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TAMC Meeting Minutes February 1, 2023



February 1, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.



Roll Call:

Members Present

  • Ryan Buck, MTPA, Lansing, MI
  • Art Green, MDOT, Lansing, MI
  • Rob Green, MDOT, Lansing, MI
  • James Hurt, MML, via Microsoft Teams (Traveling)
  • Joanna Johnson, CRA, Lansing, MI – Chair
  • Kelly Jones, MAC, Lansing, MI
  • Bill McEntee, CRA, Lansing, MI – Vice-Chair
  • Robert Slattery, MML, Lansing, MI
  • Rob Surber, DTMB/CSS, Microsoft Teams, Lansing, MI
  • Jennifer Tubbs, MTA, Lansing, MI

Support Staff Present

  • Tim Colling, MTU/LTAP
  • Eric Costa, MDOT
  • Chris Gilbertson, MTU/LTAP
  • Cheryl Granger, DTMB/CSS
  • Eric Mullen, MDOT
  • Gloria Strong, MDOT
  • Pete Torola, MTU/LTAP
  • Mike Toth, MDOT

Public Present

  • Nathan Hamilton, MIC/Treasury
  • Laura Tschirhart
  • Marcus Whiters, Transportation Performance Measures Coordinator

Members Absent

  • Jacob Hurt, MAR
  1. Welcome – Call-To-Order
    1. The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. Everyone was welcomed to the meeting.
  2. Changes or Additions to the Agenda (Action Item as needed)
    1. Any items under the Consent Agenda may be moved to the regular agenda upon request of any Council member, member of the public, or staff member.
    2. J. Johnson moved the TAMC Coordinator Update (agenda #7, item 3) up to agenda item #4.
  3. Public Comments on Non-Agenda Item
    1. None
  4. TAMC Coordinator Update
    1. Two meetings were held to make the selection for the TAMC coordinator position. The selection team met on January 11 and January 25, 2023.Those included on the selection team were Rob Green, Gloria Strong, Dave Jennett, Rob Surber, Robert Slattery, and Kelly Jones. Brad Wagner from MDOT was present at the meetings to assure that the integrity of the MDOT contracting process was kept. During the first Request for Proposal (RFP), no bids were received. J. Tubbs stated she did not know about there being two postings sent out for this position. The RFP was revised and reposted with a closing date of Monday, December 5, 2022.Three vendor bids were received on the second RFP. The proposal selection team will rate the proposals, select, and then hopes to get someone started by March 2023. R. Green received a cover letter from one of the vendors which stated they enclosed letters of recommendation in their bid package from a TAMC members respective company, which would demonstrate a conflict for the Council member to participate in the coordinator selection process. It was later discovered during the review process that the vendor did not include the letter of recommendation. R. Green had previously asked that someone from the TAMC that does not represent MDOT, sit on the proposal review team however, many had a conflict of interest or not available. J. Johnson mentioned that TAMC did try to share a position with the MIC, but it did not work as they could not figure out how to fund the position as the MIC must have someone, per legislation, from the Michigan Department of Treasury or contracted through the Michigan Department of Treasury. It is a complicated process to get one staff person for both the MIC (who works with the Michigan Department of Treasury under legislation) and TAMC (who works with the Michigan Department of Transportation under legislation). Kelly Jones and Jennifer Tubbs sent an email out to the TAMC informing them of their dissatisfaction with the contractual process. They both felt that the process was unethical. J. Tubbs expressed her concern with the process and requested that the TAMC seek an Attorney General opinion on the process. K. Jones also refused to attend the January 25, 2023, meeting, refused to sign the non-disclosure agreement, and chose to discontinue her participation in the selection process as she felt when she left the January 11, 2023, coordinator proposal review meeting that a specific vendor was going to be eliminated and another vendor would get the contract. K. Jones discussed the email she sent to the Council. She felt it was clear during the meeting that there was zero intention of awarding the contract to one specific vendor – for some unknown reason.  She shared although apprehensive at first, once she read their proposal, she realized they were perfect for the coordinator role.  She felt if there was a submission issue, the selection committee should have never reviewed the proposal if it didn’t meet the RFP requirements.  Instead, it was sent out to the committee to be evaluated and scored.  Once it became clear they ranked so high, the issue with it being a “non-responsive” proposal came into play.  Whether it was intentional or not, it very much appears that this vendor was eliminated late in the process so that MDOT did not have to give them the coordinator role.  