01.25 Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2011, 5:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 416, SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94102

 

COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Matt Tuchow (President), Ruth Gravanis (Vice-President), Jason Elliott, Angelo King, Alan Mok, Rahul Prakash, 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 convened at 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King.

 

2.      Introduction of New Commissioner Jason Elliott. Speaker: Commission President Matt Tuchow (Discussion) Commission President Tuchow welcomed Commissioner Elliott to the Commission and introduced him to Commissioners. Commissioner Elliott serves as Mayor Lee’s Policy Advisor. After graduation from the Kennedy School of Government, he served as the Communications Consultant for the Natural Resources Defense Council President, Francis Beinecke.  He penned a number of articles for the quarterly magazine On Earth. He then joined a campaign for then gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and served as his deputy campaign manager and policy director.  Then, he entered City government and has been serving as senior staff for Mayor Newsom and worked on a variety of different issues including the environment, transportation, seismic safety, health and infrastructure.  Commissioner Elliott also serves as a voting member of the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) as the Mayor’s representative. 

 

Commissioner Elliott reported that he had attended the January 19 Operations Committee meeting as his first meeting with the Commission.  He stated that his focus relative to this Commission is on transportation because in the city of San Francisco, 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation and transportation-related sources.  If an impact is to be made, people must mode shift out of private cars to at least more sustainable private cars, but even better into public transportation, pedestrian or bike.  That has to be a climate/environmental goal for the City.  He looks forward to bringing his expertise in this area to the Commission.

 

3.      Approval of Minutes of the December 7, 2010 Commission on the Environment Rescheduled Meeting. (Explanatory Document: December 7, 2010 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Wald, the December 7, 2010 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

 

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. 

 

(Transcript of Mr. Dunn’s comments) Mr. Ed Dunn, Executive Director of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center (HANC) and the San Francisco Community Recyclers, which operates a recycling center at Market Street Safeway and Building Resources, the City’s only reuse building materials yard.  Mr. Dunn brought to the Commissioner’s attention the eviction of the HANC Recycling Center and expressed his disappointment with that decision and concern about the Department of the Environment’s role in that decision.  As part of the public discussion of the question about whether the HANC Recycling Center was an appropriate use for Golden Gate Park, it was stated by the last Mayor’s administration and the Recreation and Park Department that recycling centers are obsolete.  They were happy to have the center for the last 33 years on Recreation and Park property, but now because of curbside that has been around for 20 years or more, now the recycling center behind Kesar Stadium is not necessary and should be removed because curbside is all that is needed, or perhaps supermarkets can recycle all the bottles and cans that need to be redeemed in the city in the store without the benefit of recycling centers.  Curbside captures the vast majority of recycling in the city, that is obvious, but it exists alongside of our California redemption system which was set up in 1986 with Assembly Bill 2020. 

 

Mr. Dunn stated that the source reduction and recycling element of the county plan, which was approved in 1989 or 1990, envisioned a system of recycling centers complimenting the robust curbside collection program.  No one intended for recycling centers to become obsolete with the advent of curbside.  This issue has gone back and forth many years.  The Board of Supervisors heard it in the mid ‘90’s about five or six years after curbside was citywide and unanimously passed a Resolution in favor of keeping all of the recycling centers that the City had at their current location.  The decision to evict HANC and replace it with a community garden is unclear.  HANC has changed over the years, added a native plant nursery, and provided a $48,000 loan to the Garden for the Environment last year out of its operation funds.  HANC is the fiscal agent for the Garden for the Environment. 

 

Mr. Dunn asked the Commission and Department to look actively into this issue.  He stated that the former Mayor wrote to the Commission President that all the volume from HANC would be absorbed by the recycling centers.  There are other recycling centers in the city that are in danger of being closed down.  The Cabrillo Safeway closed down a couple of years ago, and the Market Recycling Center at 23rd and South Van Ness closed last month.  There are not enough recycling centers in the city.  There is only one recycling center for every 44,000 San Franciscans, and the statewide average is one for every 18,000. This notion that recycling centers are obsolete or that the rest of the recycling centers can pick up the slack that will be created by HANC is erroneous and should be looked into. 

