Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Finance Committee

January 24, 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    24th day of January 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 9:32 a.m., to wit:

            14    

            15    
                  
            16    
                  APPEARANCES:
            17    THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION:
                  Chair: Dick W. Heath, Carrollton, Texas
            18           Lee M. Bass, Fort Worth, Texas
                         Nolan Ryan, Alvin, Texas (Absent)
            19           Ernest Angelo, Jr., Midland, Texas
                         John Avila, Jr., Fort Worth, Texas
            20           Carol E. Dinkins, Houston, Texas
                         Alvin L. Henry, Houston, Texas
            21           Katharine Armstrong Idsal, San Antonio, Texas
                         Mark E. Watson, Jr., San Antonio, Texas
            22    
                  
            23    THE PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT:
                     Andrew H. Sansom, Executive Director, and other 
            24    personnel of the Parks and Wildlife Department.
                  
            25    





.
                                                                   2

             1                     JANUARY 24, 2001

             2                         *-*-*-*-*

             3                 FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING

             4                         *-*-*-*-*

             5                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  This is a 

             6    meeting of the Finance Committee of the Texas 

             7    Parks and Wildlife Commission, and the committee 

             8    will come to order.  And may I have approval of 

             9    the committee minutes from the previous meeting? 

            10                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Move.

            11                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Second.

            12                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  All in favor?

            13                      (Motion passed unanimously.)

            14                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Thank you. 

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

            16       CHARGES.

            17                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  We'll begin 

            18    with a briefing of the Chairman's charges.  Suzy? 

            19                  MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman?

            20                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Andy?

            21                  MR. SANSOM:  Thank you.  The second 

            22    charge that Mr. Bass has directed this committee 

            23    to address is the uninterrupted installation of 

            24    Texas outdoor connection with a new partner in our 

            25    automated licensing system. 





.
                                                                   3

             1                  One of the things that I need to 

             2    tell you is that the pilot for this new issuance 

             3    system will be rolled out in five phases starting 

             4    in February and will continue through April.  This 

             5    puts us about one month behind the schedule that 

             6    we had initially set. 

             7                  But the contractor, WorldComm, plans 

             8    to compress the schedule later on for training 

             9    deputies and other purposes and equipment roll-out 

            10    and so we still plan to meet the implementation 

            11    schedule at the end of June.

            12                  One change that you may hear about, 

            13    as you travel around, is that we're going to 

            14    require a little deposit from these license 

            15    deputies because we've got millions of dollars 

            16    worth of equipment out there in these stores, and 

            17    we haven't always had a good response from them in 

            18    terms of taking care of that stuff and getting it 

            19    back so we are going to require a deposit, and 

            20    you'll hear about that. 

            21                  Jayna Burgdorf, who has left the 

            22    room, is about to have a child.  And she has done 

            23    an incredible job in that this thing has pretty 

            24    much so far run flawlessly under her leadership.  

            25    And I want to particularly commend her for that.





.
                                                                   4

             1                  Mr. Chairman, the second item that I 

             2    would like to call your attention to is our 

             3    license plate program which you've all been very 

             4    interested in and, by the way, was a topic with 

             5    the Senate Finance Committee yesterday. 

             6                  Our Texas Horned Lizard plate is now 

             7    the third most popular specialty plate in Texas.  

             8    We've sold about 9,000 of them and have gross 

             9    revenues of around $180,000.  And just to give you 

            10    a reference point, the number one plate is the 

            11    State of the Arts plate, which has sold about 

            12    20,000.  The number two is the Animal Friendly 

            13    plate, which has sold about 12,000.

            14                  You've asked us to move forward and 

            15    test a license plate which would be used for the 

            16    support of state parks.  And we've tested six 

            17    images both at Expo and in the parks themselves.  

            18    We've tested an armadillo, and we've tested a 

            19    falcon.  We've tested the Texas conservation 

            20    passport logo around the star.  We've used the 

            21    Republic of Texas flag and a bluebonnet and a 

            22    buffalo. 

            23                  We've surveyed it on the Web, in the 

            24    parks, through -- throughout the months of 

            25    December, through the middle of this month.  We 





.
                                                                   5

             1    talked to about 2,000 people and 500 on the Web 

             2    and about 550 at state parks.  The survey results 

             3    basically determined that the number one choice, 

             4    you know, by a large margin was the bluebonnet.  

             5                  And this plate pretty much gives you 

             6    the product that we've tested.  It is -- the 

             7    design is circumscribed by TxDOT, so that the 

             8    image or the icon has to appear in this portion of 

             9    the plate.  So we're designing within a parameter 

            10    that they had given us.  But it was the top 

            11    selection of 33 percent of all the state park 

            12    visitors, 31 percent of the Web visitors.  And it 

            13    was very, very strong among the state park users 

            14    themselves.  So we're going to immediately take 

            15    steps to put this out, and you'll start to see it. 

            16                  The renewals -- those of you who 

            17    have Horned Toad plates, those renewals are 

            18    coming.  And Lydia pointed out to me yesterday 

            19    that when you get your renewal in the mail, you 

            20    have to go down to the courthouse if you want to 

            21    change.  You have two choices.  You can either 

            22    renew the plate you've got or you can get up and 

            23    go down to the courthouse and renew it, so I think 

            24    that bodes well for the renewal business, which is 

            25    where these things really start to pay off. 





.
                                                                   6

             1                  Darcy Hamburg, our marketing 

             2    director, and Lydia have spearheaded this project.  

             3    And I'm pretty excited.  We're doing well.  I 

             4    mean, we -- the -- particularly, against these 

             5    other plates. 

             6                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Are we going to 

             7    end up with just that one plate?  Is that how 

             8    that --

             9                  MR. SANSOM:  Actually, what we're 

            10    going to do, Commissioner Idsal, is we debated in 

            11    the beginning whether or not to issue a whole 

            12    suite of plates at once, to, address, you know, 

            13    various constituencies.  And we decided it would 

            14    be more prudent of us, since we've never done it 

            15    before, to try one and then see how we did.  And 

            16    we have done very well.  This will be the second 

            17    one. 

            18                  And I've kind of urged Lydia and her 

            19    crew to speed up the process because I think 

            20    there's probably no -- there are people who want a 

            21    license plate that has a large-mouth bass on it so 

            22    they can contribute to the hatchery system.  There 

            23    are people who would like to have a license plate 

            24    with a white-tailed deer on it, you know, the 

            25    money of which would go into the wildlife program.  





.
                                                                   7

             1    So we're going to move quickly to develop some 

             2    additional plates that meet specific constituency 

             3    desires and target funds to specific fish and 

             4    wildlife programs.  So you'll see -- I believe the 

             5    next two you'll see will be a white-tail deer and 

             6    largemouth bass.

             7                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I was a little 

             8    bit concerned.  As pretty as that is -- and it 

             9    really is -- I like the graphics a lot -- that 

            10    some males may resist having something that is 

            11    that pretty. 

            12                  MR. SANSOM:  It's kind of 

            13    interesting.

            14                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Well, you 

            15    know -- 

            16                  MR. SANSOM:  The male response was 

            17    very strong.  Commissioner, that was the same 

            18    question that all of us asked.  And it's 

            19    interesting that the male response to this was 

            20    very strong.

            21                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  What were the 

            22    next two in popularity? 

            23                  MR. SANSOM:  Armadillo was number 

            24    two.  

            25                  MS. SALDANA:  Those two were so far 





.
                                                                   8

             1    above the others that --

             2                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  The armadillo 

             3    and the bluebonnet?

