CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
REGULAR MEETING APPROVED MINUTES
Department of the Environment Eco Center
11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Commissioners Alan Mok (Chair), Angelo King, Heather Stephenson
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order and Roll Call. The Commission Operations Committee meeting convened at 5:08 p.m. Present: Chair Mok and Commissioner Stephenson; Absent: Commissioner King.
2. Approval of Minutes of the July 20, 2011Operations Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: July 20, 2011 Operations Committee Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)
Commissioner Mok motioned, second by Commissioner Stephenson, to approve the July 20, 2011 Commission Operations Committee Meeting Minutes. Public Comment: Mr. David Pilpel asked that the first reference to his public comment include his first name. The July 20, 2011 Meeting Minutes were approved with an amendment to add Mr. Pilpel’s first name to his first public comment reference. (AYES: Commissioners Mok and Stephenson; Absent: Commissioner King)
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 comment at this time.
4. Approval of the City and County Bike Fleet Grant Solicitation. (Explanatory Documents: Bike Fleet Grant Solicitation, Funding Agreement, and Proposal) Sponsor: David Assmann, Deputy Director; Speaker: Krute Singa, Transportation Demand Manager (Discussion and Action)
Ms. Krute Singa presented on San Francisco County Transportation Authority County Manager Transportation Fund for Clean Air grant funds received for the City and County of San Francisco Bike Fleet Program since 2005. She reported that this year’s grant solicitation for $13,000.00 was released on September 30 and applications were due on October 14. One proposal was
received from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition that the Department is in the process of selecting to work on the program. The grant funding for this program will end on December 1, 2012.
Ms. Singa reported that the Bike Fleet program will provide City departments with bicycles and related accessories so they can use bicycles during work hours for work-related trips. The 2010 Bike Fleet Survey results showed a reduction in vehicle fleet use as a result of this program. Requests were made for the Department of the Environment to provide more support and training, which were incorporated into this grant solicitation. She reported on the tasks that the Department and subcontractor would be involved with that include conducting site visits, creating toolkits and outreach material, procuring bicycles and equipment, conducting training sessions, and administering a survey.
Commissioner Mok inquired about the outreach that would be required to administer the program. Ms. Singa reported that the Department has been conducting outreach to City departments and new employees on a regular basis, and that there is now a waiting list of departments and staff who have requested bikes. The funds are focused on departments on the waiting list. The trainings and toolkits are targeted to every staff member and department who received bicycles since 2005.
Commissioner Stephenson pointed out that the proposal exceeds the maximum amount of the grant. Deputy Director Assmann stated that the proposal cannot exceed the maximum of $13,000.00, and pointed out that the dates on the grant should be changed from September 30, 2011 and October 14, 2010 to 2011 respectively.
Public Comment: Mr. David Pilpel inquired whether the grant solicitation was subject to approval by the full Commission or Committee. Deputy Director Assmann reported that the Operations Committee customarily approves Department grants. Mr. Pilpel inquired about the distinction of work between the Department of the Environment and Bicycle Coalition in administering this program. Ms. Singa reported that since inception of the program in 2005, the Department has been providing outreach, managing the wait list, procuring bicycles and equipment, and providing all the materials, signage and administrative setup. The scope is now being expanded to develop a toolkit that will serve as a department guide, administering a survey, and conducting trainings. The contractor will primarily be providing the Department support in developing the toolkit and leading trainings.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Mok, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the Bike Fleet Grant solicitation was approved. (AYES: Commissioners Mok and Stephenson; Absent: Commissioner King)
5. Environmental Justice Program—Update on Environmental Justice Grants and Special Projects. (Explanatory Document: Environmental Justice Grant Recipients and List of Incoming Grants 2001-2011) Sponsor: David Assmann, Deputy Director; Speaker: Anne Eng, Environmental Justice Program Manager (Informational Presentation and Discussion)
Ms. Anne Eng introduced Environmental Justice staff in attendance at the meeting. She reported on the $13 million dollar grant funding that the Environmental Justice program had received from the state and awarded over the past ten years for staff support and to various grant recipients (see explanatory document) to carry out programs in underserved neighborhoods. The fund is now coming to a close with $500,000 left in reserve. In addition to this grant, the Environmental Justice program received supplemental funding from non-city sources to support programs such as the Bayview Farmers Market and the Healthy Homes project.
Ms. Eng reported that the Environmental Justice Strategic Plan that is part of the Department’s overall Strategic Plan was reviewed and approved by the Commission at a previous meeting (explanatory document: Environmental Justice Strategic Plan). The Environmental Justice Program will be refining its Strategic Plan and transitioning from grant-making to a service provider role. In this process, grant recipients and community stakeholders will be surveyed in order to make sure that the Environmental Justice program goals and objectives are aligned with the community. Ms. Eng discussed work accomplished with the use of grant funds in southeast neighborhoods that include establishing community gardens and urban agriculture projects, installation of over 100 solar systems, and additional energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Work will continue in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy, green jobs, urban agriculture, and the Healthy Homes project.
