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Special Meeting Minutes

Thursday, January 29, 2009

5:30 p.m.

City Hall, Room 408

#1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102




Jacqueline Lingad Ricci, President

Susana Rojas, Vice President

Katharine Albright

Dirk Beijen

Ellouise Patton

Rebecca Woodson


Meeting Minutes


  1. Roll call. 
    The Commission President called the meeting to order at 5:45 PM.  Commissioners Albright, Beijen, Lingad Ricci, Rojas and Woodson were present.  Commissioner Patton was not present.  The Department was represented by William Siffermann, Chief Probation Officer; Allen Nance, Assistant Chief Probation Officer; Sue Wong, Finance Director; and Allison Magee, Director of Administrative Services. 

2.  Update on Current 2008-2009 Budget – Background Information and Issues Faced (DISCUSSION)

·        Ms. Magee indicated the department cut 2.6 million from the budget and deleted 17 positions last year. 

·        This year’s target budget cut is 2.1 million.  The department cut probation officers and supervisors in the prior year and does not want to jeopardize public safety this year. 
Public Comment (Each Speaker Granted Five Minutes):

·        Bruce Fischer, Huckleberry House Representative.  Opposed budget cuts for Huckleberry House and stressed to take cuts across the board for all programs.

·        Katie Risinger, Program Director, Huckleberry House.  Opposed Huckleberry House budget cuts and feels it would be detrimental to the kids.
COMM Beijen asked how many kids are referred to Huckleberry House thru Juvenile Hall and Mr. Fisher answered none.  He explained that the program was created as an alternative to Juvenile Hall.  It was created as a non-institute place for runaways. 

·        Third Speaker (did not specify name).  Opposed Huckleberry House budget cuts and referred to runaways who do not have parents or guardians to come and pick them up once they get arrested.

·        GeorgeVega, Clinical Director of Huckleberry Programs.  Opposed budget cuts.  They provide counseling services for families in crisis and individuals that have mental issues. 

·        Jenny Price, Director of Programs for Huckleberry Youth Programs.  Feels that this is a model program in San Francisco and does not want it cut.  Is very concerned because the situation for these at-risk-kids will get worse without any intervention plan. 

·        Sylvia.  Opposed Huckleberry House budget cuts.

·        Dan MaCallair, Executive Director, Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice.
Opposed budget cuts.  Long-time supporter of Huckleberry House for 20 years.  Stated that it is a national model and its success is remarkable. 

·        Imelda Costa, SF Boys and Girls Club.  Their budget was completely cut.  The life skills program offers tutoring, mental health services, and community services.  Is very concerned for the kids. 

·        Jacob Moody, Executive Director of Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvements.  Opposed Huckleberry House cuts and knows the impact of this program on the youth. 

·        Billy Weber, Huckleberry House Counselor.  Opposed budget cuts.  Huckleberry House is a place where kids can connect with trusting adults. 

·        Rosanna Sky, Psychotherapist at Huckleberry Youth Programs.  Opposed budget cuts.  Would like to see this program continue because she enjoys working and helping kids.

·        Linda, Case Manager, Youth Program Center.  Our family support program will be cut on February 20th.  We counsel youths to get back into the community, and help them build positive relations with family and friends.

·        James McElroy, Program Director with Bayview Hunters Point Foundation.  Opposed Huckleberry House budget cuts. 

·        Jenny Beck, Boys & Girls Club.  Opposed budget cuts.  Their program assists kids-at-risk and gives them incentives by helping them get jobs. 

·        Ricardo Garcia-Acosta, Case Manager, Community Liaison for San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Center with UCSF Wraparound Project.  Opposed budget cuts.   Wants to make sure that the youths coming through the trauma center receive the social services they need.

·        Patsy, Development Center.  Opposed budget cuts.  Many of the kids do not have any options regarding services, such as our anger management classes at the Probation Department, which has helped for the past nine years. 

·        Jay Lang.  Would like to see youths have opportunities, such as anger management classes, to give them options to choose the right path in life.

·        Jose, La Raza Group Representative.  Opposed budget cuts.  This group serves youths on probation and gives young people and their families the opportunity with mental health services and reduces recidivism. 


3.  Principles upon which Mid-Year Budget Cuts were made (DISCUSSION ONLY) 

·        Chief Siffermann expressed that the department’s main intention and purpose was to go back to the Mayor’s office to reject all budget cuts.  The department provides assessments, supervision services and custodial care for youths that have been referred to court.

·        Juvenile Probation Department (JPD) operates two 24 hour residential facilities: Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) & Log Cabin Ranch (LCR).

