09.26 Approved Minutes






Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 5:00 P.M.


City Hall, Room 416

One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102



COMMISSION MEMBERS:  Commissioners Paul Pelosi Jr. (President); Johanna Wald (Vice President), Ruth Gravanis, Angelo King, and Alan Mok


Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish




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 Paul Pelosi Jr. (5:35 p.m.), Vice-President Johanna Wald, Commissioners Gravanis, King, and Mok.

2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the July 25, 2006 Regular Meeting and the December 14, 2005 Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee Regular Meeting. Upon Motion by Commissioner King and second by Commissioner Mok the July 25, 2006 Commission Regular Meeting Minutes and the December 14, 2005 Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee Regular Meeting Minutes were approved with no objection.  (Explanatory Documents:  Approved Minutes of the July 25, 2006 Regular Commission Meeting and December 14, 2005 Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Committee Regular Meeting Minutes)**


3.      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.


Ms. Nancy Wuerfel thanked the Department for the September 20 Commission Retreat and recommended that future retreats be held in an area that would accommodate more of the public, encouraged a larger venue, and more promotion of the event.  Director Blumenfeld requested that a segmented version of the meeting audio be made available to the public online.


4.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Update on Bayview Hunters Point Farmers’ Market.

SPONSOR:  Director Jared Blumenfeld

                        SPEAKER:  Sraddha Mehta, Environmental Justice Coordinator


Ms. Sraddha Mehta, Environmental Justice Program presented an update on the Bayview Hunters Point Farmers’ Market project.  It was stated that food security and access to healthy foods and fresh produce is a tremendous need in low-income neighborhoods such as Bayview Hunters Point.  In order to address this issue, the Department applied for a grant and received state funding in the amount of $150,000 to organize a pilot Farmers’ Market project in the neighborhood.   


Topics discussed included: 


The Department partnered with two community organizations, Girls 2000 and Literacy for Environmental Justice to organize the pilot Farmers’ Market. The market operated for twenty-six weeks last year and due to its success was launched again this year on May 20th.  It is located at 3rd Street and Oakdale Avenue, the area’s town center, every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.   It was explained that the City and Mayor’s Office are focusing redevelopment efforts at this location with the idea that it would be the neighborhood’s commercial center and to encourage positive activities, discourage empty streets, involve youth, and make community residents feel safe in their neighborhood.   


The market features fresh produce from local Farmers’ as well as produce from Girls 2000 who operate two certified organic community gardens located in the neighborhood.  At-risk youths from the neighborhood are selling produce that they grow in their community gardens at this market. The market also features healthy cooking demonstrations conducted by Literacy for Environmental Justice and has live entertainment every week. A partnership has been entered into recently with the International African Marketplace, which features vendors that sell jewelry, arts and crafts and other products.  It was explained that through this partnership, a larger customer base has been generated.  In addition, the marketplace provides tents, tables, and tablecloths for the Farmers’ Market and will be open until October 28, which is the official close date of the market.  The Farmers’ Market will be re-launched next season for the third consecutive season and will be in partnership with the International African Marketplace.


Current issues that the Market is facing is the retention of Farmers’ because the market is not as busy as Alemany and Ferry Plaza Markets, and prices charged are lower because of the customer base. To solve this problem, agreements have been made with Farmers’ so that Bayview youth hired through Girls 2000 sell produce on their behalf.  This results in labor and fuel cost savings and valuable entrepreneurship experience for the youth.  It was stated that in order to build up the customer base of the market, produce is being subsidized by using grant funds.


Ms. Mehta reported on the Good Neighbor Program run in conjunction with Literacy for Environmental Justice that works with liquor and corner stores to encourage them to stock produce and healthy foods.  In exchange, the City and Literacy for Environmental Justice offer incentives that may include energy efficiency upgrades, marketing, and discounted produce.  The Department has also entered into a partnership with the Southeast Health Center that provides nutrition education and may coordinate a satellite produce stand at the Center.


Outreach to promote the market was discussed.  Ms. Mehta and Ms. Eng are there every week, door-to-door outreach has been done, and approximately 30,000 Farmers’ Market coupons have been distributed in the last two years.  The Market has had press releases issued and media and newspaper coverage.


Next steps are to continue to operate the market for at least the next three years until it becomes sustainable.  The USDA has awarded $280,000 to continue the Farmers’ Market and approximately $20,000 has been received from the International Marketplace in order to continue the partnership. In addition, the Marketplace is committing $250,000 for marketing costs, equipment, entertainment, and recruitment of non-agricultural vendors.  The funding would not go directly to the Department, but the investment will help the Farmers’ Market, as it will develop a larger customer base.  In addition, an additional $2500 has been secured from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to involve at risk youth in this project.  It was stated that the Mayor’s Office helped secure the site and is a good partner in this effort.


