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Meeting Information

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

6:00 P.M.

1800 Oakdale Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94124


1.0               Call to Order

Commission President Millard Larkin called the Thursday, January 13, 2005 meeting to order at 6:07 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: Larkin, Brown, Fuentes, Jones, Kennedy, Person, and Sampson

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

1.3               Consent Calendar
(a)   RESOLUTION (SECFC-2005-25) Be it resolved that the minutes of the Southeast Community Facility Commission meeting of Monday, December 20, 2004 be approved as submitted (passed unanimously).

2.0               Public Comment
Ms. Espanola Jackson announced that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is bringing the 9916 program back to the city of San Francisco. She informed that those positions originally intended for BVHP residents will now be open to all residents throughout the city and urged the Commission to contact the PUC to oppose this decision.

Comm. Larkin stated that the Commission has no intention of letting the 9916 positions go without BVHP residents having an opportunity to be a part of the program. The President commented that by the end of this meeting, the Commission would have a new president; However, he intends to work closely with the incoming president until such time as he or she has adjusted to the new office.

Acting Captain Kurt Bruneman, SFPD stated he had been asked to come to address a rumor circulating that cameras will be going up in the BVHP community at certain intersections. He confirmed that SFPD is looking into the feasibility of installing some cameras at certain intersections for use by SFPD; however, no equipment or cameras have been purchased at the present time.

Comm. Larkin questioned whether community notice would normally be given prior to this program taking place. Capt. Bruneman responded in the affirmative. Comm. Person asked whether BVHP is the only community that has been selected for this trial. Capt. Bruneman stated BVHP is the only community he is aware of. Additionally, he believes the criteria used for selecting an area is determined by high crime rate and seriousness of the crime.

Comm. Kennedy asked whether the installation of cameras in the BVHP community would be for

“red light” runners vs. crime detection.  Capt. Bruneman responded the cameras would be specific for crimes against persons.

Comm. Sampson asked the Captain to address the rumor of sound sensors being placed in BVHP that will direct a camera toward the vicinity of noise. Capt. Bruneman stated he has no information about that; however, he is aware of a program in East Palo Alto that can triangulate and locate the vicinity where a gunshot originates. Comm. Sampson asked that Capt. Bruneman provide whatever information he can regarding that program.

Before opening the floor to the public, Comm. Larkin asked that Capt. Bruneman come back to a future meeting to do follow-up on this subject. Comm. Kennedy asked whether a decision such as this would normally go through the Police Commission. Capt. Bruneman stated he assumes the commander has been briefed; however he has no specific information that it would go through the Commission. Ms. Blanchard stated she is aware that sensor cameras exist in the City, but stated it should first be determined whether the cameras are privately or city owned.

3.0               Communications:
Dir. Moses reported the following correspondence has been sent/received for Commission review: Letters of invitation to Mayor Newsom, Chancellor Philip Day of CCSF, Roy Willis of Lennar, and Chief Fong, SFPD.

5.0                 SECFC/Community Advisory Group’s (CAG) Recommendation
Comm. Larkin briefly reviewed the CAG recommendation and then asked that Deputy City Attorney John Roddy address the Commission on his research. Attorney Roddy explained the ultimate goal of the Commission is to gain autonomy. However, a point that needs to be addressed is the nature of the authority granted to SECF Commission as opposed to the nature of the authority granted to the PUC.

Mr. Roddy stated: The City is obligated as a grant condition to operate and maintain the facility and make up shortfalls in the budget for expenditures through sewer service revenue. The problem is the sewer service charge expenditures are under the authority of the PUC as set forth in the 2002 charter amendment, which has greater autonomy than most other departments. As such, it limits the Board of Supervisors’ ability to enact ordinances to change that authority. The Board cannot pass an ordinance to amend the administrative code to give the SECF Commission authority over PUC sewer revenues. In order to do that, the charter would have to be changed and essentially split the authority.

Comm. Larkin thanked Attorney Roddy for the explanation and asked that all CAG members stand and be recognized. He thanked each member individually for his or her hard work and dedication while serving on the CAG. He then asked Attorney Damone Hale to step forward to address Mr. Roddy’s comments.

Attorney Hale explained the Commission under the auspices of PUC is not by charter but by mayoral directive. The mayor transferred the Commission from DPW to PUC.  If the Commission wants to seek autonomy, which was the community’s original intent, it simply needs to ask the Mayor to undue what was previously done.

