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Shirley Marquardt - 1:30:58 PM
Well, welcome to everyone to the March 11th AMHOB meeting. I'm not sure if everybody is that I see on the screen is, I mean, there's a few folks missing, but we'll go ahead and can we do a roll call?
Tera Ollila - 1:31:18 PM
I can do roll call. Alan Austerman?
Alan Austerman - 1:31:22 PM
Here.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:24 PM
Cynthia Burns. Captain Keith Hillard. Norm Carson. Paul Johnson.
Paul Johnsen - 1:31:40 PM
Here.
Tera Ollila - 1:31:42 PM
Deputy commissioner Rob carpenter. Shirley Marquardt.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:31:48 PM
Present
Tera Ollila - 1:31:50 PM
Wanetta Ayers.
Wanetta Ayers - 1:31:53 PM
Here.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:31:55 PM
Hmm. That leaves us with four out of eight. So that is not quorum to do any business, but I think we should start and take information and hopefully we'll get at least one more member dial in and then we'll be able to make some decisions later in the meeting.
Katherine Keith - 1:32:17 PM
Deputy commissioner is, is here. So either maybe you can announce yourself and you can have som
Rob Carpenter - 1:32:26 PM
Present, Deputy Commissioner Carpenter.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:32:30 PM
We have quorum.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:32:36 PM
Okay. We have the, we have the agenda before you for the meeting and might wanna talk about reviewing the agenda for any additions or changes? We talked about. There we go. So to the other board members Wanetta and I had a discussion with Katherine a few days ago, asking to look at the agenda and make a change from talking about short term goals today, to establishing a conversation of establishing long-term goals. Because without that long term goal discussion, we don't know what our short-term strategies are to get there. So we, we just made that change. I believe that is the only one. And so that should be up on the screen now, can you see it on, on the screen, Alan and Paul?
Alan Austerman - 1:34:12 PM
I moved to approve the agenda.
Wanetta Ayers - 1:34:16 PM
Second.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:34:17 PM
Thank you, Ann. Without objection. We'll consider the amended agenda approved. Okay. Moving right on to opening remarks or review comments for opening remarks. If any board members have some opening remarks, they would like to make, just remember to raise that little hand so that I can see you. And I do see Cynthia Burns is here. She does not have good connectivity and her camera will be off, but she is in the meeting. So thanks Cynthia. Yeah. I don't see any hands up for any opening remarks.
Alan Austerman - 1:35:13 PM
Yeah. Shirley, what's the, what is the status then with captain David resigning and how does that process play out now?
Shirley Marquardt - 1:35:24 PM
We're, that's actually on, on one of the next slides, but just very briefly that Captain Artz held a seat that was filled by the Senate President Peter Micciche. So he will just need to come up with another candidate that he thinks would best fill, fill this seat and bring that name forward. And that, that new person should be at our next meeting on the 25th.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:35:53 PM
Welcome. Hey, it says review comments, Katherine, is that something you wanted to do or, or do we just wanna ask several board members provided comments to the body they were made public and I'm pretty sure everybody has seen a copy of those.
Katherine Keith - 1:36:15 PM
So yeah, absolutely. I thought it would be appropriate, one minute, please. We just have an echo.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:36:47 PM
No worries. And also Tera, let the record show Norm Carson is on as well.
Katherine Keith - 1:37:02 PM
Okay, wonderful. So what we were thinking with this time after member opening remarks was that if we wanted to go through any of the public comments that were shared with the members or the comments that members themselves prepared, it may be a good time just to provide, you know, a brief over review of those comments and I'm happy to pull them up if we want to on the screen, or if you just wanna refer to it, then, then that would be fine as well for the public that are participating and watching on Facebook. These materials are posted online on the meeting page, where you're, where you're watching the, the stream. So there there's a area there that says files and then comments are posted there. So I guess I would, you know, open it from there and ask for direction what you'd like to do with that.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:37:59 PM
If I can make a recommendation to the board, I think quite quite a few of these comments are, are gonna be answered as we move through presentations and, and talk with Matt McLaren. Some of, some of the comments are, you know, just kind of general and you know, just thoughtful, personal ideas and some are, are directly attached to some of the information we'll be seeing. So if we could, unless a board member who's made comments wants to directly address theirs. I'm pretty sure we can get that done within the meeting. And then if not at the end of the presentation, if you still have questions, we can ask them.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:38:41 PM
Well, it looks like we've got an okay for that approach. So moving on, staying the course,
Katherine Keith - 1:39:04 PM
I can speak just to a couple updates that we were looking forward to providing to the members while we move onto our remaining components of our agenda. And these are slide that we've proposed before, but it thought it would be appropriate to offer an update. The one target of having a recruitment specialist on board has been obtained. That firm is now actively looking for. He positions that Captain Falvey is working with them on and they're developing a scope of work and, and moving forward. So be looking forward to seeing the progress there. The next item is the recruitment targets for the Columbia. We have been discussing that March 1st is really the target date that we need to meet our staffing levels if we wanna sail by, by May 1st. And this part of the reason why management is here in Ketchikan today, talking about this, what we can do from a recruitment and retention perspective and continually ramp up our, our efforts.
Katherine Keith - 1:40:12 PM
So while I think collectively, we may not feel very confident about May 1st be likely we are projecting, you know, other what another realistic date may be. So that's why there's an asterisk here at June 15th. It's not necessarily a hard date at this point, but we were able to come up with some, you know, really collaborative, good ideas on how we can move that, meet that target. From there, we have an AMHS planner. We are doing interviews, not March 15th, but the week after. So we are likely to have the planner on board. By the end of the month, that's been a very active past over the past few weeks, we do have a, a few great candidates and we look forward to bringing them on board to facilitate a lot of these tasks as well. The TRV RFP is still targeted to be released at the end of next week.
Katherine Keith - 1:41:10 PM
It's something that we're also discussing today to make sure everyone's on the same page with what that proposal consists of. And union negotiations are very encompassing right now. There's, you know, pretty much four outta five days, we're under negotiations. So things are moving along really well there in the fact that we're, we're having good dialogue. And I, I believe it's possible one of the unions, we may have negotiations completed at the 31st, but otherwise there's a lot of meetings with that goal in mind. Regarding the operation of business plan, Matt McLaren could touch base on this. If he, if there's questions on it, he has prepared a lot of materials over the last week working towards this goal. And we spoke quite a bit about Prince Rupert at the last meeting, but it's enough to say that we do have it on the schedule for the first part of June. And it was our target to have a sailing on May 23rd, but until we're very a hundred percent confident that that date is possible, it's, you're not able to make reservations yet. And then we have, the Columbia still is a priority for all of us here and we'll provide more updates as we go as we meet those hiring targets.
Katherine Keith - 1:42:29 PM
Yeah.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:42:33 PM
Okay. Thank you. Does anyone have any questions for Katherine on any of the items on those ongoing short term plan? I'm really hoping that a good planner comes on board it's been missing for several years and it it's gonna be an enormous help, I think. And that is a very good thing. The recruitment targets for the Columbia. How are we looking on that?
Katherine Keith - 1:43:07 PM
Yeah, we, I guess it's, it's appropriate to say both with recruitment. We are, we have a number of new ideas identified to get the word out there for outreach, you know, all across Alaska, looking at some of our rural communities, you know, getting to the schools, trying to figure out who in our staff can go out and speak to how great it is to be a part of the AMHS staff and what we're doing here. And I think that something that we're all very excited for. So to answer your question on the numbers, our numbers haven't changed very much from the previous reporting. So if we wanna have all of our vessels running at this summer, we are quite short. And, but that being said, we, we can provide those numbers for you. I think we shared them last maybe a couple weeks ago with the members.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:44:07 PM
Yeah. I was just curious, the question was to, to see if we've moved forward in a significant way until then. And I, and I'm also wondering on the Columbia, the staffing numbers. I, I know I'd seen somewhere in some of the planning possibly to staff the Columbia, with fewer positions in order to get her going. Is that still a possibility?
Katherine Keith - 1:44:30 PM
Yes. What is, so I would say on the first part of your, your answer is yeah, correct. While there have been, you know, new hires, really the bar hasn't and changed that much, not as much as we needed to, to confidently say when we can get Columbia sailing, even though that is our intention. And then on the second, I do know that Captain Falvey and who can speak to this had worked to find a streamline number for minimum staffing, and they were able to reduce it by a certain number but at this point. I doubt it wouldn't be able to go down further than that. Do you care to elaborate on that?
Captain Falvey - 1:45:15 PM
Yeah. We've, we've got the numbers from 62 down a 52 and, and the captain and, and the unions and whatnot. I've agreed to that.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:45:30 PM
Okay. That's good. That's helpful. Even 10. Thank you. Okay, Alan,
Alan Austerman - 1:45:48 PM
Just for my information. So I can feel more comfortable with this discussion is I've noticed that the, the, the recruitment program, which also interacts with APTEC and through APTEC, is there any efforts to work with some of the fishing associations across the state this see if those people who have lost their jobs in the fishing, couldn't be work through the system.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:46:36 PM
Okay. And then I just have a brief question about the FY 23 operation of business plan, and that is going to be finalized for board review by March 31st. Is that how I understand that?
