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Library Commission Minutes - June 26, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, June 26, 2003. (As approved amended September 4, 2003) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held its regular meeting on Thursday, June 26, 2003 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. President Higueras called the meeting to order at 4:04 PM. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin. Commissioner Chin joined the meeting at 4:08PM Commissioner Streets was excused. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MAY 20, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MAY 20, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING An anonymous member of the public called attention to two errors in the Minutes and in particular the mis-reporting of the dates of Mr. Robert Hansen’s service as Director of the Golden Gate Park Band. Mr. Peter Warfield cited a number of omissions that he felt diminished public comment in support of books, cited what he believed to be inaccurate reporting of previous minutes, and omission of some remarks by the Commission President. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE APRIL 1, 2003 COMMISSION MEETING: The Commission Secretary proposed to correct a mistake in the report of Mr. Hansen’s years of service with the Golden Gate Park Band. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Strobin that the May 20, 2003 Minutes be approved as amended. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT (copy attached) Branch Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson noted that there would be no informational report. The Branch Improvement Program Manager reported a total of $11,359,814 in expenditures and encumbrances to date. Ms. Thompson noted that schedules dated April 17th were available then presented her regular Budget, Schedule, Active Projects, and Community Outreach updates reports (copies attached). The Branch Library Improvement Program Manager ending calling attention to BLIP website, noted that the current newsletter was available, and that there would be no special report this month. Public Comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT An anonymous member of the public called attention to a neighborhood planning meeting hosted by the Planning Department in Glen Park and expressed concerns with the vagueness of the report of the extent of the changes resulting from the redesign of the Mission Bay Branch. J. Loren Guides expressed a desire that the Excelsior Branch be expanded. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed a desire for a centralized report that would indicate and keep track of each of the individual changes made to any of the branch project’s plans. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT In answer to questions by Vice President Steiman and President Higueras, Ms. Thompson gave an overview of the mostly back of house changes impacting the Mission Bay Branch Library resulting from the redesign of the entire building housing the new Branch. Ms. Thompson then spoke briefly concerning the Planning Department’s, in conjunction with BART and the Library, Glen Park Neighborhood Planning Workshop for neighborhood transportation improvements to be held over several days with a final report due on July 23rd. Commissioner Bautista suggested that a location be found where the current plans for Branch Library Improvement program projects could be viewed. The City Librarian suggested a rotating display in space available on the Main Library’s 6th Floor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM BUDGET REVIEW City Librarian Susan Hildreth and Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson provided an extensive Branch Library Improvement Program Budget Review, background discussion and detailed overview of four Bond Program Budget scenarios, each depending on how much or how little Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) funds were obtained (copies attached). Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM BUDGET REVIEW A Parkside resident recommended the Commission approve funding for real estate costs and while acknowledging the importance of Prop. 14 funds, suggested that the Parkside Branch had not received a fair share originally. An anonymous member of the public found surprising that the Library would report that no money from the state might be received and suggested that the worst case scenario was probable. This person also felt the $1.2 million site cost for the Portola Branch was a gift. Mr. Peter Warfield noted that the amount of the bond had been reduced before it was on the ballot in hope of receiving Prop. 14 funds. Mr. Warfield criticized shifts of funding among projects and rearranging of priorities. Mr. Warfield also suggested that community space at the Richmond Branch be cut to provide more space for books and criticized the project reserve for reducing the amounts available for each project. Mr. Martin Gomez, Friends & Foundation applauded the presentation and emphasized that the Friends & Foundation were committed to making the Bond Program a success. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM BUDGET REVIEW In response to a question by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson explained how the construction reserves to address major unforeseen conditions were built in to the program reserves in addition to the funds designated for change orders. President Higueras emphasized the importance of maintaining a large enough reserve so that all of the Bond projects would be completed otherwise, early projects would get done and later ones could lose out. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Thompson discussed how the budgets were developed after the voters approved the bond issue. President Higueras noted that the individual budgets should not be thought of as fixed entitlements. Commissioner Bautista pointed out in most case the bond only funded renovations not expansions. President Higueras noted that expansions could only be done if they could be accommodated within meeting the goals originally set out in the bond. In response to a question by Commissioner Chin, the Richmond Branch was identified as the only branch proposed to have an alternative location during construction and renovation. In answer to a question by President Higueras, Deputy City Attorney Catharine Barnes discussed the strictures imposed on and limitations involved in applying interest income earned from bond sales to fund later program projects. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood noted that it was planned to make use of the anticipated $2.5 million in such funds when they might become available for such use after 2004/05. In response to Vice President Steiman’s suggestion that accelerating the program schedule could also provide additional funds, it was report that not enough additional money would be generated and that there could be problems having many branches closed and undergoing renovation at the same time. Vice President Steiman also pointed out that funds in the operating budget allocated for branch upkeep could also be used to fund the renovations. President Higueras commented that it had been a useful discussion and that more thought would be given to the project reserve as the funding picture developed. MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman for approval of the transfer of $115, 281 from the Project Reserve to fund real estate acquisition related costs. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #4 PARKSIDE BRANCH Ms. Hildreth presented a memorandum revision of the Project Scope for the Parkside Branch Library (copy attached) and made a background presentation about how the question of first only renovation and now possible expansion was proposed for the Parkside Branch Library. Ms. Hildreth noted that as Parkside was located on Recreation & Park Department property there were limitations on potential expansion but noted Supervisor Ma’s interest in and support for finding a solution. Ms. Hildreth then briefly described the architect’s proposal for a 985”’ sq. ft. expansion the could cost an additional $500,000 and noted there was a question as to having a program space or not. The City Librarian noted that these changes would mean that the original schedule for the branch’s renovation could not be kept and suggested that West Portal could be moved up in its place. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #4 PARKSIDE BRANCH An anonymous member of the public pointed to a comment by Commission Bautista that pointed to a risk some projects might not get funded and found the proposal for expansion problematic but noted that there was a need to expand and room to expand and the community believed a half million was easy to find. Ms. Eileen Bogan, SPEAK, urged that the Commission approve the proposed Parkside expansion without a community room, noting that Parkside needed more than a renovation and that the neighborhood of homeowners/voters expected the needs of their branch to be met. Ms. Laurie Guidas, an 11 year Parkside resident and regular user of the library, urged the Commission to reallocate bond funds to Parkside saying that it had not received a fair share as the 8th highest circulation branch and noting it was ranked 27th in bond allocations and was open only 6 days per week. Ms. Nancy Wuerful, urged approval of the Parkside expansion without a community room without delay commenting that residents felt that Parkside’s 21st ranking in allocation of bond money was inappropriate and that there were funds available in the reserve and pointed out that Mission Bay received more money. Mr. Douglas Ryan urged approval of the proposed Parkside expansion without a community room noting that the space could be better used. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed dismay that the plans did not provide for expansion of the collection and claimed that Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund) mandated priority allocation of funds for books and hours. Ms. Lisa Sang, a Parkside neighbor, urged that the Commissioners approve the proposed expansion to meet the needs of neighborhood children noting that the branch was a welcoming quiet environment for study and the librarians very helpful. Ms. Sang found the current branch too crowded commenting that her neighborhood deserved the expansion. Ms. Annie Lee, Parkside resident, pointed out that there was not enough room in the existing branch to study and that an expansion would greatly benefit students using the branch. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 PARKSIDE BRANCH There was an extensive discussion among the Commissioners noting that Parkside was a very heavily used branch, that it did indeed have a large circulation, and that if possible expansion should be considered. In response to questions by Vice President Steiman, Commissioner Bautista, and Chin, the City Librarian discussed the issues involved with the age of the building, ADA and seismic improvements that resulted in the original DPW formula used to determine the baseline cost included in the bond proposal for the renovated branches. Commissioner Chin emphasized that the Commission had a responsibility be fair to all but suggested that it would not be prudent to respond immediately. Commissioner Chin suggested that Parkside users could wait and take a chance that more money would become available to pay for their expansion. President Higueras noted that a Parkside expansion would be a good thing, but that the Commissioners had responsibility to be fair to the entire system. He declared that the Commissioners would like to be able to find a way to do the expansion but that the sober realistic assessment was that no action was possible until other alternatives had been explored. President Higueras also noted that perhaps some of the bond interest money could be use for this purpose. President