October 10, 2008

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 10, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., Chair Boro presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Boro; Vice Chair Kerns; Directors Cochran, Newhouse Segal, Reilly and Sanders; President Moylan (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (2): Directors Dufty and McGoldrick
Other Members Present (5): Directors Ammiano, Eddie, Grosboll, Middlebrook, Sandoval and Stroeh

Committee of the Whole Members Present (12): Directors Cochran, Eddie, Grosboll, Kerns, Newhouse Segal, Pahre, Reilly, Sanders, Sobel and Stroeh; First Vice President Boro; President Moylan
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (7): Directors Brown, Dufty, Hernández, McGlashan, 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, Administration Z. Wayne Johnson; Public Affairs Director Mary C. Currie; Marketing and Communications Director Kellee Hopper; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Karen B. Engbretson

Visitors Present: Lillian Hames, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District; Andy Peri, Marin County Bicycle Coalition

     
1.

Authorize Execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Platinum Advisors, LLC, Relative to Request for Proposals No. 2009-D-4, State Legislative Advocacy Services

In a memorandum to Committee, Deputy General Manager, Administration Z. Wayne Johnson and General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided a report on staff’s recommendation to authorize execution of a Professional Services Agreement with Platinum Advisors, LLC, relative to Request for Proposals (RFP) No. 2009-D-4, State Legislative Advocacy Services. The report stated that the District sought the services of a legislative advocacy company to monitor legislation that may impact District operations and sources of funding, including, but not limited to: (1) funding for public transit operations; (2) water transit legislation; (3) special district enabling legislation; (4) legislation affecting tolling, including congestion or variable pricing tolls; (5) public works construction and infrastructure; (6) public procurement legislation, traffic safety legislation; and, (7) legislation affecting public security.

The report stated that staff issued RFP No. 2009-D-4 on June 17, 2008, and received seven bids by the due date of July 1, 2008. An Evaluation Committee, comprised of District staff, as well as three Board members: President Moylan and Directors Boro and Reilly, evaluated the proposals according to the criteria set forth in the RFP: (1) proposal understanding and approach; (2) consultant’s qualifications and experience; and, (3) cost proposal. The report also stated that the Evaluation Committee subsequently interviewed four firms, with the final determination that Platinum Advisors, LLC, was best qualified to provide legislative advocacy services for the District.

The report described Platinum Advisors as well-known, well-respected legislative advisors, with a successful track record in the state legislative arena. The report further stated that given the regulatory and economic challenges ahead, the Evaluation Committee found them best suited to represent the District on state-related issues. It is recommended that a professional services agreement be executed with Platinum Advisors for an annual fee of $72,000, for a three–year term, with two one-year options to be exercised at the discretion of the General Manager or her designee. 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, noting that staff sought the services of a new legislative advocacy consultant for the first time in 25 years, following the retirement of the District’s long-time legislative advocate, Tom Konovaloff of A&K Associates, Inc. She further noted that the cost proposal for Platinum Advisors is only slightly higher than the annual fee paid for almost 20 years to A&K Associates, Inc.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Director Grosboll made the following inquiries:
    • He stated that he is familiar with the work of Platinum Advisors and that he has a great amount of respect for the firm.
    • He inquired as to whether the cost proposals from the top four proposers for RFP No. 2009 D-4 were within close range. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that most of the top four proposers were in a competitive range, with one relatively new firm having a lower proposed cost per month.
    • He inquired if Platinum Advisors would be assigning one particular individual and/or team who would represent the District. In response, Ms. Kupersmith stated that Platinum Advisors would assign a single point of contact as team leader on the District’s account, but that Platinum Advisors may assign other team members on a particular matter, noting that the District would benefit from the technical expertise and experience of the entire Platinum Advisors team.
  • Director Newhouse Segal inquired as to whether the professional services agreement included the flexibility to accommodate an increase in the scope of work if the need arises. In response, Ms. Kupersmith answered in the affirmative.
  • Director Reilly, a member of the Evaluation Committee, noted that during the oral interviews for RFP No. 2009-D-4, the Committee emphasized the need for a key person to be the main point of contact for the District.
  • Chair Boro, another member of the Evaluation Committee, stated that the Committee was impressed with Platinum Advisors’ enthusiasm and knowledge of the District.

Staff recommended, and the Committee concurred by motion made and seconded by Directors KERNS/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 Platinum Advisors, LLC, Sacramento, CA, relative to Request for Proposals No. 2009 D 4, Legislative Advocacy Services, for an annual fee of $72,000, for a three-year term, with two one-year options exercisable by the General Manager or her designee; with the understanding that requisite funds (100% District) are available in the FY 08/09 District Division Operating Budget, and with the further understanding that requisite funds for the remaining years of the project will be included in the Operating Budgets for future fiscal years.

Action by the Board at its meeting of October 10, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

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

     
2.

Approve Support of Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District’s One-Quarter Percent Sales Tax Initiative (Measure Q) to Fund the Passenger Train and Pathway Project

In a memorandum to Committee, General Manager Celia Kupersmith provided staff’s recommendation to approve support of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District’s one-quarter percent sales tax initiative (Measure Q) to fund the passenger train and pathway project.

The report stated that as members of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District, the Bridge District has been asked to take a position of support for Measure Q which will be on the Sonoma and Marin ballots on November 4, 2008. The report included a draft resolution, which noted that the economic and environmental benefits of the SMART project will benefit residents of the Golden Gate Corridor, as well as the entire region. The resolution also noted that the District has been a long-time supporter of the preservation of the rail corridor, as evidenced through its leadership role in the acquisition of major sections of the historic Northwestern Pacific Railroad right-of-way, followed by ownership transfer of the right-of-way to the SMART District. A copy of the report, with attached draft resolution, 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, noting that the District is represented on the SMART District Board of Directors by Directors Eddie and Pahre.

Public Comment

Andy Peri, of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, expressed his appreciation to the District for its support of Measure Q. He also noted that the SMART District would not compete with the District for limited state transit funding.

Discussion ensued, including the following:

  • Chair Boro noted that in addition to District representatives Eddie and Pahre, the SMART District Board of Directors also includes four other District Board members: Directors Brown, Kerns and McGlashan, as well as himself.

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 Governmental Affairs and Public Information Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve support of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District’s one-quarter percent sales tax initiative (Measure Q) to fund the passenger train and pathway project.

Action by the Board at its meeting of October 10, 2008 – Resolution
NON-CONSENT CALENDAR

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

     
3.

Public Comment

Public comment was received relative to Agenda Item No. 2, above.

     
4.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was declared adjourned at 9:20 a.m.

     


Respectfully submitted,

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