Commissioner Mok commended the Department staff’s efforts and for making the market a multi-function market working with the community.    Ms. Mehta thanked Commissioner Mok and Charity Cultural Services in providing outreach services.  It was explained that flyers are translated into Chinese and have gone out to notify the large Chinese-speaking community in the Bayview Hunters Point community.  Director Blumenfeld thanked Ms. Mehta for her exceptional effort on this project. 


5.      PRESENTATION:  Informational presentation on the new energy efficiency program, Energy Watch, its challenges and how to integrate it with the climate program (Explanatory Document)

SPONSOR:  Director Jared Blumenfeld

      SPEAKERS:  Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager & Ann Kelly, Energy Efficiency

Coordinator, Program Manager


Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager gave a presentation on the Energy Watch program and reported that drivers of this program include climate change, peak oil, electric reliability, air quality, and economic development.  In addition, this program will contribute to green house gas reduction goals of 2.5 million tons by 2012.  It was explained that the Climate Action Plan lists energy efficiency as a large part of the Plan (800,000 tons of reduction), second to transportation.  Previous energy programs have contributed to the reduction goals that include the 2002-03 Power Savers Program (20,000 tons) and the Peak Energy Program (25,000 tons).  


Services:  The Energy Watch Program was described as a 10.7 million dollar PG&E contract that includes a 20% residential and 80% commercial element.  The program will offer direct services to 2,000+ businesses and building owners that will consist of implementing lighting, refrigeration, ventilation, and water efficiency measures.  The residential element will target water efficiency, shell improvements, lighting and heating.  Elements of the program include education and training, capacity building, and working on ordinances.  The completion date for installation work is scheduled for December 31, 2008 as ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission.  Other work that includes education, training, and ordinances may continue for the next few months.  The contract with PG&E terminates in June 2009. 


Program Administration:  A discussion was held on the two different models being used to administer the program.  The first model is that the prime contractor performs door-to-door marketing audits, inspections, and pays the contractors.  The Department would manage the contract and provide quality control.  The second model is that the Department would perform the marketing, audits, organize contractors, and make inspections.  The prime contractor would perform the quality control and pay the contractor. 


Small Business Program:  Mr. Broomhead stated that the small business program would be the largest part of the program with 41 million annual kWh savings and 8 megawatts of demand reduction.  The agreement with PG&E is to serve customers under 100kw.  If the customer is over 100kw, the Department will have to confer with PG&E so as not to duplicate marketing efforts.  The primary program targets are restaurants, neighborhood markets, wholesale food warehouses, institutional kitchens, and hotels, all of which have refrigeration and an intensive food operation that presents a lot of opportunity for kilowatt reduction.  Objectives would also include creating collaboration between small businesses, organizations, and the Small Business Commission to work on the climate change issue and recognize additional value other than dollar savings.  It was stated that other markets could be served, but the terms of the contract include a cost-benefit requirement.  If savings can be banked, businesses and residential markets that have less cost effectiveness to them can be sought after. 


Incentives:  It was explained that the program contract has approximately $5 million minimum set aside for incentives.  The program would be sold as a package deal in order to be more cost effective, and that localized contractors would be hired to the extent possible.  A discussion was held on problems experienced with previous programs in hiring local contractors because of the amount of work to be completed in a short time.  As a result, goals were met but local capacity building was not achieved. This program has benefits because there is more time and fewer sites are being worked on, which will allow for the program to be better customized to the businesses’ individual needs and local contractors would be better utilized. 


Marketing could be done fairly inexpensively because of an existing database of 12,000 customers and contacts, existing demonstration sites, and case studies.  Media used would be the telephone, door-to-door, Department website, organizations and networks, and through local media.


All of our efficiency and renewables achieved to date achieves about 4% of the total climate reduction goal.  We need other strategies to get to our goal for 2012. 

An ordinance that bans the old inefficient lighting and will drive the recalcitrant business owners into the program is being worked on.  This one act would pick up another 15 to 20,000 tons of greenhouse gas reductions.  It was explained that the sooner businesses get on board the better, because after this 2008 cycle, the CPUC is very likely to remove the incentives because the market has been transformed. 


Commissioner King discussed his experience assisting the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in their efforts to hire small contractors to pursue small bids for their façade program.  Commissioner King asked if the prime contractor would be put out to bid.  Mr. Broomhead advised that bids are due on the Small Business Direct Install Program the end of this week, and that interviews are scheduled for Thursday or Friday of next week.  Commissioner King inquired about contractors insurance.  Mr. Broomhead advised that there are contract pages on insurance and liability and will forward the contract to Commissioner King for review.  Commissioner King asked what the dollar amount would be for a typical transaction.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the average amount would be from $1000 to $2000.  Commissioner King asked if the prime contractor would be subbing out the jobs.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the contractual relationship would be between the contractor and the business owner, not with the prime contractor.  It was explained that the bid is on the Department of Environment’s website.  Commissioner King commended staff for using previous efforts and keeping data so steps would not have to be retraced again.


