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Board Minutes


BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Minutes

1. CALLED TO ORDER

The Regular Meeting of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) Board of Directors was called to order by Chairperson Pirzynski at 5:32 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, County Government Center, 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, California.

  
2. ROLL CALL

Members Present                                      Members Absent
Nora Campos                                                Jim Beall, Ex-Officio             
David Casas                                                              
Cindy Chavez, Vice Chairperson     
David Cortese
Dean Chu                                                                 
Don Gage                                       
Ron Gonzales
Liz Kniss
Bob Livengood
Jamie Matthews
John McLemore, Ex-Officio
Joe Pirzynski, Chairperson
Forrest Williams                  

Alternates Present                                    Alternates Absent
Dennis Kennedy, Alternate                          Breene Kerr, Alternate
Pete McHugh, Alternate                               Ken Yeager, Alternate                     
Dolly Sandoval, Alternate    

* Alternates do not serve unless participating as a Member.

A quorum was present.

  
3. ADJOURNED TO CLOSED SESSION at 5:34 p.m.

Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation
[Government Code Section 54956.9(a)]

June Campbell v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
(Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No.  CV 791361)

RECONVENED TO OPEN SESSION at 5:51 p.m.

  
4. CLOSED SESSION REPORT

Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation
[Government Code Section 54956.9(a)]

June Campbell v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
(Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No.  CV 791361)

There was no reportable action taken during Closed Session.

  
5. ORDERS OF THE DAY

There were no Orders of the Day.  

  
6. AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS

A.         Employees of the Month for March 2005

Chairperson Pirzynski presented awards to Wallace Gardner, Guadalupe, Light Rail Maintenance; and Elizabeth Clark, River Oaks Administration, as our Employees of the Month for March 2005, and Alvaro “Al” Alvarado, Guadalupe Light Rail as the Supervisor of the first Quarter of 2005.   Phillip Hines, North Operations Employee of the Month for March 2005 was not able to attend.

B.         Employees of the Year for 2004

Chairperson Prizynski presented awards to   Tony Grijalva, Guadalupe Operations; Julia Jones, River Oaks Administration; Mark Keys, Cerone Maintenance, as our Employees of the Year 2004 and Janice Broock as the Supervisor of the Year for 2004.

  
7. HEARING NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ADOPT RESOLUTION OF NECESSITY

Property ID/Owner/Assessor’s Parcel Number

V048-01, V048-02/Auzerais Investment, Inc./APN: 264-14-028
Resolution # Resolution No. 05.03.24

John Ristow, Deputy Director Planning & Highway Administration, stated that Agenda Items #7 and #8 concerns easements to install, operate, and maintain certain transit facilities on private property.   The transit facilities include posted and painted warning signs and an automatic railroad gate.  Placement of these transit facilities is mandated by a decision from the California Public Utilities Commission  (CPUC), which conditionally approved two at-grade street crossings of the Vasona Light Rail Project.  The property affected by these easements is located at and near the light rail crossings of Sunol Street and Auzerais Avenue, both in the City of San Jose. 

Mr. Ristow noted that the public interest and necessity for acquiring these easements is illustrated by the CPUC decision and is more fully described in the Board Memorandum included in the Agenda package.   A history of the CPUC application case and a detailed description of the type and location of the transit facilities are also provided in the Board Memorandum. 

Because the facilities to be installed are on two adjacent, but separately owned, pieces of property, two resolutions of necessity are required.  Agenda Item #7 refers to an easement over property owned by Auzerais Investment, Inc.  The easement over that parcel would cover most of the transit facilities.  Agenda Item #8 refers to an easement over property owned by The (Figone) Exemption Trust.  The easement over that parcel would cover only two warning signs, painted on a building near the crossings.  Both parcels are leased and occupied by Flooring Service Supply Company, a predominantly wholesale flooring materials business. 

Mr. Ristow reported that the Vasona Light Rail Project will provide new light rail service between the cities of San Jose and Campbell.   It will directly connect to Caltrain and VTA's Guadalupe light rail line, to link residents to major employment centers in Silicon Valley.   Acquisition of these easements to place transit facilities at two grade crossings is a safety requirement imposed upon VTA by the CPUC.  These two crossings are the last to be approved by the CPUC and will be the last to be constructed in the Vasona Project.  In order to complete the Project for revenue service in Summer 2005, construction of these two crossings must be completed promptly. 

