06.18 Approved Minutes

City and County of San Francisco

DEpartment of the ENvironment

URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL 
PLANNING & FUNDING COMMITTEE
 
REGULAR MEETING

APPROVED MINUTES

 

Thursday, June 18, 2009, 4:15 p.m.

City Hall, Room 421, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

San Francisco, CA 94102

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Carla Short (Chair), Naomi LeBeau, Terry Milne, AnMarie Rodgers, Bonnie Ora Sherk

 

Order of Business

 


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Planning and Funding Committee meeting convened at 4:32 p.m. Present:  Chair Short, Members Milne and Sherk; Excused:  Member LeBeau; Absent:  Member Rodgers.

 

2.      Approval of Minutes of the May 21, 2009 Urban Forestry Council Planning and Funding Committee Regular Meeting. (Discussion and Action) Upon Motion by Member Milne and second by Member Sherk, the May 21, 2009 Meeting Minutes were approved with an amendment to Item 7, 2nd paragraph, last sentence to change “and no Planning and Funding and Landmark Tree Committee meetings to “no staffing for Planning and Funding and Landmark Tree Committee meetings.” (AYES: Chair Short, Members Milne and Sherk; Absent: Members LeBeau and Rodgers) (Explanatory Document: May 21, 2009 Approved Minutes) 

 

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

 

Mr. Doug Wildman, Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), recommendations comments on the Urban Forestry Council and Planning and Funding Committee’s discussions on programs for establishing a citywide tree pruning and maintenance company list that included improving public awareness and encouraging pruning standards through education (e.g. offering a once a month informational session to people that prune trees) and posting notices on trees that have been issued pruning violations by the Department of Public Works.  Council Member Milne reported that various possibilities had previously been discussed with the Council and Deputy City Attorney, e.g., licensing, certification, putting notices on trees that have had pruning violations, and establishing a voluntary compliance list with City pruning standards.  It was explained that the City Attorney’s office felt that there would be liability issues associated with having a voluntary compliance list from companies that would be taken off the list.  Chair Short explained that a permitting process was discussed as a possibility, but would require a full-time staff person, which the current budget situation would not provide for.  Mr. Wildman asked that the Council discuss additional solutions to this issue. Chair Short recommended advocating for additional staffing to provide better enforcement of pruning violations. Member Sherk recommended a multimedia campaign to provide public education on pruning standards.

 

Council Coordinator Hui reported on the campaign in New York where art students would be posting signs to highlight urban forestry, and those signs would later be made into bags that would be


auctioned off and benefit urban forest programs.  It was explained that a similar campaign would be implemented in San Francisco through the Department of the Environment’s Outreach Program, the Mayor’s Office, and with the support of Art Academy students.  .  

 

4.      Review of the Annual Urban Forest Report Survey. The Committee will review and make recommendations to the amended survey and cover letter which is used to gather data for the annual Urban Forest Report. (Continued Discussion from the May 21, 2009 Meeting) (Explanatory Documents: Amended Questionnaire Cover Letter and Amended Questionnaire Template) (Discussion and Possible Action)

 

Committee members provided recommendations for revisions to the survey/cover letter for recommendation to the Urban Forestry Council to approve at their June 23, 2009 meeting.

 

5.  Urban Forestry Council Strategic Planning. The Committee will review the Council's opportunities, constraints, strategies, direction, and assess Council strengths/weaknesses. Committee will also discuss current resource needs and may make strategic planning suggestions to the full Council. Sponsor: Member Sherk (Explanatory Document:  Council Work Plan) (Discussion and Possible Action)

 

Member Sherk stated that the Council should be clear as to what their role is and should have a higher profile.  Coordinator Hui reported that the Council adopted a Work Plan in March of 2008 (see explanatory document above) that should be reviewed regularly.  Chair Short suggested thinking about what the Council would want to achieve in order to make a difference.  It was explained that the Council is comprised of diverse representatives, the majority of which are voluntary members that may be too busy to commit to additional responsibilities outside of meetings.  Chair Short recommended that the Council could guide or take a lead in providing education and awareness building, but would be limited because it is not a funded body.

 

Member Milne stated that the Council has had significant achievements over the last few years--the most recent was its involvement in the installation of a sidewalk pocket park for a Sunset District school.  Member Milne stated that the stoppage of work on the Urban Forest Master Plan due to budget constraints is a significant loss, but there is nothing the Council can do about it. Coordinator Hui reported that the Planning Department allocated $200,000 to work on the report, spent about $40,000 or $60,000, and an additional $120,000 or $140,000 would have to be raised to complete the report.  Member Milne explained that the final report was being worked on by the Planning Department so that it could be placed in the General Plan.  Chair Short explained that there is a perception that if the Plan were not incorporated into the City’s General Plan, that it would not be widely used.  Coordinator Hui reported on the Department of the Environment’s discussions held with Mr. Andres Power of the Planning Department to discuss when and if the Plan would be funded again, and it was felt that the Plan could move forward again once funding became available.  It was also reported that the Commission on the Environment would be discussing strategies to move the Plan forward at their July 13 Policy Committee meeting. 

 

Member Sherk recommended that there be representation from the Council on the Recreation and Open Space Plan Committees.  Chair Short stated that the Work Plan includes priority items such as reviewing City project plans and requesting that presentations be provided to the Council so the Council can provide feedback. Coordinator Hui reported on the resistance from the Planning Department to make presentations because they state that they have to follow their guidelines.  A discussion was held on the need for the Urban Forestry Council to inform those guidelines.

 

Member Sherk suggested that the Council in partnership with the Living Library be involved in providing school and community education and outreach relating to urban forestry, e.g. tree and understory planting, pruning guidelines, stewardship workshops, understanding species and habitat, ecological placement, etc. Coordinator Hui reported that annual pruning workshops are being held, and that she is currently working with the Library on the “Green Stacks” program on a program called “Lawn Goodbye.”  It was explained that there is an opportunity to work with the library to host a specific lecture series to address topics that Member Sherk is referring to.  Member Sherk stated that the Council should strategize with the resources that they have.    Chair Short recommended that the Council identify a specific idea or activity to work on, then discuss resources and put together an action plan. 

 

Member Sherk recommended creating a special education committee/workgroup to brainstorm strategies and asked that this item be added to the Council’s agenda for discussion at the July meeting.  Member Sherk inquired whether the Planning and Funding Committee has identified any solutions to funding in the past. Member Milne reported that there has been frustration about securing funding as most outreach efforts for grants, etc. are not for administration of programs.  It was recommended that funding be requested for a specific activity that would include administration of the program.  Member Sherk discussed the success of other groups in achieving their goals.  Member Milne discussed roadblocks that the Council has had to face to reach goals that other organizations that are not affiliated with the City do not have. 

 

Coordinator Hui recommended scheduling a Council retreat to discuss this issue and would report back on the process for doing so.  Chair Short recommended that the Committee present to the Council the idea of starting an education working group, doing a strategic planning exercise and request feedback on how that should happen, whether it is through a retreat or other means.

 

Chair Short left at this time.  Item 6 was not heard due to a loss of quorum.

 

6.      New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion). This item was not heard at this time.

 

7.      Public Comment:  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.

 

8.      Adjournment. The Planning and Funding Committee meeting adjourned at 5:42 p.m.

 

 

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: August 20, 2009 

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