WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2002 AT 10:00 A.M.




A.        CALL TO ORDER 

            The Meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m.


B.        ROLL CALL

Directors present:  Chair David Ripple, Vice Chair Allan Hemphill, Second Vice Chair Leo Sears, Robert Simonson, Daniel Opalach, and Budge Campbell.

Directors absent:  Jake Mackenzie

Also present:  Executive Director Max H Bridges, Assistant Executive Director Douglas Christy, General Counsel Christopher Neary, Property Manager Cyndee Logan, and Administrator Pamela Fishtrom.


C.        MINUTES - Approve Minutes of February 20, 2002 Regular Board Meeting

Chair Ripple suggested Item G.8 should specify amounts and source of funds, and the G.9 motion should include the source of funds with “drafting” changed to “creating.” 


Dir. Sears moved to approve the Minutes as amended; seconded by Dir. Hemphill. Vote taken; motion carried.




Dir. Campbell moved to add a report by Willdan to the beginning of the Conduct of Business section; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried.


Dir. Simonson suggested reversing the order of Items F.4 and F.6; seconded by Dir. Sears.  Roll call vote taken: Chair Ripple, “nay;” Dir. Hemphill, “nay;” Dir. Simonson, “aye;” Dir. Campbell, “abstain, as he was not present at the Special Meeting;” Dir. Sears, “nay;” Dir. Opalach, “aye:” motion failed.


Dir. Sears moved to approve the Agenda as amended; seconded by Dir. Opalach.  Vote taken; motion carried.



o                   Dana Fuller was assured the malfunctioning lights on three bridges would be addressed immediately.

o                   Fred Carmichael requested to see Mr. Neimeyers credentials as he is opposed to privatizing NWP.

o                   James Quinn asked a list of questions, and found the projection for re-opening in 2006 unacceptable.

o                   Mike Pechner asked the Board to consider selling the Railroad to Niemeyer and Associates.

o                   Fred Carmichael returned to request leaving the Railroad in public trust.

Chair Ripple directed staff to liaison with Sonoma County as done in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.



            Status Report by Willdan – Dave Anderson

Mr. Anderson said he expects to finish the assessments by the target date of June 30, 2002.  Chair Ripple requested Mr. Anderson return monthly to provide a status report.


1.         Adopt Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2002-2003

Mr. Bridges recommended approval of his initial preliminary budget: the Finance Committee concurred with the exception of eliminating the monthly stipend of the Property Manager by shifting routine responsibilities to staff.    


Dir. Sears moved adoption of the Finance Committee recommendation; seconded by Dir. Sears.  Roll call vote taken: Chair Ripple, “nay;” Dir. Hemphill, “nay;” Dir. Sears, “aye;” Dir. Simonson, “aye;” Dir. Campbell, “aye;” Dir. Opalach, “aye:” motion carried.


2.                  Discuss Property Management Contract

This matter was dropped with the understanding this issue was addressed in previous meetings.


3.                  Adopt Independent Contractor Procedures


Dir. Hemphill moved adoption of the Independent Contractor Procedures amended to have analysis sheets go public after selection instead of after committee selection, and after adjusting the numbering and lettering system; seconded by Dir. Opalach.  Vote taken; motion carried.


4.         Discuss Request for Proposals for Permanent Operator

In response to the audience requesting information on the documents on which they have been asked to comment, Dir. Opalach recommended the electronic Agenda Items be posted to the web site in pdf. format prior to Board Meetings.  Suggestions to the format of the Request included language that subjects the entity awarded comply with all applicable rules and regulations including those required by parties to the Consent Decree and the Capital Projects assessment, and on approval by Caltrans, etc.


Dir. Sears moved to send the document to the Permanent Operator Committee for fine tuning, to issue it upon consultation with staff, and authorize its advertisement; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion passed. 


5.         Approve Disposal of Listed Surplus Passenger Rolling Stock

Dir. Hemphill recommending advertising the cars and entertaining offers.


Dir. Hemphill moved to offer the listed cars for sale excluding five already approved, and subject to concurrence by staff on disposition; seconded by Dir. Sears.  Vote taken; motion carried.


Dir. Opalach left at 1 pm.