The memorandum sets forth the findings that need to be made by the Board to adopt the resolutions.   The resolutions will authorize the filing of eminent domain proceedings in which the compensation to be paid by VTA for the easements will be determined through judicial process. 

Mr. Ristow noted that representatives of the Auzerais Investment Inc. has been notified of tonight’s hearing.   A written request has been received from Norman E. Matteoni, Attorney at Law, representing Auzerais Investment Inc., to address the Board. 

Mr. Ristow asked if anyone wished to address the Board regarding the parcels on the agenda.   There were no comments from the floor.

Mr. Ristow asked if the Board of Directors had any questions and requested that the Board of Directors make the required fundings and adopt the resolution of necessity for the property specified in Agenda Item #7.

Board Member Livengood referenced Mr. Matteoni’s letter dated March 30, 2005, and queried if it will be possible for the company to continue to exist with the easement of the property.   Mr. Ristow responded that the type of facility VTA will add will not have an impact to negate the business from operating.

Board Member Cortese queried as to the staff’s response to Matteoni’s request for a construction impact mitigation analysis.   Mr. Ristow responded that is part of any negotiation but VTA has a clear directive from CPUC as to what they believe is a necessary safety improvement, but the construction impact mitigation analysis it could be part of whatever negations would continue beyond tonight.   Board Member Cortese requested assurance that staff could continue to work with Matteoni with regard to the construction impact mitigation analysis.   Mr. Ristow responded that staff would work with him, but that Mr. Matteoni’s letter was received at 4:30 p.m. and staff has not had a chance to discuss matters with Mr. Matteoni. 

M/S/C (Chavez/Matthews) to close Hearing and adopt Resolution of Necessity No. 05.03.24 determining that the public interest and necessity require the acquisition of easement rights in property located at 861 Auzerais Avenue, San Jose, California for the installation, operation, inspection, maintenance, repair, replacement and removal of light rail transit facilities including warning signs and an automatic railroad gate support.   Installation of these facilities is a requirement of the California Public Utilities Commission to enhance the safety of an at-grade light rail-street crossing of the Vasona Light Rail Line at this location. 

  
8. HEARING NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ADOPT RESOLUTION OF NECESSITY

Property ID/Owner/Assessor’s Parcel Number

V047-01/The (Figone) Exemption Trust/APN: 264-14-026
Resolution No. 05.03.25

John Ristow, Deputy Director Planning & Highway Administration, stated that Agenda Items #7 and #8 concerns easements to install, operate and maintain certain transit facilities on private property.   The transit facilities include posted and painted warning signs and an automatic railroad gate.   Placement of these transit facilities is mandated by a decision from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which conditionally approved two at-grade street crossings of the Vasona Light Rail Project.  The property affected by these easements is located at and near the light rail crossings of Sunol Street and Auzerais Avenue, both in the City of San Jose. 

Mr. Ristow noted that the public interest and necessity for acquiring these easements is illustrated by the CPUC decision and is more fully described in the Board Memorandum included in the Agenda package.   A history of the CPUC application case and a detailed description of the type and location of the transit facilities are also provided in the Board Memorandum.

Because the facilities are to be installed are on two adjacent, but separately owned, pieces of property, two resolutions of necessity are required.   Item #7 refers to an easement over property owned by Auzerais Investment, Inc.  The easement over that parcel would cover most of the transit facilities.  Item #8 refers to an easement over property owned by The Figone Exemption Trust.  The easement over that parcel would cover only two warning signs, painted on a building near the crossings.  Both parcels are leased and occupied by Flooring Service Supply Company, a predominantly wholesale flooring materials business. 

Mr. Ristow reported that the Vasona Light Rail Project will provide new light rail service between the cities of San Jose and Campbell.   It will directly connect to Caltrain and VTA's Guadalupe light rail line, to link residents to major employment centers in Silicon Valley.   Acquisition of these easements to place transit facilities at two grade crossings is a safety requirement imposed upon VTA by the CPUC.  These two crossings are the last to be approved by the CPUC and will be the last to be constructed in the Vasona Project.  In order to complete the Project for revenue service in Summer 2005, construction of these two crossings must be completed promptly. 

The memorandum sets forth the findings that need to be made by the Board to adopt the resolutions.   The resolutions will authorize the filing of eminent domain proceedings in which the compensation to be paid by VTA for the easements will be determined through judicial process. 

