Minutes of the Regular Meeting of January 21, 2010


(As approved at the regular meeting of February 18, 2010)


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2010, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


The meeting was called to order at 4:39 pm.


Commissioners present: Del Portillo, Lee, Kane, and Munson


Commissioners excused:  Gomez and Ono




An anonymous citizen said there is no election of officers on the agenda.  He said it appears the Commission does not want to either ratify the actions of the president or give her a no confidence vote.  He said those who give money to the Friends donít have to care what the rules are.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force sent a letter to the Ethics Commission with regard to a violation of the Commission for willful failure to allow public comment.  He said there seems to be a date certain for the unnecessary closure of the Park Branch.  He said the library refuses to pay for temporary services during the closure.




Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said the Quarterly report is available in the back of the room.  She said the current budget report is also available in the back and it shows the changes approved by the Commission as of 11/19/09.  She said the approved budget is $187,166,352. She said the schedule report has been distributed to the Commissioners and is available in the back of the room.  She gave the status of the program and said that 7 property acquisitions are complete including Bayview.  She said the support services facility is in operation; 12 branches are complete and open; 8 branches are in construction; 3 branches are in bid and award and 1 branch is in design. She said Bernal Heights is scheduled to open on January 30, 2010 and the Potrero Branch is schedule to open early March.  She showed photographs and gave reports on projects in construction including: Bernal Heights, Potrero; Parkside; Visitacion Valley; Ortega; Anza and Merced.  She said the Notice to Proceed for Golden Gate Valley was issued on January 19, 2010.  She said projects in bid and award are Presidio, Park and Bayview.  She said North Beach is the only project left in the design stage.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) has been delayed for the North Beach Branch Library.  He said the Planning Department estimates that the draft EIR will be available in April with a certification of the report due in October.  He said that is a delay of approximately one year in our schedule.  He said the reasons given have been due to the complexity of the project, the transportation study, and going before the Historic Preservation Commission.


Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, gave a summary of public outreach for the program.   She said they have received an award from the American Public Works Association Project of the Year for Historical Restoration/Preservation for the Richmond Branch Library.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said this is the landmark month when the BLIP program was to be completely finished according to the original schedule.  He said the Capital Planning Committee and the Board of Supervisors approved a supplemental appropriation of $1.7 million from the operating funds.  He said the Commission was to be asked to make a $5.1 million transfer from the bond program.  He asked if the Library Commission is really in control of anything.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said from the pictures it looks like the Bernal Heights branch has some nice restoration to the building.  He said he is disappointed that the report did not go into detail about the Historic Preservation Commissionís recommendations.  He said there are millions of dollars added to a whole range of projects but the Library does not have funds for library services while the Park Branch is closed.   


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Lee asked about the bids for the Park Branch.


Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager said there were 9 bids received for the Park Branch and 5 have been disqualified.  She said a lot of these bidders have had no experience with city contracting procedures.  She said some of the bid documents were insufficient and some of the bidders were not qualified.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors appropriated $1.7 million of which $1.6 million is from general obligation bond interest that goes to the BLIP project.  He said most of that will be earmarked for the Bayview project.  He said that issue will be going to the Library Commission at the next meeting. 


Commissioner Kane asked about the status of the Bernal Mural and the Bayview Sculpture.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said a mediator has been identified to work with the community on the Bernal Mural issue.  He said the library will be opening with no exterior work being done.  He said if there is no resolution through the mediator it would come back to the Library Commission.  He said the Arts Commission has sent out the legal notice to the artist about the de-accessioning of the art work at Bayview.


Commissioner Kane asked about delays in projects other than Park and North Beach.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said that both Park and Presidio have had bid protests so schedule changes will be brought back to the Commission at the next meeting.  She said the delay in the bid process has not impacted the budget for Presidio.  She said during the review of the Park Branch it was discovered that the scope of the work needed to be upgraded to include the heating and ventilation systems as well as the elevator.


Commissioner Del Portillo said she assumes there have not been any complaints about opening the Bernal Heights library without a resolution to the mural issue.  She said she hopes the Friends are continuing to raise money for the furniture, fixtures and equipment.


Luis Herrera said the community has made it clear that they want the library to open on schedule. He said the money raised has met if not exceeded the goals for the furniture, fixtures and equipment.


Commissioner Del Portillo asked if there is any help for first time bidders from the City.


Luis Herrera said DPW has done a really good job of providing outreach.  He said they will have a representative from DPW come to the Commission and talk about the outreach efforts.


