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Library Commission Minutes - December 16, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION (As approved February 3, 2005) Minutes of the regular meeting of Thursday, December 16, 2004. The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, December 16, 2004 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order by President Higueras at 4:11pm. The following members were present: Bautista, Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin. Commissioner Coulter was reported excused attendance. Agenda Items: 1) Public Comment 2) Approval of the Minutes of the November 18th Meeting 3) Library Budget Workshop 4) Bond Program Manager's Report 5) Adjournment APPENDIX A -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #1 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public commented on aspects of the closed session meeting held on December 6th that this individual found questionable. Ms. Rosemary Wren requested that the Library have a holiday tree and recounted her efforts to persuade library staff to put up a holiday tree. Additionally Ms. Wren offered to facilitate donation of a tree and expressed concern with staff’s negative response to her request in 2003. Mr. Peter Warfield thanked the Commissioners for not reducing hours but expressed disappointment that the growth in the Library’s budget made possible by Prop. E (Library Preservation Fund 1994) did not in his view result in commensurate increases in books and hours. Mr. Warfield also requested clarification of the status of RFID at the Library, recommending that references to it be eliminated from the Strategic Plan. In response to Ms. Wren’s comments and President Higueras’ request, Acting Deputy City Librarian Marcia Schneider noted that while the Library had holiday trees in the past, changes in City policies and previous expressions of concern at their appropriateness had resulted in not having such trees in recent years. Ms. Schneider noted that perhaps after clarification of City policies, a holiday tree might be possible next year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 18TH MEETING Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 18TH MEETING An anonymous member of the public commented on omissions and inaccuracies in the Minutes citing: report Vice President Steiman’s announcement that the quorum would be lost at 5pm and that public comment would be therefore limited; and Commissioner Coulter’s six points concerning the City Librarian Search process that were not specifically detailed in these minutes. Mr. Peter Warfield found several inaccuracies and omissions in these minutes report of discussions, citing: a comment by Supervisor-Elect Mirkirimi; omission of a request to speak by representatives of the Bernal Height preschool program; and about Vice President Steiman’s announcement of when the meeting’s quorum would be lost. Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #2 APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 18TH MEETING MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin for approval of the November 18, 2004 regular meeting minutes. ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, Steiman, and Strobin) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #3 2005-06 LIBRARY BUDGET WORKSHOP Former Library Chief Financial Officer George Nichols presented a detailed overview of the City and the Library’s budget outlook for 2005-06 calling attention to the impact of the loss of two proposed revenue measures in November and a continuing decline in general Fund tax revenues accruing to the Library. Mr. Nichols highlighted how the Library staff had responded to the Mayor’s Budget Office’s request for reductions in this year’s budget and discussed the continuing impact of loss of General Fund revenues in the next year. Mr. Nichols additionally noted that the revenue loses were only one half of the problem and that continuing escalation in mandated personnel and work order costs beyond the Library’s control would have significant cost increase impact in upcoming budget cycles. Mr. Nichols then outlined this year’s budget schedule noting that an approved 2005-06 Budget had to be submitted to the Mayor’s Budget office by February 22nd. Mr. Nichols noted that detailed proposals would be brought to the Commissioners for their consideration and review at their January 20th and February meetings. The former Chief Financial Officer reported that the Library’s Finance Office staff were considering both short-term steps and long-term planning necessary to address the likely budget challenges. Mr. Nichols noted that there were sufficient funds available to maintain current levels of services but that this would become increasingly difficult as increases in baseline costs beyond the Library’s control continued to occur. Mr. Nichols suggested that in the future, no part of the budget could be considered immune from review and that the Library would have to carefully manage and strategically expend its reserve funds during the next three difficult budget cycles. Public comment AGENDA ITEM #3 2005-06 LIBRARY BUDGET WORKSHOP An anonymous member of the public questioned the creditability of Mr. Nichols’ report, suggesting that $300,000 on reserve for RFID proposed to be cut from this years’ budget was additionally programmed to be spent on youth employment. This person also suggested that the budget report did not take into consideration the budget savings that would occur as branches were closed during renovation and assumed costs. