SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION

 

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 21, 2010

 

(Approved as amended at the regular meeting of December 2, 2010).

 

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

 

The meeting was called to order at 4:34 pm.

 

Commissioners present: Breyer, Munson, Nguyen and Ono.

 

Commissioner excused:  Gomez

 

Commissioner Hayon entered the meeting at 4:37 pm

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Commissioner Kane entered the meeting at 4:54 pm.

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 1 PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), said that yesterday WritersCorp a joint project of the SFPL and the Arts Commission received the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from  First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.  She said WritersCorp was chosen from a pool of more than 400 nominations. 

 

An anonymous citizen said the President of the Library Commission violated someone’s right to public comment on June 4, 2009.  He said the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force determined that it was a “willful violation.”  He said the Commission ratified the violation by reelecting that person for another term as president. (See attached 150 word statement submitted by the speaker).

 

Ted Bamberger, member Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC) said he was elected as President of the LCAC at their meeting the night before.  He said Lucille Cuttler was elected Vice-President and Clarice Moody was elected Secretary.

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said there is a context of library lawlessness if not unlawfulness.  He said he has brought many cases of the library’s failure to uphold the Sunshine Ordinance to the Task Force and they have found in his favor a majority of the time.  He said the library has withheld documents and violated open meeting laws and there has never been an apology or a statement from this Commission about these actions.  

 

Ray Hartz, Director, San Francisco Open Government, said the Library Commission does not follow the Sunshine Ordinance and the Commission should not represent that it does.  He said the discussion of the Community Benefit District (CBD) at the last meeting was a complete sham.  He said he could not see one benefit from the CBD for the Main Library. 

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 2. BRANCH LIBRARY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM SCHEDULE CHANGE

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said there is a memo before the Commission dated October 15, 2010 describing the schedule change for the Visitacion Valley Branch.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, gave a presentation on the proposed schedule change for the Visitacion Valley Branch.  She said the approved schedule shows opening of the branch in November, 2010 and the new forecast is to open June, 2011.  She said the reasons for the delay include adverse weather; unforeseen conditions and code compliance; fire sprinkling system and window design; complex framing; clay tile roof installment; and the radiant heating system.  She said they do not expect that the net effect of these delays will result in any increase to the project budget.

 

Public Comment

 

An anonymous citizen said this is a situation where the current schedule says that the branch is supposed to be open now.  He said schedule changes are to be brought to the Commission in a timely manner.  He said the reasons for the delay do not look sequential to him.  (See attached 150 word summary submitted by the speaker).

 

Ray Hartz, Director San Francisco Open Government, said as a former supervisor and trainer of supervisors one of the most important things to realize is that when there is a delay in something you need to let your supervisor know as soon as possible.  He said the Commission is responsible for supervising this construction and it is a badly managed project.

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said that in December, 2008 an opening date of November, 2010 was approved for this branch.  Now the Commission is being asked to approve a schedule change for an additional seven months. He said the reasons for the delay seem to be some things that might have been anticipated.

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Kane asked about liquidated damages for the delay and said he would like to have a response from the City Attorney’s office on who is responsible for any delays if there is an increase in the budget of the project. 

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said DPW has been assessing this closely and right now it appears that the delays are the City’s responsibility.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said it appears that costs of the delay are split evenly between the contractor and the City.

 

Brian Wong, Construction Manager for the Visitacion Valley project, said the cost of weather delays falls on both parties.  He said there have been scheduling problems and they are doing everything they can to accelerate the project.  He said there are contingencies for delays and the project is still within those contingencies.

 

Commissioner Kane said we need rational reasons for delays.

 

Commission Breyer said he wasn’t completely clear about the City’s responsibilities for the delays.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said rain delays are on the City.  She said any kind of change order, change in scope, or change of site conditions, are all on the City.

 

Commissioner Munson said in the future it would be helpful to have a table to explain the delays more fully.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said they are very confident that this new date is a solid date. 

 

Commissioner Hayon said it would be helpful to hear in lay terms what exactly some of the complexities are for future projects.

 

Andy Maloney, the architect on the project, said the complexity of the central octagon space has contributed to the delay of the project and the fact that we gave the contractors a very aggressive schedule for completion of the project.  He said the contractor has never compromised on quality or looked for excuses in the project. 