Mr. Ristow noted that representative of The (Figone) Exemption Trust has been notified of tonight’s hearing.   A written request has been received from Michael Tunink, Attorney at Law, representing The (Figone) Exemption Trust, to address the Board. 

Mr. Ristow asked if anyone wished to address the Board regarding the parcels on the agenda.    Mr. Tunink stated that are several objections to the proposed taking property outlined in his letter to Sandra Weymouth, Board Secretary, dated March 1, 2005, along with a Request for Appearance.    Mr. Tunink requested that the objections be lodged into the record, along with the added objection that the offer made by VTA to his clients was defective and not valid under the California Code of Civil Procedure. 

Mr. Tunink advised that his client owns two parcels, a south parcel,  APN 264-14-025, which VTA is seeking to paint signs on the side of the commercial building and north parcel, APN 264-14-026, which has been erroneously noted on the Resolution of Necessity and stated if the resolution is adopted that the north parcel be deleted from that resolution.

Mr. Tunink advised the Board of Directors that he has been working diligently with VTA Counsel to resolve the matter and is hopeful issues can be resolved but for now his objections stand.

Mr. Ristow asked if the Board of Directors had any questions and requested that the Board of Directors make the required findings and adopt the resolution of necessity for the property specified in Agenda Item #8.

Board Member Williams queried about the main sticking point.   Mr. Ristow responded that the property owners would have to explain.   The project is needing the properties as mandated by the CPUC for safety issues so it is required by a ruling from CPUC in order for VTA operate the system. 

Board Member Cortese queried if staff has any reaction to the mistake assertion that the resolution of necessity should be modified somehow.   Mr. Ristow responded that staff believes it to be accurate as presented to the Board.    Kevin Allmand, Assistant General Council, noted that the legal description has been review and are in agreement that one of the parcel numbers should be deleted from the description and ask the Board to approve the resolution with that understanding. 

M/S/C (Chavez/Matthews) to close the Hearing and adopt Resolution of Necessity  No. 05.03.25 determining that the public interest and necessity require the acquisition of easement rights in property located at 381 Sunol Street, San Jose, California for the installation, operation, inspection, maintenance, repair, replacement and removal of light rail transit facility warning signs.  Installation of these facilities is a requirement of the California Public Utilities Commission to enhance the safety of an at-grade light rail-street crossing of the Vasona Light Rail Line at this location, with the deletion of APN:  264-14-025.   

  
9. PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS

Barbara Rhodes, Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) Member, requested the Board consider advising staff that the Accessible Services Program Manager position be made available to candidates outside of VTA.

Terry Applegate, Silicon Valley Independent Living Center, expressed concern regarding the Accessible Services Program Manager position, provided a list of qualifications for the Accessible Services Program Manager position, and expressed concern that large print materials and assisted listening devices were not provided. 

Board Member Casas advised Ms. Applegate that VTA is in compliance with ADA requirements as mentioned on Page 1 of the Board Agenda and requested she act as an advocate for members of the disabled community requiring accommodations. 

Eugene Bradley, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Riders Union, referred to the general manager position and noted advertisement for new general manager process and announcement of meetings are not located on VTA’s website, stated there is a need for a general manager who is open to everyone’s needs, and provided a name of an individual for the new general manager position.

Lupe Medrano, Silicon Valley Council of the Blind Board Member, stated that VTA’s hiring process for the Accessible Services Program Manager is unfair.

Kathy Bonilla, Interested Citizen, stated she is in agreement with Ms. Rhodes’ and  Ms. Applegate’s comments regarding the Accessible Service Program Manager and stated that the new manager needs to have knowledge about disabled people. 

Emma Eljias, Interested Citizen & CTA Member, expressed concern regarding the procedures for the Paratransit Eligibility Certification and stated the procedures need to be redesigned. 

Member Matthews left his seat at 6:25 p.m.

Jerry Grace, Interested Citizen, shared his Special Olympic Gold Medal, expressed concern regarding VTA Public Meeting At-A-Glance February 2005 and Bus Route 81.   Chairperson Pirzynski congratulated Mr. Grace on his Gold Medal and his presentation.

