08.24 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco
DEpartment of the ENvironment
URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
APPROVED MINUTES

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010, 6:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 416, ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT JR. PLACE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting convened at 6:10 p.m. Voting Members Present:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Hillan (6:20), Hillson, Milne, Rodgers, Sherk and Vargas. Excused: Council Member Costello; Advisory Members Absent:  Council Member Barrow; Advisory Members Excused:  Council Member Nervo.

 

2.      Adoption of Minutes of the June 22, 2010 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  June 22, 2010 Draft and Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Council Member Hillson, second by Council Member Rodgers, the August 24, 2010 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES: Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Hillson, Milne, Rodgers, and Vargas; Absent:  Members Costello, Sherk and Hillan).

 

3.      Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda. 

 

Mr. James Scheid, Urban Forester for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection stated that he is attending the Council meeting on behalf of his department and program in order to become more involved with local Councils throughout the Bay Area.  He asked that the Council contact him with any important issues. He reported that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s latest round of grant offerings has been made available to eligible cities, non-profits, school districts, counties, etc. that are looking to work on projects that may include planting trees in public right-of-ways, education and other outreach activities, City management plans, inventories and other innovative ideas.  He urged the Council to review grant opportunities and stated that Council members could either contact him with good ideas for projects or to apply directly online.  The proposal period ends September 30th of this year.

 

4.      Review and Approval of Annual Urban Forest Report Survey. (Explanatory Document:  2010 Annual Urban Forest Report Survey as Amended and Survey and Planning Notes) Speaker:  Mei Ling Hui, Council Coordinator (Discussion and Action)

 

Council Coordinator Hui reported that following the review of the Annual Report Survey in May, the Council decided to review and rework the survey and process to try to make it more quantitative and qualitative.  The Work Group recommended to the Council that the procedure and questions contained in the explanatory document “2010 Annual Urban Forest Report Survey as Amended” be utilized to conduct the survey.  She reported that the agencies surveyed will be asked to do interviews either over the phone or in person although email may be an alternative if there are time constraints.  Council Members discussed and made amendments to interview questions.

 

Upon Motion by Member Vargas, second by Member Cohen, the 2010 Annual Report Survey process and questions were approved with amendments (AYES:  Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Hillan Hillson, Milne, Rodgers, Sherk and Vargas; Absent:  Member Costello)  Council Coordinator Hui reported that she would email Council Members a list of all of the agencies that were contacted in the past and asked that Council Members provide her with any additional agencies they would like to include.     

 

5.      Urban Forestry Council Planning Retreat Outcomes and Next Steps.  (Explanatory Document:  June 2, 2010 Approved Minutes, Member D’Agostino’s Retreat Notes, and Strategic Planning Process Follow-up and Notes) (Discussion) 

 

Council Coordinator Hui provided Council Members with a document “Strategic Planning Process Follow-up and Notes” that combines Work Group notes, Chair D’Agostino’s transcription, the June 2, 2010 Approved Minutes, and the meeting facilitator notes.  She reported that the document contains (1) the Council’s mission statement from the Bylaws, Department of the Environment website, and the mission for the upcoming year developed at the strategic planning sessions; and (2) areas of interest identified at the strategic planning session with suggested action items as identified by the Work Group.  She stated that this document would help guide the Council in the next year.

 

Council Members directed the Council Coordinator to make revisions to the mission statement on the Department of the Environment website and mission for the upcoming year developed at the strategic planning sessions. Member Milne suggested that more members represent the Council at Board of Supervisors meetings related to urban forestry in order to improve the Council’s visibility.     

 

6.      Urban Forestry Council Budget Review and Planning. The Council will discuss recommendations from the Chair on the currently allocated Urban Forestry budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11. (Discussion)

 

Council Chair D’Agostino stated that the Council’s budget is small and proposed holding fewer full Council meetings in order to hold more productive meetings and save on staff resources.  She proposed retaining January, March (to set goals), May, August, October and December. The Planning and Funding Committee and Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee schedules would remain the same.  She suggested that the Council’s retreat or annual goal-setting discussion be held in March so it is more aligned with the Department’s and City’s plans for the next fiscal year. 

