February 22, 2008

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 Friday, February 22, 2008, at 9:30 a.m., Chair Boro presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Boro; Director Cochran, Dufty, Grosboll, Middlebrook and Newhouse Segal; President Moylan (Ex Officio). Directors Grosboll and Middlebrook were appointed Committee Members Pro Tem for this meeting only.

Committee Members Absent (4): Vice Chair Kerns; Directors McGoldrick, Reilly and Sanders

Other Members Present (2): Directors Hernández and Stroeh

Staff Present: District Engineer and Acting General Manager Denis J. Mulligan; Secretary of the District Janet S. Tarantino; Attorney David J. Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bus Division Susan C. Chiaroni; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri W. Mantony; Marketing and Communications Director Kellee Hopper; Procurement and Retail Operations Director and Acting Auditor-Controller Lori Murray; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko

Visitors Present: None

       
1.

Approve Amending Assembly Bill No. 117, Relating to the Award of Contracts for Supplies, Equipment and Materials, to Include the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District

In a memorandum to Committee, General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided a report on Assembly Bill No. 117 (AB 117), proposed legislation before the California State Legislature which would amend procurement procedures for the award of contracts for supplies, materials and equipment. The report stated that AB 117 is being proposed by Assembly Member Beall on behalf of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). The proposed legislation would require expenditures for equipment, supplies and materials, when the expenditure required exceeds $100,000, to be let to the lowest responsible bidder or to the responsible bidder who submits a proposal that provides the “best value.” Best value is defined as “the overall combination of quality, price and other elements of a proposal that, when considered together, provide the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirements described in the solicitation documents.” The bill also requires the notice soliciting bids be advertised in a general circulation newspaper at least 10 days before bids are received. The report also stated that staff is exploring the possibility of joining in this legislation, as are other Bay Area transit agencies, as it would provide increased flexibility in the above-stated types of procurements.

The report further stated that AB 117 is modeled upon similar legislation that was enacted last year for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMTA) and the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Attorney Miller described the proposed legislation in detail, noting that AB 117 would include the following provisions:

  a.
It would increase the threshold at which the transit agency would be required to engage in mandatory competitive bidding from $20,000 to $100,000 for procurements of supplies, materials and equipment; and,
  b.
It would delegate more local control to the transit agency to determine, on a case-by-case basis, the criteria for award of procurements of supplies, materials and equipment, either on a low bid or best value basis.
       
 

Attorney Miller explained that currently, transit agencies are to award these types of competitively bid procurements on a low bid basis, using only price as the criteria. He stated that AB 117 would introduce the concept of best value, which allows other factors to be considered. He noted that AB 117 is not ground-breaking legislation, and builds on similar legislation passed in 2007 for LAMTA and BART. He stated that AB 117 will not affect construction or professional services contracts. He further stated that Assembly Member Beall and the VTA have extended the opportunity to other Bay Area transit agencies, including the District, to be included in AB 117. He noted that in order for the District to join in this legislation, it would require an amendment to the District’s enabling legislation, specifically Public Contract Code Section 20916, which pertains to contracts by bridge and highway districts.

Attorney Miller stated that, after discussing the proposed legislation with the General Manager, the District Engineer and the Procurement and Retail Operations Director, it is recommended that the District join in with the VTA on AB 117, for the following reasons:

  a.

With regard to the increase in bid limit from $20,000 to $100,000, the current limit of $20,000 was established in 1983, and the proposed increase is simply an adjustment that takes into account the increase in the purchasing power of the dollar over the past 25 years.

  b.
With regard to the concept of “best value,” this continues a pattern by the State of California of facilitating local control over the procurement process, and builds on action taken by the California State Legislature in 1999 to permit the competitive negotiation process for technology procurements, such as computers or fare collection equipment. AB 117 would broaden the array of procurements that can use “best value” criteria.
       
 

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Cochran inquired as to whether the Board of Directors would still retain authority to increase procurement limits within the $20,000 to $100,000 range. In response, Mr. Miller stated that AB 117 represents an authorizing statute, not a mandate to set specific procurement limits, and that the Board would still retain that authority.
  • Director Hernández expressed her support for inclusion of the District in AB 117, noting that best value contracting has been adopted by many other agencies, including the University of California at San Francisco. She also noted that using the best value basis as one of the criteria for contract award puts an agency at an advantage in terms of identifying specific qualifications, with increased scrutiny and control over the procurement process.

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors MOYLAN/COCHRAN 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 amending AB 117, relating to the award of contracts for supplies, equipment and materials, to include the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District.

Action by the Board at its meeting of February 22, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (7): Chair Boro; Director Cochran, Dufty, Grosboll, Middlebrook and Newhouse Segal; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
NOES (0): None
ABSENT (4): Vice Chair Kerns; Directors McGoldrick, Reilly and Sanders

       
2.