  
10. Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) Chairpersons Report

Yoriko Kishimoto, PAC Chairperson, provided report regarding the February 10, 2005 PAC Meeting noting that the following items were discussed:  1) the Committee welcomed two members to the PAC: Al Pinheiro representing City of Gilroy and  Jose Hernandez representing City of Campbell; 2) upon request from the VTA Board Chairperson, PAC members provided input on the qualities and qualifications VTA should consider in a new general manager; 3) collected each PAC Member’s list of priorities they want the Committee to consider in 2005; 4) received a presentation regarding Transportation Development ACT (TDA) Triennial Performance Audit from Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).  Due to time constraints, PAC will further discuss the report at its March 2005 meeting; 5) due to the length of several items, PAC deferred both the presentation of the FY 2004 Transit Operations Performance Report and PAC’s consideration of Board-requested modifications to the PAC bylaws until March 10, 2005, meeting; and, 6) other items currently schedule for March 10, 2005 meeting are receive presentation regarding VTA Budget Process and, discuss Long-Term Transit Capital Investment Program.

  

CONSENT AGENDA

11. Minutes of the Regular Board of Directors Meeting of February 3, 2005

M/S/C (Gage/Matthes) to approve the Minutes of the Regular Board of Directors Meeting of February 3, 2005.

  
 

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE

12. 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Program Route 880 Widening Highway Planning Construction Contract Award

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with the lowest responsible bidder for construction of the Route 880 Widening Highway Planting, a 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Program (MBTIP) project.

  
13. Citizens Advisory Committee Appointment

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to ratify the appointment of Irene Hsu to the Citizens Advisory Committee position representing the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council.

  
14. Lease with AT&T Wireless for Co-location at the VTA-owned Cellular Site at the Cerone Operating and Maintenance Facility

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to authorize the General Manager to execute a five-year lease agreement and options for four additional five-year periods with AT & T Wireless to locate cellular phone equipment at the Cerone Operating and Maintenance Facility starting at $1,750 a month, with a three percent annual escalation. 

  
15. Contract Amendment with Santa Clara Valley Highway Associates for Program Management and Construction management Services for the 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Program

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to authorize the General Manager to amend the contract with Santa Clara Valley Highway Associates (VHA) for Program Management and Construction Management services for the 1996 Measure B Transportation Improvement Program (MBTIP) increasing the contract value by $6,599,729 for a new total contract value not to exceed $81,257,452.

  
 

CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND PLANNING COMMITTEE

16. Program $35,400 in Local Program Reserve (LRP) Funds for the City of Monte Serenos Local Streets and Roads Rehabilitation Program

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to program $35,400 in LRP funds for the City of Monte Sereno’s Local Streets and Roads Rehabilitation Program; and authorize the General Manager to enter into a funding agreement with the City of Monte Sereno.

  
17. 2004 Monitoring and Conformance Report and Conformance Findings

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to approve the 2004 Monitoring and Conformance Report and Conformance Findings.

  
 

TRANSIT PLANNING AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

18. Community Oriented Design Enhancements (CODE) Projects for the Vasona Light Rail Project

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to approve artist Diana Pumpelly Bates’ concept proposals for enhancements in the shelter canopy glass at the San Jose Diridon Station and for metal screens at the Fruitdale and Bascom Stations on the Vasona Light Rail Project.

  
19. Procurement of 230 Bus Exhaust Emissions Systems

M/S/C (Gage/Matthews) to authorize the General Manager to execute a contract with Cummins West, the lowest responsive bidder, for the purchase of 230 Bus Exhaust Emission Systems at a cost of $3,801,636.  Of this amount, approximately $1,790,305, or 47.1 percent, is funded by grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA).   This authorization is subject to FTA approval of a Buy America Waiver, which should be received by February 14, 2005.

  
  
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REGULAR AGENDA

  
  
 

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT - Forrest Williams

There were no items submitted for the Regular Agenda by the Administration and Finance Committee.

  
 

CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND PLANNING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT - Cindy Chavez

There were no items submitted for the Regular Agenda by the Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee.

  
 

TRANSIT PLANNING AND OPERATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON'S REPORT - David Cortese

20. Paratransit Eligibility Certification Program Modifications

Matthew O. Tucker, Chief Operating Officer, stated that in 2001 VTA experienced a severe decline in sales tax revenue and ridership due to the general down turn in the economy and at the same time the paratransit program was experiencing significant increases in ridership.                     