Commissioner Stephenson inquired how much grant funding was received from outside sources in addition to the $13 million. Ms. Eng reported that approximately two million dollars was received over a ten-year period, and a list of incoming grants was distributed to Commissioners. Commissioner Mok inquired about next steps that would be taken with the $500,000 in reserve. Ms. Eng reported that next steps would include strategic planning, assessment of programs, and fundraising.
Public Comment: Ms. Lurilla Harris inquired whether an investment would be made in solar hot water systems. Ms. Eng reported that this project was considered several years ago, but the durability of rooftops in the southeast sector presented a barrier. She reported that it now makes more economical sense to consider solar thermal, and discussions would be held with the Energy team to move the idea forward.
6. San Francisco Healthy Homes, a Project to Address Health Disparities in San Francisco. (Explanatory Documents: Vision Statement, Turning Vision into Action Presentation, Advisory Committee Meeting Handout) Sponsor: David Assmann, Deputy Director; Speaker: Sraddha Mehta, Senior Environmental Justice Coordinator (Informational Presentation and Discussion)
Ms. Sraddha Mehta reported on the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control two-year grant to launch the San Francisco Healthy Homes Project. The purpose of the grant is to develop a Community Action Plan with a goal to eliminate asthma and other health inequities in San Francisco focusing on the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. Health disparities are differences in the distribution of disease and illness across different populations. The Healthy Homes Project will be working on health inequities, or systemic, unfair, avoidable and unjust differences in health status and mortality rates. (Slide 1, page 1).
Ms. Mehta presented combined adult and pediatric asthma hospitalization pooled 1999-2001 discharge data by San Francisco zip code to demonstrate that certain neighborhoods, namely the Bayview Hunters Point and Tenderloin neighborhoods, have higher asthma hospitalization rates than others (Slide 2, page 1). The San Francisco Healthy Homes Project will focus on improving Bayview neighborhood public housing pest management methods, as pests are a major issue in public housing and both pests and pesticides are asthma triggers. She discussed the lower rate in life expectancy due to poverty in San Francisco County (Slide 3, page 2) and the framework for understanding health inequities (Slide 4, page 2). The Department’s focus will be on neighborhood conditions, social, environmental, and economic factors that are the root causes of poor health outcomes. The Environmental Justice program currently focuses on these factors through its various projects and programs.
Ms. Mehta reported that the project will be using the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership (MAPP) step-by-step participatory approach to public health improvement and turning vision into action (Slide 6, page 3). The MAPP planning process steps were described (Page 4, Slide 7). She reported on outreach and source documents that were used to develop the vision statement. She reported that the grant is specifically to develop a Community Action Plan. Funding will then be identified to implement the Plan, and the Environmental Justice program will collect information to determine future goals.
Commissioner Mok inquired about the grant timeline. Ms. Mehta reported that the grant expires on September 30, 2012. The completion of the Community Action Plan is scheduled for August 2012, which allows for a month of evaluation and re-vetting the Plan with community groups at public meetings. The Commission will have an opportunity to review the Community Action Plan. Commissioner Stephenson inquired whether there would be a plan to measure success. Ms. Mehta reported that a requirement of the grant is to produce an evaluation plan of how to measure success.
Public Comment: Ms. Harris inquired about pest prevention methods in public housing and its effect on asthma and other health disparities. Ms. Mehta reported that cockroaches, their remains and feces, and rodent feces are asthma triggers and that cockroach exposure can also cause new asthma onset in children. The Toxics Reduction Program, with assistance from the Environmental Justice Program and other stakeholders, has been working on an Integrated Pest Management pilot project with the San Francisco Housing Authority at Sunnydale Public Housing to stop spraying pesticides in two buildings. The pilot has been successful in reducing the amount of pests.
Ms. Harris inquired whether there has been a reduction in disease. Ms. Mehta reported that it is difficult to assess the cause and effect in relation to a particular disease when there are so many contributing factors. Ms. Harris inquired whether the Housing Authority is willing to use less onerous methods of pest control. Ms. Cynthia Knowles, Department of the Environment Toxics Reduction program, reported that the IPM program can be more expensive initially with an overall better outcome. She discussed the Department’s efforts to raise funds to help pilot the program for the Housing Authority, who are short on staff and funding for this type of program. Ms. Mehta reported that the San Francisco Healthy Homes project is planning to develop IPM plans for the Alice Griffith public housing site and will be using grant funds as an incentive to encourage the Housing Authority to expand and implement IPM at other sites.
7. Department of the Environment’s Website Redesign Update. Sponsor: Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker: David Assmann, Deputy Director (Informational Report and Discussion)
Deputy Director Assmann reported that a soft launch for the website redesign project is scheduled for November and will be up and running before the end of the calendar year. In conjunction with this effort, work is in progress to replace the “ecofindeRRR” with a new regional database of five Bay Area counties. He reported that a team of in-house staff is working on the content, and an outside consultant is working on the architecture and design.
