11.24 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2009, 5:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 416, SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94102


 

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr. (President), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-President), Angelo King, Jane MarieFrancis Martin, Alan Mok, Matt Tuchow, Johanna Wald

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

Public comment will be taken before the Commission takes action on any item.

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Meeting was called to order at 5:08 p.m.  Present:  President Pelosi Jr. (5:20), Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin, Mok (5:12), Tuchow and Wald. Absent: Commissioner King.  

 

Items 3 – 20 were heard before Item 2.

 

Ms. Fish made a point of order that the agenda start time for items beginning with Item 3 was advertised as 5:20 p.m.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. David Pilpel suggested that discussion on agenda items beginning with Item 3 not be heard until the advertised time of 5:20 p.m.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that the agenda time was not advertised as a Special Order and suggested discussion of Item 4 before Item 3.  Vice President Gravanis noted her preference of following the agenda order for the benefit of including public participation, unless there was a compelling reason otherwise.  Director Blumenfeld recommended holding closed session at the end of the meeting in order to maintain public participation for other agenda items.  Commissioner Martin recommended accepting additional public comment on agenda items listed as starting at 5:20 p.m. if required.


 

2.      CLOSED SESSION – PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

a.      Public comment on all matters pertaining to the closed session. 

 

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel stated that she believes that Commission members and Department of the Environment (“Department”) staff will be applauding all of the leadership and innovation that they have experienced in Director Jared Blumenfeld’s tenure as Director of the Department, and acknowledged his remarkable contribution to the Department.  Ms. Wuerfel also commented on the nine months leave of absence when Director Blumenfeld was reassigned as Acting General Manager of the Recreation and Park Department.  She thanked and highly commended him for taking that interim job and following the Sunshine Ordinance requirement to create an open door policy to his office for the public, for visiting all 230 Recreation and Park Department facilities owned by the City, and for increasing staff morale.

 

b.      Vote on whether to hold closed session to evaluate the performance of the Executive Director, Jared Blumenfeld.  (Cal. Govt. Code § 54957; SF Admin. Code § 67.10(b).)  [ACTION]

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald and second by President Pelosi Jr., the Commissioners voted without objection to hold a closed session to evaluate the performance of the Executive Director (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin, Mok, Tuchow and Wald; Absent: Commissioner King).

 

The Regular Meeting recessed at 6:37 p.m. to hold a Closed Session.

 

c.      Possible closed session to evaluate the performance of the Executive Director, Jared Blumenfeld.  (Cal. Govt. Code § 54957; SF Admin. Code § 67.10(b).)  [DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION]

 

Closed Session convened at 6:40 p.m. to evaluate the performance of the Executive Director, Jared Blumenfeld.  Closed Session adjourned at 7:02 p.m.

 

d.      Reconvene in open session:  The Commission reconvened in open session at 7:02 p.m.

 

1.      Possible report on action taken in closed session and the vote thereon.  (Cal. Govt. Code § 54957.1(a); SF Admin. Code § 67.12(b).)  Ms. Fish reported that the Commission evaluated the performance of the Executive Director Jared Blumenfeld and there was no action taken.

 

2.      Vote to elect whether to disclose any or all discussions held in closed session.  (Cal. Govt. Code § 54957.1(a); SF Admin. Code § 67.12(b).)  [ACTION] 

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald and second by Vice-President Gravanis without objection, the Commission voted not to disclose discussions held in closed session (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin, Mok, Tuchow and Wald; Absent: Commissioner King).

 

3.      Adoption of Minutes of the September 22, 2009 Commission Regular Meeting. (Discussion and Action)

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald and second by Commissioner Mok, the September 22, 2009 Meeting Minutes were approved (AYES: President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Martin, Mok, Tuchow and Wald; Absent: Commissioner King) (Explanatory Document: September 22, 2009 Approved Minutes) 

 

4.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time. 

 

5.      Commission Process for Nominations for the Position of Director of the Department of the Environment and Formation of Nomination Committee. SPEAKERS:  Thomas Owen, Deputy City Attorney and President Pelosi Jr. (Discussion and Action)  

 

Deputy City Attorney Owen provided an overview of the process under the City Charter for selection of Department head as follows.  Under the Charter, the Commission nominates up to three names to present to the Mayor, and the Mayor makes a selection from those three names for the Department Head.  The Mayor may reject all three candidates and then the Commission submits a new list which may or may not include the same names.  If the Mayor does not object, the Commission can send less than three names. 

