AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
December 13, 2004
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
John Spychalski, Chairman
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
Sherry Snyder, Operations Manager
Kent Wilson, AFSCME Local 1203-B Treasurer
Dave Hollabaugh, AFSCME Local 1203-B President
Amanda Jones, Human Resources Manager
Bob Colton, Maintenance Director
Tim Geibel, CRPA, Transportation Planner
Craig Humphrey, State College Borough Liaison
Larry Miles, Vigilant Securities
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Sherman
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:07 PM.
II RESOLUTION OF
APPRECIATION – Donald L. Sherman
Chairman Spychalski read the Resolution of Appreciation. Richard Kipp moved to approve the Resolution of Appreciation. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously. Mr. Sherman stated that it has been an honor and a privilege to represent State College Borough on the CATA Board and that he very much appreciates this token from the Board.
III. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Dave Hollabaugh, AFSCME Local 1203-B President, offered a public apology to the Board of Directors and Mr. Sherman for his past behavior. Mr. Hollabaugh previously submitted a letter to the Board requesting that Mr. Mose be removed from his position. Mr. Hollabaugh also offered Hugh Mose an apology and stated that he hoped they could work through any problems they’ve had in the past as he has been able to see a different side than what he thought he knew. Chairman Spychalski thanked Mr. Hollabaugh for the apology and noted his appreciation.
Mr. Mose added that he wanted to express the same sentiment. Mr. Mose stated that seven or eight months ago things were rough and he gave credit to Joe Gilbert, Sherry Snyder, Dave Hollabaugh and other AFSCME leadership for pulling it altogether. Mr. Mose stated that it has been a growing experience and that he feels both sides (management and union) has come to an understanding that we’re all in this together, and that we have a job to do for the community to have the best transit system possible.
IV. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of Minutes of October 25, 2004 Board Meeting
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the minutes. Joe Davidson moved to approve the minutes of the October 25, 2004 Board Meeting. Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. October 2004 Finance Report
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to receive the October 2004 Finance Report. Richard Kipp moved to receive the Finance Report. Kathryn Bittner seconded.
Joe Davidson asked how close to budget we are currently, now that the football shuttle receipts are posted. Hugh Mose stated that we are probably about 80%, due to lower ridership levels this past season.
Gary Powers inquired about fuel purchases. Judi Minor indicated that she bought through the end of February 2005. She further noted that prices keep fluctuating and believes that we will be over budget.
Hugh Mose reported on the Ridership report. He noted that it continues a pattern away from Centre Line and toward the LOOP and LINK.
With no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote. The motion carried unanimously.
C. Response to Management Letter (Audit Report)
Judi Minor stated that this report is in response to the Board’s request to provide comments, recommendations, and actions taken. Chairman Spychalski noted that this is an informational item only. There were no questions or discussion by Board members.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Election of Vice Chair
Chairman Spychalski called for nominations to fill the position of Vice Chair vacated by Mr. Sherman. Richard Kipp nominated Joe Davidson to be Vice Chair. Gary Powers seconded. There being no further nominations, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote and Joe Davidson was elected unanimously.
B. Employee Handbook
Hugh Mose explained that the Employee Handbook is a result of discussions between Kent Wilson and himself, and then Joe Gilbert and Dave Hollabaugh. These discussions centered around improving the quality of work life at CATA.
Joe Gilbert explained that the Employee Handbook is in three parts: Mission and Values, Procedures and Operating Policies, and Policy Manual. Mr. Gilbert then noted that Sherry Snyder will be the trainer for the January training, which will focus on this material.
Dave Hollabaugh stated that every employee received a letter asking for ideas and suggestions for the Employee Handbook and that the Handbook includes general and elementary information that everyone should know. Kent Wilson stated that it is not a driver manual or a staff manual, but that it was created for all employees.
Discussion continued regarding content. Tim Geibel and Chairman Spychalski both applauded the work of the committee. Hugh Mose agreed.
Chairman Spychalski echoed others’ expressions of appreciation and stated that he felt it was a very needed effort and important to put it to work.
C. Fraud and Ethical Conduct Policy
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the Code of Conduct Regarding Fraud and Ethical Conduct policy. Gary Powers motioned to adopt the Code of Conduct policy. Richard Kipp seconded.
Gary Powers asked if there were any easy way to determine what changes were made to this document since the last review. Judi Minor explained that there were some grammar changes, but the major change is adding a complaint procedure. She also stated that this policy was reviewed by Attorney Bob Martin.
With no further discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote. The motion carried unanimously.
D. Policy Manual Update
Amanda Jones explained that any changes made to the policies since their initial adoption are in bold and strikeout and noted that most of them are simple things such as provider name changes. Ms. Jones further stated that one major change involves being consistent with the complaint process in each of the policies. The Policy Manual Update is intended to be distributed to employees during the January 2005 training sessions.