             4                  MS. SALDANA:  The armadillo and the 

             5    bluebonnet.

             6                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  Where did the 

             7    horned lizard come in?

             8                   MR. SANSOM:  It's what the males 

             9    all went for.

            10                  MS. SALDANA:  Well, the question we 

            11    asked on the survey, was for those who chose the 

            12    Bluebonnet, how many would choose that over the 

            13    Horned Toad?  And it was low.  We didn't want 

            14    that -- we were concerned about cannibalization of 

            15    the sales of the Horny Toad plate.  So that was 

            16    the reason we went with the Horny Toad plate. 

            17                  But your question about the male and 

            18    female, on the Web survey, 70 percent of the 

            19    people who were surveyed on the Web were male, and 

            20    yet it still came out on top.

            21                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I'm prejudiced.

            22                  MS. SALDANA:  We were surprised.  I 

            23    know I was surprised.

            24                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  One more thing, 

            25    and I want to be sure get this straight.  We will 





.
                                                                   9

             1    have -- and I think I would agree with this, that 

             2    you have one main plate, and that you will be able 

             3    to get the other ones by special order type of 

             4    thing? 

             5                  MR. SANSOM:  You get them all the 

             6    same way.

             7                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  You get to choose.

             8                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  You get to 

             9    choose.  So we'll have the white-tailed, the  

            10    buck, the armadillo -- is that it?

            11                  MR. SANSOM:  No, the bass.

            12                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  The bass and 

            13    the bluebonnet.  Okay.  Sounds great.

            14                  MR. SANSOM:  Mr. Chairman, that 

            15    concludes my comments on the charges, save one 

            16    comment.  We did appear yesterday before the 

            17    Senate Finance Committee for our first hearing.  

            18    In my mind, it went extremely well thanks to the 

            19    fact that Commissioner Henry had a number of 

            20    questions planted before we arrived. 

            21                  But both Commissioner Henry and 

            22    Commissioner Watson were there all day with me and 

            23    the staff, and I appreciate that very much.  It 

            24    provides us with a shield that we otherwise 

            25    wouldn't be able to have. 





.
                                                                  10

             1                  And it was -- and a number of 

             2    members of the committee commented on the fact 

             3    that they were there.  And I noticed that in 

             4    several instances members of the committee who had 

             5    sort of decided they would leave did not leave, 

             6    but stayed, you know, in order to make sure that 

             7    they acknowledged the presence of these two 

             8    members of our board.  And I appreciate that.

             9                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Before we move on, 

            10    I'd just like to note that to the best of my 

            11    knowledge, the initial concept for the bluebonnet 

            12    came from John Avila at this table at some point 

            13    over a year ago.  So I guess at least informally 

            14    it will be the John Avila plate.

            15                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  He'll like 

            16    that.

            17                  MR. SANSOM:  I would look forward to 

            18    seeing them on all the vehicles at the Thos.

            19    S. Byrne Company.

            20       AGENDA ITEM NO. 2:  BRIEFING - FINANCIAL 

            21       REVIEW.

            22                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Okay.  We're 

            23    going to move on from this subject before it just 

            24    starts really going downhill.  The second item is 

            25    a briefing item, a financial review from Suzy 





.
                                                                  11

             1    Whittenton.  Suzy? 

             2                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Thank you.  I'll 

             3    keep this pretty brief today.  I'm just going to 

             4    update you on where we are on the revenue status 

             5    year to date and then briefly update you on the 

             6    appropriations process and what to expect next.

             7                   In the state parks' account revenue 

             8    is down 18 percent, when you compare it to the 

             9    previous year for the period September through 

            10    December.  It was particularly off in November.  

            11    We were down 30 percent in November.  We think 

            12    that's largely due to the cold weather, cold, wet 

            13    weather that we had across the state. 

            14                  We're not all that concerned about 

            15    being off on our -- from previous years at this 

            16    point because the fall and winter are not the big 

            17    revenue generators in the parks' account, anyway.  

            18    So we could easily make up this lost ground in the 

            19    spring and summer.

            20                  And as it turns out, our original 

            21    estimate for the year still looks reasonable in 

            22    this account.  Last year's revenue came in higher 

            23    than usual.  And we had made our current year's 

            24    projections before we knew the final results of 

            25    last year's revenues.  So we're still on target 





.
                                                                  12

             1    with the estimate, and we don't need to make any 

             2    kind of revenue adjustment there.

             3                  Now, looking at Account 9, revenue 

             4    for boat registrations and titling fees and 

             5    license sales, boat fees are coming in at a slower 

             6    rate than expected, but again, this is not the 

             7    period of the year when most boat purchases occur.  

             8    So we think that an adjustment in the estimate 

             9    would be premature at this time.  We'll know a lot 

            10    more, of course, in the spring and summer how 

            11    those fees are going to come in. 

            12                  And the good news is that total 

            13    license revenue is up by $1.3 million over last 

            14    year's.  And when you look at the total number of 

            15    licenses sold, super combo sales are up 19 percent 

            16    while combo sales are down 12 percent.  And then 

            17    overall combo sales are up 5 percent. 

            18                  Both resident and nonresident 

            19    hunting sales are up.  But the total primary 

            20    hunting sales are down around 3 percent.  Special 

            21    resident sales are down, which is what causes the 

            22    overall number to be down.

            23                  Fishing license sales are down.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Suzy?

            25                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I'm sorry?





.
                                                                  13

             1                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Before, you go on, 

             2    if you aggregate all hunting licenses of any type, 

             3    resident, nonresident, et cetera, what does that 

             4    come out versus last year? 

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  They're down 3 

             6    percent, approximately.

             7                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  That's that 2.8.

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Uh-huh.  And in 

             9    looking at all the different types of hunting 

            10    licenses, the only one that is really -- where you 

            11    see a big difference is the special resident 

            12    hunting license numbers which were down.  And this 

            13    is not a big -- it's not a big number, 3 percent 

            14    difference.  I'm not sure what that's attributed 

            15    to.  And the revenue was up because of -- I guess 

            16    it's the fee increase.

            17                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I'm sorry.  Does 

            18    that figure include sales that were made in August 

            19    for this hunting season?

            20                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes, it does.  It's 

            21    the license.

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Last year we sold a 

            23    million hunting licenses.  And this says down 

            24    2.82, 472,000. 

            25                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Let's see.





.
                                                                  14

             1                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  What I'm asking is 

             2    the total, total everything.

             3                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's the total 

             4    number sold so far, is 400 and -- that can't be 

             5    right.  No.  That's not right. 

             6                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Not at 2.8 

             7    percent.

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Okay.  Those are 

             9    just the primary license sales.

            10                  MR. SANSOM:  That's just the 

            11    $19 dollar license.

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  My question is 

            13    everything, all hunting licenses of all types 

            14    aggregated, where are we versus last year? 

            15                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I'll have to pull 

            16    that separately.  They come in a whole list, so 

            17    I'll just pull them out.  We'll get that for you 

            18    later. 

            19                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  So you can aggregate 

            20    that for us.  Thank you. 

            21                  MS. WHITTENTON:  On the fish --

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And while you're 

            23    doing it, do the same for fishing.  Thanks. 

            24                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Fishing sales are 

            25    down approximately 15 percent at this point in the 





.
                                                                  15

             1    year.  And again, I think we sell most of our 

             2    fishing licenses later in the year.  But in terms 

             3    of number of resident fishing licenses, number of 

             4    saltwater stamps and in total primary fishing 

             5    licenses, sales were down about 15 percent.

