01.17 Approved Minutes

 

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT

OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

 

REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

Wednesday, January 17, 2007, 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 Ruth Gravanis

 

Commission Secretary:  Monica Fish

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

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

 

1.      CALL TO ORDER AND ROLL CALL.  The Operations Committee meeting was called to order at 4:07 p.m.  Ms. Fish, Commission Secretary announced that President Pelosi Jr. had appointed Commissioner Gravanis to the Operations Committee.  Commissioner King had resigned from the Operations Committee as he was also serving on the Policy Committee. PRESENT:  Chair Mok and Commissioner Gravanis.  EXCUSED:  Commissioner Pelosi Jr.

 

2.      ACTION:  Adoption of Minutes of the October 18, 2006 Operations Committee Regular Meeting (Explanatory Document:  Draft Minutes of the October 18, 2006 Operations Committee Regular Meeting).  Commissioner Mok motioned to approve the October 18, 2006 meeting minutes.  Commissioner Gravanis indicated that Roberts Rules of Order states that if a Commissioner is not present for a particular meeting, they cannot vote to approve the meeting minutes and did not feel it was appropriate to vote on the October 18 meeting minutes.  Ms. Fish stated that she would check on this process with legal counsel and report back at the next meeting.  Adoption of the October 18, 2006 Minutes was continued to the April 18, 2007 Operations Committee 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.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Wuerfel asked when the Annual Report will be published and advised that the website contained an older version.  David Assmann, Deputy Director stated that the report is scheduled for the same time each year and will report back on the exact date.

 

4.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT: Environmental Justice Program Fiscal Year 2006/07 Request for Proposal (RFP), issued jointly with the Recycling Program on December 21, 2006.  (Explanatory Document: Request for Proposal)

 

Ms. Shraddha Mehta, Environmental Justice Program Coordinator, stated that on December 21 the Environmental Justice and the Recycling Programs jointly issued a Request for Proposal for their grant program.  Ms. Mehta explained that in the past, there have been separate grants announcements and RFP’s and each year an effort has been made to streamline the process, and now one RFP has been issued for both program areas.  The RFP is a response to the Controller’s Office request that the Department join their grant programs and RFP’s.  The deadline for the RFP is February 15 and on January 18, a pre-bidders conference will be hosted to answer any potential questions that any applicants may have. 

 

Ms. Mehta explained that the Zero Waste Grant focuses on diverting waste from the landfill and will target areas of zero waste outreach and targeted materials and sectors.  The Environmental Justice grants focus on energy, food security, and indoor and outdoor air quality.  It was stated that the RFP content is similar to past years in that the program only provides grants to non-profit agencies and profits and city agencies can only participate as subcontractors to a non-profit agency.  One difference in this year’s RFP is that the grant size limit has been increased to $150,000 for a particular project.  Recycling did not have the $150,000 limit in previous years and now both programs have a limit of $150,000.  It was stated that the geographic focus for the Environmental Justice program area continues to be Bayview Hunters Point and Potrero Hill while the Recycling Grant is for any neighborhood in San Francisco.

 

Ms. Mehta advised that the selection process and scoring is discussed on Page 4 of the RFP and will be conducted in two phases.  There will be a panel that will review proposals and score them.  If an applicant gets 60 points through the written proposal, they will move on to the oral phase where there will be a subsequent scoring process.  Both Recycling and Environmental Justice have matrixes as Appendix A and B in the RFP where they give examples of activities or projects that they would like to fund that are in line with goals and objectives in the Strategic Plan.

 

Chair Mok asked that major changes from last years RFP be explained.  Ms. Mehta explained that the major changes are that (1) the Zero Waste and Environmental Justice RFP’s have been combined into one program, (2) the Environmental Justice dollar limit has been increased from $75,000 from last year to $150,000 this year, (3) Recycling did not have an $150,000 limit last year; and (4) the evaluation and scoring process for both program areas will be the same.  Deputy Director Assmann explained that there are also changes in the proposal evaluation process.  There will be an expanded panel for evaluating applications and standardized scoring so that departmental grants would be standardized and more detailed than in the past.  This process is in response to the Controller’s Audit Report recommendations.  Chair Mok asked if this process would make it easier or more difficult for the applicant.  Ms. Mehta stated that it would be good for applicants because applicants would have an opportunity to apply for both programs, as all information would be in one RFP.

 

Commissioner Gravanis inquired as to the amount of staff time spent monitoring and overseeing the implementation after grants have been awarded.  Ms. Mehta stated that quarterly reports are required and staff does check in on a regular basis. It was explained that staff works closely with the grantees with capacity building and providing technical assistance.  Ms. Mehta advised that invoicing has been difficult for grantees so the Accounting staff have been meeting with grantees to help them through the process.  Ms. Alexis Kielty, Recycling Program Coordinator advised that the Recycling Program area also requires quarterly reports and meetings and site visits are made to make sure the work is happening.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked if a final report of work completed and money extended is written for each project.  Ms. Kielty confirmed that a final report is written.   

