12.05 Approved Minutes






WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2007, 10:00 A.M.







TASK FORCE MEMBERS:  Carl Duisberg, Patricia Gerber, Jan Lundberg, Jason Mark, Bernard Meyerson (Vice-Chair), Jeanne-Marie Rosenmeier (Chair), Marya Stark



1.        Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force

1.        Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force convened at 2:30 p.m.  Present:  Members Duisberg, Gerber, Lundberg, Mark, Meyerson, Rosenmeier, and Stark.  Upon Motion by Member Duisberg and second by Member Lundberg, Member Rosenmeier was elected Chair for this meeting without objection.  

2.        Introductions and Announcements.  Task Force members, Department of the Environment Director, Jared Blumenfeld, Cal Broomhead, Department of the Environment Energy Manager, Melissa Capria, Department of the Environment Climate Manager, and the public in attendance introduced themselves.  Director Blumenfeld gave an introductory speech.  Member biographies weblink: http://www.sfenvironment.org/our_policies/overview.html?ssi=20#Members.

The public introduced and who spoke in support of Task Force initiatives included:


·        Nick Parsons, psychotherapist, expressed his interest in climate change as it relates to peak oil and in public education.

·        Dennis Brumm, stated that he was instrumental in influencing the Commission of the Environment and the Board of Supervisors to start a Task Force on the peak oil awareness effort.

·        Louis Dillon, horseshoer expressed his interest in influencing the utilization of horse-drawn power and transportation.

·        Richard Katz, concerned citizen.

·        Scott Marx, discussed his work on background documents and his interest in clean tech and energy, security, economic, and environmental issues as it relates to peak oil.

·        Cal Simone, expressed his interest in the psychological and societal implications of resource depletion.  Mr. Simone stated that he would be interested in serving on the Task Force if there were to be a vacancy.

·        Jonathan Wilson (name unclear) expressed his interest in peak oil ideas from a City perspective. 


Supervisor Mirkarimi, sponsor of the Peak Oil Task Force legislation discussed his vision for the Task Force and offered his ongoing support with Task Force efforts.  Supervisor Mirkarimi stated that an essential part of the Task Force’s mission would be to envision changes that the City needs to anticipate and how that might be attached to educating the community as to what peak oil represents in our own daily lives.     

2.        Laws and Policies related to Task Force Meetings (Discussion).

SPEAKER:  Catharine Barnes, Deputy City Attorney 

Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes announced that she works in the Office of the City Attorney and is assigned to represent the Department of the Environment and its Commission and Boards.  Ms. Barnes reported that she would be the Task Force’s resource on government law and would answer questions about local, state and environmental law.  The Task Force was advised that they were created by Board of Supervisors legislation and is therefore a policy body that must adhere to public meeting laws in San Francisco.  A discussion was held on Sunshine Ordinance laws, Public Records laws, City Charter law, and Roberts Rules of Order parliamentary procedures.  Ms. Barnes noted that the public must be given an opportunity to speak on each agenda item and before action is taken.  It was recommended that Task Force members access the Good Government Guide and Supplement at the City Attorney’s website for additional information http://www.sfgov.org/site/cityattorney_index.asp. 

Ms. Barnes advised that the Task Force could develop work groups or hold discussions between less than a quorum of members and bring their recommendations/work product to the full Task Force for consideration and action.  It was stated that work groups with less than a quorum of members are considered passive meeting bodies and would not be subject to noticing requirements; however, the interested public should be made aware of activities.  Ms. Barnes indicated that if formal subcommittees were to be created, they would be subject to all public meeting requirements.  The Task Force was advised not to communicate about Task Force business by email or telephone calls with more than a quorum of members, as that would cause a seriatim meeting. 

A discussion was held on the Board of Supervisors legislation request that the Task Force issue a comprehensive response plan and whether interim or minority reports could be issued.  Ms. Barnes indicated that (1) it is not unlawful to create interim reports, but may be more useful to take all of the interim reports and create one report; and (2) under the Charter, the majority vote is the action of the body, but it can be helpful to list minority viewpoints.  An inquiry was made about the public process for finalizing the report.  Ms. Barnes stated that interim and final reports should be brought to meetings for discussion, public input, and then voted on for approval. It would also be beneficial for reports to be made available for review at least 72 hours before the meeting. 