 

Mr. Dunn stated that as far as urban agriculture, HANC operates the only native plant nursery in the city and has invested over $200,000 over the last ten years in that nursery.  Beyond that, HANC provides funding for the Garden for the Environment, Hayes Valley Farm, and Little City Gardens in terms of in-kind support, trucking support, cardboard for mulching and more. HANC is an invaluable resource for the city and beyond that, HANC does not cost the General Fund any money.  HANC is providing all of these services through independent funding either through state beverage container funding or in the commodities that HANC handles.  HANC generates a surplus that promotes and supports urban agriculture in the city.  Mr. Dunn stated that the current proposal to replace HANC with a community garden is misguided considering all of the facts that were mentioned.

 

Commissioner Wald spoke as a member of the public acknowledging the terrific and inspiring article in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning entitled “City Reduces Emissions More than Residents Do” and what it says about the work of the Department and staff.  She extended her compliments to the Department and staff, Ms. Calla Ostrander and Mr. Cal Broomhead in particular, for all of their great work.      

 

5.      Resolution commending Commissioner Emeritus Jane Marie Francis Martin for her service to the Commission on the Environment. Speaker:  Commission President Matt Tuchow (Explanatory Document:  Draft Resolution File No. 2011-01-COE and Approved Resolution 001-11-COE) (Discussion and Action)

 

Commission President Matt Tuchow read the Resolution commending Commissioner Emeritus Jane Marie Francis Martin for her service to the Commission of the Environment.  He thanked Commissioner Emeritus Martin for her insightful questions at every Commission meeting and for her service as a dedicated member. Commission Vice-President Gravanis stated that the Resolution does not fully disclose the contributions that she has made to this Commission and Department.  She expressed her amazement at the depth and breadth of her expertise and the personal experience that she has had with so many of the issues before the Commission.  She pointed out Commissioner Emeritus Martin’s ground-breaking work that she had accomplished many years ago to make it possible to do all of the sidewalk plantings that are now being seen all over the city that improve the quality of life in so many neighborhoods.  It was Commissioner Martin that did all of the difficult work getting the agencies involved to make it possible to do this kind of work, which is a lasting contribution that she has made to our city.

 

Deputy Director Assmann expressed his appreciation working with Commissioner Emeritus Martin as a Commission member and before that with the Mayor’s Green Vision Council that was setting environmental policy for the city.  He stated that Commissioner Emeritus Martin has always approached her environmental work with great dedication and a great deal of interest and feeling. He acknowledged her work on behalf of the Department and expressed appreciation for her input and insights into the issues that she is so passionate about.  Commissioner Wald thanked Commissioner Emeritus Martin for her reliable service to this Commission and record attendance at meetings that speaks clearly to her dedication to the Department, its work, to the Commission, and to the City.  Commissioner Mok thanked Commissioner Emeritus Martin for her hard work and wished her all the best.

 

Commissioner Emeritus Martin stated that it has been an honor serving on the Commission and has enjoyed the work of the Department and Commission.  She thanked Commissioners and Department staff and stated that she looks forward to continue her work as a citizen.  

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Wald, Resolution File 2011-01-COE was approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

 

6.      Review and Approve Letters to the following San Francisco Departments urging them to further pursue aggressive Greenhouse Gas Reductions in their Departmental Climate Action Plans: Public Utilities Commission, Department of Public Works, Park & Recreation, Airport, Real Estate, Municipal Transportation Authority and SF Department of Public Health. Sponsor:  Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker: Calla Ostrander, Climate Action Coordinator (Discussion and Action)

 

Director Nutter recommended continuance of this item to a future Commission meeting in order to allow for staff time to do additional outreach to fellow departments on the content of letters.   This agenda item was continued without objection.

 

7.      Resolution approving the Department of the Environment’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) 2011 Reduced Risk Pesticide List.  Sponsor: Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker: Chris Geiger, PhD., Green Purchasing Program Manager (Explanatory Documents:  2011 Reduced Risk Pesticide List and Draft and Approved Resolution File 2011-02-COE) (Discussion and Action)

 

Dr. Geiger reported that the City’s Reduced Risk Pesticide List, which is updated every year, serves as San Francisco’s extra layer of precaution on the use of pesticides on City property. It is a way of taking a closer look at what is currently being used and identifying the safest technique in City operations.  The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program has been a successful program over the years. The list serves as a clear communication tool for City staff on which products can and cannot be used. There are no questions about what is and is not a carcinogen or toxin.  It is important to realize that the IPM program is based upon the notion that disruptive chemical controls are used as a last resort when all other techniques fail or are impractical.  The number of pesticides on the list does not indicate the amount of pesticide used. It is simply the toolbox that has been created for City pest managers to have a reference guide of products that can be used when they need it.  Anyone that feels there is a compelling need for a different pesticide product has to apply for an exemption, which involves a conversation and problem- solving session with staff. 