Shirley Marquardt - 1:46:53 PM
Thank you. Okay. There are no other questions we can continue onward.
Katherine Keith - 1:47:07 PM
Great. So as the discussion today is talking about the short term plan and the comprehensive long term plan and performance measures, we thought it would be helpful to the board just to review the language that's in statute. And if it's okay, I'll just read it that the short term plan must describe how effective and efficient progress towards priorities and goals defined in the comprehensive long term plan will be obtained, including recommendations for the state operating, capital budgets and a description of skill or competency gaps in the membership of AMHOB. And the second component about the long term plan is that the comprehensive long term plan must consist of priorities and goals for AMHS and a proposed strategic and vessel replacement plan. It may recommend performance measures, including output efficiency and effectiveness.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:48:06 PM
Thanks, Katherine. So in terms of continuing, we've, we've talked a bit about what long term, what elements are necessary for a long term plan, but it would, I think it would help to help us if we could hear the plan, if AMHS has a plan a 5-10 year plan for operating vessel replacement maintenance, docks, if that plan exists, even if it's not ready for prime time, I think it would be really helpful to hear that because I feel like, and the board, please, correct me if I'm wrong, we really need to start drilling down into some specific elements of long term planning in order to get started with the short term strategies to get there. I agree.
Katherine Keith - 1:49:07 PM
Yeah. And I can respond to that briefly during the kickoff meeting, it was a suggestion for DOT to begin compiling components of what would consist of a long term comprehensive plan. And so that is what we have been doing. So we can say that, you know, we do have an a five year engineering master plan, and then we have shared a component of, you know, what is the draft 20 year modernization plan. And then in addition to that, operationally, Matt, McLaren's been working on, you know, budgets over the next five years. So some, some potential forecasts over the next five years as, so we can work towards really taking advantage of the BI partion infrastructure law that are gonna be available. And so with those components, while there have been a lot of historical plans that have been made available, for example, on the AMHOB website, I, I think we are, you know, ready to sit down with members and, and discuss what we have and, and then what, where we need to start from scratch on. So I think it's when you're ready to set up that meeting, I feel, you know, we can share with you what we've gathered.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:50:30 PM
Thank you. And I, I guess question is from the, the fleet basically revitalization plan that we saw two weeks ago, or even four weeks ago, two weeks ago, I guess. I, so that is part of the long term strategy that, that we're all looking at. That was why it came to our attention. And, you know, there's a list of items on there that AMHS and DOT are suggesting that happens. So is that plan, does that plan look like it's going to be the long term plan, at least for the fleet
Katherine Keith - 1:51:17 PM
We look forward to hearing from the board, what components of that you value so that we can pull from that plan, what you find useful, and then create a plan moving forward that, you know, management and the board members are in support of. And I think that would be a really great place to start with the long term comprehensive plan. So I think that was intended as a discussion to show you, you know, here's what we have, what AMHS management has available. And then we do want that to be a discussion. And then what results from that discussion would be put into the comprehensive long term plan.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:51:59 PM
So would it be possible to put that up then on the screen for us again? And we can have, we can go through that exercise now with the long term planning. In other words, we, we looked at it two weeks ago, had it presented, talked about it a little bit. And, and now we're here and we're looking at, we're talking about performance measures, short term planning, long term planning. Yet we haven't had a discussion from the board, you know, of where we think those elements of that, that white paper should be.
Katherine Keith - 1:52:32 PM
Yeah. And a lot of the comments from the board members, which were excellent, very thorough comments are specifically on the modernization plan. So I think it may be a better use of time to allow us to incorporate those comments on key topics. And we can present that back to you, you know, at our next meeting, I'm happy to pull up the document right now. I just, I may not be as consolidated as, as may be efficient right now.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:53:05 PM
Okay. So, so any discussion we're gonna have on a long term plan, a long term strategy today is based on what,
Katherine Keith - 1:53:19 PM
What I heard us say, we were interested in doing this, coming up with some goals for how we would like to, how AMHOB would like AMHS to move forward. Like what, what are we envisioning the big picture? Sure. Cause we can come up with a plan that defines that and spells that out. But to start having that conversation of, you know, what is it that we're prioritizing? And we've done some surveys about short term goals, but taking time to look at it from the long term perspective so that we can come up with performance measures and start measuring progress on some of those long term goals. So,
Shirley Marquardt - 1:54:07 PM
Okay.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:54:15 PM
Okay. I, I'm sorry. I, I just feel like we're spinning our wheels here and, and I'm a little frustrated and I, and I, I guess that I think what I would have to recommend to, to myself and to the rest of the board members is that even though we're still we're gathering information, information that we don't know because we don't run the system and we're trying to get that information so we can get a good understanding of how to make recommendations that are responsible and responsive and fiscally aware. So if you know, the comments are helpful when board members put in comments, but often there, there are questions or they, their ideas of a different route that we should take or, or use a different vessel. So I think that we need to really task ourselves before the next meeting to sit down and just take the time and sit down and start up on our own, going back on that list, that modernization list that, that we saw two weeks ago of what our priorities are for our long term strategy, safety, fiscal responsibility, and sustainability, workforce development and management, things like that. So that we have something to talk about, you know, once we set those long term goals, then we can set the short term strategies working with DOT and AMHS management on the best way to get there. And once that is all decided, we're gonna be able to look and see what performance measures, you know, best, best fit what it is that we're looking for. So I'm just going to go ahead and stop and just take this meeting as just a, a presentation of information and
Katherine Keith - 1:56:06 PM
Yeah, thank you. Madam chair. We just, we're working off of the agenda and the long term plan itself, and modernization plan weren't on the agenda. So we're happy if we want to, you know, look at that agenda and update it for this meeting. We can take a short recess and prepare materials to open that back up with, but we were targeting the short term goals and performance metrics. So that's what we were prepared to discuss today.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:56:32 PM
Okay. And I understand that that's why Wanetta and I had a conversation with you on Tuesday, realizing that this was gonna kind of put the board in, in a difficult place. And we had wanted to address long term, but we are where we are. So there are several hands up. Paul had his hand at first, then I saw, but it's down now and Wanetta's hand is up as well. So, Paul,
Paul Johnsen - 1:56:59 PM
Yeah, I, I was thinking that if we're not ready to discuss long term plan that at the next meeting, we can have everything ready with a timeline for the plan and maybe also response from the comments that that we're made. So we get the, the administration response. That's all I have.
Shirley Marquardt - 1:57:21 PM
Thanks, Paul. Wanetta.
Wanetta Ayers - 1:57:24 PM
Yeah. I, I guess my comments are, are similar. I, I think it probably would be helpful if we save time on the agenda under, you know, any closing comments for, or it's very, this is a lot of dense information, so it's difficult
Wanetta Ayers - 1:57:45 PM
To onboard new information and reflect on it in a, in a meaningful way in the confines of, of several hours. But what I would say is as board members, I guess we're going to have to be very prompt in terms of following up with staff to provide either additional questions or commentary. I, I think some of this discussion that we're having right now is colored by the fact that there was a good deal of discussion in the interim between the last meeting and this one about the fleet modernization plan. And, you know, people seemed very primed to, to discuss that particular issue.
Wanetta Ayers - 1:58:30 PM
I think that again, if, if we're prompt with questions or, or additional requests for information, and, and then in our long term meeting schedule, we have a time certain where we're going to have more of a role up your sleeves discussion about some of these topics. Then I think that will satisfy folks as far as sort of weighing in on, on what the overall direction is. You know, what I, what I would wanna add. And I didn't weigh in on some of the fleet modernization discussion only because it was discussed extensively during the reshaping working group. And what I will say is that all of that discussion and information sharing really leads me to, and, and also being a student of different generations of, of vessels and where that's led the system is that we walk definitely a fine line between being purpose built for a vessel and being flexible and multipurpose across the system.
Wanetta Ayers - 1:59:46 PM
And the times that we've gotten off track, I think is when we've leaned too heavily on purpose built vessels. So I'm gonna, I'm just gonna leave it at that, but just say, I think the, the chicken and egg part of this discussion, I, I feel certain that we'll come to a point where we feel like things come together in the future. They, they, they always seem to, I don't know how it works out that way, but it does. So I, I think we should probably just move on with what, what the staff has prepared to present. And, and then we can maybe reshape it again for the next meeting. Thanks.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:00:37 PM
Great. If no one else has comments, we'll just keep moving, Alan put his hand up and then Rob,
Alan Austerman - 2:01:48 PM
Okay. Yeah. Thank you. My impression when we started this meetings, we were gonna do a two hour meeting every two weeks was it was for information only. And then at some point in time, we would all sit down, hopefully around a table and we would lay out those things that the information that we begin given would be highlighted towards the discussion of both the chart and the long term plan. And I'm, I'm thinking we're still gonna go that way and eventually get there. I'm not in a position today to give you a lot of information about what I think the short and the long term plan, because I'm still gathering information on overall. And that I think leaves me kind of, of hanging in the back, trying to figure out where, how to catch up with everybody. So,
Shirley Marquardt - 2:02:48 PM
And thank you Alan and, and you're right. I mean, that, that definitely is the idea. And what I was not recommending was that we come up with a long term strategy today. It was just to have a deeper dive into what we've already looked at with a modernization plan. As I said, we're just gonna, we're gonna move ahead with, with what is on the agenda, and I'm gonna turn it back over to Katherine.