 

Commissioner Nguyen asked about the communication to the community on the delay.

 

Mindy Linetzky, Planning and Outreach, said the Fact Sheets and the website for the project have been changed to say that the opening would be summer next year.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Hayon, seconded by Commissioner Nguyen to approve the change to the schedule for the Visitacion Valley Branch Library with a new opening date for the project of June 2011.

 

Action:  AYES 6-0: (Breyer, Hayon, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 3. BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said this month there will be the regular, budget and schedule reports.  She said there will also be an informational presentation on LEED and Sustainable Design.  She said there is a new quarterly report out from July – September.  She said this month’s budget report shows the approved budget as $188,910,119.  She said the Bayview Branch is in the Award process and the North Beach Branch is in the EIR/Design Development phase.  She said eight branches are in construction.  She said they are working closely with the contractors and they will report back to the Commission by the end of the year to update the opening dates for each project. She showed photographs and gave reports on projects in construction including: Parkside; Park; Presidio; Merced; Anza; Visitacion Valley; and Golden Gate Valley.  She said the construction contract was awarded to Liberty Builders for the Bayview Branch on August 31, 2010.  She said they are awaiting documentation from Liberty Builders before we can certify the contract.  She said the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the North Beach Branch Library was published on August 25, 2010.  She said the Planning Commission hearing was held on October 7 and the comments on the DEIR were due on October 12.  She said the Planning Commission will hold a hearing next year to certify the EIR.  She said the Historic Preservation Commission recommended landmarking the building and the next step will be the Land Use Committee of the Board of Supervisors on November 1 and subsequently at the full Board.

She said the Parkside Grand Reopening will be held November 6, 2010.

 

Samuel Chiu, Department of Public Works, said he was happy to give an update to the Commission on LEED and Sustainable Design for the Branch Library Improvement Program projects.  He said LEED stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.  He said the final 10 projects of the BLIP starting with the Parkside Branch will be LEED Silver or better.  He said LEED recognizes performance in five key areas.  He said those areas are Water Efficiency; Sustainable Sites; Materials and Resources; Indoor Environmental Quality; and Energy and Atmosphere.  He explained how the BLIP projects are achieving some of the goals set forth by LEED. He explained some of the challenges that have been faced in implementing LEED.  He said there are also ways to get extra credit for innovation and design process.

 

Jon Worona, Digital Initiatives Manager, gave a virtual tour of the Parkside Branch, which he said is available on the SFPL website.

 

 

 

Public Comment

 

Ray Hartz, Director San Francisco Open Government, said the presentation on LEED was exemplary but it also raises some questions.  He wondered if these issues have caused a delay in some of the projects.  He said there is not much substance to the Bond Program Manager’s Report.  He said there should be more information on the budget for each project.  

 

An anonymous citizen said he has been out to the Visitacion Valley branch.  He said it is much larger than preliminary materials indicated.  He said there are expectations with respect to Parkside and it remains to be seen if those expectations have been met.  He said there are issues out there on both the Bayview and North Beach branches. (See attached 150 word summary submitted by the speaker).

 

Peter Warfield, Library Users Association, said there have been some developments with respect to the contract on the Bayview Branch.  He said it would be appropriate to give an update on those issues.  He said there is no evidence in any of the pictures about the signage at the closed branches.  He said the signage is abominable at the Park Branch and other branches.

 

Melissa Riley, Librarian with the Librarian’s Guild Executive Board, said she is concerned about a safety matter.  She said she is concerned about the cane rails at Parkside Branch.  She said if the cane rails are found to cause more injuries than they prevent will ADA allow them to be removed.

 

Commission Discussion

 

Commissioner Kane asked for a response on the cane rail issue.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said they would work closely with the Mayor’s Office on Disability and the ADA coordinator for DPW to find a solution if the cane rails are a problem.

 

Commissioner Kane said the reports include all the budget information for the projects. He said he was concerned about the security issue at Visitacion Valley.

 

Lena Chen said the contractor is responsible for any security issues at the construction sites.

 

Commissioner Kane said the LEED report was very informative and had questions about long term savings.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said there appears to be approximately a 15% – 20% savings in long term return on investment.

