Library Commission Minutes - November 15, 2001
Minutes of the special meeting of Thursday, November 15, 2001. (As approved December 20, 2001).
The San Francisco Public Library Commission held a special meeting called by the Commission President on Thursday, November 15, 2001 in the Koret Auditorium, Main Library.
The meeting was called to order at 4:13 PM by President Higueras.
The following members were noted present: Commissioners Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets.
Commissioner Swig was noted excused attendance and that Commissioner Chin's arrival was delayed.
AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 10, 2001
Public comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 10, 2001
An anonymous member of the public commented on the Commission Secretary's announcement concerning how the meeting would be conducted and concerning the requirements of the Commission Bylaws related to approval of meeting minutes. This anonymous member of the public cited reasons that approval of minutes should be done at regular meetings. This person also noted that the report of a discussion on page 2 omitted a statement attributed to Commissioner Chin that should have been highlighted and answered. Mr. Peter Warfield noted that meeting minutes were normally approved at regular meetings. Mr. Warfield found inadequate the reported Commission comment on page 4 related to the system-wide Services Support Center. Mr. Warfield also noted that his thanks to the Commissioners on the last item was omitted and remarks concerning public access to the charrette were not reported. Mr. Warfield also noted on Agenda Item 5 that the community had expressed a preference for a freestanding library.
Commission comment on AGENDA ITEM #1 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 10, 2001.
MOTION: by Commissioner Coulter, seconded by Commissioner Bautista for approval of the Minutes of October 10, 2001.
ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets)
AGENDA ITEM #2 BRANCH LIBRARY SITE SELECTION REPORT
City Librarian Susan Hildreth informed that Commissioners that staff were recommending that the Library Commission approve designation of the 2185 Diamond Street "Diamond Super" site as the location for the Glen Park Branch Library. Ms. Hildreth then provided an extensive background report on the various sites proposed in the Glen Park neighborhood and a detailed overview of the community meeting and input process which led to the recommendation for this condominium purchase. Ms. Hildreth noted that selection of this site allowed for expansion of the proposed new branch library, increasing its size from 6,000 sq. ft. to 8,500 sq. ft. with a significant civic presence in the center of the neighborhood. The City Librarian then outlined the concerns with the BART option that led staff to recommend the Diamond Super site instead noting that a stand alone facility was simply not possible in the Glen Park neighborhood given available properties. Ms. Hildreth informed the Commissioners that the Library and BART would continue to work together in planning future improvements in the Glen Park neighborhood.
The City Librarian then introduced Mr. Charlie Dunn of the Real Estate Division, Administrative Services Department who gave the Commissioners an extensive report on a draft of the proposed term sheet for the purchase of an enhanced shell to be delivered to the Library by the developers. Mr. Dunn discussed several of the features to be included in the developed shell and noted that there would be continued negotiations with the developers leading to a condominium purchase and sale agreement that would fully address final design issues and costs and resolve how continuing issues for shared spaces in the mixed use facility would be addressed. Mr. Dunn noted that the shell was being designed so that to the greatest extent possible the library would have entirely separate utilities and systems. Mr. Dunn asked that the Commission make its choice between the 2nd Floor location of the Diamond Super site which could go forward in the near future or decide to consider the BART site with a possible lengthy delay in beginning the project for the new Glen Park Branch Library.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #2 BRANCH LIBRARY SITE SELECTION REPORT
An anonymous member of the public questioned use of the term "letter of Intent" and asked that the Commission clarify if they were approving the Letter of Intent or the beginning of full project design. This person noted that this was a compromise, not the best site, and that something better might come along. This person found the current library charming and that the proposed project lacked charm and could be seen as a step down. Mr. David Prowler, developer of the Diamond Super site, lauded the cooperative process that had been pursued in creating this project, noting that there were many more steps to go before the project would become a reality, and that he was available to answer any questions. Mr. Ed Regan expressed mixed emotions concerning this proposal. Mr. Regan commented that while it was the best site, he opposed locating the library in a mixed-use facility. Mr. Regan further recommended that the Library purchase both the Diamond Super site and the BART site for the library with parking. Ms. Zoanne Nordstrom, President of the Glen Park Association, expressed strong support for the Diamond Super site, lauded the cooperative selection process which included the neighborhood, and urged that the Commission approve selection of this mixed use site. Mr. Peter Warfield questioned if concerns about the lack of an elevator and access for the disabled had been resolved and noted concern with the location and visibility of a library located on the second floor over a store. Mr. Warfield expressed concerns about the potential costs involved in operating this library or indeed any library in a mixed-use facility. Mr. Warfield raised concerns with patron safety created by the traffic generated by the shared use. Ms. Sharon Dezurick, Glen Park Library Branch Manager, expressed her appreciation to the neighbors that had participated in the selection process and looked forward to the new location. Mr. Chris van Loben Sels, expressed support of the Wilder Street neighbors for selection of the Diamond Super site and relief that the proposed BART site had been rejected. He noted that the proposals for the BART site caused great concerns among its neighbors and that choice of this site in the heart of the village was very exciting.