 

5.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Environmental Justice Program Incoming Grant Awards - funding allocation and timeline (Explanatory Document:  Allocation and Timeline of Grant Funds from USDA, Caltrans and US EPA)

 

Ms. Mehta stated that at the she would be providing additional details to help understand the Environmental Justice Program’s plans for upcoming grant funds as requested at the October Operations Committee meeting.  It was explained that the packet contains an explanatory document on incoming awards from USDA, CALTRANS, and US EPA for the Environmental Justice Program.  

 

The Explanatory Document was explained:  On Item I, the USDA grant would be awarded to the Department’s Community Based Organization Partner, Girls 2000.  It is a $280,000 grant of which $113,700 will be allocated to the Department of the Environment Environmental Justice Program over a three-year period.  Ms. Mehta explained that the explanatory document shows a breakdown of how the $113,700 will be spent over a three- year period.  The majority of the funds will go towards staffing for the Bayview Hunters Point project and there will be funding for materials and supplies, e.g. outreach materials and advertising for the Farmers Market.  Item II shows the breakdown for the Cal Trans Grant of $129,600 over a two-year period.  A large portion is for technical services that would be subcontracted out by the Department and for outreach services.  Item III is a breakdown of the US EPA Grant for the Biodiesel Project.  Item III is a breakdown of the US EPA Grant for the Biodiesel Project in the amount of $200,000. The lead agency is City College and San Francisco Environment will be serving as a sub-contractor.  $24,365 will be received over a two-year period for staffing and indirect costs.

 

Ms. Mehta stated that an RFP would be issued for outreach services that will be required for the CAL TRANS grant.  The technical services contractor has already been selected

 

because it was a part of the grant application process whereas the outreach coordinator will be selected through the RFP process. 

 

6.      PRESENTATION and ACTION: Informational Presentation on the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal-Year 2007-2008 Draft Budget.  The Committee will vote on approving the Draft Budget for presentation to and action by the full Commission (Explanatory Documents:  Fiscal Year 2007-08 Draft Budget Documents)

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann advised that the internal budget starts in December; an overview with a proposed budget is brought to the Operations Committee and full Commission in January, to the Mayor’s Office on February 21 for review, and then to the Board of Supervisors on May 1. The Budget Analyst analyzes the budget, then goes to the Board of Supervisors, gets approved by the end of June, and goes into effect July 1.  It was advised that the budget would change once it goes forward even after approval at the Commission level.

 

Deputy Director Assmann explained that the Department used to receive funding from the General Fund and as City budgets got tighter, the money received from the General Fund was eliminated three years ago.  At one point, the Department received over 1 million dollars from the General Fund, but now the Department raises money from special funds, grants or from other City departments, which are the three major sources of funding. 

 

An explanation was given of the 2007-08 $6.7 million dollar Grant Budget.  Several of the grant sources described included: 

 

·         The largest dollar amount is actually a contract with PG&E for three years to do energy efficiency work in the residential and commercial sectors, in which $5.6 million is allocated for the next fiscal year, in which $4 ½ million is set aside for professional services for an outside contractor.

 

·         The next largest grant is an annual appropriation of $250,000 from the California Integrated Waste Management Board for oil recycling. 

 

·         The next largest grant is approximately $215,000 from the Department of Conservation to promote bottle and can recycling. 

 

·         A one-time grant for $200,000 for upgrading the Household Hazardous Waste facility at Norcal. 

 

·         Grants for $151,000 for alternate fuel vehicles.

 

·         Grant for $120,000 from Proposition K for Transportation Demand Management to promote programs such as commuter benefits.

 

·         Specific commuter benefit grant of $105,000 from the Transportation Authority;

 

·         Two smaller grants from USEPA for biodiesel and USDA for the Farmer’s Market.

 

Deputy Director Assmann explained that as the budget goes through the next steps, additional grants may be added and as grants are received throughout the year, the Department will apply through the Board of Supervisors to accept and expend those grants.

 

It was explained that the “2007-08 Budget-General” page consists mostly of funding revenues received from other City departments for work done in the Department’s program areas, e.g. Energy, Green Building, Integrated Pest Management, Urban Forest, Commuter Benefits, Outreach, Environmental Justice, and C& D Recycling. 

 

Deputy Director Assmann explained that ratepayers mostly fund the “2007-08 Budget-Impound” account, and the amount allocated to the Department of the Environment was determined last year by a five-year rate process.  There are four program areas and an administrative area within the Impound Account, e.g. Recycling, Green Building, Toxics Reduction, and Environmental Justice. As part of the five-year rate process, the Department proposes a detailed outline of projects and budget for each fiscal year.  A sheet showing a comparison between the five-year plan and the proposed budget, showing totals, the four program areas, and Staff budgets was described.

 

An additional explanatory document that was presented is the “Fiscal 2007-08 Impound Projects” that outlines projects by program area broken up by commercial and residential that is submitted as part of the five-year plan. It was explained that the project list is identical to what was submitted in the five-year plan, but what has changed from what was originally proposed is the actual dollar allocation per project because of reasons that include finalization of union contracts and the requirement for City departments to pay the cost of retiree health benefits.  This document describes projects, services, benefits, professional service costs, other expenses, FTE and total costs.