Vice-President Commissioner Wald thanked Mr. Broomhead on the informative presentation.  A question was asked as to what the capability would be for contractors to talk to residential and business owners about other Department programs such as climate.  Mr. Broomhead stated that this requirement should be part of the contract and inspection protocols.  Commissioner Wald asked if the Department would be directly involved in the training.  Mr. Broomhead stated that most of the training tasks would be working with PG&E to work on professional training for contractors and building owners.  Consultants may provide training if more training is needed than PG&E can provide in their schedule and facilities.


Mr. Broomhead discussed capacity building by focusing on performance targets instead of items to be installed and advised that amendments to the residential and commercial ordinances direct people to look at building performance.


President Pelosi Jr. asked Mr. Broomhead if this program provides an opportunity for community outreach in regard to climate change.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the entire department is engaged in outreach, and energy is one of the areas where people can actually do something.  It was stated that there is an opportunity to talk to building owners and businesses about climate.  If other programs are successful and come in under budget on time, more money can be devoted to education and outreach activities that don’t deliver provable kilowatt-hours.


Vice-President Commissioner Wald asked if there would be an opportunity to revisit the issue of cost effectiveness after the program has begun.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the contract requires that the program be reviewed every three months.  On September 30th of next year, the program needs to reach its 30% goal, and if not achieved, then there would be 1.8 million dollars of non-incentive funds at risk.  PG&E could take that money and give it to another program or to someone else.


Mr. Broomhead discussed three contractors in San Francisco that are certified as home performance testers and deliver valuable information to higher-income City residents.  Mr. Broomhead stated that he would like to see more of these businesses in San Francisco and discussed the possibility of offering coupons to people who want to do home performance testing so the market can be expanded and so that education and training can be provided to educate people on the value of home performance testing.


Commissioner King asked how the market could be shaped to the middle and lower-income communities.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the performance test is $400 or $500 and low-income people do not usually have that type of cash.  The possibility of developing a low-income subsidized program that delivers energy savings was discussed.


Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel suggested developing and delivering simple communication methods to the public, such as a book on the simple things you can do in your home.


6.      DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Draft Resolution File No. R-2006-11-COE amending the Commission on the Environment’s Bylaws to change elections for officers to be conducted in January of each year and to establish the Tidal Power and Alternative Energy Committee as a new Commission Standing Committee (Explanatory Documents:  Resolution No. R-2006-11-COE and Notice of Proposed Amendment to Bylaws).

   SPONSOR and SPEAKER:  President Paul Pelosi Jr.


Director Blumenfeld stated that issues are moving fast and recommended that a Standing Committee not be formed at this time as agenda items can be heard at the Commission’s Policy and Operations Committees and by scheduling ad-hoc meetings with individuals as long as it was not a quorum.  


Upon Motion by Commissioner Gravanis and second by Commissioner King with no objection, the Commission on the Environment’s Resolution File No. R-2006-11-COE amending the Bylaws to change elections for officers to be conducted in January of each year was adopted with an amendment to delete the establishment of the Tidal Power and Alternative Energy Committee as a new Commission Standing Committee.  The Commission agreed to schedule agenda items regarding tidal power and alternative energy either at a Committee level or to form an ad-hoc Committee if the need arises.


7.      DISCUSSION and POSSIBLE ACTION:  The Commission discussed creating and adopting a policy and future Bylaws change amendment regarding members’ attendance at Commission Meetings (Explanatory Documents:  Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 502-06 and Mayor’s Correspondence of September 18, 2006).

SPEAKER: Monica Fish, Commission Secretary


Monica Fish, Commission Secretary presented a report on the Mayor’s Office correspondence dated September 18, 2006 on attendance guidelines and requesting an annual attendance report and Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 502-06 requesting that a Commission attendance policy be created.  The Board has requested that the Commission’s policy be forwarded to them by December 1, 2006.  Commissioners indicated that they had reviewed the correspondence.  Ms. Fish read the current Bylaws, Article III, Commission, Section 7, Excused Absences and Section 8, Absences from the State.


Commissioner Gravanis recommended against a Bylaws change and asked that a policy be developed for the Commission to adopt.   Deputy City Attorney Barnes explained that a Bylaws change was not required and the Commission could vote to support a policy.  It was indicated that a policy template would be provided to the Commission Secretary once it becomes available.  A policy could then be created and circulated to the Commissioners by email as long as there was no conversation between members on the topic that was not in a public meeting forum.  It was stated that Commissioners could individually send their policy suggestions to the Commission Secretary.


