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Meeting Information


2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999   MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 27, 2003  REGULAR MEETING of the JUVENILE PROBATION COMMISSION

Held at City Hall   Room  406    1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place   San Francisco, CA   94102



(ACTION)  Roll Call

The meeting was called to order by the President at 6:10 pm.  Comms. Chuck, Bonilla, Ricci were present at the gavel.  Comm. Richard arrived at 6:40 pm.



(ACTION) Review and approval of January 22, 2003  meeting minutes 

The minutes were approved as written.

(public comments) There was none.



(DISCUSSION)  Chief Probation Officer’s Report:   **explanatory document: monthly report Jan 03 &  Dec. 02.

Crhis Bigelow reported that bids were being reviewed both for the project and management services. A decision would be made in 10 days for the contractor and interviews for the management services contract will take place on 3/14.  There are no protests on record so that the project timeline is ahead of what was estimated.  Construction is slated for late April.    (end of his report)

The Chief reported that the Dept. Exec Team has been meeting to comeup with the second round cut plan, which emphasizes revenue enhancement, work furloughs and staff position reductions, and lay-offs.  The final doc will be sent to Commissioners by the end of the work day, tomorrow (2/28).  The City is still facing a $300 million deficit.

Comm. Ricci said that despite an open invitation to attend the ET meetings to work out a plan, she felt it better to trust the Dept to do the best they could, without having commissioners involved in their process, so she did not attend.

Comm. Hale commended the staff for their work in making difficult decisions and acknowledged the work of Donald Sanders and the SFSU at Log Cabin Ranch.

(public comments)

There was none.


Public comment on any matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Juvenile Probation Commission

Joe Berkowitz, Counselor at LCR, read a prepared statement in opposing the planned closing of LCR (complete text in supporting documents file on Commission website).

Jim Fithian, Asst Principal, LCR, restated his belief in the value of LCR, and said it was unfortunate to see others commenting that “nothing was happening” at Cabin.  He re iterated that behavior has improved so much that they have had to cancel discipline review hearings time and again, compared to years before where they would have 15-20 a day.  He re-constructed (described) an average day at LCR to show the value of the routine and discipline being taught.  This program should be a priority for the Dept.  He reminded the audience of all those former residents who came back last week to support LCR and how that spoke for the value it was to them.

Tracy Haynes, Counselor at LCR, again asked the Commission to reconsider closing Cabin, recounting the types of youth who need this service. Those who are making negative comments about LCR, are people who have not gone down there and do not know what is going on

Kevin Kerr, Asst. Principal at Woodside Learning Center, spoke in support of LCR.  He talked about the difference in appearance and climate between youth in Juvenile Hall and LCR.  Those at LCR have a spirit that those in JH are missing.

Kaire Poole, former counselor at LCR, spoke highly of the ranch and said that the young men there learned respect and appreciation of women, among the other positive values and attitudes taught.

Comm. Hale commented that after last week’s meeting, he and Comm. Dupre spoke and agreed that there needed to be an Ad Hoc committee to look at funding streams for LCR.  He has appointed Comm. Chuck to chair it, with Comms. Ricci and Bonilla as members.



(ACTION) Final action to disband the Log Cabin Ranch School Advisory Committee

Comm. Hale reviewed that the Committee was formed during the term of former Comm. Aramburo, but since that time, the Dept came out with a comprehensive plan, which laid out how it was going to move forward and with a vision.  This then effectively negated the need for the Advisory Committee, and after discussion with its members, it was recommended by Programs Committee to disband  the Advisory Committee.  This will be the opportunity for the full Commission to take final action.

The motion was made, and seconded, and upon voice vote, carried 5-0.

Comm. Bonilla also clarified that this doesn’t mean that work on trying to keep LCR open is disbanded.

(public comments)  There was none.



(ACTION) Acceptance of donation of computers from a law firm. (L. Jackson-Simpson)

Liz Jackson-Simpson reported that for over a year, they have been working on implementing the Youth Development Crime Prevention initiative, which infuses resources at LCR.  One of those programs is OpNet, which provides economic development and training to under served populations.  They are involved in the information technology and multi media arenas. 

Elizabeth Echos and Dawn Fuente of OpNet presented.  They said they were very excited about the partnership with juvenile probation and their work with LCR.  The youth are really anxious to learn and have opportunities to enrich their lives.  The residents will also have access to the OpNet resources in SF (Mission and 6th) once they are out of the ranch. This would include advanced level training, and job placement assistance also. 