 

An additional explanatory sheet describes the Program Area, Index Code, and FTE which gives an overview of how FTE is broken up by project area and shows percentage of staff that work on impound and other programs.  The “2007-2008 Impound Overview” describes the five-year impound overview from the five year plan that was presented at the rate process that describes, FTE, salaries/benefits, overhead, professional services, grants, other and a total.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel distributed a budget sheet (Explanatory Document:  Received in Committee Meeting January 17, 2007) and discussed revenues, work orders, and grants for the 2007-08 fiscal year.  Ms. Wuerfel made the following statements:

 

(1)   Requested an explanation of why there is such a wide variability on overhead charges and stated that she put together an aggregate of the general funds, grants, and impound accounts;

 

(2)   Asked that the retirement benefit charge be equally apportioned against all accounts so the Impound Account is not responsible for the entire amount. Mr. Assmann stated that it would be equally appropriated. 

 

(3)   Stated that the Guidelines were not followed in that 10% for Environmental Justice was not charged appropriately to the Impound Account.   Mr. Assmann stated that Ms. Wuerfel does not have the entire Environmental Justice budget to review in the packet, as it does not include monies that have been previously appropriated and would provide her with additional information.

 

Upon Motion by Chair Mok and second by Commissioner Gravanis, the 2007-08 Draft Fiscal Year Budget has been approved with recommendation to the full Commission with no objection.

 

7.      DISCUSSION and ACTION:  Department of the Environment’s Lease of Office Space Policy.  The Committee will vote on approving the Draft Policy for presentation to and action by the full Commission (Explanatory Document:  Intergovernmental Office Use Policy)

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director Assmann discussed the Department’s proposed policy on “Intergovernmental Office Use” that requires the Department to require that anyone from another government agency (does not apply to non-profits or anyone else) that uses Department of the Environment space would have to submit an informal letter of request.  A determination would be made based on space availability, time involved in the process, and relevance to the Department’s mission.  The Director would inform the Commission of any decision on the use of space and would review the use of space annually.  Any visiting government staff would be required to sign an indemnity waiver, comply with all City rules, not be allowed to do fundraising, and would reimburse the Department for all incremental costs.

 

Chair Mok asked if the City Attorney has reviewed the language.  Deputy Director Assmann confirmed that the City Attorney has approved the language. 

 

Commissioner Gravanis asked who on the Department staff would be responsible for implementing the policy.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that he would be responsible.

 

Public Comment:  Ms. Wuerfel questioned if this policy covers her concern about the United Nations policy that was referred to in Deputy City Attorney Catherine Barnes’ memo of October 10, 2006, in which a formal policy for volunteers and interns is discussed.  There is no policy for volunteers, how long the person can stay, mail received, and review of charges for use of office space.  Ms. Wuerfel stated that this policy is called an Intergovernmental Office Use Policy and does not satisfy the concern of a gift of City space.  It was stated that hosting government agencies is also giving away the use of City space and that it is still City space regardless of who the recipient is.  Ms. Wuerfel stated that she would discuss this issue with the Commission and if no resolution should be reached, would bring this issue to the Board of Supervisors.

 

 

Commissioner Gravanis stated that she is interested in pursuing the issue of gift of space. 

 

Upon Motion by Chair Mok and second by Commissioner Gravanis, the Intergovernmental Office Use” Policy was approved with recommendation to the Commission with no objection.

 

8.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Status Report on upcoming Department of the Environment’s Requests for Proposals.

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Mr. Joe Salem, Budget and Finance Support, stated that there would be an upcoming Request for Proposal for administering Commuter Benefits. 

9.      INFORMATIONAL REPORT:  Status Report on Grants Received by the Department of the Environment (Explanatory Document:  Funds Awarded to San Francisco Environment since September 1, 2006).

Staff:  David Assmann, Deputy Director

 

Deputy Director David Assmann described the grants awarded to the Department of the Environment since September 1, 2006 as reflected in the Explanatory Document above.  It was stated that a report would be given on grants applied for at a future meeting.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that the grants were a combined effort of Department staff and Ms. Rosenmoss, the Fundraising Coordinator.

10.  INFORMATION:  New Business.  New Business was heard as part of Future Agenda Items.

 

11.  FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS.  Commissioner Mok requested that the Outreach Team present on activities from the last six months at the April meeting.

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.

 

Ms. Wuerfel asked when the Controller’s Audit Report would be made public and if it would be heard at the Operations Committee.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that it is anticipated that the Report will be issued in the next few days and depending on timing, it would go to the full Commission rather than wait until the next meeting of the Operations Committee.  Ms. Wuerfel asked what the $20,000 for Recreation and Park Department is for.  Deputy Director Assmann stated that he would research and report back to Ms. Wuerfel.

 

13.  ADJOURNMENT.  The Operations Committee Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

 

The next Operations Committee Meeting will be on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. at the Department of the Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA.

 

 

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 Committee’s website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/operations-committee 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 Monica.Fish@sfgov.org.

 

Adopted:  April 18, 2007

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