 

Dr. Geiger reported that the list includes an important column on use limitation type that encompasses all aspects of the hazard from a particular product as well as potential for exposure to that product. Every product that is on the list goes through a toxicological review by the Department so that problem products can be flagged.  In order to produce this list, an extensive discussion is held with City pest managers about what is really needed, what safer alternatives may be available, and what we can do without. He clarified that this is not the Department of the Environment’s list--it is the IPM program’s list which includes input from the seven major departments that are doing pest management.  Dr. Geiger reported that after holding two work meetings with the City’s pest managers on this list, a public hearing was held last week where the list was presented and questions and discussions were heard.  It is valuable communication tool for the public about things that are not understood well and is a way to understand the public’s concerns on these products.  Most of the comments at last week’s public hearing were concerning the natural areas program, which Ms. Wayne, Open Space Manager for the Recreation and Park Department was invited to elaborate on.  The public expressed their concern about the use of pesticides for maintaining these habitats for endemic species in San Francisco. 

 

Dr. Geiger reported that the changes to this year’s list are minor.  There are five products that have been removed and four added.  The products that have been removed are marked in red on the spreadsheet, and the ones added are in green.  There are minor language changes noted in orange, most of which are updates to registration numbers and language.   

 

Commissioner Wald thanked and commended Dr. Geiger for his work and report on the IPM program, which she thinks is a terrific program that should serve as a model in terms of dealing with these complicated products and people’s expectations of the way their environment should relate to them as opposed to the way they relate to their environment.   She stated that the IPM program is well run and based on sound science and expertise.

 

Ms. Lisa Wayne, Open Space Manager for the Recreation and Park Department, reported that she oversees the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for the Recreation and Park Department (RPD).  She expressed her department’s appreciation for all of the hard work that the IPM unit does in assessing the toxicity of these products.  She has gardeners working directly for her and has concerns about their health issues and those of park users.  The IPM program is a great program on many different levels.  The Recreation and Park Department has some 230 facilities that include lakes, buildings, landscaped areas, golf courses, and natural areas. The IPM program touches those and much more. 

 

Ms. Wayne reported that some of RPD’s largest users of pesticides and herbicides are golf courses, in particular Harding Park Golf Course, where it is needed to keep the desired level of landscape and to hold golf tournaments. At the same time, making important changes to how golf is operated as a whole is being considered.  RPD has been using a fertilizer to eliminate herbicide use in three of the golf courses, Lincoln, Sharp, and Golden Gate Park, which are basically going organic and using a combination of compost tea and a fertilizer concoction.  What has been learned in maintaining greens and fairways on golf courses can be applied to places like Conservatory Valley, where there are a lot of lawn-scapes, ball fields, and soccer fields.  As resources become available to buy equipment and products, RPD will begin to roll out those same technologies in other areas. 

 

Ms. Wayne stated that the main challenge is in the natural areas because they are mandated to be managed for their biological diversity.  These are remnants of our original landscapes and contain endangered species and important local plant life and wildlife habitat.  Herbicides are used there. Grasslands in particular have been a challenge to address because the main tool to control the broadleaf invasive weeds is Garlon 4 Ultra.  The Department of the Environment is working on identifying alternatives for this product that can be used in those grasslands areas where conservation work is in progress.  

