Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Finance Committee Meeting

Nov. 7, 2001

Commission Hearing Room
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Headquarters Complex
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744

                                                                   1

 
                  
             7             BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 

             8    7TH day of NOVEMBER 2001, there came on to be 

             9    heard matters under the regulatory authority of 

            10    the Parks and Wildlife  Commission of Texas, in 

            11    the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and 

            12    Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis 

            13    County, Texas, beginning at 11:58 a.m., to wit:

            14    

            15    
                  
            16    
                  APPEARANCES:
            17    THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
                  FINANCE COMMITTEE:
            18    Chair:   Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas 
                           Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, Texas
            19             John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
                           Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas (absent)
            20             Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
                           Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
            21             Philip Montgomery, III, Dallas, Texas
                           Donato D. Ramos, Laredo, Texas
            22             Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons, San Antonio, 
                                 Texas
            23    
                  THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
            24             Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and 
                  other personnel of the Parks and Wildlife 
            25    Department.
                  




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             1                     NOVEMBER 7, 2001

             2                         *-*-*-*-*

             3                 FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING

             4                         *-*-*-*-*

             5                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  I'm calling this 

             6    meeting back to order.  And with that, I'll hand 

             7    it over to Ernie Angelo, the chairman of the 

             8    finance committee.

             9                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  All right.  Our 

            10    first item is to approve the committee minutes of 

            11    the previous meeting.  Are there any changes or 

            12    corrections?  There being none, they will stand 

            13    approved as written. 

            14                  Item number 1 on the agenda is the 

            15    chairman's charges.  Andy?

            16       AGENDA ITEM NO. 1: BRIEFING - CHAIRMAN'S 

            17       CHARGES.

            18                  MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, three of 

            19    the specific issues today on your agenda will be 

            20    presented by Gene McCarty and have to do with 

            21    follow-up on Sunset.  They involve developing 

            22    guidelines for employee fund-raising, developing 

            23    best practices and accountability measures for 

            24    nonprofit partners and guidelines limiting the 

            25    expenditure of state monies by non-profit 





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             1    partners. 

             2                  And I also would say that at this 

             3    time, I would like Lydia Saldana to present to you 

             4    the -- give you a glimpse of the two new license 

             5    plates for the department. 

             6                  MS. SALDANA:  First, if I could, I'm 

             7    Lydia Saldana, communications division director.  

             8    And just real quickly, if I could go over some of 

             9    the information on the other license plates.  Of 

            10    course, the horned toad lizard plate was launched 

            11    back in October of 1999, once the 76th legislature 

            12    approved it. 

            13                  Right now, we're at 20,374 in total 

            14    sales, which makes it the third most popular 

            15    specialty plate in Texas.  That's about $407,000, 

            16    a little over $407,000 in gross revenue.  This has 

            17    been a real money maker for the department, a very 

            18    successful effort and Texans just love it.  You 

            19    can see them all over the road. 

            20                  As directed by the Commission 

            21    earlier this year, we directed our efforts for our 

            22    second plate to benefit state parks and to go to 

            23    state parks.  We began our efforts back in early 

            24    spring.  We really had hoped to tune into the 

            25    spring wildflower season.  And we ran into some 





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             1    production problems.  And so the actual production 

             2    of the plate was not completed until July.  So 

             3    we're very much on the early end of the -- you 

             4    know, this process. 

             5                  To date we have sold 1,354 of the 

             6    bluebonnet plates benefiting state parks.  We did 

             7    a pretty extensive marketing effort in August that 

             8    we're just now going to begin to see results.  

             9    And, of course, we'll be working on a spring 

            10    campaign, as well to coincide with state park 

            11    visitation in the spring, bluebonnet and 

            12    wildflower season. 

            13                  Now, I get to do my Vanna White 

            14    impression.  Here's what we've got on the board 

            15    for coming up in 2002.  And when we first did the 

            16    research on the initial horny toad plate, what 

            17    came up very popular was both a white-tailed deer 

            18    and a bass plate.  We believe there's a huge 

            19    market potential here.  And what we're looking at 

            20    doing is launching these together. 

            21                  Our marketing budget this year for 

            22    four plates is going to be a little bit more than 

            23    what we had the last year for two plates.  So 

            24    we're going to be looking at every possible way 

            25    that we can market these efficiently.  We believe 





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             1    that launching two at once is one way that we can 

             2    do that.  I have one brochure instead of two 

             3    separate brochures and market to some of our key 

             4    market lists.  Now, I will point out that these 

             5    are still works in progress.  We're pretty happy 

             6    with the bass plate, but Bob Cook told us Monday 

             7    that this looks like a Yankee deer.  So we're 

             8    going to be doing some cosmetic surgery. 

             9                  These two plates and all of the 

            10    artwork are done by our incredible talented 

            11    artists that we have on staff.  The horny toad 

            12    plate and the bluebonnet were done by Rob 

            13    Plumming.  This artwork is being done by 

            14    Clemente Guzman.  I think we've got some real 

            15    winners here.  So we'll be launching these early 

            16    in the year.  We want to take advantage of the 

            17    spring, you know, boating shows and that sort of 

            18    thing to work on marketing this plate. 

            19                  We're in the process right now of 

            20    seeking a sponsor for a spring issue of Hook and 

            21    Bullet, which goes out to every super combo 

            22    license holder, which is one of our key customer 

            23    groups.  And we want to have these marketing 

            24    materials in the event that does get funded ready 

            25    to go so we can market to that group. 





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             1                  So there we are.  Any questions?

             2                  MR. SANSOM:  That concludes the 

             3    charges, Mr. Chairman.

             4                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Thank you, Andy.  

             5    Thank you, Lydia. 

             6                  If there's no objection from the 

             7    Commission, I'd like to make a change in the order 

             8    of the agenda.  Since we're already in the lunch 

             9    hour, we'd like to take up item number 3, and then 

            10    follow that with item number 5, and then take a 

            11    recess of the committee for lunch.  Are there any 

            12    objections to that? 

            13                  There being none, we recognize Jayna 

            14    Burgdorf to talk to us about the license system, 

            15    and also to introduce our new --

            16       AGENDA ITEM NO. 3: BRIEFING - LICENSE SYSTEM 

            17       UPDATE.

            18                  MS. BURGDORF:  Thank you, 

            19    Commissioners.  Andra, is it okay if I go ahead 

            20    and get started. 

            21                  MS. CLARK:  Yes. 

            22                  MS. BURGDORF:  Okay.  Thanks.  This 

            23    is Terry Lewis.  She's our new license system 

            24    manager.  She's assisting with the implementation 

            25    and she will also be managing the contract on an 





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             1    ongoing basis. 

             2                  Today, we're going to report on the 

             3    PC system status and the hypercom point of sales  

             4    terminal status. 

             5                  The PC sales system is primarily 

             6    used by our law enforcement offices and by a low 

             7    volume license agents.  And these are folks who 

             8    sell less than a hundred licenses a year. 

             9                  Some of you have even purchased your 

            10    license from the system at the front counter.  

            11    It's been on sale since the end of August.  We 

            12    have expanded that sales capability with this PC 

            13    system to six of our law enforcement offices.  And 

            14    actually on a daily basis now, we are bringing 

            15    more law enforcement offices up online.  And they 

            16    should be complete by the end of November. 

            17                  We're also, by the end of November, 

            18    going to roll out to about 150 or so low-volume 

            19    retailers and have those folks up. 

            20                  New agents, what we have found out 

            21    with this PC system is that it is more user 

            22    friendly, it has greater functionality.  And so as 

            23    folks apply to become licensed agents that haven't 

            24    up to this point, we are directing them towards 

            25    the PC.  So the new folks who start selling 





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             1    licenses will be hopefully using their own PC to 

             2    do that, as well.

             3                  The hypercom sales system is the one 

             4    that is very similar to what we have right now, 

             5    the veriphone equipment used by Transactive.  It 

             6    is primarily used by our higher-volume retailers 

             7    in the state parks.  We have the little machine 

             8    right over there.  And actually at the break, 

             9    we're going to sell some licenses.  So if you want 

            10    to see the machine actually work, live sales, 

            11    we'll have it here.

            12                  The pilot is ongoing right now at 

            13    our front counter.  Again, that's the best place 

            14    for us to pilot these things.  We have a lot of 

            15    control there.  They are in the middle of 

            16    deploying devices, WorldCom is.  They're at 714 

            17    devices deployed, shipped out as of the end of 

            18    business yesterday.  That is about a quarter of 

            19    all the devices that we need to be shipped. 

            20                  What happens is they're shipped in 

            21    training mode, and then they work with the agents, 

            22    the license agents, to set that machine up over 

            23    the phone.  And then when we get -- hopefully, 

            24    next week, we should have the version of software 

            25    that will allow us to be comfortable selling -- 





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             1    letting licensed agents out in the field sell 

             2    licenses live on the system.  And so there will be 

             3    an activation that takes place.  So right now when 

             4    they get their equipment, they're just in training 

             5    mode.

             6                  As you know, Transactive has 

             7    continued to sell licenses through the fall.  And 

             8    we're pleased with that.  As folks start selling 

             9    licenses on the new system and they're successful, 

            10    then Transactive will go pick up the old terminal, 

            11    settle it, and they will basically close out 

            12    within about two months. 

