2.   Advanced Communication and Information System;
3.   Preventative Maintenance;
4.   Facilities Rehabilitation;
5.   Transit Safety and Security;
6.   Ferry Major Components;
7.   Ferry Channel and Berth Dredging;
8.   Ferry Fixed Guideway Connectors;
9.   Larkspur Ferry Terminal Parking Improvements; and,
10. San Rafael Transit Center Improvements.

The report also stated that in addition to the grant funds programmed for the above-listed capital projects, the MTC has also programmed $2,200,000 for District pass-through funds for implementation of the TransLink® regional electronic fare project. As part of administering the federal pass-through funds to MTC for TransLink® implementation, it will be necessary to revise the District’s pass-through agreement with the MTC to add the new $2,200,000 increment of federal funds to the project. The report noted that these grant funds require a District local match of $8,005,726, as well as $285,033 in local match funds to be provided by the MTC, to meet the total local match requirement of $8,290,759.

As background, the report stated that the MTC, in partnership with Bay Area county congestion management agencies and local transit operators, has developed a multi-modal approach to programming the above-described federal grant funds to high-priority transit, bicycle, pedestrian and roadway projects. Once these funds are programmed by the MTC, individual transit agencies must secure the funds through a grant application process and by execution of a grant funding agreement with the FTA. The report further stated that staff has begun preparation of the required grant materials and requests Board approval to submit the District’s FY 07/08 Section 5307, Section 5309 and flex funds grant applications to the FTA to secure these federal capital funds in the amount of $31,857,582. A copy of the report is available in Office the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

Staff recommended and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors COCHRAN/REILLY 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 or her designee to file Section 5307 Federal Urbanized Area Formula Program funds, Section 5309 Federal Capital Program, and Flex Funds grant applications with the Federal Transit Administration for FY 07/08 federal grant funds to support various capital projects.

Action by the Board at its meeting of March 14, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (12): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Pahre, Reilly, Sanders and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

     
2.

Approve Resolution Regarding Future Implementation of Congestion Pricing at the Golden Gate Bridge

In a memorandum to Committee, General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to approve a resolution regarding future implementation of congestion pricing at the Golden Gate Bridge. The report stated that during its meetings of November 9, 2007, December 7, 2007, December 14, 2007 and, January 11, 2008, the Board of Directors had extensive discussions regarding the potential use of tolling to pay for reconstruction of Doyle Drive. Multiple resolutions about the potential Doyle Drive toll were discussed, but ultimately none were acted upon and the topic was continued to a date uncertain, subject to the approval of the Board President.

The report provided a detailed summary of “summit meetings” that were held in February 2008, at the behest of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, to further discuss the challenges of finding sufficient funds for the Doyle Drive reconstruction project. These meetings were attended by the Board’s President and First Vice President, as well as by representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), and Marin and Sonoma counties. The report stated that these Doyle Drive summit meetings have focused on two primary issues: (1) how to achieve full funding of Doyle Drive; and, (2) how to meet key deadlines associated with the recently awarded Urban Partnership Program (UPP) grant. The report explained that the UPP grant awards a total of $158.7 million for several congestion relief projects throughout the Bay Area, including at least $36 million for Doyle Drive reconstruction and $12.8 million for ferry system improvements, with the caveat that the legal authority to implement congestion pricing through tolls at either Doyle Drive or the Golden Gate Bridge must be in place as of March 31, 2008. In response to this deadline, the MTC and the SFCTA began efforts to acquire the legal authority to collect tolls on Doyle Drive, but no legislation has been forthcoming thus far.

The report also stated that in an effort to cooperate and support both the Doyle Drive reconstruction, as well as the various congestion mitigation projects funded through the UPP grant, staff and Bridge District representatives made an offer of assistance at the second summit meeting to pursue congestion pricing through tolling at the Golden Gate Bridge as a way of meeting the grant requirement. Specifically, they said that they would bring forward a resolution for consideration by the entire Bridge District Board that would clearly state the following: (1) the District has the legal authority to implement congestion pricing; and, (2) the District is committed to implementing some form of congestion pricing as part of the upcoming toll increase. The report stated that federal Department of Transportation (DOT) officials have approved the draft resolution, noting that the resolution will satisfy the UPP grant requirements. In addition, the draft resolution has also been reviewed by staff from key agencies involved in the UPP grant program, including the City and County of San Francisco, the MTC, and the SFCTA.