Commissioner King requested that the attendance policy be effective from the election of the President (January) and start new every year and inquired whether Committee attendance would be counted.  It was also requested that past attendance not be counted.  President Pelosi Jr. asked that the Board and Mayor be contacted to clarify their intention as to whether Committee attendance would be a factor.


Vice-President Wald stated that the Commission could decide whether Committee attendance should be included, and since the Commission meets every other month, that consideration of Committee attendance be included as part of the policy.


Commissioners agreed that review of a Commission attendance policy based on the City Attorney’s Office template would be scheduled for review and discussion at the October 30, 2006 Special Rescheduled Policy Committee meeting and then presented to the full Commission for adoption at their November 28 meeting.   

8.      INFORMATION: Commission Secretary’s Report

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary presented her report on communications and correspondence received and gave an update on current and pending City legislation as written in the Commission Secretary’s Report.


Item 12 was heard after Item 8.

9.      INFORMATION: Operations Committee Report

Chair’s Report:  Commissioner Mok discussed agenda items for the meeting to be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2006, at 4:00 p.m., 11 Grove Street, Eco-Center Conference Room.  Agenda items to be heard include (1) Final 2007 Budget Report  (2) Outreach Program Report, and (3) Deputy Director’s/Deputy City Attorney’s written report on sub-leasing of office space to the United Nations Global Compact Office at 11 Grove Street.


Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked if the Deputy City Attorney would be providing a written report at the Operations Committee on the legality of the Department’s sub-lease of office space to the United Nations Global Compact Office at 11 Grove Street.  President Pelosi Jr. confirmed that a written report would be submitted at the Operations Committee Meeting. 

10.  INFORMATION: Policy Committee Report

Chairs Report:  Commissioner Wald highlighted the meeting of September 11, 2006 and reviewed the agenda for the upcoming meeting on Monday, October 23, 2006, 5:00 p.m. (rescheduled to October 30, 5:00 p.m.) to be held at City Hall, Room 421.  


Policy Committee Chair Wald reported that Environmental Accord Action 17 to promote the environmental benefits of locally grown organic food was heard at the September 11 meeting.  It was stated that experts in the field that included Mr. Michael Dimock, Executive Director for Roots of Change Fund, Anya Fernald, Director, Buy Fresh. Buy Local Campaign for the California Alliance of Family Farmers, and Paula Jones, Director of San Francisco Food Systems gave presentations at this meeting.  Future agenda items for the October 30 meeting include (1) development of a Commission attendance policy; (2) Three-Year Review and Report on the Precautionary Principle, and (3) Staff report on Food Priorities.


Director Blumenfeld advised that he would be visiting Berkeley High School to observe their model for serving all organic food at high schools and invited less than a quorum of Commissioners to attend. 

11.  INFORMATION: Tidal Power and Alternative Energy Committee Report

         Chairs Report:  This item was not heard due to the Committee not being created.

12.  INFORMATION: Director’s Report

§         Nelly Sun, Senior Management Assistant to Jared Blumenfeld, Director, Department of the Environment gave updates on SFE administrative and programmatic operations relating to Budget Planning, Strategic Planning, Climate Division, Outreach and Education Division, Environmental Justice Division, Zero Waste, Toxics Reduction Program, and the Urban Forestry Division as written in the Director’s Report above.

13.  PRESIDENT’S ANNOUNCEMENTS.  President Pelosi Jr. commended the Department for the work they have done towards awareness to the public, continued outreach programs and education, and focusing on the global climate.  It was stated that the branding campaign would be effective in terms of galvanizing the Department.  President Pelosi Jr. stated that the Department Retreat was a successful one where it felt that people in the Department were communicating very well.

14.  INFORMATION:  New Business.  There was no new business heard at this time. 


15.  FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS.  Commissioner Gravanis commended Department staff for the excellent work and many staff hours that have been allocated to the Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands Sustainability Plans.  The Commissioners discussed holding an October Special Joint Meeting between the Commission and the Community at Treasure Island to hear from Department staff on the status and for the Commission’s possible endorsement of the Plan.  Commissioner Gravanis stated that the Board of Supervisors in December would be adopting a Term Sheet that will guide future negotiations on the Islands’ Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) and would like the Commissioners to have input into that process at the October Special Meeting.

Commissioner Gravanis recommended ongoing Commission support of habitat restoration and recommended a report on the biological diversity element of the City’s Sustainability Plan as discussion items for the November or January agenda. 

16.  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.

17.  ADJOURNMENT.  The Commission on the Environment meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by,


Monica Fish

Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709

FAX: (415) 554-6393\


** 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 website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/environment-commission as attachments to the meeting agenda or minutes, (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected].


Adopted:  November 28, 2006






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