 

Roberto Lombardi, Facilities Director, said the one project that there is data on is the Excelsior Branch.  He said they have found a 35% reduction in energy use for the measures they have implemented.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said there is a very specific climate action plan.  He said the virtual tour is part of our proactive approach to inform the community about what is going on with the library.

 

Acting President Lee Munson recommended using a discounted cash flow as a way of measuring the rate of return against the present value of the investment.   

 

Commissioner Ono asked about the proposed cost savings for Visitacion Valley.

 

Samuel Chiu, Department of Public Works, explained how the savings on energy costs are determined.

 

Commissioner Ono asked about the fireplace in the Parkside Branch.

 

Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager said the fireplace will be similar to the one at Eureka Valley and protected by a glass covering.

 

Commissioner Ono said she is concerned about the issue of the copper being stolen from the branches. 

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the November 1 Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee meeting is an opportunity for the public to weigh in on the North Beach Branch Library.

 

Commissioner Breyer asked about whether existing buildings can obtain LEED certification.

 

Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said in 2008 the Commission took action to capture the 10 projects that were currently in design and make sure they are LEED certified.  She said it would be a new project to make the existing buildings LEED certified.  She said that is not part of the BLIP program.  She said the existing projects have been analyzed and we will go back at some point and do virtual tours for those branches.

 

Commissioner Breyer asked about signage at the branches under construction.

 

Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said that there is general signage at each of the construction sites.

 

AGENDA ITEM NO. 4. ADJOURNMENT

 

Public Comment

 

There was no public comment on this item.

 

Motion:  By Commissioner Ono, seconded by Commissioner Nguyen to adjourn the regular meeting of October 21, 2010. 

 

Action:   AYES 6-0: (Breyer, Hayon, Kane, Munson, Nguyen and Ono).

 

The meeting adjourned at 6:20 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 http://sfpl.org.  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.

Item 1: General Public Comment

 

Anonymous Citizen: Stop the Hate, Stop the Ignorance – Don’t accept money from the Friends & Foundation

 

Your president violated someone’s right to public comment on June 4, 2009. 

 

The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force determined that it was a “willful violation.”  When your secretary stated that you stood by your actions, the Task Force referred the complaint to the Ethics Commission for enforcement on January 13, 2010.

 

You ratified the violation by reelecting that person for another term as your president on April 1, 2010.

 

The Ethics staff report states that the conduct of your president "falls below the standard of decency, good faith and right action impliedly required of all public officials."

 

Representative democracy depends upon social values, but this indicates your anti-social values: You are in a gang.  You are a library commissioner.

 

If you had a bigger sociopath on the Library Commission, that person would be president.

 

The lies cost more than the money.

_______________________

 

Item 2: Branch Library Improvement Program Schedule Change

 

Anonymous Citizen:  Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – Don’t give or accept money from the Friends & Foundation.

 

Commissioners should be free to ask questions before public comment, particularly if it is an informational point that might inform everyone’s consideration.

 

It would be nice if the citizens had access to the computer graphics.

 

I have been encouraging about schedule changes in the past, but I am less sanguine now. The idea was that schedule changes be brought to the Commission in a timely manner.  We are now hearing about a seven-month delay in the same month that it was scheduled to open.  I am incredulous.

 

Some of the excuses for delay do not seem to be necessarily sequential.  For example, there is no obvious reason that delivery of roof tile should delay other work on the project.  One suspects that there is some overarching reason for delay that is being obscured. 

_______________________

 

Item 3: Bond Program Manager’s Report

 

Anonymous Citizen:  Stop the hate, stop the ignorance – Don’t give or accept money from the Friends & Foundation.

 

It was ambiguous whether you were taking the advice about allowing informative questions before public comment.

 

Since there were effective graphics in the presentations, the citizen’s presentations also might be more effective with access to the computer graphics.

 

The Visitacion Valley branch construction site reveals that it is much larger than preliminary materials indicated.  A birds-eye view with comparable-size buildings adjacent can be completely different from the monumental impression looking up from the sidewalk.  Drawings of the new De Young Museum showed eucalyptus trees the same height as the tower.  That was a misrepresentation too.

 

Whether the expectations of the neighborhood with respect to Parkside have been met remains to be seen.

 

Regarding both North Beach and Bayview, doesn’t the Commission want to be informed about the presentations that will be made to the Supervisors on your behalf?