General Purposes Committee Meeting Minutes - Month 00, 2004


General Purposes Committee 


Wednesday, January 7th, 2004


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Rob Howard
Councillor Kiichi Kumagai
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.








Ms. Jane Bird, Project Director, introduced John Eastman, Scott Hanna, Benson Chin, Lance Berelowitz and Edward Leflufy, representing RAVCO, and Bruce Rozenhart, of COUNTERPOINT Communications.




Where we have been Project Update.




Results of the Public Consultation Process.




Undertake a Pre-Design Consultation Exercise.




Where we go from here Discussion of the key upcoming stages prior to BAFO such as the RFP Evaluation process, and the pre-design consultation phase. Identification of how the City can participate in each of these stages (decision-making ability vs input vs information).








Ms. Bird spoke briefly about the purpose of todays meeting, which was to report on the status of the project.  She noted that many significant decisions would be made from mid-January to April of this year; that public consultation would take place, and that it was important to ensure that Council was aware of the current status.



Following a brief discussion between Mayor Brodie and Ms. Bird, it was agreed that the undertaking of a Pre-Design Consultation Exercise would be moved to the end of the agenda, and would only take place if time permitted.



Ms. Bird then commenced a PowerPoint presentation, a copy of which is on file in the City Clerks Office, and reviewed:




Project Update Project Organization







Questions were asked with regard to who made the decision to proceed with the project and what formed the parameters.  In response, information was provided that TransLink would make the final decision on whether the project would proceed.  It was noted that it was possible that the proposals received would not meet all of the essential elements specified by the TransLink Board, i.e. that the proposal prices be within the available funding during construction; and the system itself generated sufficient fare revenue.



Mr. Scott Hanna then reviewed that portion which dealt with:




Public Consultation Overview




Project Consultation




Pre-Design Consultation Richmond Segment



Mr. Bruce Rozenhart spoke further on the Pre-Design Phase Public Consultation Process, and in particular on:




the steps which comprised the Pre-Design Phase



During the review of the public consultation process, a question was raised about whether security issues between jurisdictions had been addressed.  Advice was given that TransLink was reviewing the overall security system and that discussions were on-going between TransLink and the police on this matter.  As well, TransLink was interested in exploring gated access proposals and proponents had been asked to include pricing for the addition of gates in their submissions.  It was noted that there would be problems in integrating a gated system into the existing system because although the Millennium Line had been constructed to include gates in the future, the Expo Line had no such provision.



Reference was made to the Small Group Meetings initiated under Step One of the Pre-Design Phase Public Consultation Process, and questions were raised about whether there would be any opportunity for participants to comment on whether they had a preference for an elevated or at-grade system.



In response, advice was given that the participants would be asked to provide comments on both options.  As well, instructions to the consultants did not allow participants to say that they preferred one system over another as it was important for RAVCO to hear comments on both systems. 



Questions were raised about advising the public of upcoming consultation meetings, and advice was given that advertising would be undertaken through the media, open houses would be held and displays set up in local shopping malls.  As well, the advertising would be translated to various languages to ensure that everyone in the community were aware of the upcoming meetings. 



Questions were also asked about when Richmond City Council would have the opportunity to make a decision on which system would be selected.  Advice was given that a significant number of individuals had indicated a preference at previous public consultation meetings for an elevated system.  Discussion continued, with the statement being made that if the question was, if Richmond indicated a preference for an elevated system, could RAVCO guarantee that Richmond would get an elevated system, the answer was no.  It was noted that there were a number of aesthetics, including travel time and operating costs, which had to be taken into consideration.  Advice was given that RAVCO would take the comments given and include them in the instructions to the proponents for the Best And Final Offer (BAFO). 



The comment was made that public consultation in Richmond was critical as this project would change the appearance of the City for many years to come.  It was stressed that Council needed to know (i) when the public open houses would be held, and (ii) that these meetings would be well advertised in local newspapers, including ethnic community papers, in a manner which would grab the readers attention.  During the discussion, the suggestion was made that Council be provided with, and comment on, a draft list of proposed dates and events.



Discussion continued, during which the comment was made that the project had to meet the City's policies, goals and objectives, and that Richmond residents had to benefit in all ways from the construction of this transportation system. 



Ms. Bird then reviewed the Proposal Evaluation, during which a lengthy discussion ensued among Committee members and the delegation on:




whether the results of the public consultation would be considered, especially when the review of the proposals received would be taking place during the public consultation period




the criteria provided to the proponents and whether the views of the public would be incorporated into the review process and form part of the instructions to the proponents for completion of the BAFO




the statement in the City's Official Community Plan which indicated that the City supported a light rail, at grade, system, and whether the evaluation criteria for the project made any reference to this requirement




whether any consideration had been given to having the project constructed by one company and operated by another




whether any drawings were available on what an elevated system might look like as compared to an at-grade system, and whether this information would be presented during the public consultation process.



During the discussion, RAVCO was requested to provide Committee with a progress report as each of the key milestones were reached.  A suggestion was also made during the discussion that arrangements be made with RAVCO to hold a workshop on the criteria specifications which would be used to review the proposals, and to review the material being presented to the public.



Discussion continued, with concern being expressed that any opportunity for the City to make a decision on the type of system to be constructed in Richmond appeared to have been eliminated.  Concern was also voiced about the apparent disregard of the public consultation process.  During the discussion, the Mayor spoke about the positive relationship between Council and the Project Team in the past, and expressed the wish that the Project Team would welcome the Committees comments.  The Mayor added that he had every expectation that the two agencies would continue to work well together in the future.



Discussion ensued among Committee members, with discussion taking place on whether Council should be advising RAVCO that an at-grade system was preferred, however, the comment was made that a decision should not be made until the public consultation process had been completed. 



(Cllrs. Kumagai and Dang left the meeting at 5:58 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. respectively, during the above discussion and did not return.)



Also discussed in greater detail was (i) the need to deal with the input from the open houses and the community in a serious manner, (ii) whether the City should be considering an at-grade system or alternatively, a rapid bus system, and (iii) whether Council should be making the decision on whether an elevated system would be constructed.  Concern was expressed during the discussion about investing in a project which would not deliver the service required by the City. 



Reference was made to the request for a further meeting to review the evaluation criteria and material which would be presented during the public open houses.  A brief discussion ensued, as a result of which, it was agreed that a special meeting of the General Purposes Committee would be held at 5:30 p.m., on Tuesday, January 13th, 2004.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:13 p.m.).






Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, January 7th, 2004.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerks Office



07.16.04 14:34