6.         Consider Response to Letter From Neimeyer and Associates Dated March 12, 2002

Though the response had already been sent, Ted Neimeyer gave a summary of his thoughts regarding purchase of the Railroad, and answered questions.



1.                  Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority (NWPRA) – Mr. Bridges

NWPRA met last Monday.  NWPRA waived the fees to City of Santa Rosa for improvement to  grade crossings as the projects are of great benefit to the Railroad.  There are concerns about station site environmental clean-up.  SMART legislation was discussed and Mr. Neary said there is no com-

mitment to address NCRA’s concerns.   


2.                  Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Commission (SMART) – Mr. Bridges

No report.

3.                  Legislation – Mr. Bridges

No report.


4.                  Web Site – Robert Jehn, Webmaster

There will be implementation of the suggestions received today.


5.                  Cities – Dir. Mackenzie

No report due to Dir. Mackenzie’s absence.


6.                  Mendocino Council of Governments Technical Advisory Committee – Ms. Logan

Ms. Logan reported working on the agreement with Ukiah that allows funds to pass through the City on behalf of NCRA for rehabilitation of the Ukiah Depot.


H.        CLOSED SESSION – Convened at 2:00



1.                  Personnel Issue

Government Code § 54956.7

Employee Performance Evaluation – Executive Director

The evaluation continued.


2.         Conference with Legal Counsel Neary – Anticipated Litigation

                        Government Code § 54956.9(b)

Significant Exposure to Litigation – Rail-Ways, Inc.

            Information was received and direction given to Legal Counsel.



1.         Passenger – Dir. Hemphill and Dir. Opalach

                Previously discussed.


2.         Permanent Operator – Chair Ripple, Dir. Hemphill, and Dir. Sears

Previously discussed.


            3.         NWP Governance – Chair Ripple, Dir. Hemphill, and Dir. Sears

Previously discussed. 


4.                  Property Management – Dir. Sears, Dir. Simonson, and Dir. Campbell

The Property Management Committee met this morning to discuss the Quaker Hill lease.  Several suggestion were made regarding procedures.  The Committee will meet again soon to discuss the proposed property policies and procedures handbook.


5.                  Finance Committee – Dir. Simonson, Dir. Opalach, and Dir. Campbell

No report.



1.         Executive Director Max H Bridges

Two meetings with Caltrans, California Transportation Commission (CTC), staff from Senator Chesbro’s office, and several NCRA Board members have clarified requirements for a report needed for the May meeting of the CTC.


            2.         Assistant Executive Director Douglas Christy

§                     Steve Benson, car accountant, and Darrell Gattis, car mechanic, are working to count and inspect cars.  Union Pacific representatives have also been on the property inspecting cars.  He recommended assembling a team of Board members, staff, and legal counsel to strategize regarding car hire.

§                     The rehabilitation project is done and Caltrans will be completing the field audit tomorrow.  However, the track is not compliant with Federal Railroad Administration Class I standards until the Water Quality Control Board approves spraying for weed abatement.


3.         General Counsel Christopher J Neary

NCRA’s passenger franchisee suggested contractual changes which he will send to the Passenger Committee.  Also, he made a minor change to the Santa Rosa Effluent line contract.  Instead of performing work in accordance with NCRA’s standard lease agreement, the work is to conform with Santa Rosa’s specific License Agreement approved by the Board.  Finally, conflict of interest forms are due by April 1, 2002. 


            4.         Property Manager Cyndee Logan

                        The written report was e-mailed to the Board and staff.



Dir. Sears said Caltrans is very helpful to NCRA: it is the system which stalls the Railroad’s progress.

Dir. Hemphill recommended structuring Board meetings to maximize, and shorten, the time spent.

Chair Ripple reminded FEMA/OES expect a request for time extension by June 30.  Mr. Bridges said FEMA/OES also expect an assessment of the line and the Railroad component of the marketing study by the Port.

Chair Ripple recommended holding a workshop for the benefit of new Board members.



            Regular Board Meeting – May 15, 2002 10:00 am

            Eureka City Council Chambers, 531 Fifth Street, Eureka, Humboldt County, CA, USA



            The Meeting was adjourned at 3:00 pm.