            13                  Although we do not anticipate 

            14    needing to continue with Transactive past 

            15    December, they have agreed, if necessary, to 

            16    continue through April.  And WorldCom has also 

            17    agreed to reimburse Parks & Wildlife for those 

            18    contingency costs. 

            19                  There are some other aspects of the 

            20    system that are important, and those are rapidly 

            21    coming into place, as well.  Right now, we're just 

            22    focusing on recreational license sales.  But the 

            23    commercial license sales capability should be here 

            24    by late December.  The ability to purchase a 

            25    license over the phone through our call center, 





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             1    and the ability for someone at their own home 

             2    computer to purchase a license over the Internet, 

             3    again, both of those, the call center on the 

             4    Internet has to be fulfilled so that you get your 

             5    actual license with the tags on it.  But those -- 

             6    both of those capabilities should take place in 

             7    December and January.  So that's the schedule.

             8                  And in spite of the delays, you 

             9    know, we want to tell you that we are excited 

            10    about the new system.  We've got what we think is 

            11    a really neat looking license with the tags around 

            12    the body of the license.  We believe we're going 

            13    to have much more accurate data in the database.  

            14    When you go to swipe your driver's license, there 

            15    will be many instances of finding you as a 

            16    customer and populating that name and address 

            17    field so that there's no chance that the, you 

            18    know, clerk might accidentally mistakenly enter 

            19    the wrong address, et cetera. 

            20                  Hunter education requirements are 

            21    printed on the license.  And it does address the 

            22    license system related audit issues. 

            23                  And Terry and I will be happy to 

            24    answer any questions.

            25                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Do we have any 





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             1    questions, Madam Chairman? 

             2                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Yes, Mr. Chairman.  

             3    I would like to -- the number of devices that went 

             4    out yesterday was what? 

             5                  MS. BURGDORF:  Representing a total 

             6    of three days, the cumulative total of three days 

             7    is 714.

             8                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  And when do you 

             9    expect we'll be getting some feedback on how 

            10    that's going?

            11                  MS. BURGDORF:  I actually expect 

            12    that we'll getting feedback pretty quickly.  Our 

            13    sense is that the installation call is not going 

            14    to be the most confusing aspect.  You know, they 

            15    will walk them through, "Here is how you put the 

            16    paper in, here is how you put the ribbon in." 

            17                  And we think that will go pretty 

            18    well, although we should start hearing very soon. 

            19    We've got some of our licensed deputy advisory 

            20    committee members on tap to give us feedback.  

            21    What we will probably hear more about is when we 

            22    go to actually activate these people and they're 

            23    really selling licenses.  And it just may be the 

            24    change. 

            25                  You know, they might not be used to 





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             1    how to work the new system, although they have got 

             2    the opportunity to view the training video and to 

             3    attend a training class.  So we're hoping that 

             4    that will help overcome any newness that they feel 

             5    with the system.

             6                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  By next week, you 

             7    expect information will be dribbling in or pouring 

             8    in or --

             9                  MS. BURGDORF:  Oh, yeah.  Well, we 

            10    are actually talking to them today about a 

            11    specific activation strategy that might involve 

            12    one of our corporate partners, like Academy, 

            13    because then we're dealing with one headquarters 

            14    who has the capability to transmit to a number of 

            15    stores and receive feedback very quickly from them 

            16    if they encounter any problems.  So that's what 

            17    we're working on and we'll phase it in next week 

            18    and we will keep it informed.

            19                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Any other 

            20    questions?  If not, Jayna, we thank you very much.  

            21    And you have a -- your conference call with 

            22    WorldCom is regarding what? 

            23                  MS. BURGDORF:  It's actually we have 

            24    daily conference calls.

            25                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It's a daily 





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             1    thing.  And you're just continuing.  Okay.  Very 

             2    good. 

             3                  MS. BURGDORF:  Thanks.

             4                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  All right.  And 

             5    then we'll take up item number 5, Frances?  This 

             6    is the approval of the artwork design.

             7       AGENDA ITEM NO. 5: BRIEFING - ARTWORK APPROVAL.

             8                  MS. STILES:  Good morning.  My name 

             9    is Frances Stiles and I'm with the administrative 

            10    resources division.  I have with me Mr. Bubba Wood 

            11    from Collector's Cubby to present the artwork. 

            12                  MR. WOOD:  The duck stamp art this 

            13    year is the work Joe Hawkman.  He is the third of 

            14    the Hawkman brothers, all of whom won the -- have 

            15    won the federal duck stamp contest.  The other two 

            16    have done the duck stamp for us before.  Jim 

            17    Hawkman has won three times.  His brother, Bob, 

            18    has won twice.  And Joe is, of course, the black 

            19    sheep who has only won once.  But we're the only 

            20    state -- and I don't know what this is worth -- 

            21    probably not much -- that have used all three 

            22    artist -- at least that I'm aware of, that have 

            23    used all three of the Hawkman boys.

            24                  The second print is the turkey stamp 

            25    print, of course, by John Deerman, who had done a 





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             1    turkey stamp for us before.  I think it was the 

             2    1991 one.  The first state turkey stamp print was 

             3    done by John Deerman.  And the saltwater stamp is 

             4    also done by John Deerman this year.  And it's a 

             5    flounder.  And, yes, it's ugly.  But we have 

             6    probably had more requests by people, you know, 

             7    just -- in numbers, I would say 25 over the years, 

             8    have said, "God, you really ought to do a flounder 

             9    because more people fish for flounder on the coast 

            10    than almost anything.  Well, here he is. 

            11                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  He nailed him.  

            12    That's him. 

            13                  MR. WOOD:  And, of course, and our 

            14    fourth is our non-game stamp.  Now, most of 

            15    you-all would think that that's a gamble's quail.  

            16    But that's really an Avocet that hadn't quite made 

            17    it yet.  I had Sherry Russell Malean paint a 

            18    gamble's quail for us, knowing that, of course, 

            19    you can't hunt gamble's quail in Texas and we've 

            20    already used the Vernon's quail as a non-game, you 

            21    know, back when the non-consumptive user gave us 

            22    new meaning to non-comsumptive user, meaning they 

            23    don't buy the stamp prints.  We decided we'd try 

            24    to use game birds like Mearns quail.  And always 

            25    in the back of my mind -- and, of course, we did 





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             1    the gamble's quail because it's even prettier.  

             2    And finally, we did it.  And thank goodness 

             3    Frances called me the day I called to tell her 

             4    that we had this beautiful gamble's quail for the 

             5    non-game stamp to tell me that the gamble's quail 

             6    was a game bird.  Of course, being a girl, I 

             7    didn't believe her.  And I told her to, you 

             8    know --

             9                  Anyway, as it turned out, she was 

            10    right.  I mean, real right.  In fact, my biologist 

            11    in Alpine told me that in 1990, the first -- I 

            12    think the first year of the type II public land 

            13    hunting, that he and a friend three days in a row 

            14    killed limits of gamble's quail in Texas, killed, 

            15    in effect, their possession of 45.  So so much for 

            16    me as a bird authority or a game bird authority.  

            17    So we're in the process of, if you can imagine, 

            18    lengthening that quail's leg by about five inches 

            19    and lengthening his bill about five inches and 

            20    painting him apricot instead of this silly color 

            21    they have him painted now, he'll be an Avocet.  

            22    And hopefully by the first of December we'll, 

            23    Avocet.  And this will go on to fame as a quail 

            24    stamp print.  Always one to make chicken salad out 

            25    of chicken feathers, we're going to use it as a 





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             1    quail stamp print, which we do for Quail 

             2    Unlimited. 

             3                  But I stand before chagrined and 

             4    thankful to Frances because believe me, this is 

             5    going to be a non-game stamp. 

             6                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Bubba, we always 

             7    appreciate your unorthodox and entertaining 

             8    presentations. 

             9                  MR. WOOD:  I don't want y'all to 

            10    really focus on the reality that every year our 

            11    royalty payments go down a little.  You know, 

            12    that's the way we clowns are.  You know, we try to 

            13    divert the attention.  Keep the bull's attention 

            14    on something else. 

            15                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It's a worthwhile 

            16    effort.

            17                  MR. WOOD:  Thank you.  Anyway, I can 

            18    assure you -- by the way, Sherry Russell did our 

            19    hooded merganser a couple of years ago in the duck 

            20    stamp.  And she's an exquisite duck stamp 

            21    designer.  And, you know, really has nation -- 

            22    probably has done as many duck stamps as almost 

            23    any artists on a nationwide basis, although she's 

            24    hasn't won the federal duck stamp. 

            25                  Anyway, I'm sorry that we don't have 





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             1    the art here, but -- in fact, Hal, how would you 

             2    suggest it?  Do we need to present it back to the 

             3    Commission or can we -- can I send you a picture 

             4    of it, Madam Chairman? 

             5                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  I think I want you 

             6    to come back. 

             7                  MR. WOOD:  Right. 

             8                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  You don't need to 

             9    come back.  If you could send a picture or --

            10                  MR. WOOD:  If I send it to you, can 

            11    you just e-mail it to all of them?  