             6                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Suzy, just for 

             7    everybody's knowledge, when you say down, down 

             8    relative to --

             9                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Down relative to 

            10    the previous year.

            11                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Previous year 

            12    at this date? 

            13                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yes.  When you look 

            14    at year to date comparing as of -- and these are 

            15    January 10th.  As of January 10th of 2000, we were 

            16    off --

            17                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  What then is 

            18    the difference between last year and this year 

            19    that leads us to be comfortable with being down 

            20    15 percent.

            21                  MR. SANSOM:  They are moving to 

            22    super combo.

            23                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Okay.  So 

            24    again, the aggregate that the Chairman is asking 

            25    for will give us the picture that we're looking 





.
                                                                  16

             1    for.

             2                  MR. SANSOM:  Right.  I think you'll 

             3    see in a moment that she's reflecting here is a 

             4    really strong migration to super combo.

             5                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  And I think 

             6    that's my point.  My point is for everybody to 

             7    understand and the public to understand that these 

             8    numbers in and of themselves can be misleading 

             9    numbers.

            10                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.

            11                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  And so we will 

            12    come back to those numbers.  

            13                  MS. WHITTENTON:  And when you look 

            14    at total revenue from license sales, all license 

            15    sales were up $1.3 million, which is about 

            16    5 percent.  Is that 5 percent?  I didn't bring my 

            17    backup sheets.  Well --

            18                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  By the end of 

            19    the day today, if we could -- however the Chairman 

            20    wants to handle it, just reconvene this committee 

            21    or whatever to identify this, just so, again, the 

            22    public is not misled as we go through what appear 

            23    to be down numbers, down numbers, down numbers, 

            24    it's because there's been an adjustment in what we 

            25    are selling.





.
                                                                  17

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.

             2                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  But overall 

             3    sales up $1.3 million? 

             4                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Right.  Super combo 

             5    sales were up by 19 percent, which is a 

             6    significant number.

             7                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Right.  Okay.

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  And at this point, 

             9    we've collected about 80 percent of what we 

            10    originally estimated in our revenue from all of 

            11    these licenses through the outdoor connection.

            12                  It looks like our original estimate 

            13    will be a little bit low.  But again, we're not 

            14    asking for a revenue adjustment.  And that's all 

            15    we have on revenue at this time.  And we'll get 

            16    back with you on the additional information.

            17                  I just wanted to let you know that 

            18    we requested our last installment on the revenue 

            19    bonds, on the original $60 million of revenue 

            20    bonds, and we expect it to be issued next month.  

            21    You'll remember that we had $60 million, and now 

            22    with the interest that's been accumulated, we'll 

            23    actually get a total of $63 and a half.  The other 

            24    three and a half is added into this last 

            25    installment.  And I think Scott Boruff will be 





.
                                                                  18

             1    briefing you on where we are on the projects and 

             2    in spending those revenue bonds and the 

             3    infrastructure.

             4                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  We get to keep the 

             5    interest and spend it? 

             6                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We do.  And lastly, 

             7    I just wanted to update you on our appropriations 

             8    request for the next biennium.  Since we last met, 

             9    the Legislative Budget Board released their 

            10    recommendations on our budget request, and those 

            11    recommendations were then forwarded to the 

            12    Appropriations Committee and the Finance Committee 

            13    for consideration.  And of course, as you know, 

            14    the hearings have begun.

            15                  The Legislative Budget Board focused 

            16    their recommendations primarily on base level 

            17    funding.  They didn't address exceptional items in 

            18    most cases.  And what they recommended for Texas 

            19    Parks and Wildlife was a cut in the base level 

            20    funding due to what they deemed were one-time 

            21    project expenditures.  Those total $2.8 million in 

            22    the first year and $2.5 million in the second 

            23    year. 

            24                  And those special projects were 

            25    conservation projects and the Texas Tech study 





.
                                                                  19

             1    that they considered one-time only projects.  And 

             2    as I said, they didn't make any recommendations on 

             3    our exceptional items.

             4                  The Governor's budget office also 

             5    puts out a budget proposal, and Governor Perry's 

             6    budget included a recommendation for

             7    $15 million in general obligation bonds for Parks 

             8    and Wildlife.  These would look much like the 

             9    revenue bonds that we currently have, that we're 

            10    currently using to reduce the backlog in critical 

            11    repairs. 

            12                  You remember the Infrastructure task 

            13    force report that identified the $75 million in 

            14    needed repairs.  We got the $60 million in '98, 

            15    and now, the Governor's office is recommending 

            16    that we get the other $15 million as part of a 

            17    general obligation bond package that would have to 

            18    be voted on by the public, if it passes the 

            19    Legislature.

            20                  Items that they didn't include in 

            21    our recommendation, they didn't include from our 

            22    request were the two and a half million in 

            23    conservation and education projects, the 

            24    entrepreneurial rider that we had asked for that 

            25    would allow us to spend -- give us authority to 





.
                                                                  20

             1    spend funds that we earned throughout the year, 

             2    the 300,000 from the tech study.  And they also 

             3    made a change in the funding source for some 

             4    in-house -- they think that we should charge some 

             5    of our Infrastructure staff costs to the bonds, 

             6    which actually result in a net decrease in funding. 

             7                  And they didn't make the requested 

             8    changes to the riders that we had asked for.  

             9    These were the exceptional items they didn't 

            10    address or the operations and maintenance 

            11    enhancements to repairs for scheduled facility 

            12    repairs and enhancements to the parks services, 

            13    nor did they address the commercial fishing 

            14    license buyback authority that we had asked for.

            15                  The committees, of course, have the 

            16    authority to make the decisions.  And as Andy 

            17    mentioned, we had a good hearing yesterday, and 

            18    we'll be sending additional information to the 

            19    committee in response to their questions that they 

            20    had. 

            21                  We're scheduled now for a House 

            22    Appropriations hearing on February 1st, and then 

            23    we don't expect to go back to the Senate until 

            24    they do their markup hearing, where they will come 

            25    out with what they recommended.  And then we'll, 





.
                                                                  21

             1    I'm sure, see the appropriations side a couple of 

             2    times, as well.  And we'll just keep you informed 

             3    as we go through that process on what happens.

             4                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Well, Suzy, I 

             5    don't know what your take was yesterday, but I 

             6    believe that Senator Lucio is going to draft 

             7    numerous bills, and one of them, I think, is going 

             8    to suggest that we go to annual licenses.  And I 

             9    would think that we ought to get ready to respond 

            10    to that and see what sort of an impact, you know, 

            11    that's going to have. 

            12                  But I got the distinct impression 

            13    that that's not an if or a maybe, but that he's 

            14    going to -- right, he's going to do that.  And I 

            15    don't know how that impacts on -- you know, on our 

            16    revenue strength, but I think we'd better get 

            17    ready.

            18                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  What would be 

            19    the impact of that? 

            20                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  I don't know. 

            21                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  What is he 

            22    talking about? 

            23                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  I mean, if you 

            24    bought a license March 1st, it would be good until 

            25    the next March 1st.





.
                                                                  22

             1                  MR. SANSOM:  It would have a 

             2    significant impact on revenue, and you couldn't do 

             3    it with a current tagging system, I think, would 

             4    be the two principles.

             5                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I guess I'm 

             6    wondering -- what I meant to ask was why would he 

             7    want to do that.

