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1. Call to Order

Chairman McCray called the meeting to order at 9:14 a.m.

2. Roll Call

Present: Shirley Breyer Black

Wil Din

Michael Kasolas

James McCray, Jr.

Peter Mezey

Tom Nolan

Leah Shahum

3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.

Chairman McCray announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. He advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices might be removed from the meeting. He also advised that cell phones that are set on “vibrate” cause microphone interference and requested that they be placed in the “off” position.

4. Public Comment

Doris Vincent stated that she had heard that there were community concerns about Third Street and asked if the concerns were factual.

E.D. Ford stated that Mr. Walker had expressed concern with the restriction of left hand turns. As part of the plan to open Third Street service, staff will work with the community.


5. Discussion of MTA Board governance and best practices including goals and objectives, function, oversight roles and responsibilities, effectiveness, structure and internal and external relationships.

Exec. Director Ford discussed the MTA’s strengths and weaknesses, observations made by stakeholders and what is working and not working within the agency. Mr. Ford also discussed the actions taken by the agency since January 2006 in key focus areas including:

  • Safety & Security
  • Operations & Maintenance
  • Communication with Stakeholders
  • Business & Financial
  • Learning & Innovation
  • Infrastructure & Capital Improvement.

Mr. Ford stated that the day’s meeting was a start to how the MTA is going to move forward with developing a strategic plan that lays out the future of the Agency over the next 20 or 30 years.

Julia Friedlander, Deputy City Attorney, reviewed the powers and duties of the MTA Board of Directors.

Chairman McCray introduced Tim Johnson, Booz Allen & Hamilton, who would be the facilitator for the governance discussion.

Mr. Johnson stated that the purpose of today’s working session is to have initial discussions on the key roles and responsibilities of the MTA Board of Directors. He stated that the Board will develop a common understanding; identify examples of key behaviors; review what APTA says regarding Transit Board Members, discuss key roles as they relate to internal and external stakeholders; and review the next steps for moving forward.

The board discussed various key roles and responsibilities including:

  • Create and oversee that the Agency achieves its Mission and Vision.
  • Set the policy direction for the Agency
  • Establish and monitor the Agency’s annual and longer term goals
  • Hire and monitor the Executive Director and annually review his progress.
  • Understand the operation of the MTA
  • Represent the MTA to the public.
  • Relate with other city entities such as the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and other city and county departments.
  • Establish budget priorities and approve the budget
  • Insure a highly functioning board, including managing the board’s goals and objectives
  • Oversee contracting and approve contracts
  • Look at innovations
  • Work with stakeholders
  • Represent the MTA’s customers and citizens of CCSF.
  • Monitor projects
  • Ensure the future of the MTA.

Mayor Gavin Newsom discussed his vision for improving public transportation and the future of the MTA.

Following the Mayor’s speech, the Board continued discussing their’s roles and responsibilities.

Mr. Johnson stated that items for follow up include a discussion about committees, clarification regarding the Board’s relationship with the Board of Supervisors and the contracting and change order process.

E.D. Ford stated that staff was trying to schedule Friday, November 3rd for the next session.

Chairman McCray stated that the Board should be aggressive and asked Director Shahum to serve as Chairman of a Governance Ad Hoc Committee to follow up on issues raised in the day’s discussion. Chairman McCray requested that Director Mezey serve on the committee and stated that he would serve as the third member. Director Nolan requested that the committee also discuss the more mundane ways in which the board operates such as meeting agendas and reports.


Irwin Lum, President, TWU-Local 250A, commended the Board for the meeting and called it “long overdue”. Mr. Lum commended Mr. Ford for his outreach and noted that 250-A appreciates that Diana Buchbinder and Wilson Johnson have attended their meetings. 250-A extends its’ hand to the Board to work together in providing a safe, efficient transit system.

6. Citizen’s Advisory Council Report

Dan Murphy, Chairman, CAC, stated that the struggles with what level of detail to drill down to as a body. The CAC’s recommendations are a product of balancing competing visions about the level of detail. The CAC is willing to consider taking on additional tasks if helpful. The CAC could assist the Board with communicating with the Board of Supervisors. The CAC would appreciate getting involved early in the process of developing policies. As one of the authors of Prop. E, Mr. Murphy stated that the role of the Board at the time that Prop. E was crafted was for the Board to balance interests. The authors gave the Board the “Transit First” policy and the Service Standards to use as guideposts.

ADJOURN - The meeting was adjourned at 1:14 p.m.

A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.

Roberta Boomer

Board Secretary

The Ethics Commission of the City and County of San Francisco has asked us to remind individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local legislative or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance [S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 2.100 et seq.] to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 415-581-2300; fax: 415-581-2317; 30 Van Ness Ave., Suite 3900, SF, CA 94102-6027 or the web site:

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