Minutes of the Regular Meeting of February 18, 2010


(Approved as amended at the April 1, 2010 Library Commission meeting)


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, February 18, 2010, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


The meeting was called to order at 4:41 pm.


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


Commissioner excused:  Ono


President Gomez announced that due to the number of people who wanted to speak on Agenda Item No. 2 it will be heard prior to public comment.




Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said this item is for the Commission to consider an alternative bid process for the Bayview Branch Library.  He said in December 2009, the library went out for bid for the project.  He said there was a considerable amount of outreach done for the process. 

He said on January 13, 2010, there was additional outreach on the bid process.  He said on January 14 over 90 contractors attended a pre-bid meeting.  He said both meetings were very intense and considerable frustration was expressed that not enough local Bayview people would be working on the project.  He said due to the concerns expressed by the community the Department of Public Works (DPW) on behalf of the Library cancelled the bid process on February 2 before the February 17 deadline.  He said the Library, DPW and the Human Relations Commission are recommending that the Commission take action and that the City move forward with the project with an alternative contracting approach.  He said the approach is an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which is a method to procure construction services whereby a Construction Manager/General Contractor (“CM/GC”) is retained.  He said it is a three step approach and is outlined in the memo to the Commission dated February 12, 2010.  He said the ordinance requires the Commission to take action.


Theresa Sparks, Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), thanked the City Librarian for his participation in this process.  She gave a presentation including background on the Bayview Hunters Point area.  She said the Mayor has made the statement that the City must demonstrate an “unwavering commitment to substantive and measurable improvements in areas where poverty seems most intractable.”  She gave the background of the Bayview Library project and said the dire economic and social conditions facing the Bayview neighborhood demand a non-traditional bidding solution for the Library project.    She explained the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and said IPD provides the flexibility needed to successfully complete projects while simultaneously maximizing local contracting, employment, and training opportunities.  She said the traditional bidding processes are time proven but they tend to lack the flexibility that City leaders desire.


Edgar Lopez, Department of Public Works, said the IPD is a method that they believe will have the desired effect of increasing local hiring participation.  He said this is an approved method of the City and it is intended to hire a General Contractor to work in the capacity of the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC).  He said it is a three step process where we issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), review those qualifications and make sure they have the experience and bonding capacity, and once they are prequalified they can then bid on the project.  He said there are many benefits to this process.  He said they are in the process of submitting legislation to the Board of Supervisors to modify the CMGC.


Luis Herrera said that Rhonda Simmons, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, is in attendance.  He said Guillermo Rodriguez, the Director of CityBuild under the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, is also in attendance.


Rhonda Simmons said there has been a partnership with the Library for the last few years.  She said they have been successful in a lot of projects and there have been some struggles.  She said they do a lot of work in the Bayview area.


Guillermo Rodriguez said CityBuild administers the City’s workforce hiring requirement working with DPW.  He said CityBuild works to make sure that San Francisco residents are in the pipeline through training programs.  He said they work with a project sponsor along with HRC on the contracts trying to identify the opportunities for residents in the area.  He said they act as an intermediary between the contractor and the community. 


Luis Herrera said the Library, DPW and the HRC staff are recommending that the Library Commission take action to approve the solicitation of the  (IPD) proposals for the construction of the Bayview Branch Library.  He said if the Library Commission chooses not to approve the IPD approach then DPW will re-advertise the project using the traditional low bid process.  He said the City is exploring additional legislation to revise the current ordinance on the IPD.  He said there is a resolution before the Commission in conjunction with these recommendations.


Public Comment


Walter Johnson, 20 year resident of Bayview Hunters Point, said he is excited about the library being open and said he is in favor of the resolution so that issues of employment for residents of the Bayview can be considered.  He said hopefully this can be worked out.


Charles Walker said this is a black versus white situation.  He said there are no black contractors working in this city on this day.  He said the HRC or CityBuild are not helping black people.  He said they have come to the conclusion that if black contractors aren’t working in the Bayview then no one will be working there.  He said the Black Builders Association should have a right to say who is working in their community.