·        As part of the supervision and custodial services, JPD identifies development and administers programs for assessment, education, treatment and rehabilitation. 

·        Seeks to prioritize general funds and contractual services associated with JJC and involved youths. 

·        Another goal was to preserve as many community based contractual services that support the department that work with the highest risk, Juvenile Justice System involved youth, required custodial care, intensive supervision, gender specific programs and alternatives to secured detention, as directed by the court. 

·        Seeks to maintain programs facilities and operations standards required in accordance by Federal and State local laws and by those regulations by the Corrections Standards Authorities. 

·        The department hopes the Commission will assist in continuing the strength and relationships with the community, services providers and internal stakeholders to ensure an engaging budget process. 

·        Seeks to identify additional revenue maximizing strategies that include the implementation of any fees that would be allowable by the welfare and institutions code. 
COMM Rojas asked how many total programs were cut.  Chief Siffermann responded 19, but six do not have any funding. 
COMM Rojas wanted to know the plan to minimize overtime and overcrowding of the Hall when these programs are cut.  Chief Siffermann responded that they review the population in the hall on a weekly basis and overtime has been cut significantly. 
COMM Rojas inquired if it was possible to make 25% cuts across the board for all programs. Chief Siffermann has not seen any documents indicating that programs will take these cuts.
COMM Albright addressed the across the board cuts and wanted to know if this was considered as an option.  Chief Siffermann indicated that the department chose not to do the across the board cuts because it would dilute all the programs and stated that this suggestion was made three years ago and was rejected by the Commission. 
COMM Albright wanted a status of the mid-year cuts.  Ms. Wong indicated that the mid-year cuts have been made, which totals $600,000, and annualizes next year to 1.5 million, which was taken out of the CBO line. 
COMM Albright asked if the mid-year cuts were presented to the Commission.  Chief Siffermann said they were dispatched to the Commission prior to being sent to the Mayor’s office.
COMM Rojas asked what the community and Commission can now do since the budget has been decided by the department and is now in the Mayor’s office.  Bruce Fisher, Huckleberry House Representative, suggested speaking to Nani Coloretti, Mayor’s Budget Director, to reconsider request.
COMM Lingad Ricci asked if there anymore mid-year cuts in the future.  Ms. Magee stated they have been advised by the Mayor’s office that there will probably be more mid-year general cuts. 
Public Comment:

·        Chelsey, Coleman Advocates.  Hopes the budget cuts are reconsidered and the right choices are made for the upcoming FY 09-10 budget;

·        Valerie, Latino Steering Committee.  Opposed the budget cuts and questions the overall budget process.  Wants Commissioners to reject the Mayor’s cuts.


4.  Discussion regarding General Guiding Principles upon which Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Budget Cuts may be based.  Discussion and Possible Action to suggest policy regarding Budget Cuts (DISCUSSION & POSSIBLE ACTION)

  • COMM Albright asked about the department developing principles with respect to the budget cuts.  Chief Siffermann indicated that this was added to the presentation to the guiding principles. 
  • COMM Woodson inquired about the different policy points.  In addition, COMM Woodson asked if there was any discussion of merging JPD with Adult Probation; charging for employee parking or cell phone use; work furloughs; decreasing energy costs; renting out the remodeled facility for graduation or various programs; if the Library was privately funded or can it be turned over to JPD; and overtime costs.  Ms. Magee stated that the merger with Juvenile and Adult Probation was considered in the past, however, due to the charter amendment, Adult Probation reports to the court and it would be up to the Mayor.  The employee parking would not be revenue and would go into general fund.  Cell phone use has been cut in half, however, is a safety issue for Probation Officers.  Due to labor issues, the Memo of Understanding (MOU) does not allow work furloughs.  Energy has been reduced in our work order.  The Library is run by the Public Library under a separate budget and overtime was cut by 45%, down by $600,000 since last year.  Renting the remodeled facility is a concern because it’s a locked and secured facility and would be a safety issue.  The department identified that San Francisco is the only county that does not charge for record sealing and they are looking at that option. 
  • COMM Lingad Ricci indicated that the sale of the land near Log Cabin was discussed and the city attorney determined that there was a restriction around the land near the facility. 
  • COMM Albright asked for the total mid-year cuts.  Ms. Magee indicated that the total mid-year cuts were $900,000 in capital funding and $621,000 for community programs.
  • Finance Committee Meeting has been moved to February 18th to discuss budget consideration and review draft letter to the Mayor.
  • There were no public comments.

5.  Adjournment (ACTION ITEM)

  • The meeting adjourned at 7:55 PM.