07.19 Approved Minutes








Wednesday, July 19, 2006, 4:00 P.M.

Department of the Environment

11 Grove Street, Ground Floor Conference Room

San Francisco, CA 94102



COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Alan Mok (Chair); Paul Pelosi Jr. and Angelo King


Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish




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




The meeting was called to order at 4:20 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Mok and Pelosi Jr.   Absent: Commissioner King.


Item 5 was heard before Items 2-4.


2.   ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the April 19, 2006 Regular Meeting.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Mok and second by Commissioner Pelosi Jr., the April 19, 2006 meeting minutes were approved with no objection. (Explanatory Document:  Approved Minutes of the April 19, 2006 Regular Meeting.)


3.   PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired as to whether the United Nations office move to 25 Van Ness would be discussed at the July 25 Commission meeting and whether TechLaw reports had been received.  Deputy Director Assmann advised that he would be discussing the United Nations move as part of the update on the Department’s move to 25 Van Ness item at the July 25 Commission meeting, and that a copy of the TechLaw report would be emailed to Ms. Wuerfel.


4.   INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Environmental Justice Program’s Status Report on the Bayview Farmer’s Market.

Staff:  Sraddha Mehta, Environmental Justice Coordinator


Ms. Mehta presented an update on the Bayview Farmers Market stating that the Market is in its second year of operation and will be receiving a $280,000 USDA grant to support the market for another three years until it can become self-sustainable.  Additional funding is also being anticipated as a result of a new partnership with the African Marketplace that would offer arts and crafts at the market. 


Ms. Mehta introduced Mr. Dan Phelps, the Department’s new student intern, who would be assisting with the Farmers Market.  Mr. Dan Phelps stated that his major was in community studies with a focus on social justice and food systems.


The Farmers Market has been open on Saturdays since May 20 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and is located in the Bayview Hunters Point district at Mendell Plaza on Third Street and Oakdale Avenue across the street from the Bayview Opera House.  The City spent 1.2 million dollars renovating the site into a community plaza.  Previous problems with labor costs and low turn out was explained and new approaches described. It was stated that the new grant would provide for increased marketing and outreach in order to attract new customers. Outreach efforts include distributing flyers/coupons to provide incentives for new customers, cooking demonstrations held by Literacy for Environmental Justice and a local farmer, and live music.


Public Comment:  Ms. Lurilla Harris asked when the next cooking demonstration would be held and if customers know how to cook the vegetables.  It was suggested to send the flyers/coupons home with school children to bring home to their parents and that participating farmers hand out outreach materials at the Alemany market.    Ms. Mehta stated that the demonstrations are held once a month, and that it gives customers an opportunity to learn how to prepare the produce sold at the market.


Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel congratulated the Environmental Justice Program on the USDA grant and asked whether the $280,000 would be per year or an aggregate for three years.  Ms. Mehta advised that the grant would be an aggregate for the three years.  Ms. Wuerfel asked if the grant was renewable.  Ms. Mehta stated that the idea behind the three-year grant was to show that the market would be sustainable by the end of the three-year period.


Commissioner Mok recommended that the Chinese Cultural Center distribute flyers/coupons at an event in Chinatown next week.  Ms. Mehta advised that Environmental Justice Program staff has worked with Charity Cultural Services and churches to provide outreach services, and that staff would be mailing outreach material to churches in the near future.  


5.   INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  School Education Program Plans for 2006-2007 and Previous Year’s Accomplishments.

Staff:  Becky Wike, Environmental Education Coordinator


Ms. Wike presented an overview of the San Francisco School Education Program’s current and new programs.  A description was given of the “Food to Flowers” education lunchroom composting program that is offered to all K-12 schools in San Francisco.  A presentation was given on the department’s work in providing free assemblies, classroom presentations, standards based curriculum, and support materials to participating schools.  Ms. Wike reported that the program is in its third year with 65 schools composting at this time.  It was stated that other cities are consulting with the Department to implement the same or similar methods.  The program is funded through the Altamont Education Fund who allows the Department to provide custodial award programs based on waste diversion assessments.


The School Education program also offers a recycling program; water pollution and conservation presentations to 5th grade students; supports the San Francisco garden movement/San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance; sponsors free field trips to environmental sites in the City, providing teachers with pre-field trip workshops and professional development; maintains a Kids Website on environmental topics; and holds a school awards ceremony for schools, teachers and students that excel in conservation efforts. 


