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Library Commission Minutes - May 16, 2002

Minutes of the meeting of Thursday, May 16, 2002. (As approved June 20, 2002) The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:01 PM by President Higueras. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman. Commissioners Coulter, Streets, and Swig were reported excused attendance. President Higueras announced that due to the potential loss of a quorum by 5:30PM he was reordering the taking of agenda items as #1, #2 to #4, #3 to #2, #4 to #5, #5 to #3, then items #6 through #8 in posted order. AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 18, 2002 Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 18, 2002 Mr. Peter Warfield called attention to errors and omissions in the minutes. Mr. Warfield in particular cited the lack of details of fundraising costs related to the discussion of the Gift Policy, concerning Charlie Dunn’s comments on potential relocation costs for businesses, and aspects of the Deputy City Librarian’s report concerning proposals that there be no traditional replacement facilities used during the Branch Bond Program. Mr. Ed Regan commented that his remarks had been accurately reported. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF APRIL 18, 2002 MOTION: for approval of the April 18th Minutes by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Steiman. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) AGENDA ITEM #3 ART ENRICHMENT PROGRAM (taken 2nd) (Explanatory document: Art Enrichment Master Plan, proposed Art Enrichment Program Fund.) Marilyn Thompson, Branch Bond Program Manager called attention to and briefly discussed the two documents addressed under this item: the Art Enrichment Master Plan, a discussion item; and approval of the proposed Art Enrichment Fund, an action item. The Bond Program Manager discussed the details of the $302,000 Master Plan providing for the six bond projects, Richmond, Visitacion Valley, Portola, Ingleside, Glen Park, and Mission Bay that would receive art works through the Art Enrichment Program. Ms. Thompson noted that should the scale of other branch projects be increased they too might be eligible for inclusion in the Art Enrichment program. Ms. Thompson then introduced Jill Manton of the Arts Commission, who provided the Commissioners with a step by step overview of how these projects would be managed, public input gathered, artists selected, and the works chosen produced. Ms. Thompson then requested that the Commissioners approve selection and placement of $302,000 for the six described art projects. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 ART ENRICHMENT PROGRAM: An anonymous member of the public found the administrative costs ascribed to the Art Enrichment Program excessive and wondered how the remaining amounts would be apportioned among the six projects. The anonymous member of the public inquired as where was discretion in the program, noting an apparent 2% cut in the funds available for art, and criticized the selection process described as involving handpicked neighborhood representatives. Mr. Ed Regan asked whether the art was to be located inside or outside the buildings. Mr. Peter Warfield recommended that the Commission delay action on this proposal to allow more time for discussion and expressed concern about honorariums proposed to be paid to those involved in the selection process. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Noe Valley, commented that the Noe Valley Branch was not scheduled to receive art work under this proposal and suggested that there were other ways to fund good public art works for all of the branch libraries in addition to the percent for art set aside. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 ART ENRICHMENT PROGRAM: In response to public comments, Ms. Thompson noted that the work proposed for the Noe Valley Branch did not rise to the level that triggered creation of a set aside for public art. The Bond Program Manager reported that the art works could be located either inside or outside the building. In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Manton outlined the jurisdiction of the Art Commission over these matters and discussed the cooperative work being undertaken among the Art Commission staff, Library staff, and the community to identify and select artists and plan for art works for the designated branch libraries. Ms. Manton further clarified that the administrative costs for these projects was set in the city’s administrative code and was standard for all such projects. In answer to further questions by President Higueras, Ms. Manton described how the panels were established to consider artist selections and the role of the Art Commission’s Visual Arts Committee in overseeing the process. Ms. Manton described how community representatives would be selected and those selected would be paid a $65 honorarium for their service. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Manton discussed how the lists of pre-qualified artists were developed and discussed the library related work experience of some artists. Responding to comments and questions by Commissioner Chin, Ms. Manton discussed the professional standards for the artwork and addressed concerns that the diversity of cultural traditions in the community be reflected in the artists and art works selected for these projects. Ms. Manton informed the Commissioners that background information on the requests for proposals relating to the neighborhood art projects and the selected artists was available through the Art Commission. Motion: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman authorizing moving the 2% mandated for public art from six eligible projects into the Art Enrichment Program Budget established Jan. 17, 2002. