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MINUTES OF THE
SOUTHEAST COMMUNITY FACILITY COMMISSION
MEETING THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2009 – 6:00 PM
ALEX L. PITCHER, JR. COMMUNITY ROOM,1800 OAKDALE AVENUE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94124
1.0 CALL TO ORDER
Commission President Willie B. Kennedy called the Thursday, January 8, 2009 meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. in the Alex L. Pitcher Community Room at 1800 Oakdale Avenue. Commissioner Kennedy read the Sunshine Ordinance.
1.1 ROLL CALL
6:08 p.m. Commission Secretary – Carla Vaughn
Commissioners Present: Kennedy, Brown, Sampson, Chung, Churchwell, Yang
Commissioners Excused: Jones
Staff Present: Toye Moses, Executive Director
Ella Empleo, Management Assistant
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary
1.2 CONSENT CALENDAR
Commission President Willie B. Kennedy announced the Consent Calendar.
Commissioner Sampson moved to accept the consent calendar and the minutes of the December 22nd, 2008 Commission meeting. Commissioner Brown seconded the motion. The consent calendar was accepted and the minutes were approved.
2.0 PUBLIC COMMENT
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary announced the following:
a) Invitation from the MLK, Jr. Birthday Observance Committee to attend the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor and Community Breakfast.
b) The 6th Annual Community Conference to launch the United Way of the Bay Area’s 2009 “Earn It Save It! San Francisco Campaign” scheduled for Friday January 16, 2009.
c) The 5th Annual Black History Celebration Luncheon sponsored by SFPUC & SFMTA scheduled for February 18, 2009n at the Hotel Whitcomb Ballroom.
d) Statement: Mayor Gavin Newsom Statement On Vandalism At Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
e) Invitation from Northern California’s Largest Celebration Honoring the Life and Achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on San Francisco’s Third Annual Freedom Train.
f) Invitation from Lennar Urban to attend the Hunters Point Shipyard Small Business Workshop on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at Jewel Restaurant on Third Street.
Chair Kennedy made an announcement regarding various celebrations planned to commemorate the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and then introduced Mr. John Roddy, Deputy City Attorney.
Mr. Roddy provided a brief informational/presentation regarding the SF Administrative Code Chapter 54.1 that created the Southeast Community Facility Commission. His presentation began with a brief historical review of the creation of the community facility.
Mr. Roddy said, “In the early 70’s the city was under an enormous amount of pressure to upgrade it’s sewer system, and one of the projects the city choose to consider was upgrading the Southeast Treatment Plant from primary treatment to secondary treatment, a huge expansion of the treatment plant which is located right down the street, which quite reasonably generated an enormous amount of debate and controversy within the community. After about ten years of negotiation and debate a decision was made to, in addition to upgrading the sewer treatment plant, to construct a community facility and job training center consisting of classrooms, daycare, and greenhouse. Basically, what we have today and our friends at the EPA agreed they would pay for this as part of constructing the treatment plant. They went back on that but Congress essentially restored the funding in 1981 so at least half of the cost of this facility was paid for out of EPA Sewer Construction Grants which were at the time administered by the State. The State issued an order approving the grant and creating as a grant condition for building this facility the requirement to lease it for job training, school educational, and greenhouse purposes. To the extent that rental revenues do not meet the complete and total cost of operating the facility the grant condition requires the shortfall be made up out of sewer service revenues like any other PUC facility as part of the Wastewater Enterprise. And lastly, the grant required that a governance system be put in place for the community facility. Out of that requirement community leaders and the City agreed that a Commission would be developed to oversee operations of the facility. The facility was completed in 1986. Operations commenced in 1987.
Also, in 1987 we wrote and the Board adopted Chapter 54 of the Administrative Code which establishes this Commission. The basic purpose as stated by the Board of Supervisors for the Commission was to provide guidance for the operations of the Southeast Community Facility. More specifically the intent was to foster full employment of residents in chronically economically depressed areas of the city, foster the development of marketable job skills for untrained and undertrained city residents, to foster the creation and expansion of day and evening education programs, the creation/expansion of daycare services at a low and reasonable cost, to expand opportunities for special community services for seniors, and to foster the overall improvement of the general area, prosperity, health, safety, and welfare.
As you know, the Commission consists of seven members appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the Mayor. Members must either reside or work in the BayView Hunter’s Community if possible. The term of office is four years. The President is elected by a majority vote of the members of the committee and the President has a term of two years and cannot have more than two consecutive terms. The ordinance provides a member who misses three regularly scheduled meetings during any twelve month period without approval of the Commission is deemed to have resigned from the Commission. The ordinance also authorizes the Commission to appoint an Executive Director who serves at the pleasure of the Commission and is not subject to the civil service provisions of the Charter. The ordinance describes powers and duties of the Commission which are as follows: The Commission is to provide guidance necessary for the establishment, retention and enhancement of business activities of the greenhouse, educational and job skills centers, child day care and senior activities centers, and any other appropriate activities of the facility. The Commission is to provide guidance to ensure that operation of the facility enhances opportunities first for the benefit of residents of the BayView Hunter’s Point Community to engage in employment training and educational activities. The Commission is to review and provide guidance on budget matters effecting the development and improvement of operations of the greenhouse and the community facility. The Commission is to review and provide guidance regarding proposed leases and agreements with organizations that use the facility, provides policy guidance necessary to insure compliance with applicable regulations including the grant requirements and reviews and provides guidance on a regular basis on budgetary matters related to operations and maintenance to the facility. The ordinance also provides that all the proceeds from leasing the community facility must be used to defray the cost of operating the facility. If those proceeds from leasing exceed the cost of operating and administering the facility scholarships can be granted for local adults and children to attend classes and activities at the community facility and also to attend the daycare centers at the community facility.