Ms. Wike gave a report on future plans that include (1) partnering with PEAK, a non- profit organization, to promote energy efficiency programs in schools; (2) working on a windmill project to design interpretative panels and develop curriculum for K-1, third, and sixth grade students, (3) developing field-trip guides; (4) continuing the World Environment Day international pen-pal program, and (5) adding restoration field trip programs to middle and high school programs in partnership with the Recreation and Park Department.


Public Comment:  Ms. Lurilla Harris requested a program overview brochure, which was handed out in Committee meeting and inquired as to whether Ms. Bonnie Sherk was listed in the information sheet.  Ms. Wike reported that Ms. Sherk is a member of the Green Schoolyard Alliance. 


6. INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Department of the Environment’s Outgoing Grants and Procedures.

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director


Deputy Director David Assmann circulated and described the Grantees’ Operating Procedures Manual for Program Year 2006 which outlines procedures that grantees are required to follow in terms of program management, internal controls for accounting and record keeping, procurement and contractual services, monitoring and general administrative procedures. 


Also distributed was the “Impound Grants Policy Matrix,” which describes the process for distribution of impound account grants and project categories that can be funded.  In order to qualify for impound grant funding, criteria must be met that includes guidelines for the type of resource conservation activity or project, target waste stream or audience, actions to be taken to be eligible, and restrictions. 


Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked if the grant guidelines apply to environmental justice grants and complimented the Grantees’ Operating Procedures Manual.  Deputy Director Assmann responded that the Grantees’ Operating Procedures Manual would apply to all grants, but the Impound Grants Policy Matrix would not apply to all grants.


Items 7 and 8 were heard together.

7. INFORMATIONAL REPORT: Department of the Environment’s 2006-07 Final Budget.

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director


8. INFORMATIONAL REPORT: Update on the Department of Environment’s Move to 25 Van Ness Avenue.

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director


Deputy Director Assmann reported that the Board of Supervisors had made revisions to the Department’s budget and would be heard at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday, July 25 for a second reading.  It was reported that at the beginning of August, a final budget would be available and a report would be made with final adjustments at the October’s Operations Committee meeting.  Revisions included: 


§         The original Department budget of $12.2 million had been cut by $600,000 (5%) that includes a $300,000 allocation to the Department of Public Works and another $300,000 cut from professional services, materials and supplies, and a denial of an upgrade in the Recycling program area. 


§         The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s work order to the Department was reduced from approximately $600,000 to $450,000 resulting in a budget adjustment.


§         The Department would not be moving to 25 Van Ness because the space was zoned as commercial space and a variance would have to be obtained from Planning to rezone to office space.  The Real Estate Department was also required to rent the space as commercial before offering it as office space, which was not done.  As a result, the Department would not be moving to 25 Van Ness and would be renegotiating a new lease at 11 Grove.


Commissioner Mok inquired about the inclusion of retirement benefits to the budget.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the allocation of retirement benefits had been previously included in the budget.


Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired about the PG&E grant that was on reserve.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the PG&E grant was on reserve and the Department is still working on the contract.  Once the contract is agreed to and passed by the Board, a request would have to be made to the Board of Supervisors to release the funding from reserve.  Ms. Wuerfel asked the amount of the PG&E grant and when the contract would be signed.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that $2,000,000 was put on reserve and projected that the contract would be signed by the end of summer.


9. INFORMATIONAL REPORT: Update on the City and County of San Francisco Controller’s Office Audit Report.

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director


Deputy Director Assmann reported that the auditors are still working on the audit report and projected that a draft report would be available mid-August at the earliest.  A report would be made at the October Operations Committee meeting.


Items 10 and 11 were heard together.

10.  INFORMATION:  New Business. 

11.  FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS.  Commissioner Mok requested that the Outreach Section make a presentation at the next meeting on their work plan.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that a report would be made on the final budget and Controller’s Office audit report at the October meeting.


Ms. Lurilla Harris inquired as to who would be involved in securing office space for the Department.  Deputy Director Assmann advised that he and Director Blumenfeld would be negotiating office space until an agreement is reached.  It was stated that the objective would be to remain at 11 Grove Street and to review new construction as part of the negotiations. 


12.  PUBLIC COMMENTS:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.


13.  ADJOURNMENT.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.


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;  (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709, or (4) via e-mail at [email protected].


Adopted:  October 18, 2006 

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