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Library Commission Minutes - November 18, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved December 2, 2004) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2004 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order by Vice President Steiman at 4:24pm. The following members were present: Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Steiman. President Higueras and Commissioner Strobin were reported excused. Vice President Steiman announced prior to the meeting being called to order that as the meeting’s quorum was expected to be lost after 5pm she planned to continue all of the agenda items to an upcoming meeting except Agenda items #7 and #8 and that Agenda item # 8 would be taken up first, then the Commission would go into closed session. Agenda Items: 8) Nominee Selection Procedures 7) Public Employee Appointment - Cith Librarian 1) Public Comment 9) ADJOURNMENT APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #8 NOMINEE SELECTION PROCEDURES Vice President Steiman reported that in response to a request by Library Executive Search Consultant Mr. Bill Hawkins, it was proposed that the deadline for accepting applications for candidates for City Librarian be extended to December 3. Vice President Steiman also noted that the Commission proposed to hold a special meeting on December 6, 2004 to interview candidates in accordance with procedures they proposed to adopt to select nominees for the position of City Librarian. The Commission Vice President also proposed action to create a subcommittee of the Commission to interview candidates and make recommendations to the Commission in the event a quorum of the Commission was not available to conduct the interviews. The Commission Vice President noted that the proposed Selection Committee composed of President Higueras, Vice President Steiman, and Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, and Strobin would be governed by the requirements of the Sunshine Ordinance and would dissolve upon selection of a new City Librarian. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #8 NOMINEE SELECTION PROCEDURES An anonymous member of the public was troubled by the creation of Selection Committee, consisting of a quorum of the Commission able to act in closed session; saying this process worked against openness. This person found proposed extension of the application period selective and unnecessary. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that he was troubled by the way changes in the process were being made, and suggested that the Commission has had six months to work out details of the procedures. He found creation of the Selection Committee composed of quorum of the Commission and the change in the closure date for applications also troubling. Ms. Melissa Riley, Librarian’s Guild, urged: that the Library unions be given representation on the selection committee: that the Commissioners keep in mind the importance of working together with Library employees: and that they choose candidates open to a variety of viewpoints. Ms Riley called for candidates who would listen to and act upon staff input, and be responsive to the community. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #8 NOMINEE SELECTION PROCEDURES MOTION: by Commissioner Steiman, 2nd Commissioner Bautista to reopen the application process until December 3rd, to hold a special meeting on December 6, 2004 to interview candidates, and create of a five member Selection Committee of the Commission (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Strobin, Steiman) to interview candidates and make recommendations to the Commission that would dissolve upon the Mayor’s selection of a new City Librarian. Commissioner Coulter called attention to the importance of letting members of the public know the background of why this process was being undertaken. Commissioner Coulter then highlighted the many difficult issues and challenges facing the Commission in seeking candidates for City Librarian who would be willing and able to assume the burdens of leadership for the San Francisco Public Library. Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes noted that the proposed extension of the deadline for applications for the position of City Librarian was not limited and applied to anyone who might wish to apply for the position. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Steiman) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #7 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT-City Librarian Public comment AGENDA ITEM #7 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT-City Librarian (on all matters pertaining to the closed session) Mr. Arne Folkedal inquired if there would be a press release and notice to possible applicants that the application deadline had been extended. An anonymous member of the public suggested that there was no need for a closed session as everything that the Commissioners had discussed under Item #8 would be therefore out of bounds in a closed session. This person also suggested that perception of a lack of fairness compromised the process. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that as he had heard nothing related to information identifying a specific person, he could not understand why the Commission needed to go into a closed session. Mr. Warfield asked for further clarification of what would be discussed in the closed session. MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Coulter to hold a closed session pursuant to California Government Code Section 54957(b) (1) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b) - Personnel Matter-Public Employee Appointment-City Librarian. The Public Library Commission went into closed session at 4:42pm This part of the regular November 18, 2004 meeting concluded at 5:43pm when Vice President Steiman returned to the Koret Auditorium to announce that the Library Commission had just lost its quorum while in closed session. The Commission Vice President announced that prior to losing the quorum the Commissioners had continued this item and the remaining unfinished business of the November 18th meeting to December 2, 2004. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At 4:01pm on December 2, 2004 the Public Library Commission reconvened to CONCLUDE INTERRUPTED AGENDA ITEM#7 PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT-City Librarian Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF OCTOBER 7, 2004 Closed Session: Present were: President Higueras, Vice President Steiman, and Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Coulter, and Strobin. The Commission returned to open Session at 5:17pm. MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd Commissioner Strobin not to disclose any discussions held or action taken in closed session (San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a)). ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Strobin, and Steiman). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT (cont’d. from November 18, 2004) An anonymous member of the public suggested: that the Commission had made a farce of the process; that the Commissioners had denied required Public Comment on November 18th; and that the Commission’s report on the loss of its November 18th quorum was suspect. This person then concluded that the announcement and rationalization for the continuation of the November 18th meeting two weeks later was untimely, irrational, and denied a genuine informed deliberative process as the law intended. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed disappointment that Public Comment was not taken prior to loss of the quorum given that the closed session (on November 18th) had lasted longer than announced. Mr. Warfield also offered his interpretation of what he thought to be legal requirements for taking public comment at a continued meeting. District 5 Supervisor–Elect Ross Mirkirimi, noting his longtime support for libraries and his interest in expansion of library services, spoke to the Commissioners in opposition to proposed reductions in public services hours at the Park Branch Library. The Supervisor-Elect suggested that if budgetary concerns were the source for the proposed reductions that other items might be eliminated first. Mary Helen Brisco, Panhandle Residents Association/Stanyan Fulton, lauded the importance of her branch library to her neighborhood and spoke in opposition to a reduction in hours at the Park Branch Library; suggesting more hours rather than less were needed. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #9 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, 2nd Commissioner Bautista to adjourn the continuation of the November 18, 2004 regular Public Library Commission meeting. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #9 ADJOURNMENT None offered. ACTION: AYE 6-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, Strobin, and Steiman) The continuation of the November 18, 2004 Public Library Commission meeting adjourned at 5:28 pm on December 2, 2004. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 12/10/04 Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 ATTACHMENTS: 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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