Additionally, she had worked with the second vendor previously. She was not in support of the way the process was handled and did not want to be associated with the outcome. Multiple Council members expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency in the process and expressed their need to better understand the process. J. Tubbs expressed her concerns that the process was not clearly explained to the Council. J. Tubbs was concerned that the coordinator position was being selected based on serving MDOT needs and not based on the needs of the Council. She expressed dissatisfaction the TAMC has been without a coordinator and support for a year and unable to do their charges required by legislation. She further expressed her frustration with the continual turnover by staff appointed to support TAMC for the past 10 years and how she feels has made it difficult to accomplish the tasks assigned to TAMC by the legislature and move forward. The Council agreed the process should have been explained in more detail. J. Johnson shared she should have asked for more clarity of the process. R. Green shared that prior to reviewing any of the proposals at the January 11th meeting, the CSRT member brought forward two issues regarding Vendor A, potential conflict of interest and the potential that the bid was non-responsive. Clarification was being sought from MDOT Contract Services Division (CSD). The January 11th meeting ended with no clear vendor selected. Upon adjourning, the selection committee was waiting for CSD’s opinion on Vendor A’s proposal. If found responsive, the selection committee requested that presentations from Vendor A and Vendor B be made to help make a final determination. This request was made of CSD as well since it is not a requirement of a Tier II contract. R. Slattery explained that he was unable to attend the January 25, 2023, meeting due to another obligation on that date. J. Tubbs argued that the process was not clearly explained to the Council, and reminded the Council that at the last meeting, it was discovered that most of the coordinator selection team were MDOTers and two Council members were added at that time – Kelly Jones and Robert Slattery. J. Tubbs did not have the time to commit to be on the selection team but elected Kelly Jones. J. Tubbs felt that the coordinator position was being selected by MDOT and not the Council. She also felt that MDOT had a preconceived selection on who they wanted to hire for the position. She also felt that this position was being set up as a consultant position for an MDOT retiree. The Council agreed that the process should have been explained in more detail. It was recommended that the process of selecting the TAMC coordinator start over and a new selection team be formed. J. Tubbs also questioned whether there was a conflict of interest with MDOT staff reviewing the RFPs. J. Johnson, E. Mullen, and R. Green agree that there was not a conflict of interest for the MDOT staff participating in making the selection. J. Johnson wanted it to be clear that she was not lobbying for any of the applicants that submitted a bid for the position. J. Johnson stated that what is clear is that there are many moves during this process, and it is also clear that the Council wants to be more involved in the selection of the TAMC Coordinator. This was a learning process for everyone. R. Green explained the process and showed where the process was publicly available on the MDOT website under Selection Guidelines dated February 16, 2021.He specifically showed the Council page 25 which states that if a proposal is received and not in accordance with the guidelines, it will be rejected. R. Buck requested that the process be clarified as well as, get more clarification on how MDOT, the TAMC Coordinator that is provided through MDOT, and the Council work together, and who is responsible and whose role it is to do certain tasks and responsibilities related to the Council. Since the TAMC budget is not used to hire the coordinator, he is not sure if TAMC can realistically demand certain things when it comes to hiring an MDOT employee that will be assisting the TAMC. He stated that this discussion seems to be creating unnecessary conflict between the Council and MDOT. He understands the frustration but in terms of moving forward, we must figure out what the process is. J. Johnson explained that this is new territory and this the first time trying to outsource for this position. Clearly, there is a need for additional support, and she values the feedback from all Council members. R. Slattery expressed concerns because he had to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and did not feel comfortable discussing this because he did not know what he could talk about. The MDOT support staff did not have to sign an NDA.R. Slattery stated he was glad that Brad Wagner was present to assure the procedural process and the integrity of the process was followed. A. Green suggested starting the process over with a new selection panel and they review the bid contracts already received. He feels it would be a good compromise and would save time instead of starting all over. He stated he is quite surprised by the animosity being shown and without trust the two organizations, MDOT and TAMC, will not get far. E. Mullen explained that whatever is decided by the Council will be presented to MDOT leadership and would have to pass through the MDOT ad board.
