September 23, 2011

 

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 (GAPI) was held in the Board Room, Administration Building, Toll Plaza, San Francisco, CA, on Friday, September 23, 2011, at 9:48 a.m., Chair Boro presiding.

Committee Members Present (7): Chair Boro; Vice Chair Campos; Directors Eddie, Mar, Moylan and Snyder; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee Members Absent (1): Director Renée
Other Directors Present (8): Directors Arnold, Chu, Cochran, Elsbernd, Pahre, Rabbitt, Stroeh and Theriault

Committee of the Whole Members Present (15): Directors Arnold, Boro, Campos, Chu, Cochran, Elsbernd, Mar, Moylan, Pahre, Rabbitt, Snyder, Stroeh and Theriault; First Vice President Eddie; President Reilly (Ex Officio)
Committee of the Whole Members Absent (4): Directors Brown, Renée and Sobel; Second Vice President Grosboll

Staff Present: General Manager Denis Mulligan; Auditor-Controller Joseph Wire; District Engineer Ewa Bauer; Secretary of the District Janet Tarantino; Attorney David Miller; Deputy General Manager/Bridge Division Kary Witt; Deputy General Manager/Bus Transit Division Teri Mantony; Deputy General Manager/Ferry Transit Division James Swindler; Deputy General Manager/Administration and Development Kellee Hopper; Executive Assistant to the General Manager Amorette Ko; Assistant Clerk of the Board Lona Franklin

Visitors Present: Beau Biller, Platinum Advisors; Melinda McClain, Platinum Advisors

 

   
1.

Update from the District’s Legislative Advocates, Platinum Advisors, LLC

In a memorandum to Committee, Beau Biller and Melinda McClain, of Platinum Advisors, LLC (Platinum), provided their lobbyist report for the months of July and September 2011, which included information on the following items: 1) End of Session Highlights; 2) Transit Funding; 3) Legislation; and, 4) Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District) Legislative Day at the State Capitol – 8/29/11. A copy of the report is available from the Office of the District Secretary and on the District’s web site.

At the meeting, Beau Biller and Melinda McClain introduced themselves as two of the District’s lobbyists to the California State Legislature.

Mr. Biller reported that, during the first year of the 2011-12 Legislative Session, which ended on Friday, September 9, 2011, District 3 Senator Mark Leno gave a presentation about the District.

He stated that California Governor Edmund G. Brown is now signing and vetoing Bills. He has reported to the labor sector that not all their demands will be met. The bills vetoed by the Governor will be sent back for revision and reintroduced next year. Under Governor Brown, public transportation is in a much better position than previously. In addition, a pension reform task force has been formed and a bill is expected to result. He noted that all proposed tax bills were rejected, and that most major reforms did not reach the Governor’s desk.

Ms. McClain added that a tracking list showing the 15 bills being monitored by Platinum will be provided to the Committee members today. She briefly indicated the subject matter of several bills that are being monitored. Assembly Bill (AB) 650 creates a blue ribbon task force to study transit. The bill will consider the costs of retaining public transit. The task force will prepare a report regarding transit needs in the future. She noted that the California Transit Association (CTA) was instrumental in preparation of the report.

Ms. McClain indicated that many of the bills are two-year bills and will be eligible to be heard in 2012. Many bills are expected to be stricken from the docket. She indicated that the District is encouraged to share any potential bill ideas and/or necessary legislation that could be introduced during the second year of the two-year session. She added that two-year bills in the first house of origin must be heard within the first five weeks. She stated that Platinum wishes to prepare District representatives to begin taking positions on bills. She suggested that state legislators can be invited to visit the District, to observe its functions and discuss needs.

She stated that the CTA has released a solicitation for bill proposals. During their November 2011, conference they will approve a proposal and request transit agencies such as the District to provide support. Preparation of strategies should take place as soon as possible and be shared with transportation consultants on both the Senate and Assembly sides. Written information can provide consultants with a clearer understanding of the District’s needs.

She concluded by stating that Platinum is a good resource for the District, and is planning and strategizing during this interim period between legislative sessions.

Discussion ensued, including the following inquiries:

  • Director Sobel inquired as to the procedure to be followed in order to invite legislators to visit the District. In response, Ms. McClain stated that Platinum representatives talked with legislators on Legislative Day, and provided a sign-up sheet for those interested in visiting the District. Mr. Mulligan added that Senator Leno had personally invited all Senate members to visit the District. He added that Deputy Secretary of United States Department of Transportation John Porcari visited during the week beginning Monday, September 19, 2011 and the week before that, the District hosted California Transportation Commission Board members. He stated that Platinum has performed well in this regard and that the District’s new logo is displayed in Sacramento. Mr. Biller indicated that the Governor’s secretary displays a placard of the District’s logo on the credenza behind her desk and that it was displayed on the dais at the Legislative Session.
  • Director Boro inquired as to pension reform and whether Platinum could provide additional information on that topic. In response, Mr. Biller stated that three pension reform measures are being circulated for signature. The Governor will put together his own package, as well, and call a special session, if necessary.
   
2.

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

   
3.

Adjournment

All business having been concluded, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 a.m.

   

 

Respectfully submitted,

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