Minutes of the Regular Meeting of November 20, 2008


(As amended and approved at the Regular Meeting of January 15, 2009)


The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, November 20, 2008, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.


The meeting was called to order at 4:33 pm.


Commissioners present: Gomez, Harris, Kane, and Lee


Commissioners excused: Chin, Del Portillo and Munson.




An anonymous citizen said a citizen, Richard Rothman, once addressed the Commission and told them that the Science Section told him he could check out materials over night only if he was a corporation but not as a member of the public.† Mr. Rothman said he was astounded that they treated members of a corporation and members of the public differently.† He said there was an astute Commissioner at the time who calmed Mr. Rothman down and found out that it in deed was the libraryís policy and so she had it changed.† He said that Commissioner was Lonnie Chin, but that was a long time ago and she never did it again.† He said the point is even Commissioner Chin had to be indoctrinated.† He said it shows that we have taken the virtues we have as a democratic institution and we have thrown that away for the virtues of a corporation because of the pittance the Friends and Foundation give the Library and the idea that it is all about the denial of humanity.† He said the lies cost more than the money.††† ††


Sue Cauthen, Chair of the Library Citizens Advisory Committee (LCAC) said the LCAC passed a motion about the North Beach library at its meeting last night. †She asked that it be included with the minutes.†

She said LCAC had a presentation from the Manager of Capital Planning at the Recreation and Park Department and they found out that Recreation and Park is not going to have any money to upgrade the park for a long time to come.† She said the representative from the Recreation and Park Department said they expect the Library to pay for the plaza between the library and the park as well as the demolition of the existing library building.† She said the LCAC considered the credit climate and other aspect and recommends that the Board of Supervisors and both departments take a fresh look at the project, including consideration of other locations for the library, and initiate a process that is open and transparent, and includes meaningful neighborhood input and consideration of neighborhood concerns.


Derrick Toronto said he lives on 24th Street around the corner from the Noe Valley Branch Library.† He said thanks to the Commission for adding the new Sunday hours to the branch.† He said that library is now a playground and a social hall for teenagers.† He said while the Noe Valley Branch was closed for renovation he went to the Mission Branch and they had a problem over registering for the computer.† He said he made a recommendation and they implemented it.† He said they are having similar problems at Noe Valley and the issue is still not resolved.† He asked the Commission to remove the Branch Manager from Noe Valley and place her in a different branch.† He said she cannot control the environment.† He said the kids in the branch are allowed to scream and yell and the teenagers use it as a social hall.† He apologized for approaching another patron last week about the noise of her child.† He again asked that the Branch Manager be removed. †


Peter Warfield said he attended the California Library Association conference last weekend in San Jose.† He said it was extremely interesting.† He said the LCAC did pass a resolution regarding the North Beach Branch and basically suggested throwing the whole process open again for reconsideration since the funding has changed.† He said there was general concern about the sites being considered.† He said he was glad the previous speaker noted the expanded hours but the fact is his efforts and those of other library user advocates were very crucial in creating those increased hours.† He said the City Librarian repeatedly opposed expanding hours and the library finally followed through with the Board of Supervisorsí direction to expand the hours.†




Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said he is aware that the Commission is interested in hearing regular updates about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Library.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, referred to a memo addressed to the Commissioners and she explained the update in the areas of revenue, program scope, schedule and budgets. She said a revised version of Attachment A1. shows the funding that is expected as a result of the lease revenue bonds and is included with the memo.† She said when the funds are received staff will bring back an update to the Commission that shows the allocation of those funds to the individual project budgets.† She said the revised Program Scope consists of 16 renovations, 8 new buildings, and the completed support services facility.† She said a revised version of Attachment A2. is included with the memo.†† She said on September 18, 2008 the Commission approved a revised forecast schedule for all remaining projects and a revised version of Attachment A3. is included with the memo.† She said on October 16, 2008 the Commission approved an action to alter ten project budgets and the program reserve by transferring LPF funds (totaling $5,747,210) to the Branch Library Improvement Program.† She said an updated version of Attachment A4. Budget Actions summarizing all Library Commission budget actions is included with the memo.


Edgar Lopez, Department of Public Works, said DPW is following the MOU and it holds them accountable.† He said it is good to document the decisions that are made.† He said they have added a second project manager and increased the coordination of the drawings and specifications to make sure we reduce the number of errors and omissions and change orders when we get into construction.† He said the team is working effectively.


Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said this is an interesting report and was last presented to the Commission on June 25, 2008.† He said at about the same time there was a proposal before the Commission to authorize changing the scope of the Bayview Branch.† He said the Real Estate Department was going to negotiate on the Commissionís behalf.† He said he was a little bit shocked that the Commission had not been told that a Purchase Agreement for a parcel was on the Board of Supervisorís agenda this past Tuesday.† He said the Commission should be reviewing and approving the MOU because the MOU includes policy issues.