Higueras emphasized that it was understood that Parkside, as well as other branch libraries, could make a good case for expansion and that this was not the end of this discussion. Commission Chin noted that it was a fact of life in San Francisco that there was a lack of space to meet all of the real needs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #5 BRANCH FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood presented a model (copy attached) for ongoing facilities maintenance developed by staff in response to the Commission’s initiative. Mr. Underwood noted that the proposed plan addressed maintenance cycles out until 2020 and discussed the various types of ongoing maintenance that would protect the library’s investment in its facilities. Mr. Underwood reported that staff recommended that these maintenance cycle be supported by dedicated funds included in the annual operating budget, and if necessary one time use of reserve funds. The Deputy City Librarian additionally recommended that, during the year previous to a scheduled maintenance activity, estimates be reviewed and folded into the next year’s budget as a matter of policy. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 BRANCH FACILITIES MANAGEMENT An anonymous member of the public found that this report discussed ongoing activities that were occurring in a less organized fashion and suggested that the plan could lead to overall reductions in costs and was long overdue. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #5 BRANCH FACILITIES MANAGEMENT In answer to a question by President Higueras, Mr. Underwood commented that unfortunately such important but routine maintenance was a low priority. The Commission’s commitment to maintenance would make it a priority appropriate to its importance. President Higueras noted that the Branch Library Improvement Program was an historic opportunity to focus on establishing caring for our facilities on regular ongoing basis instead of responding to immediate problems. President Higueras found this proposal a good beginning and requested that before the end of this Commission’s term in office effort should be made to move this plan into the regular baseline budget process. President Higueras in particular lauded Rich Walsh and his dedicated team for doing a great job under difficult circumstance with limited resources. Commissioner Bautista saluted Rich Walsh and his team for their work in refurbishing the elevators. Vice President Steiman recommended that this model of including maintenance as a regular ongoing part of what the library did to keep a branch open should be implemented. President Higueras noted that with maintenance one paid some now or a lot more later. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #6 COMMENDING RETIRING LIBRARY STAFF President Higueras read the names of the retiring library employees: Christine Ahrens; Vivian Chan; Selby Collins; Candid Nelly; Paul Quintanilla; Jerry Roth; Ana Rojas; Ellen Shatter; Gloria Hanson; Roberto Esteves, and Katherine Gilmartin that the Commission was honoring and presenting with certificates commending there years of service to the Library. There followed a discussion where the individual achievements of these retiree were pointed out and saluted by the Commissioners and Library staff. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 COMMENDING RETIRING LIBRARY STAFF An anonymous member of the public added their congratulations to the retiring staff. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #6 COMMENDING RETIRING LIBRARY STAFF Commissioner Bautista suggested that it would have been nice if gifts could have been presented to the retiring staff members. MOTION: Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Steiman that the designated retiree be honored with certificates from the Library Commission for their years of exemplary and dedicated public service. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #7 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public commented that public recognition was important and expressed regret that with the cancellation of the next meeting there would be no City Librarian’s Report on the many recent activities. This person confessed to mixed feelings that there had been recognition of problems, a step they felt toward addressing those needs. This person noted that if someone was listening and being responsive that it was better to be more open. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that our wonderful librarians deserved to be honored before their retirement. Mr. Warfield then discussed the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force declining to rescind their decision on his complaint related to the prop. 14 application for the Richmond Branch Library and noted that the Board’s Finance Committee had not approved the Library’s proposed materials recovery fee. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #8 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman that the meeting be adjourned. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #8 ADJOURNMENT None offered Commissioner Chin left the meeting at 7PM. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) The meeting was adjourned at 7:01PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 7/9/03 Please note: These are draft Minutes subject to change by the Library Commission. Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 Copies of Public Comment Summary Statements as authorized by San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.16 can be found in Appendix A. These summary statements are provided by the speaker and their contents are neither generated by, nor subject to approval or verification of accuracy by, the San Francisco Public Library Commission. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of June 26, 2003 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 Public comment available for viewing in pdf format.
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