To view graphic version of this page, refresh this page (F5)

Skip to page body

February 3, 2010




City Hall, Room 421

City and County of San Francisco


Minutes of the Meeting Held

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


(Approved: __________  )



1.                  Call to Order and Roll Call.  Chairperson Matthews called the meeting to order at 6:03 pm.  PRESENT:  Commissioners Richard P. Matthews, Derek Turner, Gerard Gleason and Deputy Director Nataliya Kuzina. 


            Chairperson Matthews asked that note be taken that tonight’s meeting was not attended by a Deputy City Attorney, due to that department’s efforts to meet their budget constraints and added that one could be provided should the Committee make such a request in advance if such presence is warranted.  Chairperson Matthews reported that Commissioner Derek Turner has become the third Committee member, replacing Commissioner Rosabella Safont whose expertise will be missed.  He thanked Commissioner Safont for her contributions to the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee over the past year.


            The Chairperson noted for the record that Director of Elections John Arntz was not present but was represented by Deputy Director Nataliya Kuzina.


2.         Discussion and possible action to approve the Budget and Oversight of Public Elections Committee minutes for December 2, 2009.  Commissioner Gleason MOVED and Commissioner Turner SECONDED approval of the minutes.  The Roll Call Vote to approve the minutes was UNANIMOUS.


3.         Director’s update regarding the Draft Budget for FY 2010-2011. 

            Deputy Director Kuzina handed out the second draft of the budget and called the Committee’s attention to several changes.  She reminded the members that the previous draft totaled $10.5M, and the one presented tonight has been reduced by $600,000.  This reduction is due to the recovery of funds for the expenses involved in running the School Board, BART and Community College Board elections last year.  Thus, the current budget amount is $9.8M.  Deputy Director Kuzina said that the Department is expecting to cut another $600.000 to reach its goal of $9.2M – the amount proposed by the Mayor’s Office.  This additional $600,000 savings is expected to come from materials and supplies used for the office, polling places and outreach.  It is believed that this reduction will not greatly impact the Department operations, and it is expected that staff will be able to reuse materials that are currently on hand.  The Department is considering cutting back printing projects which were previously sent to Reproduction Services which may result in not distributing materials as freely during Outreach presentations as in the past.  Instead they will be made available on our website.    


            Deputy Director Kuzina said that in the area of overtime funding, the DoE is constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency.  The core staff has a long history with the Department and there are plans to do more cross training of this staff to improve operation efficiency.  Also, we are considering working staggered shifts during the busiest periods around elections, such as around registration deadlines, or processing vote-by-mail ballots. 


            The Department is considering automating the submission of candidate statements and ballot arguments.  Electronic submission would greatly cut labor costs.


            The deadline for submission of the budget to the Controller’s Office is February 22, 2010.


            Commissioner Matthews said that this is probably his seventh budget on the Commission and he is very sympathetic with the demands on the Department each budget cycle.  He expressed frustration with the arbitrary constraints placed upon the Department’s Budget, and complimented the Department for complying with them. 


            Commissioner Gleason said that he has observed the DoE’s budget process over many years and offered his appreciation for the Department’s Draft Budget never containing any fat.  The Commissioner expressed an opinion that the built-in problem is that the Department must prepare for essentially a one hundred percent turn out at both 561 polling places and vote-by-mail. 


            Commissioner Turner asked what would be saved, and from where, if the number of polling sites were cut.


            Commissioner Gleason answered that the DoE would save the amount paid for rental stipends, supplies, pollworkers and equipment deliveries.


            Commissioner Turner asked the Deputy Director if the Department has been compiling data regarding the cost per voter for vote-by-mail and the cost per voter for polling place voting, including the fixed costs for each.  Deputy Director Kuzina said that the data is available but she could not quote it accurately at this meeting but would research and provide it to the Commission.





Last updated: 2/19/2010 4:11:21 PM