California names commissioners for PPP advisory body

A group of 23 people from public, private and non-profit sectors will sit on the state’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission, which will review all PPP agreements before being signed. Dale Bonner, secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, will chair the commission.

The state of California has named 23 representatives from the academic, government, labour and non-profit sectors to serve on a first-of-its kind oversight body, which will help the US’ most populous state implement public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Dale Bonner

The Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission that was created in February will review all PPP agreements at least 60 days before they are signed. It will also help state agencies identify suitable PPP projects and assemble best practices.

Dale Bonner, secretary of California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, called the commission “the nation’s first statewide body formed with an express statutory charge to help state and regional transportation agencies develop performance-based partnerships” for infrastructure, according to a statement.

Bonner will chair the commission, which will be located within his agency. Among the other commissioners will be Danny Curtin, director of the California Conference of Carpenters, and four academics including Ray Levitt and Antonio Vives of Stanford University.

Two think-tank representatives, including Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation, will also sit on the commission, as well as several public sector representatives including Roger Snoble, retired chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Business interests will be represented by, among others, Steve Wilder, vice president of risk management for the Walt Disney Company.

The commission’s first public meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, 29 July, in Los Angeles.

The appointments coincide with state legislators finally agreeing on a deal to temporarily bridge the state’s $26 billion budget deficit. The agreement is seen by many industry observers as a potential catalyst for more PPPs. The state will borrow about $2 billion from local governments and shift $1.7 billion away from local redevelopment budgets, reducing their ability to fund infrastructure development on their own.

The state faces an estimated 10-year infrastructure financing gap of $50.3 billion between funds that are necessary and what is available through traditional public-sector resources such as gas tax revenues. Several large California cities have already started looking at PPPs as a solution.

For instance, in December, the city of Los Angeles published a report which outlined nine different assets as candidates for PPPs and monetisation schemes. It is said to be moving ahead with a request for proposals for one of them – a PPP deal for the city’s 118 off-street parking lots.

While localities such as Los Angeles move ahead with such plans, the PIAC will concentrate on helping state and regional agencies implement their own PPPs. The state is already in the planning stages for its initial PPP projects under the new enabling legislation, including a replacement of the southern access road to the Golden Gate Bridge, known as Doyle Drive.

A full list of the 22 commissioners appointed to the PIAC by Secretary Bonner is included below:

              • Ruben Barrales, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce;
              • Joseph Cruz, director of transportation policy/government relations for the California Alliance for Jobs;
              • Danny Curtin, director for the California Conference of Carpenters;
              • Lee Harrington, executive director of the Southern California Leadership Council;
              • Charles Hilliard, president and chief financial officer of Demand Media;
              • Tom Holsman, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of California;
              • John Hummer, director of the US Department of Transportation’s Northern California/Hawaii Gateway Office;
              • John Husing, Ph.D., research economist specializing in the study of Southern California’s growing economy;
              • Fran Inman, senior vice president of Majestic Realty Co. and president of the Majestic Realty Foundation;
              • Roger A. Kozberg, managing director at Hub International;
              • Ray Levitt, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University;
              • Richard Little, director of the Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, University of Southern California;
              • Paul Meyer, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of California;
              • Adrian Moore, Ph.D., vice president of research at Reason Foundation;
              • Devin Murphy, private investor, previously a managing partner of Coventry Real Estate Advisors;
              • Elizabeth O'Donoghue, director of infrastructure and land use at The Nature Conservancy of California;
              • Katherine Perez, executive director of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council.
              • Sean Randolph, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute;
              • Roger Snoble, retired CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority;
              • Peter J. Taylor, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the University of California;
              • Antonio Vives, principal associate at Cumpetere and consulting professor at Stanford University;
              • Steve Wilder, vice president of risk management for The Walt Disney Company.