COMMISSION COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #2 BRANCH LIBRARY SITE SELECTION REPORT
Vice President Steiman noted that while this site had not been the site she preferred she had changed her mind given the unavailability of the "Kelly" site, a lack of other alternative choices in the neighborhood, and the fact that this location allowed for a larger branch library. Commissioner Steiman noted that the issues had been discussed and thoroughly addressed in the three well-attended neighborhood meetings. She noted that in the future this location could potentially allow in 50 or 60 years for the library to expand. She noted that the issues of how to separate the functioning of the grocery and the library had been discussed. Vice President Steiman noted there was strong support for choosing this site in this neighborhood, that it had potential to be filled with light, and noted the great uncertainties and potentially long delay in developing the BART site for the library. Vice President Steiman commented that waiting was unlikely to produce a better option.
In response to a question by President Higueras, the City Librarian clarified that the Commission was being asked to approve the outline of terms described in the term sheet (copy attached). Mr. Dunn explained to Commissioner Streets and Bautista exactly what was included in the term sheet, noting that it was a non-binding letter of intent outlining the general terms to be refined in good faith discussions into a final purchase and sale agreement. Mr. Dunn observed that the BART site remained as a potential back up option should a final agreement not be achieved. In answer to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Dunn described all of the general terms being agreed to should the Commission approve the proposed outline/letter of intent with the developer for a delivered warm shell. Mr. Dunn then discussed aspects of the condominium agreements (CCNRs) to be worked out between the developer and the library and that the library would own its portion of the building. Mr. Dunn reported to President Higueras that the CCNRs would be developed along with the drafting of the final purchase and sale agreement. In response to questions by Commissioner Chin, Mr. Dunn explained what would happen if the owners of the other parts of the building wanted to sell. Mr. Dunn also noted that there were extensive planning and zoning controls that would limit the kinds of uses which would be allowed at that location. Vice President Steiman noted that the neighborhood would certainly have a say in whatever located in this site. In answer to questions by Commissioner Streets, Mr. Dunn noted that similar issues would govern any sale of the library property. Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson informed Commissioner Streets that each project already had individual ledger accounts. She then confirmed that Commissioner Bautista was correct that this project was roughly $88,000 over the original estimates, but expressed confidence that this sum could be managed within the overall program budget and that the proposed branch was larger than had been originally proposed. Commissioner Bautista expressed unhappiness that this first project was already over budget.
The City Librarian reported that there was a possibility that application for Prop. 14 (State Library Bond) funds could be considered. In response to questions by Commissioner Bautista, Mr. Dunn explained that use of solar power resources could be considered.
Vice President Steiman urged that the Library carefully monitor installation of any proposed skylights in the new building given past problems.
MOTION: by Commissioner Steiman, seconded by Commissioner Coulter to select the Diamond Super site as the branch library location and authorize continued negotiations in accordance with the terms proposed in the Letter of Intent.
ACTION: AYE 5-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, Steiman, and Streets)
AGENDA ITEM #3 BRANCH LIBRARY SITE SELECTION UPDATE
Mr. Charlie Dunn of the City's Real Estate Division brought the Commissioners up to date with the search for potential branch library locations in the Portola, Ingleside, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods. Mr. Dunn reported on ongoing negotiations with the school district for the possible development of the Portola Branch Library on school district property. Mr. Dunn next discussed the options available in the Ingleside including the existing branch location as well as possible alternatives. Mr. Dunn then discussed extensively the possible locations under consideration in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood with particular attention to potential use of school district properties and shared development on the largest of the proposed sites.
Public comment on Agenda Item #3 BRANCH LIBRARY SITE SELECTION UPDATE
Mr. Ed Regan noted that he had visited the proposed sites in Visitacion Valley, Portola, and the Ingleside. He found one of the proposed (Ingleside) locations difficult to find, but that the present Ingleside location in the former Bank of America building was excellent and should be expanded. Mr. Regan noted that he had no preference among the Visitacion Valley sites. Mr. Regan then commented that the Library should purchase the entire building housing the current Portola branch but noted it lacked parking. Mr. Dan Weaver, Friends of the Ingleside Library, urged that the site currently occupied by a 7-11 Store be included among those considered as alternative locations for Ingleside, as well as the Sunset Garage site. Mr. Weaver explained that these were derelict sites whose improvement would better the neighborhood.
