01.20 Approved Minutes






Monday, January 20, 2010, 5:00 P.M.

City Hall, Room 421

San Francisco, CA 94102 


*The Wednesday, January 20, 2010 Operations Committee meeting that is regularly held at the Department of the Environment’s Eco Center was rescheduled to meet at City Hall, Room 421, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place, San Francisco, CA  94102.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Commissioners Matt Tuchow (Chair), Alan Mok and Paul Pelosi Jr.




1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Operations Committee meeting convened at 5:05 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Tuchow and Pelosi Jr.; Commissioner Mok Excused.  Acting Director Assmann, Joseph Salem, Finance and Administration Manager, and Monica Fish, Commission Secretary was present for this meeting. There was no public present.


2.      Approval of Minutes of the October 19, 2009 Operations Committee Rescheduled Meeting.  (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Commissioner Tuchow, the October 19, 2009 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection. ( See Explanatory Document below: October 19, 2009 Approved Minutes.)  There was no public present.


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.  There was no public present. 


4.      Review and Approval of the Department of the Environment’s Draft Budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11.  Staff Speaker:  David Assmann, Acting Director  (Discussion and Action)   Acting Director Assmann reviewed the Department’s proposed Draft Budget by program area for Fiscal Year 2010-11 and provided budget figures for 2010-11 revenues and expenditures for grants, work orders, and the Impound Account.  A comparison of budget figures for fiscal years 2007-2010 by program area were also provided (See Explanatory Documents below:  Draft Budget by Program Area and Draft Budget Detail).


Acting Director Assmann with input from Joseph Salem, Finance and Administration Manager, reported on increases and decreases in budget revenues for Department program areas that include Energy, Clean Air, Recycling, Toxics Reduction, Green Building, Outreach, Environmental Justice, Administration, and Urban Forestry as follows:    

·         Energy increase is due to energy block grant stimulus funding, new PG&E contract renewal, and foundation grant funding. PG&E funding will continue indefinitely, the energy block grant is a one-time stimulus funding allocation, and foundation funding is based on an application process.

·         Clean Air decreased slightly due to less grant funding received.

·         Recycling decreased slightly because of a one-time contribution last year to assist the Department of Public Works (DPW) in paying for waste disposal and recycling projects due to the City’s fiscal crisis.  Expenditures were similar to what they were last year with the exception of reserve funding that was allocated to DPW, which is not scheduled again this year. 

·         Toxics Reduction is the same as last year with a slight increase.

·         Green Building increased due to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant.

·         Outreach budget is also reflected in individual program budgets.  The figure consists of Bureau of Environment Resource Management (BERM) funding for water pollution prevention and Department of Conservation (DOC) bottle-bill funding.  

·         Environmental Justice (EJ) will decrease significantly this year and next because of the end of a $13 million state appropriation in 2000 for mitigation of power plant emissions in the Potrero and Bayview neighborhoods where the power plants are located.  As a result, one staff member is transferring to the Energy program area, and the other two remaining staff will focus on Green Jobs and the Environment Now programs, which will be managed by the EJ program.

·         Administration budget is increasing because the Department is funding a garbage rate review process next year, which requires $250,000 in City Attorney fees.  Garbage rates are reviewed and set once every five years.  If you remove the $250,000, the Administration budget is the same as in previous years.

·         Urban Forestry program shows as being the same as last year, but there is concern with fulfillment of work orders from other departments that are facing budget cuts.


Acting Director Assmann reported that overall, the budget shows an increase due entirely to an increase in funding to the Energy program.  Most other program areas remain static. It was explained that General Fund departments have been told to cut their budget by 20% with a 10% contingency.  San Francisco Environment does not receive funding from the General Fund, but may be impacted if there is a requirement to contribute to a General Fund department which can only be done if it is relevant to that department’s activities.  The only area of vulnerability is in the Impound Account, wherein last year there was a requirement to allocate $1 million to DPW with the assurance it would not happen again.  Department of Building Inspection funding of $350,000 that is used to support green building, construction and demolition debris, and energy programs is another vulnerability, which will be discussed next week. Most vulnerable is green building and energy since construction and demolition is an ordinance requirement.


Acting Director Assmann stated that the Department was a contributor to the City’s revenue in that it raised $5 million in cigarette fees.  The Department provided the work to conduct a litter audit, nexus study, proposal, and set-up the process to collect the fees.  Brainstorming for an equivalent program is also in process.  In addition the Department allocates money to departments such as DPW, the Office of Contract Administration for green purchasing, the Library for environmental programs, and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to fund half of an Environmental Director position.   


Discussions were held on additional topics that include—


·         A study that was commissioned on dollars saved as a result of reducing the environmental impacts of recycling and composting from a perspective of reduced carbon emissions, toxicity and other criteria. A draft study is available that shows that there is an environmental benefit of approximately $84 million dollars a year as a result of composting and recycling efforts. There is a substantial value to these programs that is now being quantified.     


·         Jobs being created as a result of the process of landfill material being rerouted to markets for recyclables and composting. 


·         Current contract negotiations for a new landfill contract and recommendation for a vendor that would be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors in approximately March.  


·         The history of the garbage rate process and allocation of Impound Account funding to San Francisco Environment to run its recycling, toxics, and waste-related programs. Impound account funding is also allocated to DPW.


It was reported that the budget would be presented to the Mayor’s Office on February 20th for review and then would be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for their approval several months later.  Upon Motion by Commissioner Pelosi Jr. and second by Commissioner Tuchow, the Budget was approved with amendments as required for recommendation to the Commission for consideration at their January 26, 2010 meeting.  There was no public present.


5.      Discuss change of meeting location for the Commission on the Environment Operations Committee from the Department of the Environment Eco Center to City Hall, Room 421 for recommendation to the Commission on the Environment.  Staff Speaker:  Monica Fish, Commission Secretary (5 minutes) (Discussion and Action)


Ms. Fish reported that a change in meeting location requires Operations Committee approval and a Bylaws amendment that the Commission would consider at their March meeting.  Commissioner Tuchow inquired whether the Bylaws could be amended to not specify a particular location.  Ms. Fish stated that she believes that the location should be specified but would verify with legal counsel. Upon Motion by Commissioner Tuchow, second by Commissioner Pelosi Jr., a change in Operations Committee meeting location would be recommended to the Commission on the Environment to consider at their March 23 meeting through a Bylaws amendment as required.  There was no public present.


6.      Update on the Department of the Environment’s Lease of Additional Office Space.  Staff Speaker:  David Assmann, Acting Director (Discussion)


Acting Director Assmann reported that the Department of the Environment is overcrowded in its existing space at 11 Grove, and additional space has been leased through the end of September to accommodate as many as 100 Jobs Now Environment Now staff at 401 Van Ness Avenue.  In addition, the Department would be expanding its existing building by renting basement space and moving one of the conference rooms and changing it to work stations in order to accommodate additional Energy program staff.


7.      New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Acting Director Assmann suggested that budget updates be discussed at the April Operations Committee meeting.  At that point the budget will have been submitted to the Mayor’s Office who may make changes and then would be routed to the Board of Supervisors. Additional agenda items for April include (1) a status report on fundraising and grants received; (2) Commissioner Tuchow requested an update on PG&E funding for the Energy program; and (3) landfill process contract update.


8.      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 present.


9.      Adjournment.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by,


Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393


 Approved:  April 21, 2010

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