(As approved at the regular meeting of May 15, 2008)


Minutes of the Regular Meeting of April 17, 2008


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, April 17, 2008, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


President Gomez called the meeting to order at 4:38 pm.


Commissioners present: Gomez, Harris, Lee, and Munson.


Commissioner Kane arrived at 4:40 pm.


Commissioner Chin arrived at 4:55 pm.


Commissioner Del Portillo was excused.




An anonymous citizen said the Library Administration understands the efficacy of a lie.† He said a lie destroys the middle ground of democratic discussion and disagreement. †He said a lie also tends to disenfranchise. He said once the Commission understands that they will defend the lies, no matter how egregious, the pretense of democracy is over.† He said he discussed with Commissioner Kane 42 US Code Section 1905, which is the only instance in our legal system of a right to a reasonable explanation.† He said the Friends and Foundation are paying their money for things but there are no explanations.† He said apparently money does not need to explain itself.


Christina Karros, on behalf of the Potrero Branch library, said she appreciates being allowed to speak before the item on the Potrero Branch† †is heard.† She said the library is very important to Potrero Hill and she said this renovation needs to move along.† She said she hopes the Commission will approve the project budget for the Potrero Branch Library Renovations.


Sue Cauthen, Chair, Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC) said the LCAC had approved two Resolutions at their last meeting.† She said one is a resolution supporting the Link+ program and she was happy the Library was willing to work with them especially on the issue of the $115 lost book fee.† She said the other resolution is on the Budget Cuts the Mayor has ordered.† She said LCAC is asking that there be no budget cuts for the Library.† She distributed copies of the Resolutions, which are attached to these Minutes.


Donna Bero, Friends of the Library, said a large group went to Sacramento yesterday for Library Legislative Day, a statewide advocacy day.† She thanked Commissioner Harris, City Librarian Luis Herrera and Commission Secretary Sue Blackman for attending.† She said there were a number of community representatives and members of the Friendsí Board of Directors and Friendsí staff on the trip as well.† She said they met with either the legislators or their aides.† She said it is a challenging budget year, but we made an eloquent argument about the value of libraries and also delivered some very good news about what is going on with libraries in San Francisco.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said San Francisco continues to be the largest delegation to Sacramento and Friends are to be commended for organizing the trip.




Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said these minutes represent an attempt to do a little better.† He said under the comments from the anonymous citizen on the first page, he was trying to make four points.† He said at least two of the four points were represented in the minutes.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Munson commended Sue Blackman, Commission Secretary for the job she has done in being responsive to the critiques and the information that is presented at these meetings.† He said her work is more reflective of the activities we are undertaking and gives a little further explanation about comments from the public.† He said it is very helpful.


MOTION: by Commissioner Lee, seconded by Commissioner Munson, to approve the minutes of March 20, 2008.


AYES: 5-0 (Gomez, Harris, Lee, Kane, Munson)

† †



Luis Herrera, City Librarian, referred to his memo to the Commission dated April 14, 2008 and said that they are asking for an increase to the project budget.


Commissioner Chin entered the meeting.


Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, said the Potrero Branch design started in December, 2005 and a Peer Review was held in June, 2006.† She said the project returned to the Commission in both September and December, 2006.† After receiving Library Commission approval the plan was submitted to the Planning Department for a variance.† She said the construction document phase began in early 2007 and the project was advertised for bid in September, 2007.† She said three bids were received on October 31, all of which were substantially over budget.† She said these delays and the project status have been reported to the Commission all along the process.† She said in March, 2007 the budget and the schedule were updated to reflect estimates at that time.†† She explained all of the budget changes to the project.† She said it is estimated between 2004 and 2006 construction prices in the Bay Area rose almost 45%.† She said that was an impact that we were not able to absorb.† She explained the bid analysis and said the three bids received were rejected.† She said the design team met with library staff to identify cost savings and the project was rebid in February.† She said the tabulation of bids is provided as an explanatory document.† She said there were five bidders with the low bid being $3.39 million or $665,250 over budget.† She said the low bid received today is the most competitive actual cost of the project as designed.† She said a decision today would be timely.† She explained the current budget for the project and the recommended action to increase the Potrero budget by $665,250 to $5,155,220 and to reduce the program reserve from $665,250 to $3,075,813.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said he was not quite ready to discuss this item, but he did say there was a peer review on this project a couple of years ago and there were two concerns.† There was an issue related to the roof and the sight lines, the other issue had to do with the space in the front of the building.† He said those two issues have not been addressed.† He asked if this budget increase addresses these concerns.


Chet Roaman on the Council of Neighborhood Libraries and a resident of Potrero Hill said it wasnít until he moved into the area that he realized how much the library serves as the center of the area.† He said the library is very important to the community and the delays have been very difficult.† He said the additional cost is a great deal of money but it isnít that there have been any additional chimes and whistles.† The community just wants a functioning library as soon as possible in the area.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Munson asked about the two concerns that were brought up at the Peer Review.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian said after the Peer Review in 2006, there was a formal process with a variance approved, and we made sure the neighbors were noticed.† He said none of the design has been compromised with some of the efficiencies that were modified.† He said some modifications were made in response to the Peer Review and the community was pleased with the design.† He said this budget change will still allow us to have a healthy reserve for subsequent projects.