Mindy Linetzky, Bond Program Administrator, said the Human Relations Commission does have a branch office in the Bayview community.  She said there are two sets of plans and bid documents at the branch library.  She said there are also a number of agencies that have been outreaching to community members.  She said there were well over 100 contractors at a pre-bid conference recently.




Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said the minutes that were on the agenda from the December 3 meeting were from the October 15 meeting.  He said the Commission approved the October 15 minutes and they are still not on the website. He said the Sunshine Ordinance requires that approved minutes be posted on the website within 48 hours.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said he would like to see the Commission be more willing to provide the corrections and changes that are requested by the public to the minutes.  He said his comments on page one were reflected accurately but that they have not been reflected accurately in the past.


Commission Discussion


Sue Blackman, Library Commission Secretary, said the Minutes from the October 15 meeting have been corrected and approved and will be posted on the website.


Motion:  By Commissioner Lee, seconded by Commissioner Del Portillo to approve the minutes of December 3, 2009


Action:  AYES 4-0: (Del Portillo, Kane, Lee, and Munson).




Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


Motion:  By Commissioner Del Portillo, seconded by Commissioner Lee to adjourn the regular meeting of January 7, 2010. 


Action:  AYES 4-0: (Del Portillo, Kane, Lee and Munson).


The meeting adjourned at 5:26 pm.


Sue Blackman

Commission Secretary


Explanatory documents:  Copies of listed explanatory documents are available as follows:  (1) from the commission secretary/custodian of records, 6th floor, Main Library; (2) in the rear of Koret Auditorium immediately prior to, and during, the meeting; and (3), to the extent possible, on the Public Libraryís website  Additional materials not listed as explanatory documents on this agenda, if any, that are distributed to library commissioners prior to or during the meeting in connection with any agenda item will be available to the public for inspection and copying in accordance with Government Code Section 54954.1 and Sunshine Ordinance Sections 67.9, 67.28(b), and 67.28(d).

These summary statements are provided by the speaker:  Their contents are neither generated by, nor subject to approval or verification of accuracy by, the San Francisco Public Library Commission.

Library Commission Meeting of January 21, 2010. 


Item 1: General Public Comment


Anonymous Citizen:  There is still no election of officers.  You donít want to either ratify the actions of your president, or give her a no confidence vote.  You also donít want to do anything you have been reminded of by the anonymous citizen.


This is a relatively small violation, but it speaks volumes for the way the Library Commission operates.  It says those who give money to the Friends & Foundation donít have to care what the rules are.


That is why it should be illegal to give money.  If you donít follow the rules we live under, the rules become a tool of abuse against those who donít give money.


We are all supposed to live under the same rules Ė that is why it is called ďfairness.Ē


This is essentially anti-democratic and that is why our society is so aware of those who purchase favoritism and distort public policy with money. 



Item 2: Bond Program Managerís Report


Anonymous Citizen: Stop the hate, stop the ignorance Ė donít give money to the Friends & Foundation.


I wonder how much you would hear if there were not public comment.  This is the landmark month that the Branch Library Improvement Program was to be completely finished according to the commitment that was made to the voters when the $105.9 Million bond was approved.


You have not heard that the Capital Planning Committee and the Board of Supervisors approved a supplemental appropriation of $1.7 million from operating funds.  The memorandum by the City Librarian to the committee was dated the day before your last meeting and it said that you would be asked to approve a $5.1 Million transfer.


There are many issues, including to what extent the Library Commission is in control.  Also, if we are going to take $1.7 Million out of the operating funds why did we need the revenue bonds?




Item 3: Approval of the Minutes (December 3, 2009)


Anonymous Citizen: Stop the hate, stop the ignorance Ė donít give money to the Friends & Foundation.


This is a situation where the comments of a library commissioner endorse a point that I have made and then the subsequent actions reinforce the point in a cumulative way. Commissioner Del Portillo said that if you keep faith with peopleís corrections to the minutes that stands as the historical record of the correction.


The Sunshine Ordinance requires that approved minutes be posted on the website within 48 hours.  The October 15 minutes approved at this meeting are still not posted.  The correction requested by Mr. Munson is not made and the citizen summaries submitted by me are not included.  If Ms. Blackman really did not receive my summaries she could have asked me to send them again.


Yet even now Ms. Del Portilloís suggestion was not taken because these minutes do not reflect the discussion that took place at this meeting.