    2. Motion: J. Tubbs made a motion for MDOT to readvertise the TAMC Coordinator Request for Services and the Council be included with at least 51 percent majority of the decision makers on the selection committee; K. Jones seconded the motion. J. Tubbs revised the motion to include that the TAMC chair and ACE Committee chair revise the Scope of Services prior to the advertisement; K. Jones supported the motion revision. A roll call vote was conducted: Robert Slattery, yes; Bill McEntee, yes; Jennifer Tubbs, yes; Ryan Buck, yes; Rob Green, no; Kelly Jones, yes; Art Green, yes, Joanna Johnson, yes. The motion carries.
  5. Presentation – Local Road Asset Management State of Practice Report - P. Torola (Attachment 1)
    1. Due to the lack of time, P. Torola will provide this presentation at the next TAMC meeting in March.
  6. Correspondence – J. Johnson (Attachment 2)
    1. J. Johnson received an email on 01/03/2023 from Mr. Douglas Radcliffe North. The email was acknowledged and shared with the Council. No action is needed.
  7. Michigan Infrastructure Council (MIC) Update – N. Hamilton, MIC Planning and Outreach Manager
    1. MIC Strategy – Regional Meetings, Staffing, Councils Leadership Meetings
      1. In late December 2022, a virtual stakeholder’s session was held. The next steps will be workshops in the spring which will address existing challenges and work with the Michigan Association of Regions. They will also be working with the cities of Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Escanaba, Flint, Lansing, and Kalamazoo. The MIC is currently planning regional workshops to discuss cross-asset integrated strategies with multiple asset classes. They plan to do outreach meetings with the regions and the first meeting will be with Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) in Detroit in April 2023.SEMCOG has received a Coordination Grant. They will also be discussing some coordination efforts between the MIC and SEMCOG.
    2. Asset Management Champions – The current Champions program began in early January and will end in Mid-April. Through the Champions Program, the MIC has trained 300 individuals.
    3. Project Portal – The MIC is working with DTMB and discussing the next release of the portal. They have been adjusting as needed such as, a more user-friendly landing page and enhancing notifications. The MIC voted to explore alternatives to the existing MIC project portal at the December annual meeting. The MIC is currently exploring alternatives to the in-house developed MIC Dig Once Project Portal including off-the-shelf solutions. They need a dedicated team of developers, constant support, and training which is currently lacking. The current portal is way behind the curve compared to commercially available products. The development costs (in-house) are anticipated to exceed external software costs. They would like to take some of the projects that will be funded with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds and promote them on a GIS basis, and they are looking for a spot to house that information. The MIC will be working with MDOT, EGLE and the regions to make sure the needs of everyone are met.
    4. 30-Year Strategy - They are hoping to have a clear implementation plan and dates for stakeholders to participate in forming the strategy for the MIC to review at the meeting in March. J. Johnson requested the date of the meetings and will share this information with TAMC and potential participants throughout the state.
  8. Consent Agenda (Action Items) – J. Johnson
    1. Approval of the January 4, 2023, Meeting Minutes (Attachment 3)
    2. Transportation Asset Management Plans (TAMP) Requests for Approval (Attachment 4)
    3. Motion: R. Slattery made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, including the addition of the Gladwin County Road Commission TAMP; B. McEntee seconded the motion. The motion was approved by all members present.
  9. Old Business -J. Johnson/R. Green
    1. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) TAMC Terms Status (Attachment 5)
      1. An updated TAMC Member Terms Status report was provided to the Council. G. Strong will add J. Tubbs as the Vice-Chair of the Data Committee to the report. The MDOT terms require additional research.
      2. Action Item: R. Green will research past MDOT TAMC memberships and present to the Council his suggested term dates for MDOT TAMC members at the next meeting.
    2. TAMC Financial/Budget Update Report – R. Green
      1. R. Green will provide an update at the March TAMC meeting.
  10. New Business
    1. 2023 Strategic Work Program/Budget Session – J. Johnson
      1. Held on May 3, 2023; 10:00am-3:00pm; at Horatio Earle Learning Center, Lake Michigan Conference Room.
      2. Lunch will be served.
      3. The budget will be a large piece of discussion.
    2. 2023 TAMC Asset Management Conference – J. Johnson/G. Strong
      1. J. Johnson and B. McEntee will discuss with the MIC and WAMC about holding a conference together.
    3. 2022 Annual Report Timeline and Update – J. Johnson/D. Jennett (Attachment 6)