Ms. Jackson said she has been a resident of Bayview Hunters Point since 1948.  She said she hopes the Commission will pass the resolution before them.  She said it is very important.  She said she has been hearing the term “best effort”.  She said she has been hearing that term since 1968. She said she was going to be the watchdog on this project to make sure the people in Bayview/Hunters Point are working on this job.


Karen Payson, the local architect for the Bayview Branch, said her office is doing the construction administration as well as the interior design.  She said her office is very excited about the CM/GC approach.  She said the firm that will be acting as construction manager will be empowered to do pre-construction services.  She said ultimately it is a cost effective way of doing work. 


An anonymous citizen said he was at the Board of Supervisors meeting on February 9 when Supervisor Maxwell had some comments to make about this process and she said she would be monitoring the process.  He said he wonders what the Bayview residents will think when they find out they do not have the correct unemployment figures.


Michael Baines, with the Baines Group, General Contractor, said over the last 15 years he has worked on many projects in San Francisco.  He said design build is not uncommon in major cities.  He said this is the best value.  He said this delivery process will find ways for value engineering and to lower the price.


Fred Jordan, President San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, said congratulations for doing something innovative.  He said in 1996 Proposition 209 wiped out 80% of all the black contractors in the State of California.  He said outmigration is simply a matter of discrimination - no jobs - no contracts.   He said you need to do what you have never done. 


Lydia Vincent said she has been a part of the planning process since the beginning of this project and she is grateful to the staff and the architects for listening to the community throughout the entire process.  She said this can be a watershed moment and make some real change.


Mr. Veigh, Bay Area Black Builders Association, said Oakland has local hiring ordinances and not one contractor is in compliance.  He said he wondered how many black people have done work on the library projects so far.  He said the only two people who have been paid for any work on this project are two white people.  He said outreach does not work.  He said they have met with over 23 black contractors in the area and he wants to know what will be done to make sure that the black residents in that community are working. 


A speaker said he was working with the Bay Area Black Builders Association and this is a step in the right direction.  He said once the General Contractor is brought on it is not clear how that will proceed, if the subcontractors have not met the requirements.  He said he doesn’t know the requirements for local hiring.


Willie Radcliff said he publishes the San Francisco Bayview newspaper and has been contracting for 42 years.  He said things can be done to include the community.  He said the community needs the help of the Library Commission, the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to make this happen.


Joseph Debro, President Bay Area Black Builders Association, said he is also President of Transbay Engineering and has been in the construction business for 40 years.  He said his company does not work in this country anymore because it is easier working other places.  He said cities like San Francisco have programs but they don’t deliver.  He said he is pleased the Commission is considering a step in the right direction and he is hoping we will find a way to make this work.


Donna Bero, Friends of the Library, said the Friends are always involved with the community piece of the BLIP program.  She said she knows the Commission is also thinking about the budget but the Commission has always listened to the community and she hopes they will approve this action.


Kelly Woods said he is a general contractor in San Francisco.  He said why not take an organization like CityBuild and funnel some jobs into the early stages of construction projects. 


Rita Collins said she is a long time resident of Bayview Hunters Point.  She said she has been part of the process of the building and design of this library.  She said she agrees that the community has been part of the process but it would be beneficial to have more community members actually working on the project. 


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said there seems to be an effort from the Commission to listen to the community.  He said there are larger issues that deserve the Commission’s serious consideration and time.  He said he wonders if the monitoring of the process will occur.  He said he hopes there is strong attention paid to the people in the community.


Commission Discussion 


Commissioner Del Portillo said she heard 10 or 12 issues raised at the meeting and she wanted to clarify the role of the Library Commission.  She said the resolution before the Commission is probably the best the Commission can do on this project.  She asked questions about CityBuild.  She asked about the pre-qualification process.


Guillermo Rodriquez, CityBuild, said a number of the participants in the CityBuild program are from the area.  


