January 28, 2016 Meeting

1-28-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of December 17, 2015
  3. Approval of Bank Signatory Resolutions
  4. Ridership Update
  5. Financial Update
  6. Audit Update and Extension
  7. AVL Update
  8. Westport Transit District Update
  9. Director of Maintenance and Facilities Update
  10. Manager of Human Resources Update
  11. Manager of Transportation Operations
    Storm Update
    Route Changes
  12. CEO Update
    Unfair Labor Practice
    Demand to Negotiate and Request For Information
    Statewide Bus Study
    Finance Department Update
  13. Other Business
  14. Next Meeting February 25, 2016
  15. Adjournment

 

MINUTES

Attending

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Richard Bangs, Director of Finance and Administration; Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities; Tia Gordon, Manager of Human Resources; and, Linda DeLallo, Manager of Transportation Operations

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of December 17, 2015
The minutes of the December 17, 2015 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved. 

Approval of Bank Signatory Resolutions
The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the amended bank signatories removing Mr. Bangs as an authorized representative and adding Mr. Hill. 

Ridership Update
Ms. Carroll presented the attached ridership summary.  Ridership continues to decline.  We have begun preliminary work on the scope of work for the COA which will hopefully identify problem areas. 

Financial Update
Mr. Bangs presented the attached financial report through December 31, 2015.  We continue a positive financial trend despite a down turn in income.  Year-end FY 2015 is still under review with the auditors and he is reserving the report pending any audit adjustments. 

 

Audit Update
Mr. Bangs reported the year-end audit continues and another audit extension will be filed.  The new anticipated completion date is February 2016. 

AVL
Ms. Carroll reported that we are currently in the 30 day burn testing phasing.  Minor bugs have been reported and we are at approximately 90% accuracy.  

Director of Maintenance and Facilities Update

  • Mr. Alvord reported the status on the following projects. 

 

  • Spare Parts have been ordered for the new 12 Gilligs under the State procurement.

 

  • The maintenance uniform contract is now in place and operational.

 

  • The contract for managing shop stock for nuts and bolts is in place.

 

  • Pest control program revised and in place with a 50% overall annual reduction.

 

  • The emergency roof drain repair project is complete.

 

  • Repaired hangers that fed water to the bus washer.

Manager of Human Resources Update
Ms. Gordon reported the following activity since the last meeting.

Separations:

  • Director of Finance and Administrative Services (resignation)
  • Senior Staff Accountant (retirement)

Open positions:

  • Procurement Specialist
  • Manager of Planning and Marketing

New Hires/Promotions:

  • We have recently promoted one of our newly hired mechanics to a B Level Mechanic.

 

  • We have made an offer for our last open mechanic position; he has accepted the offer and will begin on February 16.

ADP/HRIS
Ran four successful payrolls in our new ADP WorkForce Now payroll system. We will implement the Paid Time Off and Benefit modules of the system over the next few weeks.

Employee Advisory Committee (EAC)
The EAC was created in an effort to maintain diversity and inclusiveness throughout the District. The EAC is comprised of representation from each employee group, Maintenance, Administration, ADA Dispatch, Bus Operations, ADA Shuttle Drive and Bus Operators. Our first meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, February 1st.

Upcoming Events
Stewart Keen’s Retirement Brunch Thursday, January 28th at 10:30 AM

Manager of Transportation
Ms. DeLallo reported the following activity during the previous month. 

Snow Storm Jonas
Weather reports all indicated that Norwalk and the coastline would receive upwards of 12 inches of snow on Saturday, January 23rd.  Operations, Maintenance and Safety met with all staff to ensure each member of the team was familiar with the snow emergency plan. Each staff person was assigned a time to report and tasks to prepare. The drivers were notified in December of their reporting responsibilities during inclement weather. All operations staff and drivers reported as requested on the day of the storm. Administrative staff, working remotely, were notified as soon as the service area was surveyed for safe operations. Recommendations were made to suspend service at noon due to poor road conditions and reduced visibility. Adjoining providers suspended service about the same time.

Possible Service Changes
One of our current shuttles, the Norden Park Shuttle, has seen a significant reduction in ridership due to one of the work sites moving to 10/20 Westport Road. This will also require a change to the driver shifts/run schedule. We are watching the Norden Park ridership closely to decide when and how we will reduce service to Norden Park. We would like to use the resources from Norden Park to add another trip on the 10/20 shuttle to accommodate the extra riders that have begun to use the service since the move. We are hoping to have these changes completed by March.

 

CEO Update
Ms. Morton reported the following:

Unfair Labor Practice
Ms. Morton reported the filing of an Unfair Labor Practice by the Union regarding a claim that the company was allowing maintenance Foreman to perform Union work.  The scheduled date of the hearing is scheduled for March 7, 2015 at 10:00 am. 

Demand to Negotiate and RFI
The Union noticed the District regarding their intent to open contract negotiations on the contract that will expire on June 30, 2016.  This request was accompanied by a request for additional information which is now under preparation.  

Statewide Bus Study
The last study was performed more than 15 years ago.  This study will build on previous and ongoing efforts.  VHB is conducting the study for CTDOT and is currently underway the District has provided an exhaustive list of information in response to their request for information.  The study is scheduled to conclude in the fall of 2016.  A separate paratransit study is planned.  Public information and engagement will be through virtual meetings and web-based.

Finance Department Update
Ms. Morton noted that Mr. Bangs had tendered his resignation in late December.  She advised that she had hired Mr. Stephen Hill, former NTD Director of Finance, as the interim Director until such time a formalized restructuring plan could be developed.  Also noted was the hiring of a temporary employee to replace the retiring Staff Accountant.  

Other Business
No other business was noted.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for February 25, 2016 at 9:00 am at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:05 am.

February 25, 2016 Meeting

2-25-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of January 28, 2016
  3. Audit Update and Extension
  4. Financial Update
  5. Director of Maintenance and Facilities Update
  6. Manager of Human Resources Update
  7. Manager of Transportation Operations Update
  8. CEO Update
  9. Consideration to Continue in Executive Session to discuss the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO and COO.
  10. Consideration of the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO and COO
  11. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  12. Next Meeting March 24, 2016
  13. Adjournment


MINUTES

Attending

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities; and, Tia Gordon, Manager of Human Resources

The meeting was called to order at 9:02 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of January 28, 2016
The minutes of the January 28, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved. 

Financial Update
Ms. Morton reported we continue to make corrective actions in the Department from the account payables perspective.  In large part this is credited to our temporary Staff Accountant.  We have posted the job internally and intend to make the final decision soon. 

A complete standing of our current fiscal position will be presented on closure of the FY 2015 audit as this will serve as the foundation for the current year.  The remaining item to address for FY 2014 is the allocation methodology to be used for salaried expenses.  Ms. Morton reported she has scheduled a meeting with CTDOT on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, to seek further guidance and concurrence. 

Mr. Hill continues to work at a minimum one day a week and up to a maximum of two days if possible.  He has begun the process of educating the staff accountant on some of the higher end financial reporting processes and procedures. 

In response to the Commissioners inquiry if we had received State funding that we were anticipating, Ms. Morton replied affirmatively but noted that we were on solid ground temporarily as other payments are tied to the completion of the audit.   

Audit Update
Ms. Morton reported that she filed a request for an additional audit extension through March 2016.  It is the final extension as we are very close to finalizing the audit.   