Richard Kipp questioned the cover letter, paragraph 3, which states that the policies can change without prior notice. He asked how employees will know the policy has been changed. Amanda Jones stated that the intent is to provide flexibility with policymaking. After a short discussion, it was determined that the sentence would be changed to delete “without prior notice”. Other discussion included the terms “guideline” and “good place to work”. Hugh Mose indicated that he would re-write the letter to address the areas of concern.
Amanda Jones also noted that beginning in July 2005, policies will be brought to the Board for review each month, both in the Policy and Personnel Manuals, to keep the manuals current.
Joe Davidson moved to adopt the Policy Manual update, effective 1/1/05, with amendments as discussed by the Board. Gary Powers seconded the motion. Following brief discussion, Chairman Spychalski called for a vote. The motion carried unamiously.
E. Sexual Abuse Policy Letter of Intent
Amanda Jones explained that the Sexual Abuse Policy would cover any physical sexual abuse at the workplace. CATA’s insurance carrier has told Ms. Jones that coverage can begin as soon as the carrier receives a letter of intent, which indicates that such a policy will be adopted and transmitted to all employees.
Gary Powers moved that the Board accept the addition of the Sexual Abuse Policy and authorize the Human Resources Manager to submit a letter of intent to Arthur J. Gallagher & Company. Richard Kipp seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
F. Flexible Spending Account Benefits
Ms. Jones stated that the Flexible Spending Account benefit is in two parts: a Section 125 plan that would benefit all employees and the actual Flexible Spending Account, which is a pre-tax benefit that would be offered only to staff for the first year.
Joe Davidson asked how much interest is expected from the employees and what is included for $1195 startup fee. Amanda Jones noted that she knows of seven (7) who would be expected to sign up but that there are still some employees who don’t know about this benefit yet. Ms. Jones explained that the fee includes software, connections to the provider system, enrollment and the Section 125 setup.
Richard Kipp moved that the Board approve the establishment of Section 125 and Flexible Spending Account plans. Kathryn Bittner seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
G. Authorization to Award Contract for the Facility Security System Project
Tim Geibel stated that for six months staff has studied ways to protect the CATA facility. Mr. Geibel said that a Request for Proposal was issued in September 2004; 18 copies were sent out to companies throughout the state. Six companies came to an informational meeting and three companies provided written proposals. Staff has chosen Vigilant Securities as the company to provide these services.
Discussion included whether funding is available, annual operating cost, and the benefits of having a security system. After the arsons this past summer, the Fire Marshall suggested we install a security system, Hugh Mose stated. Richard Kipp asked if this has a positive effect on our insurance costs. Judi Minor said that she’d check into it.
Joe Davidson moved to authorize the General Manager to negotiate a contract with Vigilant Security Inc. of State College for a security system. Gary Powers seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
H. Transit Funding Special Meeting
Chairman Spychalski stated that the Board needs to meet to discuss budget and financial information for 2005-06 and upcoming labor negotiations. The Board decided upon January 11, 2005 at 4:00 PM to conduct a work session. The meeting will be held in the CATA Boardroom. Terri Quici was asked to send a reminder to Board members.
I. Adoption of 2005 Meeting Dates
Chairman Spychalski noted the list of dates included in the Board packets as the proposed meeting schedule for 2005.
Richard Kipp moved to adopt the proposed 2005 Meeting Schedule. Gary Powers seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose reported on the Intermodal Transportation Center and noted that there is now a list of four finalist sites to where the bus terminal might be relocated.
Mr. Mose reported on the Schlow Library project and noted that Judi Minor has been highly complimented by the Region III FTA office in Philadelphia for her excellent work on writing the justification for federal transit funding.
Mr. Mose next stated that staff received five APTS proposals but no one has had a chance to review them yet. Mr. Geibel said that staff will develop a “short list” and ask for presentations. Mr. Mose indicated that a recommendation should be forthcoming at the January Board meeting.
Mr. Mose asked Joe Gilbert report on the status of the mini-bus project. Mr. Gilbert reported that the buses should arrive the week of December 27, 2004 and noted that the vendor is about 30 days behind delivery schedule at this time.
B. Service Development Report
Eric Bernier provided follow-up on the Football Shuttle. He noted that ridership was down and could be attributed to several reasons: routing change, unattractiveness of the home football schedule, and/or poor performance by the PSU football team. Mr. Bernier noted that total attendance at the games was down overall.
With no further business to discuss, Chairman Spychalski adjourned the meeting at 5:52 PM.
The Board reconvened in Executive Session to discuss personnel matters.