             8                  MS. WHITTENTON:  I think he probably 

             9    doesn't realize that it would come out with a 

            10    negative fiscal impact, I'm assuming.  We are 

            11    going to address that in our response to him on 

            12    all the questions that came up during the hearing.  

            13    I know we have already prepared some estimates on 

            14    what that would do to our revenue.  

            15                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  My guess is it's 

            16    probably driven more by the fishing 


            17    constituencies.

            18                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's what it 

            19    sounded like.

            20                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  I don't know 

            21    how you could do it practically.  You are going to 

            22    have a change in regulations during period, and 

            23    would that be reflected in the license? 

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I think where some 

            25    people feel impinged upon is in the middle of July 





.
                                                                  23

             1    they buy a fishing license, and it's really only 

             2    good for six weeks.  That's -- that's the place, I 

             3    think, that the complaints might be driving --

             4                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  That's the kind 

             5    of example he used.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  -- are originated.

             7                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Well, it's 

             8    going to happen.  So I think the more information 

             9    we can get to him, maybe we can discourage him, 

            10    sap some of his enthusiasm for that idea.

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Okay.  On your 

            12    question about the hunting licenses, we've got 

            13    some numbers.  When you look at the primary 

            14    hunting license purchases and the combos, last 

            15    year in fiscal year 2000 we -- or in license year 

            16    2000, we sold 978,000.  In the current license 

            17    year, we've already sold 989,000 -- oh, I'm sorry.  

            18    That's for the same time of year.  That's when you 

            19    pulled numbers as of January 10th.  You look at 

            20    during the same time period.  We've sold 11,000, 

            21    nearly 12,000 more licenses than we did last year.

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And that's including 

            23    all types of hunting license, both resident and 

            24    nonresident, combo? 

            25                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That's including 





.
                                                                  24

             1    the resident hunting, the special resident 

             2    hunting, general nonresident, nonresident five-day 

             3    and then the combinations. 

             4                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Overall is --

             5                  MS. WHITTENTON:  So that's primary 

             6    hunting licenses and the combinations.  There are 

             7    some other small ones, but that's the vast 

             8    majority.

             9                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So we are up 

            10    slightly?

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  We are up.

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  There are other 

            13    types than the six you named?

            14                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Small ones.  I'd 

            15    have to find -- we don't look at them a whole lot 

            16    because they're not very big numbers, and they're 

            17    not much revenue.

            18                  On the anglers, on the fishing 

            19    licenses, this time last year we had sold just 

            20    over a million, 1,003,155.  For this current 

            21    license year we've sold 948,000.  Fishing was up 

            22    last year over the previous license year quite a 

            23    bit at this time of the year, if you'll remember.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  That could also be 

            25    somewhat due to cold weather.





.
                                                                  25

             1                  MS. WHITTENTON:  Yeah.  It's been 

             2    bad for parks.  And then the revenue is -- we're 

             3    basically up on both the hunting license revenue 

             4    and the fishing license revenue.  The hunting 

             5    licenses were up about $2 million or just under 

             6    $2 million.  And then in the fishing, it looks 

             7    like we're pretty close to even.  It's up maybe 

             8    $300,000 because of the increase to the saltwater 

             9    stamp fee.

            10                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you very much.

            11                  MS. WHITTENTON:  That was all for my 

            12    presentation unless you had any other questions.

            13                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  No further 

            14    questions.  Thank you very much, Suzy.

            15       AGENDA ITEM NO. 3:  ACTION - HISTORICALLY

            16       UNDERUTILIZED BUSINESS (HUB) PROGRAM RULES.

            17                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:   Item Number 3 

            18    is an action item.  Debra Pendley will talk to us 

            19    about the historically underutilized business 

            20    program rules.  Hi.

            21                  MS. PENDLEY:  Good morning.  I'm 

            22    here to present for your consideration the 

            23    proposed adoption of General Services Commission's 

            24    historically underutilized business program rules. 

            25                  Senate Bill 178 of the 76th 





.
                                                                  26

             1    Legislature codified the HUB program under the 

             2    Government Code Chapter 2161.  The bill mandated 

             3    the GSC develop and adopt new rules under the 

             4    Texas Administrative Code. 

             5                  Section 2161.003 requires state 

             6    agencies to adopt GSC rules as their own agency 

             7    rules.  They proposed new Section 51.171, 

             8    concerning the HUB programs necessary to comply 

             9    with this requirement.  The proposed rule adoption 

            10    was published with no comment in the December 1st 

            11    issue of the Texas Register.  Current procedures 

            12    adhere to GSC rules, and there's -- adopting the 

            13    rules wouldn't change any of our current 

            14    practices.

            15                  Staff recommends that the Texas 

            16    Parks and Wildlife Commission authorize adoption 

            17    by reference the rules of the General Services 

            18    Commission contained in Title 1 of the Texas 

            19    Administrative Code, Sections 111.11-111.28.  This 

            20    item is eligible for the consent agenda if no 

            21    comments are received. 

            22                  That concludes my presentation.  

            23    I'll be happy to answer any questions.

            24                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Any questions, 

            25    Commissioners?  If there's no questions, then this 





.
                                                                  27

             1    requires a motion, and I'd suggest this be a 

             2    motion for the consent agenda tomorrow.  Have a 

             3    motion? 

             4                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  So moved. 

             5                      (Motion passed unanimously.)

             6       AGENDA ITEM NO. 4:  ACTION - LOCAL PARK FUNDING  

             7       AND INDOOR RECREATION GRANTS.

             8                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Agenda Item 

             9    Number 4, local park funding and indoor recreation 

            10    grants, Tim Hogsett.  Tim?  

            11                  MR. HOGSETT:  Good morning, 

            12    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.  For 

            13    the record, I'm Tim Hogsett, Director of 

            14    Recreation Grants Program in the State Parks 

            15    Division. 

            16                  We're tomorrow going to present to 

            17    you recommendations for funding for the indoor and 

            18    outdoor recreation programs.  In brief, for the 

            19    outdoor recreation grants programs, for all 

            20    applications received as of July 31st of 2000.  We 

            21    had 46 applications requesting $17,322,833.

            22                  We have ranked -- scored and ranked 

            23    ordered all of those projects, and you can find 

            24    those in Exhibit A of Item number 2 in the public 

            25    hearing item.  We are recommending, with the 





.
                                                                  28

             1    available funding of $5.5 million the approval of 

             2    the top 12 projects.  You will notice that the 

             3    last project is recommended for partial funding, 

             4    since we don't have enough money to fully fund it.  

             5    We've contacted the sponsor, and they are 

             6    satisfied with that recommendation or are willing 

             7    to take that amount of money. 

             8                  So with that, tomorrow our 

             9    recommendation will be for the funding of the 

            10    projects as listed in Exhibit A in the amount of 

            11    $5,511,794, and the individual project 

            12    descriptions can be found at Exhibit B.  Would you 

            13    like me to go ahead with the next one and take all 

            14    of it together? 

            15                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Let's go to the 

            16    second one, and then we'll ask any questions.

            17                  MR. HOGSETT:  Indoor recreation 

            18    applications.  We take these applications only 

            19    once a year.  These are all the applications which 

            20    were received by the July 31st deadline.  We had a 

            21    total request of $7,088,373.  Those 14 

            22    applications were again all scored and rank 

            23    ordered.  And you can find your rank ordering in 

            24    Exhibit B in Item number 3 of the public hearing 

            25    agenda.  We did site visits on all of those.  And 





.
                                                                  29

             1    we're recommending funding for the top six 

             2    projects. 