Director of Maintenance and Facilities Update
Mr. Alvord reported the status on the following projects. 

  • Bus wash repair
  • Internal inspection of fire sprinkler system
  • Boiler repair
  • Examination of bird prevention in parking garage
  • Fleet Standardization

Manager of Human Resources Update
Ms. Gordon reported the following activity since the last meeting.

Separations:

  • Manager of Transportation Operations - Resignation

Open positions:

  • Director of Transportation Operations
  • Staff Accountant

New Hires/Promotions:

  • Final Mechanic slot filled, hired February 16th.
  • Procurement Specialist scheduled to begin February 29th.
  • Manager of Planning and Marketing scheduled to begin March 14th.
  • Jean MomPremier promoted from ADA/Shuttle driver to Wheels Driver.
  • Monica Decker promoted to Full-Time Driver.

Ms. Morton extended her congratulations to all. 

Employee Advisory Committee (EAC) 
Our first meeting took place on Monday, February 1st. We discussed the Employee awards celebrations and the potential changes to what has been done in the past to make it more inclusive, enhancing communication throughout the organization, safety issues (referred to the safety committee), and all employee meetings.

Manager of Transportation
Ms. Carroll reported the following activity during the previous month on behalf of Ms. DeLallo. 

  • New Run Bid is ready to go into effect on March 7, 2016. New run bid addresses long days for drivers with split shifts. All runs are 12.25 hours or less instead of the 15.17 hours

 

  • Metro-North schedule changes to take effect on April 3rd is still a work in progress.  Hopefully there will be minimal changes to our schedule.

 

  • AVAIL Integration with RouteMatch is continuing.  We remain at 90% accuracy regarding prediction algorithms.

 

CEO Update
Ms. Morton reported the primary focus this month has been the audit.  Both Ms. Morton and Ms. Carroll have spent a significant amount of working closely with the auditors and preparing and analyzing required information.  Any down time at this point has been spent on employee union/administrative issues.

Unfair Labor Practice
Ms. Morton reported that the District met with the Union on Monday, February 22, 2016 regarding the Unfair Labor Practice filing that claims the company was allowing maintenance Foreman to perform Union work.  She was happy to report that the Union agreed to withdraw the filing.

Union Negotiations
Ms. Morton advised that she broached the subject of a one year contract extension covering limited cost centers.  She requested that they submit their minimal requirements.  The Union is taking this under consideration.

Cell Phone Bank
Ms. Morton reported that the cell phone bank provides emergency communications to those in need by providing emergency cell phones to victims of abuse through law enforcement partners nationwide.  The District would donate cell phones left in our lost and found bank beyond our date for destruction of items in our care (30 days).  The Cell Phone Bank ensures that all sensitive data is completely and securely erased.  In the unlikely event that data is made public Norwalk is released from all liability as a result of the donated item. 

Consideration to Continue in Executive Session
Ms. Morton presented the Commissioners with an affidavit from the CEO and COO declaring their desire to have their performance review and compensation discussed in Executive Session.  Both employees further indicated they did not wish to be in attendance unless specifically requested by the Commissioners.  At 9:50 AM the Commissioner Miller and Glickson unanimously supported the continuance of the meeting in Executive Session. 

No formal action was taken in Executive Session which concluded at 10:15 AM.  A motion to immediately reconvene the Regular Meeting was unanimously passed. 

Consideration of the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO and COO
The Commissioners voted to adopt the matter discussed in Executive Session relative to the performance review of the COO.  The Commissioners unanimously supported the recommendation made by Ms. Morton as contained in her performance review of Ms. Carroll with an effective date of January 1, 2016. 

The matter relative to the performance and compensation of the CEO was discussed and moved to the next regularly scheduled meeting in March. 

Other Business
No other business was noted.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for March 24, 2016 at 9:00 am has been cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2015 at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:20 AM.

March 22, 2016 Meeting

3-22-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of February 25, 2016
  3. Audit Update
  4. Financial Update
  5. Ridership Update
  6. Director of Maintenance and Facilities Update
  7. Manager of Human Resources Update
  8. Manager of Planning & Marketing Update
  9. Triennial Review
  10. Restructuring Plan
  11. FTA Annual Certification and Assurances
  12. 401k/457 Plans
  13. CEO Update
  14. Consideration to Continue in Executive Session to discuss the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO
  15. Consideration of the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO
  16. .Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  17. Next Meeting April 28, 2016
  18. Adjournment

 

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities; Tia Gordon, Manager of Human Resources; and, Stephanie Scavelli, Manager of Planning and Marketing

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of February 25, 2016
The minutes of the February 25, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved. 

Audit Update
Ms. Morton reviewed the final draft audit report.  It is anticipated that the auditors will be available at the April meeting to make a final presentation.  

Financial Update
Ms. Morton presented FY the FY 2016 financial report through February 2016. 

Mr. Hill continues to work at a minimum one day a week.  We have also engaged the services of another accountant to assist with grant reconciliation.  Our Junior Accountant has begun training on the account payable process and a determination will be made if she has the skillset required for the job.  Ms. Morton advised she will finalize her corrective action no later than April 2, 2016. 

Ridership Update
The ridership update was tabled.

Director of Maintenance and Facilities Update
Mr. Alvord reported the status on the following projects. 

  • Our Procurement Specialist is on board and is making great strides regarding inventory process and procedures
  • Beginning reviews of bus shelters and stops to see which need work
  • Working with Planning and Marketing Manager, and Signal Outdoor Advertising to locate additional shelters.
  • Started making visits to other transits
  • Generally prepping for Triennial Review

Manager of Human Resources Update
Ms. Gordon reported the following activity since the last meeting.

  • Separations: 
    ADA Dispatcher
  • Open positions: 
    Director of Transportation Operations
    ADA Dispatcher
  • New Hires/Promotions:
    Procurement Specialist Joe Gurrieri began work on February 29th.
    Manager of Planning and Marketing Stephanie Scavelli began on March 14th.
  • Workplace Survey
    The purpose of this survey is:
    1. to have a base line on how everyone feels about working at NTD and that we identify our strengths and weaknesses; and
    2. attain bragging rights in being one of the Top Work Places of 2016 in the Fairfield County.
  • Employee Service Awards
    May 22, 2016 has been selected for the event to be held at the Double Tree Hotel in Norwalk.  This represents the conclusion of transportation week.  The event will be held on Sunday and will begin at 7:00 pm.  
  • Employee Advisory Committee (EAC)
    Our first meeting took place on Monday, February 1st. We discussed the Employee awards celebrations and the potential changes to what has been done in the past to make it more inclusive, enhancing communication throughout the organization, safety issues (referred to the safety committee), and all employee meetings.

Manager of Planning & Marketing
Ms. Scavelli reported that in her newly created position of Manager of Planning and Marketing she endeavors to develop NTD into a public transit system fit for the 21st century.  Her current goal is to gain an in-depth knowledge of NTD’s fixed route and paratransit services and a clear understanding on how the agency delivers such services.

She further advised that the 2013 Title VI program expires this spring and she has begun updating the plan to be submitted in May 2016.

Commissioner Glickson requested an update on the AVL project.  Ms. Carroll responded that we remain at a 90% accuracy rate and continue to stand our ground regarding the interface with Route Match. 