COMMISSION COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #3 BRANCH LIBRARY SITE SELECTION UPDATE
AGENDA ITEM #4 BRANCH LIBRARY BOND PROGRAM REPORT
Branch Library Improvement Bond Program Manager Marilyn Thompson began her report by introducing Ms. Jill Manton of the San Francisco Arts Commission who provided the Commissioners with an extensive overview of the requirements involved with the public art element of the Branch Library Improvement Bond program. Ms. Manton informed the Commissioners of the historical background of the city's percent for art program that had been initiated in 1969, noting that it was the first such program and a model widely imitated by other cities. Ms. Manton further discussed how the set aside amounts were determined, the procedures and public processes used by the Art Commission in such programs, and in some detail the step by step process followed for the selection of works of art to be created. Ms. Manton then showed examples of public art projects in library settings. President Higueras then called for public comment on Ms. Manton's Report.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #4 (Public Art Report)
An anonymous member of the public suggested that it would be better to take comment on this item in context of the entire report noting that there were contradictions embodied in the art element of these public projects. The anonymous member of the public noted that there was a place for art, but that public art is rooted in accountability to the public for the choices made. This person noted that it was not always the case that public comment on art works is taken into account and that in such choices accountability to the public should be honored. Ms. Nora Dowley inquired concerning how the percent for art was figured. Mr. Peter Warfield found the presentation interesting but noted that it seemed to him that the art inside did not relate to what was outside the building. Mr. Warfield commented that he was please to learn about how the art was to be budgeted. He further inquired concerning the development process used by the Art Commission, especially concerning where in the planning process that the public became involved.
Ms. Manton discussed in further detail aspects of the Art Commission process referring to handouts which she had provided detailing the role of client participation and public comment in a very defined process.
AGENDA ITEM #4 BRANCH LIBRARY BOND PROGRAM REPORT (cont'd)
Ms. Thompson explained how the artists and arts contracts would be folded in the Project design and development process with the artists becoming an integral part of the architects and engineers (AE) team from the beginning of each project. The Bond Project Manager noted that wherever possible budgets would be combined to maximize resources available for art. Ms. Thompson noted that there were no changes in the baseline budget approved by the Commission at its October 10th meeting. She noted that $2.4 million in ESP II Earthquake Bond money had been transferred to the Richmond Branch Library project. The Branch Bond Program Manager noted as a result that $1.45 million in Prop A, (Branch Library Improvement Bond, Nov 2000) funds was able to be transferred to realized savings. Ms. Thompson then noted that there were no changes in the baseline schedule, recalling that the Portola and Ingleside projects had been moved up in the phasing of the schedule with the Glen Park Branch Library. Ms. Thompson the discussed aspects of the oversight process being initiated by the City Librarian, including the creation of advisory groups and the planning for community meetings as they are needed. Ms. Thompson then discussed the role of the design and construction teams and how they would cooperate closely on project development with library staff advisory committees.
The Branch Library Bond Program Manager next outlined the status of active projects, noting in particular the continuing discussions with the Redevelopment Agency toward drafting a Letter of Intent to develop the new Mission Bay Branch Library. Ms. Thompson then outline the activities ongoing with the Richmond Branch Library, calling attention to the 1st stage design work and the efforts underway by library consultant Dallas Shaffer. Ms. Thompson next detailed extensively the process she proposed to employ in setting up the architectural teams, discussing in detail the request for proposals (RFP) process step by step. Ms. Thompson reported that this process would include consultant selection, and issuing RFPs for library planners, interior design services, project management, cost estimating, historic preservation, and construction management. The Branch Library Bond Program Manager concluded her report with a brief report on community meeting she had or was planning to attend.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #4 BRANCH LIBRARY BOND PROGRAM REPORT
An anonymous member of the public expressed gratitude for the presentation, but requested greater details of some aspects of the report be made available. The anonymous member of the public queried whether the Commission would review the requests for proposals (RFP) calling particular attention to the selection of library consultant Dallas Shaffer. This person asked if consultants were to offer professional and independent advice and inquired what process and criteria would be used to select the consultants. The anonymous member of the public noted that there had been criticism by this person of Ms. Shaffer's selection, due to her having been paid for work by the Library Foundation.