 

Commissioner Gravanis thanked Dr. Geiger for his careful review and stated how impressed she is with the thoroughness with which these products are analyzed.  She acknowledged the Natural Areas Program for a cautious and judicious approach to the use of herbicides in our natural areas.  It has been made clear that these are used as a last resort as they should be.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that she is glad that we still have these products in our toolbox as alternatives are sought. Since we do not have those alternatives at this time, far too much is at risk if we don’t take advantage of this tool.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Jake Sigg, Conservation Chair for the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society, stated that the California Native Plant Society has been working to maintain the biological diversity in San Francisco’s natural areas since 1988, nine years before the Natural Areas Program was formed.  He stated that the California Native Plant Society convinced the Recreation and Park Department that they need to manage their wild-lands. The California Native Plant Society works alongside the natural areas gardeners mostly every Wednesday throughout the year and encourages neighborhoods to adopt areas in their neighborhood. The program is underfunded and requires more staff in order to leverage volunteers.  If something doesn’t change, the native plants and some of the animals will be endangered.  He stated that herbicides are needed to do this job because it cannot be done with the small number of staff available.  Mr. Sigg spoke in support of staff recommendations, but expressed his concern that the list may become too restrictive.  He stated that he had heard rumors that they could not use Triclopyr which is a selective herbicide that does not kill monocot plants, grasses, lilies, or irises, it only kills the broad-leafs.  Mr. Sigg reported that he had worked for the city as a gardener for 32 years and has over 50 years of experience with chemicals, which he feels comfortable with if they are used properly.

 

Commission Secretary Fish reported that written public comment is included in the Commission packet from Jake Sigg and Rupa Bose on this agenda item.  Ms. Fish read the Resolution adopting the Revised Reduced Risk Pesticides List for 2011 into the record.    

 

Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis, second by Commissioner Wald, Resolution File 2011-02-COE adopting the Revised Reduced Risk Pesticides List for 2011 was approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

  

8.      Review and Approval of the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 Draft Budget. (Explanatory Document:  Draft Budget and Department Organizational Chart) Sponsor: Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker: David Assmann, Deputy Director  (Discussion and Action)

 

Director Nutter introduced this item and commended Deputy Director Assmann and Mr. Joseph Salem, Finance and Budget Manager for their work on the Department’s Fiscal Year 2011-12 Budget.  Deputy Director Assmann reported on the Department of the Environment’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12.  He stated that all expenditures and revenues received must be approved by the Board of Supervisors through an annual budget approval process and mid-year approvals (accept and expend process) for funds that are received outside of the regular budget cycle.  He explained that since the Department is heavily reliant on grants that arrive outside the regular budget cycle, a third or more of the budget had been approved prior to the beginning of the budget cycle and will not be part of the Department’s annual budget submission.   

 

Deputy Director Assmann reported that the narrative that he is providing (see explanatory document) includes both the funds that have been approved and the proposed annual budget that will be going before the Board of Supervisors.  The total proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011-12 is currently projected at essentially the same as the 2010-11 current Fiscal Year budget (1% difference).  He explained that this is still a preliminary budget that can be changed from now until final approval by the Board of Supervisors. Changes may include additional grants that will be received and finalizing work orders with other departments. The process and timeline is as follows: the Department first presents the budget to the Commission for approval.  It then has to be presented to the Mayor’s Office on February 21.  It spends a couple of months at the Mayor’s Office, and then the Mayor’s Office sends it to the Board of Supervisors.  The Board of Supervisors Budget Analyst reviews it and makes recommendations, and then the Board of Supervisors approves it in either May or June.  Final approval by the full Board is usually in early July. 

 

Deputy Director Assmann reported that the biggest change between the current fiscal year’s budget and the proposed budget is the Department’s projected move in May 2012, and incorporation of the EnvironmentNow program with twenty-three full time employees. He believes that the Department of the Environment is the only Department that has retained any JobsNow participants and institutionalized it into the Department’s budget and work plans.  It is not only a wonderful job training program and an opportunity for people to acquire skills that they would not have been able to acquire elsewhere it has been very effective in terms of results.  In order to fund the program, money that was spent on outside contracts was transferred into this program.

 

Deputy Director Assmann discussed each Department program’s budget, sources of funding, comparisons to last year’s budget, staffing levels, challenges, and funding opportunities.  Department programs include Energy and Climate, Clean Air, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction, Environment Now, Outreach, Green Building, Environmental Justice, and Administration programs (see explanatory document for budget narrative and detail).