They are actively searching out other funding to enrich this program.

Through this program, there was a donation of 9 computers from OpNet, via Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison, LLP.

The motion was made to retroactively accept the donation, and seconded, and upon voice vote, carried 6-0.

(public comments)  There was none.



(DISCUSSION) Committee Reports

      a. Program Committee meeting of Feb. 25, 2003

  Comm. Hale said he understood there was a problem with this meeting taking place. A joint meeting of the Program and Finance comm. was arranged for LCR. That was canceled because it would have violated the Sunshine Ordinance.  Whenever there is a quorum of the Commission, it has to be noted as a Commission meeting.  This meeting would have potentially violated the Ordinance.  The question of a committee meeting which dealt specifically with a topic such as Log Cabin Ranch could be held at Log Cabin Ranch.  Rosa Sanchez said there were exceptions to the city limit rules for meetings.  Just to have a regular committee there would not be possible.  This would restrict the public’s ability to attend.  Comm. Hale said the other issue was that LCR poses a security risk for the public. 

Comm. Bonilla asked if 2-3 Commissioners wanted to go to LCR, tour and talk to residents, would they have to post that as a meeting.  R. Sanchez said that if they were on the same committee, they would be a quorum and could not go there together.  If they were not on the same committees, then it would be alright.  The ad hoc committee is included in this. If less than a quorum of that committee went down, at different times, that would be okay.  Then the meeting could be held here within the city and county. 

Comm. Hale said that we risk a claim before the Sunshine Task Force, if we don’t follow the letter of the law. 

Comm. Hale said that he laid this out as background, because there was another meeting scheduled at Milton Meyer Gym in the Bayview. 

Comm. Richard said the meeting was canceled because the Dept had told the providers that the meeting was canceled.

Comm. Ricci asked who has the authority to cancel a meeting if it was posted.

Comm. Hale said that unless there were some extraordinary emergency a meeting wouldn’t be canceled.  And this meeting wasn’t canceled.  The only meeting that was canceled was the joint meeting.  That was the crux of the confusion because the Dept received that notice and assumed that the meeting was canceled.

Comm. Ricci asked if it was posted, how could there be confusion?

The Chief commented that the Dept originally received a notice that there was going to be Program Committee meeting. Then they received a notice that there was going to be a Program and Finance Committee meeting on the same day, at Log Cabin Ranch. Their assumption at that time was that regular Program Committee meeting had now become the Program and Finance Committee, and that the site and location had been changed from Milton Meyers to Log Cabin Ranch. Then they subsequently received an email that said please disregard that announcement, the meeting has been canceled.  His assumption was that the original Program Committee that was originally scheduled which transformed into a Program/Finance committee was subsequently canceled, therefore there was no meeting.  He got calls in his office from his staff who were also confused about whether or not there was a Program Committee meeting scheduled that evening and he said was looking at a notice that said it was canceled. There’s no meeting. Then they got a call later saying there were people at the location, that in fact Comm. Richard had shown up. That there were people there expecting a meeting was supposed to happen.  So the confusion was around whether or not the Program Committee and the Program/Finance Committee were the same meeting, and that subsequent to the cancellation of the Program/Finance Committee meeting, that in fact, there was no meeting.  That was their understanding, that was his interpretation and in the absence of any other clarification that’s why he wasn’t there and why he articulated to his staff that the meeting had been canceled. Clearly there is no authority to cancel any Commission meeting outside of the Commission.  That is not the point of confusion. The confusion was what meeting was scheduled, when by whom, what the intent was and whether there was or was not a meeting. “We’ve consistently attended every meeting the Commission has scheduled. That’s our job, that’s what we do and there was no intent on the part of the Dept to supercede or otherwise conflict with the direction and rightful authority of the Commission and its committees. There was a great deal of confusion.  We can avoid that kind of confusion.  This is not the first time that confusion has arisen around scheduling.”

Comm. Ricci said that in the future to avoid any kind of confusion there should be a protocol followed as to who would be the person to clarify whether meetings were canceled. 

Comm. Hale said his understanding was the confusion came when Commissioners wanted to go down to Log Cabin Ranch and talk to the residents there, and posted a meeting for this.  That meeting was canceled and notice speaking to that joint meeting was sent.  That was the only meeting that was canceled.  This was just a “situation.”