Triennial Review
Ms. Morton noted that the District has been selected for two additional in-depth specialty reviews for the ADA and DBE program areas.  Staff is working on these responses in addition to additional requests for information.  The review is scheduled for April 20th and 21st. 

Restructuring Plan
Ms. Morton presented the updated organizational chart which includes the recommended change that eliminates the Manager of Transportation and adds the Chief Operating Officer positon that will include the duties of the eliminated positon. 

Ms. Morton also reported that she still has not made a final decision on the Director of Finance position as further time is needed to evaluate the Department’s overall effectiveness as the duties continue to transition. 

FTA Annual Certifications and Assurances
Ms. Morton explained that before FTA may award federal assistance for public transportation in the form of a federal grant certain pre-award Certifications and Assurances are required.  Ms. Morton provided the Commissioners with a copy of the FY 2016 annual certifications executed by our legal counsel so the parties would be informed of the responsibilities of the District.  She advised that the Board must further authorize a representative to select and sign its Certifications and Assurances and bind the NTD’s compliance.  Commissioner Miller made a motion to authorize CEO, Kimberlee A. Morton, as NTD’s authorized representative to select and sign all certifications and assurances that NTD must provide to support each application it submits to FTA for federal assistance during federal fiscal year (FY) 2016.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Glickson and passed unanimously.

401k/457 Plans
Ms. Morton reported that currently the Union 401k plans investments are managed by Kolinsky Wealth Management, LLC.  LAR Pensions is the TPA plan administration which includes filing the form 5500 and VOYA is the record keeper that holds the assets.  Kolinsky also assumes liability as a plan fiduciary.  Managements’ 457 Plan is held with ICMA-RC and they do not assume fiduciary responsibility.  Ms. Morton has requested that Kolinsky Wealth Management conduct a competitive process utilizing a bundled approach to investments, recordkeeping and administration.  Providers will be evaluated based on the diversity, quality and cost of investment options in each of the plans and the ability to offer both 401k and 457 plans. 

The Commissioners engaged in discussion regarding how the current plans are setup.  Ms. Morton advised that our investment manager would present a full analysis of the results prior to any decision being made regarding any changes.  Results should be forthcoming in April.

CEO Update
Ms. Morton reported that again this month the primary focus was the audit. 

A final investigation as the last step of the grievance process was completed and presented to the Union.  The decision was accepted by the Union.

Attended FOI training offered by the City of Norwalk.

Union Negotiations
Ms. Morton advised that we have provided the Union with the information that was formally requested.  We still wait to hear from the Union regarding of a scaled down contract renewal for a one year term. 

Consideration to Continue in Executive Session
Ms. Morton presented the Commissioners with an affidavit from the CEO declaring her desire to have her performance review and compensation discussed in Executive Session.  She further indicated she did not wish to be in attendance unless specifically requested by the Commissioners.  At 9:45 AM Commissioners’ Miller and Glickson unanimously supported the continuance of the meeting in Executive Session. 

No formal action was taken in Executive Session which concluded at 10:05 AM.  A motion to immediately reconvene the Regular Meeting was unanimously passed. 

Consideration of the Performance Review and Compensation of the CEO
The Commissioners voted to adopt the matter discussed in Executive Session relative to the performance review of the CEO.  The Commissioners unanimously supported the recommendation made by the Commissioners’ as contained in her performance review with an effective date of January 1, 2016. 

Other Business
No other business was noted.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for April 28, 2016 at 9:00 am at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 AM.

April 28, 2016 Meeting

4-28-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of March 22, 2016
  3. Audit Update
  4. Financial Update
  5. Triennial Review
  6. Restructuring Plan
  7. CEO Update
  8. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  9. Next Meeting May 25, 2016
  10. Adjournment

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; and, Harold Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of March 22, 2016
The minutes of the March 22, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved. 

Audit Update
Ms. Morton presented the final audit report.  Ms. Morton reported that as of June 30th the year concluded with a positive position of $89,500.  However the overall deficit increased from 1.9 million to nearly 2.5 million as there was a write off in the amount of $742,325 from outstanding receivables that our auditors have termed “doubtful accounts”.  Ms. Morton advised that there were outstanding items that can enhance the year final position depending on state approval.  Those items are as follows.

  • Stamford ADA $84,157
  • Adjustment of contract caps and consolidation of various.
  • Currently the Westport and Norwalk ADA programs are separated into two separate silos.  These silos should be consolidated as the Westport silo represents the Norwalk Transit District’s responsibility for the provision of ADA paratransit service resulting from our operation of the Coastal Link route. 

If all adjusted items and consolidations occur our FY 2015 net position could increase to $320,919. 

It is anticipated that the auditors will be available at the May meeting to make a final presentation.  A motion to approve the FY 2015 audit as presented was made by Commissioner Miller and seconded by Commissioner Miller. Motion passed unanimously.  

Ms. Morton requested a motion to reconfirm the appointment of the auditing firm of Seward & Monde to conduct the FY 2016 audit through the engagement of their services under the competitively bid procurement RFP #2015-03.  This is the second year of a three year contract in the base amount of $25,500.00.  The Commissioners unanimously reconfirmed the appointment of Seward & Monde.

Financial Update
Ms. Morton presented the FY 2016 financial report through March 2016.  She advised that the District received a revision to the FY 2016 TOD that included an additional $398,941 to replace JARC funded programs (Evening and Sunday Shuttles) and DSS funded portion of the Coastal Link service.  Other open issues remaining are:

  • $360,000 in funding for new positions previously approved and
  • remaining funding for the base Coastal Link service in the amount of $282,000.

Triennial Review
Ms. Morton reviewed in detail the preliminary 2016 FTA triennial review findings (see attached).  She further reported that staff is currently working on responses for all outstanding items.  It is anticipated that the final report will be issued no later than June 30th.  NTD resolution to all items will be due 30 or 60 days from the date of the final report depending on the item. 

Restructuring Plan
Ms. Morton reported on the status of the following positions.

The Director of Finance and Administrative Services position is posted and in full recruitment.  Mr. Hill continues to work at a minimum one to 1.5 days a week. 

The Chief Operating Officer positon continues with recruitment as the candidate we were seeking declined the offer. 

Lastly Ms. Morton the departure of the Human Resources Manager which was career advancement.  She further reported that her replacement would start on May 9th. 

We are holding on our open ADA Dispatcher position to pursue some other restructuring opportunities in the ADA area that will be presented at our next meeting. 

CEO Update
Ms. Morton reported that again this month the primary focus continues to be financial in nature.  Ms. Morton reported on a favorable meeting she attended with Ms. Carroll and Mr. Hill hosted by DOT representatives.  We were advised that we should have some information on our pending requests in the next several weeks. 

Ms. Morton will attend a four day advanced Procurement System and Financial Management Training sponsored by FTA next week.  She further advised that many of the new staff will be attending a variety of required training seminars as well. 

Ms. Morton extended a reminder of our Employee appreciation event to be held on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the Double Tree Hotel in Norwalk. 

Other Business
No other business was noted.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for May 26, 2016 at 9:00 am at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:25 AM.

May 26, 2016 Meeting

5-26-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of April 28, 2016
  3. Introduction of HR Manager
  4. Audit Presentation
  5. Line of Credit
  6. Ridership Update
  7. Title VI Plan Approval
  8. Proclamation establishing the 11th annual national “Dump the Pump Day”
  9. Memorandum Of Agreement between the City of Norwalk Transit District regarding the Metropolitan Area Network
  10. Liability Insurance Renewal
  11. Budgeting Process
  12. Cash Flow Analysis
  13. Restructuring Plan
  14. CEO Update
  15. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  16. Old Business
  17. Next Meeting June 23, 2016
  18. Adjournment

 

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources; Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

The meeting was called to order at 9:03 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of April 28, 2016
The minutes of the April 28, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

Introduction of HR Manager
Ms. Morton formally introduced Lynette Brayboy.  Lynette provided a brief summary of her background and advised that most of her time has been spent on learning our systems, protocols and policy. 

Audit Update
Ms. Morton introduced Tom Partalas and Michele Loso, Partners with the auditing firm of Seward and Monde that worked directly on NTD’s FY 2015 audit.  They presented copies and reviewed the finalized financial statements, federal and state single audit reports, the management letter and related correspondence.

Ms. Morton noted that the audit engagement resulted in an additional $8,700 in additional expenses as a result of the work by the auditors to close the FY 2015 year.  The total audit expense was $33,700. 

Line of Credit
Ms. Morton advised that the line of credit has yet to be fully secured.  We have are currently on an extension and the loan documents are in underwriting.  The bank has requested a legal opinion regarding who secures the debt in the event of a closure.  Ms. Morton advised that she pointed them to the governing statutes and has referred the opinion to legal counsel.  The bank additionally assured her that this will not impact the line of credit. 

Ridership Update
Ms. Carroll distributed the attached ridership analysis.  She reported ridership continues to decline with the exception of paratransit services.

Title VI Plan Approval
Ms. Carroll reviewed the updated plan prepared Stephanie Scavelli.  It was noted that Ms. Scavelli had to cover another important planning meeting on a project in which the District will be a partner.  Ms. Carroll and Ms. Morton noted that Ms. Scavelli had done a superb job on the project.  The Commissioners unanimously approved the Title VI Civil Rights Update. 

Dump The Pump Day
This is the 11th annual National Dump the Pump Day.  The day encourages people to ride public transportation to power community growth, drive economic development and revitalize neighborhoods.  In honor of Dump the Pump Day on June 16th the District will offer free rides to customers boarding between the hours of 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm on all local Wheels services.  We will seek a host of free public service announcements through local radio and TV networks as part of an advertisement campaign.  It is anticipated the revenue loss to be approximately $500 but free marketing opportunities will be the tradeoff. The Commissioners adopted the attached proclamation establishing the 11th annual national “dump the pump day.”

Agreement between the City of Norwalk and the District regarding the Metropolitan Area Network
Ms. Morton reported that this is a continuation of a previous agreement with the City who has contracted with Advanced Networking, Inc. originally in December 2004 for the provision of telecommunications services in connection with the City’s implementation of a City-wide, Metropolitan Area Network.  The original agreement included the District.  The new agreement is effective May 12, 2016 with the existing provider for a new term of five years with two, 2 year options for a total of 9 years of contracting opportunities.  The five year cost is $39,150.00 or $1,957.50 per quarter beginning July 1, 2016.  It is the recommendation of our IT Manager to continue this ongoing contractual relationship which will provide for ongoing integration into the City’s network which currently provides us access to view the cameras located on the hub and our property.  Additionally the City will provide additional access to numerous camera feeds and other key traffic management information maintained by DPW.  Other alternative uses can include internet and telephone services.  The alternatives will be investigated over the next year by our IT Manager.  The Commissioners unanimously approved the continuation of the agreement. 

Liability Insurance Renewal
Ms. Morton advised the District Broker, USI, is currently in the process of quoting all of the liability insurance coverages that expire July 1st.  

Ms. Morton noted that the W/C quotes are in and the renewal premium with the existing carrier has dropped by $34,000 due to positive experience during the past year. 

Lastly our review resulted in several adjustments that may impact the overall cost of our premiums and related expenses due to required adjustments in following areas.

  • 457 Plan Labor Management trust Fiduciary Liability Coverage
  • Section 125 Plan (tax deferred compensation plan) update
  • New Flood Insurance coverage in the amount of $3,300 due to our close proximity to the 100 year flood plain
  • Forgery or Alteration (Theft) from $25,000 to $250,000

Budgeting Process
Ms. Morton reported that budgets are due on June 3, 2016 to CTDOT.  She reported preliminary work has begun however she noted that we are still waiting on information from CTDOT regarding final FY 2015 so we can perform a true operating budget for FY 2016.  Ms. Morton noted that under circumstances can we be in a deficit spending situation.  Due to timing of the budget we will submit our draft budget and look for the Commissioners endorsement at the next meeting.

Cash Flow Analysis
Ms. Morton distributed and reviewed in detail the cash flow analysis.  She advised the Commissioners that CTDOT is fully aware of the situation and she would keep them informed of the current situation.

Restructuring Plan
Ms. Morton presented a revised organizational chart and a financial analysis of all changes to date.  The changes represent a breakeven position. 

After completing the final job descriptions for the open operations and finance positions it was determined that the operations position should be downgraded from a Chief Operating Officer position to a Director of Transportation and the finance position upgraded to a Chief Finance and Administration Officer. 

Additionally our plan includes a possible revision to the ADA Dispatcher that recently became vacant.  This position would be changed to a new position entitled Paratransit Coordinator.  Responsibilities would include ADA dispatcher functions during peak times, part-time Paratransit Specialist duties including oversight of the Paratransit Specialist and additional specific KPI reporting and program oversight duties.  The Paratransit Specialist would be changed from part-time to full-time status.  The Commissioners unanimously approved the recommended changes. 

CEO Update
Ms. Morton reported that the State is well aware of our financial position.  They understand that June 15th is critical.  She reported they are working on things and are preparing the TOD for the new positions. 

Ms. Morton reported two dates for contract negotiations are set for May 31st and June 14th.  Ms. Morton noted that the medical increased approximately $125,000 over the previous year effective January 1st.  It is important to keep in mind that this does not coincide with the union contract year therefore the union has already realized a $62,500 contractual increase. 

Ms. Morton reported we received our State Sub Area Apportionment Agreement for our Federal FY 2016 Capital grants.  Total Federal of $2,160,000, State $540,000 for a total of $2,700,000 for the purchase of Admin Capital/Misc. Support, three 30 foot replacement busses, ongoing GPS AVL Project and Facility Improvements. 

Ms. Morton she attend a four day advanced Procurement System and Financial Management Training sponsored by FTA next week.  It was a beneficial refresher.  She further advised that she had the opportunity to meet with FTA staff for a one-on-one briefing. 

Ms. Morton reported that the Employee appreciation event held on Sunday, May 22, 2016 was well attended and received.  She thanked Commissioner Glickson for his attendance and words of welcome. 

Ms. Morton provided a copy of the 2016 CACT Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon invitation.  She informed the Commissioners that internal nominations for awards were under consideration and encouraged. 

Other Business
No other business was noted.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for June 23, 2016 at 9:00 am at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District.

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 AM.

August 31, 2016 Meeting

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners' Special Meeting

August 31, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

AGENDA

  • Public Comment

  • Approval of minutes of June 23, 2016

  • Introduction of Chief Operating Officer

  • FY 2016 Year-End Ridership Update

  • Financial Update

  • Pre-audit FY 2016 year-end results

  • FY 2017 Budget Estimate

  • Authorization to extend the District’s existing line of credit with Connecticut Community Bank, of $3,600,000 to $4,000,000 and execute all documents required. 