COMMISSION COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #4 BRANCH LIBRARY BOND PROGRAM REPORT
In response to a question by Commissioner Bautista, Ms. Thompson identified the portion of the budget set aside for hiring the consultants and noted that she believed that the funding proposed was adequate for that purpose. Vice President Steiman requested that Ms. Thompson include page numbers on future reports prepared for the Commission. In answer to questions by President Higueras, Ms. Thompson described the percentages of hard and soft costs (25% soft/75% hard) proposed for each project and discussed how the Commission would be kept informed concerning both the request for proposals (RFP) and request for qualification (RFQ) process. Ms. Thompson then outlined the initial $17.665 million bond sale in response to questions by Commissioner Bautista and noted that the next sale was scheduled for July 2002.
Commissioner Streets left the meeting at 6PM.
AGENDA ITEM #5 COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULE
The Commission Secretary outlined the proposed revisions in the Commission's regular meeting schedule made in order to provide for a second regular meeting during each month in 2002. The Commission Secretary also noted that he had additionally reserved use of the Koret Auditorium on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in order to provide for additional special meetings as needed.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #5 COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULE
An anonymous member of the public suggested that adoption of this schedule would require a revision of the Commission's Bylaws, citing Article 7, Section 4 setting out the required day and time of the regular meeting as the first Tuesday of each month at 4PM, and Article 11, concerning the requirements for amendment of the Commission Bylaws. The anonymous member of the public noted that this was a clear revision of the Bylaws without any acknowledgement that the Bylaws are being amended. This person found this important because it is important that everyone have a clear understanding that the Bylaws will be honored, that people should be able to regularly rely on its provisions. This person found this a function of civility to operate under acknowledged and respected Bylaws. Mr. Ed Regan recommended adoption of the schedule. Mr. Peter Warfield suggested that changing the Commission Bylaws had made previous changes to the meeting schedule and suggested it would be a good idea to do so here as well. Mr. Warfield expressed approval of adding a second regular meeting but urged that the Commission push back its meeting time to a later starting time.
COMMISSION COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEM #5 COMMISSION MEETING SCHEDULE
In response to questions by President Higueras, Deputy City Attorney Adine Varah noted that the anonymous member of the public was right in that the Bylaws did set a regular meeting time, however, according to her records, the current version of the Bylaws (as last amended in 1998) already allows for a second monthly meeting. Upon learning that the Commissioners and members of the public had received a different version of the Bylaws, she recommended that the Commission act to amend its Bylaws to provide for the proposed changes in the meeting schedule. Questions were raised during the discussion concerning the exact wording of the current Bylaws on this matter and Ms. Varah proposed to bring appropriately amended language with the required notice of proposed changes in the Bylaws to an upcoming meeting of the Commission.
President Higueras tabled the item.
Agenda item #6 PUBLIC COMMENT
An anonymous member of the public found the discussion concerning various versions of the Bylaws fascinating, and noted that it was important that it be clear as to which version was being used. This person then discussed what they referred to as the "Streets incident" concerning aggressive pursuit of a commissioner, noting that a lawsuit was a civilized way to approach such matters. This individual noted that they had waited for the development of a policy response to the question raised by Commissioner Streets but that none had been forthcoming. This individual noted that they had requested and received information related to the "aggressive" information request, but was later informed that release of some of the information was inadvertent. The anonymous member of the public asked if the Commissioner's request was being ignored so that the issue would become a matter of inadvertence. This person questioned why this was satisfactory to Commissioner Streets and if they had both received the same answer to the question. Mr. Ed Regan requested expanded public service hours for the Main Library and all branches from 6AM until Midnight seven days a week. Mr. Regan also suggested that discussion of the furniture for branch libraries be calendared and that such furniture such as two person desks as in the Main Library and tables which allowed patrons to read standing up. Mr. Peter Warfield seconded the call for more hours, noting that branch library designs should facilitate cost-effective operation to allow for more funds for additional hours of service. Mr. Warfield expressed appreciation for President Higueras' comments about requests for proposals (RFP) and requests for qualifications (RFQ) as he viewed them as essential documents that should be brought before the Commission for review. Mr. Warfield thanked the Commissioners for putting off adoption of a revised meeting schedule and expressed a wish that the proposed start time of Commission meetings be pushed back to a later hour.
Agenda Item #7 ADJOURNMENT
MOTION: by Commissioner Bautista, seconded by Commissioner Coulter that the meeting be adjourned.
Public comment on Agenda item #7 ADJOURNMENT
ACTION: AYE 4-0 (Bautista, Coulter, Higueras, and Steiman)
The meeting was adjourned at 6:24PM.
Michael Housh, Commission Secretary 11/21/01
The number of members of the public who spoke anonymously at this meeting. 1
Please note: Copies of Commission Minutes and handouts are available in the Office of the Commission Secretary, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102