AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
August 23, 2004
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
Don Sherman, Vice-Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
Hugh Mose, General Manager
Joseph Gilbert, Director of Transportation
Judith Minor, Director of Administration
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Jacqueline Sheader, Marketing Manager
Terri Quici, Executive Assistant
Tim Geibel, CRPA, Transportation Planner
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM.
II PUBLIC COMMENT
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of Minutes of July 26, 2004 Board Meeting
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Don Sherman moved to approve the minutes of the July 26, 2004 Board Meeting. Richard Kipp seconded. Chairman Spychalski noted two minor changes: III.C. “which has been retrieved” should say “retained” and VI.A. 2nd paragraph should read “Mr. Geibel” and not “Ms.”.
The motion carried unanimously.
B. June and July 2004 Finance Report
These reports are not yet available due to the year-end audit not being complete.
Gary Powers questioned why the numbers are down on the Ridership Reports. Hugh Mose stated that he and his staff have been watching reports daily all summer. Mr. Mose said that it is seems to be system-wide, although mostly noted on the M and X routes which are no longer running free-fare on campus. Mr. Mose has not found any specific reason for the lower ridership.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Banking Services
Judi Minor stated that nine (9) Requests for Proposals were distributed in early July, with six (6) being returned. Ms. Minor noted that staff has now evaluated the proposals and determined that the Citizens Bank proposal of a single, flat annual fee for all account transactions and a very competitive interest rate will be most cost effective.
Joe Davidson asked for what duration is the agreement. Ms. Minor indicated Citizens Bank is willing to leave it open-ended but she has asked them to sign a five (5) year agreement. Don Sherman asked when the agreement would be effective and Ms. Minor stated that October 1, 2004 would be a reasonable date.
Joe Davidson moved to accept staff’s recommendation to begin the process of establishing new accounts with Citizen’s Bank. Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Resolution of Appreciation for John Benninghoff
Mr. Mose explained that in the past the Board has done a Resolution of Appreciation on several occasions when a long-time employee has left CATA. Mr. Mose noted that John Benninghoff has been an employee at CATA for 19 years and has worked later in life than anyone else at CATA. Mr. Benninghoff recently retired at age 78. Mr. Mose stated that Mr. Benninghoff was invited to attend this meeting to receive the Resolution of Appreciation, but he declined.
The Chair entertained a motion to adopt this Resolution of Appreciation for John Benninghoff. Richard Kipp moved to adopt the Resolution of Appreciation. Joe Davidson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
C. CATA Code of Conduct Policy Regarding Fraud and Ethical Conduct
Chairman Spychalski noted that each Board member had received a draft policy in their packets and opened the floor for comments by Board members.
Gary Powers asked whether the personnel related issues such as a family member supervising another family member is addressed in this policy. Hugh Mose noted that such personnel policies would be found in a different document. Richard Kipp noted an inconsistency in which one page notes “immediate family” and one page says “employee’s family member”. Hugh Mose noted that wording was lifted verbatim from the CATA’s Purchasing Policy but it could be changed. Don Sherman asked how this information would be communicated to employees. Hugh Mose noted that each copy could have a signature page at the back or we could have just one sign-off sheet for everyone. Chairman Spychalski shared his concern about the meaning of paragraph #2 under “Relationships With Clients and Suppliers”, noting that two Board members are employed by Penn State. Chairman Spychalski suggested the following wording: “Board members who are employed by organizations that have contractual relationships with CATA, or provide goods and/or services to CATA, and whose range of employment duties includes such contractual relationships, must remove themselves from any procurement deliberations related to their employers.” Discussion continued regarding conflict of interest and contractual relationships. Chairman Spychalski stated that this is an informational item and to provide any additional comments to Hugh Mose of Judi Minor. Chairman Spychalski asked that another draft be finalized by Mr. Mose and Ms. Minor and be presented at a future Board meeting.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose reported on several recent opportunities that CATA had to provide special services: Ag Progress Days and Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair, both of which were successful. Mr. Mose also stated that CATA provided a Park and Ride Lot in our employee parking lot for Ag Progress Days, and it was quite well used. Don Sherman suggested that we send a letter to Bellefonte Borough regarding the success of the Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair Shuttle.
Mr. Mose also reported on Training Week activities during the week of 8/16/04. Mr. Mose explained that presenters provided information about bus technology, emergency preparedness, customer service, diversity, route changes for fall and winter, and the seriousness of the recent fire. Mr. Mose noted that he felt it was the best training that CATA had ever offered and that Amanda Jones and Sherry Snyder did a really good job.
Mr. Mose stated that CATA was assessed a $300 fine from the Environmental Protection Agency. The fine was with regard to underground storage tanks. Mr. Mose said that the law apparently changed and CATA had not been aware that testing needs to be done annually now.
Mr. Mose stated that we are as far as we are going to get with regard to the bus power problem. Mr. Mose understands that the buses are now performing at or above the level of specifications, but bus drivers still think they are a little sluggish. Joe Gilbert noted that the buses were re-programmed by Detroit Diesel. The Safety Committee will continue testing to see if the buses are up to specifications.
Mr. Mose noted a problem with PENNDOT’s new internal financial system. Ms. Minor indicated that CATA may need to borrow money until the state works out the problems. Ms. Minor has been unable to obtain any information as to when this problem would be fixed. Joe Davidson stated that staff should contact legislators to see if they can urge PENNDOT to quickly get the problems corrected.
Lastly, Mr. Mose noted the White Building pulloff has been completed and that the Football Game Day Shuttle is ready to go with only 12 days remaining until the first home football game.
B. Service Development Report
Eric Bernier stated that the Fall and Winter RideGuides are available and have many suggested changes incorporated into this issue. Chairman Spychalski commended Eric on the progress of the RideGuide. Mr. Bernier also said that Judi, Tim and he had been at The Pointe to process Apartment Passes. Mr. Bernier also discussed how well the swipe card project is going, with only minor adjustments needed with hardware.
With no further business to discuss, Chairman Spychalski adjourned the meeting at 5:03 PM.
VII. EXECUTIVE SESSION
The Board was asked to reconvene into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues.