Commission Meeting Portal

Special Meeting on Feb 03, 2009 1:00PM

Minutes for the Port Of Seattle Commission meeting, held on Feb 03, 2009 1:00PM

        Commissioners                                               Tay Yoshitani 
                                                                                              Chief Executive Officer 
                      Bill Bryant 
                      Chair and President 
                   John Creighton                           P.O. Box 1209 
                     Patricia Davis                           Seattle, Washington 98111 
                   Lloyd Hara                             www. portseattle.org 
                   Gael Tarleton                              206.728.3000 

             An audio of the meeting proceedings and meeting materials are available on the Port of
                                        Seattle web site - 
                http://www.portseattle.org/about/organization/commission/commission.shtml 
             (The approximate point in the audio recording for the specific item is identified by
            minutes and seconds; example: 01:30.) 
                     APPROVED MINUTES 
               COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING FEBRUARY 3, 2009 
            The Port of Seattle Commission met in a special meeting at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, February
            3, 2009 in the Commission Chambers at Pier 69, 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA.
            Commissioners Bryant, Creighton, Davis, and Hara and Tarleton were present. 
               1.     CALL TO ORDER 
            The regular meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. by Bill Bryant, Commission
             President. 
               2.     EXECUTIVE SESSION pursuant to RCW 42.30.110 
           None. 
           PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 
               3.     APPROVAL OF MINUTES 
           (00:00:57) Motion for approval of the minutes of the December 9, 2008 special
           meeting and the special meeting of December 11, 2008  Creighton 
            Motion carried by the following vote: 
            In favor: Bryant, Creighton, Davis, Hara, Tarleton (5) 
               4.     SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS 
           None. 

                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 2 

               5.     (00:01:32) UNANIMOUS CONSENT CALENDAR 
               a.  Authorization to execute a four-year lease for multifunction document devices for the
               Airport Office Building for a total estimated cost of $402,470. Item Withdrawn 
            Commission Bryant clarified that the item being withdrawn would be discussed at a
             future meeting. 
              b.  Authorization for Chief Executive Officer to execute all documents necessary to
              complete the relocation of the residents of Parcel Numbers 344500-0110, 344500-
             0141, 344500-0145, and 344500-0155, commonly known at Town and Country
             Mobile Home Parks in the City of SeaTac. 
           Request document: Commission agenda memorandum dated January 27, 2009 from Stan
            Shepherd, Manager, Airport Noise Programs and Jude Barrett, Manager, Aviation
            Property Acquisition and Relocation. 
           Motion for approval of Unanimous Consent Item 5b  Tarleton 
            Motion carried by the following vote: 
           In Favor: Bryant, Creighton, Davis, Hara, Tarleton (5) 
            Prior to moving forward with scheduled agenda items, Commissioner Bryant announced
            that following regular business, there would be a Policy Roundtable discussion held on
            "Jobs and Competitiveness." 
               6.     POLICY AND STAFF BRIEFINGS 
               a.  (00:03:09) Briefing on the proposed Amendments to Port Commission Bylaws 
            Presentation document: Computer slide presentation titled, "Commission Bylaws
            Briefing" 
             Presenter: Mary Gin Kennedy, Director, Commission Services 
            Ms. Kennedy provided a background of the Commission Bylaws including the purpose of
            the Bylaws; topics covered within the Bylaws; and major proposed changes to the
           Bylaws. 
            Ms. Kennedy noted that the First Reading of a resolution to amend the Bylaws would
            take place at the next Commission meeting, followed by the Second Reading and Final
            Passage in approximately 30 days. 

                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 3 
            Commissioner Davis suggested moving language regarding duties of the Commission
             forward from Article 9 to Article 2. She also suggested that within the preamble, the
             language regarding the Port"s primary mission, be slightly revised in its order of phrases. 
            Another suggestion made by Commissioner Davis was regarding Executive Sessions. She
            stated that she would prefer a motion be passed annually regarding the number of
             Executive Sessions to be held rather than including that as part of the Bylaws. 
            The suggestion was made that the Bylaws state there would be four meetings held per
             year outside of the Port, rather than saying one meeting quarterly would be held outside
              of the Port. 
            Commissioner Davis noted the presence of Dr. Olson, Professor Emeritus of Political
            Science, University of Washington, and asked if he might review the Bylaws document
            that was being proposed. 
            Commission discussion followed regarding whether or not the seconding of motions was
            necessary to have as a requirement within the Bylaws as well as the length of time
            allowed for Commissioners to participate as board members. 
            Staff noted that following today"s discussion, a revised document would be provided for
            Commission review, which would then be presented for First Reading, followed by a
            Second Reading at the end of March, which would still allow ample time for any further
              input. 
               7.     MARINE ITEMS 
               a.     (00:37:48) Authorization for the next stages of three component projects
           contained within the Marine Domain Awareness (MDA) Program: (1) to increase
            project authorization by $180,000 for a total Project Authorization of $7,351,000 for
            the Transportation Workers Identification Credential Project; (2) to advertise
           major works bid package based on the design prepared and completed for the
           Incident and Response Communications Network and Area Surveillance
           Implementation Projects; and (3) to advertise major works bid package based on
           the design prepared and completed for the Area Surveillance Hardware Upgrade
            Project. 
           Request document: Commission agenda memorandum dated January 2, 2009 from Arif
            Ghouse, Director, Seaport Security and Rod Jackson, Capital Project Manager, Capital
           Development Division 
             Presenters: Mr. Ghouse and Mr. Jackson 
            Responding to a question from Commissioner Tarleton, staff clarified that the Port"s tax
            levy does contribute toward the receipt of Marine Domain Awareness security grants. 