Alan Austerman - 2:03:09 PM
One other comment real quick. Shirley is on these long term short term performance measures. I would like to see the legislation that created house bill 63. The copy that I have doesn't necessarily cover everything that I read within these two things for a must and must. And I would like to see the actual legislation working with, to compare the two, please,
Rob Carpenter - 2:03:47 PM
Thank you. I don't know why my computer's not working. I had to jump over onto Katherine's apologize for that. I get, I was just getting a little confused why we were deviating from the agenda that I thought we'd all planned on. You know, staff puts some lot of work into these presentations and if we need to spend time planning how we want to attack this information, that maybe is what we need to do. And Katherine is really good at, at tracking. Like if we just brain brainstorm and discuss how we think the approach needs to be to get somewhere as a group, she can put together the key points that, that she would collect from that discussion and put together a plan for us forward. If, if that, if something like that would be of use maybe at the next meeting, because, you know, we, when we have an agenda presented, we discuss an agenda that we try to put together presentation for that agenda to try and help us the best.
Rob Carpenter - 2:04:50 PM
So deviating from it is a bit of a challenge. That's all. And, and I, and I will further say that this slide you see in front of you right now, during discussions on this presentation, it came up that the mission for the marine highway is about five paragraphs long. I joke, but it's very long and it needs to be re looked at before any, to me, any overarching plan can be put together. We need a mission that actually makes sense. And so something like that, I would like to discuss with you guys at the, in some capacity and I'll stop right there. Thanks.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:05:36 PM
And, and I hear what you're saying and appreciate it Rob. Point is on Tuesday Wanetta and I had a conversation with Katherine for about half an hour. We did talk about the agenda and the concern we had was putting short term strategy and performance goals before long term strategies, really working through those. So this wasn't just a last moment change that I decided to make here at the meeting. It just it's, it is what it is. So Katherine, I will turn it back over to you.
Katherine Keith - 2:06:05 PM
Great. And on that, you know, I can just say, I, I apologize. I thought we were switching from short term goals to long term goals. I did not realize that it was a decision to talk about the long term plan specifically. So I misunderstood and make sure to be more clear about the agenda items moving forward. So the, unless there's any further discussion on that Or on, on the agenda or are we, do we wanna proceed?
Shirley Marquardt - 2:06:38 PM
Yes. Go ahead and proceed with your, with your slides, your presentation.
Katherine Keith - 2:06:44 PM
Okay. Well, as the Deputy Commissioner mentioned, this current mission statement is to provide safe, reliable, and efficient transportation of people, goods, vehicles across and among Alaskan communities, Canada, and the lower 48 while providing opportunities to develop in a reasonable standard of living and high quality of life, including social education and health needs. So there certainly is a lot to it, and it's not, you know, inaccurate, I feel that is amongst management and, and staff and the public, what AMHS does, but it's perhaps a good use of time either here or in a later session to look at this as part of the long term plan. Is this the current mission statement or is this something we wanna change,
Shirley Marquardt - 2:07:36 PM
Rob? Your hand is back up. Okay. No, don't mind one at,
Wanetta Ayers - 2:07:44 PM
Thanks, Shirley. Just for the rest of the board. I, and I, I think Rob was mentioning this earlier. This is a very long mission statement. And I think for DOT as a whole, it's something simply like keeping Alaskans and goods moving or something to that effect. And while I think that the AMHS mission statement could be more specific than that, I do think that there's aspects of this statement that feel more operational as opposed to mission. So I would be a proponent of streamlining it and making it really more focused on outcomes. What, what the, the mission of AMHS is.
Alan Austerman - 2:09:00 PM
Yeah. I agree with Wanetta, and Rob, I think it's too long. I think that we should just, at this point in time, really, what is the point highway system, and it is to provide transportation. There's a lot of things that, you know, standards of living and all those things are, are fine. Maybe some people make it sound better, but in the long run, really, we are ends it for a period at lower 48, but that's just, I like 'em short anyway.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:09:38 PM
Wanetta is your hand up still again, or? Okay. Cynthia, you're on the phone and I, so I can't see a hand. Do you, do you have anything? And then I'll go to Paul. I don't Shirley. Thank you. Thank you, Cynthia. Paul.
Paul Johnson - 2:09:58 PM
Yeah, I, I think after the lower 48, everything else while providing reasonable standard, I think we, if we ended it right there at lower 48, that would seem simpler to me. And, okay,
Shirley Marquardt - 2:10:24 PM
So maybe this is something that the, the board can take up. I think you might wanna take a little public comment on that. My only concern, if, if that's the correct word for it is that this mission statement is, has been looked at before to be changed through MTAB. And the people who utilized the system were felt very strongly that this mission statement is different. It's not a highway to at just moves cars and trucks, that it, you know, the, the standards of living and quality of life, etcetera, and all these other things were part of it. So there could be some, some folks there who, who have different ideas, however, as we go through this process and come up with the new, you know, the long term strategy and the short term strategy, if the board wishes to come back and look at it, then we should do that, Katherine.
Katherine Keith - 2:11:32 PM
Okay. Thank you. So then moving along, the next slide talks about operating principles. We shared these with the board during the kickoff meeting, and these are, you know, draft operating principles, and thought it could be a great place to at least discuss these prior to launching into long term goals, which is next on the agenda and operating principles can really help both, you know, all stakeholders of the system understand how management makes decisions, you know, know it incorporates our values and helps communicate with all of our staff, what it is that we're working towards. And so these five, you know, are just draft they're items that management and commissioner's office has discussed and wanted to really work with a board here to come up with what operating principles you may recommend, if not these, as I said, these are draft, but what we would like to do if the board agree is to, to rework these, and then we, of course, can continue working with staff to get their input on them as well. And if there's no comment on these at this time, we can certainly go forward to long term goals.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:12:59 PM
That's what it looks for. Like, I think, I think that's a good idea. And, and for all of us board members take this in consideration and, you know, mark it in your, in your book of pages that we need to go back, that we're gonna need to circle back to in the future. Thanks.
Katherine Keith - 2:13:23 PM
Okay. So with long term goals, we took a survey. This is for the benefit of the public. The members did take a survey prior to the first kickoff meeting about where our priorities currently lie. And this was in the context of short term goals. You know, if we have six months, what are some things that would be really great to make progress on? What came out of that? We'll say is a list of five things, including the vessel maintenance and preservation program, fleet modernization, resolving the critical staffing levels, creating financial stability and sustainability, and then that's supposed to be defining optimal governance. And of course there are other things in here as well, such as evaluating optimal levels of service and improving reliability, increasing resilience, improving staff morale. So this was just a starting point. So I thought it would be useful to just refresh everyone's memory about what we have at least shared previously. So we are not necessarily starting with a blank slate.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:14:35 PM
That's helpful. Any board comments or questions? I don't see any, but Alan's leaning forward. Like you're looking for that hand button.
Katherine Keith - 2:14:59 PM
Great. So we do have some time here and I'm happy in this slide that you can see the screen share to just track any long term goals, if any, that we wanna establish as draft right now. And then Matt's on deck to start his presentation at 2:20.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:15:19 PM
Okay. Thank you with that. Any hands up yet, I, I would start off by recommending a, a long term goal as a, a modernization plan, putting it into practice and modernizing the fleet. And that of course would include looking at different. Yeah, there you go. Possible different alternative fuels in the future as they become available or reliable or proven, but for now just putting that into place. And the second step seems to be really important to folks is the maintenance plan and, you know, really refining and defining the maintenance plan for the vessels. An ironclad workforce development, Work development, I think is very important. We can get all the nice new ships we want, and if we don't have folks who wanna work on them, we're, we're stuck. And those a sustainable, sustainable fiscal plan.
Katherine Keith - 2:16:50 PM
Thank you. Does that look about right how I wrote them up?
Shirley Marquardt - 2:16:55 PM
I do. I think, yeah. And I think the evaluating alternative fuels, it's not so much I, and it would just be part of the, you know, what we looking at the modernization plan. It just falls under that umbrella. I wouldn't, wasn't wanting to make it just a separate standalone. Cause there would be a lot, you know, there will be elements to each of these goals. Hi hand, Alan.