            12                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Sure would.

            13                  MR. WOOD:  Great. 

            14                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  I know we talk 

            15    about this every time.  But is -- there's 

            16    obviously -- you haven't had any additional 

            17    thoughts of how we could promote the sale, 

            18    particularly, of the nongame stamp any more than 

            19    what's been done?  Is that right or not? 

            20                  MR. WOOD:  You know, the duck stamp 

            21    phenomenon and the print phenomenon as a 

            22    collectable is -- every year is one of attrition 

            23    and we just truly try to do the best we can to, 

            24    you know, stop the bleeding as much as we can. 

            25                  And all the Texas programs are still 





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             1    the biggest.  But, I mean, we would be tickled to 

             2    death to spend the money -- I mean, one thing that 

             3    would help would be, you know, more exposure in 

             4    the department in the magazines and stuff. 

             5                  You've got these great images that 

             6    the department owns the copyright of, you know, 

             7    clearly the best collection of stamp art times ten 

             8    of any other state, and mainly because the 

             9    Commission a long time ago had the wisdom to say, 

            10    "Hey, let's pick the best artist and get the best 

            11    art," not -- you know, not perhaps use only local 

            12    artists or something. 

            13                  And it's just a shame that you-all 

            14    don't use those images more to promote, you know, 

            15    license plates or anything, you know.  I mean, I 

            16    think the license plate deal is a terrific idea.  

            17    But it sure would be neat to see a duck stamp on 

            18    it.  Or see an image, not the duck stamp.  See a 

            19    duck on it, you know, sometime in the future. 

            20                  You know, the catalog now has 

            21    posters.  And the people that did those did a 

            22    terrific job.  I hear they're selling fairly well.  

            23    But, Commissioner Angelo, you know, I -- I don't 

            24    think I wake up every day during bird season 

            25    thinking about non-game bird sales. 





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             1                  At the time we did the non-game, the 

             2    Audibon Society and the non-consumptive users 

             3    really, you know, gave their absolute best effort 

             4    to try and get this off the ground, but it just 

             5    was a bad idea whose time had come, you know. 

             6                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Frances, do you 

             7    have any other ideas on that, or the 

             8    non-consumptive or especially the non-game? 

             9                  MS. STILES:  One of the things that 

            10    I have here is what we've done this last year, is 

            11    to create a historical poster of the waterfowl 

            12    stamps.  And that's an idea that could go into any 

            13    of the other stamps, as well.  I just wanted to 

            14    give you an example of that.  And that's a poster 

            15    that Mr. Wood worked the catalog very closely to 

            16    improve upon.  And that has -- it's only been in 

            17    the last three drops of the catalog, and that has 

            18    picked up the sales.  Out of all the waterfowl 

            19    stamp artwork or the waterfowl merchandise, it's 

            20    been one of the better performers on that.  And we 

            21    certainly have all the artwork on the non-game 

            22    that can be used in any manner.

            23                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Any other 

            24    questions or comments?  Let's see, what do we need 

            25    we need to do -- do we need to take?  Action on 





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             1    some -- yes.  If there's no further questions or 

             2    discussion, without objection, this item will be 

             3    placed on the Thursday commission agenda for 

             4    public comment and action?  That being done, we 

             5    thank you all. 

             6                  MR. WOOD:  Thank you.

             7                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Thank you, Bubba.  

             8    At this point, the finance committee will recess 

             9    for the lunch break and we will come back and 

            10    reconvene thereafter.  And Madam Chairman? 

            11                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  I think I'm doing 

            12    this right.  I have to convene the conservation -- 

            13    no, no.  I have to announce that pursuant to the 

            14    requirements of Chapter 551, Government Code, 

            15    referred to as the Open Meetings Law, an executive 

            16    session will be held at this time for the purpose 

            17    of consideration of Section 551.071 of the Texas 

            18    Open Meetings Act regarding pending litigation and 

            19    legal advice in Section 551.072 of the Texas Open 

            20    Meetings Act regarding real estate matters.  Is 

            21    that it? 

            22                  MR. SANSOM:  That's it. 

            23                  (RECESS.)

            24                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  The Finance 

            25    Committee will reconvene after recessing, and pick 





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             1    up Item Number 2 going back to the regular order 

             2    of the agenda.  And ask Suzy Whittenton to give us 

             3    a financial review and an update. 

             4          AGENDA ITEM NO. 2:  FINANCIAL REVIEW AND 

             5          UPDATE.

             6                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Thank you, 

             7    Mr. Chairman, Commissioners.  For the record, my 

             8    name is Suzy Whittenton.  The focus of the 

             9    presentation today will just review current fiscal 

            10    year revenue, including Big-Time Texas hunts and 

            11    cover operating budget status.  And then I'd like 

            12    to finish up with a report on how we're addressing 

            13    any audit issues in the State Auditor's report. 

            14                  The state park revenue for September 

            15    was down about 13 percent from the previous year.  

            16    We think that there are two factors that 

            17    contributed at least partly to that.  One was that 

            18    Labor Day weekend actually began on Friday, August 

            19    the 31st.  So for those people who paid for the 

            20    entire weekend on Friday, that revenue got 

            21    recorded in August instead of September. 

            22                  And then we also experienced some 

            23    cancellations immediately after the September 11th 

            24    tragedy.  I've got some preliminary information in 

            25    on the October revenue for State Parks.  And it 





.
                                                                  22

             1    looks like business picked up considerably in 

             2    October in parks.  The revenue should be -- they 

             3    haven't verified all the numbers yet, but they're 

             4    somewhere between 15 and 20 percent higher than 

             5    last year.  So we're not concerned about September 

             6    being down at this point.  In account 9 --

             7                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Are you 

             8    saying we're going to make that up in October? 

             9                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Uh-huh.

            10                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We think so.  The 

            12    numbers -- it's early yet on those numbers, but I 

            13    got a draft report right before I came down here.  

            14    And it looked like -- not all the parks were in 

            15    yet, information in yet on the report, but it 

            16    looked like it was a good month for most parks. 

            17                  In account 9, we keep boat revenue 

            18    and license revenue.  Revenue from boat 

            19    registrations was down in September by about 16 

            20    percent.  And it appears to be down in October, as 

            21    well.  We suspect that this is due to the cooling 

            22    economy, what with boats being more or less luxury 

            23    items for people. 

            24                  Last year we had revenues of $13.9 

            25    million from the source.  And the current revenue 





.
                                                                  23

             1    estimate for the current fiscal year was 13.5 

             2    million.  So we started out projecting that it 

             3    would be lower.  But at this current -- if the 

             4    trend continues the way it has, we may not reach 

             5    that estimate, if things don't turn around with 

             6    registrations. 

             7                  Not that many boats are registered 

             8    this time of year.  The majority of them happen in 

             9    the March, April, May time period.  So it's really 

            10    too early to know what's going to happen on boat 

            11    revenue.

            12                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  What would you, if 

            13    you had to estimate today, estimate the shortfall 

            14    to be in that --

            15                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I think it could be 

            16    $2-$3 million if this trend continued.  It looks 

            17    like October's numbers are down about 25 percent.  

            18    So --

            19                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Excuse me 

            20    for not knowing.  But what is the period of 

            21    registration?  Is it annual? 

            22                  MS. WHITTENTON:  It's a two-year 

            23    registration.  And so that's why you see some 

            24    fluctuations from year to year.  But if you're not 

            25    going to use your boat, you might not register it 





.
                                                                  24

             1    until you're ready to put it back on the water.  

             2    You know, the game warden will notice it when they 

             3    pull up to your boat.  But other than that, I 

             4    don't think -- you could register it late. 

             5                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I wonder 

             6    if it's an enforcement question or if it really is 

             7    a sales of new boats question. 

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  And a lot of them 

             9    are renewals.  And then I suppose there are people 

            10    who may not renew, wondering whether they're going 

            11    to keep their boat or not.  I really don't know.

            12                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  But the 

            13    registration period is different for each person?  

            14    I mean, it's not something --

            15                  MS. WHITTENTON:  It's just like 

            16    vehicle registrations.

            17                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It's not a set 

            18    rate.

            19                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yeah.

            20                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  It's not 

            21    like August where everything rolls over.  It's -- 

            22    between sales and registration.  The bulk of them 

            23    have got to be current boats.  Sales -- it seems 

            24    you can't move it that much, have that big a gap.  

            25    And if it's potentially a $2-$3 million dollar 





.
                                                                  25

             1    problem, we ought to figure out exactly what is 

             2    the problem and where is it coming from.  And if 

             3    it is an enforcement problem, we ought to pay 

             4    attention to it.

             5                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  You're suggesting 

             6    that maybe they're not registering them and still 

             7    using them.

             8                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I'm 

             9    wondering.  I'm just thinking we ought to study 

            10    this a little bit.  If it's on that order of 

            11    magnitude, somebody ought to -- we ought to put 

            12    some people on it to figure it out.

            13                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  That's 

            14    probably --

            15                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It makes sense 

            16    that there are that many fewer boats.

            17                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Well, and it may be 

            18    that they're just waiting to register until later 

            19    in the year.