The report further stated that the draft resolution does not specify a congestion toll amount, but states that the specifics of such congestion pricing will be developed over the next 30-45 days and be available for public review as part of the ongoing toll increase process. The draft resolution also states that revenues generated by the congestion pricing component will be used on congestion relief projects or services aimed at further improving traffic flow in the Golden Gate Corridor, which is defined in the resolution to be the Golden Gate Bridge and its U.S. Highway 101 approaches, including Doyle Drive. The specific spending plan for the congestion pricing toll revenue will be decided by the Board of Directors at a future date. A copy of the report is available in Office the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Celia Kupersmith provided background regarding the issue of congestion pricing, noting that the SFCTA first approached the District Board in August 2007, with a request for assistance in meeting the requirements of the UPP grant. She stated that throughout the summit meetings, the North Bay representatives remained opposed to the concept of using a Doyle Drive toll to pay for the Doyle Drive reconstruction project and endeavored to separate the issue of how to fully fund the Doyle Drive reconstruction project from the issue of preserving the UPP grant funds. She noted that the draft resolution represents a good faith effort on the part of the District to “save the day” and guarantee the award of the $158.7 million UPP grant to worthy congestion relief projects in the Bay Area. She further stated that at the summit meetings, the attendees agreed to continue to work cooperatively on the larger issue of seeking additional monies for the Doyle Drive reconstruction project, with the goal of fully funding the project by July 1, 2008.

Ms. Kupersmith provided a summary of the draft resolution, as described in the “Resolved” clauses, Paragraph Numbers. 1-8 on Pages 2 and 3 of the attached proposed resolution. She stated that the net proceeds of the congestion pricing toll will be used to support congestion relief projects or services within the Golden Gate Corridor, including Doyle Drive:

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Chair Stroeh noted that the proposed resolution is not the first time that the District has considered congestion pricing at the Golden Gate Bridge, a concept which has been discussed by the Board of Directors several times in the past.
  • Director McGlashan made the following comments:
    • He expressed his gratitude that the District could step up in a leadership role and save the important UPP grant monies for the San Francisco Bay Area region.
    • He stated that it is fitting that the District is proposing to implement congestion pricing on the Golden Gate Bridge, because the District is uniquely positioned to provide the public with a way around the toll by offering the District’s bus and ferry transit services as alternatives.
    • He noted that the District’s bus and ferry transit services effectively eliminate approximately 17,000 vehicles per day off of the Golden Gate Bridge and that currently, 45 percent of the District’s toll revenue is used to fund the bus and ferry transit services.
    • He expressed his opposition, for the record, to the use of any congestion toll revenue for the reconstruction of Doyle Drive, noting that such an action would impinge on the District’s ability to fund its own programs and services.
    • He stated that it is critical to communicate that the reconstruction of Doyle Drive is a State Highway Safety Project that should be paid for with state highway funds.
    • He stated that by using Golden Gate Bridge congestion pricing toll revenues to help pay for the Doyle Drive project would present an equity failure, by charging a single user group from the North Bay to pay for a state-owned roadway located within the City and County of San Francisco.
    • He noted that the federal Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, as owners of the property underlying the Doyle Drive project, are obligated to contribute funding for the project, especially since the project costs have escalated due to changes requested by the National Park Service.
  • Director Boro made the following comments:
    • He quoted from the February 13, 2008, letter from DOT Secretary Mary Peters, noting that the DOT’s intent was that the proceeds from the congestion pricing toll be used to “meaningfully reduce congestion on Doyle Drive,” rather than raise revenue for the Doyle Drive project.
    • He suggested that an effective use of these toll proceeds would be to offer more opportunities to use public transit by increasing the frequency of certain Golden Gate Transit bus routes in the Golden Gate Corridor from 30 minutes to 15 minutes.
    • He expressed his concerns that the amount of the shortfall for the Doyle Drive project has been changing over the past several weeks, noting that the number has been fluctuating from $470 million to $160 million, and that it is important to have a firm number in mind before traveling to Washington, D.C., to seek additional federal funding for the project.
    • He suggested that a delegation also travel to Sacramento to seek funding from the State of California for the Doyle Drive project.
    • He stated that it was important that the matter of seeking tolling authority from the State Legislature for another agency has been removed from consideration.
    • He noted that at the first summit meeting in January 2008, it was reported that the original funding agreement for the Doyle Drive project included equal one-third contributions from the City and County of San Francisco, the State of California and the federal government. He noted that to date, the federal government has not contributed any funds towards the project.
  • Director Grosboll made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He expressed his appreciation to his colleagues on the Board of Directors who participated in the summit meetings and proposed this good faith effort of compromise to save the UPP grant funding.
    • He inquired as to whether the wording in Paragraph Number 7 of the proposed resolution could be interpreted to mean that a portion of the District’s proceeds would be set aside to pay for the Doyle Drive project. In response, Ms. Kupersmith answered in the affirmative, noting that the Board of Directors would make the final decision on how the proceeds of the congestion pricing toll would be used.
    • He inquired as to whether the District would be required to contribute funding for the Doyle Drive project, and Ms. Kupersmith noted that the wording in the proposed resolution does not require the District to contribute such toll revenue to the Doyle Drive project, but leaves open the possibility that the Board could choose to do so in the future.
    • He inquired regarding the wording in Paragraph Number 3 of the proposed resolution, which refers to congestion relief performance standards. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the wording in Paragraph Number 3 is taken from an existing federal performance standard for “hot lanes,” which are high-occupancy vehicle lanes in which single-occupant vehicles pay a toll to travel and which are free to carpools. She noted that the performance standard is an “aspiration goal” which covers the entire Golden Gate Corridor, not just the Golden Gate Bridge.
    • He inquired as to whether the SFCTA were still pursuing tolling authority from the California State Legislature. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the SFCTA has agreed not to pursue such legislation until such time as the District has made its final decision regarding congestion pricing.
  • Director Sanders made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She inquired as to whether elimination of the FasTrak® discount could be used to capture the additional congestion pricing toll. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that there are no specific toll proposals in place yet, but that staff will present proposals that could range from reducing the toll discount during peak hours to adding the congestion pricing toll on top of the proposed new toll rates. She noted that the electronic nature of FasTrak® allows for more pricing flexibility than do cash tolls.