Commissioner Kane said when we have delays in projects it really costs us.† He said it bothers him that the estimators are so far off.† He said we need to make sure that we have really good estimates for the rest of the projects so that when we are tapping into the reserve we are not at the same time impacting another branch.†† He said it is really important that the recommendations of the audit are followed and that we have good estimators.† He said when we do these libraries we need to do them right.

He said we need to make sure we stay on top of the budget.


Commissioner Lee thanked Marilyn Thompson for the nice presentation.† He said he agrees with Commissioner Kaneís comments.† He said it is very tough to bid projects with alternates.


Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, explained bid alternates, which are items between the estimated base bid and the actual budget amounts.† She said the final bids did not include any of the budget alternates.†


Commissioner Chin said she wanted to make sure the final design was as presented to the community.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian confirmed that the community had seen the final design.


Commissioner Munson asked about the costs for LEED certification.


Marilyn Thompson responded that this project is not LEED certified.†


MOTION: by Commissioner Lee, seconded by Commissioner Munson, to transfer $665,250 from the Program Reserve to the Potrero Branch Library budget as outlined in the Memo to the Library Commission from City Librarian Luis Herrera.


AYES: 6-0 (Chin, Gomez, Harris, Lee, Kane, Munson)




Marilyn Thompson, Bond Program Manager, said that there were no informational or special reports for this meeting.† ††She said as of 3/20/08 the approved budget was $147,362,986.† She said the revenue sources total $147,362,986.† She listed the appropriations.† She said every change to the baseline budget is included and the last budget was approved on March 20, 2008.† She said the schedule report is a summary level report that is broken down by project in alphabetical order and it is also available at the back of the room.† She said the last time a schedule change was approved was March, 2007.† She said each project has the original schedule, the last approved schedule and the forecasted schedule.† She gave the Active Projects Report including information on new construction and renovations; and the Construction Report.† She showed photographs and gave reports on the Richmond, Portola, Ingleside, Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, Parkside, Visitacion Valley, Anza, Ortega, and Merced projects.† She said other active projects are Bayview, North Beach, Park, Presidio and Golden Gate Valley. †She gave a summary of public outreach including a Bayview community meeting on April 21 and a North Beach community meeting on April 30.†


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said it would be preferable to have documents which are understandable.† He said the schedule report has a change with a new color code for completed projects.† He said that was an improvement but there is no legend to describe the meaning of the colors.† He said the tentative schedule and projected schedule dates are confusing.†


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Kane asked about the delays mentioned and whether there would be any cost impacts for those delays.


Marilyn Thompson said the delays may impact the budget but until we have a design for the projects we will not know how the budget will be affected.† She said it will be a few months to get through the community and peer review process and at that time we will know if the budget is impacted.


Commissioner Kane said he would like to see as much information on that as possible because he doesnít want the Commission to be surprised again.† He said having good estimators on these projects is very important.† He asked for an update on the Bayview branch.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said they are working with the Department of Real Estate to get some quotes and look at the other option of looking at another site.† He said we will bring this information back to the Commission in June.† He said it would appear that the current budget does not have enough money to support the original estimate so we will probably need additional dollars for property acquisition.


Commissioner Kane asked for a report at a future date on program wide services and costs and whether we are expecting any of those numbers to change and how the soft costs in that budget relate to the individual project budgets.


Marilyn Thompson responded that program wide costs were approved as needed.† She said she thinks there has only been one change to the program wide costs.† She said last month the Commission approved an increase to the bond financing costs for the fourth and final bond sale.† She said the program wide costs are anticipated to increase for the additional one to one and a half years for program manager services.†

She said the 2% for public art is pooled together in one program wide budget and the money is disbursed to individual projects.† She said the individual project budgets include their individual soft costs as well as all associated construction costs.† She said most renovations are straight forward renovations at 70/30 split with 30% going to soft costs and 70% going to construction costs.† She said the projects are currently going between a 60/40 and 75/25.†


Commissioner Munson said we have talked about setting a contingency cost for LEED certification and that has not yet been done.† He would like to see a report back on this in the next month or two.


Marilyn Thompson said they would bring back a report to the Commission as a special report with a future Bond Managerís Report.


Commissioner Chin said the escalation in the budget for the most part has been delays and the escalation of construction costs.† She said the construction business now has a lot less work and competition.† She asked if we could encourage them to lower their prices.


Marilyn Thompson explained the bidding process.


Commissioner Lee said he thinks negotiations are wishful thinking.† He asked why the West Portal project which opened in February, 2007 is still not closed. He also asked about the RFQ and RFP process.


Marilyn Thompson explained that the contractor has not yet submitted his final reports for the West Portal branch. She said RFQs are used in a competitive open process for all of our consultants, but not contractors.


Commissioner Lee said we need to encourage more bidders for the projects.† He said 60/40 split for construction and soft costs are not acceptable.† He said he recently visited the Bayview Branch Library and said it is best that we move quickly on this project.


President Gomez said there would be a community meeting on the Bayview project on Monday.


Luis Herrera said Bayview is the project we are moving along as quickly as possible and trying to expedite the design phase and acquire the project.




MOTION: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Munson to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, April 17, 2008.




Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


ACTION:† AYES: 6-0 (Chin, Gomez, Harris, Kane, Lee and Munson).


The regular meeting of April 17, 2008, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 6:00 pm.

Sue Blackman

Commission Secretary


Please note:† Copies of commission minutes and handouts are available in the office of the secretary of the San Francisco Public Library Commission, 6th floor, Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-4733.


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).