Minutes of the meeting of Thursday, October 17, 2002. (As approved November 21, 2002)
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a regular meeting on Thursday, October 17, 2002 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The meeting was called to order at 4:02PM by President Higueras.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin. Commissioner Bautista joined the meeting at 4:10PM. Commissioners Steiman and Streets were reported excused attendance.
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 19, 2002COMMISSION MEETING
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 19, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING
An anonymous member of the public noted that their public comment summary statements had not been posted on the library’s website and that the minutes were not being widely distributed as they had been and should be. This person also cited insufficient reporting of discussions citing as example the report on the Mission Bay design item. Mr. Ed Regan found that his remarks had been accurately reported. Mr. Peter Warfield commented that there was an apparently new policy not to distribute copies of the minutes with the mailed agendas and inquired as to why this change had been made. Mr. Warfield noted that the minutes as well as copies of explanatory documents were useful to members of the public interested in library issues. Ms. Sue Cauthen remarked that she understood that mailing of Minutes and supportive documents would be resumed, urged that it be done, noting they were very useful to members of the public interested in library issues.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 19, 2002 COMMISSION MEETING
Commissioner Coulter requested the correction of a page 4 mention of a Ted Stuart to Ted Lobman of the Stuart Foundation.
MOTION: Commissioner Chin, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the Minutes be approved as amended.
MOTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
AGENDA ITEM #2 BRANCH LIBRARY SERVICES STRATEGY
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood presented a- report on how the Library proposed to provide access to library services during the construction phases of the Branch Library Bond Program. Mr. Underwood reported that these proposals address the to prepare for alternative services throughout the 10 year build out of the Branch Bond Program; remain within the financial limits of the program budget; and limit the impact on services in any one part of the city. The Deputy City Librarian noted that staff had considered use of temporary structures and after careful consideration had decided against recommending doing so. Mr. Underwood cited difficulties with temporary structures similar to those raised by use of temporary locations in locating such structures, costs of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) upgrades, ongoing operational costs, and the loss of resources devoted to improvements.
Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood then outlined the proposed services options that staff recommended as expanded use of bookmobile services, extending hours of service at nearby branches, partnership with schools and neighborhood groups to place library programs in community facilities, and expanded use of the children’s bookmobile. Mr. Underwood discussed in some detail the advantages conferred by acquiring additional bookmobiles and using them to provide coverage in several locations during the course of Branch Bond program work. The Deputy City Librarian then outlined how hours at nearby branches might be extended, additionally special collections located at a branch under renovation would be relocated to a nearby branch to maintain access. Mr. Underwood reported that partnerships with schools, community centers, churches, and other accessible neighborhood facilities would allow for some library programs to be continued during branch renovation work, such as the Summer Reading Program. The Deputy City Librarian discussed how additional visits by the children’s bookmobile could provide needed service coverage for neighborhood children.
The Deputy City Librarian next outlined extensively the budgetary considerations which led staff to recommend these options, noting that $4.3 million was all that was available in the budget for all 24 projects. Mr. Underwood then discussed the breakdown of costs per branch. The Deputy City Librarian identified the potential collection storage sites available in order of preference as Brooks Hall, the lower level at Presidio Branch, offsite city storage, and finally commercial rented storage facilities. Mr. Underwood noted that the Excelsior Branch would likely be the first renovation project closing in September 2003 and reopening in September 2004. The Deputy City Librarian described how services would be expanded at the Glen Park, and Bernal Heights Branches, additional bookmobile and children’ bookmobile services would be put into place. Finally, Mr. Underwood noted that Excelsior Branch’s special Filipiniana Collection would be moved and made available at the Bernal Heights Branch during renovation.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 BRANCH LIBRARY SERVICES STRATEGY
