Street_Artists_Committee2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
STREET ARTISTS COMMITTEE
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
- Roll Call
Members present: Commissioners Dugald Stermer, Rod Freebairn-Smith, P. J. Johnston
Members absent: Commissioners Anne Brauer, Maya Draisin
Staff present: Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth, Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar, Certification Clerk Evelyn Russell
In attendance were Street Artists Robert Clark, William Clark, Linda Hagen, Sean Yore; and former certificate-holder Paula Datesh Grundman
Commissioner Stermer, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m. and stated that items 1 and 2 would be heard simultaneously.
- Hearing and possible motion to approve elimination of selection of three (3) additional temporary Lottery Committee members for winter holiday season (November 15 - January 15) (item submitted by petition of 31 street artists)
- Hearing and possible motion to approve selection of additional Lottery helpers for peak selling seasons of winter (for the day after Thanksgiving through the first Monday after January 1st) and summer (for the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day) (item submitted by petition of 33 street artists)
Program Director Howard Lazar clarified the jobs of Lottery Committee members and lottery helpers and described how they are chosen. He further clarified that some time ago the Arts Commission, at the request of the street artists, had approved the Lottery Committee to select three additional members to share the lottery workload during the winter holiday season. Now, however, petitioners were asking that three additional members for the winter holiday season be replaced with one additional helper, and that an additional helper be selected for the summer season as well.
Street Artists Linda Hagen and William Clark spoke in support of both proposals: the elimination of three additional Lottery Committee members would grant more peak season days for the remaining nine members to be compensated for running the lottery - a just reward for staying on the committee during January and February (the off-season) to run the lotteries. Street Artist Sean Yore opposed Item 1: the Lottery Committee during the previous winter holiday season did not have a full complement of members and would have been seriously understaffed had it not acquired the additional three members.
Commissioner Stermer commended the support of the petitioners behind the two proposals.
Commissioner Johnston moved to approve the elimination of three (3) additional temporary Lottery Committee members for the winter holiday season subject to review after the winter holiday season; the motion was seconded by Commissioner Freebairn-Smith and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Freebairn-Smith moved to approve selection of additional Lottery helpers for peak selling seasons of winter (the day after Thanksgiving through the first Monday after January 1st) and summer (the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day); the motion was seconded by Commissioner Johnston and unanimously approved.
- Hearing and possible motion to approve amendment of lottery procedure by allowing helpers to select spaces either in the lottery period in which they serve or for the same lottery period of the following week. (item submitted by petition of 30 street artists)
Commissioner Stermer ascertained that the authors of the petition were not present. Because the petition's wording was ambiguous, he tabled the item for the next Street Artists Committee meeting.
- Hearing and possible motion to request Board of Supervisors to approve an ordinance to amend Section 2402(a) of Article 24 of the San Francisco Police Code by rescinding the requirement for members of the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Craftsmen Examiners to attend fifty percent (50%) of an Advisory Committee meeting of four (4) or more hours in order to receive compensation. (item submitted by Street Artists Program Director and members of the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Craftsmen Examiners)
Program Director Lazar explained that the ordinance providing compensation for the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Craftsmen Examiners stipulated that the committee's members were entitled to receive compensation only when they attend at least fifty percent of an Advisory Committee meeting that lasts for four or more hours. The Program Director stated that the inflexibility of the ordinance's wording appeared to preclude a member from receiving compensation for a meeting that could be just short of four hours and that this was not fair - especially for members who travel great distances and, with travel time, give up half their work day to attend.
Street Artist William Clark expressed support of the proposal but requested that it provide for a lower amount of required meeting time as, for example, three hours instead of the present four, rather than eliminating a minimum amount of time altogether.
Street Artist Robert Clark expressed opposition to lowering the number of hours for a meeting, as this would encourage the committee's members to push applicants through the screening process rather than the committee carefully examining their wares. Mr. Clark then proposed that a new ordinance require a member to attend at least two hours of a meeting three hours or longer.
Commissioner Johnston ascertained that the duration of the Advisory Committee's meetings - or any meeting of any City committee - could not always "in the real world" adhere to a stipulated minimum time requirement. He favored the deletion of the wording "...for 50 percent of each meeting of four or more hours" from the present provision which states: "(a) A member shall receive $80 for each meeting of the Advisory Commttee actually attended by said member for 50 percent of each meeting of four or more hours."
After much discussion between the Commissioners, staff, and attendees, Commissioner Johnston moved that the Board of Supervisors be requested to approve an ordinance to amend Section 2402(a) of Article 24 of the San Francisco Police Code by rescinding the requirement for members of the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Craftsmen Examiners to attend fifty percent (50%) of an Advisory Committee meeting of four (4) or mroe hours in order to receive compensation; the motion was seconded by Commissioner Freebairn-Smith and unanimously approved.
- Program Director's report
Program Director Lazar reported that the Board of Supervisors had enacted the Arts Commission's request to make former temporary winter holiday spaces "Z-3" and "Z-4", located at Market and 4th streets, as well as other former temporary spaces at Market and Montgomery streets, into permanent spaces. The artists have started using the spaces and have expressed their gratitude.
The Program Director further reported that the Arts Commission's 23rd consecutive request for winter holiday spaces - this year 71 such spaces - was coming up for hearing by the Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee.
The Program Director also reported that he had finished painting the markings and numbers of the artists' spaces at Fisherman's Wharf.
- New business
Former certificate-holder Paula Datesh Grundman requested a re-issuance of her certificate. She stated that, due to extenuating circumstances, she had been unable to attend her hearing (in which the Street Artists Committee had decided to not re-issue her certificate), that two years had passed since she was licensed, and that she wanted to get her license back.
Street Artist Sean Yore stated that he was one of the witnesses against Ms. Grundman at the hearing, and that he felt that it had been a fair hearing.
Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth stated that the City Attorney had previously researched the matter and had stated in writing that due process had taken place and that the committee was not required to hold a hearing on Ms. Grundman's request.
While Commissioners Johnston and Freebairn-Smith expressed interest in reviewing the City Attorney's letter and the minutes of the meeting, Commissioner Stermer stated that he was not predisposed to hearing the matter.
Street Artist Linda Hagen submitted a proposal for the Street Artists Program to employ "secret shoppers" whereby persons not recognized by the street artists would purchase, for evidence at hearings, various items suspected as not being created by the artists. This, she said, would improve the Program.
Street Artist Linda Hagen presented a proposal to allow any artist to purchase more than one street artist certificate.
Program Director Lazar stated that one artist had expressed a similar idea to him in order to improve, the artist felt, his chances of getting a good space through the lottery. The Program Director had responded that he would have to consult with the City Attorney as to whether the street artist ordinance would allow an artist to purchase more than one certificate.
Street Artist Sean Yore requested that the Program Director explore ways of providing security for Lottery Committee members at the lotteries, as, he said, he had been threatened. Responding to questions by Commissioner Johnston, Mr. Yore stated that he had not filed a police report, and that it was difficult to get witnesses to come forward.
The Program Director stated that, given the Program's present budget restrictions which included cancellation of this year's hiring of police officers for the winter holiday season, it did not seem likely that the Program would be able to hire security personnel for the lotteries.
There being no further business, Commissioner Stermer adjourned the meeting at 4:40 p.m.
Street Artists Program Director
October 26, 2004
May 20, 2004