 

The Brown Act states that the Commission may not meet in closed session to discuss the criteria for selecting candidates and may only meet in closed session to actually interview candidates, review résumés, and make the actual decision of which names to send to the Mayor.  The Commission may want to establish a search committee to help the process along.  The Committee could identify candidates and review applications, but they are not required to do it that way, and have broad discretion as long as the open meeting laws and other applicable restrictions are followed.  The Search Committee would also be a policy body and would be subject to the same Brown Act requirements. The Committee could not meet in closed session except when dealing with specific candidates. It can consult with the Mayor’s Office to find out how extensive of a search they are interested in.  Whoever consults with the Mayor will have to report in open session to the Search Committee what the consultation was. The Department of Human Resources is available to help the Committee set up the search process depending on how broadly the Committee wants to look for candidates. 

 

After the Search Committee has reviewed and ranked applications, they send the confidential list to the full Commission. The full Commission may then meet in closed session to review the recommendations sent to them by the Search Committee, interview candidates, and hold discussions.  The full Commission will then make a determination and send the list of names to the Mayor’s Office.  Nothing is disclosed until such time as a candidate is actually appointed by the Mayor.  The names and applications of unsuccessful candidates are not disclosed. 

 

Compensation in terms of employment for department heads is set by the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Municipal Executives Association.  The Department of Human Resources classifies the department heads according to the size of the department.  There are a few salary ranges within each classification.  The Commission is not allowed to negotiate an actual employment contract with department heads.  Finally, if you are a candidate and think you are interested in being a candidate or someone who is a source of income to you is going to be a candidate, you would not be participating in the decision process and that includes setting criteria and everything leading up to the actual list of names.

 

President Pelosi Jr. stated that the department head position is at the discretion of the Mayor, and that in two years there may be a new Mayor.  He asked if that position becomes automatically renewed or if all directors have to turn in a letter of resignation under a new administration.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that there was no formal requirement that they do submit a letter of resignation.  The department head serves at the pleasure of the Commission. Commissioners either serve for cause or at the pleasure of the appointing Mayor.  It has been the practice of some new Mayors upon coming into office or others that have been reelected to request a letter of resignation from all the sitting Board Members and Commissioners.  Usually Board members and Commissioners comply and sometimes they don’t.  Candidates would have to consider that there is no guaranteed tenure when accepting the job.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired if there was a timeframe set forth for nomination of candidates.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that there is no required timeframe.  Until such time that the Mayor does appoint a new department head, the services of an Acting Director (whoever is number two in the organizational chart) would be relied upon.  Commissioner Tuchow asked who the compensation would be negotiated by.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that compensation would be in various ranges set by the Department of Human Resources.  There is room on the pay scale where to appoint the Department Head, and the decision is based on a combination of the Commission’s and candidate’s discussion with the Mayor’s Office. 

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired what type of information the Committee would report to the full Commission and if it would include the names of the three candidates.  Deputy City Attorney Owen stated that if the Committee went through a list of résumés and selected the top six people, they would actually submit that list as a confidential communication to the full Commission.  The Committee would have to notice their meetings, but could meet in closed session to do their actual deliberations.  Commissioner Tuchow inquired as to what has to be reported to the full Commission in open session.  Deputy City Attorney Owen responded just the fact that names had been sent to the Mayor.  Commissioner Wald confirmed with Mr. Owen that any conversation between any one of the Committee members and the Mayor’s Office on the search would have to be reported.  Mr. Owen stated that if any Committee member formally consulted with the Mayor, that it would be a process issue that would be handled in open session.

 

Deputy Director Assmann reported that Range A for a Department Head II is from $131,000 to $167,000. There is an optional range B and C that are each 5% above that range and is an option depending upon the candidate’s qualifications.  It was explained that in the previous Director search process, there was a Committee selected by the Commission, which included one Commissioner each from the Policy and Operations Committee, and he as Deputy Director was assisting the two members in the process.  President Pelosi Jr. asked Deputy Director Assmann if he had any interest in the Director’s position and he stated that no, he did not.  Director Blumenfeld stated that Deputy Director Assmann would be the Acting Director after he leaves and until a new Director is appointed. 