Public Comment 

Mr. Dennis Brumm inquired about noticing requirements for passive meeting bodies.  Ms. Barnes advised that it is a requirement that passive meeting bodies advise interested people of meetings to discuss Task Force business. 

Mr. Richard Katz inquired whether a listserv that is available for the public as well as members would satisfy legal requirements for communicating between members.  Ms. Barnes stated that it would not. 

Mr. Louis Dillon discussed the importance of the Task Force adhering to Sunshine Ordinance laws and ramifications if laws are not followed. 

3.        Adoption of Regular Meeting Day, Location, and Time (Discussion and Action). 

Upon Motion by Member Meyerson and second by Member Mark, the Task Force selected the first Wednesday in January from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. and first Tuesday monthly from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. as their regular meeting schedule.  The meetings will be held in Room 421, City Hall.  (AYES:  Members Duisberg, Gerber, Lundberg, Mark, Meyerson, Rosenmeier, and Stark.) 

An inquiry was made as to the time requirements for submitting agenda items and explanatory documents.  Ms. Fish stated that the legal requirement for regular meetings is to post the agenda 72-hours before the meeting.  It was stated that it is not legally required but is beneficial to make explanatory documents available for review at least 72 hours before the meeting.  Ms. Fish stated that documents could also be brought to the meeting as long as there are sufficient copies for the members, the public, and for the public record (to the Task Force Secretary).  Members were asked to forward agenda requests to the Chair and for the Chair to submit agenda requests and any available explanatory documents to the Task Force Secretary by the Tuesday before the meeting by close of business.  

4.        Approval of the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force Bylaws (Discussion and Action). (Explanatory Documents:  Approved Bylaws, Approved Resolution R-007-010-POPTF adopting the Bylaws and Notice of Adoption of Bylaws). 

Upon Motion by Member Rosenmeier and second by Member Meyerson, Resolution No. 2007-01-POPTF adopting the Task Force Bylaws was approved with amendments. 

5.        Nomination and Election of Permanent Officers (Discussion and Action).  Upon Motion by Member Mark and second by Member Gerber, Member Rosenmeier was elected Chair of the Task Force without objection.  Upon Motion by Member Gerber and second by Member Stark, Member Meyerson was elected Vice-Chair without objection.   

6.        Approval of Attendance Policy (Discussion and Action).  (Explanatory Document:  Approved Attendance Policy; Board of Supervisors Resolution.) 

Upon Motion by Chair Rosenmeier and second by Member Mark, the December 5, 2007 Task Force Attendance Policy was approved without objection. 

7.        Setting Goals and Procedures for issuing the Comprehensive Response Plan to the Board of Supervisors (Discussion and Possible Action)(Explanatory document: The Briefing Book complied by the Department of the Environment for the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force). 

a.     Establish Task Force Work Plan.  Identify tasks, members' specific areas of interest/expertise and available non-City resources.


Resources cited:  (1) Request for Study Regarding the Issue of Peak Oil, from San Francisco Oil Awareness; (2) Richard Register’s work on Transit Villages and Urban Planning for Oakland, (3) Oil Depletion Protocol, by Richard Heinberg.


Task Force members identified subjects to work on for their work plan and volunteered to take the lead on work items as follows:


·        Current modes of food production and distribution and the feasibility of localized production alternatives--Member Mark.

·        Transportation—Member Rosenmeier

·        Energy: current modes of electricity generation and transmission and the feasibility of distributed generation alternatives—Member Duisberg

·        Architecture--Member Gerber

·        Economic Relocalization—Member Stark

·        Societal Functioning—Member Lundberg

·        Infrastructure: Public Health and Safety: Member Meyerson


Committee members discussed methods for community outreach and suggested that public meetings/presentations be held in a larger meeting room with additional notice sent to the public. 

Member Rosenmeier stated that for each subject area, the Task Force agreed to do an assessment of the current situation followed by impact and mitigation and then present specific recommendations.  It was suggested that members investigate what resources are already available and what resources are needed that are not currently available and report back at the next meeting.  Member Duisberg indicated that he could have upcoming conflicts that may restrict him from membership to the Task Force.


