Minutes of the Regular Meeting of June 19, 2008


(As approved and amended at the regular meeting of July 17, 2008)


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, June 19, 2008, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


President Gomez called the meeting to order at 4:40 pm.


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


Commissioners excused: Del Portillo and Kane.


Commissioner Chin arrived at 4:43 pm.




An anonymous citizen said he wanted to tell the Commissioners about Jason Garza who felt suicidal and called the suicide hotline, who told him to go to the SF General Hospital (SFGH).  They threw him out so he shows up again at SFGH and they arrest him for trespassing so he sues the city and shows up for his own deposition and because of his mental state they take him to a mental hospital.  He said the irony is that the city first refused to put him in a mental hospital. He asked the Sheriff’s Department for some public records and they gave him a letter saying there are no records “signed” RN Ratched.  Of course, RN Ratched is the shrewish nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  The bureaucrat goes before the Sunshine Task Force and the person says “we only do this to certain people.”  He said the Sheriff’s office laughed the same way the Library Commission laughs at the anonymous citizen.  He said the lessons will be saved for later.




Luis Herrera, City Librarian said this is a very important step for the new branch library for Bayview.  He said at the February 7, 2008 Library Commission meeting, staff presented four design concepts and the Commission narrowed those down to two.  One was Option B a two story library and Option D a one story new library but the Commission also directed staff to look at a parallel option of possibly purchasing and developing an alternate property for the building.


Brian Bannon, Chief of Branches, explained the criteria used for looking at a new site including identifying services in the area which the Library will be serving.  This included schools, youth centers, child development centers, resource centers, family day care, and health centers.  He said they also looked at access to the business district, transportation and sites central to the Bayview area. 


Roberto Lombardi, Operations and Maintenance Director, described options for new sites meeting the criteria identified and listed the critical factors for each.  He said it was a very thorough search of the properties in the area.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said that the exercise of looking at additional sites was very good for staff because it developed the criteria for the library in the area. 


Kacey Jurgens, Thomas Hacker Architects, Inc. explained the design schemes for the existing locations.  She said Option B would be a two story building and Option D was a one story building using the adjacent site.  She said there was a community meeting on the project in April.  She said at the meeting they discussed integrating art into the design of the building and she showed various images.  She showed a schematic design of Option B.1, which is the two story option on the existing site.  

She also showed a schematic design of Option D.1, which is the one story option with the additional property at the existing site.  She said they also did massing studies for the two options.  She said they also compared the advantages and challenges of the two options.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian said the recommendations before the Commission are to pursue schematic design for a one story building and to pursue property acquisition options to accommodate a new one story building.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said if you know the Bayview community you know that just because there are clusters of services does not mean there are clusters of residents.  He said this neighborhood is one of the last neighborhoods that has large sections of light industry mixed in with residential.  He said even though the Library that is there now gives a kind of uninviting exterior it was not done without thought because of the social chaos in the area at that time.


Peter Warfield said he would like to see the Commissioners able to ask questions prior to public comment so that the public can respond to those issues.  He said there is no information on what the book capacity is for the library, what the book capacity should be and what it will be under each alternative.  He said that would be useful information.  He said that some of the comments reported from the community meeting include adding bullet proof glass and insuring safety and security for the building.


Mary Harris said she likes the D1 alternative.  She said there is a two story branch at Ocean View and she sees the problem with staffing a two story building.  She said she thinks it is preferable to have a one story building.  She said she would like to see a lot of skylights and would like to see this brought back to the community for further discussion.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Lee said he likes what he sees.  He said library staff is performing a magnificent job in terms of the search, the selection and the options given to the Commission.  He said he likes the one story option and would like to see that pursued.


Commissioner Munson asked about vacant lots in the area.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian said they looked at approximately 12 lots and some of them were vacant.


MOTION: by Commissioner Munson, seconded by Commissioner Lee to approve the City Librarian’s two recommendations for the Bayview/Anna E. Waden Branch Library: 1) that the City Librarian direct the architect to pursue schematic design for a one story building and 2) that the City Librarian direct the Real Estate Division to explore property acquisition options to accommodate a new one story building.


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




Donna Bero, Friends of the Library, thanked the Commission for the vote they just took on the Bayview branch library.  She said the Bayview Branch will address a deserving population.  She said they have made the existing library the best it can be and it will be a joyous process as it goes forward.  She said the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Library passed the Fiscal Year 2008-09 budget.  She said it is a healthy and ambitious budget.  She said they are anticipating bringing in more than a million dollars through book sales alone in the next fiscal year.  She said they are receiving about 600,000 book donations a year.  She said the budget includes approximately $750,000 in direct support for programs at the library.  She said they will also be dedicating $2,325,000 to the BLIP program in the next fiscal year.  She said the Friends have developed a partnership with the storytelling series Porchlight.  She said Friends will be working in tandem with them.  She said Porchlight’s Sixth Anniversary show is coming up on July 11th, entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins.”  She said the San Francisco International Poetry Festival entitled Flor y Canto en el Barrio: A Celebration of Latino Poetry will be held July 24 -26 at various locations in the Mission area.  She said there are also several events coming up at Fort Mason.




Public Comment


Mary Harris, Friends of Ingleside Library wanted to publicly thank  

Christine Leishman, who will be leaving the Friends’ staff.  She said she was fantastic to work with and she thanked the Commission for their corroboration with the Friends’ staff. 


An anonymous citizen said if you were told the Sherriff’s Department had a complaint fund and every time someone complained about the Sherriff’s Department someone put $5 in the fund, you would probably be shocked.  He said if you told the Sherriff’s Department that they have a fund like that at the Public Library where every time someone complained about dishonesty or ridicule they put $5 in the fund the Sherriff’s Department would be shocked.  He said what does the public comment fund do but encourage people to generate that abuse.