      1. D. Jennett created a timeline for the annual report which was included in the agenda packet. The annual report is due to the State Transportation Commission by May 2, 2023.A draft report will need to be provided to the Council prior to this date for the Council to review and amend if necessary. An annual report workgroup has been pulled together that includes D. Jennett, R. Slattery, J. Johnson, J. Tubbs, and B. McEntee. This workgroup will meet on February 10, 2023.It is expected that TAMC support staff will meet the annual report deadline. E. Costa is doing very well on the data analysis for the report.
      2. Action Item: J. Johnson would like D. Jennett to get the annual report workgroup meeting dates on everyone’s calendars right away.
    4. 2023 Michigan Technological University (MTU) Trainings and Planning for TAMC Update – T. Colling (Attachment 7)
      1. MTU provided the December 2022 Training and Activities Reports for Council review. PASER and IBR trainings are down a little from last year but attendance from public officials is up. It was indicated that there was a concern about the lack of regional calls and EGov Deliveries being sent out.
  11. Committee Updates
    1. Bridge Committee Update – K. Jones
      1. The Bridge Committee selected Mike Halloran as the new Chair and Keith Cooper will remain the Vice-Chair of the Bridge Committee. Wayne Harrall will provide a TAMC presentation at the Bridge Conference in March.
      2. Action Item: J. Johnson will reach out to Mike Halloran as a new member.
    2. ACE Committee Update – R. Buck
      1. Currently, the TAMC ACE Committee is discussing the MPO/RPA allocations in the TAMC budget. The ACE Committee also reviewed the Little 185 from B. McEntee and supported this effort but was uncomfortable with requesting additional funds especially since funds are currently being left on the table at the end of the year. The ACE Committee would like to discuss redistributing the existing asset management work task language that’s utilized by the regions and MPO’s. The ACE Committee would like to review and possibly re-allocate funds to the MPO/RPA’s so that funds are not left on the table at the end of the fiscal year. The ACE Committee would like to add this discussion to the May 3, 2023, Strategic Planning Session agenda. The ACE Committee is currently reviewing the TAMP Policy and Q/A document for any necessary updates that may be needed. There are discussions on CSS using the allocated Spring Conference funds that are not being used towards accelerating work for TAMC applications.
    3. Data Committee Update – B. McEntee
      1. The Data Committee discussed the annual report schedule. The 2022 Data has been provided to E. Costa to perform his data analysis for the annual report. A couple errors were found and corrected. Approximately 86,000 lane miles were collected. Twenty-seven (27) agencies have submitted over 90 percent their entire road system. This information will be included in the annual report as this is a high level of effort made by the agencies. There is an investment strategy meeting being held next week with D. Jennett, B. McEntee and R. Buck.
  12. Public Comments
    1. None
  13. Member Comments
    1. J. Johnson asked G. Strong to send her the motion made during the TAMC Coordinator Update for her to follow up on with R. Green, E. Mullen, T. White, and MDOT Director, B. Wieferich for their consideration. J. Johnson expressed how important it is for Council members to sign up and volunteer to do the presentations at the IRT and PASER trainings. We are still waiting on volunteers for many training dates. J. Johnson has shared the shortened IRT presentation with the Council. She also expressed the importance of Council members attending the Council and TAMC Committee meetings. There are plans to do a recording of J. Johnson for the PASER trainings. The Council must begin planning for their May Strategic Planning Session. J. Johnson would like a financial update prior to the session. She reminded everyone that the TAMP policy is being updated and work is being done on the TAMC website. J. Johnson would like the notices for culverts and culvert data collection, which includes the letter and culvert policy, to be distributed to the agencies. R. Green shared that recently some agencies have charged against the culvert contract. There are still three or four agencies that he has not heard from, and he will contact them and find out what their intentions are and remind the agencies of the culvert funds. They do not want this to become an issue if those funds are left on the table.
    2. Action Items: G. Strong to provide a copy of the motion regarding the TAMC coordinator to J. Johnson. R. Green to provide a financial update to the Council prior to the Strategic Planning Session. TAMC support staff to send out notices of the revised culvert data collection policy and contact the remaining agencies to find out their intentions for the remaining culvert funds.
  14. Adjournment
    1. The meeting was adjourned at 2:47 p.m. The next TAMC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 1:00 p.m., at the MDOT Aeronautics Building, 2nd Floor Commission Conference Room, 2700 Port Lansing Road, Lansing, Michigan.