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired whether the current EnvironmentNow staff that have been hired by the Department are part of the original program staff hired from stimulus funding. Deputy Director Assmann reported that all current participants were hired initially from stimulus funding that got them started and in place right now. It is meant to be a two-year training program. New people will be brought into this program on a rotational basis going forward. Commissioner Tuchow stated that the budget reflects contributions from other City departments and asked Deputy Director Assmann to confirm that the Department does not receive any General Fund money.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the only money received from General Fund departments is for services that the Department specifically provides, e.g., the Commuter Benefits Program.  General Fund money is not used to subsidize any of the Department’s programs.  There are a few situations where the Department receives a limited amount of money for a specific service that it provides. 

 

Commissioner Elliott stated that the JobsNow hires in this Department are representative of what he believes Mayor Newsom wanted to do when he initiated the local version of this program.  It is the perfect example of what the City should be doing.  It is not just to congratulate this Department, but it is to say if it is true that no other department has hired these folks, then that is a shame.  At one point, there were about 3500 JobsNow hires.  If there are only 23 right now, it is not anywhere near where it should be.  Commissioner Elliott cited Commissioner King’s suggestion that was made at the Operations Committee meeting, that when the new Zero Waste diversion numbers are announced, to publish stories showing what can be done with JobsNow staff.  He suggested that as a way to motivate other departments to do the same, Director Nutter could comment on the success of this program at Department head meetings and/or share a memo with other departments stating that this Department is honoring the commitment of what JobsNow stands for.

 

Commissioner Wald commended the Department for institutionalizing the JobsNow program by integrating the people who were in that program into the work of the Department.  She suggested that the Department figure out a way to publicize this accomplishment to other City departments so they can understand that it can be done and how.  Commissioner Wald thanked the Deputy Director for presenting the budget to the Operations Committee before it came to this Commission.  She suggested clarifying how the various projects are bundled into programs, e.g., how the Urban Forest program is part of the Environmental Justice Program and how the School Education program is part of the Outreach program. Director Nutter explained that in these two situations, the bundling is dictated by management structure and program supervisors.  The Strategic Plan more accurately reflects the program work and how it operates. Deputy Director Assmann stated that an organizational chart has been distributed to Commissioners that explains the structure of all programs.

 

Commissioner Tuchow inquired about the continuous limited funding for the urban forestry program and asked if there are any funding opportunities available.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that there are potential sources of funding that he is optimistic about, but that funding from other departments has not been sustainable. In order for this program to flourish, it has to rely on outside sources of funding.  There is a potential linkage between carbon sequestration, urban forest, and climate change, which will be fully explored.

 

Commissioner Mok reported on the Operations Committee extensive review of the budget and thanked Deputy Director Assmann for his work on the budget. Upon Motion by Commissioner Elliott, second by Commissioner Mok, the Department of the Environment’s 2011-12 Fiscal Year Budget was approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

 

9.      Planning for the Commission on the Environment’s 2011 Annual Retreat on February 28, 2011. (Continued Discussion from the December 7, 2010 Meeting) Sponsor:  Melanie Nutter, Director; Speakers:  Melanie Nutter, Director and Matt Tuchow, Commission President (Discussion)

 

Director Nutter suggested a Retreat discussion on a department-wide initiative which internally is called the “Water Cooler” project. She stated that the Department has done an excellent job achieving programmatic goals through mandates, policies, legislation and excellent one-way communication, e.g., mailers, flyers, ads, distributing the information the community needs to know about mandatory recycling, pest management, energy efficiency, etc.  One critical area where the Department would like to expand its understanding is on community outreach. The Department would like to have a more meaningful two-way dialogue with stakeholders and community partners.  The Outreach Team has taken this on as an opportunity for a year-long program to engage the community, have a dialogue, work with stakeholders and tap into existing networks in San Francisco that might be interested in sustainability and help move its sustainability goals forward. It is in formation and there is an opportunity for the Commission to weigh in on what does real true public engagement and civic participation look like from the Department of the Environment’s perspective and what would be some of the activities, who would be some of the stakeholders, and what would we want to achieve from this type of campaign.  The different Department programs are working together on this initiative.

 

Commissioner Gravanis stated that she likes the idea of focusing on the above topic, but suggested a different metaphor.  She suggested spending part of the day on a traditional retreat where the Commission reviews its accomplishments, asks itself how it is doing, whether something should have been done differently, identifying goals for the coming year, reviewing its Charter limitations, and discussing the unfunded mandate to staff the Urban Forest Council that is codified in legislation. 