A representative from the Human Rights Commission said they do provide workshops and training for contractors to help them through the pre-qualification process.


Zulu Jones, Human Rights Commission, said they have put together a pool of bidders qualified to bid on projects.  She said there are certain qualifications they must meet.


Commissioner Lee said this is an old system.  He said CM/GC is nothing new and has been used in redevelopment areas.  He said he wondered if limiting bidders to a certain zip code is legal.


Guillermo Rodriquez said CityBuild does have a proven track record in getting residents of the area to work at projects in the area.  He said CityBuild is an apprenticeship program


Edgar Lopez, DPW, said the Integrated Project Delivery process can direct the contract to negotiate up to 7 ½% on trade contracts.


Commissioner Munson asked about bonding capacity for contractors.


Edgar Lopez explained the bonding process for city projects.


Zulu Jones said that HRC will work with contractors to provide bonding.

She said bonding has always been a barrier and it is subjective, but they work with qualified surety companies to help provide bonding.


Commissioner Kane thanked everyone from the community who attended the meeting.  He said the issues in the Bayview run much deeper than the purview of the Library Commission.  He gave some background on the BLIP program and the delays on the Bayview Branch.  He said the Commission is very concerned about cost overruns.  He said he is concerned about how we got here in the bidding process for this branch.


Edgar Lopez explained the bidding process to this point.  He said the recommended method for bidding will mean an approximately five month delay.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the Library Commission does not have the authority over the suspension of the bidding process but after a discussion he had with DPW and HRC, the decision was made to suspend the bidding process.  He said the Commission’s authority is over whether to go ahead with the alternative bid process.


Commissioner Kane asked for more information about the CM/GC process and asked about the costs of a five to six month delay.  He said he did not know if it would be legal to limit hiring to a specific zip code.


Rhonda Simmons, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, said a work stoppage is possible for this project. She said the conditions in the Bayview dealing with unemployment are real and relevant.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the range of additional cost could be as high as $200,000 based on a five to six month delay.  He said there are no guarantees against work stoppage even if this is approved.  He said any increase in the budget would come from the reserve.


Commissioner Munson said there is a lot of frustration and tension in the community.  He said there could very well be work stoppage on this project.  He said the bid project was stopped before the submittal of bids.


President Gomez said thank you to the members of the public.  She said this is a very important issue.  She said she understands the skepticism.  She said she wants to assure people that this Commission is committed to creating a fair process that is going to involve the community and people getting back to work.  She said this Resolution will create a model project and a way to go forward in this City. 


Motion:  By Commissioner Lee, seconded by Commissioner Munson to approve the solicitation of Integrated Project Delivery proposals for the construction of the New Bayview Branch Library and urging the Board of Supervisors to revise Section 6.68 of the San Francisco Administrative Code


Action:  AYES 4: (Del Portillo, Gomez, Lee, and Munson)

NAYS 1:  (Kane)


The Commission recessed at 6:43 pm and reconvened at 6:51 pm.


President Gomez said that Item No. 4 the Bond Program Manager’s Report will be trailed.




An anonymous citizen said the Bernal Heights Library opening was emblematic and the Commission’s reaction was emblematic of the way this Commission operates to completely deny the truth or recognize the experience of its citizens.  He said there is a wall of lies.  He said the virtue of a democracy is that we live in society where everyone has a vested interest in the success of the democracy.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said the Park Branch is scheduled to close on Saturday February 27.  He said this has been the fifth planned closure date.  He said this renovation features bad renovation plans and an unnecessary closure and not a single penny has been budgeted to provide alternate service while the library is closed.   




Luis Herrera, City Librarian, gave a presentation on the FY 2010-11 Library Budget.  He explained the projected budget timeline and said the Commission is being asked for its approval at this meeting.