            20                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  It's like 

            21    an economic indicator. 

            22                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.

            23                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  People are 

            24    starting to hold back.  Just like going on 

            25    vacation, you -- people say --





.
                                                                  26

             1                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  But 

             2    entertainment and recreation close to home does 

             3    better in bad times, not worse because it's 

             4    cheaper and closer. 

             5                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Well, I don't 

             6    know if boating is as popular in the winter months 

             7    as it is in the summer months. 

             8                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We're talking 

             9    about a 20 percent drop.  Is that --

            10                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  You're 

            11    talking about year-to-year comparisons, though.

            12                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Year-to-year 

            13    comparisons.  When you look at September of this 

            14    year --

            15                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Goes into it. 

            16                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I think we 

            17    ought to study that, try and figure out what it 

            18    is. 

            19                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  Well, we 

            20    can certainly try talking to some of the people 

            21    and look at -- and maybe look into whether there 

            22    are -- if -- look at the difference between new 

            23    boat registrations and renewal registrations, and 

            24    see if there's some --

            25                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  How much of it is 





.
                                                                  27

             1    one or the other.

             2                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We'll do that.

             3                  On the flip side, license sales have 

             4    been good this license year.  Super combo sales 

             5    continue to grow with a -- we've got about a 6.3 

             6    percent increase this year over the same period 

             7    last year.  We sold about a million and a half 

             8    licenses, stamps, and permits, at least we had as 

             9    of October 23rd.

            10                  Hunting licenses, hunting license 

            11    sales are up also as of the 23rd of October.  

            12    Total hunting licenses sold, including combos, 

            13    were up 2.3 percent over the same period last 

            14    year.  And we've sold almost 700,000 hunting 

            15    licenses. 

            16                  Fishing licenses are also up.  

            17    They're up just over 3 percent, even with 

            18    saltwater stamp sales being down.  Of course, this 

            19    takes into account the combo sales.  And we've 

            20    sold at least over 800,000 fishing licenses. 

            21                  And as expected, the revenue from 

            22    license sales is up by 2.3 percent for about 

            23    816,000.  We collected a total of about $37 

            24    million as of October 23rd, which is more than 

            25    half of what we'll collect all year.





.
                                                                  28

             1                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  I see the 

             2    resident is up 2 percent.  Is nonresident about 

             3    the same?  I really can't tell.

             4                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yeah.  I just 

             5    didn't put it on the slide.  Nonresident was up -- 

             6    I'm sorry.  Nonresident was actually -- on fishing 

             7    licenses was actually down a little bit.

             8                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  And 

             9    hunting -- and how about nonresident hunting? 

            10                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Nonresident hunting 

            11    was --

            12                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Up 2.9, it 

            13    says.

            14                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Was up 2.9 percent.

            15                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Oh, I got 

            16    it. 

            17                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  What 

            18    happened to saltwater stamp?  Why are they down so 

            19    much? 

            20                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Some of it is 

            21    absorbed in the super combo. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Most of it 

            23    is switching over. 

            24                  MS. WHITTENTON:  And when you look 

            25    at these charts, it actually show total numbers of 





.
                                                                  29

             1    licenses sold.  It's just sort of misleading 

             2    because if you used to buy a hunting license and 

             3    two stamps, that counts as three purchases.  And 

             4    then this next year, you buy a super combo.  

             5    You're only buying one, so they aren't -- it 

             6    doesn't mean as much as what happens in revenue.  

             7    But revenue is up overall because -- because 

             8    partly because of that shift -- continued shift to 

             9    the super combo.

            10                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  While we're 

            11    looking at stamp allocations, I assume we're 

            12    phasing in or looking at the salt -- the effect on 

            13    the saltwater stamp, too, since we raised that for 

            14    specific purposes.  Is that correct? 

            15                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  Now, the 

            16    saltwater stamp is -- it's not statutorily 

            17    dedicated, so it's, you know, in a different 

            18    category, but I'm sure that --

            19                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We raised the 

            20    amount for a specific reason there.

            21                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.

            22                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  And if people are 

            23    shifting into combo to avoid buying the stamp 

            24    individually, then it's definitely going to have 

            25    an adverse effect on the amount of money going 





.
                                                                  30

             1    into that fund.

             2                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's true.

             3                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  To the extent we 

             4    could identify that. 

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  Just the $3 

             6    increase to the saltwater stamp.  And we do keep 

             7    that in a separate place and keep it set aside for 

             8    the use of the buy-backs.  But, yeah, we can look 

             9    at that and study that allocation. 

            10                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We need to keep an 

            11    eye on that. 

            12                  MS. WHITTENTON:  A quick look at 

            13    super combo sales since inception shows that sales 

            14    continue to grow.  You can see that in the first 

            15    four years, super combo sales more than doubled 

            16    between 1997 and 2001.  And we expect to sell 

            17    around 350,000 super combos this year, 2002. 

            18                  And, again, when you look at a 

            19    comparison from this year to last year over that 

            20    same period of time as of October 23rd, sales are 

            21    up 6.3 percent or nearly 18,000 actual sales.

            22                  In Big-Time Texas Hunts this year, 

            23    we added two new hunts, the Texas premium buck 

            24    hunt and the Texas heritage hunt.  We also 

            25    enhanced some of the existing hunts by adding 





.
                                                                  31

             1    companion hunting privileges for the 20 whitetail 

             2    Bonanza hunts. 

             3                  We also continued the successful 

             4    direct mail strategy that we used in prior years, 

             5    which was that we mailed personal letters, 

             6    postage-paid return envelopes in August.  And then 

             7    we sent out reminder letters in October to those 

             8    who had not yet responded. 

             9                  The results -- applications had to 

            10    be postmarked by November the 3rd, so we were 

            11    still getting them in even yesterday.  And quickly 

            12    trying to enter them in our license sales system. 

            13                  As of the end of October, we had 

            14    about 76,000 entries.  And as of this morning, I 

            15    heard that we were estimating that we would have 

            16    about 86,000 total entries once we get them all 

            17    entered in the system.  So we would be continuing 

            18    on about the same growth rate that we had last 

            19    year, which would be somewhere between, say, 9 and 

            20    11 percent growth rate.

            21                  And when you look at which hunts are 

            22    most popular, the grand slam, the white-tailed 

            23    Bonanza continued to sell well.  And then the new 

            24    premium buck hunt was popular, as well.

            25                  In operating budget, at the end of 





.
                                                                  32

             1    September we had spent all but about 2.4 percent 

             2    or about $4 million of our operating budget funds 

             3    for 2001, which means that we will have spent 

             4    almost 98 percent of everything we budgeted. 

             5                  If you'll remember, in the summer we 

             6    did something of a hiring slow down, and we 

             7    delayed purchases on items that we could, that we 

             8    didn't absolutely -- that weren't critical.  And 

             9    that generated some of the additional unspent 

            10    operating budget. 

            11                  I believe Mr. Sansom has recommended 

            12    that we consider using this on a game warden 

            13    academy starting in March that was not budgeted in 

            14    the original 2002 budget.  Some of this $4 

            15    million, we did plan on in the -- when we prepared 

            16    our 2002 budget.  But there is additional money 

            17    there that we weren't sure we would have.

            18                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Different 

            19    numbers are shown on the screen. 

            20                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I'm sorry.  The 

            21    slides were printed.  I made a change in that last 

            22    night.  It was an overstatement in the old slide.  

            23    This is the correct number. 

            24                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.  

            25    What is a lapse in the budget? 





.
                                                                  33

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's just 

             2    unspent.  And that doesn't mean that -- I mean, it 

             3    rolls over, can be carried forward to other years.  

             4    But that's just an accounting term we use in 

             5    government.  We lapse unspent money.

             6                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Unspent 

             7    money from last year?

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes.

             9                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And we 

            10    have the authority to carry it forward?

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes. 

            12                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Did we 

            13    take it into the budget we passed in August?

            14                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We took some of it 

            15    into account.  About a million and a half of it we 

            16    were counting on in the 2002 budget.  So there is 

            17    some additional money there that could be 

            18    reallocated.

            19                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.  How 

            20    does that -- 

            21                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  And what are you 

            22    estimating that amount to be?

            23                  MS. WHITTENTON:  It will probably be 

            24    between two and a half and three million.  We 

            25    don't know for sure how much of that is left 





.
                                                                  34

             1    because what happens is, you get bills in after 

             2    the end of August that apply to --

             3                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Previous.

             4                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yeah.  And we have 

             5    some bills that really drag in.  And so -- and 

             6    each division doesn't unbudget those amounts right 

             7    away.  So we won't know -- I suspect by the end of 

             8    November, we'll have a really good idea of what's 

             9    not going to get spent.  We do have some --

            10                  MR. SANSOM:  This resulted, 

            11    Commissioner Montgomery, if you recall, back in 

            12    the early part of the summer when we began to see 

            13    what was coming.  

            14                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Yeah.

            15                  MR. SANSOM:  We just shut down 

            16    everything. 

            17                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Right. 

            18                  MR. SANSOM:  We shut down hiring.  

            19    We shut down purchasing.  And it created what we 

            20    termed "lapse." 