Authorize Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Prestige Media, Inc., Relative to Request for Proposals No. 2008-D-5, Interior Ferry Advertising

In a memorandum to Committee, Marketing and Communications Director Kellee Hopper, Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Teri Mantony and General Manager Celia Kupersmith reported on staff’s recommendation regarding Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2008-D-5, Interior Ferry Advertising. The report stated that as part of the District’s ongoing innovative strategies to generate revenue, staff issued an RFP for an Interior Ferry Advertising Program on December 20, 2007, and sent the RFP to 10 prospective bidders. The District received one bid on January 10, 2008, from Prestige Media, Inc.

An Evaluation Committee evaluated the proposal from Prestige Media, Inc., according to the criteria set forth in the RFP: 1) experience of firm and key personnel in providing similar services; 2) detailed work plan of proposed ad space; 3) quality control program and maintenance program; and, 4) proposed compensation of interior ferry advertising.

The report also stated that staff and the Attorney for the District reviewed the sole bid and determined that Prestige Media, Inc., has properly submitted the required documents and its bid is technically responsive to the specifications. The report described Prestige Media, Inc., as the largest media company focused exclusively on advertising in the ferry industry, with contracts to provide ferry advertising services on both resort and commuter ferry lines. The report further stated that it is recommended that execution of a professional services agreement be authorized with Prestige Media, Inc., for a three-year term, with two one-year options exercisable by General Manager or her designee.

The report stated that pursuant to the specifications for RFP No. 2008-D-5, interior advertising on the District’s ferry vessels will be limited to 15 spaces per vessel. The advertising will be installed in standardized 33-inch by 21-inch frames throughout the fleet to minimize clustering of advertisements and maintain a consistent, clean look inside each vessel. The locations of all advertisements will be pre-approved by the District prior to installation, and advertising will not be allowed on the exterior of the vessels. Prestige Media, Inc., will be responsible for installation, maintenance and upkeep of the frames and advertisements. As provided for in the Professional Services Agreement, the District will be able to use any unsold space to promote its services. For each year of the Agreement, the guaranteed compensation will be the greater of $3,417 monthly ($41,004 annually), or 55 percent of net advertising revenue.

A copy of the report is available in the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Kellee Hopper summarized the staff report, noting that Prestige Media, Inc., provides niche marketing opportunities to clients looking to target ferry customers during their commute to work or recreation.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Grosboll inquired as to why only one proposer responded to RFP No. 2008 D-5, when staff sent the RFP to 10 prospective proposers. In response, Ms. Hopper explained that while some potential proposers expressed some interest as possible subcontractors, most advertising companies considered the scope of the RFP and potential advertising revenue to be too small or too much of a niche market.
  • Director Newhouse Segal made the following inquiries:
    • She inquired as to which District staff would approve the locations of the advertisements. In response, Ms. Hopper stated that the Marketing and Communications staff has identified potential advertisement locations for Prestige Media, Inc., and that the General Manager and/or the Deputy General Manager/Ferry Division would approve all potential locations selected by the contractor.
    • She inquired regarding the District’s approval process for the content of the advertisements. In response, Ms. Hopper explained the District’s policy regarding advertising content, stating that the District has the right to refuse any and all advertisements on the vessels or our buses. She further stated that there have been occasions in the past when advertisements that included inappropriate content were placed on the sides of Golden Gate Transit buses, and staff had to ask the contractor to remove them. She noted that District policy prohibits ads involving violence, pornography, alcohol, tobacco or firearms.
    • She inquired required regarding restrictions against other types of inappropriate content. In response, Attorney Miller stated that content in advertisements presents matters of control over First Amendment issues. He further stated that District staff works closely with the contractor in an attempt to avoid issues of a nature that might be contestable on the basis of freedom of speech. He noted that there is a basic premise with respect to the First Amendment that the District cannot censor the content of advertisements. Denis Mulligan added that District staff has had lengthy experience with administering the Golden Gate Transit Bus Side Advertising Program, and that that experience will be applied to the administration of the Interior Ferry Advertising Program.

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors MIDDLEBROOK/COCHRAN 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 Prestige Media, Inc., New York, New York, relative to Request for Proposals No. 2008-D-5, Interior Ferry Advertising, on the basis of a guaranteed monthly payment of $3,417, or 55 percent of net advertising revenue, whichever is greater, for a three-year term, with two one-year options exercisable by the General Manager or her designee, effective February 22, 2008.

Action by the Board at its meeting of February 22, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

AYES (7): Chair Boro; Director Cochran, Dufty, Grosboll, Middlebrook and Newhouse Segal; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
NOES (0): None
ABSENT (4): Vice Chair Kerns; Directors McGoldrick, Reilly and Sanders

       
3.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

       
4.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 9:45 a.m.

       

 

Respectfully submitted,

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