 

Commissioner Wald stated that there are issues embedded in the strategic planning effort that the Department has been engaged in.  One is the question of funding for a specific program, and another has to do with priorities of the Department.  She asked whether it would be helpful for senior leaders to have a discussion about the strategic issues that the strategic exercise raises and gather Commission input into those issues.  Director Nutter asked that the Strategic Plan process continue on its current path, but stated that extracting themes or issues from the Strategic Plan would be helpful if there is interest in doing so.

 

Commissioner Prakash inquired whether the “Water Cooler” project is an outreach brainstorming effort to identify what can be done to let San Francisco and the greater population knows what is being done from a public policy standpoint.  Director Nutter stated that the intent is to outreach to the community to ask them what it means to them to be green and what they see as a sustainable vision for San Francisco and how that integrates into the Department’s work.  It is both projecting outward as well as brainstorming about how to have those inputs from the community as well.  This is based on a campaign that Vancouver has done called “Talk Green to Us”.  Commissioner Prakash suggested that the Department and Commission spend time identifying from a public policy, marketing, and outreach standpoint the low-hanging fruit to help move San Francisco toward being a carbon neutral city.  

 

Commissioner Tuchow stated that he sees a theme around communication that might tie some of these suggestions together. The Department’s communication should be focused at different audiences.  One audience is City government, another is San Francisco residents and engaging in two-way communication, another is a third audience, which is the broader community and other communities that are trying to initiate sustainability programs. Another communication topic discussed is how we communicate to all of the other stakeholders, and do we set specific metrics and reporting protocols for measuring our success and reporting often.  This is another opportunity to be more effective in what we do and in our communication.   

 

Director Nutter stated that the Department identified a need through the Strategic Planning process to create new systems and metrics to track success of programs and suggested that the Commission work on that topic either at the retreat or some other format if there is an interest.  Commissioner Wald stated that the Policy Committee would be interested in holding discussions about the Strategic Planning issues as well as the metrics and tracking systems if there isn’t time to integrate these topics into the retreat. 

 

Commissioner Tuchow asked Director Nutter to set an agenda based on these suggestions and suggested selecting one or more of the suggested topics based on available time.  He proposed that the time of the retreat be from 10:00 to 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.

 

10.  Annual Nomination and Election of Commission on the Environment Officers. (Discussion and Action)
 

Commissioner Wald nominated Commission President Matt Tuchow for a second term as Commission President.  She commended his past performance as Commission President, his leadership on the Director’s Search Committee, as well as his commitment and service to the Department, the Department’s JobsNow program, and bringing the Department’s work to underserved communities.  Commission President Matt Tuchow accepted the nomination.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Elliott, second by Commissioner Wald, Commission President Tuchow was re-elected as Commission President without objection (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

 

Commissioner Wald nominated Commission Vice-President Ruth Gravanis for another term as Vice-President.  She commended her knowledge of environmental matters, community involvement, thoughtfulness, dedication, reliability, and service to the Commission and the Department.  Commission Vice-President Gravanis accepted the nomination.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Wald, second by Commissioner Mok, Commissioner Gravanis was re-elected as Commission Vice-President (AYES:  Commissioners Tuchow, Gravanis, Elliott, Mok, Prakash and Wald; Absent:  Commissioner King).

 

11.  Public Notice of 2011 Subscription and Renewal of Commission on the Environment and Committee Notices and Agendas as required by the Commission on the Environment Bylaws. (Explanatory Document: Subscription Request Form) Staff Speaker: Monica Fish, Commission Secretary   (Information and Discussion)  Commission Secretary Fish reported that this notice is issued pursuant to the Commission on the Environment’s Bylaws, Article XIII-Requests for Notice and Agendas as follows:  “A request from a member of the media or public to receive notices, agendas, or agenda packets for Commission or committee meetings must be in writing and specify what the person would like to receive and whether notice by email is preferred.  Such requests will be valid until the following January.  In January of each year, the Commission will ask each person on the list to re-affirm their desire to stay on the list for another year through a notice on the Commission’s January agenda.”  She reported that this year subscribers are being given an option to join other Department group mailing lists as noted on the second page of this notice. 