 

Public Comment 

 

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked if the services of a headhunter would be utilized to find a replacement.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that based upon his experience and availability of resources, a headhunter’s services would not be required.  The position would be open to whoever wants to apply and believes this position is one that somebody should be passionate to find. 

 

Mr. David Pilpel questioned whether the department head after separation from the City can legally appoint an Acting Director, and stated that he would consult with the Deputy City Attorney about whether the Commission and the Mayor should be the entity that designates an interim department head.  Mr. Pilpel also requested an open session disclosure of the numbers of applicants that had applied and how many were selected.  With respect to the search, Mr. Pilpel agrees that a national search is not needed because he believes there are qualified individuals in the Department, City government, and in the city and region. 

 

President Pelosi Jr. recommended Deputy Director Assmann and Commissioners Tuchow and Wald as Search Committee members.  Vice President Gravanis confirmed with Mr. Owen that it would be acceptable for a staff member to be a voting member even though that person may become an employee of the person hired. Mr. Owen stated that it would be at the discretion of the Commission, that it would be a prudential consideration, but not a legal disqualification.  Commissioner Mok confirmed that the Committee would report back to the Commission on their selection and asked if the Commission would be making the final decision of names to transmit to the Mayor.  Mr. Owen stated that the final decision would be made by the full Commission at a closed session hearing.  The three candidates would then be transmitted to the Mayor who would make the final selection. 

 

Upon Motion by Vice President Gravanis and second by President Pelosi Jr., establishing a Search Committee was approved with members consisting of Deputy Director Assmann and Commissioners Tuchow and Wald. (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok, Martin, Tuchow and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

       

6.      Resolution Commending Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the Department of the Environment, for his Service to the Department of the Environment and City and County of San Francisco. SPONSOR:  Commission President Paul Pelosi Jr. (Explanatory Document:  Resolution File 2009-05-COE) (Discussion and Action)

 

Commissioners and Deputy Director Assmann commended and expressed their appreciation to Director Jared Blumenfeld for his work bringing the community together to champion many issues, several of which are documented in the Resolution, and his environmental leadership in working with Department staff, the Commission, Board of Supervisors, Mayor, and the City and County of San Francisco.  Director Jared Blumenfeld thanked current and previous Commissioners for their service in providing guidance to the Department and crafting environmental policy; Department staff, current and previous Commission Secretaries, and Deputy Director Assmann for their service; and the public for insuring accountability.    

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel thanked Director Jared Blumenfeld and stated that she would be happy to assist the new director in the future.  Ms. Wuerfel expressed her appreciation that Director Blumenfeld had been inclusive, which is a critical component of success and thanked him for bringing more accountability to the Department and the Impound Account.  She stated that she appreciates the ways that the Department has worked to grow into the job and wants to make sure the new director maintains Department funding. She also wished the Search Committee and Commission success in finding the right person for the job.

 

Ms. Fish read Resolution File No. 2009-05-COE.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald and second by Commissioner Tuchow, Resolution File No. 2009-05-COE commending Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the Department of the Environment (“Department”), for his service to the Department and City and County of San Francisco was approved. (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok, Martin, Tuchow and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King)

 

7.      Approval of Letter on Behalf of the Commission on the Environment to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board of Directors asking for (1) the support of their agency in partnering with the San Francisco Department of the Environment to promote safer garment cleaning technologies like wet cleaning and (2) requesting that the BAAQMD Board adopt regulations that accelerate the phase out of the most toxic dry cleaning solvent, perchloroethylene. STAFF SPEAKERS:  Debbie Raphael, Toxics Reduction Program Manager and Sushma Dhulipala, Commercial Toxics Reduction Coordinator (Explanatory Document:  Commission Letter to the BAAQMD) (Discussion and Action)

 

Vice-President Gravanis reported that this item was discussed at the Policy Committee and is a response to the discussion that was held at the meeting.  Ms. Raphael and staff were thanked for presenting a very informative presentation at the Policy Committee meeting.  Ms. Raphael reported that San Francisco has about 123 dry cleaning machines throughout the city.  Dry cleaners traditionally use the most toxic chemical found in residential settings called perchloroethylene.  The State of California has phased out perchloroethylene machines and while that is a wonderful event, the replacement for that solvent has air quality problems, is toxic, and is not the desired replacement. There is a better replacement called wet cleaning which is a viable alternative. 