Consultant studies identified opportunities for VTA to contain costs such as adopting paratransit eligibility guidelines consistent with the Americans with Disability Act.    Mr. Tucker clarified that eligibility guidelines under ADA are not determinations made upon medical capability, it is a determination based upon the functional capability of an individual to complete a transit trip

Mr. Tucker said that the Board of Directors approved implementing a new paratransit eligibility certification program in 2003 and VTA contracted with Orthopaedic Hospital to conduct assessments.   Mr. Tucker outlined the terms of the contract approved by the Board all current users totaling 13,128 users plus new applicants, totaling more 4,000 would be certified over a three-year period and a requirement there be multiple locations for added convenience for applicants needing certification.   Mr. Tucker noted that a year later staff conducted a follow-up survey and reported to the Board that staff would be working collaboratively with CTA to streamline the program. 

Board Member Gonzales requested at the Transportation Planning & Operations Meeting of October 21, 2004, staff provide a presentation at the November 5, 2004 Board Workshop Meeting.   At that Workshop the Board requested staff develop a proposal for modifications to the eligibility certification process.   In developing the proposed changes, staff solicited significant input from the public, CTA, and other key stakeholders.  Five public hearings were conducted as well as site visits at five agencies that generate the highest ridership for Outreach Service.

Mr. Tucker provided an outline of Attachment A, Comparison of Current and Staff Recommended Paratrainsit Eligibility Certification Process, highlighting the changes to Steps 1 through 5, which reflecting the publics’ comment with regard to streamlining the program.   Some of the public comments received were that some applicants experienced difficulty in completing the application process or felt that the process was too lengthily and as a result staff is proposing the elimination of the application and revising the brochure significantly.   The revisions will no longer require potential applicants request a brochure prior to applying for the service nor will applicants have to wait for completion of a third-party verification from their doctors in order to move to the next phase of eligibility process.  Mr. Tucker noted that under the new program applicants will only have to follow two steps – make a phone call and attend the in-person interview.  A draft copy of the new eligibility process was distributed to the Board Members for review.

Mr. Tucker stated staff is also proposing that the brochure be available in accessible formats and multiple languages.   Staff will make the application and brochure available on VTA’s website and will work with CTA to develop a task force to ensure that there is a wide and mass distribution and availability of the brochure and information.

Mr. Tucker reported that changes made to Steps 6 through 9 of Attachment A, are based on public comment to provide transportation at no cost to the applicant.   The initial proposal provided to CTA was to provide transportation to new applicants only with new applicants paying the cost that regular customers would be paying associated with receiving a trip.   Based upon public comments, staff revised the proposal to provide the service for both new and re-certifying applicants at no cost.  Staff has also built in significant flexibility in the program, which will allow a person to be temporarily conditionally approved under certain circumstances that we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis as a result of public concern. 

Mr. Tucker stated that in general VTA received varying and mixed public comments with regard to the proposal.   Some comments reflected a desire for VTA to go back to the old Outreach process, that the physician certification is sufficient, the cost of administration of the program is too expensive, some comments commended VTA for the proposed changes to the program, comments were received that requested the applications be provided in alternate formats and to provide free rides to all applicants, including re-certifying applicants.

Mr. Tucker stated that CTA reviewed and commented on the final staff recommendations at its February 10, 2005 meeting.   The only action taken by CTA was a motion to recommend modification of the photo identification from required to prefer.    Staff did not support that recommendation out of fear associated with identity theft as well as some security concerns but did ensure that the lack of having an ID would not become a barrier for them to apply for the program and that VTA will forward a letter to Orthopaedic Hospital notifying staff of anyone who comes in under that circumstance to ensure the assistance the applicant needs.

Mr. Tucker advised that Ms. Appelgate submitted a Community Plan for review and Board Member Gage requested staff conduct a comparative analysis to staff’s final recommendation.   Mr. Tucker stated that he could not comment on the public review process that was utilized in developing the Community Plan and did not know how extensive the input was received in development of the Plan.

Board Member Chu left his seat at 6:34 p.m.

Board Member Kniss queried if once a person has received a permanent eligibility stating it is necessary for them to be re-certified every three years.  Mr. Tucker responded that re-certification is not required once permanent eligibility is determined but only request that if there is change of address the information be provided to VTA if still planning to utilize the program.  Board Member Kniss requested that clarification be made to the public that people will not have to be re-certified.