Alan Austerman - 2:17:23 PM
Yeah. Thank you. I would like to add into that is the, to look at what studies they've done in reference to sales of fair sales, particularly vehicle sales, how they move them, looking at some of the charts that I've seen through this process of the total decline in, in fair, that seems something we need to spend a bit of time on trying to discuss how we can turn that around and make that chart start climbing. And instead of continuing to either be stagnant or, or the lower. And it seems to me that that there's a number of different things that the Marine highways used to do, they don't do anymore, that we need to talk about and try to figure where, why they're not doing 'em. And whether there's something to talk about bringing back and etcetera,
Shirley Marquardt - 2:18:20 PM
Is that it looks like Katherine captured it there. Is that what you're looking for Alan?
Wanetta Ayers - 2:18:40 PM
Yeah. Thank you, Shirley. I, I just would like to add to the statement regarding the, the maintenance plan is a, a responsive and accountable service maintenance request system. And that's, that's a fairly consistent issue of complaint and concern. And also that requests that linger lead to bigger problems later down the line. So
Norm Carson - 2:19:36 PM
Oh, perfect. I was just thinking of one and I don't know how this would fit with within AMHS, but in my tenure, in my previous life, within public safety, we, we developed a operating procedures manual, which was required to be kept at every office. In fact, I or commission people had one issue to them. It was updated, reviewed annually, and it identified some of these things that we're talking about, and this is how you do it, so that we could go back and gave people the responsibility and then held them accountable for getting those jobs done.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:20:30 PM
Did you, what kind of language would we use that for a long term goal that we'd need strategies to get to? Yeah,
Norm Carson - 2:20:39 PM
Somewhere along the line we have to, we can't forget about these things. We talk about 'em now we've got to have them in place. We feature three years from now. We can go back whatever's around, we'll say, okay, this is what we should be doing. I wanna make sure this just doesn't end up on the shelf somewhere.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:21:01 PM
Huh? For operation operations, maintenance, vessel replacement repair? Are you, I mean, and I, those may already exist in the system.
Norm Carson - 2:21:17 PM
Yeah. They may. I have no idea, since I've worked within the system. It'd be interesting to know.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:21:27 PM
Can I ask Captain Falvey, if, if something like this, if these things already exist, like for engineering or for operations or for procurement or for whatever it may be?
Captain Falvey - 2:21:43 PM
Madam chair, Yes, we do have quite a bit of policy and procedure, you know, written down, you know, for a lot of things, it may not be as extensive as Norm, you know, as may be thinking, I'm sure we could do that, but we do have a lot of policy procedure for a lot of the things that we do here. We have standard operating procedures, you know, on the deck side, the engine inside. I'm not so sure about the admin side, Matt and his crew, you know, we also have an extensive safety management system manual that we operate the ships under and that's very extensive explaining everything right down to how do you drop an anchor? You know, so, I mean, so there, there is a lot, I, I think a lot, you know, that would often be reviewed to see where, where, where there's any gaps, but there is a lot in place right now as far as policy procedure. Yes.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:22:43 PM
Thanks Captain. And I think maybe Norm your you're looking for kind, you know, an action plan to make, make sure that these long term goals are met. That there's a way that they're being met. Is, is that what I'm understanding?
Norm Carson - 2:23:06 PM
Yes. I'm just curious. And maybe I'm getting down into the weeds a little bit too far. If I were to be suddenly 50 years younger and hire on with AMHS, I'm on the deck crew, is there a manual I'm, I'm held accountable for, for the way I conduct my job that day? Just some, not the real minutia, but safety one and make sure maintenance gets done. Those are the things I was thinking of.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:23:46 PM
Yeah. Thank you. And they do exist. They definitely do exist, but so thanks Norm. Maybe we need a little more information from that. Just, just clarification later in an email to you, to the board. That's okay. Can you, Norm can you see what Katherine just wrote updates to the policy and procedure manuals as needed for key processes that capturing?
Norm Carson - 2:24:20 PM
Certainly. And if it wasn't too much trouble, sometime, I'd kinda like to take a look at some of this I'm just curious, I'm kind of built that way. I'm curious about that sort of thing.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:24:46 PM
So just noting that this is working space for long term goals, that we're not perfecting what these statements are. But
Wanetta Ayers - 2:24:55 PM
What I would say is that I think we need to challenge ourselves to make these smart goals that they need to be more specific and timebound, and, and measurable that we, we need to, these, these goals should drive the system towards some of the operational aspects that fall under long term goals that we don't have to specifically address. But like for example, under, under workforce, you know, what, what is, what is the goal for the workforce? It's not, it's not simply to have a workforce development plan, it's to have a workforce, a qualified workforce with, you know, you know, may maybe targets for minimum turnover. And I mean, some of these things are, are governed by other documents, but, but I just feel like we need to challenge ourselves to make these smart goals and make them truly long term when you're operating a complex system with long live to assets like ships it's, I think it's important for us to have something, you know, on, in, in terms of modernization, maybe modernization is always a goal, but then also is utilization of assets. So how do we take these sort of intentions that we're, we're adding here, but make them specific to help help the system stretch and realize the, the state that we're looking for to be in the condition that we're looking for to be in.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:26:54 PM
Yes. And I think that yes will come before I move to Paul. Paul had his hand up, Katherine, would you mind, add workforce development and retention on the top one, please? Since I, I think Rob's computer is still being funky, but he just put in the chat, which I'm glad I saw identify a recommended level of service, essential service level, long term goal. That is gonna be tricky, but it belongs there. We can't hear you Rob. So we'll put that on.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:27:49 PM
So am my understanding with BC ferries is that, and I may have the terminology wrong here, but they went from a line agency to a crown corporation to a truly independent corporation, but they provide through contracted services to be the province, essential ferry service. And so it's, And, and, and I wanna say in the infrastructure bill, part of the, the funding there, Senator Murkowski has characterized as essential ferry service, much like essential air service that serves rural Alaska. So I, I want the maybe somehow to start thinking about that, what is the minimum level of essential service? And then down the line, I think we may need to talk about what's the correct instrument. Is it as a line agency or some are form.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:29:06 PM
I, I, this is a good start and we're definitely going to have to, I mean, this is just, you know, throwing it at the wall, things that have, you know, risen to the top. I think some of these items, some of these will, will fall under short term strategic goals and some ways, but, you know, for the long term at, you know, the 40,000 foot level looking down, you know, these are things that we're just starting this putting out there as very important, that need to be elements that need to be followed, that we need to really look for good plans. So I think that's trying to get more room on there for more ideas, but you have something now just kind of on paper, something, something that we're looking at, and then I'm sure board members will think of other long term goals, but let's make sure that they're a large, a large goal that could encompass like Wanetta is saying of whole bunch of moving parts and elements, but we just want that goal out there for now long term strategy or long term goal to be thinking about since we go through this whole process.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:30:19 PM
So I'm gonna go Paul, and then back to Alan.
Paul Johnsen - 2:30:24 PM
Yeah. I was thinking that underneath the modernization plan that we put an average, a goal would be to put an average fleet 20 years or less, or, or a number in there, whether it's 20 or 15 or whatever you wanna do, but establish some kind of goal goal.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:30:47 PM
I, I think that that goal would fall under that be part of that modernization plan and what I, what that number might be is gonna, there's gonna be a lot of different factors that come up at 20 years is pretty short life, 30, 35, you know, maybe better, but I don't know, that's not my job. So instead of putting a, a target age in there at this point, I would, I would like to see what AMHS and DOT come up with as, when we're telling them that, you know, this is a bowl of our, we wanna see a modernization plan that can be put into practice, modernize the fleet, you know, where where's the sweet in life of the vessel.
Paul Johnsen - 2:31:30 PM
I, I think an average age is, is something should be considered.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:31:37 PM
And it, I agree with you, Paul, and it, and it would be part of the plan. I, I agree with you a hundred percent, Alan, you had your hand up earlier.