  • Authorization Granting Powers to District Agents related to all financial activities with Connecticut Community Bank

  • State Update

  • Westport Transit District

  • Pension Payments

  • Sweep Account

  • Authorization to retain Kolinsky Wealth Management as the retirement plan consultant for the 401k plan and 457 plan

  • Authorization to move the 401k and 457 Plan to Empower Retirement

  • Approval of annual rate adjustment for FY 2017 Purchase Transportation Contracts through November 30, 2016

  • Delegation of Authority for the NTD User Manager

  • Adoption of the 2016 Public Participation Process

  • Adoption of the EEO Policy and the 2016 EEO Program Update

  • Triennial Review

  • Advertising Revenue

  • Union Negotiations

  • Transit Asset Management Plan

  • Facility Analysis Update

  • Presentation of Service Reduction/Modification Plan

  • Presentation of Fare Increase and Fare Structure Plan

  • Authorization to conduct a public hearing for the purpose of hearing comment on proposed fare increase, new fare structure and service reductions/modifications

  • CEO Update

  • Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board

  • Next Meeting September 22, 2016

  • Adjournment

 

Norwalk Transit District Commissioners’ Special Meeting Minutes

August 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM – Norwalk Transit District

 

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller

Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources; Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities; Britt Liotta, COO in transition; and, Steven Burka, CFAO

The meeting was called to order at 9:12 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of June 23, 2016
The minutes of the June 23, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

Introduction of Chief Operating Officer (In Transition)
Ms. Morton formally introduced Britt Liotta and welcomed him to the Norwalk Transit District.  Mr. Liotta will work closely with Ms. Carroll over the next four months to ensure a smooth transition upon Ms. Carroll’s retirement on December 31, 2016.  Ms. Morton reported the restructuring plan is currently complete. 

FY 2016 Year-End Ridership Update
Ms. Carroll reviewed in detail the Operations Report, Fixed-Route Wheels System Average Daily Ridership Report and Average Daily Ridership Comparison Reports all of which continue to trend downward and rest at an average of -5.46% at year-end.  Door-to-door services continue to trend upward in Norwalk and Stamford and downward in Westport.  The Commuter Shuttles continue to decline at an average of -10.64% for Norwalk, -13.28% for Greenwich and -27.02% for Westport.  The significant declines in Westport are attributed to the increased parking at the rail stations. 

Financial Update

  • Pre-Audit FY 2016 Results - Mr. Burka reviewed the pre-audit FY 2016 year-end results indicating an anticipated loss of $900,000. Services with deficits included WHEELS, CL, and Westport FR. There was a material difference between these results and what was projected earlier in the year. Much of the difference was explained by estimates in the earlier budget not materializing, e.g., additional State funding and additional fare revenue. Additionally, the State did not inform the District that the budget was going to be flat with the previous year until mid-June, 2016, once the year was effectively over, so mid-course corrections could not be made.

  • FY 2017 Budget Estimates - Mr. Burka presented the FY 2017 estimated budget which projects a shortfall of approximately $1M due to a cut in funding of the fixed route services, an expected loss in CL approximating $400K, Westport fixed route, Stamford ADA and Norwalk/Coastal Link ADA shortfalls.  Expenses, including labor, were not increased over actual experience levels from 2016, with the exception of medical and dental insurance. Our broker has primed us for an estimated 25% increase in premiums, and the additional expense is folded into the FY17 numbers. Norwalk assistance funds are now being shown in the General Fund instead of within specific services; the amount is being applied directly to the expected shortfall. The State cut fixed route funding by 2% and increased ADA funding by 2.2% which remains insufficient to keep up with the growth. Ridership is projected to decline 5%, which will bring fare revenue down but an increase in rates is expected to offset it. No route cuts have been considered in this budget.  After we have solidified our proposed service reductions a final FY 2017 budget will be brought to the Commissioners for their approval and revised budget will be disseminated to the participating municipalities.   . 

Ms. Morton requested that the Commissioners keep in mind that at this time the FY 2017 is a fluid document as we are embarking on several initiatives that may drastically change the projected year end result.  Final service reductions and fare increase changes will impact the bottom line.  We are also working with Route Match to develop a report that will provide us with the ability to charge the actual amount of time utilized to each sponsoring agency based on the riders’ actual usage.  Currently our methodology is based on the actual percentage of total trips provided which is applied to total hours provided.  

  • Authorization to extend the District’s existing line of credit with Connecticut Community Bank, of $3,600,000 to $4,000,000 and execute all documents required - The Commissioners unanimously endorsed the extension and increase of the line of credit.  

  • Authorization Granting Powers to District Agents related to all financial activities with Connecticut Community Bank – The Commissioners unanimously endorsed the removal of Stephen Hill and Nancy Carroll as a signatory on Norwalk Transit District accounts including online banking and loans.  Stephen Hill will be replaced by Mr. Steven Burka and Nancy Carroll with Britt Liotta effective August 31, 2016.  

  • State Update – Ms. Morton presented a letter sent on August 5, 2016 to Mr. Almeida outlining all of the remaining issues and reviewed the details.  She additionally advised that the State has consolidated the fixed-route and ADA silos as requested and this was represented in the new FY 2017 TOD.  Ms. Morton stated the two major outstanding items remain to be insufficient funding for the Coastal Link and Stamford ADA.  This was not addressed in the FY 2017 TOD.  Ms. Morton provided the Commissioners with copies of her most recent email dated August 30, 2016 to Michael Guerrera requesting a very specific response to these outstanding items as it is impossible for this agency to plan properly without formal disclosure of the State’s intent to fund these programs.  

  • A lengthy discussion ensued and the Commissioners unanimously directed Ms. Morton to arrange a meeting with both Mayor Rilling and local legislators regarding the District’s current financial situation and the inability to get a response from the State on this long standing matter.  

  • Westport Transit District – Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners regarding ongoing correspondence with the Westport Transit District Board of Directors regarding their need to make service cuts to bring their programs in line with available funding.  Ms. Morton shared the recent email correspondence dated August 18, 2016.  She stated she made the District’s position clear in that we will not absorb any operating loss for their program in FY 2017.  They have scheduled a meeting with pertinent NTD staff to discuss their options on September 1, 2016.  

  • Pension Payments – Ms. Morton advised that payments were been made to the 401k and 457 plans by their respective due dates.  

It was further noted that the calculation pertaining to the payment of the Union contribution under the pension plan was not consistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and in fact additional contributions are being paid.  .  Management is currently investigating the proper implementation of this provision and on successful resolution will look toward implementation and formal notification to the Union.  

  • Sweep Account – Mr. Burka advised the Commissioners that we were successful in working with the bank in setting up a sweep account which will maximize the efficiency of the line of credit resulting in lower interest payments.  

Authorization to retain Kolinsky Wealth Management as the retirement plan consultant for the 401k plan and 457 plans
Ms. Morton reported currently the Unions’ 401k plan is currently managed by Kolinsky Wealth Management.  It is the recommendation of management to have the non-union 457 plan managed by them as well.  The Commissioners voted unanimously to retain Kolinsky Wealth Management as the retirement plan consultant for the 401k and 457 plans. 

