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.
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.
chaired the meeting and Deirdre O'Sullivan served as secretary.
Remarks by Gil 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.
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.
of the Council's Officers
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.
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
adjourned at 10:30 a.m.