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Report ID: 22-324   
Type: Regular - Board Administrative Matters
Meeting Body: Board of Directors - Regular Meeting
Meeting Date: 6/22/2022 Final action: 6/22/2022
Recommended Action: Consider receiving a report on ways to alleviate the number of agenda planning items requested of staff and provide direction with respect to amending the current policy. [Requested by Vice President Young - 9/22/21]
Attachments: 1. STAFF REPORT, 2. Att.1.Agenda Planning Presentation Final, 3. Master Minute Order

TO:                     AC Transit Board of Directors                                          

FROM:                                             Linda A. Nemeroff, District Secretary

SUBJECT:                     Agenda Planning Requests                     

 

BRIEFING ITEM


RECOMMENDED ACTION(S):

 

Title

Consider receiving a report on ways to alleviate the number of agenda planning items requested of staff and provide direction with respect to amending the current policy. [Requested by Vice President Young - 9/22/21]

Body

 

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE:

 

There is no strategic importance associated with this report.

 

BUDGETARY/FISCAL IMPACT:

 

There is no budgetary/fiscal impact associated with this item.

 

BACKGROUND/RATIONALE:

 

The Board of Directors adopted its Rules for Procedure in 1982 and the policy has been amended numerous times since.  While the policy has included language permitting Board members to request future agenda items, it wasn’t until 1993 that the Board established some sort of parameters. 

 

The need to have formal parameters on what are now referred to as “agenda planning requests” was likely spurred by the Alameda County Grand Jury investigations that took place from 1987 to 1989, at time when the District was being “managed on a crisis-to-crisis basis”, lacked fiscal discipline, and was deemed to have poor leadership.  The 1988-89 Grand Jury Report states, “In trying to satisfy its learning need the Board meets on a weekly basis and requires voluminous reports from staff.”  “Staff often regards the preparation of Board reports as their first duty.  They also question whether their work is even read.  The result is that staff has insufficient time to devote to what is its prime responsibility - managing the District.”  The 1993 policy amendment, while not a far stretch from earlier versions of the policy, still allowed Board members to request future agenda items, but limited consideration of an item to 30 minutes.  Over the years, the Board has amended the policy, possibly in an effort to focus on policy matters and less on day-to-day operational matters as was called out in the earlier grand jury reports.

 

Fast-forward to 2022. The current policy affords each Board member the opportunity to make two agenda planning requests per meeting, provided each report has the concurrence of one other Board member.  If each Board member exercised their opportunity to place items on a future agenda at every Board meeting, the result would be 294 report requests per year.  While it is not likely that will happen, it needs to be acknowledged that the development of staff reports to address Board member agenda planning requests is often time consuming, can be research intensive, and may require not only inter-departmental coordination, but sometimes coordination or research involving external agencies.

 

The attached presentation is intended to offer suggestions and guide the Board through a discussion of possible changes in the agenda planning process.

 

ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES:

 

This report is provided for discussion purposes and to seek direction from the Board on possible amendments to the current policy.

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:

 

There is no alternatives analysis associated with this report.

 

PRIOR RELEVANT BOARD ACTION/POLICIES:

 

Board Policy 101 - Board of Directors Rules for Procedure

 

ATTACHMENTS:

 

1.                     Agenda Planning Presentation

 

Prepared by:

Linda A. Nemeroff, District Secretary

 

Approved/Reviewed by:

Linda A. Nemeroff, District Secretary

Jill A. Sprague, General Counsel

Michael A. Hursh, General Manager