             3                  Again, the lowest project is 

             4    recommended for partial funding, and the sponsor 

             5    has been contacted and is pleased to take that 

             6    recommended amount.  So the recommendation for 

             7    indoor recreation grants tomorrow will be the 

             8    funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in the 

             9    amount of $3,325,000 is approved, as described for 

            10    individual projects in Exhibit B.  I believe these 

            11    are eligible for consent item, but typically we 

            12    have public comment. 

            13                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  I think we'll 

            14    probably leave this for public comment.  I've just 

            15    got a couple of questions, Tim, if I might.  How 

            16    are communities informed that this money is 

            17    available to them? 

            18                  MR. HOGSETT:  Through numerous 

            19    public hearings that we do when we do rule making.  

            20    We did a total of 12 public hearings over the 

            21    period of about a year a couple of years ago, 

            22    through the councils of governments, through mass 

            23    mail-outs of brochures.

            24                  As you can probably tell, we're not 

            25    lacking for business.





.
                                                                  30

             1                  MR. SANSOM:  Texas Municipal League? 

             2                  MR. HOGSETT:  Texas Recreation Parks 

             3    Society published an article recently about the 

             4    program in the Society's magazine.  Typically, 

             5    we'll do outreach presentations through a 

             6    contractual organization in their annual 

             7    conference.

             8                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  And in that 

             9    same vein, I was curious about how the volume of 

            10    applications has fired from year to year in terms 

            11    of numbers of applications and the dollar amount, 

            12    both. 

            13                  MR. HOGSETT:  There continues to be 

            14    a slight increase in both of the programs and the 

            15    numbers of applications and the amount that we're 

            16    receiving.  Part of that is probably due to the 

            17    economy and increased expense. 

            18                  But what we are finding, 

            19    interestingly, particularly in the last two 

            20    reviews and particularly in the outdoor program, 

            21    is that competition is much, much more keen than 

            22    it has been in the past.  The top three projects 

            23    in the outdoor recommendations are the highest 

            24    scores in history.

            25                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Do you have 





.
                                                                  31

             1    any feel for the percentage of those that don't 

             2    receive approval that come back for subsequent 

             3    years? 

             4                  MR. HOGSETT:  More than half of them 

             5    are coming back and resubmitting, in some cases 

             6    more than one resubmission, and most of them 

             7    eventually being funded.

             8                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Would you 

             9    judge from that that they are reasonably satisfied 

            10    with the process, then? 

            11                  MR. HOGSETT:  I think so.  We found 

            12    that in the public hearings.  We think there was a 

            13    lot of satisfaction.  The problem is just the 

            14    amount of resource available doesn't meet the 

            15    need.

            16                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Has it ever 

            17    been higher than 46, Tim, the sponsored requests? 

            18                  MR. HOGSETT:  We've had as many as 

            19    60 projects in years past.  But it's been pretty 

            20    consistent, between 45 and 50, in the last several 

            21    years in the outdoor program.

            22                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  So you're 

            23    pretty confident.  Andy, I assume you're confident 

            24    that we're communicating with the necessary people 

            25    in local communities that they know this is 





.
                                                                  32

             1    something they can apply for? 

             2                  MR. SANSOM:  Yes, sir.  The one 

             3    concern that I have -- and Tim is going to speak 

             4    to that -- is that because of the overall lack of 

             5    resource and because of the increased ability of 

             6    the larger communities to compete, that we're 

             7    seeing a concentration at the top of the scale.  

             8                  So ergot, my concern is that you're 

             9    seeing a potential drop-off in smaller communities 

            10    who may, in fact, be sort of giving up.  So Tim 

            11    has got a proposal for you that would address 

            12    that.

            13                  MR. HOGSETT:  The thing that we 

            14    heard most --

            15                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Boy, we're 

            16    smart.  We're just right on it, I'm telling you. 

            17                  MR. HOGSETT:  The thing that we 

            18    heard most commonly in the public hearings that we 

            19    did a year and a half or so ago to revise the 

            20    rules of the program that we have not addressed as 

            21    of yet is that small communities and communities 

            22    who simply wanted one or two facilities, someone 

            23    who just wants to build a ball field and don't 

            24    want to do a half million dollar project, they 

            25    didn't feel that they were able to be competitive 





.
                                                                  33

             1    in the -- particularly in the outdoor recreation 

             2    program.

             3                  So to address that we're asking your 

             4    permission to try a pilot project which would set 

             5    aside an amount of money for a pilot in the amount 

             6    of $500,000 total, which is equivalent to one of 

             7    our full-sized outdoor recreation grants that we 

             8    currently give, and pilot that program for 

             9    projects of communities of 50,000 or less in 

            10    population and applications of no more than 

            11    $50,000 in matching funds, or, in other words, a 

            12    $100,000 development project.  We hope to make it 

            13    a very simple application process. 

            14                  We've just completed a draft of an 

            15    application manual that's less than 20 pages long 

            16    and, hopefully, is easy to read and doesn't take 

            17    a -- you know, an expensive consulting firm to put 

            18    the application together.  And we will go through 

            19    a pilot.  With your permission, we will take 

            20    applications through requests for proposals 

            21    beginning next month and probably bring a group of 

            22    applications back to you in this pilot program for 

            23    approval consideration in August. 

            24                  And if it's found to be popular and 

            25    to be needed and the response is good, then we 





.
                                                                  34

             1    will probably come forward with some draft formal 

             2    rules to adopt this as a formal program.

             3                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  I certainly 

             4    like that concept.  May I suggest that if the 

             5    Commission agrees to do that, that we set up the 

             6    criteria in advance of what success means, so that 

             7    we --

             8                  MR. HOGSETT:  We intend to have in 

             9    this pilot a scoring system that is somewhat 

            10    similar to what we've had in the outdoor and 

            11    indoor programs.

            12                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  But the 

            13    objective being clearly to do what? 

            14                  MR. HOGSETT:  To make available 

            15    through a simple and easy process grant funds to 

            16    small communities who have either a multipurpose 

            17    project that is relatively inexpensive or a single 

            18    purpose project, things that they need to do 

            19    locally which they don't have the resources to do 

            20    locally but cannot be competitive in our current 

            21    outdoor recreation program.

            22                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  I personally 

            23    think that's an extremely good idea, and would 

            24    like, frankly, to see, assuming that we set up the 

            25    criteria, we meet the objectives, that the amount 





.
                                                                  35

             1    expands.  I've always felt that we're -- when I 

             2    look at 46, frankly, applications, I think it's a 

             3    surprisingly small number.  And I've always 

             4    thought that number has been kind of a small 

             5    number.  I'd like to really see us broadening. 

             6                  And I think part of the answer to my 

             7    question is, is that maybe it's not that people 

             8    don't know that it's there, but people don't think 

             9    it -- communities don't think it's achievable.  

            10    And I find that bothersome, and I'm delighted to 

            11    see that you've got a proposal for this.

            12                  MR. HOGSETT:  We would agree with 

            13    that. 

            14                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Commissioner 

            15    Henry? 

            16                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  When we say 

            17    small communities, specifically what do we have in 

            18    mind, numbers of population? 

            19                  MR. HOGSETT:  Numbers of population.

            20                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Any particular 

            21    figure we have in mind? 

            22                  MR. HOGSETT:  50,000 or less. 

            23                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Secondly, when 

            24    we communicate with a city, for example, that's 

            25    requested a grant and you say, the recommendation 





.
                                                                  36

             1    does not support recommendation of grant funds, is 

             2    that specifically what we call that requester? 