Peter Warfield said he hoped the Deputy City Librarian was not going for a record since that was an extremely rapid reading of the material presented.† He said it would be very useful to get clear which of these projects is to be LEED certified and which is not. He said at the California Library Association meeting there was one library that had a successful bond measure passed and was proudly proclaiming that all of its renovated libraries were planned to be LEED certified.† He said he has not heard a clear and comprehensive statement where this library plans to go on its projects.† He said the A3. Revised Schedule could be more clear and legible with cross hatching or some other means to make it clearer especially if it is printed in black and white.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Lee asked whether the library has received any developer fees.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said we have not yet received any fees and there is not a set schedule to receive them.


Commissioner Kane asked if there was any provision of the MOU that the Library would like to see changed from a structural point of view.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said that through the work being done on the MOU processes they have been able to change the reporting structure and she does not see any need for changes to the structure of the MOU at this time.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said the MOU has helped to solidify the processes on the schedules and get us on track.† He said there havenít been any surprises but things have gotten better with the partnership with DPW and he said it is a very good tool for the library.


Commissioner Kane said he would like to have a report once a year on the audit and how we are doing with respect to those issues.




Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said there are no informational or special reports this month.† She said as of 10/16/08 the approved budget was $153,110,196.† She said the Commission approved the Lease Revenue Bond package and it was approved by the Capital Planning Committee on October 20 and also approved by the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee on November 12.†


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said they realize they have a very tight schedule for the approvals for the revenue bond process and it is moving along very well.† He said it had its first reading at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, November 18 and the second reading will be Tuesday, November 25, so the Commission will continue to be apprised of the process.


Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, said the schedule report shows the schedule for the 16 active projects approved by the Commission in September.† She said there is no change to the schedule this month.† She gave the status of the program and said that 6 property acquisitions are complete and 1 is pending for the Bayview Branch; 8 projects are complete and open; 6 projects are in construction and 9 branches are in planning and design and 1 branch, Parkside was advertised on November 4 and bids are due December 3.† She showed photographs and gave reports on projects in construction including Richmond; Portola, which will be complete next week; Ingleside; Bernal Heights, Eureka Valley, and Potrero.† She said Parkside is in the bid phase.† She said approximately 40 people attended the pre-bid conference which is very unusual.† She said they are hoping to receive more competitive bids.


Luis Herrera, City Librarian, said one of the elements included in the MOU was to have more outreach on the city competitive process so we are hoping this will result in a more competitive bidding process.


Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager, gave an update on projects in design including Visitacion Valley; Anza; Ortega; Merced; Bayview; Park; Presidio; Golden Gate Valley and North Beach.† She gave the summary of public outreach and said there was a Bayview Community meeting on November 19 and there will be community meetings in Golden Gate Valley on December 2 and North Beach on December 17.† She said on November 21 the Noe Valley branch will receive the Governorís Historic Preservation Award.†

Public Comment


An anonymous citizen said the reports continue to improve.† He said the report would be clearer if it was printed in landscape four to a page.† He said it would be nice to see in print the change order totals.† He said there has been another dramatic development to the Cityís bond atmosphere.† He said at the Capital Planning Committee on Monday a program was introduced to set up a revolving fund to advance contractors part of the bond so that contractors who have marginal bonding capacity will have some of the risk absorbed by the city.† He said it will make it more advantageous for contractors to get full bonding. He said this is a development that may help the library in the long run.


Peter Warfield said the previous speaker suggested a way to get the boxes bigger on the handouts.† He said three to a page would be a better solution.† He said the summary of public outreach does not seem to have included the meeting with the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council.† He said he was disappointed that nobody from the BLIP program attended the meeting.


Commission Discussion


Commissioner Lee said he was very pleased to hear the report from DPW about the streamlining of the bidding process and that there are more than the usual number of bidders.† He said there is a summary of projects funded to date.


Lena Chen, Bond Program Manager said the amount listed under Budget to date is the expenditure to date and the approved number is the funded to date.† She said the expenditure to date includes architectural and engineering and pre-construction costs


Commissioner Lee said the Park Branch has a budget of $1.6 million and $389,000 has been spent on soft costs.† He said that seems to be exceedingly high for the soft costs.


Lena Chen said she would report back with more information on the expenditures for the Park Branch.


Commissioner Kane confirmed that there are no changes to the schedule or budget from the last meeting. †He asked about the reference on projects in design in assessing impacts due to obtaining LEED Silver.


Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, said there are 10 projects with LEED impacts and we should delete that bullet from the report because the impacts to the budget have already been included in the projected budget amount.




MOTION: by Commissioner Harris, seconded by Commissioner Lee to adjourn the regular meeting of Thursday, November 20, 2008.


Public Comment


There was no public comment on this item.


ACTION:† AYES: 4-0 (Gomez, Harris, Kane, and Lee).


The regular meeting of November 20, 2008, of the San Francisco Public Library Commission adjourned at 5:30 pm.

Sue Blackman

Commission Secretary


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).