By Sandi Soendker, editor-in-chief
For 39 years, OOIDA’s Board of Directors has convened twice a year at the organization’s headquarters in Grain Valley, MO, to shape the Association’s mission and to guide current business. In October, board members met with OOIDA’s executives, staff and government affairs team to sharpen the focus on current trends in the trucking industry and put a fine edge on Association involvement and priorities.
During the meeting, the board progressed through reports, strategies, discussions and an election that culminated with 10 taking the oath to serve in full board positions.
Business, government affairs and more
President Jim Johnston, Chief of Staff Rod Nofziger and Treasurer Bill Rode of Eagle, ID, tag-teamed the board with a combined business and financial report.
Executive Vice President Todd Spencer presented the government affairs update, including a preview of who could be tapped for leadership positions in the next Congress and what that would mean to small-business truckers.
Director of Government Affairs Laura O’Neill and Director of Legislative Affairs Ryan Bowley from OOIDA’s Washington, DC, office reported on legislative actions critical to truckers, including “the good and the bad” review of the new highway law now in effect.
Bowley reported on the financial state of the Highway Trust Fund and led a board discussion on where the fund’s money could come from in the future, both short term and long term.
The Association supports gas/diesel tax increase as a short-term solution with an oil tax and a tax on energy revenue and royalties as long-term solutions. Among other possible funding mechanisms, OOIDA opposes a vehicle-miles-traveled tax and tolling.
Motor carrier safety objectives –
thumbs up or down
OOIDA will continue to support motor carrier safety objectives such as driver training, eliminating split speeds, truck parking reform, promoting kingpin-to-axle uniformity, and graduated CDLs. The Association will step up the push for regulation of detention time, lumper laws, compensation studies, and supply chain accountability. OOIDA will continue to oppose increased truck size and weights, HOS exemptions and certain tolling proposals, such as tolling interstate lane miles.
Other topics that claimed discussion time included fixing CSA and, in Bowley’s words, working to “kick EPA out of truck design.”
President Johnston advised the board on the Association’s litigation activities, including OOIDA’s challenge of the CSA DataQ system filed in the DC Circuit on July 13 and now awaiting trial date. Johnston said the agency has responded. At press time, OOIDA attorneys were preparing to file the Association’s response.
Another highlight of Johnston’s litigation report was his report on OOIDA asking the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, MN, and Judge Donovan W. Frank to find the Minnesota State Patrol and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance both in contempt of court regarding the out-of-service fatigue criteria. More on this case and ensuing developments can be found in this issue.
The nominations-elections committee approved the ballot for electing five nominee alternates to the board out of a field of nine. This issue profiles each of the nominees. The membership will vote on these nominees. All of them attended the fall meeting with the exception of one.
The fall board meeting wrapped up with a board election. Eleven board members and current alternates were on the board ballot. Ten candidates to the board were elected and were sworn in by President Jim Johnston. Re-elected to four-year terms were Kenneth Becker, Terry Button, Mark Elrod, Gary Green, Frank Owen and Leo Wilkins. Steve Davenport and Lou Esposito were newly elected to four-year terms; Larry Beebee and Miles Verhoef were elected to two-year terms.
OOIDA’s Director of Security Doug Morris reported the news from the recent meeting of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in Portland, ME. Morris attended, along with OOIDA General Vice President Woody Chambers, Board Member Gary Green and OOIDA staffer Kip Hough. Among the updates: By 2014 all states will be on board with the medical certificate being tied into a driver’s CDL and it will no longer be necessary to carry a medical certificate.
Morris reported that TRACER, the Transportation Alert Communication and Emergency Response program, was more effective than ever in helping authorities find stolen trucking equipment. TRACER was launched in 2009 by OOIDA. The program is a two-way communication system that sends alerts to members and coordinates information received from trucking members.
Morris also reported on the First Observer program, which had trained more than 200,000 transportation professionals and will be funded by the Department of Homeland Security through 2013.
Bill Rode, Eagle, ID, is the board’s treasurer. He is also chairman of the Mary Johnston OOIDA Scholarship Committee. Rode gave the scholarship report. To date, the Association has spent $221,000 on scholarships. In 2012, he said the fund had banked $15,435 including $10,000 donated by Shell.
The OOIDA Foundation staff updated the board on its activities. General Vice President Woody Chambers – who serves on the board of the Unified Carriers Registration program, gave a report on the UCR and advised the board that by Nov. 1, the UCR letter should be out announcing that rates will remain the same and there’ll be hard enforcement for “no pays” effective Jan. 1, 2013. LL