    • She stated, for the record, her opinion is that the FasTrak® discount should be eliminated, because it is no longer necessary as an incentive to attract new FasTrak® users.
    • She stated, for the record, that it is important to remind the public that receiving the $158.7 million in UPP grant funding will be a real boon to the Bay Area, especially since the funding is coming directly from the federal government and not at the expense of other worthy projects or from local fees or taxes.
    • She marveled at the fact that the decisions surrounding the UPP grant funding, with such a large amount of money at stake, were made by the respective government agencies in such a short time.
  • Director Newhouse Segal expressed her appreciation to her colleagues on the Board of Directors who proposed this solution for meeting the UPP grant requirements by implementing a congestion pricing toll. She stated that the District will become a model for other agencies to follow with respect to using congestion toll revenue to reduce congestion.
  • Director Cochran inquired as to whether the wording in Paragraph Number 3 of the proposed resolution would preclude the District from implementing congestion pricing on weekends. In response, Ms. Kupersmith clarified that the performance standard in Paragraph Number 3 applies to weekdays because Golden Gate Bridge users naturally drive slower on weekends as many of the drivers are visitors or local residents using the Bridge for recreational purposes.
  • Director Pahre inquired regarding the omission of the words, “District” and “Golden Gate Bridge” from the wording in Paragraph Number 5 of the proposed resolution. In response, Attorney Miller explained that in the context of the entirety of the proposed resolution language, there is nothing to suggest that any other agency would be involved in the District’s public outreach or decision-making process with respect to the adoption of a congestion pricing toll.
  • Director Middlebrook made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She expressed her concerns that the amount of the Doyle Drive project shortfall is still fluctuating, noting that it would be much easier to seek federal funding in the amount of $160 million, rather than $460 million or $370 million.
    • She inquired as to true amount of the funding shortfall. In response, Ms. Kupersmith explained that the SFCTA has presented many ideas for shifting funding from other projects included in the UPP grant, and are also looking at such strategies as Value Engineering and getting the project reclassified as a Design/Build project in order to reduce construction costs.
    • She stated, for the record, her serious concerns regarding contributing any of the District’s proceeds from the congestion pricing toll towards the Doyle Drive project. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that she received a communication from a DOT official that clearly stated that the DOT “defers to the locality on the use of proceeds raised by variable tolling.” She further stated that she interprets this to mean that the locality that controls the toll decides how to spend the proceeds from the toll.
  • Director Reilly made the following comments and inquiries:
    • She inquired regarding the $36 million in the UPP grant that would be earmarked for the Doyle Drive project. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the $640 million in dedicated funding includes the $36 million from the grant, but not the $10-$11 million earmarked for tolling infrastructure on Doyle Drive. She explained that since the tolling infrastructure portion of the funding would be rendered unnecessary if the District collects the congestion pricing toll at the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, the SFCTA offered to make an “in lieu payment” towards the Doyle Drive project that would equal the amount of foregone tolls from users of Doyle Drive who do not cross the Golden Gate Bridge.
    • She inquired regarding changes to the toll increase public outreach process currently underway if the proposed resolution is approved. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that the specific amount and collection times for the congestion pricing toll will be disseminated to the public through the media and the District’s web site in the next few months, in advance of the June 11, 2008, public hearing for the proposed toll increase. She stated that in accordance with District policy, the final proposal will be released 30 days before the public hearing.
  • Director Kerns made the following comments and inquiries:
    • He commented that the District is doing the right thing by approving the implementation of a congestion pricing toll sometime between now and September 2009 in order to meet the March 31, 2008, deadline to preserve the $158.7 million in UPP grant funding for the Bay Area.
    • He stated that, in his opinion, the Doyle Drive project, although it will be very costly, is an appropriate project for such a highly visible location within a National Park.
    • He noted that the parties involved in seeking additional federal funding for the Doyle Drive project are fortunate to have both California U.S. Senators, as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, from the Bay Area.
    • He concurred with Director Sanders that it would be prudent to eliminate the FasTrak® discount, because it is no longer needed as an incentive, since the real incentive for using FasTrak® is the convenience factor.
  • President Moylan expressed his support for the proposed resolution, but noted for the record that he is strongly opposed to using any Golden Gate Bridge toll revenues for the Doyle Drive project.
  • Director Eddie expressed his concerns about using proceeds from the District’s congestion pricing toll for the Doyle Drive project, noting that all State of California taxpayers should pay for that state-owned roadway.