John Doidge, Chief Financial Officer, gave the FY 10-11 Comparison, per Controller’s six month projection.  He said the Controller’s Office continues to make minor changes to the budget.  He said the FY 11 gap in expenditures to revenue will be approximately $4.9 million.  He explained the revenues by sources for a total revenue of $75,732,000.  He said the proposed FY11 expenses are $80,625,000.


Luis Herrera said the budget priorities the Commission has endorsed include maintaining public service hours, maintaining collections, targeted technologies, facilities, public safety and workforce development.  He said the budget strategy will be to reduce staffing by $2.7 million.  He explained the long term labor trend. 


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said they are recommending reducing the collections budget to the FY 08 level or by $1.6 million.  She said there are eight opening day collections at approximately $228,500 per branch or $1.8 Million for FY 11.  She said there will be a reduction in bindery costs for periodicals.  She said the regular collection budget will be $7.2 Million which is comparable with other large public library systems.  She explained the budget strategy for the reductions.  She said the reduction to the facilities budget for non-personnel is $383,548.  She said the reduction to public technology non-personnel is $308,589.  She said the impact to children’s and teen program non-personnel is $196,000.  She said the impact to public safety non-personnel will be $25,000.


John Doidge, Chief Financial Officer, showed a slide showing how the library intends to balance the budget and said the remaining reserve will be $8,406,495.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the next steps are to continue to monitor baseline revenues and expense assumptions, monitor ongoing Mayor’s discussions on labor concessions and proposed 37.5 hour positions, monitor potential increases on department work orders and continue exploration of expenditure reductions and request budget approval by the Commission at this meeting.     


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said at the last meeting the City Librarian said we were doing fine compared to other cities on our book budget. He said when you compare San Francisco’s materials expenditures with cities of comparable size, SFPL is 38th out of 51 overall, or the bottom quarter percentile.    He said in holdings per capita the average is 3.2 volumes per citizen and San Francisco is 2.69 volumes per citizen.  He said SFPL is 39th of 51 in registered borrowers per capita.


Cathy Bremer, SEIU, said the staff at the Library appreciates the Library’s efforts to making sure that people aren’t laid off.  She said staff does request that more of the cuts come from the materials budget.  She said after all of the branches are open full staff will be needed.


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said it is painful to have any cuts in staff or collections.  He asked about the Commission’s priorities and said a great deal could be done by the Commission to review where the staffing is placed and to put a priority on public service staffing.  He said he has heard maintaining hours of operation is a priority while the Park Branch is closed for renovation, library services will be provided by a bookmobile open only 7.5 hours per week.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Kane asked the representative from the Mayor’s Office about revenues for next year.


Manish Goyal, Mayor’s Office of Public Policy and Finance, said there is no certainty about revenues for next fiscal year. 


John Doidge, Chief Financial Officer, said property tax appeals before the city will affect the revenues for property tax, but his understanding is projections will probably stay the same.


Commissioner Kane said the budget shortfall at this meeting is less than previously reported.


Luis Herrera said the Library is very concerned about short term and long term implications in terms of the revenue stream.  He said they are relying on the Controller’s Office for this information.


Commissioner Munson said it is likely there will be additional requests for reductions.


John Doidge explained the attrition savings factor.


Commissioner Del Portillo asked about the SAT preparation materials and programs and hoped this was not going to be cut.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said the SAT programs will not be cut.


President Gomez asked if there are any reductions that can offset the staffing issues. 


Luis Herrera said staffing is the area we need to focus on because that is our largest expense.  He said it is the Commission’s call on the budget impacts.


President Gomez asked about the impacts of other city departments charging the library for services.


Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Del Portillo to approve the Fiscal Year 10-11 budget as presented. 


Action:  AYES 5-0: (Del Portillo, Gomez, Kane, Lee, and Munson).




Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said there are a number of items in the minutes that are complete distortions.  He said under public comment the point he was making was that money distorts public policy.  He said Mr. Warfield’s comments were made to develop a theme that was the Commission’s irresponsible silence with respect to a series of Sunshine Ordinance violations.      


Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said he has indeed talked about the Commission’s silence on a whole range of illegal actions by the Commission and the Library.  He said the Commission’s silence is a serious issue and the absence of discussion of this in the minutes is very sad and unfortunate.


Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Lee to approve the minutes of January 21, 2010


Action:  AYES 5-0: (Del Portillo, Gomez, Kane, Lee, and Munson).




Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


Motion:  By Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Del Portillo to adjourn the regular meeting of February 18, 2010. 


Action:  AYES 5-0: (Del Portillo, Gomez, Kane, Lee and Munson).


The meeting adjourned at 7:51 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 Library’s 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 February 18, 2010.


Item 1: General Public Comment


Anonymous Citizen: Stop the Corporate Rape of the Public Library – Don’t give or accept money from the Friends & Foundation.


The fifth Anniversary of Luis Herrera’s appointment as City Librarian was Monday.  I was not invited to the party.


The Bernal Heights Library opening was emblematic and this Commission’s denial of the truth was equally emblematic.


Commissioner Kane suggested that public testimony is an important part of democracy, but a wall of lies and denial is what money buys.


You care about sharing your privileges with the similarly privileged.  But your privileges come from representing the ordinary citizens.


You assume that all the decent people went to the donor party the week before, but you really don’t want to live in a society like that.


The power of democracy is supposed to be that all citizens share in the benefits of society, with a forum for complaints.  But barriers to protect the “good people” come from money.



Item 2: Bayview Branch Library Project Bid Method Alternative - Integrated Project Delivery


Anonymous Citizen: Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – don’t give money to the Friends & Foundation.


Wouldn’t it be nice if the citizens had access to the graphics?


At the Supervisors’ meeting of February 9, Sophie Maxwell had some pointed things to say about her observations of the project.  I had the impression that Ms. Maxwell would have her own process.  I am surprised she didn’t have someone from her office here.


I think you made a mistake by delaying public comment.  This is a very narrow issue, and we might have benefitted by hearing the general concerns from the Bay View neighbors, such as the delays to this point, and the purchase of the adjacent property at an inflated price.


I wonder what the citizens from the Bay View think about the discussion from the Human Rights Commission that references employment figures that are 10 years old.  Someone in City government has up-to-date figures.



Item 3: Fiscal Year 2010-11 Budget


Anonymous Citizen: Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – don’t give money to the Friends & Foundation.


Last time the City Librarian used San Francisco’s favorable position with other cities to support cuts to the materials budget.  Commissioner Kane had to pretend it made sense.


Mr. Herrera’s examples were San Marino and Los Angeles.  San Marino has less than 13,000 population and figures from Los Angeles City were used without Los Angeles County.


A comparison to communities of comparable size, i.e., one half to one million, shows that in materials expenditures as a percent of overall expenditures, San Francisco spends 11.6% on materials, the mean is 13.3% and we are 38th out of 51 overall.


In holdings per capita, San Francisco has 2.69 volumes per citizen and the mean is 3.2.


In registered borrowers per capita, San Francisco is 40.9%, the mean is 56.3%, and we are 39th of 51.


So, the justification to sacrifice the book budget is a canard.



Item 5: Approval of the Minutes (January 21, 2010)


Anonymous Citizen:  Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – don’t give money to the Friends & Foundation. 


There are complete distortions of what was being said. 


Under general public comment the anonymous citizen was trying to make the point that money distorts public policy and that is not mentioned anywhere.


Mr. Warfield’s comments were meant to develop a theme which was the Commission’s irresponsible silence with respect to a series of Sunshine Ordinance violations.  Only the failure to allow public comment was mentioned and not failure to provide documents, or acknowledge actions of the Historical Preservation Commission.


Regarding approval of the minutes of December 3, my comments noted that I had submitted citizen summaries that had not been included and the Commission Secretary was claiming she had never received them. 


Commissioner Del Portillo pointed out that a detailed summary served as a correction of the historical record and there is not even any reference to Ms. Del Portillo’s point.