 

12.  Operations Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chair’s Report:  Highlights of the January 19, 2011 meeting and review of the agenda for the April 20, 2011 meeting to be held at the Department of the Environment Eco Center, 11 Grove Street.  Operations Committee Chair Mok reported that the Operations Committee at their January 19, 2011 meeting reviewed the Department of Environment’s 2011-12 Fiscal Year Budget as presented at today’s meeting to the Commission by Deputy Director Assmann.

 

13.  Policy Committee Report. (Information and Discussion)

Chairs Report:  Highlights of the December 13, 2010 and January 10, 2011 meetings and review of the agenda for the February 14, 2011 meeting to be held at City Hall, Room 421.  Policy Committee Chair Wald reported that the Toxics Reduction, Green Building, Environmental Justice and EnvironmentNow Draft Strategic Plans were heard at the December 13 Policy Committee Meeting.  The January 10, 2011 meeting included a review of the Zero Waste, Urban Forestry and Urban Agriculture Draft Strategic Plans.  On February 14, the Policy Committee plans to review Strategic Draft Plans for the Director’s Plan, Clean Transportation and Outreach, and a discussion will be held on the Treasure Island Sustainability Plan.  

 

14.  Commission Secretary’s Report. (Explanatory Document: Commission Secretary’s Report) (Information and Discussion)

         Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

·         Communications and Correspondence

·         Update on Pending City Legislation

 

Commission Secretary Fish provided Commissioners with a written report and highlighted City environmental legislation and communications and correspondence received as well as special work projects since the last Commission meeting on December 7, 2010.   

 

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

 

Director Nutter provided a written Director’s Report and highlighted items that include:

·         The Department is in the process of finalizing its Department Strategic Plan.  The drafts that have not yet been reviewed are scheduled for the February 14 Policy Committee, and the final plan is scheduled for Commission review and approval at the March 22, 2011 meeting. 

·         The landfill contract is scheduled for the February 9 Budget Committee meeting.  Department staff have started meeting with the new supervisors on the landfill contract and the position of the Department on that contract.

·         Mayor Lee issued a directive which put together a Planning Committee for the America’s Cup race in San Francisco, and the Department was named as the entity that would be in charge of insuring the sustainability aspect.  This is an exciting opportunity for the Department and the Commission to play a role in insuring that sustainability will be a key component of the America’s Cup.

·         The existing Commercial Building Ordinance was passed to the full Board of Supervisors by unanimous vote of the Land Use Committee on Monday, January 24. 

·         The Drug Disposal Ordinance was referred back to Committee at today’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting. An industry funded pilot, with possibly secondary legislation that mandates outreach by point of sale pharmacies, may be the course of action to be taken, but it is still to be determined.  

·         A press conference is scheduled for January 26 at San Francisco International Airport along with the Public Utilities Commission and Recreation and Park Department to announce the Global Tap installation.  It is one step closer towards setting up an infrastructure in San Francisco to move away from plastic water bottles.

·         Congratulated the Green Business team who held the annual Green Business Awards at the Green Room last week.  Director Nutter presented 50 awards to new small businesses that went through a rigorous certification program and have joined the Green Business program.     

 

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

 

17.  President’s Announcements.  (Information and Discussion)  Commission President Tuchow thanked the Commissioners for re-electing him as President.  He asked that Commissioners bring their thoughts for the next Commission meeting to either himself or Director Nutter in order to best leverage the Commission’s ability to assist the Department of the Environment. The Retreat will be an important opportunity to talk extensively about today’s suggested topics and looks forward to seeing Commissioners there.  He asked Commissioners to inform him of their Committee preferences as he will be reviewing Committee assignments for the coming year.   

 

18.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information, Discussion and Possible Action)  Commissioner Elliott stated that he would be interested in hearing an update from Department staff on commercial PACE and the status of the City’s efforts and our combined efforts with other cities to advocate for full residential PACE reinstatement.  He suggested that this topic be heard at either the full Commission or Committee and inviting folks from the world of private finance so as to understand what innovative financing mechanisms may be available to move these retrofit programs off the ground.  He asked that the Commission hold a discussion on what can be done to encourage this type of work moving forward and identify what is being done federally to advocate for the reinstatement of PACE.   

 

19.  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 were no members of the public present at this time.

 

20.  Adjournment.  The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 6:54 p.m.

 

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 5:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 416. 

 

** 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 at https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission included with minutes by meeting date; (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: March 22, 2011

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