Alan Austerman - 2:31:51 PM
Yeah. Thank you. Very good conversation. I, it's just kind of thing that we need to get to where we're gonna end up. And I'm assuming at this point in time that all these ideas that were coming up and throwing out here on the, on the wall are things that the staff will follow up. And example, when I put in the increased revenue from, I would like to see all the studies that have been done and all the past press that they've used when we get into that conversation, if they can put that kinda information, give it to us prior to any meeting we'll get to, and we have a chance to absorb it, it would help.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:32:32 PM
And, and that will definitely be the case. And as we go through, this is something that Wanetta and I can work with Katherine on to, you know, for what needs to be really seated out. You know, when you talk about all the information available, Alan, I'm not sure if you needs to really know how much that is. It's just reams and reams and reams, and it might be better to ask, you know, for a summary from the folks running the system to show what, what has worked well in the past and what hasn't, if those numbers are, I, I don't, I don't wanna just overwhelm them with, you know, with every, every study or every data point that they did. And I think that what we're seeing here, what we're doing here is putting these up. This is definitely giving us something to think about. It's also allowing staff to look at these items and, and make their decision on what they need to pull and how they need to pull it and provide it to us. And, and if it's not what we're looking for, you know, we, we tell them that in the next meeting and, you know, be a little more specific about what we want,
Shirley Marquardt - 2:33:43 PM
Putting, putting these long term goals up today. We're not asking, we're not directing staff to come up with with the plan with just these things on it. We're just starting point. And I'm pretty sure
Alan Austerman - 2:33:54 PM
I understand. And I agree, but what's happening today with, with in the world is not necessarily what is gonna be I in five years from now. And if we don't think through that process while with having these conversations of how you increase ridership, then we're wasting our time.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:34:13 PM
I agree. And there are many things that they can show different things that they've tried over the years. So
Shirley Marquardt - 2:34:29 PM
So Katherine, what be the plan for maybe two weeks from now when we start looking at long term goals, and then the only reason I'm pushing that is because it's, it is our starting point. And we do need to be at least be able to set some, some serious goals, you know, fairly soon so that we can take advantage of, of the money that is, that is coming into the state, certainly. And because it takes so darn long to, to get the ferries. I mean, you know, we can't do what BC Ferry does. They go to Poland and build, have a new vessel in two and a half years, ours are five years to seven years. So, you know, I'm, I'm just concerned that, that we, that we're not getting DOT, we're not getting AMHS recommendations, you know, in a timely manner for the long term goals while we, we figure out the different ways to get there. So,
Katherine Keith - 2:35:23 PM
Well, I think next steps with these goals, cause of course they're, they're draft and working, so they'll be a lot more added to it, but Matt is prepared to speak to some performance metrics at AMHS and then ideally with some of these goals, we could attach some metrics to it. So we can have a way to, to measure progress as we move forward. And that's, you know, a good, a good model for any long term plan. And, and then I think as this conversation wraps up, then it would be great to establish some milestones for the long term planning process.
Katherine Keith - 2:36:02 PM
But if, if Matt, are you online saw you a little bit?
Matt McLaren - 2:36:21 PM
Okay. So I know we're a little bit over on time, but I'll, I'll try to get through these metrics and kind of some things where we're at and what they're showing us so far. What we've used this, the first slide here shows, I mean, this is a way Washington state ferries has their metrics set up just for a, a sample they've got this category is capital effectiveness. And, and really the goal with, with performance measures of course, is to guide our operations with data. So, you know, help guide our decisions, you know, and there, and there's a few ways it could be display like, you know, could be displayed like this. Like a, a scorecard percentages could be some kind of dashboard, you know, and just, just compare year over year of how, what progress has been made. And if, if we've been hitting those goals or not.
Matt McLaren - 2:37:21 PM
So then moving on to the, the next slide we thought, we'd show what our, our metrics we've some years back, we, I think the last meeting we said, we start with over 80 metrics, of course narrow those down to 24. And I think we've got 16 here. These are me tricks for data. We have data we've used. And then we just got 'em in different categories. Service weeks is really just a comparison of, you know, year over year, how much service we're providing, how much, how, how many weeks our ships are running each year. And then port calls. We compare our scheduled departures to actual departures, which, which goes to show if we're, if we're meeting our schedule goes to, comes back to reliability. If people can rely on us of showing up, when we say we're gonna show up and, and be able to carry them. Adherence to schedule comes kind of a little bit in the, in the same realm there with port calls, you know, that that's with this when we started looking at, okay, if we have scheduled changes, why do we have scheduled changes?
Matt McLaren - 2:38:41 PM
You know, was it, did we have a mechanical failure? Did we break down? Did we have a weather delay? Was it because the community requested some different service levels or some big event came up? So we had to reroute some ships and help cover those events. So, and then on time departure, is it just, you know, do we, do we leave the port and stay, stay on our schedule, which also goes back to reliability there as well. I mean, and coming and looking back a little bit of here, adherence to the schedules, some of these things, what they've shown us and really most, most all of measures that are on this list have really shown us over last several years that, you know, our ships are getting older, they're taking longer to, to maintain, you know, and ships, you know, we're pushing 60 years old. So it's, it's a little bit tougher to stay reliable, to keep a reliable schedule, you know, with which is just equipment, as old as it is. You know? And we, you mentioned previously earlier about, you know, a metric about age of the ships. I know BC fairs looks at 25 to 30 years as the age, the ships, our average age of our, our ships right now is much older than that.
Matt McLaren - 2:40:07 PM
And schedule changes. We've looked, looked at our past over years. I, you know, when we first started tracking this, we were, you know, the reasons for schedule changes, we were around 40% mechanical. The rest is weather, or just requested changes from communities we've we've now recently were pushing closer to 60, 70% mechanical, you know? So that just goes back to the age of the ships again, you know, it's, they become less reliable. The older, they get spend a little more time in the shipyard because of discovery. You know, it's, I sometimes use the analogy. It's kind of like, you know, you get, you need to have your kitchen worked on and you go pull your cabinets down and realize everything's rotted behind the wall. Well, you didn't realize that when you took it in there to start working on it, but then, you know, it's kind of the same thing with ships.
Matt McLaren - 2:41:02 PM
We pull, pull things apart and realize, well, all the steel is rotted behind it. So, and then, you know, utilization rates, passengers of vehicles per population that one's, those two under surface effectiveness are per population, just cells. How many people are we carrying through a community compared to the population that lives there? Here is one example. Population is relatively small, but we carry thousands and thousands of people through there each year. So it's just to mention, to look at, and, and these are all, like I said, we, we, we bring these up and we show 'em on the slide and maybe the board will want to adopt these. Maybe they won't want any of them. Maybe, you know, there'll be other measures they'll wanna look at, but these are kind of longer term metrics to look at year over year, capital effectiveness. You know, how much are, how much are the ships costing us maintenance cost year over year for each ship?
Matt McLaren - 2:42:06 PM
Is that growing? Are we, you know, we're obviously not. We can see we're not saving money each year. As the ships get older, there costs more and more to maintain and to be able to keep safe each year, you know, and our engineering team does a great job doing that with a lot of times, limited budgets, but being able to keep, keep what they can running, overhaul completions on time. You know, it shows us are, are they taking longer to get it certified re-certified each year? Because just of the age of the ships, SMRs it just looks at how quick, how close are responding to the ship maintenance requests, ship availability kind of goes back with conformance to plan also, but then financial efficiency, you know, we've got maintenance costs per vessel. There cost per service week, cost per service call. How much does it cost us to run the ships compared to how many, how frequently we get to ports and provide that service to communities.
Matt McLaren - 2:43:13 PM
So, you know, those, these are ones that we've used. And like I said, we, we can provide the data for, I think on the next slide, we have an example, and this is out of our annual traffic volume report. So we provide this or calculate this each year, each calendar year. So this just shows us, you know, community, some city pair links, how many passengers we carry between there, how many miles the ship ran and then the percentage of both vehicle and passenger capacities compared to what, you know, the ship ship could carry. And then the number of number of trips we made between those ports. So from, you could calculate how many passengers we carry per trip, how many vehicles per trip, and then the distance between the ports port as well. I guess from there we could stop. I dunno if there's any questions I can't remember. What's on, I've got the next slide. I can't, there's more on, is there more Katherine on, okay.
Katherine Keith - 2:44:24 PM
Yeah, that's primarily it, Matt. And then, you know, we can, we can talk a little bit about what metrics makes sense for the goals that we just discussed. If, if you have any ideas there.
Matt McLaren - 2:44:39 PM
Yeah. I know the age of the ship, I guess we go back to the goal sheet. Let's see. Yeah. The modernization plan. We we've got some things there. We can look at definitely target, target, average vessel age. You know, we, we've got a draft, two of which, you know, we we're discussing today of five and 10 year plan, ship replacement schedule looking at possibility. Is there funding sources for that? And then getting to a point where we definitely could bring that average age, more ships down as, as we modernize the fleet and, and we, you know, move forward with, with newer ships and more flexible ships where it's definitely gonna change the other metrics where it's gonna increase our flexibility, increase our reliability in the system and be able to, you know, people can, we, we can get the, you know, we say we're gonna be there. And, and the ship's gonna show up on time. So maintenance plans, I, I know engineering has maintenance plans and they, they would certainly be the ones for answer on that, you know, in their system. So, Yeah, workforce development, I mean, I mean, there can definitely be metrics set up for all of these and, and measures we can put in place to track how, how we're doing with each of these categories. For sure.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:46:20 PM
Matt, Matt, I have a question. Is it, is it fair to say that the performance metrics, the performance measures are identified after the strategic goals, the short, long term goals are defined and decisions have been made? Is that when you would be able to look at it, say, okay, this is, these are the recommendations of where we go and in order to get there, these would be the performance measures that we feel would be most helpful to see what's what's functioning well. And what, maybe isn't over a year, period. I mean, what, what comes first is, is,
Matt McLaren - 2:47:06 PM
Well, my opinion definitely would be the goals. I mean, I, I agree that, you know, we wanna know where we want to go first and then set up the measures to be able to track, are we progressing that way? Are we getting to that point? Are we moving toward our goals? Are we moving away? I mean, if our goal is more reliability in the schedule, less, less breakdown, You know, are we getting there with keeping old ships? Are we getting there with new ships? I mean, where, where do we want to go with that? So, I mean, that may just be my personal opinion. I think it's definitely, we need to have our short, long term goals where we want to go first and then set up the meds to track where we are in that process.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:47:58 PM
Well, again, because we're the, the system has such long lives assets. I, I think it's worthwhile to think about in terms of maintaining a standard of the fleet and having metrics such as the average age of, of the fleet, a big cap over time. So, you know, there needs to be is reasonable, but the way that you invest in ships is going to who is going to monkey with that number essentially. So I think that we need to think about in terms of tolerances. And this may be a question for Matt. I, I know you had capital effectiveness as a big category for goals, and it, to me, one of the things that is a real indicator for the system is assets not in use and a and cost of assets.