             3                  MR. HOGSETT:  At this point in time, 

             4    prior to the Commission's action on the projects, 

             5    that's what we tell them.  We also tell them that 

             6    they are eligible to resubmit that application.  

             7    We give them a month in which to do that, make 

             8    whatever changes that they would like to make.  We 

             9    offer to meet with them and go over point by point 

            10    how their project was evaluated, and scoring 

            11    system, and offer suggestions on where they can 

            12    make changes, and then place them back in the next 

            13    review.  And that's where we have those typically 

            14    successful resubmissions coming back to us. 

            15                  MR. SANSOM:  Tim, I would like to 

            16    ask you to look real strongly, as you go through 

            17    this pilot, at that population figure.  There's 

            18    many parts of Texas, in which 50,000 is a really 

            19    big city.

            20                  MR. HOGSETT:  You're right.

            21                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I was thinking 

            22    similarly.  I think we're on the right track, and 

            23    I think we would be getting ahead of ourselves by 

            24    overcomplicating it at this point.  But I wouldn't 

            25    be surprised if the logical conclusion of this 





.
                                                                  37

             1    process is having three or four categories that 

             2    may be based on things other than just population.  

             3    It could be just, you know, the nature of the 

             4    request, being from a larger place, that it is a 

             5    more simple single purpose or grant we're looking 

             6    for rather than a big, half a million dollar 

             7    complex one.

             8                  You know, I think we've really 

             9    almost driven people to apply for full half 

            10    million dollar grants by our process.

            11                  Secondly, this is something that I 

            12    may be suffering from a bad memory on.  But I note 

            13    in this round Keller comes in at 13th, and we've 

            14    run out of money, and they have a score of 101 

            15    points.  It seems to me that in the not too 

            16    distance past we've had rounds where scores in the 

            17    mid to low 80s received funds. 

            18                  MR. HOGSETT:  You're absolutely 

            19    correct.

            20                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  And it's -- a lot of 

            21    this is almost luck of the draw of when they 

            22    apply, what cycle they're in, to where -- you 

            23    know, we're trying to get this money out on an 

            24    expeditious basis, doing it twice a year.  You do 

            25    let people come back and reapply.  But if Keller 





.
                                                                  38

             1    had applied -- you know, gotten their application 

             2    in just a few months earlier or a few months 

             3    later, they may have been at the top of the heap.  

             4    And I don't know what kind of a leveling process 

             5    we might be able to bring to this. 

             6                  MR. HOGSETT:  We're concerned about 

             7    that.  We're thinking about --

             8                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  But at the end of 

             9    the biennium we need to have gotten the money out 

            10    there into the communities or at least granted to 

            11    them, committed to them.  But if you come in -- if 

            12    you happen to come in, you know, with a weak field 

            13    and, therefore, a weak score relative to what 

            14    might be in another cycle, I don't -- I don't 

            15    quite know the approach, but I think you 

            16    understand what I'm saying.

            17                  MR. HOGSETT:  Yes, I do.  Thank you 

            18    very much.

            19                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  There might be a 

            20    concern that some of the better applicants are not 

            21    getting funded simply because they had the bad 

            22    luck, you know, of getting in the heat with a 

            23    bunch of fast runners.

            24                  MR. HOGSETT:  There are a couple of 

            25    projects that were in the high 90s that were 





.
                                                                  39

             1    resubmissions.  Lago Vista is one that comes to 

             2    mind that was in the last review in the 60s.  They 

             3    came in and improved their score remarkably, and, 

             4    unfortunately, we don't have enough money to reach 

             5    them.  So that's of a concern to me as well.

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Do we have grade 

             7    inflation going on here? 

             8                  MR. HOGSETT:  I don't know.

             9                  COMMISSIONER IDSAL:  One question.  

            10    Population of 50,000, would that be an 

            11    incorporated city or a county? 

            12                  MR. HOGSETT:  Cities or counties, 

            13    municipal governments of 50,000 or less.  The only 

            14    thing we're thinking about not doing in that arena 

            15    would be municipal utility districts because those 

            16    are typically in the urban areas --

            17                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  It would be the 

            18    inclined entity --

            19                  MR. HOGSETT:  Correct.  That is 

            20    correct, yes.  So if a county's entire population 

            21    was 50,000 or less and the county submitted an 

            22    application, they would be eligible.  There are a 

            23    few of those counties in the state.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Oh, yeah. 

            25                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  The 5-million-5 





.
                                                                  40

             1    that we're giving, how is that fairing over the 

             2    last few years? 

             3                  MR. HOGSETT:  That is a little less 

             4    than we gave in the past reviews predominantly 

             5    because due to the legislative mandate we were 

             6    required to put $500,000 into the Odessa meteor 

             7    crater this last year, and where we had to take it 

             8    was from the local park fund.

             9                  COMMISSIONER WATSON:  Tim, speaking 

            10    of that, how did you improve the World Birding 

            11    Center in Harlingen and turned down the one in 

            12    Edinburg?

            13                  MR. HOGSETT:  That application will 

            14    be coming back to us in the next review.  

            15    Mr. Sansom  and I have already discussed that.  

            16    Hopefully, the city will be able to put a better 

            17    foot forward in their next application. 

            18                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  The Chairman 

            19    alluded to it forced people to almost go to 

            20    $500,000.  How does that happen? 

            21                  MR. HOGSETT:  One of the criteria 

            22    that is very highly ranked in the scoring system 

            23    is diversity, the numbers of the -- the numbers of 

            24    types of facilities that they ask for, different 

            25    types of recreation opportunities. 





.
                                                                  41

             1                  And also another highly ranking 

             2    criteria is whether or not they have a local 

             3    master plan and if they ask for the highest needs 

             4    in that master plan.  And typically in a local 

             5    community, particularly the larger communities, 

             6    their high needs and their master plans are 

             7    expensive, things like swimming pools and ball 

             8    field complexes or large conservation 

             9    acquisitions, that sort of thing.

            10                  MR. SANSOM:  And members, it's worth 

            11    pointing out here, an aspect of this program at 

            12    the other end of the spectrum that you're not 

            13    seeing today but you saw in the last cycle was the 

            14    regional park program which does provide a new 

            15    opportunity for the larger metropolitan areas, but 

            16    it also provides for a stronger kind of 

            17    conservation component to those grants.  So this 

            18    particular series of applications doesn't 

            19    represent the full spectrum of what this program 

            20    represents now.

            21                  And I would, frankly, like to see 

            22    more migration at the top of the scale toward 

            23    those kind of projects as the legislature has 

            24    directed us.

            25                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  That's a 





.
                                                                  42

             1    different pot of money.

             2                  MR. SANSOM:  Right.  Well, it's this 

             3    money, but we've got it in a different category.

             4                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  They gave us 

             5    that additional money.

             6                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  And you'd like 

             7    to see what, Andy? 

             8                  MR. SANSOM:  Well, what -- what the 

             9    Legislature did in the last session was to allow 

            10    us to use some accumulated interest in this 

            11    program to fund large regional park projects which 

            12    involve multiple partners, where two cities would 

            13    get together that encompassed the large 

            14    conservation areas, one that we funded as a -- 

            15    like a 22-mile bio preservation project in 

            16    Houston.  One of them is a river -- large river 

            17    park in El Paso. 