Authorization to move the 401k and 457 Plans to Empower Retirement
Ms. Morton reminded the Commissioners that at the June 23, 2016 meeting presentations were made by the finalists for the handling of the 401k and 457 Plans.  The Union on both the local and international level was invited to participate.  Mr. Medina served as the representative during the presentations.  Mr. Medina advised he was favorable to the change and encouraged input from other members.  Ms. Morton in written correspondence advised the Union that it would be Managements’ recommendation to make the change and encouraged the Union to make any objection prior to the August 1, 2106 Commissioners meeting when this recommendation would be discussed and moved for final approval.  Absent any objection the Commissioners voted unanimously in support of the transition to Empower. 

Approval of annual rate adjustment for FY 2017 Purchase Transportation Contracts through December 31, 2016
Ms. Carroll presented the FY 2016 to FY 2017 rate adjustments submitted by each of the respective Purchased Transportation Contractors.  She noted that we are still in negotiations with several of the vendors that submitted increases as the District felt they were outside of price estimate parameters that were established to be fair and reasonable.  Ms. Carroll requested that the Commissioners endorse the fees as presented in the analysis as maximum not to exceed rates pending the successful closure of negotiations.   The Commissioners unanimously agreed to the not to exceed rates with the caveat that Ms. Carroll report back her final results.  They further stipulated a not to exceed date of December 31, 2016 as the impact of our service reduction plan needs to be included in any contract issued beyond that time. 

Delegation of Authority for the NTD User Manager
The Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize Ms. Kimberlee A. Morton, Chief Executive Officer, to be assigned the role of NTD User Manager for the FTA National Transit Database and FTA Transit Award Management Systems (TrAMS)

Adoption of the 2016 Public Participation Process
The Commissioners of the Norwalk Transit District unanimously adopted the 2016 Public Participation Process as a component of the previously submitted Title VI Plan Update. 

Adoption of the EEO Policy and the 2016 EEO Program Update
Ms. Brayboy highlighted the EEO program update and goal submission which is due on September 20, 2016.  The Commissioners unanimously adopted the EEO Policy and EEO Program 2016 update.  

Triennial Review
Ms. Morton noted that first round responses were submitted timely to FTA for closure.  To date one Procurement Finding was closed.  Ms. Carroll is currently working on her final response to the ADA review findings. 

Advertising Revenue
Ms. Morton requested that the Commissioners consider the possibility of bus advertising to produce the additional revenue needed to address our financial shortfall.  The roughly estimated revenue could be in the range of $80,000 to $150,000 annually depending on the market.  The discussion today was to facilitate the thought process for future discussion.  It is the intent to bring the subject back to the forefront after we analyze the impact of our upcoming service reductions and fare increase. 

Union Negotiations
Ms. Morton reported that we continue to provide the Union with information as requested.  It is her understanding that the Union will meet on this during early September and then we will arrange for a future meeting. 

Transit Asset Management Plan
Mr. Alvord reported that he is now nearly through with our first plan draft which is well ahead of schedule.  On finalization we will send it to the State for review and comment. 

Facility Analysis Update. 
Mr. Alvord reported the project is on track and a short list of four firms was selected for final proposal submittal. 

Presentation of Service Reduction/Modification Plan
Ms. Scavelli presented an extensive power point presentation on the proposed service reduction plan which is incorporated into the minutes by reference. 

Presentation of Fare Increase and Fare Structure Plan
Again Ms. Scavelli presented a detailed analysis in power point format which is incorporated into the minutes by reference.

Authorization to conduct a public hearing for the purpose of hearing comment on proposed fare increase, new fare structure and service reductions/modifications
The Commissioners unanimously authorized staff to move the proposed fare increase, new fare structure and service reductions/modifications as presented to formal public comment in accordance with NTD Public Participation Procedures.

CEO Update
No further report was noted.

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board

Next Meeting September 22, 2016
The next regularly scheduled meeting is September 22, 2016 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:55 am.  

September 22, 2016 Meeting

9-22-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of August 31, 2016
  3. July 2017 Ridership Report
  4. Financial Update
  5. FY 2016 Audit
  6. July 2017 Financial Statement
  7. Westport Transit District
  8. Meeting with City of Norwalk
  9. Logo Presentation
  10. HR Update
  11. Status of Service Reduction/Modification Plan and Fare
  12. CEO Update
  13. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  14. Next Meeting October 27, 2016
  15. Adjournment

 

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO, Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer, Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources, Britt Liotta, COO in transition and Steven Burka, CFAO

The meeting was called to order at 9:06 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of August 31, 2016
The minutes of the August 31, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

July FY 2017 Ridership Report
Ms. Carroll reviewed in detail the Operations Report, Fixed-Route Wheels System Average Daily Ridership Report and Average Daily Ridership Comparison Reports all of which continue to trend downward.  She advised that the report indicates double digit declines but is significantly skewed.  The data is representative of only one month and the year to date comparison for the month of July 2015 included 23 weekdays, 3 Saturdays and 4 Sundays while July 2016 is inclusive of 20 weekdays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  Ms. Carroll indicated the actual ridership decline was in the 3 to 5 percent range depending on the program.  A discussion ensued regarding a revision to future reports showing an adjustment for the amount of days in the month. 

Financial Update

  • FY 2016 Audit - Mr. Burka advised that he is currently preparing for the year-end-audit which will begin October 11, 2017. 
  • July FY 2017 Financial Statement - Mr. Burka presented the July FY 2017 financial Statement.  He reminded the Commissioners’ that expenses are presented against an estimated budget that does not take into account any service cuts.  Revenue was light this month compared to the same time period last year due to 3 less weekdays and this year. We ran a deficit this month predominantly due to the Coastal Link service. We project to end the year approximately equal to our original forecast.

 

Westport Transit District
Ms. Carroll advised that the Westport Transit District Board of Directors continue to analyze current services for recommended service reductions.  The Westport Transit District Directors are scheduled to meet on September 29, 2016. 

Meeting With City of Norwalk
Ms. Morton reported that she and Mr. Burka met with Mayor Rilling regarding the financial standing of the District.  Mayor Rilling indicated he would pursue the outstanding issues pending CTDOT attention with Commissioner Redeker and local legislators directly. 

Logo Presentation
Ms. Morton requested Commissioners to provide feedback regarding a possible logo change that embraced the new City of Norwalk image campaign.  She provided copies of the City’s newly adopted logo and explained that this would be timely as we are adopting a new fare structure and significant service changes which will require a reprint of nearly all materials.  Ms. Morton explained a phase in of other branded NTD items such as buses would be a cost effective option.  Ms. Morton requested advised that she would hire the consultant firm to develop a logo in the amount of less than $800 for NTD for presentation at the next meeting. 

HR Update
Ms. Brayboy reported one mechanic resigned recently and NTD will not be backfilling his role in anticipation of the service reduction plan.

NTD will be holding their second annual Harvest Festival on Tuesday, October 4th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  There are approximately 16 vendors that are coming and flu shots will be available. 

Status of Service Reduction/Modification Plan and Fare Changes
Ms. Morton advised that public hearings and informational sessions have been advertised and posted on the NTD website.  Seat drops and bus signage are at the printers and will be posted over the next several days. 

CEO Update
No further report was noted.

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board.

Next Meeting October 27, 2016
The next regularly scheduled meeting is October 27, 2016 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 10:00 a.m. 

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:55 am.  