Wanetta Ayers - 2:49:19 PM
I'm not sure, I'm not exactly sure how, how, how, what the measurement is. It is, but, you know, asset utilization is, is a key, a key measurement. In, in most transportation systems, you don't invest hundreds of millions of dollars in an asset that is not deployed for youth. And we've been caught in a cycle, a recent cycle of having done that, having invested hundreds of millions of dollars and not having those assets being online for service. And so somehow, and, and, you know, here again, because it's a line agency in government, we're holding assets in, in the same way that governments tend to hoard labor. We are, we hoard assets and, and that aren't being put to revenue use. And so it seems to me that that, you know, that's maybe because of fleet the aging of the fleet, but it would be certainly a metric that would say the system is under stress. And if it's not using its assets to provide revenue generating service, something's wrong. Right. Thank you. And I, I also put in chat a measurement that's used in the airline industry, which is passenger yield. And that goes, again, goes to, you know, the assets being used for revenue generating passenger service.
Norm Carson - 2:51:30 PM
And there we go. Along those lines, I would add that we have to make sure our assets fit the customer base. If our assets are so big, we'll never get the fair box recovery to offset our investment. If am I understand what I'm saying there. So I think we kind of have to be aware that we can't be, for example, let's say I go to Angoon with a vessel that has a capacity of 250 people. I could almost move all of Angoon out, I'm not gonna get up to 50% ridership out of that. It's gonna be impossible. And then the cost of depending on what the gallons per hour is all that has to take that, that gets back to your yield on your, under your route. So I think we have to be aware of that. And I'm, I stated before, I think we need a vessel that will fit those smaller communities. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:52:37 PM
Welcome. Thanks Norm. So if we went back to the modernization of the fleet and added also modern modernization of the fleet and vessel, makeup's not the right word, I guess. Yeah. Vessel makeup. I mean, you know, you're gonna have so many main liners. You're gonna have ocean going. You're gonna have the small, you know, ACF, you know, or the TRV, but is there something else that, that belongs in there?
Wanetta Ayers - 2:53:10 PM
I, I, I think that goes to back to the idea of balancing, you know, the efficiency of having a purpose built vessel, the, the notion of having a day vessel on the Lynn Canal or two day vessels on the Lynn Canal that just, you know, rotate around one another, you know, sounded like the ideal efficient system, but a situation with an aging fleet having vessels without any versatility was, was, was the wrong, was the wrong approach. And so again, I think balancing purpose built vessels versus flexible, versatile vessels that can serve multiple purposes across the system is, is perhaps part of the modernization.
Norm Carson - 2:54:21 PM
Yeah. I agree with what Wanetta is saying. And I'm not saying that we should have day boats, what I'm saying. In fact, I think every boat we built should have crew quarters upfront, but it should be available to all ports and at least one of these vessels should be available for the smaller ports.
Alan Austerman - 2:54:51 PM
Yeah. Thank you. Lemme back to the performance metrics that we, we were looking at earlier, I, I really appreciate the village to see what's going on and through the measuring that they're doing. I think that there's one of the concerns I have, I guess, is that are these metrics based upon just what performance we have going on right now, and then we're gonna base some of our decisions just based upon what's going on now, rather than based our long term discussions on the future. And it goes back to, you know, like Wanetta that was saying, you know, you've got, you've got airlines to make decisions based upon certain things. They make decisions based upon trying to increase the performance that they're doing rather than just measuring the performance. And so I think as part of the discussion we should be having is what it takes to, to get us building in the future.
Cynthia Berns - 2:56:35 PM
No, I did want to, I was going back to the mission statement I was thinking on that I would like to make sure I agreed on going through the long term plans and then really having a facilitated discussion on that if that mission statement and have one more time to think about that.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:56:57 PM
Okay. Thank you. Okay, Katherine, I think we're ready, Rob. Sorry. Oh, sorry, Katherine. I, I think we're good on this one. Matt, did you have anything you just wanted to play cleanup with?
Matt McLaren - 2:57:32 PM
No, I mean, I, I think it's all, yeah, it's all good. I think the going forward, we definitely need to have flexibility like Wanetta said with, you know, flexibility with ships that can do more than, you know, a, a small scope of things and that's, and that's really the goal we, we working on, you know, to put forward and you know, that as you've asked Shirley for the plan and future plan, we can, we can provide, provide those. And I read through the comments from last week, cuz everybody read through the write up of the plan and we can address all those comments in there as well too. So, you know, the tough thing, tough thing about building about Jim for the, you know, smaller communities, we don't have any routes. We hit capacity unless there's a major event for passengers. It's the car deck we hit hit capacity at, you know, and that's where most of our revenue comes from too. So we'll need to keep that in mind too, as we're looking forward, you know, a plan in the future as well. Thanks.
Shirley Marquardt - 2:58:36 PM
Okay. Thank you, Matt. And would it be too much to, to ask if, if for the comments that came from the board members on that modernization plan from two weeks ago to, to just get some answers back to, to the board on those, some will be pretty short answers and some might be a little longer, and I know that's, that's a lot, but it's, I think it's gonna be much better than us trying to address them all in a two hour meeting while we've got so many other things talk about and we do have to go it's time to go to public comment if we're done here, but before we do that and thank you, Matt, before we do that really quickly back at the top of the meeting, when we reviewed the agenda, we need you approve the minutes as well. So if somebody could give me a motion to approve the minutes of our last meeting in a second, someone, Oh second, this is Cynthia. Thank you, Cynthia. Were there any corrections or clarifications needed on those minutes? Hearing none, and without objection, we will consider the minutes approved. Thank you Katherine. Back to you.
Katherine Keith - 2:59:46 PM
Okay, great. Thank you. So on the slide that you can see anyone that wants to provide public comment right now, you're listening on the phone. You wanna hit star three, that'll notify us that you are interested in speaking, and then we'll be able to unmute your line and we do of a number of people of interested. So if you can try to keep comments at three minutes, that would be great. And as soon as we see someone, you know, raise their hand, which is happening right now, I will unmute them. Yeah. And if anyone has difficulties, you could feel free to leave a chat on the Facebook chat box. And our, our team is looking at that. So give technical issues, please reach out.
Katherine Keith - 3:00:44 PM
And Okay. So someone with 6 1 2 0 1 2, 3 should unmuted.
Dennis B. - 3:01:04 PM
Yes. I was appreciate the chance to comment and I would was looking back specifically at the performance metrics and the discussion kind of following the business airline model in with regard to passenger yield. I would kind of make a suggestion that perhaps the Marine highways considered revenue by route segment as the, as a parameters, which, which to kind of base some of those decisions as far as past performance and present performance. And that would also be helpful in planning future say increases on runs that would, that produce more yield than, and how to adjust your, your fleet deployment based on that. And that's all I have. Thank you.
Katherine Keith - 3:02:38 PM
Be great. I'm not seeing anyone else online with their hand raised. So again, if you're interested in leaving public comment, please press star three, and that will indicate to us that you wanna speak and we can unmute your line.
Robert Venables - 3:03:30 PM
Hi, this is Robert Venables, Executive Director for Southeast Conference and thank you for the opportunity to make some comments. And thank you, especially to Katherine for fixing the public notice blip that we had that prevented a number of us from showing up the last meeting. So I think that's fixed and appreciate that. A couple of, of comments that well, starting with public comment, the only time I've seen public comment at the end of a meeting is when's it's been both at the beginning and the end when it's only at the end, it's it seems sometimes to be less impactful because it's only a reaction to, what's been heard rather than asking the board to consider some thoughts during their deliberations on agenda items that have been published. So just something to perhaps put out there. I do appreciate the chairs focus on long range planning.
Robert Venables - 3:04:24 PM
I think that is very necessary. So you can make the short term plans and alignment at the same time. I think there are short term decisions that should be presented to you in a separate document for consideration, for example, whether or not out the testimony replacement vessel should be SOLAS. I think decisions like that will take a little bit of time perhaps to, to go through and make a decision, but it's critical to make before construction. So we don't have a situation like the Hubbard where you're deciding that is critical to have additional components that at a very increased price cost. So I just wanna make that distinction and urge the board to take a look at that. I, I continue to advocate for the board to bring on its own consultant, to vet some of these things and provide you perspective that may not be inherently provided internally.
