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Amtrak Reform Council

March 20, 2001

The Amtrak Reform Council (the Council) held its business meeting at the Phoenix Park Hotel, 520 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, D.C. on March 20, 2001. The Meeting started at 9:30 a.m. and adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

Council Members present: Gil Carmichael, Chair; Paul Weyrich, Vice-chair; Bruce Chapman, Nancy Rutledge Connery, James Coston, Wendell Cox, Lee Kling, and Mayor John Norquist. Charles Moneypenny participated via conference call. Christopher Gleason arrived at the Business Meeting around 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Carmichael chaired the meeting and Deirdre O'Sullivan served as secretary.

I. Opening Remarks by Gil Carmichael

Mr. Carmichael called the meeting to order. Mr. Carmichael stated he hopes that the Second Annual Report (Report) that was approved by the Council will start the debate on the future of Amtrak and intercity rail passenger service. In addition, he stated that the Report lists five options for restructuring Amtrak but does not come to any final conclusions. He then stated that the Council members would discussing aspects of the Report in more detail at the Press Conference which was scheduled to begin immediately following the Business Meeting.

Mr. Carmichael then stated that the Council had already voted to approve the Report via notation. He then recounted the voting. He stated that eight Council members - Mr. Chapman, Ms. Connery, Mr. Coston, Mr. Gleason, Mr. Kling, Mr. Norquist, and Mr. Weyrich, and himself had voted to approve the report without qualifications. Mr. Cox voted to approve the report with qualifications, which are stated in his letter that is in the Appendix of the Report. The newest Council member, Secretary of Transportation, Norman Y. Mineta, voted to abstain on behalf of the Bush Administration, with reasons provided from the Acting Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration which is also in the Appendix. Mr. Moneypenny, the representative of Rail Labor on the Council, voted to disapprove the report for the reasons stated in his letter which is also in the Appendix.

II. Election of the Council's Officers

Mr. Carmichael stated that the Council had elected its officers, himself for Chair and Mr. Paul Weyrich for Vice-Chair, for one-year terms at the January 2000 meeting. He then opened the floor for nominations for the Chair and the Vice-Chair. Mr. Kling nominated Mr. Carmichael for Chair and Mr. Weyrich for Vice-Chair. The nominations were seconded by both Mr. Coston and Mr. Chapman. There were no other nominations and the vote was unanimous. Mr. Carmichael thanked the Council for its vote and stated that he would continue to work with Council members and the staff in the upcoming year. Mr. Weyrich also thanked the Council and pledged to continue working on its behalf.

III.  Executive Director's Report

In the interest of time, Mr. Till stated very briefly the staff's request that the Council approve the staff going forward on three motions. The first motion was to have the staff prepare the FY2002 Budget Request for Congress to be approved by the Council via notation. The second motion was have the staff prepare a plan to have at least three outreach hearings for the states to comment on issues raised in the Second Annual Report. And the third motion was for the staff to draft a position paper on the High Speed Rail Investment Act (S.250, also known as the Amtrak Bond bill) for the approval of the Council. Mr. Carmichael asked for a vote to approve the motions. Mr. Weyrich seconded the motion. Mr. Carmichael, Mr. Weyrich, Mr. Chapman, Ms. Connery, Mr. Coston, Mr. Cox, Mr. Gleason, Mr. Kling, and Mayor John Norquist voted in the affirmative. Mr. Moneypenny stated that he would abstain from voting until he further examined the motions.

IV. Adjournment

The Council adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

The ARC is an independent federal commission established under the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-134).