            21                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  So right 

            22    now which funds -- which funds and which accounts 

            23    it's in, it has to come back before the Commission 

            24    before it's allocated? 

            25                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We would have to 





.
                                                                  35

             1    have --

             2                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Does it go 

             3    back to the budget process?  What's our process 

             4    here?

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  If we were going to 

             6    rebudget any of it, like for the game warden 

             7    academy, we would have to have the signatures from 

             8    the Chairman of the Commission and the Chairman of 

             9    the Finance Committee in order to budget anything 

            10    over $250,000.  

            11                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.

            12                  MS. WHITTENTON:  And then anything 

            13    over, I believe, 150,000 we would have to at least 

            14    notify you on.  Most of that is in fund 9 of the 

            15    $4 million.  Let's see.  And some of it -- of 

            16    course, some of it's also in dedicated amounts.  

            17    So some of it would not be allowed to be allocated 

            18    to other things.

            19                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Right. 

            20                  MS. WHITTENTON:  But there's 

            21    probably going to be about a million or so in 9.  

            22    And if we were going to fund a game warden 

            23    academy, we would have to fund it out of fund 9.

            24                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  That's an 

            25    approximate of how much? 





.
                                                                  36

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Well, just to cover 

             2    the salaries for the cadets for a six-month period 

             3    of time and some minor operating expenses, some 

             4    travel for those cadets, we'd need probably about 

             5    $700,000.

             6                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  But that would not 

             7    include equipment and whatnot that they would 

             8    need?

             9                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That is correct.  

            10    It would not include money for vehicles or boats 

            11    or -- I think that included some equipment for 

            12    vests, the bulletproof vests, and some of the more 

            13    minor equipment.  And they -- the game wardens are 

            14    expecting that there's a good possibility that 

            15    there may be some -- a large number of retirements 

            16    in August.  If they're right about that, then 

            17    there will be equipment available to pass on to 

            18    the cadets once they graduate. 

            19                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  When we 

            20    passed the budget, we did not prioritize optional 

            21    projects.  We just stopped all the capital.  And 

            22    what we said then was that we'd watch it during 

            23    the year and circle back around late in the 

            24    year --

            25                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.





.
                                                                  37

             1                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  -- review 

             2    and reprioritize.  So I guess -- I want to think 

             3    out loud about what we were doing here because I 

             4    think there's -- it's real easy for the 

             5    presumption to occur that we are going to do this 

             6    or that with it.  But I think we described a 

             7    pretty clear methodology. 

             8                  Correct me if I'm wrong.  I'm just 

             9    trying to remember back.  I want to stick to that 

            10    because with the sliding revenues, you know, that 

            11    could evaporate just to operate.  So I don't want 

            12    to get everybody's hopes up on certain things here 

            13    and there. 

            14                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Well, some of 

            15    these other things we've talked about that are 

            16    down could definitely offset that.

            17                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  So we're 

            18    in sort of unchartered economical water these 

            19    days.

            20                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Your point 

            21    being until it settles out, then we --

            22                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Well, I 

            23    think we set out a process.  We've held all the 

            24    capital off.  Let's wait to see where we get 

            25    through the year and see how it goes, and then 





.
                                                                  38

             1    make capital decisions.  But let's don't jump the 

             2    gun because we're only part way into the year 

             3    right now. 

             4                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  That's a 

             5    good point. 

             6                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  That decision, if 

             7    the game warden academy was considered -- you 

             8    know, a recommended action, when would that have 

             9    to be decided in order to make the game wardens' 

            10    academy possible?

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Maybe somebody from 

            12    law enforcement can speak to that better.

            13                  MR. SANSOM:  You'd have to do it 

            14    before March.

            15                  MS. WHITTENTON:  The hiring process 

            16    is actually fairly long, fairly lengthy for the 

            17    cadets.  Of course, I guess, they wouldn't 

            18    necessarily -- they could go ahead and start that 

            19    process just in case we end up with the money.  

            20    But they go through a very thorough process of 

            21    evaluating lots of applications and making 

            22    selections.

            23                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Commissioner 

            24    Montgomery's point is that today we don't know 

            25    what we need to know to make that decision.





.
                                                                  39

             1                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I'm not 

             2    for or against anything because I haven't studied 

             3    any of them, other than the ones that were on the 

             4    table in the summer.  We really didn't get to 

             5    study those because we couldn't afford them.  So I 

             6    just want the opportunity to study from a policy 

             7    standpoint our choices, and only make those 

             8    decisions when we're forced to by timing.  But 

             9    also when we get a better feel for where we are -- 

            10                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Do we have 

            11    historical data as to what it costs to train a 

            12    cadet? 

            13                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I'm sure we do.

            14                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  That's all 

            15    right.  I don't need that.  Okay.  So that could 

            16    be quantified?

            17                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Uh-huh.

            18                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  Okay. 

            19                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Go ahead, Suzy.

            20                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Okay.  This is 

            21    actually my last slide here.  I just wanted to 

            22    wrap up by discussing the progress and plans that 

            23    we have for discussing the audit issues.  We're 

            24    aggressively addressing every issue, and we are 

            25    taking the state auditor's recommendations very 





.
                                                                  40

             1    seriously. 

             2                  So I just wanted to report to you on 

             3    where we were on each major point.  On the license 

             4    sales system, the issues and concerns that were 

             5    raised were regarding the transactive system.  And 

             6    we've addressed all of those issues in the 

             7    WorldCom system.  There are a couple that we're 

             8    still working on, but they're all on the list to 

             9    be handled in the new system. 

            10                  Regarding the stamp allocation, we 

            11    discussed that a little bit earlier.  And you'll 

            12    remember we've talked about it in the last couple 

            13    of commission meetings, that we are currently 

            14    collecting data to try to support any possible 

            15    changes that may be needed to the method of 

            16    allocation of those super combo revenues to 

            17    dedicated stamp funds.  The wildlife division is 

            18    handling that.

            19                  On the mail room processes that were 

            20    identified, they were corrected back in May, and 

            21    so we are in full compliance with the state 

            22    auditor's recommendation on mail room processes.

            23                  Auditors also identified some 

            24    processes that they labeled as nonvalue added in 

            25    the revenue department.  We have been reviewing 





.
                                                                  41

             1    those recommendations, and we'll make necessary 

             2    changes; some of which can't be made until after 

             3    some automated interfaces are developed.  Some of 

             4    their recommendations were regarding some dual 

             5    entry that we're having to do because some of our 

             6    systems don't interface.

             7                  On the reconciliation issue, the 

             8    state auditor identified amounts that were 

             9    unreconciled between two accounting systems.  The 

            10    revenue has been reconciled down to less than 1 

            11    percent difference and we recently brought in some 

            12    additional temporary resources to help us wrap up 

            13    the backlog of reconciliation -- unreconciled 

            14    items that date back to 1998 when the system was 

            15    first brought up.  And they just got behind on 

            16    reconciliation, so --

            17                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  The temporary 

            18    resources being people.  Right? 

            19                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  We've got 

            20    four people who are in a room, and they are doing 

            21    nothing but working on this reconciliation.  And 

            22    so we hope to have -- they were estimating that 

            23    they could finish the bulk of it by the end of the 

            24    calendar year. 

            25                  And then on revenue forecasting, we 





.
                                                                  42

             1    are currently documenting our methodology and we 

             2    continue to work with the Comptroller's revenue 

             3    estimating staff on our revenue estimates to make 

             4    sure that we're very close on those numbers.  And 

             5    then probably the issue that's going to take the 

             6    most amount of time is developing the automated 

             7    interfaces so that all our systems talk to each 

             8    other and that will cut down considerably on any 

             9    unreconciled items, that the systems immediately 

            10    transfer information to each other.  They won't be 

            11    unreconciled.  And that was all I had, unless 

            12    there are any additional questions. 

            13                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Any questions or 

            14    comments on this item?  If not, Suzy, thank you.  

            15    And we'll move on to Item Number 4, which again is 

            16    a presentation by Suzy and Walt Dabney.  Walt, do 

            17    you want to come up at the same time or -- 

            18                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Can we get 

            19    a report in January on that license decline -- 

            20    license -- boat registration licensing decline? 

            21                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Sure, sure. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Okay.  

            23    Thanks.

            24          AGENDA ITEM NO. 4:  BRIEFING - BOAT 

            25          FEES/PARK FEES.





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                                                                  43

             1                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Suzy and Walt are 

             2    going to present separate reviews of information 

             3    regarding the potential of various fee increases; 

             4    in Suzy's case, with the boat registration, and 

             5    with Walt with park fees.  So we'll -- Suzy, why 

             6    don't you take it first. 

             7                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Okay.  As we've 

             8    discussed in the past couple of meetings, we 

             9    were -- the staff is reviewing our fees in all 

            10    categories.  And so today, I'll just go through a 

            11    summary of what we've looked at on the boat fees. 

            12                  Current registration fees are as 

            13    follows.  They are charged every other year by 

            14    size of the boat.  And they range anywhere from 

            15    $25 for a two-year registration to $70 for a 

            16    two-year registration. 