Attorney Hale went on to review stating that: Attorney Roddy, who was a young attorney at the time, was directed by his superiors to make the SECF Commission “advisory” in nature even though the community clearly wanted the Commission to have the same powers as other city commission. This community was mislead. The SEC facility was to house community-based organizations that provided training, the SEC facility was supposed to be financially viable, and the SEC facility was supposed to have resources so that it could do the work the community hoped for.

The recommendation before the SECF Commission is that the advisory language should be removed to give the SECF Commission the ability to decide facility policies, budget and be able to negotiate with policymakers, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor regarding the budget. Further, this community has not received one penny of revenue, the charter that governs this Commission is meaningless and has no potential to produce excess revenue. Unless steps are taken to gain independence, to compete for federal grants, this Commission will have others who decide what goes on in this community.

Attorney Harris explained: In order to become autonomous the charter must be changed. The way that can be done is by either having a member of the Board of Supervisors put forward the recommendation as a charter amendment, which is voted on and put on the ballot, or the alternative is to circulate signatures and put it on the ballot. The recommendation to the Commission is to go through the Board of Supervisors to get a charter amendment on the ballot. The challenges are the Commission will have to meet with the Board and convince the Board that this is something that is advisable.

Attroney Hale reminded the Commission that included in the recommendation submitted by CAG was also a confidential document from an accounting firm that showed the facility would not be financially viable. Everyone was aware of this except the community. Therefore, when looking at the intent behind what ultimately resulted in this charter, you should understand that there was some bad faith.

After getting clarification on the sewer enterprise funds, Comm. Kennedy asked Mr. Roddy how could the autonomy be handled?  Mr. Roddy responded that the charter would have to be amended. Mr. Hale added if the Mayor and Board of Supervisors really care about this community, it should not be an issue to make the Commission autonomous.

Mr. David Pilpel in addressing Comm. Kennedy’s question clarified that the Facility was constructed as mitigation for the expansion of the sewage plant. The Board of Supervisors created the SECF Commission by ordinance in 1986/87 (Admin Code. Chapter 54). Following adoption of the 1996 charter, Mayor Brown issued a letter transferring the sewer function from DPW to the PUC. Subsequent to that action in November of 2002, there was a charter amendment that changed the PUC’s jurisdiction and clarified the rate setting requirements for sewage charges resulting in all sewer money going through PUC. The result is that the Board of Supervisors may not direct the PUC to give the SECF Commission money that the PUC does not choose to give through the budgetary process relative to use of the sewer funds.

Mr. Pilpel’s suggestion: That subsection (c) be rewritten so that the SECF Commission could annually propose to the PUC an allocation of sewer revenues to fund the operations of the SECF Commission and facility and give the PUC the discretion to allocate those funds.

Comm. Person adamantly opposed Mr. Pilpel’s suggestion noting that it does not solve the problem at hand, which is to have complete authority. Mr. Pilpel stated the reason he suggested that option was in case the measure failed.  Attorney Hale commented that Mr. Pilpel’s suggestion might be worth looking into as well since the PUC cannot undo their obligation to make this facility fiscally sound.

Dorris Vincent, Espanola Jackson, Esther Blanchard and Dr. Harrison Parker spoke in favor of amending the charter.
Comm. Larkin asked that the attorneys get together with the CAG to review the options, formulate a plan and come back to the Commission with a plan of action for the Commission to review and move forward.

MOTION: Moved by Kennedy seconded by Jones that the CAG further review the recommendation with the attorneys and formulate a plan of action and then bring that plan back to the Commission for a final review and upon that vote, move forward in making those changes with the Board of Supervisors.Motion passed unanimously (7-0).

5.0                 Director’s Report
Dir. Moses reported: He attended the Mayor’s second year in office city address as well as the press conference at the Hunter's Point shipyard for the transfer of land from the Navy to the City. Also, the handicap curb parking has been installed at Phelps and Oakdale and once handicap access can be addressed in the parking lot, the Commission will be informed.

Staff has spoken with Mr. Brian Baker, CEO of Safety Dynamics, the company who constructs the camera sensors that detect gunshots. He has agreed to come and address the Commission. Dir. Moses announced Ms. Susan Leal and Kevin Barry of the PUC would be at the Jan 26th Commission meeting. The Mayor and Supv. Maxwell have tentatively confirmed for Feb. 23.
MOTION: Moved by Sampson, seconded by Fuentes to accept the Director’s Report. Motion passed unanimously to accept report as presented (7-0).