Board Member Livengood left his seat at 6:44 p.m.

Board Member Casas left his seat at 6:45 p.m.

Vice Chairperson Chavez queried if medical doctors or registered nurses make the assessments.   Mr. Tucker responded that the people making the assessments are health care professionals who have gone through a certification process to ensure that they are capable of conducting functional assessments.

Board Members Livengood and Chu took their seats at 6:47 p.m.

Vice Chairperson Chavez asked if the assessments are only based on interactions between Orthopaedic Hospital and the person.   Mr. Tucker stated that the process is that the person comes in and they conduct the interview.  If Orthopaedic Hospital is unable at that to determine eligibility they will ask for third-party verification information.  Mr. Tucker noted there disabilities that are not readily apparent or do not necessarily manifest themselves on any given day or at any given time.  

Vice Chairperson Chavez commended staff on material provided to Board Members.

Board Member Casas took his seat at 6:49 p.m.

Vice Chairperson Chavez requested and received clarification that VTA will provide and pay for rides to the interview and the appeals process as necessary, eliminating the brochure and providing a one page application embedded in the brochure in multiple languages.

Vice Chairperson Chavez requested staff’s strategy for working together with CTA and agencies regarding continuous improvement on the proposal.   Mr. Tucker responded that the program will evolve over time and staff will consult with CTA and other key stakeholders to decide the next evolution for the program. 

Mr. Tucker noted that Orthopaedic Hospital and NovaCare Staffs will be making a presentation at CTA’s March 10, 2005 Meeting and will address some of CTA’s concerns regarding the qualifications of the firms.

Board Member Cortese requested verbiage be added to clarify the confusion with the language in of the Draft Brochure and Application, Category Two which states “You believe VTA fixed route service is not accessible.  (All VTA Bus and Light Rail service is accessible).”  Mr. Tucker explained when language in Category Two was put out it was a time when ADA was initially put in place and transit systems had buses that were not lift equipped and was a mobility barrier for people.  Peter M. Cipolla, General Manager stated staff would review the verbiage.

Board Member Williams queried if VTA will have the ability to provide service as outlined in the brochure and if not, how will it impact the people who use the service.    Mr. Tucker responded that ADA is a required service for the organization and if VTA finds themselves in a difficult position, priorities will have to be re-established.

Vice Chairperson Chavez left her seat at 6:57 p.m.

Gary Bertucelli, Mental Health Case Manager, stated is unfair and an unnecessary burden to put people through more hoops and steps when already deemed disabled.

Vice Chairperson Chavez took her seat at 6:59 p.m.

Kenneth Frasse, CEO, South Clara Valley Blind Center, referenced comments and testimony submitted to the Board Members before the meeting, expressed concern regarding eligibility process and restrictions and the applicants not able to obtain copies of their records.

Board Member Gonzales requested staff agendize the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center’s letter dated March 2, 2005, for future discussion under Closed Session as it referenced potential litigation.

Ms. Rhodes thanked Board Members for considering changes to the eligibility process, requested staff receive direction to give more input to the people going through the process, and making the process as user friendly as possible. 

Mr. Bradley agreed with Ms. Rhodes comments regarding the need to open the process more for disable eligibility and reiterated the importance of applicants having access to their records.  

David Julian, CTA Member, recommended staff move forward with Attachment A, Comparison of Current and Staff Recommended Paratransit Eligibility Certification Process, stated the transportation system is not totally wheel chair accessible, also stated he questions the training and qualifications at Orthopaedic Hospital Staff; noted it would have been nice if the Community Plan could have been reviewed and discussed by the CTA before being provided to the Board, and encouraged Board Members to attend a CTA meeting.

Ronald Schwartz, San Jose Senior Citizens Commission, expressed concern regarding the hardship which occurs with the eligibility process and urged the process to be simplified and available for all seniors and disabled.

Board Member Gage took his seat at 7:08 p.m.

Board Member Kniss left her seat at 7:08 p.m.

Bob Jaffee, Council on Aging Advisory Board, referenced AB 133 (Alquist) Regional Transportation Plans and Government Code Section 65080, stated VTA has not complied with Federal and State Older American Act mandates or State Law and requested a response why the they have not complied.  