Public Comment

David Hoffman, Director of Planning, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, requested that if a congestion pricing toll is approved at the Golden Gate Bridge, a portion of the net proceeds should be used to fund “Safe Routes to Transit” projects, which enable people to walk and/or bicycle safely to bus and ferry services within the Golden Gate Corridor.

Andrew Fremier, Deputy Executive Director, Bay Area Toll Authority, acknowledged the hard work of District Board members and staff at the summit meetings by opening up the dialog regarding Doyle Drive with more trust and transparency and working cooperatively to try to find additional funding sources for the project. He noted that the MTC is seeking legislation to allow the Doyle Drive reconstruction to be undertaken as a “Design/Build” project, which will save a significant amount of money by allowing the project to be completed early. He stated that the MTC supports the proposed resolution as written, and urged the Board of Directors to approve it.

Tilly Chang, Deputy Director for Planning, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, expressed her sincere gratitude to the District’s leadership for creating a solution to preserve the UPP grant and potentially help resolve the Doyle Drive funding issue. She stated that staff from the SFCTA would welcome the opportunity to further clarify the financing for the Doyle Drive project, and noted that staff from the SFCTA will be attending the District’s upcoming proposed toll increase open houses to answer any questions on the Doyle Drive project. She stated that the SFCTA are committed to continue working with the District, in the spirit of partnership and trust-building, to deliver a completed Doyle Drive project for the public.

  • Director Grosboll inquired of Ms. Chang as to whether it is clearly understood by the SFCTA that the District remains opposed to collecting a toll for the Doyle Drive project, and Ms. Chang replied that the SFCTA understands the District’s position.

Norman Rolfe reiterated comments he had made at previous meetings of the Board of Directors, expressing general opposition to the Presidio Parkway option for the reconstruction of Doyle Drive. He noted that the State of California, Department of Transportation has estimated that the existing Doyle Drive structure could be entirely rebuilt for approximately $200 million, which is far less than the $1.1 billion cost of the proposed parkway project. He urged the Board not to approve the motion unless the Doyle Drive project is revised.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Finance-Auditing Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve the attached resolution regarding future implementation of congestion pricing at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Action by the Board at its meeting of March 14, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly, Sanders and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

     
3.

Approve Granting Authority to the Auditor-Controller, the Plan Administrator for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Supplemental Retirement Plan, to Adopt Certain Amendments to the Plan

In a memorandum to Committee, Capital and Grant Programs Manager Gayle S. Prior, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation to grant authority to the Auditor-Controller, the Plan Administrator for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Supplemental Retirement Plan (Plan), to adopt and execute certain amendments to the Plan. The report stated that the Board of Directors, by Resolution No. 2004-067 at its July 9, 2004, meeting, authorized various actions relative to the implementation of the Supplemental Retirement Plan and Trust (Plan). The report stated that the specific reason for creation of the Plan was to offset a previously unanticipated limit on includable compensation under the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS). The Plan also serves as a vehicle to confer supplemental pension contributions that may be authorized from time to time in connection with the officer evaluation and compensation process. Under the terms of the resolution that created the Plan, the duties of the “Plan Administrator” were delegated to the District’s Auditor-Controller, and the Auditor-Controller was empowered to engage necessary actuarial and investment advisory and to take all other actions necessary to effectuate, implement and administer the Plan.

The report also stated that because minor or administrative amendments are needed occasionally to the Plan, staff and the Attorney recommend that the Board adopt a resolution that grants authority to the Auditor-Controller, only after consultation with the District Attorney, to adopt and execute certain amendments to the Plan. These amendments are limited to facilitating administration of the Plan, securing a favorable determination letter from the IRS, and ensuring that the Plan reflects and operates in accordance with the Board’s intent and statutory or regulatory changes. The report noted that any such amendments that otherwise affect a benefit under the Plan would be subject to approval by the Board.

The report further stated that due to recent updates made to the way in which the District processes and accounts for employee contributions to CalPERS, it is recommended that the Auditor-Controller be permitted to amend the Plan to clarify the Plan’s acceptance of the employee contributions once the applicable limit on compensation has been reached under CalPERS, as well as to amend the Plan if similar changes to the Plan are needed in the future to reflect changes to CalPERS benefits, the tax law or underlying employments contracts previously approved by the Board. A copy of the report is available in Office the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

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

RECOMMENDATION

The Finance-Auditing Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve granting authority to the Auditor-Controller, the Plan Administrator for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Supplemental Retirement Plan (Plan), after consultation with the Attorney for the District, to adopt and execute amendments to the Plan that are limited to areas that:

  1. Facilitate administration of the Plan;
  2. Ensure that the Plan operates consistent with the intent of the Board of Directors in adopting the Plan or as necessary to comply with the changes in the governing laws; and,
  3. Secure favorable determination letters from the Internal Revenue Service as may be necessary.