 

Council Members discussed ways to hold more effective meetings, e.g., preparation in advance of the meeting so there is less discussion and more action items at meetings, work groups to meet to work on agenda items, holding fewer but longer meetings.  Council Members discussed the pros and cons of reducing the number of meetings.  Some Council members felt it was necessary to retain the number of meetings in order to accomplish all work goals and increase visibility, while others felt that reducing the number of meetings would result in more effective meetings and free up staff resources to work on other urban forestry projects. This agenda item was forwarded to the Planning and Funding Committee to formulate alternatives.

 

 

7.      Resolution Commending Naomi LeBeau for her Service to the Urban Forestry Council. The Council will review and adopt a resolution commending member LeBeau for her service. (Explanatory Document: Draft Resolution File 2010-08-UFC and Final Resolution) (Discussion and Action) 

 

The Resolution commending Member LeBeau for her service to the Urban Forestry Council was read.  Upon Motion by Member Milne, second by Member Hillan, Resolution File No. 2010-08-UFC was approved without objection (AYES: Chair D’Agostino, Vice-Chair Buck, Members Cohen, Hillan Hillson, Milne, Sherk and Vargas; Absent:  Members Costello and Rodgers) 

 

8.      Staff Report.  Staff will provide updates on Urban Forestry Council administrative and programmatic operations relating to research, planning, funding, outreach, and other related activities. (Explanatory Document: Staff Report) (Informational Report and Discussion)

 

Council Coordinator Hui reported on the status of the 46 Stillings Avenue landmark tree nomination and new landmark tree nomination to be heard at the Landmark Tree Committee; landmark tree tour that was held on August 14 and plans for a self-guided tour; Annual Report Survey schedule; funding for the completion of the Urban Forest Plan; Environment Now funding and programming for urban forestry work; seeking a new intern; appointment of Ms. Melanie Nutter as the new Director of the Department of the Environment; new Planning Department draft of the Affidavit for Tree Disclosure (see Explanatory Document).  Council members discussed the status of the vacant seat on the Council and interest in the seat by the Director of Friends of the Urban Forest.  Member Hillson commended Member Rodgers for her work on the Affidavit for Tree Disclosure.  (See Staff Report for additional information.)

 

9.      Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 16, 2010, 4:15 p.m. at City Hall, Room 421. Vice-Chair Buck reported that the Planning and Funding Committee would hold a discussion on formulating alternative Committee meeting dates and times and asked Council Members to forward their ideas to Committee Chair Buck, Council Coordinator Hui or Council Secretary Fish for inclusion in the explanatory documents.  The Committee would also be discussing next steps for focusing on plans for this year. 

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee Report.  Committee Chair Hillan issued no report at this time.  He stated that he is happy to report that the Committee would be reviewing a tree at the next meeting.  

14.  Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion).There were no Chair’s announcements heard at this time.

 

15.  New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion) 

 

Member Sherk suggested that the Council immediately pursue grant funding through the State Department of Forestry and cited the September 30 deadline.  She stated that educating the public about urban forestry is one of the Council’s goals and is in line with the grants being offered.  Council Coordinator Hui stated that her existing work plan does not allow time for her to write a grant and requested individual Council Member’s assistance if they are interested in applying.

 

Public Comment:  Mr. Scheid stated that the grant can be accessed on the www.ufei.org website.  He reported that the State Department of Forestry has changed the matching requirements to a 75 – 25 split with the state providing 75% of the grant funding. 

 

Member Cohen discussed the inaccuracy of information being given by the 311 Call Center and most recently the Department of Public Works in response to a report she issued.  Council Members discussed reasons and possible solutions for improvement of the system.  Member Hillson submitted Mr. Jim Clark’s responses to her questions on the Tree Management Plan (see Explanatory Document—Tree Management Plan Responses).  Member Sherk reported on concerns she has heard about the Recreation and Park Department cutting down a large number of trees for development of community gardens at Geneva and San Jose Avenue and asked if there was anything the Council could do. Member Hillan suggested that specific information be brought to the Council as an agenda item for discussion and possible action.  Member Cohen discussed the recent shift in the Bay Area to food gardens and permaculture at the expense of trees.        

 

16.  Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

 

17.  Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

 

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at Monica.Fish@Sfgov.org.  Explanatory documents are also available at the Council’s meeting or agenda website https://sites.google.com/a/sfenvironment.org/commission/urban-forestry-council/2010-meetings as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.

 

Urban Forestry Council

San Francisco Department of the Environment

City and County of San Francisco

11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

 

Respectfully submitted by

Monica Fish, Council Secretary

 

Approved:  September 24, 2010

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