Peter Warfield said since it was mentioned that the Friends’ support for library programs for next Fiscal Year was $750,000, he is curious what that amount was for the current Fiscal Year.


Commission Discussion


President Gomez said as a point of clarification that the public comment fund referred to by the anonymous citizen was created by a library patron, who suggested that each time the phrase “do not give to the Friends” was heard, people might be interested in giving to the Friends.  She said some people have kept track of the number of times they have heard that phrase and have donated money to the public comment fund.  





Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the Bond Program Manager’s Report will focus on two special reports which the Commission has expressed interest in. 


Edgar Lopez, Bureau Manager, Department of Public Works (DPW), said that DPW has made a management decision to replace the Bond Program manager for the Branch Library Improvement Program.  He said as of June 11 Lena Chen has been assigned as the new Program Manager.  He said Lena has over 30 years of experience as a Project Manager and has been a Project Manager at DPW for the past six years.  He said she led the capital bond program for the San Francisco Zoo.  He said the first special report is on soft cost.  He said soft cost refers to expenses not considered construction cost incurred throughout the life of the project.  He said there is a significant difference between public and private development and explained soft cost unique to the public sector.  He said both basic and supplemental architectural and engineering services (A&E) are a component of soft cost.  He explained how soft costs are budgeted.  He said that soft cost is aligned with benchmark data and he explained how we control soft cost.   He introduced the second presentation on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED


Mark Palmer, City of San Francisco Green Building Coordinator, Department of the Environment, said his mother was a librarian and is a big fan of green buildings so she is ecstatic he is working on this program.  He explained some of the San Francisco Environment Programs.   He showed slides on U.S. energy and electricity consumption and U.S. building impacts.  He explained the many aspects of a green building.  He said the U.S. Green Building Council has developed the four levels of LEED which are LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold and LEED Platinum.  He said California has by far the largest number of LEED certified green buildings.  He said San Francisco has adopted LEED Silver as its standard for all city projects over 5,000 sq. ft. or larger.  He said there is pending legislation to require LEED certification for all private sector commercial and residential buildings.  He gave a brief overview of some of the LEED certified projects in San Francisco.


Edgar Lopez, Bureau Manager, DPW said the next speaker is Raphael Speery who provides strategic planning and design review and LEED process consulting.


Raphael Speery, Simon & Associates, said the most important thing to understand about LEED and green building is that in order to do it well you should take that approach from the beginning and do an integrated design process.   He explained the integrated design and construction process.  He showed the timeline for a sample design bid build process for LEED certification.  He showed examples of some green projects and gave some green highlights for San Francisco libraries.


Edgar Lopez, Bureau Manager, gave the LEED cost timeline for BLIP projects.  He also explained the next steps in BLIP for LEED certification.


President Gomez left the meeting at 6:09 pm.


Vice-President Munson took over as chair of the meeting.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said the presentation was very interesting.  He said he would have liked to have seen the usual schedule and budget reports.  He said one of the categories that was not broken down for soft costs was soft costs that pay for themselves and those that do not.  He said in the private sector they have gone to a new model called design/build so that there is one contract for both functions to avoid litigation between parties.  He said it is gratifying to see how sophisticated the green building program has become.


Peter Warfield said with regard to setting policy on LEED certification there is a missing piece and that is what is the Commission’s goal with regard to LEED certification?  He said according to the report San Francisco’s green building policies require LEED silver certification for all city projects over 5,000 sq. ft. and was adopted in 2004.  He said he doesn’t recall that all branch libraries built since that time have met LEED silver.  He said it appears that the MOU was signed with a $100,000 threshold requiring a revision authorization form.  He said that is quite surprising in terms of the standard.  He said the MOU that was presented to the Commission was open-ended and changeable at any time without notifying the Commission or getting approval.  He said it may cost more for public outreach but after all the public is paying and the public has to be satisfied with the product.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Lee said DPW has reduced the project manual’s size to about a quarter the size it used to be so there is a big savings in paper.  He said there are good points and bad points on design/build projects.    He asked about cost benefits on energy savings.


Mark Palmer, City of San Francisco Green Building Coordinator, said through a series of studies it has been determined that there is a very small incremental cost to achieve green buildings and it is paid for ten times over within the first 20 years of operation of that building.  He said it is a very large return on investment.  He said in broad generalities it is about a 2 year payback.  He said another study shows there is no statistical difference between the cost of sq. ft. of a conventional building and a green building.  He said it is more about the process involved.


Commissioner Lee asked about natural light with more windows and if there are more leakage problems.


Mark Palmer said often times it doesn’t take more windows or more glass it’s more about the property placement of the windows and glass.  He said in today’s technology the glass on the west side of the building can be different from the glass on the east or the south sides to either capture or reject heat.  He said the modern window technology is air tight and there is not an issue with leakage.


Commissioner Lee asked about the cost of rainwater storage tanks.


Mark Palmer said in this climate we do not recommend tanks for water storage.  He said we try to infiltrate the water onsite through vegetative storm water management. 


Commissioner Lee said the analysis of soft cost is very enlightening and there was a lot of work put into it and he appreciates the study of California multi-agencies.  He said DPW’s percentage is consistent with that study.  However, he said DPW has a good team and he would like to see those costs go below 24%.


Edgar Lopez, Bureau Manager, DPW, said they will consider that a challenge to do so.


Vice-President Munson thanked staff for a well done report.




MOTION: by Commissioner Harris, seconded by Commissioner Lee to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, June 19, 2008.


Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


ACTION:  AYES: 4-0 (Chin, Harris, Lee and Munson).


The regular meeting of June 19, 2008, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 6:39 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 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).