Comm. Richard asked who authorized the meeting to be canceled.

The Chief said that his understanding was that the Commission Secretary canceled it. Or that it was canceled through him on the Commission’s authority. He communicated when requested whether or not there was a meeting, he read from the memo that was emailed by the Commission Secretary.  That was the source of the information. That was the authority for the cancellation. The communication he had in his hand, emailed from the Commission Secretary.

Comm. Richard said that the canceled meeting was the one at Log Cabin Ranch.  He had communicated this to the Secretary once the City Attorney advised against it.  But he never canceled the one scheduled in Bayview Hunters Point.  That one was still scheduled.

The Chief said he would have been there this time if it had been clear that the meeting was in fact continuing.  It was a lack of clarity, it was confusion, with no attempt on the part of the Dept to supercede the Commission’s authority.  The basis for the communication was the Chief’s understanding of what the communication said.  The communication clearly says “this meeting has been canceled.”  It was in reference to the wrong meeting. He takes responsibility for that interpretation but he also thinks that even though this is something that isn’t necessarily broken (in reference to Comm. Hale’s comments) that there is some room for improvement.  He welcomes the opportunity to have a dialog with the Commission on how to improve the general communications between the Dept and the Commission about scheduling of meetings and other issues as well.   This is symptomatic of a larger issue.

Comm. Richard commented that he was still trying to figure out where the confusion came, when there were two separate meetings noticed.

The Chief said that both meetings were on the 25th, and that’s where the confusion came.

Comm. Richard said that there were two meetings posted.  One at Milton Meyers and one at Log Cabin, and only the latter was canceled.

The Chief replied that this is a topic that deserves further discussion and clarification because as an example there’s sometimes meetings noticed, meetings posted, and that information doesn’t come to his office directly,  They have to go out and hunt for it.  That should never happen but it does. This issue and the fall out from the experience is symptomatic of other issues that need resolving.

Comm. Ricci suggested moving this item to a personnel committee meeting.

 (public comments)  There was none.



(ACTION) Election of Commission Officers for 2003

Comm. Hale commented that for those who were unfamiliar with the processes, the “practice” of the Commission has been to have the VP “in training” to step up to President.  It also started as a one year term. He said it was agreed upon at that time that a two year term gave a President the chance for continuity and could move an agenda.   He reported that Comm. Dupre has expressed an interest in assuming that role, but nobody has heard from him today.  Comm. Chuck asked if this was absolutely necessary for an action today.  The Commission Secretary said that by the Commission’s Rules of Authority, the election is set for the first regular meeting after the January meeting.

Comm. Richard nominated Comm. Dupre for President.  The nomination was seconded by Comm. Ricci.  Due to Comm. Dupre’s absence, no action was possible.  Comm. Ricci nominated Comm. Chuck for VP.  Comm. Chuck declined and in turn nominated Comm. Ricci.   Comm. Ricci thanked him for the nomination but declined. The nomination was declined again.

Comm. Bonilla raised a concern for the precedent such a practice (VP assuming the Presidency) might establish.  He asked if a VP were absolutely necessary.  Comm. Hale said yes. (It is also a part of the Commission’s rules). 

Comm Hale commended the Dept for their help during his term in office, and said his experience was very rewarding.

R. Sanchez said that the Rules establish clearly the officers of the Commission, and advised against any modification of this rule.

It was decided to table the elections to the March 12 special meeting, when all could be in attendance.

There was no public comment.

A ceremony was held in honor of the work of former Commissioner Elizabeth Rice Grossman, in absentia.  Comm. Hale read two certificates: a Proclamation from Mayor Willie L Brown, and a certificate of appreciation from the Juvenile Probation Commission.

Comm. Ricci commented that Elizabeth would be sorely missed on the Commission, and felt that she (Grossman) would be saddened by what is happening to the Ranch now, given all the heart felt work she put in, and the compassion and pride she had for the youth there. Comm. Ricci asked that the staff communicate this to the youth there so they know she really cared about them.  Comm. Ricci said she had learned a lot from Elizabeth, sitting on the Finance Committee together.

Comm. Hale announced that a new Commissioner was selected as Elizabeth’s replacement.  Sean Connolly will be sworn in on Friday March 7 in the Mayor’s foyer.

Comm. Hale also asked commissioners to review the new format for the monthly stats and give their input on it.


(ACTION) Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:58 pm.

                             minutes approved  March 26, 2003