            17                  The livery vessels category is used 

            18    to charge boat owners who rent out their boats 

            19    to -- actually we only use this for the small, the 

            20    Class A boats.  So if you rent out a jet ski or 

            21    small boat, you would be charged the livery vessel 

            22    fee rather than the Class A fee. 

            23                  And the dealer/manufacturer license 

            24    is not a required fee, but it allows a dealer or 

            25    manufacturer to use one registration for all of 





.
                                                                  44

             1    their boats.  And if they wanted to demo them on 

             2    the lake, they would use that same registration 

             3    number. 

             4                  We also charge $5 transfer fees when 

             5    boats are sold or otherwise transfer ownership; 

             6    $15 title fee; $25 for a quick title; duplicate 

             7    fees and other small fees cover administrative 

             8    expenses. 

             9                  The last fee increase we did was in 

            10    1996, which resulted in an increase in fees 

            11    anywhere between $6 to $25 registration fee, which 

            12    was a range of 30 percent to 60 percent, depending 

            13    on the type.  Since 1972, we've reviewed and 

            14    changed fees an average of every eight years.  It 

            15    will now be about six years since the last change. 

            16                  We looked at comparisons to all 

            17    other states.  The top five states in terms of 

            18    number of boats registered are Michigan, 

            19    California, Florida, Minnesota, and Texas.  

            20    Comparison to other states are difficult because 

            21    most other states don't charge -- they use 

            22    different methods to charge registration fees.  

            23    They either use different classifications or 

            24    additional fees are tacked on. 

            25                  In Florida, they charge higher fees 





.
                                                                  45

             1    in all categories.  They range anywhere from, when 

             2    you put it on an annual basis, $14 a year to $126 

             3    a year.  They're particularly -- they're much 

             4    higher than the large boat category.  California 

             5    charges just a $5 registration fee, but then they 

             6    also charge a personal property tax on top of 

             7    that, and then a one-time trailer fee. 

             8                  Michigan fees range from $5 a year 

             9    to $121 a year.  But then their smaller boats 

            10    are -- cost less to register, but their large 

            11    boats are much higher.  In Minnesota, they are 

            12    lower in all categories. 

            13                  And then we looked at neighboring 

            14    states.  Oklahoma was one that we looked at.  They 

            15    base their's on the purchase price of the boat.  

            16    And so if you bought a boat for $15,000, your 

            17    registration fee would be $150 for the year.  And 

            18    then they reduce it 10 percent each year.  It's 

            19    sort of a depreciation.  So it's considerably more 

            20    in Oklahoma than in Texas. 

            21                  I also wanted to consider the 

            22    registration fees we pay in Texas on our vehicles.  

            23    These are annual fees as opposed to our two-year 

            24    fees.  But most people in Texas actually pay more 

            25    to register their boat trailers than they do their 





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                                                                  46

             1    boats.  And these vehicle registrations are based 

             2    on weight, I believe. 

             3                  The vast majority of our boat 

             4    revenue comes from registrations, and only about 

             5    20 percent from titling, and then very little from 

             6    the other categories.  This graph shows 

             7    boat-related revenue over an eight-year period.  

             8    Since the last fee increase in '96, boat fees 

             9    bring in an average of $13.8 million per year.  

            10    And that last fee increase resulted in about an 

            11    extra $4 million. 

            12                  We provide a number of services to 

            13    the boating public, primarily by the game wardens 

            14    working on the lakes.  But we also do boating 

            15    safety and other administrative functions.  And 

            16    over the last few years and in the coming years, 

            17    we've had some increased cost related to boating.  

            18    These were just a few that I came up with fairly 

            19    quickly. 

            20                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Suzy, as I 

            21    understand it, the budget we passed -- and, Jim, 

            22    correct me if I'm wrong -- but we don't have 

            23    anything to allow for the economic depreciation of 

            24    our -- the boats that our wardens are using.  

            25    Right? 





.
                                                                  47

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's right. 

             2                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  There's 

             3    no -- nothing in the budget for that.  So we've 

             4    got an aging fleet.

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's right.

             6                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  

             7    Economically depreciating boats, and we're not 

             8    allowing for it right now, we're not recovering 

             9    that cost or we're not seeking for any budget 

            10    right now for new fleet purchases? 

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  Not for 

            12    boats. 

            13                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  One of the key 

            14    things I think we need to recognize here is that 

            15    we are providing significant services to the 

            16    boating public, which is part of what you're 

            17    getting at.  And that's the justification for the 

            18    fees at whatever level they are set, is to attempt 

            19    to recover some of the cost of providing the 

            20    services to the public that uses --

            21                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Right now, 

            22    there's a hidden large capital cost on the boats 

            23    that our wardens are using that are going to wear 

            24    out. 

            25                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We're not -- we're 





.
                                                                  48

             1    probably not covering a lot of the costs, but that 

             2    being probably one of the most. 

             3                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Out of the -- only 

             4    about a hundred of the 470 game wardens actually 

             5    get advanced boater accident investigation 

             6    training.  They all get some basic training when 

             7    they're in the cadet class, but we're not able to 

             8    provide the advanced training to very many of them 

             9    because it's given out of state. 

            10                  Another big cost that's coming up is 

            11    that we're going to redesign our boat computer 

            12    system.  It's now on a mainframe system, and we're 

            13    trying to move everything off our old mainframe 

            14    onto more client server based systems.  We're 

            15    scheduled to start that in the spring, and get 

            16    that finished by the following year.  That will 

            17    take a lot of programming time. 

            18                  And also we've had, in the last 

            19    couple of years, some fuel increases for the boats 

            20    that the game wardens are using, although that may 

            21    level off now.

            22                  The game wardens are spending more 

            23    time on BWIs and they've had increased need for 

            24    equipment; these -- those PBTs is portable 

            25    breathalyzer tests, that they're buying. 





.
                                                                  49

             1                  They're also spending extra -- 

             2    wardens are spending extra time on the -- on boat 

             3    dealer fraud investigations and on boat theft.  

             4    There's just been more of that activity. 

             5                  And then boating equipment costs.  

             6    The average cost of a boat has increased quite a 

             7    bit.  Over the last ten years, it's averaged -- 

             8    it's increased about $3500 for an average boat.

             9                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  So what's 

            10    the dealer fraud?  I didn't --

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Boat dealer fraud?  

            12    Maybe Dennis Johnson could --

            13                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I didn't 

            14    want to get you off the subject --

            15                  MR. SANSOM:  There's all kinds of -- 

            16    go ahead, Dennis. 

            17                  MR. JOHNSON:  Dennis Johnson, chief 

            18    of marine enforcement.  Dealer fraud and boat 

            19    theft has been increasing over the last few years 

            20    in a tremendous amount.  We get a lot more 

            21    complaints than we used to get.  And with more 

            22    boats out there and more people in the business, 

            23    we have a lot of people that will go into the 

            24    business and sell boats without going through the 

            25    registration process, to be able to transfer that 





.
                                                                  50

             1    money without putting it in their name.  So they 

             2    end up cheating the state out of the tax money 

             3    that's due and then the registration fees. 

             4                  And then a lot of dealer activity 

             5    has been that they don't pay the penalties, they 

             6    don't register them within the due date.  We get a 

             7    lot of complaints from the public.  And those are 

             8    spending a lot more time than we used to do and 

             9    costs develop from that.

            10                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Thanks, Dennis.

            11                  Kind of on a related subject, in 

            12    this review, we looked at the statutory authority 

            13    regarding boats.  And in the last legislative 

            14    session, the Commission was granted the authority 

            15    to adopt rules if it -- it may adopt rules for 

            16    creation of a program or the continuing 

            17    identification and classification of participants 

            18    in this industry, and then set fees accordingly.  

            19    And that would help deal with the boater -- dealer 

            20    fraud.

            21                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Suzy, would you 

            22    elaborate on what support you've gotten for that 

            23    from --

            24                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I'm sorry?

            25                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  The support you 





.
                                                                  51

             1    have -- that the Commission or the department has 

             2    for doing that from the constituents.

             3                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We have met a 

             4    couple of times with some of the folks from the 

             5    boating trades groups.  And what they would like 

             6    us to do is create a program that would require a 

             7    mandatory dealer registration so that all dealers 

             8    would have to register and they would be required 

             9    to certify that they are complying with the state 

            10    law. 

            11                  And then our job, we would have to 

            12    identify all of these manufacturers, distributors, 

            13    and dealers and have that listing available to the 

            14    public if anybody wanted the list.  And our game 

            15    wardens feel like that's something we probably 

            16    need to do anyway.

            17                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  This would address 

            18    somewhat the fraud question that was just brought 

            19    up.  Correct?

            20                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right, it would.  

            21    Yes, it would.

            22                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  You know, my first 

            23    thought on it when I first -- my first reaction to 

            24    that was that this was maybe an attempt by the big 

            25    boys in the business to restrict the activity of 





.
                                                                  52

             1    smaller dealers.  But I think, after looking at 

             2    it, there's a lot of legitimacy to the suggestion 

             3    and that we do this, particularly because the 

             4    restrictions and the cost of it would not be 

             5    prohibitive to someone who was legitimately 

             6    wanting to be in the business, even in a small 

             7    way.  But it would also provide the protection and 

             8    make the law enforcement a whole lot easier.