October 27, 2016 Meeting

10-27-16 | Agenda and Minutes

AGENDA

  1. Public Comment
  2. Approval of minutes of September 22, 2016
  3. September 2017 Ridership Report
  4. September 2017 Financial Update
  5. Marketing and Planning Update
  6. Maintenance and Facilities Update
  7. Approval of A & E Contract for Facility Improvements
  8. HR Update
  9. Westport Update
  10. Approval of Health Insurance Renewal
  11. State Update
  12. Report of Service Reduction/Modification Plan and Fare Increase Hearings
  13. Staff recommendations for Fare and Service Changes
  14. Approval of Fare and Service Changes
  15. CEO Update
  16. Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  17. Next Meeting November 17, 2016
  18. Adjournment

MINUTES

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:  Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources; Britt Liotta, COO in transition; Steven Burka, CFAO; and, Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of September 22, 2016
The minutes of the September 22, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

September 2017 Ridership Report
Ms. Carroll reviewed in detail the attached Operations Report highlighting the continuing downward trend. 

September 2017 Financial Update
A motion was made and unanimously approved to add to the agenda, Approval of the FY 2017 Operation Budget.  It was determined that the budget prior to service cuts would be adopted and our measurement against the budget would be used as the benchmark for tracking NTD progress.  The FY17 budget has been refined and it accounts for the expected increase in medical premiums and some attrition. Mr. Burka stated the deficit is expected to be lower than was originally anticipated when the preliminary budget was discussed in early August.

The budget was unanimously approved as presented in the attached FY 2017 Budget Estimate Report. 

September FY 2017 Financial Statement - Mr. Burka presented the September FY 2017 financial Statement.  He pointed out that the results reflect deficits in a number of services as expenses are running high relative to assistance received to date. Our projection for the year is consistent with the FY17 budget.  Neither the budget or the results to date have incorporated expected service cuts or rate increases.

Mr. Burka mentioned the Fiscal Year 2015 audit starts on October 31st.

Marketing and Planning Update
In Ms. Scavelli’s absence Ms. Morton reported the following.

The FY2016 National Transit Database Annual Report will be submitted at the end of the month. 

Passenger Miles data collection is on-going. Discussions are underway with IT and Operations staff regarding how the service reductions and modifications will impact this year-long survey. 

Upon final approval of service and fare changes, schedules, maps and other materials will be updated. 

Looking ahead, a discussion to prepare the Automatic Passenger Counters for the fixed route operations analysis are underway. 

Maintenance and Facilities Update
Mr. Alvord reported the following.

The Body on chassis procurement has been prepared and is being finalized for release. He explained that we may will seek pricing for both diesel and gas engine vehicles as it appears that diesel engines will no longer be offered as an option for body on chassis vehicles.  Ford has already discontinued the diesel engine and Chevrolet soon will follow suit.  Currently our facility is only equipped to dispense diesel fuel.  A facility modification will be necessary.  

Currently we have two open mechanic positions.  One position will be filled and interviews are underway.

NTD’s Transit Asset Management Plan is complete.  Mr. Alvord is working with the State as a resource to the consulting firm hired to handle this for CTDOT.  He also continues to work with FTA as a beta tester of the reporting documents.  

Approval of the A &E Contract for Facility Analysis
Mr. Alvord presented the recommendation of the evaluating committee to award the Facility Wendell Architecture, PC in the amount of $215,000.  The project will commence November 14th with a kick off meeting.
 
Motion was made and unanimously approved.

HR Update
Ms. Brayboy reported we currently have two open mechanic positions.  One position will be filled and the other will be on hold as part of the current reduction plan. 

NTD held its second annual Harvest Festival on Tuesday, October 4th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  There are approximately 16 vendors that are coming and flu shots were available.  Harvest Festival that was held on October 4thwas a success. We had 16 vendors participated in the event.

Ms. Brayboy is also in the process of revising the Employee Handbook and working on open ADP issues.

Westport Transit District – Ms. Carroll reported that the Westport Transit District Board of Directors continues to be proactive addressing their budgetary problems.  November 1, 2017 the Westport Commissioners will meet with the Board of Finance to seek an additional appropriation for FY 2017.  Final service recommendations will be made shortly after this meeting.  

 

Approval of Health Insurance Renewal
Ms. Morton reported that our insurance broker reported final negotiations concluded with Connecticare and the result was a 10% premium increase.  Given our current experience he felt that this was a good offer and was recommending the contract extension. 

 

A motion was made to accept the renewal rates of Connecticare with a 10% increase in premium for the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

State Update
Ms. Morton reported that she and Mr. Burka met with State representatives including the Bureau Chief, Richard Andreski regarding the financial standing of the District.  Ms. Morton reported that they have agreed to pay for Coastal Link for FY 2017 at 100% and the current backlog of amounts due is onging. 

Service Reduction/Modification Plan and Fare Changes Hearings Report  
The Public Participation Process as applied to the fare and service changes was a success. Notices were posted on-board vehicles, on the website and in local newspapers informing the public of the changes and inviting comment. Information sessions were held the week of October 10th and public hearings were held the week of October 17th. Over 120 written comments were received, 1,000 signatures in petitions and about 50 people testified at the hearings. Comments were reviewed and considered during the final planning stages of the changes.

Staff Recommendations for Service and Fare Changes
Mr. Liotta presented the attached final recommendations and fare changes.  Ms. Morton advised that these represent the worst case scenario.  As final planning and run cuts are developed modifications may be made and proposed eliminations may be reinstated.

Approval of Fare and Service Changes
A motion was made and approved unanimously to move forward with the fare and service changes as presented with minor modifications to the service changes as part of the final planning and development implementation process. 

CEO Update
Ms. Morton advised that there appears to be some unrest among the Union leadership.  The current President was removed from office and the Vice President will serve in that capacity pending the outcome of the Union elections which will be held on November 10, 2016. 

Ms. Morton stated that there was a showing of drivers at the hearings and informational meetings showing interest in the proposed changes.  They voiced dissatisfaction that they were not informed of the changes prior to the formal release.  Ms. Morton explained that she presented the information to the union leadership who indicated they would share the information at a meeting.  There appears to be confusion whether this occurred or if the meeting was adequately noticed.  As a result Ms. Morton offered an internal informational session which occurred at 7:00 pm on October 25, 2017.  The meeting was highly attended.  As rightfully expected the concern is the extent of layoffs resulting from the service reductions.  Unfortunately at this point we do not know what the final number will be and will only know this after the runt cuts are performed.  Ms. Morton stated that the District engaged the services of the run cutting software company (TMS) to assist in this effort to ensure it results in the best case scenario possible.  They will be at the District on November 7, 2016 to begin the task.

Ms. Morton informed the Commissioners at the recent meeting employees requested if they were faced with a layoff situation would the Company consider payout of sick time to help ease the transition.  After further review Ms. Morton advised that it is anticipated that the cost would be negligible as most employees would choose to use their vacation in anticipation of the impeding layoff and that time would be filled with regular full-time operators at time and one half.  As a result she will extend this as part of the layoff process as a one-time offer without the setting of a future precedent.  Also employees would need to know that in the event of recall after a layoff that they would return with no sick time in the bank. 

Ms. Morton reported that she has received two step three grievances.  One pertains to overtime and the other regarding the process to move from Mechanic B to a Mechanic A rating.  She met with the Union and she is currently waiting for them to respond to her inquiries based on feedback the Union wishes to obtain from the entire maintenance department. 

