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Meeting Information

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

6:00 P.M.

1800 Oakdale Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94124


1.0               Call to Order
Commission President Bobbrie Brown called the Thursday, May 12, 2005 meeting to order at 6:14 p.m. in the Alex L. Pitcher Community Room at 1800 Oakdale Avenue.


The Commission Secretary read the Sunshine Ordinance aloud.


1.2               Roll Call

Commissioners Present: Brown; Fuentes; Person; Sampson; Kennedy.
Excused Commissioner: Jones

Staff Present: John Roddy, Deputy City Attorney; Toye Moses, Executive Director SECFC; Annette Price, Comm.-Sect


1.3               Consent Calendar

RESOLUTION (SECFC-2005-33) Be it resolved that the minutes of the Southeast Community Facility Commission meeting of Wednesday, April 27, 2005 be approved as submitted (passed unanimously).

2.0               Public Comment:
Ms. Espanola Jackson requested that the Commission pass a resolution tonight that requests the City & County of San Francisco to be financially responsible for all conversion costs for BVHP residents. Ms. Elizabeth Lam, American Cancer Society announced that the American Cancer Society operates a free program called “Look Good Feel Better” at the Southeast Campus for women who are undergoing cancer treatment. Ms. Fia Valentino, a participant in the program, stated that the program targets low-income women to help build self-esteem while dealing with the side-effects of chemotherapy.

3.0               Communications:
There were no communications at this time.

4.0               Presentations:

-               Mr. Edwin Lee, Director, Dept. of Public Works (DPW) began by introducing colleagues Matthew Franklin, Director, Mayor’s Office of Housing; Travis Kiyata, Government Relations Representative, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E); and Fred Blackwell, Deputy Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Development (MOCD).

Mr. Lee explained that several city and utility agencies are working jointly toward promoting the undergrounding of utility wires throughout the City. Mr. Lee noted that several city agencies are here tonight to address all concerns voiced at the SECF Commission meeting and Board of Supervisors meeting several weeks ago.

Mr. Lee gave background history that in 1996, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation that selected 42 miles of city streets to be undergrounded. In 2001 DPW began to implement the program, but was

delayed until 2003 because of the bankruptcy of PG&E’s. Mr. Lee reported that over 3,000 homes throughout the City have now been undergrounded and DPW is now coming into the Bayview Hunters Point community to begin undergrounding.

Mr. Lee expressed that there were two kinds of undergrounding requests made: (1) streets undergrounded at the request of residents; and (2) streets undergrounded that will undergo gas line replacement.

Mr. Lee reminded that at the last Commission meeting, many residents were upset because they felt there was a lack of communication. He went on to explain that several major changes have been made to correct that lack of communication, namely (1) homes will never be taken as a result of noncompliance for undergrounding; (2) original deadlines for conversion have been extended to Dec 30th, 2005 and July 30th, 2006; and (3) outreach efforts will begin immediately to all homes affected by the undergrounding.

Mr. Lee explained the current program will pay for all trenching work, pole removal, wiring removal above and below street level. However, homeowners will be responsible for connecting the wires that lead from their property to the end of their property line.

Mr. Lee reported the average conversion cost is $1,700 per home and that there are grant monies available to low income homeowner’s that meet the income guidelines. Mr. Lee continued that the Mayor’s Office has freed up $175,000 of additional grant funds for the underground wiring project.

Mr. Lee concluded by acknowledging that the city is in the process of recruiting certified minority-owned electrical contracting firms in the Bay View area and stated a list will be distributed shortly. Mr. Lee then asked that Mr. Matt Franklin step forward to present.

-               Mr. Matthew Franklin, Director, Mayor’s Office of Housing began by thanking the Commission for their feedback, stating that it has been very helpful. Mr. Franklin reported that the Mayor has approved additional funding of up to $175,000 for the underground program. He continued that the Mayor’s Office has streamlined the paperwork required to receive grant funding so as to be less onerous (W-2 form; bank statements; check stub; grant deed; and an asset test).

Mr. Franklin introduced his colleague, Sonya Delgado, Manager of Mayor’s Office of Housing who is in the process of working with Facility staff to schedule on-site visits over the next several weeks to take applications and answer questions related to grant funding and criteria for qualifying.

Mr. Franklin concluded by explaining that individuals who have already incurred the expense of underground conversion but were qualified to receive grant funding will be reimbursed retroactively for any out-of-pocket cost beginning immediately through July 31, 2005.

-               Mr. Travis Kiyota, Public Affairs Manager for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) clarified that although PG&E is the agency constructing the underground project, DPW is the lead agency over the project along with SBC and Comcast. Mr. Kiyota concluded by noting how property values would increase once the underground wiring is complete.

-               Mr. Fred Blackwell, Deputy Director for Mayor’s Office of Community Development (MOCD) stated MOCD’s role in the underground wiring project is to improve communications. MOCD will do that by conducting outreach to every household affected by the underground project. Every household will receive information regarding extension of deadlines, grant funding, etc. Mr. Franklin stated a list of qualified contractors will be expanded and made available to the public. He concluded by announcing that workshops will be held at Southeast to assists individuals get through the application process on May 20th from 11:00 to 3:00; June 17th from 9:00 to 1:00; July 22 from 1:00 to 5:00.