 

Ms. Raphael stated that the letter before the Commission is to call on the local Air District to be become a leader in this area.  It is interesting that the California Air Resources Board has been farther ahead than our local Air District.  The Department of the Environment is mirroring what is happening at the state level to try and influence businesses when they substitute perchloroethylene, to choose a least toxic alternative, which in this case is wet cleaning.  Staff needs the Commission’s help to call attention to this important issue because the Board will be voting on an initiative to speed up the phase-out and will also be directing staff on how to implement the switch. 

 

Ms. Raphael requested the Commission’s assistance in two action requests that are included in the letter—one is to request that the Air Board choose the faster phase-out, which is an eight-year phase out, which means that machines that are eight years or older must declare by the end of the year what they are going to switch to.  The second request is a way to incentivize the switch to wet cleaning so that if a local business promises it will switch to wet cleaning, they would receive extra time to make the switch.  It is a way of giving an incentive to do the right thing.  Another way the Department would like to incentivize the switch to wet cleaning is to actually offer financial assistance to make the switch.          

 

Commissioner Wald asked if there was any other action that staff would like the Commission’s assistance on in this effort, such as attending the meeting and speaking before the Air District.  Ms. Raphael expressed her enthusiasm for this addition and reported that San Francisco has two members on the Board, Board of Supervisors Chris Daly and Eric Mar.  This letter would be shared with the Supervisor members of the local Air Quality Board so that they are aware that the Commission is asking for their support. There will be a sub-committee called the Stationary Source Sub-Committee hearing where this will be heard first.  It would make a positive statement if a Commissioner could attend the meeting, which would be in February or could be as early as December.  Ms. Raphael indicated she would send communication on the meeting date.

 

Upon Motion by Vice-President Gravanis and second by President Pelosi Jr., the letter was approved for transmittal to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District with an amendment to correct the stationery without objection. Staff was thanked for their effort and work on this issue.  (AYES:  President Pelosi Jr., Vice-President Gravanis, Commissioners Mok, Martin, Tuchow and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King) (Explanatory Document:  Approved Letter)

  

8.      Overview of the “Environment Now” Program. SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director; STAFF SPEAKERS:  David Assmann, Deputy Director and Donny Oliveira, Green Jobs Coordinator (Informational Report and Discussion) 

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that President Obama’s stimulus program allowed for the Department to employ folks that were 200% below the poverty line who were also a parent and was seen as a unique and historic opportunity to bring people into the Department from diverse backgrounds. Mr. Oliveira stated that the federal stimulus opportunity is being utilized to promote existing Department campaigns.  Training is being offered to participants to learn about eco-literacy, reinforce job skills, and to reinforce and reenergize the existing Department campaigns as well as bringing a new facet and strategy to new campaigns such as the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance.  President Pelosi Jr. asked how many jobs would be created through this program. Mr. Oliveira reported that the vision would be to employ 100 people within the Department and as space allows, additional jobs would be added.  There would be 40 hires by the end of this calendar year (16 have been currently hired, and 24 will be online by the end of the calendar year). 

 

President Pelosi Jr. inquired which City areas most people were hired from, and Mr. Oliveira replied from the Bayview and Western Addition neighborhoods.  Director Blumenfeld stated that this is the most inspiring human experience.  People that don’t think about the environment and don’t have jobs in some cases are coming in and interacting with the Department.  Mr. Oliveira was previously employed with the Department of Conservation Corps for the past three years where he was running similar programs and has an excellent track record.  Director Blumenfled encouraged Commissioners to schedule a meeting with Mr. Oliveira to present their vision for the environment and share life experiences.  He stated that the Department is also working with Ms. Lisa Wayne to send program staff to a different natural area each month to do restoration programming, work on trails, etc.  The hires will go out into the community to reinforce programs, go to every small and medium-sized business to roll out mandatory recycling and composting, and help with Energy Watch audits.  The stimulus program runs through September 2010, so there will be approximately a year to energize people that would have never otherwise thought of the environment.     