An anonymous member of the public remarked that they would have preferred to see the data that supported the presentation suggesting that they had heard conclusions without evidence to support them. This individual commented that this was not what was expected when the Branch Library Renovation Bond was proposed. Mr. Ed Regan proposed that trailers, placed near the existing branch, could be used at reasonable cost to provide a better level of library services while a branch was being renovated. Mr. Peter Warfield echoed some of the comments of previous speakers and expressed disappointment that temporary locations would not be considered, as they should be on a case by case basis. Mr. Warfield additionally noted a bookmobile’s lack of capacity, a paucity of details regarding information about what was being proposed and costs, and suggested that the current poor economic conditions provided opportunity to rent empty storefronts at reasonable cost. Mr. Warfield also expressed concern with books being unavailable during branch construction and suggested that their whereabouts be noted in the catalog. Ms. Jeannene Przyblyski, Friends of Noe Valley, urged that use of trailers be reconsidered, finding bookmobiles problematic. Ms. Przyblyski found most troubling the proposal that during renovations branch users be referred to nearby branches, recommending that a neighborhood presence be maintained during all branch closures, and that after the renovations were completed that branch hours systemwide be expanded.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #2 BRANCH LIBRARY SERVICES STRATEGY
In response to questions by Commissioner Coulter, Mr. Underwood discussed the practical advantages and fiscal merits of using bookmobiles instead of trailers or temporary locations. Commissioner Coulter expressed concern that the hours added to nearby branch libraries might lead to an expectation that they could continue after the closed branch reopened. The City Librarian noted that the next Proposition E (Library Preservation Fund) review of library hours was scheduled to occur in Summer of 2004 and that would provide an opportunity to take another look at the allocation of public service hours throughout the library system. Ms. Hildreth noted with regard to maintaining public service hours that the library needed to begin to think about proposing a re-authorization of Proposition E to be placed before the voters in 2007 or 2008. Responding to a question by Commissioner Chin, Mr. Underwood discussed why the choice of the Presidio Branch for storing collections was made. In response to comments by Commissioner Strobin, it was noted that while commercial spaces might be available there were significant costs involved in using them and any improvements made by the library would be left behind.
In response to another question by Commissioner Strobin concerning use of nearby school or church facilities on a temporary basis, Mr. Underwood noted that plans were being considered for use of such spaces for program activities but not housing as for collections during branch construction. Commissioner Coulter called attention to the costs involved in providing alternative services facilities during the closure of the Chinatown and Mission branches. In answer to another question the City Librarian informed Commissioner Coulter that branch staff would be re-deployed to the bookmobiles and other branches during construction. President Higueras requested that staff revisit and provide the Commission with comparable costs for replacing branch services with bookmobiles, trailers, as well as temporary structures. Deputy City Librarian Paul Underwood clarified that items in branch collections being stored would be either masked or listed as "not available" in the catalog while they were being stored during construction of their branch.
AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT
(Explanatory documents: Bond Program budget and schedule documents)
Branch Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson began her report introducing an informational presentation by Mr. Joe Cheung, on managing change orders. Mr. Cheung provided a very detailed presentation on managing city contracts based on his 27 years of experience in construction management. Mr. Cheung noted that change orders were a fact of life in both public and private construction projects and that in some cases allowed for unanticipated opportunities to improve a project once it had begun. Mr. Cheung then discussed extensively what to watch out for and how to maintain good oversight as a construction project went forward with strong regular reporting requirements, and keeping a close eye on contingency expenditures. Mr. Cheung commented that a reasonable contingency might be 10% of budget for a new building and given the likelihood of surprises, 15-20% in an older structure.
Ms. Thompson next presented her regular budget report, informing the Commissioners that there had been no changes in the Bond Program Budget since her last report. The Bond Program Manager next also reported no changes in the program schedule as previously reported. The Bond Program Manager then informed the Commissioners concerning site acquisition activities, reporting that the new Glen Park Branch was undergoing review by the Planning Commission and following that would go to the Board of Supervisors for its approval. The Bond Program Manager informed the Commissioners that the Board of Supervisors had approved the Mission Bay Branch and updated them concerning the proposed Portola Branch at the Martin Luther King Middle School site. Ms. Thompson then discussed locations being sought for the Visitacion Valley Branch and brought the commissioners up to date with the acquisition of the Sunset Auto site for the new Ingleside Branch library. Ms. Thompson outlined the ongoing active projects, filling in the Commissioners concerning activities at the Richmond, Excelsior, Noe Valley, Marina, and Parkside Branch Libraries. The Bond Program Manager then discussed the RFQ issued for design services and for interior design. Ms. Thompson then announced upcoming community outreach meetings including: a Mission Bay Branch public art meeting; a Portola Branch community meeting, a Richmond Branch November 6th meeting; a November 7th Ingleside Branch community meeting; and a Marina Branch Rec/Park community meeting. Ms. Thompson noted that the Bond Program Website was being continually updated and that the 3rd edition of the Bond Program newsletter had been distributed last month.