                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 4 
           Motion for approval of Item 7a  Tarleton 
            Motion carried by the following vote: 
           In Favor: Bryant, Creighton, Davis, Hara, Tarleton (5) 

               8.     AVIATION ITEMS 
           None. 
               9.     CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT 
           None. 
             10.    REAL ESTATE 
               a.     (00:56:40) Authorization f or design, asbestos abatement construction for an
           amount of $425,000 for replacement of windows at the Fishermen's Terminal West
            Wall Building. 
           Request document: Commission agenda memorandum dated January 22, 2009 from
            Lindsay Pulsifer, General Manager, Seaport Maintenance 
             Presenters: Ms. Puslifer and Kate Deaver, Seaport Maintenance Project Manager 
           Motion for approval of Item 10a  Davis 
            Motion carried by the following vote: 
           In Favor: Bryant, Creighton, Davis, Hara, Tarleton (5) 
             11.    GENERAL BUSINESS 
           None. 
             12.    NEW BUSINESS 
           None. 
            (01:01:29) Commissioner Bryant called a brief recess, and the meeting was
            reconvened at 2:20 for a Policy Roundtable Discussion with the focus on Jobs and
           Competitiveness. 


                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 5 
              (1)    (01:15:48) ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY 
            Presentation documents: Commission agenda memorandum dated January 15, 2009 from
            Michael Tong, Corporate Budget Manager and computer slide presentation titled, "2007
            Economic Impact of the Port of Seattle." 
             Presenter: John Martin, President, Martin Associates 
            Mr. Martin provided information on the most recent economic impact study that was
             completed, which looks specifically at the areas of impact to the local community by all
             Port divisions. The study examines the business revenues, state and local taxes
             generated, and the jobs generated. 
            Following Mr.Martin"s presentation, he replied to Commission questions regarding how
             he responds to the general public about not only the numbers of current jobs, but also the
             value of those jobs. 
            Responding to a question from Commissioner Hara regarding looking forward over the
             next 5 years, Mr. Martin stated that within the Seaport division, he felt it was critical to
            maintain a positive working relationship with the railroads and to continue to improve
             productivity and efficiencies of terminal infrastructure. 
            In response to Commissioner Bryant"s question regarding where the Port might wisely
             put dollars over the next few years, if there is a limited amount, Mr. Martin stressed that
             the Port needs to not only create new jobs, but to maintain current jobs. 
            Commissioner Davis commented on the importance of trade to the region. 
              (2)    (02:19:57) JOBS FIRST FOR A SUSTAINABLE PORT 
            Presentation document: Computer slide presentation titled, "Jobs First for a Sustainable
             Port" 
             Presenter: Commissioner Gael Tarleton 
            Commissioner Tarleton provided information on an initiative she is preparing regarding a
            way for the Port to frame decisions going forward regarding ways to help the region
             recover from the current recession. She commented on the need not only to create jobs,
             but also to sustain quality jobs for the future.
            Commissioner Tarleton stressed the need to think now about the next 50 years as well as
             about how the Port will be spending capital dollars, noting that the direction of spending
             needs to be aligned with the Port"s priorities. 
            Commissioner Tarleton stated the need to focus on two goals: To save the largest
             number of jobs possible as well as creating new jobs. 