Robert Venables - 3:05:18 PM
So I want to keep that before the board to consider as, or at least make a ruling on until then I'll, I'll keep mentioning it, you know, and, and then one of the other short term decisions that I think need to be made is just making recommendations to the legislature. As far as you know, what budgetary concerns and allocations should be made the, the expenditures on operations at the expense of investment, I think needs to really be weigh outs. When we have these one time funds coming in, in my mind, the best bumper sticker to keep in front of the, the board and the legislature, is that what we really want our new holes in the water. And so I I've just really urged that, you know, one worst case scenario that I can see is a decade from now, we're all sitting around the same table saying, gee, if we only had a billion dollars to spend on a new upgraded modernized fleet, we'd do things differently.
Robert Venables - 3:06:15 PM
So I really would urge the board to take a look at that, that, that lens, rather than just trying to tweak what we have, whether it's vessels, terminals or procedures, just to really step back. And as you make your long range plan, consider the fact that you do have a billion dollars, what what's the best, best way to set up the system for the next 50 years. And so I would just want to leave the, that with you and also regarding budgets, you know, I would really urge, you know, the board to take a look at what you need for budget request the, to the legislature, whether it's for your consultant or it's, whether it's to meet in person. Cause I think you'll find that time very effective, especially as you get into the planning discussion. So it's already been mentioned, the body of work had exist out there, including mission statements, et cetera that have already been worked on and tweaked because a lot of these things that may be new for this board have been discussed for quite a bit in the past. And you should have that body of work to shorten the time of deliberation you have. And the finally there's been a few notations or references to board comments during the meeting that were placed online. It'd be nice at some point to have those a part of the records. So the public could see those as well. Cause they do not show up on Facebook. So with that, I thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:07:36 PM
Thank you, Robert.
Larry Johanson - 3:09:07 PM
Hi, this is Harold Johanson. I don't know if we have any able to hear I'm about to say, but I would like to focus, have a group focus on long term range. I, something that's critical that should be included in the planning. Various system was developed to provide economic opportunities. Did we have economic driver of the first state of Alaska? I think that's something that's critical in the future that we keep our eye on the ball on that, that we evaluate long term decisions based on their economic impacts to communities and the different services that could develop that we didn't even know of yet, that would be a direct result of the long term planning. One of things I'd like to see on board would be on board. The ships would be private businesses allowed to come on board services, typical that are on the ships. I think that's in that many other areas and could be quite a economic problem business that the access to the test have a ferry terminal and ferry itself. So I think that's my general advice would be to look at the economic impact long move decisions to perhaps have somebody that could evaluate that professional could evaluate economic impact of certain decisions in the long term. That's where we wanna go. Thank you very much.
Katherine Keith - 3:11:33 PM
Okay. So with that, I, I don't see any other hands raise. So, so one last call to hit star three, if you're interested in meeting public comment and if not, we may be able to move on with the agenda. And I do not, I do not see anybody.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:11:57 PM
Okay. All right. Thank you. And thank you for those who called in with your comments. That's, that's an important part of this process. Thanks for board closing comments and next steps. I think maybe we take the next next steps first and talk about the next meeting.
Katherine Keith - 3:12:32 PM
Okay, great. And one thing for those public viewers, we did post the link to the meeting materials in Facebook comments. So if you're unable to locate them, please find that link. It'll take you directly to it. And we will continue to make that more clear so that everyone can see the materials that we're looking at. And that will include the public, the, the member comments that we've been referencing on the modernization plan. They are posted there. And I have listed the meeting topics that were proposed at the last meeting where moving forward, the next item to be discussed would be the modernization plan and the TRV staffing solutions, workforce development at the next meeting, and then perhaps in person, the comprehensive long term plan. So that's what we've been discussing. And then I'm happy to make adjustments here based on our conversation today.
Alan Austerman - 3:13:38 PM
Yeah. I, I feel that the conversation today about the long range plan and the ideas that came up on the board for us to think about, we should bring that back. While we still have an opportunity gonna be to work this through. And again, of course, it's gonna depend on how much time the staff has to put that information together for us on the questions that we originally have and how we can focus around it. Personally, I think that it should be in depth enough that we could spend the full two hours just talking about that plan and try to get some stuff moved out of the way so that we can see where we're going. The performance goals I think, or necessarily would, would fall out of that long term planning process. Because if you don't know where you're going, how can you figure out what your performers goals are gonna be? And I don't feel comfortable knowing exactly where I'm going right now. So having a, a longer, more in depth discussion on the long term would suit me just great.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:15:01 PM
Thanks, Alan. That that's on my list too. Basically I a, a follow up and a recap of the long term goals that we talked about today. Cause I know folks we'll have some other ideas. Some, some items will stay on that list and may come off because we realize they're part of, what's gonna be the strategy to get us there. And I think between those two, I was looking at, you know, things for the next meetings, but between that 20 year modernization plan and the TRV use, which, which comes back to what also Norm was talking about, not only just modern modernizing this fleet, but looking at the, the vessel makeup of the fleet to, you know, to make sure that we've got the right mix between that. And then the long term goal discussion. I think that usually is two hours, but I think we can do it.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:15:56 PM
We can do it because the modernization plan is already written. So there's very little for, for us to do. And if, and if we have questions about that, still lingering questions before the next meeting, you know, please make sure and, and get them into Katherine so that we can get some answers before the meeting. And, and I appreciate, and I'm sorry for the, well, I'll wait until board comments. So far Paul, Norm, Wanetta, Rob and Cynthia, for the next meeting at 3/25 it's been suggested the comprehensive 20 year modernization plan and TRV and a recap of the long term, long term goals we talked about today. Is that acceptable to the board?
Shirley Marquardt - 3:17:09 PM
And Norm, Rob you Okay. Okay. So that is a lot to talk about, but we've, we've already got a really good start on both of those. Paul says yes as well. So I'm, you know, I, I feel that we can really work through that. Important thing is going to be to get specific questions to Katherine before the meeting so that we can have a lot of, some of the, you know, the questions that take, take some time to answer, but you know, don't have to be answered at the meeting. If we can do that before the meeting, that's extremely helpful. And I would encourage everybody to make sure they have those in, you know, three days in advance, at least three days in advance. Cause I know things come up last minute, but it'd be nicer to have it a week in advance. But if, if not, please try to avoid, you know, day before or two days before questions or where you can. So it sounds like we're okay on the next steps. So Katherine, are you go with that?
Katherine Keith - 3:18:16 PM
I think that sounds like a solid plan and we'll have the timeline incorporated into the modernization plan as Paul requested at the last meeting. So we'll continue to work on that and incorporating the financial forecasted to the plan as well and address other comments, Matt and I will sit down and come up with a timeline for that for our next discussion.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:18:40 PM
Okay. Thank you. So I guess we're to board closing comments. Cynthia, do you have any, I'll take you first if you have any closing comments.
Cynthia Berns - 3:19:02 PM
Sorry. No, I thought that it was a great meeting. I appreciate all the information provided and look forward to our next meeting. Thank you.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:19:28 PM
Thanks Shirley. Thanks to you and to the staff for, for the meeting. I, I think that we did cover a lot of territory and a lot of this I think will feel somewhat repetitive for a while until perhaps we have the opportunity for our next face to face meeting. But I think that, you know, we learn more each time I have in the chat asked Matt and Katherine to provide a little bit further explanation for the metrics that were shared on the one summary slide with the four main categories. I, I wanna look under the hood on some of those and understand the math on, on them. So that would be helpful for me and happy to, you know, for everybody to take a look at that. But it, it will also help me, I think, form other suggestions or, or just understand that, that the measures that are being presented actually do answer the, some of the questions that I have. So that would be helpful for me. And I appreciate the reminder from Robert Venables about the SOLAS rating for the TRV. And I do think that's a, a critical decision point, especially if RFP is going out in the next week or so. Is that,
Shirley Marquardt - 3:20:57 PM
Oh, it, no, it wouldn't be for the Tustamena replacement. It would be for the TRV, TRVs in the future used to replace main liners.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:21:07 PM
Right. That's what my understanding was.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:21:13 PM
Okay. All right. But anyway, I do think that's a very important point. It's been a, a hangup for other vessels, other routes. So I, I think it's important for us to understand that and especially in terms of fleet modernization and flexibility moving forward. That's it. Thank you so much.
Matt McLaren - 3:21:40 PM
So just, we did have all the, to answer Wanetta's question we did. I think Katherine said she had all the, on all those metrics. We had slides with examples on there. Some of the data on those slides is old, but all those shows the details. I can, I think Katherine said it's the, the 60 slides long, but if any of that data, you want to get updated, we can update that data. That's on those as well. But those should give you a, a sample of what, what the metrics are showing anyway.
Paul Johnsen - 3:22:18 PM
Yeah. I, I think the agenda is good for next two weeks from now. I also like Robert's comment of trying to ask for more funding. So if we feel the need, we can have more in person meetings. And how would you go about asking for that?