Public Comment


Mr. Cal Simone indicated that he would be interested in appointment to the Task Force in case of a vacancy.  Ms. Fish explained the application process.  Mr. Simone expressed his interest in the psychological and societal ramifications as well as racial issues surrounding peak oil.  It was recommended that racial issues be taken into consideration during development of the preparedness plan.


Mr. Scott Marx volunteered his assistance to the Task Force members indicating that his expertise is in energy and security.


Mr. Francisco Da Costa, Director, Environmental Justice Advocacy, discussed the history of oil, its impact on the world market, and its relationship with California.  It was stated that California has played a historical role in the oil industry.  Mr. Da Costa discussed his interest in global warming, infrastructure, transportation, the housing element and Bayview Hunters Point and how all of the sewage and power plants are placed in that one sector of San Francisco.  It was suggested that the Task Force contact colleges and universities to provide feedback and to incorporate diversity into research.


Mr. Nick Parsons spoke in support of the Task Force and discussed the importance of incorporating public education into the Work Plan.


Mr. Louis Dillon recommended citing the Sunshine Ordinance to obtain relevant facts and statistics from City agencies.


b.    Presentation by Cal Broomhead, Department of the Environment Energy and Climate Programs Manager, on roles and responsibilities of the Department of the Environment in support of the Task Force including introduction of Briefing Book.


Cal Broomhead, Energy Manager reported that the Department’s role is to provide support for the Task Force, but does not have a line item in the budget to work on peak oil, so support will be limited.  For example, there are no available resources to do large mailings or photocopying of material, but members would be able to use the Department’s photocopy machine for small jobs and request use for larger jobs.  Mr. Broomhead stated that as requests are made, staff would advise whether it is something that can be accomplished.  An explanation was given on expectations of the Department’s Energy section that includes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change programs and the lack of staff support for additional areas.


Mr. Broomhead presented the Briefing Book Title Page and Table of Contents that discusses some of the activities the Task Force is engaged in.  It was stated that two volunteers Mr. Scott Marx and Ms. Ana Monteiro volunteered their time to work on the document. Ms. Capria directed members to the Department’s Strategic Plan to access goals and strategies. Mr. Broomhead advised that the upcoming Strategic Plan mentions the Peak Oil Task Force and discusses integrating the recommendations of the Task Force into the climate program.  Member Broomhead asked the Task Force members to send any relevant documents to either himself, Ms. Capria, or the Task Force Secretary for inclusion on the website.


Member Lundberg stated that he would be interested in receiving information on current energy balances, inflows, and use by sectors for the City and community-wide.  Mr. Broomhead indicated that Ms. Capria could provide the Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Climate Action Plan.  Member Mark asked what type of information the Task Force could expect to request from staff members.  Mr. Broomhead stated that staff could assist with providing factual information, but would not be able to produce a study or series of analysis.  However, the Task Force could set forth a recommendation through the meeting process and volunteers could be recruited to assist in the effort. 


A discussion was held on how the Task Force could issue suggestions for an agency to make policy changes in order to make things consistent with modern goals.  Mr. Broomhead stated that the Task Force is an advisory board and could make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors who would request the Mayor to take action, and then the Mayor could issue directives to involved departments. Additionally, the City Attorney’s Office could be contacted to find out what the issues are.  Ms. Capria stated that staff could provide advice to the Task Force on their recommendations.


5.      New Business/Future Agenda Items (Information and Discussion).  Members would report back on recommendations at the next meeting. 

Public Comment:  Mr. Louis Dillon discussed the difficulty of changing the public’s perception in reevaluating their current standards of living and suggested that the Task Force discuss this issue at a future meeting.  Ms. Fish discussed the public process for scheduling agenda items.  

6.      Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Task Force on matters that are within the Task Force’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. 

Unidentified Speaker stated that in respect to the oil depletion protocol, the City was the first to adopt a Peak Oil Resolution. 

Mr. Simone inquired about protocols for communicating with the press about Task Force business.  It was stated that the Chair or his/her designee are the Task Force’s representatives in communicating with the press. 

7.    Adjournment.  The Task Force meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.


** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Task Force office, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) upon request to the Task Force Secretary, at telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at [email protected], or (3) at the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force meeting website as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.


Respectfully submitted by,


Monica Fish, Task Force Secretary


Approved:  January 2, 2008

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