 

9.      Update on the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance. SPONSOR:  Commission Vice President Ruth Gravanis; STAFF SPEAKER:  Jack Macy, Commercial Recycling Coordinator (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Vice-President Gravanis expressed her support for this milestone Ordinance and mentioned media reports surrounding this program, which she asked staff to report on.  Mr. Macy provided an update on the Ordinance since the last update to the Commission on July 28.  He reported that the Ordinance went into effect on October 21st and is pleased to say it has had a great impact.  There has been a huge response from all sectors and lots of inquiries about the program.  The Recology Company has had a two to three fold increase in calls, getting up to two to three thousand calls a day primarily composting requests and inquiring about the definition of the Ordinance.  Up to 300 green carts have being delivered per day and has resulted in additional staff hiring and trucks to transport the carts.

 

Mr. Macy reported that there has been overall good press and as a result of media attention, there is a spike in calls about the program. There was a press conference this morning touting the benefits of the composting program—Channel 5 and the Examiner were in attendance.  From the beginning of the composting program, there were approximately 620,000 tons of material composted, mostly food scraps, which resulted in 150,000+ tons of reduction in carbon emissions.  This figure is equal to deleting all emissions from all of the traffic on the Bay Bridge for 311 days--almost a year’s worth of Bay Bridge traffic emissions reduction from the composting food waste program. 

 

President Pelosi Jr. stated that individuals and businesses in Marin County have reported that since these types of programs have been put in place, their trash bills have dropped usually in half.  He recommended publishing numbers on how much people are saving as a result of this program.  Mr. Macy stated that the big savings are seen by owners of apartment buildings where there is no cost for recycling and composting.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that a bill could be cut in half from using smaller trash bins.  Mr. Macy stated that up to half or three fourths savings are possible.  President Pelosi Jr. recommended publishing that the trash bill could be cut in half by complying with the ordinance.  Mr. Macy stated that people are being told that their trash bill could be reduced by up to 75% if they max out on recycling and composting.  An average apartment building and small businesses will save hundreds of dollars a month, and large businesses can save thousands of dollars a month.

 

Commissioner Wald encouraged the Department to create a website that shows what is being accomplished by Department programs, for example, on diversion from landfill, how many tons of waste are being composted as a result of the program.  The site would inform the community on what is happening as a result of their participation and can be a reference point as to what difference the program is making.  There could be advertisements on bus shelters that would provide the community with familiarity about Department programs and would result in support for these programs.  An example would be to advertise how many tons have been composted and what the equivalent of CO2 savings is. Macy stated this was a good idea and reported that this calculation was just done yesterday and announced to the press.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. David Pilpel spoke in support of staff work and effort on this program.  He stated that last week several people participated in a conference in Oakland about anaerobic digestion and had also been involved with the Public Utilities Commission on this effort.  Mr. Pilpel stated that he hopes that in our lifetime, people would be able to digest food waste, which he believes is a wonderful project to make happen as a result of all the increased compost that has been generated. He stated that additional work such as developing regulations has to be accomplished to implement the Ordinance.  He stated that the next Director would be working on this program and hopes that there will be public involvement to make this program work so people really have smaller garbage containers, smaller bills, and ultimately reach zero waste.

 

Director Blumenfeld reported that the city’s composting number went from 400 tons a day to 25 tons a day, so that more than a 25% increase was achieved in three months, which is more than anticipated.  He reported that a regulation was promulgated so that a waiver could be issued if there is no space to place the carts.  A form is available for this process.  Mr. Macy was credited for his effort for the past ten years developing this program and thinking through how we can make composting work.    

 

10.  Update on the New Landfill Search Request for Proposal (RFP). SPONSOR:  Jared Blumenfeld, Director; STAFF SPEAKER:  David Assmann, Deputy Director (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Deputy Director Assmann reported that he has been working on this effort for more than three years, and a conclusion was finally made after a series of public meetings, issuance of Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposals (RFP), selection of finalists, a tentative award, and filing of protest of the award.  The contract is now at the point of negotiations with the intent to transmit a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors some time in the New Year.  The Board of Supervisors would be making the award decision.  

 

Deputy Director Assmann explained that our existing capacity would run out between January and June of 2014 at the current rate.  The new landfill contract would start in 2014 and is intended to be a twenty-year contract.  President Pelosi Jr. inquired about the length of the previous landfill contract.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the previous contract went into effect in 1988 and will run out in 2014.  President Pelosi Jr. inquired what it would cost on average from the last contract to the new contract per year.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the new contract cost per ton would be in the $40 range, and the previous contract was in the low $30 range. The price has gone up, but the span of time has to be considered. 

