CENTRE AREA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
Regular Board Meeting
September 22, 2008
STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH BUILDING
Conference Room 241, 243 S. Allen Street, State College, PA
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: John Spychalski, Chairman
Joseph L. Davidson, Vice Chairman
Richard Kipp, Treasurer
STAFF PRESENT: Hugh Mose, General Manager
Judi Minor, Director of Administration
Eric Bernier, Service Development Manager
Sherry Snyder, Assistant Director of Transportation
Jackie Sheader, Marketing Manager
Julie Hartley, Human Resource Manager
Mark Kutzer, Maintenance Manager
Dina Ruggiero, Grants Manager
Melody Crist, Executive Assistant
Greg Kausch, Transportation Planner
OTHERS PRESENT: Theresa Lafer, State College Borough Liaison
Ken Karlic, Owner, Karlic Design, LLC
Richard Shutt, Bus Driver (Retired)
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Spychalski called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m. and noted that Gary Powers would be arriving late due to another commitment, as would Kathryn Bittner. Hugh Mose introduced Mark Kutzer to the Board. Mark recently was promoted to Maintenance Manager. Hugh also introduced the new temporary Executive Assistant, Melody Crist.
II. PUBLIC COMMENT
There were no public comments.
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Approval of July 28, 2008 Regular Board Meeting Minutes
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the July 28, 2008 Regular Board Meeting minutes. Richard Kipp moved to approve the minutes as distributed and Joe Davidson seconded. With no discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
B. Approval of August 20, 2008 Special Board Meeting Minutes
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to approve the August 20, 2008 Special Board Meeting Minutes. Richard Kipp moved to approve and Joseph Davidson seconded. With no discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
C. Receipt of the June and July 2008 Finance Reports
Judi Minor went over the June and July Finance Reports noting several items of interest. Ms. Minor stated that the August Finance Reports will be available at the next Board meeting along with the FY 2007/2008 Audit. Hugh Mose provided an update on ridership indicating the overall ridership continues to increase in double digits over last year. OnePass sales and Ride for Five pass sales have increased 18% over last year. The Centre Commute program reached 1,000 participants in the month of September and Guaranteed Ride Home utilization continues to be low.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to accept the June and July Finance Reports. Joe Davidson moved and Richard Kipp seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
D. Rebranding Project Update
Jackie Sheader introduced Mr. Ken Karlic to the Board. Mr. Karlic has been involved in graphic design since 1986 and his company was selected for CATA’s rebranding project. Mr. Karlic presented information on several new logo concept ideas to the Board for their consideration. There was much discussion regarding the new logo and the naming options for the CATA family of services.
The Board indicated that they would like to have the various renditions of the logo and re-naming concepts made available to them for re-consideration prior to the October Board meeting so that they would have time to develop their opinions. There are several areas that the Board would like to give further consideration to including: changing the name CATA to CENTRE TRANSIT, the naming of the individual CATA services and the final logo concept.
It was agreed that the project committee would come back to the Board in October with recommendations in these three areas.
Note: Gary Powers and Kathryn Bittner joined the meeting during the discussion of the rebranding project.
Note: In consideration of Mr. Shutt’s time, Chairman Spychalski moved item A under New Business as the next item. Minutes are recorded in the appropriate section.
D. Policy Review and Adoption
Julie Hartley noted that Pennsylvania has a new Right to Know Law that must be in place prior to January 1, 2009. Judi Minor explained that CATA currently has a process for requests for information that come in to the Authority and that the new law is expected to have little or no impact on CATA. Other policy items that were presented for review had no changes and the Board offered no comment.
E. COG Transportation Committee-CATA participation
Hugh Mose recapped the discussion that had taken place at the COG Transportation Committee, when that body considered CATA’s request to join the proposed Transportation and Land Use Committee. He stated that while the Committee recognized that there would be value in CATA’s participation, their consensus was that voting membership should be reserved to elected officials only. As a result, the Transportation Committee’s recommendation to the Executive Committee and General Forum was that if a Transportation and Land Use Committee is created, that CATA be afforded a non-voting membership.
Mr. Mose went on to say that he had been informed by Jim Steff, COG Executive Director, that the General Forum had indeed tentatively decided that membership on COG Committees should be reserved to elected officials only, and that Jim had been directed to prepared draft amendments to the COG Articles of Agreement. Various members of the Board expressed their disappointment that the COG was taking this direction. In response to a question, Hugh stated that it was his understanding that this would mean that Penn State would then relinquish the voting status it has historically had on the Transportation Committee.
The Board asked Mr. Mose to communicate to the COG that while the CATA Board of Directors would have preferred the opportunity to participate as a full voting member of the proposed COG Transportation and Land Use Committee, if a non-voting position were offered, CATA would accept.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Resolution of Appreciation-Richard Shutt
The Board recognized Bus Driver Richard Shutt for his 18 years of service. Chairman Spychalski presented the Resolution and Appreciation to Mr. Shutt and Sherry Snyder expressed her gratitude to Mr. Shutt for his many years of service.
Chairman Spychalski entertained a motion to adopt the Resolution of Appreciation for Mr. Shutt.
Joseph Davidson moved and Richard Kipp seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
B. Possible Extensions of Transit Service
Hugh Mose reported that since the last Board meeting both Halfmoon and Rush Townships had contacted CATA concerning the possibility of extending transit service to their locations. As a result of Eric Bernier having attended a Halfmoon Township Supervisors’ meeting and the staff having met with the Chair of the Rush Township Board of Supervisors, both municipalities had formally requested bus service from CATA. There was discussion regarding the need for service versus the cost of service and additionally, what the ridership numbers would be. Richard Kipp indicated that further research needs to be done to assess the feasibility of creating new service to these areas.
It was agreed that the staff should continue exploring the possibility of service to both the Stormstown area and the Moshannon Valley. Once further discussions have occurred between the staff and the Townships, the Board will give further consideration to the matter.
C. Holiday Lights Tour
The staff has been informed by the Federal Transit Administration that, due to a new interpretation of federal regulations, CATA’s annual Holiday Lights Tour, which would have been in its tenth year this season, can no longer be operated in its present form. As a result, the staff has considered CATA’s options and concluded that the best approach is to simply discontinue the service, especially since Marketing Manager Jackie Sheader will be on maternity leave until December. Several ideas were discussed to possibly replace the tour with something similar in nature that could be provided under the new regulations; however, nothing definite has been decided.
Following brief discussion, the Board concurred with the staff’s plan to discontinue the Holiday Lights Tour.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. General Manager’s Report
Hugh Mose noted with great sadness the unexpected passing of bus driver, Larry Leddy. His funeral was scheduled for Wednesday, September 24, 2008. Several staff members will be attending the service. Hugh also stated that the Football Shuttle service is in full swing and we are transporting around 4,000 riders to each game.
In response to Hugh’s invitation, Greg Kausch updated the Board on the status of the evaluation of the services of CATA and the Centre County Office of Transportation. Greg reported that the firm of Abrams Cherwony and Associates has been retained to do the work. The first steps will be the formation of a project oversight committee, on which Hugh Mose and/or Eric Bernier will represent CATA, and the collection of data on existing services. The project kick-off meeting will be held later in the week.
B. Service Development Report
Hugh Mose informed the Board of Eric Bernier’s absence due to an evening class. Mr. Bernier’s report was included in the Board packet.
Chairman Spychalski called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Kathryn Bittner moved to adjourn the meeting. Gary Powers seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 6:03 PM.