Mr. Lee interjected that in the next phase (Palou/Oakdale) where 640 homes will be affected, brand new streetlights will be installed on all streets fronting the homes.

Comm. Brown asked whether the streets would be repaved rather than patched? Mr. Lee stated the program has not required a total repave of streets; however, any trench work on sidewalks would require new sidewalk replacement. Comm. Brown followed up with the question: Will underground wiring increase property taxes of homeowners? Mr. Franklin interjected that the city updates property values only upon the sale of property.

Comm. Person
asked what the highest cost of conversion is? Mr. Lee responded it could go up as high as $3,000 to $4,000. However of the 160 homes that have undergone conversion, it averaged $1,700. Comm. Person asked why can’t the City shoulder the financial burden of this conversion? Mr. Lee responded that there is not enough money in the program. Comm. Person asked if the asset test mentioned earlier included the cost of the home? Mr. Franklin explained the test is intended as a means test not to exceed $25,000 of liquid assets such as cash, money market accounts, saving accounts, etc. Retirement accounts, IRA’s, 401Ks are not included. It’s 88% of median income.

Comm. Kennedy asked whether the money that has been collected by the state through the Rule 20A fund will be used for the underground wiring project? Mr. Lee stated the CPUC Rule 20A fund set up by CPUC is specifically for undergrounding throughout the state of California. A small percentage on the gas and tax bill is taken out every year and put in the fund and it’s up to the city to legislate which streets it wants to use the money for. Mr. Lee continued that San Francisco has already exhausted the money and has barrowed 10 years into the future. Mr. Lee went on to explain in 1996 the state calculated the funds saved at $24 million, which increased by $5 million each year.

Comm. Sampson asked: What is available as far as funding for the businesses and churches that will be affected because of the undergrounding? Mr. Franklin stated he was unaware of a like program; however he stated he would be happy to talk to Comm. Sampson as well as to the Board of Supervisors to see if available funding could be found. Mr. Franklin stated he would take it upon himself to contact the Board of Supervisors and get that information back to the Commission.
Comm. Fuentes asked what would the responsibility be for the cable companies and why aren’t they taking some financial responsibility for part of the undergrounding? Further, how will the contractors performing the underground wiring be regulated since there will be a cost variance? Mr. Franklin stated the estimates required have gone down from three to two. In response to the cable company question, Mr. Lee stated that cable companies are participating because they have wires on the poles and are now getting on board with the underground wiring. Some have already started undergrounding their cable; others have not.

Comm. Brown asked how secure is the funding from the state? Mr. Lee stated letters have been written to the CPUC to ensure that the city has their allotment of what has been promised and have been informed that the money is available for the work being done.

Commissioner Brown opened the floor for comments from the audience (limited to three minutes).  There were 18 persons from the audience who asked questions and made comments regarding the underground wiring, local contracting, funding, city’s financial responsibility, extension deadlines, refund timelines, etc.
Comm. Brown thanked everyone for his or her participation and input and extended her appreciation to the representative from the City. She noted that much has been said and should be considered. She stated although the Commission does not have authority to make a change in decisions made by the Board of Supervisors, the Commission appreciates the fact that the Commission was used as an avenue to voice concerns.

Comm. Kennedy suggested that a letter be sent on behalf of the Commission to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting that two notices be sent out to BVHP residents related to the underground wiring and what their responsibilities will be.

She also motioned that a resolution be sent to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors requiring the City & County of San Francisco to supplement ALL BVHP households affected by the underground wiring project.

MOTION: Moved by Kennedy seconded by Sampson that a resolution be established requiring that the City & County of San Francisco supplement all BVHP households to be affected by the underground wiring project.Motion passed unanimously (5-0).

5.0                 Director’s Report
Dir. Toye Moses reported: There was a small reduction in the clean water budget, which has now been submitted to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Ms. Shirley Jones has given notice of surrender of the property known as 1030 Oakdale Avenue. MOCD is working with the Southeast Facility in filling the vacancy and hopefully the new tenant will provide a similar program as the former tenant. Dir. Moses suggested that this matter be referred to the Facility Committee for recommendation to the full Commission.
MOTION: Moved by Person, seconded by Sampson to accept the Director’s Report. Motion passed unanimously to accept report as presented (5-0).


6.0               Introduction of New Business
Comm. Brown requested that Dean Veronica Hunnicutt be invited to present to discuss the likelihood of putting a training program in place on stem cell research at Southeast.

7.0               Public Comments
There was no public comment at this time.

8.0               Announcements
Comm. Kennedy announced that the next Facility Committee meeting would take place on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 12:00 noon, 1800 Oakdale Ave, Suite B Conference room.

9.0               Adjournment
Comm. Brown adjourned the SECF Commission meeting at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Commission Secretary