Lastly Ms. Morton advised that her last offer remains on the table and the next meeting is scheduled for November 4, 2006 at 11 am. 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board.

Next Meeting November 17, 2016
The next regularly scheduled meeting is November 17, 2016 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:25 am. 

 

December 15, 2016 Meeting

12-15-2016 Agenda and Minutes

Agenda

  • Public Comment
  • Approval of minutes of October 27, 2016
  • November 2017 Ridership Report
  • October 2017 Financial Update
  • Marketing and Planning Update
  • Maintenance and Facilities Update
  • Pension Plan Update
  • Authorization to Change Health Care Plans
  • HR Update
  • Westport Update
  • State Update
  • CEO Update
  • Approval of the 2017 Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule
  • Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
  • Next Meeting January 17, 2016
  • Adjournment

 

Draft Minutes

Attending
Norwalk Transit District Commissioners: Andrew Glickson and Sheldon Miller
Norwalk Transit District Staff:Kimberlee Morton, CEO; Nancy Carroll, Chief Operating Officer; Lynette Brayboy, Manager of Human Resources; Britt Liotta, COO in transition; Steven Burka, CFAO; and, Hal Alvord, Director of Maintenance and Facilities

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 AM and a quorum was determined to be present. 

Public Comment
Members of the public who wished to address the Commissioners were asked to do so.  There were none. 

Approval of Minutes of October 27, 2016
The minutes of the October 27, 2016 meeting of the Commissioners were unanimously approved as presented. 

November 2017 Ridership Report
Mr. Liotta reviewed in detail the attached Operations Report highlighting the continuing downward trend in fixed-route and shuttle services.  Door-to-door services were slightly down for the month in Norwalk and Stamford.  Westport continues to experience double digit increases. 

October 2017 Financial Update
Mr. Burka provided an update on the 2016 audit. It should be complete in the next couple of weeks and the auditors have informed us there are no major findings.

Mr. Burka presented financial data through October that shows an operating deficit to date. With commitments from the State, Westport, and Stamford to fund their deficits this year that have gone previously unfunded, coupled with lower healthcare costs and route cuts taking effect, Mr. Burka projected we will end the year with only a small operating deficit. This will allow us to apply some of the City of Norwalk grant funds to our Line Of Credit and reduce debt burden. The State owes us back funds for operating deficits in prior years. If these are received, our debt will be further reduced. If they do not pay, and there is a cut in State grants beginning in July 2017, we will have cash flow issues that will be difficult to mitigate.

We continue to work with TAG and the City of Stamford on resolving financial contract issues.

Marketing and Planning Update
Ms. Scavelli’s reported the following.

Developed two marketing plans: 1) Service and Fare Changes and 2) Release of Passenger Information Tools

New cash fare stickers on fare boxes and fare pricing Rail Cards aboard vehicles

Major updates to existing website including schedules, maps, fares and policies and procedures  

Roll out of passenger information tools (e.g. myStop app is now live and available on iOS and Android phones; URL for interactive service map to be updated to www.mystop.norwalktransit.com; and utilization of E-boards at HUB and SNRR and on-board announcers)

Continued weekly data collection with Operations and IT staff regarding Passenger Miles Survey

Along with Dir. of Maintenance, Hal Alvord, develop clearer policies regarding on-board advertising for outside companies or organizations

Maintenance and Facilities Update

Mr. Alvord reported that the facility analysis was progressing on schedule.  

Planning for the fare and service changes is ongoing.  Switching out bus decals, signs, and rail cards providing appropriate notification of all the changes is underway.  Fareboxes are programed and ready for the switch over on January 8, 2017.

The previously vacated mechanic position is now filled.  

Pension Plan Update
Pension update was presented. NTD will be setting up new 401(a) plans with Empower beginning in February. Vesting will be added for newly hired administration employees. Existing accounts will be migrated except for the 401(k) accounts as they are not qualified plans; we await notice from the IRS regarding disposition of these accounts. Employees will have multiple accounts to manage and some may be confused; we will assist them as needed.

Authorization to Change Health Care Plans
Ms. Morton reminded the Commissioners’ at the last meeting they had approved the renewal of the existing healthcare employee benefit with Connecticare based on the final recommendation of the broker.  In reviewing the final negotiation documents Ms. Morton realized that the broker did not entertain quotes from the State of Connecticut’s, CT Partnership Plan that is now newly available to all governmental agencies.  Ms. Morton requested that quotes be obtained prior to renewing with Connecticare.  The end result was a significant cost reduction under the state plan.  The Union has signed an agreement accepting the new plan.

Mr. Burka reported that the healthcare plan is switching to the CT Partnership Plan, which will save the company money due to lower premiums. In addition, we are eliminating the payments to the health savings accounts, which will save the company over $100K/year. The new medical plan will have no deductible, saving employees over $80,000 if they were to spend all of their previous deductible. Mr. Burka explained the HEP compliant component of the plan and penalties for non-compliance.  NTD had to commit to 3 years but premium increases in July are expected to be much lower than Connecticare or other providers.

The staff recommendation is to withdraw the previous approval in support of the renewal with Connecticare and approve participation for a three year period with the CT Partnership Plan.  A motion was made and unanimously approved. 

HR Update
Ms. Brayboy reported has distributed a draft Employee Handbook which is currently under review.  It is expected that it will be presented at the next meeting. 

She highlighted the upcoming events. 

  • Employee meet and greet on December 22, 2016
  • Ms. Carroll’s retirement luncheon on December 20, 2016

Ms. Brayboy advised that open enrollment under the new CT Partnership Plan is underway.  

Westport Transit District 
Ms. Morton reported that the Westport Transit District Board of Directors received approval from the Board of Finance for an additional appropriation for FY 2017.  This week they will conduct hearings regarding a fare increase and structure change.  Final service recommendations continue to be ongoing. 

State Update
Ms. Morton reported that she and Mr. Burka will meet with State representatives on December 21, 2016 to follow-up on all open items which total $1.9 million. 

Ms. Morton provided a brief update on the CTDOT’s budget proposal which recommends at 50% reduction to public transit in year FY 2018 and full elimination of the subsidies in FY 2019.  Ms. Morton stated that she did not believe that this drastic proposal would ever get support from the legislature.  However she did feel that we would be challenged with another significant funding cut probably in the range of 10 to 20 percent for fiscal year 2018.  In anticipation she advised we need to immediately go back to the drawing board so we are prepared for July 1st in the event such draconian cuts become a reality.  This will include visiting a fare increase, structuring changes and service reductions, and bus advertising.  We will continue to watch this carefully.

CEO Update
Ms. Morton reported union contract negotiations remains ongoing.  We have formally agreed to the healthcare component offered through the CT Partnership Plan for a three-year period.  The next negotiations session is January 24, 2017

Ms. Morton provided the Commissioners’ with correspondence from Mr. Sheehan, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Agency.  A detailed discussion ensured and a formal response from legal counsel will be forthcoming.

Approval of the 2017 Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule
The attached schedule was unanimously approved. 

Any Other Business Properly Brought before the Board
No further business was brought before the Board.

Next Meeting January 26, 2017
The next regularly scheduled meeting is January 26, 2017 and will be held at the offices of the Norwalk Transit District at 9:00 a.m. 

Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 am.