Commissioner Stephenson inquired whether the website will include interactive elements such as social networking. Deputy Director Assmann reported that the new site will be more interactive, allow for more feedback, have the ability to evolve, and be more easily updated. Commissioner Stephenson suggested that the site include an outreach and fundraising component. Deputy Director Assmann concurred and would research the possibility of including this component. Commissioner Mok suggested that the site include briefings in other languages. Deputy Director Assmann reported that it is a high priority to include as much information as possible in Spanish and Chinese. This agenda topic was continued to the next Operations Committee meeting in January to discuss the website launch.
8. Department of the Environment Public Outreach Program Update. Sponsor: Melanie Nutter, Director; Speaker: David Assmann, Deputy Director (Informational Report and Discussion)
Deputy Director Assmann reported that the Department is in the process of refilling five vacancies in the Public Outreach team. Applications are being reviewed and interviews are being held for the Program Manager, Grassroots Coordinator, Website Coordinator, and General Outreach positions. The Volunteer Coordinator position has been filled by Mr. Clark Hatchet. It is expected that all selections will be made by mid- to end of November, and all staff will be on board by mid- or end of December. Commissioner Stephenson inquired whether there would be salary savings reflected in the budget as a result of vacancies. Deputy Director Assmann reported that the budget includes a partial amount for attrition, and the rest would be carried over to next year’s budget.
9. Preliminary Discussion on the Department of the Environment’s 2012-13 Draft Budget. (Explanatory Documents: 2012-13 Personnel Costs Projections) Sponsor and Speaker: David Assmann, Deputy Director (Informational Report and Discussion)
Deputy Director Assmann reported that after a review of funding sources and expenses, projected personnel cost shortages have been identified in the Department’s 2012-13 Fiscal Year Budget in the Clean Transportation, Energy, and Climate programs. A discussion was held on potential sources of funding that have been identified to meet shortages in addition to what has to be raised. The shortages are a result of a number of grants ending this year, most notably $3 million in federal-stimulus funding. It was explained that funding has been identified or projected to be available for Transportation Demand Management, Green Building and Renewable Energy programs, and that Climate will be fundraising to meet its shortfall. The Energy shortfall has now been reduced to $195,000 because of an agreement to allow grant funding to be transferred from professional services to personnel costs. It was reported that the appropriation for electric vehicle work ended in September of this year, so the biggest challenge at this time is identifying funding for electric vehicle and alternative fuels work. It was reported that the Zero Waste and Toxics Reduction programs are stable as a result of Impound Account funding. The Energy Watch program is self-funded, and the Environmental Justice Program has sufficient funding available for the next fiscal year.
Commissioner Stephenson inquired what percentage of the 2011 budget was stimulus funded. Deputy Director Assmann reported that $3 million of an $18 million Department budget was stimulus-funded. Commissioner Mok inquired about the budget timeline. Deputy Director Assmann reported that the budget will be voted on for approval at both the Operations Committee and Commission meetings in January 2012. The budget would then be submitted to the Mayor’s Office in February and heard by the Board of Supervisors in June. He reported that the Department has been asked to prepare a two-year projection, which may be difficult to do because grant funds are received at different times. Commissioner Stephenson inquired whether there would be overhead resulting from the Department’s move to a new office location. Deputy Director Assmann reported that overhead would be increased by an estimated $3000 per person to factor in a rent increase of 25 percent.
10. Status of the Department of the Environment’s Office Move. (Explanatory Document: Green Tenant Toolkit) (Continued Discussion from the July 20, 2011Meeting) Sponsor: Commissioner Angelo King; Speaker: David Assmann, Deputy Director (Informational Report and Discussion)
Deputy Director Assmann reported that a selection has been made of two sites located on Market Street for the new office location, one preferred site that the City is considering purchasing, and one backup site. A report was provided on office space configuration at both sites, and the benefits of the preferred site versus the backup. It was explained that the Department’s current lease at 11 Grove Street expires in May, but there is an option to rent month to month at an increased cost. The office move was originally scheduled for May, but has been delayed to August or September pending Real Estate and Board of Supervisor approvals. In the meantime, an internal working group is meeting weekly to discuss planning and design for the new space. Discussions are also being held with the Business Council on Climate Change to implement a Green Tenant Toolkit to use as a blueprint for the design and implementation of the move.
11. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion) This agenda item was discussed during the course of the meeting. Future agenda items include continued discussions on Items 7, 9 and 10.
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 were no members of the public present at this time.
13. Adjournment. The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:18 p.m.
The next Operations Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m., at the Department of the Environment’s Eco Center, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California.
** 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 Operations Committee meeting website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/operations-committee as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes , (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: April 18, 2012