Such surpluses could also be used as supplementary funding for job training programs or for community agencies that address the same purposes discussed at the beginning. As a practical matter the City’s Real Estate Department negotiates and manages the leases. We did a study a few years ago and determined that the leases which are below fair market value generally have not created a surplus or created enough revenue to meet the operating requirements of the facility, in which case the short-fall has been made up by the PUC as part of its normal Wastewater Systems Enterprise budget.”
Mr. Roddy said he’d be happy to answer any questions.
Commissioner Sampson thanked Mr. Roddy for his report and asked since the Commission was not a full Commission what can be done to become a full Commission? What steps could be taken to facilitate that?
Mr. Roddy said this had been discussed in the past and one of the questions discussed at several meetings was what precise measure of authority the Commission would like to have that it doesn’t have. He said the biggest issue was defining the scope of authority. Mr. Roddy said one of the fundamental pieces of being a Commission is having complete and total control over the budget for activities of the facility. As discussed in the past in order to do that the Charter must be amended to give the Commission some measure of authority over sewer service revenues that now is completely the exclusive jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, which is defined by the Charter. So, to change the PUC’s exclusive authority over sewer service revenues and what happens to them we would have to amend the Charter and carve out some compatible authority. This was the conclusion of previous discussions.
Mr. Roddy stated the essential question would be, and still remains, what would the scope of authority be?
Director Moses stated, “Mr. Roddy I know that issue came up many times and I believe the Commission set up a committee to look into it, and I believe that as a result of that the Committee met with Supervisor Sophie Maxwell to see if she could sponsor a resolution to address that. Unfortunately, Sophie Maxwell couldn’t do it. I believe Supervisor Kennedy you were a part of that group that met with Sophie, weren’t you? It was a year ago. So, that didn’t go too well, and I believe the Commission can easily go to another Supervisor who can sponsor it, but Sophie Maxwell at that time was kind of reluctant in doing it.”
Dr. Moses asked if the Ordinance said that 10 per cent could be used to give scholarships to people from this neighborhood based on income, but for the past 16 years that I’ve been here we have never, never, never have income, why, because the rent being collected is below market rate and the expenses to run this facility is much, much more than the rent that’s being collected. I believe we are collecting about $400,000 rent, but the expenses for running this place is almost a million dollars so it’s really, really hard to come out with 10 per cent of the revenue. So it’s not being realistic about that because the community they are reading it wrongly. They say well, you guys suppose to give scholarship to people from this neighborhood but it’s really hard to give scholarship if we do not make income. We’ve been running deficit, why, because of the micro rate being collected. And my second question is, if that is the case let’s say we are generating income and there is a 10 per cent to give scholarship. How are we going to do that? Is there any process we can use to do that since its government money? How are we going to be able to give scholarships to people in this neighborhood?
Commissioner Kennedy said she was looking at the flow chart and wanted to know where on the flow chart was the Commission?
Director Moses said the chart provided was for budget purposes and the revised chart would be provided at the next meeting.
Mr. Roddy, Deputy City Attorney said he was around back when those first leases were entered into and a policy decision was made to offer those leases at less than fair market value simply for the purpose of insuring that there were really tenants. Whether that choice is still valid of course is up to you. So, I think the City, the Commission, the Department of Real Estate, you have a lot of discretion as to what that rent should be and maybe it’s a subject that deserves reconsideration.
Commissioner Kennedy said, “You mean the rent for the various facilities that we control, like this room, and E.P. Mills?”
Mr. Roddy said yes, and the lease with the Community College, and the greenhouse.
Commissioner Kennedy said the Facilities Committee met the other day and did review that and asked that a copy of the leases be provided. She said the main one they were thinking about was the College because they are on a month to month lease and they would like for them to be on a 5 – 10 year lease. She said we need to work with the Chancellor at the college rather than through Dr. Hunnicutt and those upstairs because they don’t control that part of it. She stated the Facilities Committee was looking at it and eventually will come up with a recommendation. She said the Commission felt they should be on a lease and the other month to month leases like the one the Redevelopment Agency has for the PAC group over there on the opposite side. But Real Estate recommended that it be kept that way and didn’t state a reason for the recommendation, but all the other leases are in pretty good shape. Other than that the Facilities Committee did look at that and will consider it again.
5.0 REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
Commissioner Kennedy said her previous comments had been her report, therefore she turned the remainder of her time over to Commissioner Sampson to provide more information from the Facilities Committee meeting.