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) AGENDA ITEM #5 SITE ACQUISITION: PORTOLA BRANCH City Librarian Susan Hildreth presented a background discussion of the process to date in pursuing an opportunity to located the new Portola Branch Library on school district property adjacent to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Then she described the proposed alternative location at the site of the former Boys and Girls Club on San Bruno Avenue. The City Librarian requested that the Commissioner authorize the Department of Real Estate to continue to try to achieve an agreement with the San Francisco Unified School District until July 1. If this process proved unsuccessful after that date it was her recommendation that the Library focus its efforts on negotiations on acquisition of the former Boys and Girls Club location. The City Librarian indicated a strong preference for the school site commenting on the various advantages of such a location as well as the likelihood that the project could qualify as a first priority Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) project. Ms. Hildreth discussed the rationale for the time limit on negotiations with the school district and then called attention to the merits of the Boys and Girls Club site as a backup option. Ms. Hildreth then introduced Mr. Charlie Dunn who provided the Commissioners with more details concerning various proposed sites considered to date. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 SITE ACQUISITION: PORTOLA BRANCH: An anonymous member of the public commented that the public had not been offered a specific project to discuss and expressed concern with the implications of a Prop. 14 project tied to a relationship with the schools. This anonymous member of the public noted concerns about adults entering a school site and called attention to problems experienced at the Ortega branch that was similarly configured. Mr. Ed Regan commented that he believed the current location the best site although the school site had been voted most popular by those attending a community meeting he had attended. Mr. Regan expressed concern that overflow from the school would negatively impact meeting needs of adult patrons citing problems he had experienced at the Parkside Branch. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that the report had not fully discussed the budget for this project nor addressed the implications of a partnership with the school district and urged that the Commission delay consideration of this proposal until more details were made clear. Mr. Warfield also cited problems with vandalism at the Ortega Branch and noted the desire that the proposed branch be a one-story facility. Mr. Warfield suggested that the need for state funds may have too great an influence, questioned any partnership with the school district given its bad reputation, and commented that the Commission should look to what is best for the Library. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #5 SITE ACQUISITION: PORTOLA BRANCH: (Explanatory document: Portola sites acquisition memo) Vice President Steiman pointed out that it was desirable that all of the new facilities be one story because of staffing issues. In response to questions Ms. Hildreth indicated that future expansion would be possible on the school site. Commissioner Bautista spoke extensively concerning the advantages of locating the Library adjacent to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School with which she was very familiar. Ms. Hildreth highlighted the cooperative efforts of the school’s Principal, Mr. James Taylor in making this project a possibility and discussed how the relationship with the schools could be managed to benefit both the schools, the library, and the neighborhood. In response to President Higueras comments that the library was already very popular with neighborhood kids and did serve in some ways as a de facto child care center, Library Chief of Children and Youth Services, Toni Bernardi discussed how the Library could make very effective use of cooperative relationships with the neighboring schools. President Higueras noted that the school site seemed to be the best choice, particularly considering the availability of Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) funds for such a project, but also noted that it would be a win/win for the neighborhood even if Prop. 14 were not a consideration. Commissioners Chin and Bautista, noting their familiarity with the school, cited many benefits that would result from locating the library at the school site. President Higueras responding to comments about problems experienced at the Ortega Branch noted the unique nature of that location and that the new branch could be designed to address any similar concerns. Motion: by Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Bautista authorizing the City Librarian, in consultation with the City Attorney's Office and the Director of Property, to pursue negotiations with the San Francisco Unified School District for the purchase of property located on the grounds of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School as the site for a new Portola Branch Library until July 1, 2002, and if unsuccessful to begin negotiations thereafter for the acquisition of the site of the former Boys and Girls Club. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) President Higueras announced that, as the Commission was losing its quorum, the remaining business of the meeting would be continued to Tuesday, May 21, 2002 following the conclusion of a proposed special meeting. The meeting adjourned at 5:27PM continued to Tuesday, May 21, 2002 following the conclusion of a proposed 4PM special meeting. SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION Minutes of the meeting of Thursday, May 16, 2002 as continued on Tuesday, May 21, 2002. (As approved June 20, 2002) The San Francisco Public Library Commission continued the business of its regular meeting begun on Thursday, May 16, 2002 on Tuesday, May 21, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library. President Higueras called the continuation of the May 16th meeting to order at 4:55 PM. The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman. Commissioners Coulter, Streets, and Swig were reported excused attendance. AGENDA ITEM #1 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT (Explanatory documents: Bond Program budget and schedule documents) Branch Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson reported that there would be no informational report at this meeting and then noted that there had been no changes in the reported Bond Program Budget or Schedule since her last report. The Bond Program Manager noted that Bond Program expenditures and encumbrances totaled $723,109 through April 30th. Ms. Thompson then called attention to the current six-page program schedule report. The Bond Program Manager then gave the Commissioners a detailed update on site acquisition activities related to the Glen Park, Mission Bay, Portola, Ingleside, and Visitacion Valley Branch Libraries. Ms. Thompson next outlined ongoing work on the active projects at the Richmond, Excelsior, Noe Valley, Marina, and Parkside branches. The Bond Program Manager then gave the Commissioners an update on community outreach activities, listing Bond Program related community meetings sponsored or attended by the library staff. Ms. Thompson reported that a Bond program website was up and running and that a Bond Program newsletter had issued its first edition last month and that a second would be issued in June. The Bond Program Manager reported that there would be no special report this month. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT An anonymous member of the public commented that they hoped the reported Richmond Branch Design workshop would be something other than a fundraising event. This anonymous member of the public also commented that the explanatory documents were difficult to read. Mr. Peter Warfield expressed disappointment at not having community meeting notes from an April 20th Excelsior Branch Community meeting and noted concern that complaints concerning the loss of books and book space were not reported. Mr. Warfield suggested that Library Administration had already made decisions about the branch without clearly describing them. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT In response to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson discussed information on the various projects available on the Bond Program website. AGENDA ITEM #2 DESIGN EXCELLENCE PROGRAM (Explanatory document: Design Excellence Program guidelines) Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson outlined the goals: to provide facilities that reflect the mission of the San Francisco Public Library: to embody state-of-the-art architectural design; and to employ a process that creates productive synergy between design teams, library staff and the community. Ms. Thompson then discussed the three elements of the proposed Design Excellence Program: a rigorous architect/engineer selection process; distinguished architect, interior designer, and planner peer reviewed design review; and an extensive public review process. Ms. Thompson outlined how the selection process would work for both the renovation and new construction projects and described in detail how the design review panels would be selected and how they would function. Ms. Thompson then provided the Commissioners with an overview of the community and Library Commission based public review process. The Bond Program Manager then discussed the chart showing how a typical complex project would be handled. Ms. Thompson described the public planning process from initial planning to conceptual design, schematic design, the production of construction documents, the bid process, the actual construction phase, and finally close out for a typical project. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 DESIGN EXCELLENCE PROGRAM: An anonymous member of the public commented favorably on the interest shown in ideals noting that they were overdue and lacking when the Main Library was built. This individual noted that thus far the Library had rushed through the process on branch bond projects and wondered if this program was going to be taken seriously noting the Foundation’s private design event and finding themselves not encouraged. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that the building would be judged by their exterior design and expressed a preference for use of red brick on branch library exteriors as durable and attractive. Mr. Warfield commented that it was a good thing to have an outline but was not sure what action was to be taken. Mr. Warfield expressed preference that the Library Commission be involved in the first steps of the process suggesting that the Excelsior Branch design had been done without Commission input or involvement. Mr. Warfield also noted that it was unclear when members of the public would become involved in this process unless they were specifically invited to do so. Mr. Warfield expressed strong interest in being involved in planning and wanted to help with branch library designs. Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 DESIGN EXCELLENCE PROGRAM: President Higueras commended Ms. Thompson’s carrying out the Library Commission’s mandate to pursue design excellence on Branch Library Bond program projects. Commissioner Chin called attention to the importance of getting the best value for the funds budgeted for each project without being cheap. President Higueras noted that part of getting good value would be to consider how to maximize the life of the new building agreeing with Commissioner Chin’s observation that the best value was not necessarily the lowest bid and that the community expects work to the highest standards. Commissioner Bautista noted that red brick was not an appropriate material for meeting current meet seismic safety standards as an exterior material. In response to Vice President Steiman’s question concern architectural design that imitated historical styles, Ms. Thompson and President Higueras spoke to how this process would allow the development of designs that arose from cooperation between the designers and the community that reflected the context of the urban environment. President Higueras called attention to the importance of sustainable design and designs that maximized access to natural light sources in the Bond Program building design. AGENDA ITEM #6 LIBRARY 2002/03 BUDGET UPDATE Mr. George Nichols, Library Finance Director, brought the Library Commissioners up to date with the most recent information concerning development with the projected $117 million City Budget shortfall. In particular, Mr. Nichols discussed changes in revenue projections and their likely impact on the 2002/03 Library Budget that the Mayor would present to the Board of Supervisors for its consideration. The Library Finance Director reported that the Mayor had agreed to three augmentations of the 2002/03 Library Budget requested by Library staff including: $340 million for public copying and printing; $45,ooo for a new delivery truck; and an additional $250,000 for the book budget. Mr. Nichols then discussed the situation that led to the need for additional funds for public printing and copying resulting from the cancellation of the Pinnacle Contract and the terms of the new Xerox Contract. The City Librarian suggested that should the Commissioners agree that it would be useful that the Library Commission send a letter to Mayor Brown indicating support for the augmentations recommended by library staff. Mr. Nichols concluded his report noting difficulty in projecting the final outcome of budget developments because of unknown factors such as additional state budget reductions, and changes made by the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors during deliberations on the overall 2002/03 City budget. Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 LIBRARY 2002/03 BUDGET UPDATE: An anonymous member of the public questioned the identification of this item as an action item, noting that it was not clear what action could be taken. This person found that this report was good news/bad news, suggesting a shift in the sources of revenues could result in a shift in priorities. Mr. Peter Warfield noted that there was nothing more important that the budget, requested greater documentation noting the lack of an explanatory document, and expressed concern at the size of the increase in the book budget. The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting. 1 Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 LIBRARY 2002/03 BUDGET UPDATE: In response to Commissioners’ questions the City Librarian noted that the Library Commission’s City Charter obligations to review and recommend the Library Budget had been completed but that a letter of support for the augmentations proposed by Library staff would reflect their approval of them. In response to Commissioners’ questions the City Librarian and Mr. Nichols noted the fluid nature of the budget process and pointed out that the report had been noticed as an action item to allow the Commissioners’ flexibility in how they wanted to respond to the proposed budget changes. Commissioner Bautista noted that while a letter wasn’t necessary it might be a good idea. Vice President Steiman observed that it was important that the Commission signal its approval of the changes. MOTION: by Commissioner Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Chin requesting that a letter from the Library Commission be sent to Mayor Brown in support of the 2002/03 Library Budget augmentations proposed by Library staff. ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) AGENDA ITEM #7 PUBLIC COMMENT An anonymous member of the public commented that they were estranged from the Commission, noting that they had left the previous meeting angry that the Commission had not taken public comment. This individual commented that they did not wish to be with the Commissioners because of how they treated everyone. Mr. Peter Warfield found it unfortunate that Public Comment was not taken at the last meeting, suggesting that there had been sufficient time to do so. Mr. Warfield had questions regarding the $3.2 million increase in the Library Budget, noting that all the proposed additional items did not add up to this amount, and suggesting that the increase in the book budget was very small considering the overall increase in the funds available to the Library. AGENDA ITEM #8 ADJOURNMENT Motion: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Steiman that the meeting be adjourned. Action: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Chin, Higueras, and Steiman) The meeting was adjourned at 6PM. Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 6/21/02 Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of May 16, 2002 and its continuation on May 21, 2002. 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.