             9                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Monitor 

            10    the fraud issues? 

            11                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It looks to me 

            12    like it would.

            13                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  I was 

            14    asking a question on the entity.  Do we receive 

            15    any percentage motor fuel tax for motor fuels sold 

            16    on lakes?  And if so, how much?  How does that 

            17    figure? 

            18                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Like for 

            19    marina?

            20                  MR. SANSOM:  We get, by statute, 

            21    three quarters of the unclaimed motor boat fuels 

            22    tax.  When you go to a gas pump, the pump doesn't 

            23    know whether you're putting it into a car or boat.  

            24    So under the law, you are eligible, if you are 

            25    filling a boat up with gas, to apply for a refund, 





.
                                                                  53

             1    but no one does that.  So three quarters of it 

             2    goes to us and a quarter of it goes to the 

             3    permanent university fund. 

             4                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  What's the amount? 

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  It's pretty big. 

             6                  MR. SANSOM:  It's around $13 

             7    million. 

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  It's not an 

             9    insignificant source of funds. 

            10                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Significantly.

            11                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  A lot of people 

            12    don't know about that. 

            13                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Do they 

            14    estimate it? 

            15                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes, they estimate 

            16    it.  It's a line item appropriation comes in a 

            17    sum-certain amount. 

            18                  MR. SANSOM:  And interestingly, 

            19    since we're on the subject, it is an issue in 

            20    appropriations each session because we have to 

            21    struggle to get the increment; that is, to argue 

            22    for the growth.

            23                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Dealer fees that we 

            24    talked about were as follows.  A Class A marine 

            25    dealer would pay $500 every other year.  That 





.
                                                                  54

             1    would be someone -- a dealer who deals in new and 

             2    used boats.  Class B marine dealer would be 

             3    someone who deals only in used boats or motors.  

             4    It would be only $250 dollars every other year.  

             5    And then distributors and manufactures would be 

             6    charged $500 every other year per the program.

             7                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  What are 

             8    the current fees?  Can you compare those to the 

             9    current? 

            10                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Currently, the only 

            11    fee that we have is one for dealers and 

            12    manufacturers of $130 every other year.  But it's 

            13    not a required registration. 

            14                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  It's just 

            15    what they --

            16                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  This would be part 

            17    of the implementation on the previous item that 

            18    was discussed.

            19                  MS. WHITTENTON:  This would be part 

            20    of the -- if the Commission decided to take on 

            21    this new program, it would be the fees associated 

            22    with that.

            23                  Other possible boat fee changes that 

            24    we looked at, these range from a $5 increment to a 

            25    $20 -- from a $5 increase to a $20 increase over a 





.
                                                                  55

             1    two-year period.  Translated on an annual basis, 

             2    this would be a range of, you know, a $2.50 

             3    increase to a $10 increase.  A $10 increase would 

             4    be for the large boats.  The Class 3 boats are 

             5    those over 40 feet. 

             6                  Also would recommend charging the 

             7    same fee for a livery vessel as for any other 

             8    boat, so that -- that wouldn't be a separate 

             9    category -- that wouldn't be a different fee.  And 

            10    then changing -- we would recommend changing 

            11    titles and quick titles by about $10, and then 

            12    transfers and duplicates an additional $5 fee. 

            13                  What would this do for Fund 9?  We 

            14    estimate that if these fees were in place for an 

            15    entire year, an entire fiscal year, that the 

            16    revenue impact could be as much as four to four 

            17    and a half million.  And, of course, if the 

            18    economy dips that, you know, may not hold true.  

            19    But if changes -- and if changes were made 

            20    midyear, it would be a prorated share of that 

            21    amount. 

            22                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  So potentially, 

            23    though, we're talking about increasing fees in an 

            24    area right now we're seeing a declining income 

            25    already from the fees we have? 





.
                                                                  56

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right. 

             2                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  So it's a little 

             3    more difficult. 

             4                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  It makes 

             5    that study particularly important to understand 

             6    what's going on.

             7                  MS. WHITTENTON:  And we did -- we 

             8    started reviewing these fees before we saw the --

             9                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Saw the decline.

            10                  MS. WHITTENTON:  -- decline.

            11                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  But, 

            12    again, let's understand the source -- the cause of 

            13    the decline. 

            14                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  We will 

            15    look into that further and see what we can find 

            16    out.  What we could do is go ahead and publish in 

            17    the Texas Register to collect some public comments 

            18    and get some input.  And in the meantime, continue 

            19    to meet with constituent groups and the public.  

            20    And then bring you back something in January for 

            21    your consideration. 

            22                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY: I guess I'd 

            23    like to see that study well before this -- well, 

            24    we would see it at the same time. 

            25                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Mr. Chairman, Suzy, 





.
                                                                  57

             1    if I understand it correctly, publishing in the 

             2    register does not commit us to --

             3                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's right.

             4                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Any action in terms 

             5    of fee increases.  It just establishes that we 

             6    can.

             7                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It establishes 

             8    some amounts over -- above which we could not go.  

             9    We could go below those or do nothing. 

            10                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right. 

            11                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Right. 

            12                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Your boat 

            13    database will tell you who hasn't reregistered? 

            14                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes. 

            15                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  And you could 

            16    just do a survey of those people, they check the 

            17    box and find out whether it's --

            18                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Find out why 

            19    they're down.  We could probably gather some 

            20    information pretty quickly on that.

            21                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  You could 

            22    see who is suspended and then comes back, I 

            23    presume? 

            24                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Well, it was 25 

            25    percent down.  You know the 25 percent that did 





.
                                                                  58

             1    not reregister.  And then you're going to find out 

             2    if they sold their boat or it got old enough where 

             3    they are not voting anymore or now it's the 

             4    economy and --

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Or just waited 

             6    until November to pay.

             7                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  It may be that a 

             8    significant part of it is nonpurchase of new 

             9    boats, in which case that's a different problem. 

            10                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Well, do 

            11    you know the percentage of new boats sales out of 

            12    that? 

            13                  MS. WHITTENTON:  No, we don't.

            14                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  You 

            15    wouldn't know that?

            16                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  But that's one of 

            17    the things you're going to look into.  Right?

            18                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes.  That would be 

            19    something I could try to get.

            20                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  What about 

            21    registration database, you can't tell if it's a 

            22    new boat?   Can you tell if it's a new boat?

            23                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I don't know.

            24                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  That's the 

            25    other piece. 





.
                                                                  59

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I would think you 

             2    could.  I would think you could because it would 

             3    be a new number. 

             4                  COMMISSIONER RAMOS:  It would be a 

             5    new model.

             6                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Model, 

             7    year.

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yeah.  We could 

             9    probably sort it by make and model -- by year -- 

            10    model year.  I believe there's somebody here from 

            11    the boating trades association if you wanted to 

            12    try to ask any questions about trends in sales.  

            13    They may have that. 

            14                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Well, if this 

            15    revenue trend isn't reversed sharply, I think it's 

            16    going to be extremely important that that study 

            17    that Commissioner Montgomery suggested be done 

            18    thoroughly because we can't make this decision 

            19    regarding the fee increases without knowing that 

            20    sort of thing, among others. 

            21                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Well, and if 

            22    fishing licenses are up, you know, it isn't 

            23    necessarily the fishermen.  It may be the 

            24    recreational boats --

            25                  MR. SANSOM:  Jet skis.





.
                                                                  60

             1                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  And it's 

             2    with the economy. 

             3                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right. 

             4                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  I guess it's 

             5    obvious that if you've got revenues down 25 

             6    percent over last year that -- talking about fee 

             7    increases, right now is -- could be better timing.

             8                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  As Phil 

             9    says, you've got to identify the source of the --

            10                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  Something 

            11    just doesn't make sense to me.

            12                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Identify 

            13    the source of the drop-off, which will be a 

            14    combination of things. 

            15                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  Assuming that a lot 

            16    of it is due to an economic downturn, that I think 

            17    is reflected throughout the economy --

            18                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  Yeah, but 

            19    how much of it is new boat sales, how much of it 

            20    is failure to reregister?   We just don't know. 

            21                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yeah.  And maybe 

            22    the September 11th situation may had something to 

            23    do with people waiting to send their registration 

            24    in.  We can try to look at that.

            25                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  When did you say 





.
                                                                  61

             1    you could get that to us? 

             2                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I would think 

             3    fairly quickly in the next couple of weeks.

             4                  COMMISSIONER MONTGOMERY:  The total 

             5    number of boats shouldn't have changed that much.  

             6    Sales may be down, but we're doing it --

             7                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Then again, we're 

             8    looking -- we're comparing September of this year 

             9    to September of last year, and October of this 

            10    year to October of last year.  These are not big 

            11    months with heavy activity in boating anyway.  So 

            12    these aren't -- you know, we're already starting 

            13    with small numbers. 

            14                  COMMISSIONER FITZSIMONS:  But as he 

            15    points out, though, your trend was year to year. 

            16                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right. 

