LIBRARY PRESERVATION FUND

PROPOSED CHARTER AMENDMENT

(November 2007 Ballot)

 

 

(a)  Establishment of Fund.  There is hereby established the Library Preservation Fund to be administered by the Library Department as directed by the Library Commission.  Monies therein shall be expended or used solely by the Library Department, subject to the budgetary and fiscal provisions of the Charter, to provide library services and to construct, maintain and operate library facilities.

 

(b)  Annual Set-Aside.  The City will continue to set aside from the annual tax levy, for a period of fifteen years starting with the fiscal year 2008-2009 an amount equivalent to an annual tax of two and one-half cents ($0.025) for each one hundred dollars ($100) assessed valuation ("Annual Set-Aside").

 

The Controller shall set aside and maintain such an amount, together with any interest earned thereon, in the Fund, and any amount set aside in the Fund that is unspent or uncommitted at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward to the next fiscal year and, subject to the budgetary and fiscal limitations of this Charter, shall be appropriated then or thereafter for the purposes specified in this Section.

 

Revenues obtained from the Annual Set-Aside shall be in addition to, and not in place of, any General Fund monies appropriated to the Library pursuant to subsection (c) and, together with interest, shall be deposited into the Library Preservation Fund.   Monies appropriated to the Library pursuant to subsection (c) may be deposited in the Library Preservation Fund, but shall be maintained separate and apart from revenue obtained from the Annual Set-Aside.

 

(c)  Annual City Appropriation - Maintenance of Effort.  The Annual Set-Aside shall be used exclusively to increase the aggregate City appropriations and expenditures for services, materials, facilities and equipment that will be operated by the Library for Library purposes.  To this end, the City shall not reduce the amount of City appropriations for the Library Department (not including appropriations from the Library Preservation Fund) in any of the fifteen years during which funds are required to be set aside under this Charter provision below the amount so appropriated, including all supplemental appropriations, for the fiscal year 1992-1993, adjusted as provided below.

 

The base amount shall be adjusted for each fiscal year based on calculations consistent from year-to-year, by the percentage increase or decrease in aggregate City appropriations for all purposes from the base year as estimated by the Controller. Errors in the Controller's estimate of appropriations for a fiscal year shall be corrected by adjustment in the next year's estimate. For purposes of this subsection, (i) aggregate City appropriations shall not include funds granted to the City by private agencies or appropriated by other public agencies and received by the City, and (ii) Library Department appropriations shall not include funds appropriated to the Library Department to pay for services of other City departments or agencies, except for departments or agencies for whose specific services the Library Department was appropriated funds in fiscal year 1993-1994.  Within 90 days following the end of each fiscal year through fiscal year 2023-2024, the Controller shall calculate and publish the actual amount of City appropriations for the Library Department.

 

All eligible Library expenditures for a fiscal year shall be deducted first from the annual City appropriation as calculated above before eligible expenditures are deducted from the annual set-aside appropriation or from the carried forward balance of the Library Preservation Fund.  Adjustments in the Controller's estimate of annual City appropriations for a fiscal year shall be corrected by credits or adjustment to be carried forward and added to the annual City appropriation for next fiscal year and, subject to the budgetary and fiscal limitations of this Charter, shall be appropriated then or thereafter for the purposes specified in this Section.

 

(d)  Debt Authority.  Notwithstanding the limitations set forth in Sections 9.107, 9.108, and 9.109 of this Charter, the Library Commission may request, and upon recommendation of the Mayor the Board of Supervisors may authorize, the issuance of revenue bonds or other evidences of indebtedness or the incurrence of lease financing or other obligations (the "Debt Obligations"), the proceeds of which are to be used for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and/or improvement of real property and/or facilities that will be operated by the Library for Library purposes and for the purchase of equipment relating to such real property and/or facilities.  Such Debt Obligations shall be secured by and/or repaid from any available funds pledged or appropriated by the Board of Supervisors for such purpose, which amount may include funds in the Library Preservation Fund allocated under subsection (e)(3) below.

 

(e)  Spending Priorities.  The Annual Set-Aside and monies carried over from prior fiscal years in the Library Preservation Fund shall be expended in accordance with the following priorities:

 

  1. Such allocations as are necessary for the Library Department to operate the Main Library, which includes a library for the blind, no fewer than 27 neighborhood branch libraries, and an auxiliary technical services facility, with 1211 permanent service hours per week system wide and the permanent service hours at each neighborhood branch library as set by the Library Commission as of November 6, 2007, which may be modified only as provided by subsection (f).

 

  1. Such allocations as are necessary to provide for library services and collections in all formats in order to meet the current and changing needs of San Francisco communities, as the Library Commission in its sole discretion shall approve.

 

  1. Notwithstanding the priorities set forth in this subsection, the Annual Set-Aside shall be used each fiscal year to pay debt service relating to Debt Obligations issued or incurred by the City under subsection (d) above, but only to the extent that such debt service is payable in any fiscal year in connection with such Debt Obligations.  Amounts on deposit in the Annual Set-Aside in excess of such annual debt service shall be used according to the other priorities of this subsection.

 

  1. To the extent there are unexpended funds remaining in the Library Preservation Fund after the requirements of paragraphs 1 through 3 have been satisfied, such funds may be used for any lawful purpose of the Library Department.

 

(f)  Library Service Hours.  Except as provided below in paragraphs 3 and 4, the Library Commission shall maintain at least 1211 permanent service hours per week system wide and the permanent hours at any neighborhood branch Library until July 1, 2013.  As of that date, the Library Commission may modify permanent service hours per week system wide and at specific neighborhood branch libraries for succeeding five-year intervals, or at shorter intervals as the Commission may adopt, and in accordance with the following procedures:

 

1.      No later than March 1, 2013, and for each service hour interval thereafter, the Library Commission shall establish a community input process, which may include an informal survey of library users and meetings with the Library Citizens Advisory Committee, Council of Neighborhood Libraries and neighborhood groups, through which citizens of the City and County of San Francisco may provide assistance to the Library Commission as it develops criteria to set system wide and branch service hours for the upcoming interval.  Prior to setting service hours for the next interval, the Library Department shall conduct at least one hearing in each supervisorial district to receive and consider the public's comments about existing and potential Library service hours.  The Library Commission shall ensure that at least six of these hearings, distributed geographically throughout the City, are held in the evenings or on weekends for the public's convenience.

 

2.      Following the hearings in Paragraph 1, and based on the public input, a comprehensive assessment of needs, and the anticipated adequacy of library resources, the Library Commission may, as of July 1, 2013, modify the system wide and individual neighborhood branch service hours for the next five-year interval or such shorter interval as the Library Commission may adopt.  The Library Commission shall repeat this public process and set service hours at least once every five years for the duration of the Library Preservation Fund.

 

3.      The service hours requirement set in subsection (e)(1) and any modifications thereto made pursuant to this subsection shall be temporarily reduced by the normal operating hours for any neighborhood branch temporarily closed for construction, renovation or maintenance purposes.  In such cases, the Library Department shall add temporary services elsewhere by adding temporary hours at nearby branches, providing bookmobile services, securing programming partners in the affected neighborhoods, or similar means.

 

4.      If library services at any branch or system wide are interrupted due to fire, earthquake or other emergency, the Library Department shall be relieved of these service hour requirements, provided that the Library Department shall provide service hours consistent with such exigent circumstances.

 

(g)  Unspent Funds.  All unspent funds in the Library Preservation Fund on November 6, 2007 shall continue to be held for the use and benefit of the Library Department. These monies shall be expended to construct, maintain and operate library facilities as provided herein.