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed concern with investment of limited funds in technology, citing RFID in particular, and expressed puzzlement with what was meant by the proposed cut of reserved funding for it. Mr. Warfield wanted an explicit abandonment of use of RFID, asked about the allocation of the $300,000 on reserve for RFID for youth jobs, and suggested that Library funds be spent on books and hours instead of staff salaries. Commission discussion of the 2005-06 LIBRARY BUDGET WORKSHOP President Higueras began the discussion by noting that given the fiscal realities everything had to be placed on the table for review. President Higueras noted that there would be a need to re-evaluate personnel expenditures with a view toward finding new ways to better deliver public services and that new technologies offered opportunities to maintain current services. The Commission President noted that the Commission and Library staff should seize this opportunity to make long-term plans anticipating new ways of doing business so that the Library could continue to serve the community despite future budget issues. President Higueras urged staff to take the next two months to carefully craft their plan. Commissioner Chin recommended that the Library consult experts and look to teen users to see where the future demands for services would be. Commissioner Chin recommended considering what other libraries are doing addressing what the future of our libraries might be like. Vice President Steiman observed that care must be exercised when cutting administration and back of house services because inevitably such reductions lead to reduced quality in front line public services. Vice President Steiman noted that our Library had a larger proportion of higher classification librarian positions than most and that reconsideration and reallocation of these resources, intelligent use of automation, and careful cost/benefit review of proposed changes could maintain our quality services even in difficult budget times. Commissioner Bautista recommended vigilance against efforts to divert dedicated Library funds to other city purposes and inquired about escalations of employee healthcare costs. In response to the questions about the elimination of the $300, 000 on reserve for RFID, Mr. Nichols noted that cutting of these funds was not a policy decision but merely a response to the request for reductions by the Mayor’s Budget Office. Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood noted that the Library remained committed to implementing RFID as had been previously discussed and suggested that funds for that purpose would be included in the proposed 2005-06 Budget. In response to the Commissioners’ discussion, Acting City Librarian Paul Underwood and Mr. Nichols noted that staff were considering structural changes that would address many of the points raised including a process over time to convert some librarian positions to other uses. In response to a query by President Higueras, Mr. Nichols noted that the $300,000 in reserve funds would simply drop out of this year’s budget and that Supervisor Daly had been informed of the Library’s plan for reductions. President Higueras noted that the Library Commission remained committed to a process that would thoroughly consider RFID before going forward with implementation. In response to a question by Vice President Steiman, Mr. Nichols reported that no layoffs were envisioned in next year’s budget. In response to a query by Commissioner Bautista, it was noted that landscaping work orders from the Recreation and Park Department could be given greater scrutiny. Commissioner Bautista noted that it was important that POE (Post Occupancy Evaluation) Report related Main Library improvements be continued. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT Branch Library Improvement Program Manager Marilyn Thompson presented her regular three part report beginning by noting that there would be no informational presentation at this meeting. Ms. Thompson then presented her budget, schedule, active projects reports and a construction report, (copy attached). The BLIP Manager then reported on upcoming community and outreach meetings, the 6th Floor Main Library display, and the current issue of the Bond Program newsletter. Ms. Thompson concluded her report by presenting the staff response (copy attached) to the Peer Panel Review and recommendations for changes in the design for the renovation of the Western Addition Branch Library. Vice President Steiman left the meeting at 5:34pm. Due to an impending loss of the meetings’ quorum President Higueras continued Public comment on and Commission discussion of AGENDA ITEM #4 BOND PROGRAM MANAGER’S REPORT to the January 6, 2005 regular meeting of the Public Library Commission. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AGENDA ITEM #5 ADJOURNMENT MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, 2nd Commissioner Chin to adjourn the December 16, 2004 regular Public Library Commission meeting. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #9 ADJOURNMENT None offered. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, Strobin) The Commission meeting adjourned at 5:59pm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 12/21/04 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: December 10th 2005-06 Library Budget Report Current BLIP Summary Schedule, Budget, and Construction Reports -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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).