6.0               Old & Ongoing Business
Emergency meeting update: Comm. Brown stated she and President Larkin met with Steve Kawa, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, who stated he was unaware of the issue of street vacation outside the Shipyard, only of those properties within the shipyard. He will contact the Chair of the project and follow-up with President Larkin once he has more information.

Comm. Larkin reported he and Michael Cohen, the City’s Director of Base Closures, had a meeting in which Mr. Cohen brought along documentation which confirmed that the streets to be affected are only inside the shipyard. The President reported he also received a call from Gaynell Armstrong of S.F. Redevelopment who also stated she had contacted several residents in the community and offered to take them on a tour of the shipyard to show them where the streets were located.

Comm. Brown reported at a meeting last night regarding the block association that several homeowners on Newcomb stated they had received notices to vacate. Also, she stated she has been informed that people who were identified in that area have an option of being able to upgrade their property according to the specs they are presented with or liens will be placed against the property and upgrades will be done whether they agree to it or not. Comm. Brown will contact those people and update the Commission.

7.0               Introduction of New Business by Commissioners
Comm. Fuentes proposed that the Commission try to contact SFRA to come and present before the Commission to see exactly what they are proposing in terms of the model block program and how it will affect BVHP.

Dir. Moses reminded that staff had sent a letter of invitation to Exec. Dir. Marcia Rosen of S.F. Redevelopment but has had no response. Comm. Larkin stated that in the meeting with the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, the topic was broached of requests being sent to city entities for presentations that were being ignored. The advice given was if an invitation is sent out to a particular entity of the city and no response is given in a timely fashion, the Commission should take it directly to the Mayor’s office.

Comm. Person stated whatever activity someone is doing which affects the BVHP should be shared with this Commission and by not doing that shows a major lack of respect. Comm. Larkin stated he was in total agreement.

Staff was directed to send a letter of invitation to Gaynell Armstrong for a presentation regarding the model block program.

8.0               Public Comment
Mr. David Pilpel stated that a complaint had been made to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force by Roland Shepard regarding documents he had been seeking from the PUC unsuccessfully regarding an incident of a noose found hanging at one of the sewer plants. Mr. Pilpel stated he had done his best to help Mr. Shepard obtain the information from the PUC that had not been provided, however there is still ongoing work.

9.0               Election of Officers
Prior to President Larkin conducting the elections, he thanked each Commissioner as well as the staff stating: It has been a lot of work that he has thoroughly enjoyed. He also cautioned that whoever considers running for office of President must have strong leadership ability and be able to rally the troops when necessary. He thanked the Commission for helping him during his tenure as president and for the work the Commission has done through his tenure. The Chair then opened nominations for the position of President followed by vice president.

Comm. Kennedy nominated Comm. Brown for Commission president and Comm. Jones seconded the motion. There were no other nominations and Comm. Brown was elected as president by acclamation.

Comm. Person nominated Comm. Fuentes for Commission vice president and Comm. Kennedy seconded the motion. There were no other nominations and Comm. Fuentes was elected as vice president by acclamation.

Comm. Brown thanked the Commission for their confidence. She thanked Comm. Larkin for his dedication stating that he has served well and has done a remarkable job as president. Dir. Moses thanked the outgoing president for a job well done and welcomed the incoming president.

9.0               Announcements:
Comm. Larkin
announced that the 20th anniversary for the Martin Luther King Breakfast would be held on January 17th, 2005 at the Hilton Hotel, 333 O’Farrell St.

Comm. Kennedy announced that there will be a big celebration at the Civic Center after the breakfast and the march will take place starting at 11:00 a.m.  Also, at the shipyard conveyance ceremony yesterday, the Navy turned over Parcel A of the Hunters Point Shipyard to the City. Comm. Kennedy reminded the community to be watchful at what is taking place in the shipyard from this point forward.

Comm. Brown reported on an article in the Sunday Chronicle real estate section advising anyone interested in buying a home to look to the southeast sector as it is an up and coming neighborhood.

Comm. Fuentes thanked the Commission for their support during the loss of his daughter last month.

10.0               Adjournment

Comm. Larkin adjourned the SECF Commission meeting at 8:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Commission Secretary