Sandra Gouveia, Peninsula Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and CTA Member, requested the Board Members take note of staff’s tone of voice and the manner the presentation was provided, noted people should be able to receive records when requested, expressed concern regarding VTA’s use of the terms it will be, it is going to be or it is so, requested Board Members attend CTA meetings, and thanked the Board Members for their support.

Board Member Kniss took her seat at 7:13 p.m.

Board Member Gonzales left his seat at 7:16 p.m.

Ms. Applegate stated the interview process is not a functional assessment, expressed concern that staff from Orthopaedic Hospital is not familiar with cognitive disabilities, drug interaction, spinal cord injuries, and sensitivity to heat.

Rose Deterding, Interested Citizen, stated that she likes the proposal in Attachment A, Comparison of Current and Staff Recommended Paratransit Eligibility Certification Process, and hopes the Board Members will vote yes, stated that she has gone through a three-year re-classification, expressed concern regarding Orthopaedic Hospital’s interview process and recommended local specialized medical doctors should be used.

Member Gonzales took his seat at 7:19 p.m.

Ms. Medrano stated some people are born with permanent disabilities, which are not obvious. 

Ms. Bonilla expressed concern regarding her interview process.

Dennis Kennedy, Mayor, City of Morgan Hill, requested literature be more widely available, interviews in South County occur monthly, bi-lingual interviewer or interpreter be provided, and requested the Board of Directors adopt the immediate recommendations of providing and paying for rides to both the interview and appeals process, if necessary, eliminating the brochure, replacing it with a one-page brochure and provide in multiple languages and accessible formats and requested alternatives in the eligibility program be considered.

Chris Lepe, Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC) thanked the Board of Directors for the changes made to the eligibility requirements and encouraged additional changes that would make the disabled community feel less disrespected.

Board Member Cortese left his seat at 7:27 p.m.

Darlene Wallach, Interested Citizen, stated she was disgusted that Board Members had their mind already made up and a motion called before receiving public comment.    Ms. Wallach stated it is abhorrent that Ms. Applegate was not given more time to present the Community Plan and disgusted that the community is always limited as to how much input they are allowed to provide.   Ms. Wallach recommended that VTA should be serving the community.  Ms. Wallach recommended the contract with Orthopaedic Hospital should be cancelled.

Board Member Cortese took his seat at 7:28 p.m.

Tessa Hernandez, Health Connection, stated there is need for medical doctors and medical professionals to make medical decisions and also stated an applicant who is permanently disabled should not have to go through interviews.

Ex-Officio Board Member McLemore left his seat at 7:30 p.m.

Todd Gardner, Interested Citizen, expressed concern regarding his treatment while riding public transit using bus connection and recommended automated telephone service for Outreach. 

Mr. Grace expressed concern regarding the amount an individual is charged for the purchase of a Regional Transit Commission   (RTC) Discount Card if the card is lost.

Ex Officio Board Member McLemore took his seat at 7:33 p.m.

Davidson Wan, Santa Clara Valley Multiple Sclerosis Society, agreed with  Ms. Applegate’s comments regarding funding and the eligibility process and requested qualified people be used for the interview process and recorded. 

Board Member Gonzales queried if staff does any type of customer evaluation after the qualification process.  Mr. Tucker advised that there is a hotline in place wherein customers call to provide feedback throughout the eligibility process and advise of issues. Edna Pampy, Senior Management Analyst, advised a survey was completed after the first year the process was in place which consisted of telephone calls to 150 re-certifying applicants asking them about the process, a mail-in survey for folks due to re-certify but for some reason chose not to do so.  Due to some delays in re-certification, staff continued the applicants’ eligibility and advised them of the re-certification process.  Mr. Tucker stated that periodic surveys would be made to ensure the program is meeting the needs of the citizens.

Board Member Gage stated it is a new process and necessary to give this program time to see whether it will work or not.   Board Member Gage recommended a stamped customer service survey postcard be available to applicants at their interviews, to provide immediate feedback on the interview process. 

M/S/C (Williams/Chavez) to adopt the Paratransit Eligibility Certification Plan with Modifications, evaluate the Modified Plan after one year, providing results of the evaluation to the CTA for full discussion and further, as part of continuous improvement, coordinate a full discussion with the CTA to evaluate the “Community Plan; address sensitivity issues which may occur during the evaluation process and evaluate current contractor regarding sensitivity and appropriateness of the contractor’s staff skill-sets; place survey cards in Outreach vehicles; consider alternate methods for applicant to request their information other than in writing; provide clarity regarding conditional status; and, increase interview frequency for remote locations, e.g. South County.

