NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY (NCRA)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGULAR MEETING

 

MINUTES

 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2002 10:00 AM

 

HEALDSBURG CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

401 GROVE STREET, HEALDSBURG, SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, USA

 

 

A.            CALL TO ORDER - 10:04 am

 

B.            ROLL CALL

Present:                 Chair David Ripple, Vice Chair Allan Hemphill, Second Vice Chair Leo Sears, Director

Daniel Opalach, Director Budge Campbell, Director Robert E. Simonson, with newly-appointed

cities representative Director Bruce Burton arriving at 10:08 am.

Also Present:        Executive Director Max H Bridges, Assistant Executive Director Douglas M Christy,

Administrator Pamela R Fishtrom, and General Counsel Christopher J Neary.

               

C.            AGENDA APPROVAL

 

Dir. Sears moved to add two Closed Session items; Conference with Real Property Negotiator, and Personnel Review; seconded by Dir. Campbell.  Vote taken; motion passed unanimously.

               

Dir. Simonson moved to add a presentation by Niemeyer and Associates; seconded by Dir. Campbell.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

Dir. Campbell asked to have Items 1, 2, and 3 taken off the Consent Calendar.  Dir. Simonson asked to remove Item 4 from the Consent Calendar.  Although Dir. Simonson moved to include a Closed Session item regarding a Finance Committee meeting discussion on personnel review, he was told the issue should be included in Item K Matters From Board Members.

 

D.            CONSENT CALENDAR

                All Items were moved to the Conduct of Business section of the Agenda.             

 

E.             CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

                Minutes

                a.             Property Management Committee Meeting of May 13, 2002

                                Dir. Campbell recommended his specific language be incorporated with Item F.1.

 

                Dir. Campbell moved to approve the Minutes with recommended changes; seconded by Dir. 

              Simonson.  Vote taken by Committee members only; motion carried unanimously.

 

                b.             Regular Board Meeting of May 15, 2002

Dir. Campbell asked the Minutes reflect he abstained from voting on Item E.6 because he was  absent at the Meeting of May 13, 2002. 

 

Dir. Simonson moved to approve the Minutes with changes; seconded by Dir. Campbell. 

 

Dir. Simonson said Item L is incorrect in that Mr. Bridges responded to him, not Dir. Campbell.  Also, Chair Ripple pointed out that Ms. Logan's request to include the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District on the Agenda must have been seconded by a Director other than the maker of the motion.

 

Vote taken; Dir. Burton and Chair Ripple abstained as neither attended the Meeting for which the Minutes were written; remaining five Directors voted affirmatively; motion carried.

 

               

                Personnel Rules and Regulations

The document was revised to reflect procedures consistent with the implementation of the accounting function by the County of Sonoma.

 

Dir. Campbell moved to accept the revised Personnel Rules and Regulations; seconded by Dir. Sears.   Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.   

 

Dir Campbell moved that a detailed review be done prior to any additional updates to Personnel Rules and Regulations; seconded by Dir Hemphill.

 

                Revise Classification Plan

The document was updated consistent with action taken at the last Regular Board meeting regarding the Executive Director compensation.

 

Dir. Campbell moved to accept the revised Plan; seconded by Dir. Sears.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

                California Special Districts Association Membership

 

Dir. Hemphill moved NCRA become a member of California Special Districts Association; seconded by Dir. Sears.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

               

                1.             Status of Assessments and Railroad Re-Opening Strategy - Project Management/Willdan 

a.         Adopt Environmental Strategy

b.         Revisit Alternate Projects

c.         Re-Program Traffic Congestion Relief Program Funds for Operator Subsidy

d.         Fund Economic Impact Study

Mr. Christy defined the proposed strategy for the next five years with support from the   Willdan team of engineering and environmental consultants.  Exhaustive discussion ensued with input from the Board, staff, and members of the audience.

                               

Dir. Sears moved to accept the total strategy as presented; seconded by Dir. Hemphill.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

Former Director Jake Mackenzie was honored for completing his term.  Dir. Bruce Burton, from Willits in Mendocino County, was introduced as the new Cities Representative.

 

The Agenda was taken out of order to accommodate the City of Healdsburg's conference room scheduling.

 

H.            CLOSED SESSION - Convened at 1:30 pm

 

I.              ANNOUNCE ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION - Reconvened at 2:15 pm

1.                   Conference with Legal Counsel - Anticipated Litigation, one case

Government Code § 54956.9            

                                General Counsel received direction from the Board of Directors.

 

2.                   Conference with Real Property Negotiator - Mr. Bridges

With Related Personnel Issue

                              Government Code § 54956.8

                                Mr. Bridges received direction from the Board of Directors.

                               

F.             PUBLIC COMMENTS

                Mike Pechner, weatherman, implored the Board to accept Mr. Niemeyer’s proposal.

                                                                                               

The Board of Directors returned to the Agenda as approved.

                                                                               

 

 

E.             Presentation by Ted Niemeyer

Mr. Niemeyer informed the Board the Eel River Railroad (ERR) Company is the entity offering to purchase the Railroad.  He said ERR performed an assessment of the entire line, and presented an overview of ERR’s staff and their potential strategy for re-opening the Railroad.  Many questions were posed by the Board regarding subjects like consideration to the State for the sale, a reversionary clause, environmental issues, Interstate Commerce Commission exemptions, and his view as to the future role of NCRA.  He remarked ERR’s proposal was created as a tool for future negotiations.

 

Chair Ripple recommended Mr. Niemeyer talk to the Permanent Operator ad-hoc Committee to explain the details of ERR’s proposal.  Dir. Simonson replaced Dir. Hemphill on the Committee. 

 

Before he left, Chair Ripple turned the Meeting over to First Chair Dir. Hemphill who continued the meeting during Mr. Niemeyer’s presentation. 

 

James Quinn, former lawyer with the Public Utilities Commission, encouraged the Board to consider ERR’s proposal. 

 

Chair Hemphill also left, leaving Second Vice Chair Sears to direct the Meeting.  

                                                                               

                2.             Consider Additional Amendments to Proposed Legislation AB2224

The Board was asked to approve the amendments negotiated in Sacramento by Ms. Kernan of Senator Chesbro’s office on behalf of NCRA. 

 

Dir. Sears moved approval; seconded by Dir. Opalach.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

3.             Consider Northwestern Pacific Railroad Authority Invoice 5886

Mr. Bridges presented this invoice as an example of why NCRA should strengthen it’s position by shifting the responsibility for paying to maintain the entire corridor.

 

Dir. Burton moved to pay it; seconded by Dir. Campbell.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

4.             Administrative Assistant Position

Mr. Bridges announced the administrative assistant, Pamela R. Fishtrom, is leaving Friday.  She was presented with a plaque, and Mr. Bridges asked to enter into a not-to-exceed $5,000 contract to have her perform some follow-up administrative services while NCRA recruits to fill the position.

 

Dir. Opalach moved approval; seconded by Dir. Simonson.  Vote taken; motion carried unanimously.

 

Due to the length of the Meeting, the Board opted to finish rather than continue with Items J and K.

 

L.            ANNOUNCE NEXT MEETING

                Regular Board Meeting – July 17, 2002

                Willits City Council Chambers, 111 East Commercial Street, Willits, Mendocino County, California, USA

 

M.           ADJOURN - At 4:00 pm.