Action by the Board at its meeting of March 14, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (13): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, McGlashan, Middlebrook, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly, Sanders and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
NOES (0): None

     
4.

Status Report on the Renewal of the Property Insurance Program

In a memorandum to Committee, Director of Risk Management/Safety William Stafford, Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided a status report on the District’s Property Insurance Program, which renews on April 8, 2007. The report stated that the Property Insurance Program is comprised of the District Facilities Insurance policy, the Boiler & Machinery Insurance policy and the newly established Bridge Self-Insurance Loss Reserve.

The report described the current market conditions for property insurance, noting that although premiums for this category of insurance have decreased substantially in the past twelve months, the District’s premiums remain relatively high because the District’s facilities are located in an earthquake catastrophe zone. In addition, the fact that the District purchases $20 million in earthquake coverage also contributes to the relatively high premiums. The report also stated that for the start of 2008, insurers are typically quoting renewal premiums with decreases of 15 percent to 25 percent for property accounts with the District’s profile.

The report also described the current District Facilities Insurance policy, which provides $45 million in coverage for all risks of physical loss or damage coverage, including flood, and $20 million in coverage for earthquake loss, with a $250,000 deductible. The premium for the 2006 renewal of the District Facilities Insurance policy was $549,536. For the 2007 renewal, Marsh Risk & Insurance Services (Marsh), the District’s insurance broker, had been asked to obtain premium quotes for a $500,000 deductible, but the marketing results showed minimal premium savings. For the 2008 renewal, the District has requested that Marsh obtain quotes for increased earthquake coverage limits from $20 million to $25 million, in order to ensure that the District would be covered for rising construction costs. The total cost for the 2008 renewal is $536,237, which is $136,554 lower than the expiring premium of $672,791. The 2008 premium for the Property Insurance Program is the lowest rate since the 2000 renewal.

The report also stated that Marsh provided the District with an option for a new layer of earthquake and flood coverage. The District was given the option of increasing the earthquake and flood limit from $20 million to $25 million, for an additional $60,000. After careful consideration, staff recommends that this option should not be considered for the 2008 renewal.

The report further described the District’s Bridge Self-Insurance Loss Reserve (Reserve), which was approved by the Board of Directors at the time of the 2006 Property Insurance Program renewal, due to the high cost of Bridge Property and Loss of Use coverage and the lack of coverage and limits afforded by the policy. The policy had covered Bridge physical damage and loss of use, and had excluded losses caused by earthquake and terrorism. The report noted that the Reserve is a District-managed fund, which would pay for a loss due to Bridge physical damage and/or loss of revenue. The Reserve was set up with strict rules of governance and would be available in losses exceeding $10 million. In FY 05/06 and FY 06/07, $1.3 million was allocated to the Reserve, with the understanding that funds in this approximate amount would be allocated to this account each year thereafter. It is anticipated that a similar request for an allocation of $1.3 million will be made for FY 07/08. The report noted that to date, approximately $2.8 million has been accrued into the Bridge Self-Insurance Loss Reserve. A copy of the staff report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, William Stafford provided a brief overview of the District’s Property Insurance Program, noting that the property insurance market has improved dramatically since last year, resulting in an overall 22 percent rate reduction for the Property Insurance Program. He also stated that staff will present a recommendation for renewal of the Property Insurance Program at the March 27, 2008, meeting of the Finance-Auditing Committee.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Pahre inquired as to whether the deductible has remained the same for the District Facilities Insurance policy. In response, Mr. Stafford answered in the affirmative, noting that the District sustained a loss amounting to approximately $600,000 due to an incident in which another ferry operator’s vessel collided with a berth at the District’s San Francisco Ferry Terminal.

Action by the Board – None Required

     
5.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

   
6.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

   

 

Respectfully submitted,

J. Dietrich Stroeh, Chair
Finance-Auditing Committee

 

Attachment:  Proposed Resolution Regarding Future Implementation of Congestion Pricing at the Golden Gate Bridge