Board Member Casas apologized for challenges applicants face in qualifying for the Program.

Board Member Cortese recommended termination of contract if insensitivity continues with the ADA Community and making a determination immediately as opposed to mandating training. 

  
  
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OTHER ITEMS

21. ITEMS OF CONCERN AND REFERRAL TO ADMINISTRATION

Vice Chairperson Chavez requested the following on the March 30, 2005 Board Agenda:  discuss strategies for continuous improvement for VTA as the groundwork is laid for the new General Manager.

  
22. LEGISLATIVE REPORT

Kurt Evans, Government Affairs Manager, reported that Congress is once again trying to re-authorize the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21).  On March 2, 2005 the Infrastructure Committee marked up its version of the TEA 21 Re-authorization Bill and all four of VTA’s project earmark request were included in the Bill as follows:  New Starts Program Authorization for the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor Project; $11.65 million for improvements to the I-152/156 in South County; $8 million for I-880 Coleman Avenue Interchange project; and through the combined efforts of VTA and the City of San Jose, a total of $10 million for operational improvements along the US-101 Corridor between the I-280/680 Interchange on Yerba Buena.

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the Legislative Report was accepted.  

  
23. SUMMARY MINUTES FROM STANDING COMMITTEES

A.             Administration and Finance Committee

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Administration and Finance Committee Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B.             Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

Mr. Grace stated missed meeting and queried as to what happened.

C.             Transit Planning and Operations Committee

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Transit Planning and Operations Committee Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
24. REPORTS FROM ADVISORY COMMITTEES

A.Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA)

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Committee for Transit Accessibility (CTA) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

B.Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC)

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

C.Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

D.Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

E.Policy Advisory Committee (PAC)

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet.

  
25. REPORTS FROM JOINT POWERS BOARDS (JPBs) & REGIONAL COMMISSIONS

Chairperson Prizynski advised the Board Members that the Reports from the Joint Powers Boards (JPBs) & Regional Commissions were placed in front of them on the dais.

A.             Peninsula Corridor JPB

On order of Chairperson Prizynski, there being no objection, the Peninsula Corridor JPB Report was received.

B.             Capitol Corridor JPB

Mr. Williams advised that he was elected as the Vice Chairperson for the Capital Corridor JPB.

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the Capitol Corridor JPB report was received.

C.             Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC ) Report was received.  
  
26. REPORTS FROM VTA POLICY ADVISORY BOARDS (PABs)

A.Vasona Light Rail PAB

There was no report from the Vasona Light Rail PAB.

B.Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor PAB

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the
Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor PAB Report was accepted as contained in the Agenda Packet. 

C.Caltain PAB

There was no report form the Caltrain PAB.

D.Downtown East Valley PAB

Vice Chairperson Chavez reported that Downtown East Valley Policy Advisory Board met on Thursday, March 3, 2005, and discussed financial options for Downtown East Valley, discussed the Evergreen Smart Growth Strategy, and reviewed updates for the Capitol Expressway Preliminary Engineering Urban Design Features.

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the Downtown East Valley PAB Report was received.

D.             Highway PAB – South

There was no report from the Highway PAB – South.

  
27. REPORT FROM CHAIRPERSON

Chairperson Pirzynski stated that the Ad-Hoc Restructuring Committee will reconvene on Thursday, March 24, 2005, at 4:00 p.m., 70 West Hedding Street, Tenth Floor Conference Room, San Jose, California, and advised that Member Chu has been appointed as a member of the Committee.

Board Member Gonzales expressed concern regarding reconvening the Ad-Hoc Restructuring Committee.   Chairperson Pirzynski clarified the commitment of the Ad-Hoc Restructuring Committee.

Board Member Matthews requested information regarding the Ad-Hoc Restructuring Committee’s   boundaries of authority and scope.

  
28. REPORT FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER

There was no report from the General Manager.

  
29. ANNOUNCEMENTS

There were no Announcements.

  
30. ADJOURNMENT

On order of Chairperson Pirzynski, there being no objection, the meeting was adjourned at 8:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gilda M. Grozdanich, Board Assistant
VTA Board of Directors

  
  
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