The Bond Program Manager then presented a special report on managing construction program budgets emphasizing that the entire program’s budget must be constantly and carefully managed so as to complete all 25 projects and not expend funds in a manner that would shortchange the last project to be completed. The Bond Program Manager discussed steps such as the creation of the prudent program budget reserve and the proposed creation of prudent contingency budgets for each of the projects as tools in managing the overall budget. Ms. Thompson then outlined in some detail other tools that she proposed be used to insure that Bond Program projects remained on budget such as: creating different kinds of contingency budgets; emphasis on contractual accountability; setting clear priorities and doing needed additional studies; doing the needed levels of design work; doing checklists, focusing on quality assurance/value engineering, using peer reviews; regularly evaluating the program schedule; and frequent reporting of key indicators and tends.
Ms. Thompson next discussed how the program could respond to getting or not getting additional funding through Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) noting that a basic principle should be to always maintain program goals, efficiently spend the funds available to complete the program, and not count on receiving additional funds. The Bond Program Manager emphasized the importance of safeguarding Bond Program reserve funds and suggested that any policy decisions to make changes must be carefully justified.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT
An anonymous member of the public found the report useful, calling particular attention to the report on change orders, reminding the Commissioners of the serious problems flawed architectural drawings had created in the renovation of the Chinatown Branch Library. This person suggested that process and careful controls were essential to prevent a re-occurrence of this kind of problem. Mr. Ed Regan commented that while the report was good, he disagreed with the necessity for seismic retrofits. Mr. Regan also suggested that there was unnecessary concern with the possible existence of partial foundations citing their common use. Mr. Regan further noted that cost over-runs must not be allowed as they only enrich contractors. Ms. Sue Cauthen, commented on community involvement in planning for Marina Branch Library improvements, noted Supervisor Newsom’s support for this effort, and called attention to the community’s desires for Marina Branch improvements reflected in surveys done for the Marina Branch.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #3 BOND PROGRAM MANAGERS REPORT
In response to questions by Commissioner Coulter, Ms. Thompson described how the Bond Program proposed to adhere to the model of prudent contingencies suggested by Mr. Cheung in his report. In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista regarding the Library’s legal obligations to seismically upgrade unsafe structures, Ms. Thompson outlined the current requirements that substandard buildings be brought up to code. Ms. Thompson then explained the role of the California Seismic Safety Commission in fostering the development of new safety measures for historic buildings and providing advice on improving building codes.
AGENDA ITEM #4 BLIP REPORT
No report was offered.
AGENDA ITEM #5 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public commented that the public was owed an accounting of the Library’s management of the Fuhrman Fund and discussed the influence of the views of Martin Paley concerning how the wishes of those making such bequests might be changed had impacted the Commission’s management of the Fuhrman Trust. This person suggested that the Commissioners had not taken up their responsibilities as trustees. Mr. Ed Regan suggested that Library public service hours be expanded from 6AM until Midnight seven days per week. Mr. Regan additionally suggested that all libraries have a labor collection that included copies of local labor contracts as well information on labor law. Mr. Peter Warfield thanked the Commissioners who had asked questions and suggested that that differing reports regarding the number of books in the Excelsior Branch collections were of great concern to him. Mr. Warfield expressed concern with what he found to be a denegration of books, noting that taking the view that the library had but one book collection spread among 27 facilities diminished the importance of its commitment to maintaining neighborhood libraries. A 2nd anonymous member of the public called the Commissioners attention to problems with the policy of allowing teen users access to adult computers. This person suggested that excessive teen use limited the ability of adult users to have access to library computers. This individual recommended that the library initiate uniform policies on computer use.
AGENDA ITEM #6 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the meeting be adjourned.
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #6 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Chin, Coulter, Higueras, and Strobin)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:07PM.
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 11/22/02
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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.
Minutes of the regular Commission Meeting of October 17, 2002
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. 2
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