                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 6 

           Commissioner Tarleton commented on the need to know where to spend investment
             dollars as the market begins to thaw in order to best help develop infrastructure for the
              future. 
              (3)    (02:34:11) PORT COMPETITIVENESS  Roundtable Discussion 
            Commissioner Bryant suggested the question he hoped the panelists could help answer
            was what should the Port be doing during these months of recession in order to capture
            cargo and passengers once the recovery begins. 
            The panelists were then introduced by Commissioner Bryant, and following a brief staff
            presentation, each provided opening remarks and thoughts. The panel was consisted of
            David J. Olson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Washington;
            Jennifer Spall, Senior Manager, Public Affairs & Government Relations, Wal-Mart
            Stores, Inc.; and Captain Mike Moore, Vice-president, Pacific Merchant Shipping
           Association (PMSA). 
            (02:36:49) Charlie Sheldon, Managing Director, Seaport Division provided a short 
            computer slide presentation. He noted the current global economic crisis and commented
             on some of the strengths of the competitors of the Port of Seattle, which include Prince 
            Rupert/Port Metro Vancouver; Los Angeles/Long Beach; as well as all-water routes via
             the Panama Canal. He then reviewed strengths of the Port of Seattle in relation to
            competitors. 
            (02:42:21) Capt. Moore commented on several items that Dr. Martin had addressed in
            his earlier briefing on the Economic Impact Study. He noted, speaking for the PMSA
             membership, that the most important issues needing to be addressed were cost, reliability,
             and certainty. As for cost, he commented on the need to keep costs low as well as
             maintaining good dialogue with the shippers and also with the railroads regarding costs.
            Regarding reliability, Capt. Moore, urged that the Commission continue to talk with
            PMSA members regarding freight mobility to ensure that freight mobility obligations are
             met. 
            Captain Moore then spoke about the importance of marketing the joint impact of the
            Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, and then noted the importance of keeping up good
             relationships with Labor and also encouraging productivity at the terminals. Capt. Moore
            also stressed the importance of a focus on maintaining community support. 
            Capt. Moore commented on the need to maintain a level playing field in the arenas of
            marine safety and environmental issues. 
            (02:47:50) Ms. Spall noted that proximity to distribution centers is a key issue for Wal-
            Mart, and commented that they use the Port of Seattle extensively. She commented on
             the need to look toward the future and stated that the company is always pushing to find

                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 7 
             better standards to live up to, for example, their no-idle policy on their entire truck fleet,
             the largest private fleet in America. 
             Ms. Spall stated that areas of importance to Wal-Mart for best port practices throughout
             the world include a good infrastructure with highway and railroad access; efficient gateterminal
            operations; on-dock facilities management operations; and port authority and
            terminal managers that are customer or shipper friendly. Also of importance are terminal
             proximity to their facilities; a focus on security and environmental issues; and available
             land for expansion for deep-water ships. 
             An issue of concern noted by Ms. Spall was the possibility of cargo container taxes, as
             well as possible hauling fees. 
            (02:52:34) Dr. Olson commented that in order to understand what makes ports
             competitive, there must be an understanding of local situation as well as the global
              situation. He commented on his belief in the vulnerability, in several areas, of the Port of
             Seattle as well as the Port of Tacoma. He noted that port Commissions and executives
            must be careful as they proceed with new policy decisions. 
             Dr. Olson stated that current issues the Port should consider include understanding the
            Port"s external environment; cargo volumes; loss of market shares; avoiding diversionary
            issues; maximizing the throughput of waterborne and airborne passengers and cargo;
             looking carefully at the Port"s strategies and skills; looking internally at cutting costs,
            which could include the option of a possible reduction in force; spending as much as
            possible on capital investments; honing in on the upcoming stimulus package; being 
             willing to accept subsidies; and working aggressively on rail and rate structures. 
            Following input from panel members, the floor was opened to a discussion of Port
            Competitiveness. 
            Responding to Commissioner Tarletons"s question about the value of a public subsidy, 
            panelists commented on the level of subsidy at other ports and importance of
            Washington"s trade dependence; the need to show strong, certain, consistent signals of
            where the Port is headed; and the need to name and make transparent the areas where
            public subsidy money is being used. They encouraged its use to maintain
            competitiveness. 
            Commission Creighton was absent from the meeting from this point forward. 
             Panelists noted that "green jobs" are more appreciated overall when the industries are
             brought to the table for discussion of goals and timelines rather than when policies are
             simply mandated, as has been the case in California. 
             Dr. Olson commented that the continuing increase in the cost of energy could result in a
             structural change in terms of the size of cargo ships in the not-too-distant future. 

                February 3 SM Min

        PORT COMMISSION MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL MEETING 
         TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009                         P. 8 
             Commissioner Tarleton stated her belief that changes in the size of ships and the types of
             energy used in the future could have a definite impact on the cost of operations as well as
             on trade routes and trade flows 
             Panelists discussed the composition and capability of the labor force and the need to
            adapt to the changing market condition. Comments were made about the need to take
             seriously the longshore work force. 
             In response to the question of the difference in market share at Prince Rupert or
            Vancouver and the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Dr. Olson noted that at Prince Rupert,
            there has been and continues to be massive national government subsidy that the Ports of
            Seattle and Tacoma are not seeing. He also commented about effects of rail rates that are
             currently in existence. 
            Brief discussion followed about the importance of serving the needs of customers. Capt.
            Moore stated that he would provide to the Commissioners a copy of a recent op-ed from
            Southern California between the PMSA and the ILWU about competitiveness issues. 
             13.    ADJOURNMENT 
            There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m. 
             (A digital recording of the meeting is available on the Port"s website.) 

           Lloyd Hara 
            Secretary 








                February 3 SM Min