            17                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  We need the 

            18    answer.  Are there any further questions on this 

            19    at this point?  Would the -- I guess the 

            20    publishing would refer to the park and the voting 

            21    fees, so we do those at one time.  Is that 

            22    correct?  Or do we do them separately? 

            23                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  I think they're 

            24    separate.

            25                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  They're really 





.
                                                                  62

             1    separate items.

             2                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  They're definitely 

             3    separate. 

             4                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Well, with no 

             5    further questions or discussion, without 

             6    objections, we'll authorize the staff to publish 

             7    this item in the Texas Register for the required 

             8    public comment period.  And that's referring to 

             9    the item that Suzy has just presented.  Thank you. 

            10                  Walt? 

            11                  MR. DABNEY:  Good afternoon, 

            12    Commissioners.  I'm Walt Dabney, state park 

            13    director.  I'd like to introduce Mike Crevier 

            14    sitting behind me here.  Mike is our revenue 

            15    manager for state parks and wears a bunch of hats, 

            16    including overseeing our whole fee program and 

            17    putting it together on an annual basis, putting 

            18    together the state park stores. 

            19                  Those of you that have been to the 

            20    state parks, a lot of those beautiful stores, Mike 

            21    has actually helped set up or directed to set up 

            22    and then provides the oversight and guidance for 

            23    that.  And he also runs our concession program, 

            24    and then a whole lot of other things as we need 

            25    them done.  Mike is a hard-working fellow. 





.
                                                                  63

             1                  And I asked him to sit here with me 

             2    in case you had some other technical questions 

             3    that we could answer for you.

             4                  I want to do an overview on the 

             5    state park fees and talk about the different kinds 

             6    of fees that we have.  Certainly, entrance fee is 

             7    the most commonly known.  And that's paying to get 

             8    into the park usually for a 24-hour period. 

             9                  We have facility use fees, and 

            10    that's generally a fee paid for the use of one of 

            11    our facilities, like one of the CCC pavilions.  

            12    And while it's generally for an overnight use, it 

            13    might be for a wedding event or something like 

            14    that.  And we have a fee schedule for those. 

            15                  And then an activity or use fee, and 

            16    that's a fee paid for special programming that you 

            17    wouldn't normally think you paid for when you came 

            18    through the entrance station. 

            19                  We have a good process in place, and 

            20    we have a fee range that you approve.  It has gone 

            21    through the public process.  You approve a range 

            22    of fees for everything that we do, the three 

            23    things that I just listed.  They're park specific. 

            24                  In fact, if you're interested, on 

            25    the Internet, there is a sheet for every single 





.
                                                                  64

             1    state park.  And we have lots of fees.  You can 

             2    pull that up on the Internet or look at this book.  

             3    But each park has one.  And what we do within that 

             4    range of fees that you authorize is, we go to each 

             5    park and do an annual comparability study. 

             6                  So if we're talking about camp sites 

             7    with sewer and water, we go to the local area, 

             8    Casa Blanca, what do they charge, what does KOA 

             9    charge and some of the others in the local area.  

            10    And we tailor our fees to be consistent with the 

            11    local environment.  That's done on an annual 

            12    basis.  It's a lot of work. 

            13                  Our park managers direct that on a 

            14    local basis.  And it reflects a -- it's a good 

            15    process, and it keeps us in tune with what the 

            16    market does on a local basis. 

            17                  The fee ranges, again, in entrance 

            18    fees, it's a dollar to five dollars a person.  

            19    Actually, it's 50 cents for children on 

            20    educational tours.  Facility use, we have 21 

            21    different types and 50 individual fees for such 

            22    things as camp sites, shelters, cabins, hotels, 

            23    like Indian Lodge or Balmorhea, group facilities 

            24    and so forth. 

            25                  Activity fees, about 20 different 





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                                                                  65

             1    types, 56 individual fees and those are everything 

             2    from a tour to swimming, golf, training 

             3    excursions.  And you-all know we run a railroad in 

             4    this state park system.  Commercial use and 

             5    filming.  We film a lot of movies and commercials 

             6    in the state park system, And we have a fee 

             7    schedule based on what you want to do.  Obviously, 

             8    special uses like weddings and so forth are all 

             9    part of this fee range. 

            10                  The last time the fees were changed 

            11    in total in the range was in 1991.  The actual 

            12    fees, the reason we need to change this is we're 

            13    up against the ceiling on a number of them right 

            14    now.  We raised about $25 million a year in our 

            15    fee program from all sources.  And our costs now 

            16    to operate these parks have gone up, especially 

            17    those costs related to such things as utilities 

            18    and fuel. 

            19                  Obviously, a 4 percent pay raise 

            20    right now, which we are lapsing about 80, nearly 

            21    80 positions this year to try to cover in here is 

            22    another reason to try to get our fee revenues up.  

            23    Future growth.  The new range established gives us 

            24    the ability to go with escalating costs over time 

            25    without coming back every year and asking you for 





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                                                                  66

             1    a new fee range again.  This one was done in '91.  

             2    We actually put the per price -- per person price 

             3    for entrance fees in place in 1996.  Since then, 

             4    we haven't really had a change -- any change on 

             5    here. 

             6                  The next step for us would be to 

             7    publish the proposed fee ranges in the Texas 

             8    Register, the same that we just talked about with 

             9    the boating fees, solicit public comment during 

            10    that period. 

            11                  We will be conducting constituency 

            12    group meetings.  In fact, Chairman, the first 

            13    meeting of the State Parks Advisory Board will 

            14    occur during this period, and we will be 

            15    presenting them a fee briefing and getting their 

            16    feedback from that group of folks that you just 

            17    appointed to that. 

            18                  And then we will come back in the 

            19    January commission meeting and submit for your 

            20    approval the new fee ranges.  I can't tell you 

            21    what those would actually generate, now, because 

            22    we don't -- we haven't gone back out and looked at 

            23    each location and come back in with a proposal of 

            24    what that would be within that fee range for a 

            25    Casa Blanca or a ^ Garner or whatever it is. 





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                                                                  67

             1                  But the next step after we get the 

             2    fee ranges would be to go back out after you've 

             3    approved that fee range, and come up with our 

             4    annual adjustment within that fee range for each 

             5    individual park and each individual fee. 

             6                  And that concludes my presentation.  

             7    If you have any questions, I'd be glad to try to 

             8    answer that. 

             9                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Are there any 

            10    questions, comments?  No further questions or 

            11    discussion.  Without objection, we would authorize 

            12    the staff to publish this item in the Texas 

            13    Register for the required public comment period.  

            14    No objection?  So done. 

            15                  Item number 6, there will be --

            16                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I'm sorry.  

            17                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Excuse me, Suzy.  

            18    Go ahead.

            19                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We had one -- a 

            20    couple more slides just to tell you where we are 

            21    on other fees, just kind of as a wrap-up.  On a 

            22    staff level, we pulled together a cross-divisional 

            23    committee to study fees.  And so we're at the 

            24    process now of just collecting and analyzing data 

            25    and reviewing all types -- all different types of 





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                                                                  68

             1    licenses and permits that we have. 

             2                  And we're looking at the possibility 

             3    of developing some new products, as well as 

             4    looking at streamlining or simplifying the current 

             5    fees that we have.  That process is underway right 

             6    now.  We plan to gather input from advisory 

             7    committees and the general public and put together 

             8    a proposal and get some commission input in 

             9    January or April and go from there.

            10                  CHAIRMAN ANGELO:  Very good.  Thank 

            11    you.  Item Number 6, it's been suggested that we 

            12    pull that from the agenda today.  If there's no 

            13    objections, we'll do so, and that can be handled 

            14    procedurally at a later time. 

            15                  If no other business, that concludes 

            16    the work of the Finance Committee for today.  And 

            17    the meeting is -- or the Finance Committee meeting 

            18    is adjourned.  Madame chairman? 

            19                  CHAIRMAN IDSAL:  We will now convene 

            20    the infrastructure committee meeting.  Will you 

            21    pass that to John Avila.

            22                         *-*-*-*-*

            23                   (MEETING ADJOURNED.)

            24                         *-*-*-*-*

            25    





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                                                                  69

             1                 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE

             2    STATE OF TEXAS   )

             3    COUNTY OF TRAVIS )

             4             I, MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, a Certified 

             5    Court Reporter in and for the State of Texas, do 

             6    hereby certify that the above and foregoing 50 

             7    pages constitute a full, true and correct 

             8    transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks & 

             9    Wildlife Commission on NOVEMBER 7, 2001, in the 

            10    commission hearing room of the Texas Parks & 

            11    Wildlife Headquarters Complex, Austin, Travis 

            12    County, Texas.

            13             I FURTHER CERTIFY that a stenographic 

            14    record was made by me at the time of the public 

            15    meeting and said stenographic notes were 

            16    thereafter reduced to computerized transcription 

            17    under my supervision and control.

            18             WITNESS MY HAND this the 9th day of 

            19    January, 2002. 

            20    
                  
            21                                                     
                           MELODY RENEE DeYOUNG, RPR, CSR NO. 3226
            22             Expiration Date:  12-31-02
                           3101 Bee Caves Road
            23             Centre II, Suite 220
                           Austin, Texas  78746
            24             (512) 328-5557
                  
            25    







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