Rob Carpenter - 3:23:17 PM
Sorry. I had to change computers here. We can certainly look at that internally. The, I, I mean, I don't know how many you're thinking Paul, like maybe every quarter we're in person or I don't know, certainly open to the idea, we have, you know, we only have so much money we can put towards this board. It wasn't, we didn't receive any money when the bill passed, we had a budget of 40,000, $40,000. So we'd have to look at it, but I mean, we can, we can certainly keep talking about it. And I mean, Mr. Venables also mentioned a consultant, which we don't have a budget for that either. So these are things we'd have to figure out as a group. And it would come out of some, some, you know, DOT's, budget, specifically probably, the Marine highway system. So we'd have to weigh that, whether you'd wanna incur that cost or not.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:24:15 PM
Can you tell us just, maybe we could get an update of where we are with this first budget, how much we have left and, and then Paul, again, at the end of the fiscal year, end of June on July 1st that funding will reappear. So, so actually, I, I think we we've got quite enough for this first full year to make sure that however many in person meetings we need to make. I, I think we'll be okay unless we have them in Hawaii, which is always, you know, that's a good option.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:24:54 PM
Okay. But that, that would be helpful. And then Paul, and, and then maybe we can look a little bit more into seeing how that would occur, but I think, I think Rob's right. I think it would come out of AMHS. I, I don't think the legislature would have money to give to us, but we can track that down. Alan.
Alan Austerman - 3:25:16 PM
Yeah. Thank you. First off, thanks to the staff, Katherine and Matt. I really appreciate all the information that you're pulling together for us. It helps make the decisions easier. Wanetta just chatted it a little while ago about the essential service concept from Murkowski. And I wondering whether there's anybody that can give us any kind of report or the last conversation that took place on that, Who had the conversation to start with, I guess.
Alan Austerman - 3:26:02 PM
It's in reference to, there was some discussion somewhere along the way on the Alaska Marine Highway becoming classified as essential service to the federal through Murkowski. Like they're doing with the airlines for hauling mail and stuff.
Rob Carpenter - 3:26:19 PM
Right. I, I know we have the new program within the infrastructure bill passed by Congress. It's called the rural ferry service program, which provides that 200 million annually to two rural ferry systems. And I think that is intended to provide that central service, but I don't, I, yeah, as far as establishing a, like a set program, other than that, I'm not familiar with one, but, but it certainly provided the funding for providing that rural service, if you will. Not sure that answered the question, but
Alan Austerman - 3:27:05 PM
Maybe I don't know why, you know, this is the second time I've heard that the discussion that, that Murkowski was having about essential service for the ferry system. So Wanetta maybe you could come back with something that, that what you're talking about little bit, so we have a better understanding.
Wanetta Ayers - 3:27:22 PM
Yeah. That, well, she, she presented to Common Wealth North some months ago on the infrastructure bill and that was her characterization of that funding. And, you know, I mean, I think as with any pot of government money, whether it exists in perpetuity remains to be seen, but that was definitely how she characterize it. Essential air service. Now we have essential ferry service. So,
Alan Austerman - 3:27:55 PM
All right. That, yeah, that answers that question. I, I don't feel that I got a clear conversation or a clear understanding of going out on the 18th for request for proposal and the fullest discussion's still going on. So where are we there? I don't understand. Are we going out for a proposal without that answer?
Rob Carpenter - 3:28:36 PM
Hi. I'm sorry, Alan. Again, were you, were you asking if SOLAS was built into the current TRV design?
Rob Carpenter - 3:28:47 PM
Yeah. It, it is not. And that has been an agonizing decision. We've been going over. It's a costly addition to a very costly vessel and we only need SOLAS for one port and that is Prince Rupert. And so, you know, that's a, you know, something we've been agonizingly trying to decide upon. And at this point, it's that we are, the design has a lot of SOLAS features, but it is not completely SOLAS to the degree where it could go to Prince Rupert. It could go to every other port in Alaska and Bellingham and go cross Gulf and go out the chain and go to Kodiak. But it just can't go to Prince Rupert, which would be a whole lot easier as far as ocean going requirements. But so that's where we're at on that. The, in the estimate is another 20 million or more 20 to 40 million or more capital costs plus additional operating costs to maintain the systems. Like I mentioned, we have several SOLAS features built in that we determine are very safety worth the investment, but there are additional items that just don't warrant their cost. At this point, we are going to CMGC though and working with a contractor and we'll continue having that discussion. But at this very moment, it's not 100% SOLAS compatible.
Rob Carpenter - 3:30:15 PM
Yeah. And it is potentially convertible in the future. It was deemed necessary, I guess.
Alan Austerman - 3:30:23 PM
Sure. Obviously would cost more money to do that later on. But if it's only applying to the Prince Rupert, I can't understand why we're having a conversation, I guess.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:30:36 PM
Yeah. Prince Rupert's gonna be its own conversation, I think. And, and if I'm not, if Rob correct me if I'm wrong, but with the TRV design, the Tustamena she's designed, she's ready to go. She's not gonna be SOLAS. I mean, this, this ship is sailing. We're finally gonna get that replacement. However, the TRV design is, is flexible. It's adaptable as we look to replacing Columbia or, you know, the Matanuska, something like that, that might go to Prince Rupert and that's when it would be taken under consideration. But that's, you know, that's just another question of, you know, for the system.
Rob Carpenter - 3:31:13 PM
Yeah. That's correct. Madam Chair. I'm sure the, the TRV design now could be modified. And I think that's the intent is that we take this, this plan, that's a very good plan and we can extend it or do whatever we have to do to get a, a new main liner. And, and you, yeah, it could have SOLAS if that's the decision at that time.
Alan Austerman - 3:31:32 PM
Okay. Well, we don't plan on the Tustamena to be coming to Southeast anyways.
Rob Carpenter - 3:31:43 PM
Well, and I hate to say this, but the Tustamena replacement vessel, the TRV, you know, I wanna to do as much as she can possibly do. And the ones she thinks she wouldn't be able to do, at least on her current roles is go to Prince Rupert, but you know, Bellingham to Dutch and do it all in between is a good ship in my opinion. So that's my goal.
Norm Carson - 3:32:24 PM
I'm excited, Alan. I appreciate your comments on how we, how we increase ridership, I guess might is there. I'm actually, I'm doing it right now with our contract vessel out here to a small market community, working on it, trying to get people on board it's worked out well so far, and then I'm, I'll be staying on point on the community. I've been thinking about community assessment, you know, long range. Somehow we have to stay, keep an eye on these communities and cause that's, what's gonna determine ridership in the future. Are they increasing or do they have an economy what's going on there? And I haven't got, I haven't got that clear in my mind yet, but I'm also thinking about how do we get communities to sign on for helping to improve ridership themselves. It's really that important to your community. I think you should be involved. That's all I got. Thank you.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:33:35 PM
Thank you, Rob. Did you have any closing comments? I said, not at this time. Okay. He just doesn't wanna move the chair again. Okay. For me, first off, I want to, you know, I apologize for the confusion at the start of the meeting. I just, I didn't, I just had the old agenda. So I didn't realize that changes had been made to bring in the long term planning into the discussion as we had talked about Katherine, I just didn't have it. So sorry about that. And I think just briefly, just for all of us as board members, you know, we really have to start hunkering down and going back over information that we've seen over the modernization plan over, you know, the, the ideas between, you know, about short term planning to get us to our long term goals. So we can start piecing this together. You know, it with the legislature still in, in session and some decisions to be made about the next year's operating budget.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:34:49 PM
You know, I, I think it's really important to us that, that we encourage them to continue to fund the operations, at least half of the operations with the federal money and the other half maybe with state money. I'm, I'm a little concerned that, you know, we're, we're going to be fully on the federal money using up precious funds that could be used for replacement vessels. And then five years later, when that operating money is gone, we don't have replacement vessels and we don't have operating money from the state. So it's, it's, I think it's important that we really think about that and, and Catherine would help us to, if you could make sure that we're aware of anything that's coming before the committee, when AMHS is going to be you before the committee, anything that has to do it, any committee and just shoot us out a quick email so that we make sure that we're aware of it and, and we can participate that way. So other than that appreciate everything today from folks. And, and we got some, we got some pen to paper on a few things and it's a start and, and that's a good thing. So with that, I'll turn it over to Katherine for closing.
Katherine Keith - 3:36:07 PM
Great. Thanks everyone. So we'll work again to have the meeting minutes summarizing out to you on, you know, it looked like Friday and the meeting materials again, out to you at least Monday before the next meeting. So hopefully we can get on that schedule that allows sufficient time to be reviewing materials and look forward to incorporating any additional comments into the next discussion. So thank you. I'm really glad we were able to work out the public comment through phone. So thanks for everyone for participating in that.
Shirley Marquardt - 3:36:41 PM
Thank you. I will. And maybe for the next agenda, what Robert Venables, he, he was right on with that. It does sometimes tell the public that they only get to, you know, come in at the end. So if we can do a short, it might be just a handful of people or one or two, but yeah. So thank you very much. Thank you, Captain Falvey, Thank you, Matt. Thank you, Katherine. Thank you, Tera. With that. Can I have a motion to adjourn
Shirley Marquardt - 3:37:12 PM
Okay. Second, everybody. We are adjourned until March 25th. Take Care.