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Library Commission Minutes - October 21, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved December 2, 2004) Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, October 21, 2004. The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, October 21, 2004, in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order by President Higueras at 4:21pm. The following members were present: Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman. Commissioners Coulter and Strobin were reported excused. Agenda Items: 1) Public Comment 2) City Librarian Search Process 3) Commendatory Resolution 4) Bond Program Manager's Report 6) ADJOURNMENT APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public expressed their views concerning public comment and about President Higueras’ letter to the Editor of Library Journal concerning library gadflies. Mr. Peter Warfield asked questions about the status of the request for proposals (RFP) for RFID at the Library and urged that the public be actively involved. President Higueras reiterated, as he noted the Commission had stated several times before, that the Library would have an open process with opportunity for public discussion prior to issuing request for proposals (RFP) for RFID use by the Library. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS The Library’s Executive Search consultant Mr. Hawkins presented a brief progress report (copy attached) on the City Librarian search process. Mr. Hawkins highlighted his extensive outreach efforts and described the wide spectrum of advertising being done. Mr. Hawkins next discussed the work of expert consultants June Garcia and David Duberly in identifying potential candidates and encouraging them to apply. Mr. Hawkins noted that progress was going more slowly in reaching the number of candidates he would have liked and proposed to the Commissioners that the deadline for submission of applications be extended for two more weeks, until November 5th, to allow sufficient additional time to identify, contact, and bring in more potential candidates. Mr. Hawkins proposed to present a preliminary review of the candidates search and the candidate interview process to the Commission at its regular November 18th meeting. The Library’s Executive Search Consultant then discussed how the Commission might consider structuring the candidate interview process offering three suggested models. Mr. Hawkins concluded suggesting that candidate interviews could be conducted in early December and discussed the interview process. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS An anonymous member of the public commented on a previous comment that there was insufficient time to properly conduct the search process; found the use of the term stakeholder a “red flag”; suggested that inclusion of outsiders in the interview process could breech the confidentiality of the process; and stated that in their view the Commission was required by law to submit one, two, or three candidates for City Librarian to the Mayor. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed support for the motion taking sufficient time to conduct the City Librarian search; commented that he felt the Charter required submission of three candidates to the Mayor; expressed concern with use of the term “stakeholders”; and inquired about who would be chosen to assist in this process. Mr. Warfield also expressed concerns about what he felt to be exclusion of members of the public such as himself from the process and about discussions not held in public. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 CITY LIBRARIAN SEARCH PROCESS President Higueras observed that the inclusion of outside “stakeholders” might be problematic, raising concerns with maintaining potential applicants’ privacy during such a process. President Higueras expressed a preference that the Commissioners conduct the interview process themselves. Vice President Steiman agreed that maintaining confidentiality would be difficult and perhaps unwieldy with a larger group involved. However; Vice President Steiman suggested that professional and expert input could be valuable in helping the Commissioners’ evaluation of candidates. Vice President Steiman remarked that input from those with extensive knowledge could be useful in looking beyond a candidates’ reputation and into their actual accomplishments. In response to Commissioners’ comments, Mr. Hawkins noted that interview were just one element in a thorough professional evaluation and vetting of potential applicants. Mr. Hawkins discussed the issues raised by the need to protect the confidentiality of the process and recommended a compressed schedule of time between the candidate interviews and the recommendation to the Mayor of a candidate or candidates. There followed a discussion among the Commissioners concerning potential pitfalls with staff involvement in the process, the candidates’ interviews, where and when interviews might be done. President Higueras commented that he believed that with Mr. Hawkins assistance, the Commissioners could make a reasonable choice and that to involve others would add additional time to the length of the search process. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes outlined a possible “closed session” scenario if the Commission conducted the process, and noted that inclusion of outsiders might require that the process be conducted in a public meeting. Mr. Hawkins clarified that the number of potential finalist candidates could be 5 to 7. MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin for approval of an extension of the City Librarian Search Process application period until November 5, 2004. Adopted by the following vote: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) The Acting City Librarian joined the meeting at 5:19pm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 COMMENDATORY RESOLUTION President Higueras read the text of a proposed resolution commending Rich Walsh for his decades of exemplary service to San Francisco and its public libraries (copy attached). Mr. Walsh thanked the Commissioners for their gesture of recognition, recalled each Commissioner’s unique contributions, and recalled many of the memorable events and outstanding colleagues that he had worked with during his 32 years with the City and 27 years at the Library. Mr. Walsh urged that Commissioners remember the critical importance of maintaining the Library’s infrastructure and of making appropriate investment in its properties. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 COMMENDATORY RESOLUTION An anonymous member of the public recalled Mr. Walsh’s beginnings at the Library as a systems analyst, and his service as Commission Secretary, and noted that Mr. Walsh was a man of practicality who did not personalize his interactions. Ms. Deborah Doyle, Acting Executive Director of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library lauded Rich Walsh’s decades of service to the Library and thanked him on behalf of Library’s users. Mr. Michael Kwok thanked Mr. Walsh for his service and suggested that the Public Library Commission consider using the model employed by the City’s Taxi Commission in holding its employee hiring closed session. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #3 COMMENDATORY RESOLUTION Commissioner Bautista wished Mr. Walsh well in his retirement and expressed happiness that he would be able to continue to assist the Library on a part time basis. Vice President Steiman commended Mr. Walsh for his outstanding service and noting that he left the library’s facilities in good condition. Commissioner Chin noted that they had worked together for many years and that his people skills had made him very effective and an asset to the Library. Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood speaking for himself and on behalf of the management team commend Mr. Walsh and recalled that former City Librarian Susan Hildreth called Mr. Walsh a “gem of a manager” and that working with him had shown Mr. Walsh to be a wizard at getting the job done with limited resources. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin for approval of the proposed resolution commending and thanking Rich Walsh for his services on the occasion of his retirement from the Library. Adopted by the following vote: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT (Presented by Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson -This is a discussion item to allow the Branch Library Bond Program Manager to report on recent bond program related activities and make announcements.) Ms. Thompson informed the Commissioners that her report would begin with an informational presentation by Deputy City Attorney Donnell Choy concerning the Glen Park Branch Library Purchase and Sale Agreement. Mr. Choy outlined in broad strokes the changes that had been made to the, as yet, unsigned Purchase and Sale Agreement for the new Glen Park Branch. Mr. Choy noted that there were, as yet, additional details to be worked out but that it was his view that the substance of the agreement had not significantly changed. The most significant change Mr. Choy highlighted was the creation of a tenants-in common arrangement for the underlying land with a vertical separation of the structure instead of the originally proposed condominium arrangement with appropriate common areas agreements. Deputy City Attorney Choy noted that the Library would have title to its portion of the building in a manner not significantly dissimilar to the originally proposed arrangement. Mr. Choy then outlined the next steps in the process to finalize the agreement with the new owner/developer of the property. Mr. Choy concluded that the Library fully retained its rights as originally proposed including the right to terminate the agreement if found to not meet the Library’s requirements. Next, Ms. Thompson presented: the current budget, reporting the current budget and expenditures and commitments of $28,652,466 and noting there were no schedule changes reflected. The BLIP Manager then updated the Commissioners concerning the active projects; and presented a community outreach update report The BLIP Manager then gave a construction activities report dated October 21, 2004. (copy attached). Ms. Thompson concluded her report with a Peer Review Panel Redesign review response report on the Sunset Branch Library and announced she would defer her design response to the Western Addition Branch library Peer Review to an upcoming meeting. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public expressed concern with the changes made to the proposed Glen Park Branch Purchase & Sale agreement suggesting that these new arrangements with a new owner and without extensive explanatory documents were difficult to verify. This person observed that in their view now that the project was out of the spotlight; anything might be done. Mr. Peter Warfield noted that he had believe the original agreement a blank check for the developer and expressed alarm that he did not have access to details of the new arrangements. Mr. Warfield suggested an increased risk of liability; had concerns with status of the branch library in the new arrangement; and saw a potential for negative financial impacts to the Library. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT In response to questions by President Higueras, Mr. Choy discussed further the differences between the original and the current versions of the Glen Park Purchase and Sale Agreement and elaborated on the likelihood of greater risks or any loss of protection resulting from the changes in the draft agreement. Mr. Choy noted that no deal had been done yet and that mutual agreement of the parties was required to put the agreement into effect. The Deputy City Attorney pointed out that the Library fully retained its rights in the proposed new version. In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, Mr. Choy proposed to provide the Commissioners with additional information on details of several aspects of the new agreement. Deputy City Attorney Choy emphasized that each entity would own its spaces, holding as tenants-in- common only the land, with appropriate shared use agreements on joint use areas, and that the Library would continue to retain ownership of the airspace above its portion of the structure. President Higueras thanked Mr. Choy for his hard work on the proposed agreement, the useful clarity provided by his explanations, and requested that he report back to the Commission as details of the proposed final text were developed. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM # 6 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin that the meeting be adjourned. There being no further business, the Commission meeting was adjourned at 6:07pm ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 12/3/04 Please note: Changes in these minutes are in alternative typeface. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 ATTACHMENTS: City Librarian search revised schedule Rich Walsh Resolution Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) Manager’s Report notes Branch Library Improvement Program Schedule 2/19/04 Branch Library Improvement Program Budget 10/21/04 Sunset Peer Review response notes Appendix A The Public Comment Summary Statements included in these Minutes are authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16. 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. The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting. 1 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Explanatory documents: Copies of listed explanatory documents are available as follows: (1) from the Commission Secretary/Custodian of Records, Main Library, 6th Floor, (2) in the rear of the Koret Auditorium immediately before and during the meeting, and (3)to the extent possible, on the Library's Web site. Additional materials not listed as explanatory documents, if any, that are distributed to the 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 §§ 67.9, 67.28(b) & 67.28(d).
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