 

Director Blumenfeld stated that the more successful we are in diverting waste from landfill, the longer the contract would run.  From an economic perspective, the longer there is space in the contract, the less money is paid--ten dollars a ton is a big difference.  If you can reach zero waste before 2014, a landfill contract won’t be required.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that his original projection of when landfill capacity would run out when he started working on this project in the mid 1990’s was 2001, and it is now 2014, so the contract was extended by thirteen years.

 

Commissioner Martin asked how the new landfill contract fits the zero waste goals. Deputy Director Assmann reported that we are assuming that we are going to reach our target, so the price per ton is based on two rates.  If we are on target, it is one rate.  If we go above the target, and we send more to landfill than we should have there is extra cost to be paid per ton, which is the opposite of what most landfill contracts state.  There is a disincentive to dispose more.  Commissioner Martin stated that the goal to reach zero waste is 2020.  So if we are starting in 2014 for twenty years, what is the implication for the balance of the landfill contract years if we meet our 2020 goals? Deputy Director Assmann stated that the implication is the rate per ton goes up dramatically if we don’t reach the goals set forth.  Director Blumenfeld stated that if the goal of zero waste is achieved, we would not pay for what is not sent to landfill.

 

Commissioner Wald asked what the plan was to tell people about this way of thinking about landfill contracts.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that once negotiations are complete, the process can be made public and used as a model for other jurisdictions. Discussions are being held with the State Recycling Association about using this contract as a model for others to use.

 

Public Comment

 

Mr. David Pilpel stated that he and others that were part of a group that had convened a couple of years ago would want to hear further on this contract before it went to the Board.  He stated that he has two concerns (1) if Recology ends up being the successful contractor, that appropriate incentives be implemented so that there isn’t an incentive to haul more, and (2) if the landfill is to be sent farther away, to consider rail haul.  Mr. Pilpel stated that he does not know if the transportation aspect had been addressed.  Deputy Director Assmann was commended for his work on this effort over the years.

 

Mr. Joshua Arce, Executive Director, Brightline Defense Project, thanked the Department for their service and stated that a tremendous accomplishment has been made directed toward his field of work on environmental justice and disadvantaged communities.  Mr. Arce cited a component of the Port of San Francisco’s Pier 96 lease agreement whereby Recology was awarded a contract to do recycling for that location and would agree as jobs become available to hire economically disadvantaged residents of area codes 94124 Bayview Hunters Point, 94134 Visitacion Valley, and 94107 Potrero Hill.  Mr. Arce recommended that the landfill contract include similar language.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that this language could be added to the contract and encouraged Mr. Arce to provide his recommendations to Deputy Director Assmann in writing. 

 

Vice President Gravanis stated that as the cost-effectiveness of these various contracts are measured, the carbon emissions involved in the various means of hauling should also be compared,; e.g. comparing trucking with ship-to-rail, etc. Deputy Director Assmann stated that these projections are included in the contract.      

 

11.  Expression of Interest in Commission Office (President and Vice-President) and Nomination of Candidates for the Election at the Commission Meeting on January 26, 2010. (Discussion and Action)

 

Vice President Gravanis nominated Commissioner Jane Martin for the office of Vice President, second by Commissioner Wald.  President Pelosi Jr. nominated Commissioner Alan Mok for Vice President, second by Commissioner Tuchow.  Vice President Gravanis stated that she would also be willing to run for the office of Vice President if she were not elected for President, second by Commissioner Martin.  Commissioner Tuchow stated that he would be willing to run for the office of Vice President if he were not elected for President, second by President Pelosi Jr.

 

Vice President Gravanis reported that she is willing to run for the office of President, second by Commissioner Martin.  President Pelosi Jr. nominated Commissioner Tuchow for President, who stated that he would be willing to run for the office of President. 

 

12.  Agenda Planning for the Commission on the Environment Retreat. (Discussion) 

 

Director Blumenfeld recommended that a retreat be held in conjunction with the Jobs Now program staff to learn about their programs and challenges that they see for the city.  President Pelosi Jr. recommended selecting a date in the last week of February and asked the Commission Secretary to coordinate this effort.     

 

13.  Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chair’s Report:  Highlights of the October 19, 2009 Meeting and review of the agenda for the January 20, 2010 meeting to be held at the Department of the Environment Eco Center at 11 Grove Street.