            18                  So it -- so I think we're improving 

            19    at the top of the scale, as well, in terms of 

            20    what, I believe, the intent of our board and the 

            21    Legislature and the constituents want to see this 

            22    program go.

            23                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  It's fair to 

            24    say it's providing greenbelts in cities.

            25                  MR. SANSOM:  Exactly.





.
                                                                  43

             1                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  As opposed to 

             2    ball parks in a small community.

             3                  MR. SANSOM:  Right.

             4                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Have we ever 

             5    surveyed the potential recipients to see what 

             6    their thinking about the process is? 

             7                  MR. SANSOM:  We do it almost 

             8    continuously.  Tim has an excellent program.  As 

             9    he mentioned, he had 12 public hearings with 

            10    principal constituents in the last 18 months.  So 

            11    we talked to them -- in fact, Commissioner Watson 

            12    and I met with that group of constituents this 

            13    morning.  Walt and Tim and I were there.  So we 

            14    have a pretty much constant dialogue with them.  

            15    And right now I'd say they're pretty enthusiastic. 

            16                  MR. HOGSETT:  The inclusion of the 

            17    indoor recreation program was as a result of that, 

            18    the regional park grant program and now this small 

            19    community's initiative.  It's coming straight from 

            20    the constituents.  That's what they're telling us 

            21    they want.

            22                  MR. SANSOM:  And the outreach 

            23    program.

            24                  MR. HOGSETT:  Yes, and the outreach.

            25                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Well, I think 





.
                                                                  44

             1    the  program has been wonderful.  All this 

             2    discusses is just how you stretch the dollar.

             3                  MR. SANSOM:  Which is forming up, as 

             4    Chairman Bass has commented, in that it's becoming 

             5    more diverse.  There's more ways to iterate. 

             6                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Well, and as I 

             7    say, maybe we're not matching 50 percent.  Maybe 

             8    you could get a formula where that diversity 

             9    doesn't carry as much or causes you to give 

            10    $500,000, or another way to do it just is we are 

            11    only going to give 30 percent.

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Or if they only 

            13    ask -- if they bring a bigger match, then that 

            14    gives them bonus points or something.

            15                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  Right.  And 

            16    that way it would stretch that list of however 

            17    they got in there.

            18                  MR. HOGSETT:  That's what we've done 

            19    in a way, in the past as well when we've lowered 

            20    the ceiling on what people can ask for.  We've, at 

            21    one time or another, had a higher ceiling than 

            22    $500,000 in the indoor -- I mean, the outdoor 

            23    program.

            24                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I know we need to 

            25    move along.  But one thing that I would like to 





.
                                                                  45

             1    note that I sincerely appreciate is the way this 

             2    program has been run for the last 12 years is, 

             3    it's been a completely nonpolitical program.  Very 

             4    rarely have local or state political issues 

             5    impinged and put pressure on the Department or for 

             6    the Commission to deviate from the standard system 

             7    that deems to be fair rules by all parties and 

             8    they're willing to participate in.

             9                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Remarkable.

            10                  COMMISSIONER AVILA:  It is 

            11    remarkable. 

            12                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  I think that's a 

            13    reflection -- a very positive reflection on how 

            14    the system has been run in terms of how Department 

            15    personnel have dealt with the applicants.  Because 

            16    they all seem to obviously feel like they get a 

            17    fair hearing and fair treatment and have recourse 

            18    other than running to their elected officials to 

            19    try to do an end run.  So thank you.  It makes it 

            20    much easier for us sitting up here to deal with 

            21    these vast sums of money that we pour out the 

            22    front door here twice a year.

            23                  MR. SANSOM:  The final note, 

            24    Mr. Chairman, is that we will also have about four  

            25    and a half million dollars of land and water 





.
                                                                  46

             1    conservation fund money from Congress, and it's 

             2    our intent right now to target as much as half of 

             3    that toward this program. 

             4                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  One further 

             5    question.  Matching funds, when I've read through 

             6    these and look at how funds are matched and they 

             7    take about private donations, et cetera, how do we 

             8    know the matching funds are, in fact, in place?  

             9    When do they need to be in place? 

            10                  MR. HOGSETT:  At the time they 

            11    submit an application to us, they certify in that 

            12    application that those monies are either available 

            13    or that the firm commitment of those resources is 

            14    available.  And if it's things such as a land 

            15    donation, we will require them to submit a letter 

            16    from the landowner saying that they are a willing 

            17    donor of that property. 

            18                  If it's a donation of materials or 

            19    labor, the same sort of thing will be asked for.  

            20    We are very concerned about having projects 

            21    getting underway and then suddenly they tell us, 

            22    oh, we don't have our match.  That rarely happens, 

            23    but it does on occasion happen.  So we're very 

            24    sensitive to that. 

            25                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Good.  One 





.
                                                                  47

             1    final suggestion, then, Tim, from the number of 

             2    questions that have arisen here from the 

             3    Commission, of which I've got six or seven listed 

             4    here, I would propose that -- Andy, that there be 

             5    briefings throughout the year on what we are going  

             6    to look for in the overall system to make sure 

             7    that the needs that we were looking at in the past 

             8    are the same needs that we have today.  We tend to 

             9    hear from Tim once a year, is kind of my 

            10    recollection.  I have lost a little memory here 

            11    along the way.  But that tends to be my 

            12    recollection.  So great job, Tim.

            13                  MR. HOGSETT:  Thank you.

            14                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  I second what 

            15    the Chairman said about how this has been 

            16    operated.  Thank you.

            17                  This requires a motion for approval 

            18    for consideration in the full Commission agenda.  

            19    May I have a motion? 

            20                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  Move approval.

            21                  COMMISSIONER AVILA: Second.

            22                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  All in favor? 

            23                      (Motion passed unanimously.)

            24       AGENDA ITEM NO. 5:  BRIEFING - AUDIT STATUS 

            25       REPORT.





.
                                                                  48

             1                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Item 5 is the 

             2    briefing on the audit status report, Dennis 

             3    O'Neal.  Welcome Dennis.  

             4                  MR. O'NEAL:  Thank you, Commissioner 

             5    Heath.  Yes, I am Dennis O'Neal.  I'm the Internal 

             6    Audit Director.  The first audit I'm going to talk 

             7    about is the audit by the State Auditor's Office 

             8    of our commercial fisheries program.  I think 

             9    Commissioner Watson and Henry heard some comments 

            10    about that audit yesterday in Senate Finance.

            11                  That audit has been completed, and a 

            12    report has been issued.  I know that Hal Osburn 

            13    has prepared a detailed action plan to address the 

            14    recommendations in the auditor's report.  I don't 

            15    know if y'all want to talk about any of those 

            16    issues today or not.  If you all received a copy 

            17    of the report? 

            18                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  I think let's 

            19    just receive a copy of the report and stay away 

            20    from the questions.  We have a limited amount of 

            21    time today. 

            22                  MR. O'NEAL:  Yes, a limited amount 

            23    of time.  

            24                  Okay.  The second item I'm going to 

            25    discuss is an audit that was requested by 





.
                                                                  49

             1    Representative Junell.  He asked the State 

             2    Auditor's Office to determine if agencies were 

             3    reporting their ending fund balances correctly. 

             4    And again, Commissioners, y'all heard about that 

             5    yesterday also in your Senate Finance meeting.  

             6    And we were included in that audit.  And that 

             7    project is almost complete.  And we should be 

             8    getting the results of that work in the next two 

             9    to three weeks. 

