Administration and Finance (A&F) Committee Meeting Minutes
Draft Memorandum for the Record
Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting
September 22, 2022, Meeting
9:00 AM–10:00 AM, Zoom Video Conferencing Platform
The Administration and Finance Committee agreed to the following:
See attendance on page 6.
There were none.
A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of July 6, 2022, was made by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Eric Bourassa) and seconded by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (Lenard Diggins). The motion carried.
B. Kane introduced the draft Operations Plan timeline and stated that the document would serve as a roadmap to guide the drafting of the Operations Plan.
Tegin Teich, Executive Director, added that the Operations Plan timeline was a first draft and that further refinements could be added in the future.
Lenard Diggins, Regional Transportation Advisory Council, asked when the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) must be approved and when do the MPO’s federal partners require the TIP to be submitted. Jonathan Church, MPO staff, answered that the TIP is required to be submitted by mid-August to be approved by the end of the fiscal year. The MPO has been requested to submit the TIP earlier to improve coordination with state and federal partners.
L. Diggins asked if the TIP was released and there was a proposed change after the fact, would the TIP have to be rereleased. J. Church answered that it would depend on the size of the change.
L. Diggins stated that he would like to see a way for the MPO to assess the public comments received from the draft TIP and be able to reassess the TIP based upon the feedback.
B. Kane suggested that the MPO already has a process for reassessing the TIP through the amendment process.
L. Diggins clarified that before the MPO approves the TIP, the MPO could receive comments that make MPO Board members reconsider changing or swapping projects, and the MPO would not have enough time to propose changes since there would not be enough time for review.
B. Kane stated that the Operations Plan timeline is a draft and that sections will need to be changed through the process.
Dennis Giombetti, MetroWest Regional Collaborative, stated that one thing MPO staff does well is reaching out to the various communities to gather input on the TIP. D. Giombetti suggested documenting the community-engagement process to highlight the TIP-engagement process.
T. Teich replied to L. Diggins’ earlier point that the A&F Committee will have further in-depth discussions of the TIP process during the work products discussion topic.
D. Krevat replied to L. Diggins’ earlier point that if there are extenuating circumstances regarding the TIP, there is flexibility in timing from the Federal Highway Administration as well as from the Capital Planning team at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
B. Kane stated that this draft Operations Plan timeline would be a driving document going forward with the Operations Plan and suggested that it would be important for Committee members to understand the layout and structure of the document.
B. Kane introduced the draft Operations Plan worksheet for the Officers of the Board topic and invited Committee members to discuss the contents of the worksheet.
B. Kane suggested that the agenda-setting process could be improved. B. Kane asked for an MPO staff member to explain the agenda-setting process. J. Church answered that MPO staff typically compile agenda topics for an MPO meeting six or more weeks in advance. MPO staff will meet with the MPO Chair and Vice-Chair, as well as MassDOT’s Office of Transportation Planning staff. The group agrees to an agenda based upon the topics that are proposed. Meeting agenda are then created and posted to the MPO calendar one week in advance of the MPO meeting, along with any meeting materials that are ready. MPO staff continues to post materials up until 48 hours before the meeting, as needed for the meeting.
B. Kane asked from an Operations Plan perspective, would it make sense to include a write up of the agenda-setting process. T. Teich answered yes.
T. Teich asked what the role of the Vice Chair should be during the agenda-setting process and does the committee want to elaborate on the Vice Chair’s role during the process in the Operations Plan.
B. Kane asked if the agenda-setting process was a staff-driven process. J. Church answered yes, and that both the Chair and Vice-Chair concur to the agenda during the meeting. B. Kane suggested writing out the agenda-setting process as part of the Operations Plan.
B. Kane suggested including language in the Operations Plan that states that no agenda should be approved with the concurrence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair. B. Kane suggested that this language may set up an unintentional veto, so the MPO board should vote on the agenda in a case of the Chair and the Vice-Chair disagreeing.
L. Diggins asked if B. Kane’s suggested language has the potential to create interpersonal tension before an MPO Meeting and asked when the MPO board would vote on the agenda. B. Kane answered that the full MPO board would meet to discuss and approve the agenda.
B. Kane asked L. Diggins how meeting agendas are approved in his municipality. L. Diggins answered that the Chair creates the agenda with the aid of staff. The Vice Chair consults on the agenda but does not have any veto powers.
T. Teich stated that the municipality agenda-setting process is the same as the current MPO agenda-setting process.
D. Giombetti suggested that if the Vice-Chair is unable to add an agenda item during the agenda-setting process, the Vice-Chair could bring the item for consideration during the Members’ items portion of the MPO Meeting. D. Giombetti suggested that there may not be a need for additional language because members have the adequate opportunities to add an item to the agenda.
L. Diggins concurred with D. Giombetti’s suggestion.
J. Church stated that MPO staff would work to add the agenda setting process to the Operations Plan worksheet.
B. Kane suggested the committee move to the Vice-Chair nomination process. B. Kane suggested that only municipal or regional MPO Board members should be able to nominate a representative for the Vice-Chair position.
Derek Krevat, MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning, agreed with B. Kane’s suggestion.
L. Diggins agreed with B. Kane’s suggestion.
B. Kane suggested the committee move to the annual meeting process. B. Kane stated that the annual meeting would be the meeting where new MPO Board members would be introduced and the MPO Board members would nominate a new Vice-Chair.
T. Teich stated that the annual meeting currently conflicts with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which states that the election of the Vice-Chair must take place at the first meeting after the election of new MPO Board members. To stay in compliance with the MOU, the annual meeting would have to be held the first meeting after the completion of the election of new Board members.
B. Kane suggested that the committee leave the annual meeting process in a draft format and return to the discussion at a later meeting.
B. Kane introduced the Operations Plan worksheet for Board member roles for non-officers and gave a brief overview of the document. B. Kane stated that the committee would discuss this document at the next meeting of the A&F Committee.
T. Teich stated that MPO staff is working to complete a timeline to finish all sections of the Operations Plans and stated that Committee members should anticipate A&F Committee meetings to be scheduled on Thursdays before the MPO Board meetings.
A motion to adjourn was made by the Regional Transportation Advisory Council (Lenard Diggins). The motion carried.
MBTA Advisory Board
Regional Transportation Advisory Council
MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
MetroWest Regional Collaborative (City of Framingham)
Staff/Central Transportation Planning Staff
Tegin Teich, Executive Director
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning
Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in
compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of
1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination
in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United
States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin
(including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in,
denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any
program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal
nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration,
Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis
of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected
populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation
and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful
access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited
English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation
policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.
The Boston Region MPO also complies with the
Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which
prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission
to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color,
religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or
ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's
Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities,
and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or
contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful
discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry,
national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era
veterans), or background.
A complaint form and additional information
can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination. To request this information
in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact
Title VI Specialist
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state MassRelay service:
TTY or Hearing Carry-over:
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Text to Speech: 866.645.9870
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