 

Commission President Pelosi Jr. reported that the October Operations Committee meeting included a discussion on the budget, review of Department building renovations, space capacity, and new locations proposed.  There was a review of an interesting energy-efficiency program that would be the hallmark of the Department going forward.  A detailed analysis was provided on the status of the Department, Public Utilities Commission (PUC), PG&E, state and federal funding and roll-out of energy efficiency programs, which has been a positive community outreach program.  It appears that funding would be extended into the New Year.  An update was also provided on fundraising which is on track in a tough economy, and a review was made of grants, allocations, and bookkeeping efforts.  There were no red flags or issues raised from the discussion.

  

14. Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)--Chairs Report:  Highlights of the October 26 and November 9, 2009 meetings and review of the agenda for the December 14, 2009 meeting to be held at City Hall, Room 421.  

 

Policy Committee Vice-Chair Gravanis reported that the October meeting included a most informative and somewhat alarming presentation on the research being made by the Environmental Working Group on the correlation between long-term cell phone use and medical implications.  The report is available on the Environmental Working Group website along with various recommendations for reducing the risks associated with cell phone use.  A presentation was also heard about disposing of unwanted pharmaceuticals, which is a difficult problem and something we will be dealing with for a long time.  The November meeting main topic of discussion was on safer garment cleaning technologies, which the Commission approved a letter to the BAAQMD that was derived from that discussion.  Future agenda items include (1) the status of Candlestick Hunters Point development planning.  The Draft Environmental Impact Report has been published and comments might be submitted; (2) tracking of the Urban Forest Plan and request for update; (3) Dark Skies; (4) Congestion Management; (5) follow-up of pharmaceutical disposal problem; and (6) discussion of survey responses received from various environmental groups.  Commissioner Martin stated that one of the important points of the cell phone discussion was to limit the use of cell phones for children to emergencies only because of their increased vulnerability to radiation.    

 

15. Commission Secretary’s Report. (Explanatory Document: Commission Secretary’s Report and 2010 Meeting Schedule) (Information and Discussion) Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

·         Communications and Correspondence

·         Update on Pending City Legislation

 

Commission Secretary Monica Fish reported that a written report has been provided to the Commissioners and noted special attention to the 2010 Meeting Schedule.

 

16.  Director’s Report. (Explanatory Document: Director’s Report) Updates on Department of the Environment administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Clean Air, Climate Division, Outreach and Education Division, Environmental Justice Division, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction Program, and the Urban Forestry Division. (Information and Discussion)

 

Director Blumenfeld thanked Ms. Nelly Sun who prepares the Director’s Report for her efforts for the past eight years to highlight the Department’s achievements.  Director Blumenfeld referenced Commissioner Wald’s discussion on how to better advertise and make the public aware of the Department’s accomplishments.  He stated that there is still a continued struggle on how to provide better outreach to the community and different media through the web and asked the Commissioners for their recommendations.

 

17. Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)  There were no announcements made at this time.

 

18. President’s Announcements.  (Information and Discussion) President Pelosi Jr. thanked everyone and noted that the Commission has had a good year and has heard many agenda items.  He asked that there be a focus going forward on energy efficiency and job creation as the two goals he sees as being a part of 2010.  He asked that future meetings be shaped moving in that direction in addition to Precautionary Principle protection of toxics.  He stated that the Department is well positioned to take leadership in the city in these areas. President Pelosi Jr. stated that he would not be running for office in 2010. 

 

Director Blumenfeld thanked President Pelosi Jr. for his leadership as President and involvement with Department staff and their activities.  Commissioner Mok thanked President Pelosi Jr. for his leadership and Commissioners and staff.  He suggested that the Operations Committee discuss Silicon Valley’s technology involvement with the environment in the New Year.  Commissioner Tuchow thanked President Pelosi Jr. for not only his advocacy of energy efficiency but of meeting efficiency, and for his service as Commission President.  

 

19. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information, Discussion and Possible Action)  There was no new business or future agenda items discussed at this time.

 

20. Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Commission on matters that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

21. Adjournment. The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 7:04 p.m.

 

 

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) on the Commission’s meeting website with each agenda or meeting minutes at https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission; and (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or  via e-mail at Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

 

Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

 

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393

 

Approved: January 26, 2010

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