            10                  I have talked to the auditors, and 

            11    it appears -- and I can't say -- nothing is final 

            12    in an audit report until it's published.  But it 

            13    appears they are going to report that our fund 

            14    balances were reported correctly at the end of 

            15    fiscal year 2000.  So I think that's some great 

            16    news.

            17                  The third audit I'm going to discuss 

            18    is the audit of our Administrative Resources 

            19    Division.  We told you during the last meeting we 

            20    would probably have a report this month, but 

            21    that's going to be pushed back now because the 

            22    auditors had to work on this Junell request, the 

            23    same auditors that were out here.  So now I'd say 

            24    it will probably be April or May before we get a 

            25    final report from them on that work.





.
                                                                  50

             1                  The fourth audit from the State 

             2    Auditor's Office -- and it looks like we're 

             3    keeping them in business pretty well -- is an 

             4    audit of our Sportfish and Wildlife Restoration 

             5    federal funds.  That audit is almost complete.  

             6    They have tested all the requirements except for 

             7    one, and so far there's not any issues.  And we 

             8    should have, you know, the final results pretty 

             9    quickly on that. 

            10                  Finally, within Internal Audit 

            11    itself, we're right now conducting some audits at 

            12    state parks.  And we're also doing an audit of our 

            13    Information Resources Division.  We're looking at 

            14    our security policies to make sure those are 

            15    adequate over our information and data.  And 

            16    that's all I have unless y'all have any questions.

            17                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Questions of 

            18    Dennis?  Thank for you that briefing.  Appreciate 

            19    it. 

            20                  MR. O'NEAL:  Thank you.

            21       AGENDA ITEM NO. 6:  ACTION - MEMORANDUM OF 

            22       UNDERSTANDING - TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF 

            23       TRANSPORTATION, TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE 

            24       DEPARTMENT, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC 

            25       DEVELOPMENT, TEXAS COMMISSION ON THE ARTS, AND 





.
                                                                  51

             1       TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION.

             2                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Item Number 6, 

             3    it's an action item, Memorandum of Understanding, 


             4    and Lydia Saldana will give us a presentation on 

             5    that. 

             6                  MS. SALDANA:  Hi, I'm Lydia Saldana, 

             7    Director of Communication.  I also represent the 

             8    agency on the Tourism Advisory Committee, and in 

             9    that role, I've been involved in the development 

            10    of the Tourism Memorandum of Understanding -- 

            11    let's see if this is going to work for me today. 

            12                  There we go -- Tourism Memorandum of 

            13    Understanding which calls for the agencies to do a 

            14    better job of cooperating and coordinating efforts 

            15    in marketing and promoting Texas.  The agencies 

            16    involved are the Texas Department of Economic 

            17    Development, the Texas Department of 

            18    Transportation, our agency, of course, the Texas 

            19    Commission on the Arts, and the Texas Historical 

            20    Commission.  A few highlights of the MOU. 

            21                  Again, it's just to have all the 

            22    agencies do a better job of coordinating our 

            23    efforts.  A big part of that is just facilitating 

            24    better communication among the key people of the 

            25    agencies involved in promoting and marketing.  





.
                                                                  52

             1    We'll also be developing a unified annual tourism 

             2    marketing overview.  It's been a rather casual 

             3    thing up until now.  And what will be a product of 

             4    this MOU will be an actual marketing overview that 

             5    includes all the agencies. 

             6                  There is an increased emphasis on 

             7    the Web site for promoting marketing and tourism, 

             8    and we'll be doing a better job of making sure 

             9    that the sites link to each other well, and that 

            10    we're just doing the best job we possibly can of 

            11    promoting Texas and Texas sites.

            12                  One of our concerns and one of the 

            13    things that we brought to the table, is that we 

            14    needed to have an increased emphasis across the 

            15    board on state-operated sites.  A lot of the 

            16    marketing efforts for TDED are involved in all 

            17    sites.  But again, the state sites, particularly 

            18    state parks, wildlife management areas, historic 

            19    sites, that will be receiving increased emphasis 

            20    through this MOU.

            21                  We recommend adoption of the MOU, 

            22    and I believe this item is also eligible for the 

            23    consent agenda.  Do you have any questions? 

            24                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Questions for 

            25    Lydia?  This is an action item.  As she said, 





.
                                                                  53

             1    requires motion for approval and it's a candidate 

             2    for the consent agenda.  So I'd ask for a motion 

             3    to approve for the consent agenda, please. 

             4                  VICE-CHAIR DINKINS:  So moved. 

             5                      (Motion passed unanimously.) 

             6       AGENDA ITEM NO. 7:  ACTION - AMENDMENT TO 

             7       ARTWORK APPROVAL.

             8                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Item Number 6 

             9    is an action item -- Thank you very much, Lydia -- 

            10    Amendment to the Artwork Approval, and Frances 

            11    Stiles.  Number 7.  Excuse me. 

            12                  MS. STILES:  Good morning.  My name 

            13    is Frances Stiles, and I'm with the Administrative 

            14    Resources Division.  This item, the Amendment to 

            15    Artwork Approval, should be a brief housekeeping 

            16    item.  At the November Commission meeting, there 

            17    were four pieces of artwork presented for approval 

            18    from Collectors Covey.  Shortly thereafter, 

            19    Mr. Quinn encountered a conflict with the use of 

            20    the nongame artwork.  The nongame artwork had been 

            21    offered to a Canadian publishing company to 

            22    Collectors Covey at about the same time.

            23                  The publishing firm did purchase 

            24    that artwork, and that created a conflict with the 

            25    copyright use for Collectors Covey.  To 





.
                                                                  54

             1    accommodate Collectors Covey, the artist did offer 

             2    three additional prints to Collectors Covey as a 

             3    substitute. 

             4                  And out of the three items this item 

             5    here is the Loggerhead Shrike was accepted by 

             6    Collectors Covey as the substitute for the nongame 

             7    artwork.  The previous nongame artwork was the 

             8    Loggerheaded -- not the Loggerheaded -- it was the 

             9    Long-Billed Curlew.  And if the Commission 

            10    approves the substitution, the print artwork from 

            11    Collectors Covey would consist of the four items 

            12    that are up on the screen.  That's about it.  If 

            13    all have any questions...

            14                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Comments or 

            15    questions from the Commission? 

            16                  COMMISSIONER ANGELO:  I move 

            17    approval of the change.

            18                  COMMISSIONER HENRY:  Second.

            19                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  I have a motion 

            20    and a second, and I would ask that those be for 

            21    the consent agenda.

            22                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Consent agenda.

            23                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  Thank you.  All 

            24    in favor? All opposed?  

            25                      (Motion passed unanimously.)





.
                                                                  55

             1                  COMMISSIONER HEATH:  And that's our 

             2    last item.  Item number 8 is just other business.  

             3    Is there any other business to come before this 

             4    committee?  If not, the Finance Committee adjourns 

             5    and Mr. Chairman? 

             6                  CHAIRMAN BASS:  Thank you.

             7                         *-*-*-*-*

             8                   (MEETING ADJOURNED.)

             9                         *-*-*-*-*

            10    

            11    

            12    

            13    

            14    

            15    

            16    

            17    

            18    

            19    

            20    

            21    

            22    

            23    

            24    

            25    





.
                                                                  56

             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 55 

             7    pages constitute a full, true and correct 

             8    transcript of the minutes of the Texas Parks & 

             9    Wildlife Commission on JANUARY 24, 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 24th day of 

            19    February, 2001. 

            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    EBS NO.        


Back to Top
Back to Top