Commissioner Sampson said the President had already given the information on the meeting with Mr. Dowd from the Bureau of Real Estate Services. One of the things suggested was a strong letter be sent to the Chancellor to try to get those leases extended to possibly a 5 year period. That was the recommendation on that. Another recommendation that came before the Committee was a plan of action concerning the repasts and it was suggested that we would not use the facilities for repasts, neither E.P. Mills or the Alex Pitcher Room on weekends at all, citing safety issues.
Commissioner Sampson said the next item was a letter of complaint which was discussed and after another meeting a recommendation will be provided.
Commissioner Kennedy said one of the reasons we voted to have a moratorium on the repasts for a while was because somebody was shooting out here after a funeral while they were having the repast here.
She said the Facilities Committee recommended there be no repasts at either facility because there are students, and children in the childcare facility that need protection.
Commissioner Sampson moved to accept the recommendation. It was seconded by Commissioner Brown and accepted by the Commission.
Commissioner Kennedy said the second recommendation from the Facilities Committee was to write a strong letter to the Chancellor of City College to extend the college to a 5 year lease.
Commissioner Brown moved to accept the recommendation. Commissioner Sampson seconded it and it was accepted unanimously by the Commission.
Commissioner Kennedy said regarding the complaint letter the Committee decided they wanted more time to discuss it and come up with some recommendations and it will be calendared for a later time.
5.0 STAFF REPORT
Director Moses thanked Commissioner Kennedy for the report about the Facilities Committee recommendation and stated he was glad there was something to tell our customers when they call to ask for usage of the community room for repasts. He said we can always say that’s over now.
Regarding the staff report Director Moses asked Ella Empleo, Acting Management Assistant to elaborate on the ADA project.
8.0 INTRODUCTION OF NEW BUSINESS
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary announced future presenters were scheduled as follows:
January 28th - Rhonda Simmons, Dwayne Jones, and Chancellor Don Griffin
February 12th - Mike Farrah
February 25th - Mimi Silbert of The Delancy Street Foundation
Angela Young of the Public Defenders Office has been contacted and we are in the process of setting up a date for a representative from that office to provide a presentation to the Commission.
Director Moses said the help of the Commission was needed for the meeting on January 28th. He said the Commission requested staff to send a letter to the Chancellor who would be attending the meeting along with Dwayne Jones. He said Rhonda Simmons would be talking about the new program they want to bring to this facility. He said flyers would be distributed to encourage people to attend. He asked for suggestions to get the community to attend because it would be a very important meeting.
9.0 PUBLIC COMMENT
Dr. Harrison Parker, Community Activist had comments regarding the possibility of amending the Charter. He said the item of trying to amend the Charter was on the table a long time. Dr. Parker said after meeting with Supervisor Maxwell the committee was given a task and the Supervisor was willing to sponsor an ordinance but not an amendment to the Charter. He said the committee was supposed to get back to her with the specifics of what changes the committee wanted.
Dr. Parker told the Commission it was not Supervisor Maxwell’s idea and she had nothing to do with it other than offering support for whatever the committee wanted to do. He said the committee never got together, and never got back to her. Dr. Parker noted it had been over a year. He told the Commission when things are that important there should be some follow through. He said the Commission has not done its part and needs to be specific with regard to the changes that are wanted. Dr. Parker said the Commission needs to get together as a group and decide what the changes should be. He said the Commission has not done its job.
Dr. Parker asked the Deputy City Attorney if there was any way or means that the Commission can create, promote, or acquire surplus funds without a charter amendment?
Mr. John Roddy, Deputy City Attorney responded the Commission could charge rent that would exceed the cost of running the facility. He said if the community facility receives gifts for a specific purpose, funds from other sources, than they must be used for those purposes. Mr. Roddy told the Commission the one thing that requires the charter amendment is using sewer service revenues. He said if there are other sources of revenues that can be obtained for some reason the Mayor wanted to put in his budget a general fund contribution there’s nothing wrong with that.
Dr. Parker stated it takes money to run anything and if the Commission is supposed to be sponsoring different programs in the community it can’t be done on air, money is needed. Dr. Parker said that until the Commission has some control, some voice, over some services, some money, some goods or something, the community is going to turn a deaf ear to the Commission. He said that’s why no one is here because we don’t have anything to offer them other than advice and they need something more than advice.
Chair Kennedy asked if anyone remembered “Enhancing The Power Of This Board”, and said the Commissioners didn’t get very far with it and although they did meet with Supervisor Maxwell they weren’t as specific as she wanted them to be. Chair Kennedy requested a copy be provided for her review. She asked the committee to do some more work and come up with some concrete ideas for the change. Chair Kennedy said she would appreciate that very much and the Commission would appreciate that. Chair Kennedy told the Commission we can go from there and if any of the Commissioners would like to see a copy of the charter item it can be provided for their review.
Chair Kennedy said if you see anything in there that you think needs to be strengthened, taken out, or whatever, now would be the time to do it. She requested copies be provided to the Commissioners.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:14 pm.
Carla Vaughn, Commission Secretary