04.18.12 Operations Committee Approved Minutes





WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012, 5:00 P.M.

Department of the Environment Eco Center

11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA  94102


COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Commissioners Angelo King (Chair), Alan Mok, Heather Stephenson



  1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Operations Committee meeting convened at 5:10 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners King and Stephenson; Excused Commissioner Mok.
  2. Approval of Minutes of the October 19, 2011Operations Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: October 19, 2011 Operations Committee Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner King, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the October 19, 2011 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners King and Stephenson; Absent:  Commissioner Mok).
  3. Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.
  4. Status of the Department of the Environment’s Office Move and Options for the Eco-Center.  (Continued Discussion from the October 19, 2011Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Presentation Outline of Planning Process) Sponsor: Commissioner Angelo King; Staff Speakers: David Assmann, Deputy Director, Shawn Rosenmoss, Manager of Development and Community Partnerships; Jennifer Kass, Sustainable Partnerships (20 minutes) (Informational Report and Discussion)

Deputy Director Assmann reported on the Department’s relocation process on topics that include:

  • Requirements and criteria for office space (location, price, and space).
  • The search for office space location from the Civic Center area to the Embarcadero.
  • Selection of 1455 Market Street.
  • The building’s convenient location, space configuration, and building amenities.
  • Timeline from letter of intent to building management, introduction at Board of Supervisors, design completion, beginning of construction, and target move date.
  • Parallel process of design and build-out.
  • Members of the Building Committee and acknowledgement to the Real Estate Department.

Commissioner Angelo King made the following comments:

  • Bike parking should be sufficient enough for staff and the public and be located in a secure location.  Deputy Director Assmann and Ms. Shawn Rosenmoss reported on negotiations in place to secure bike parking in the building’s garage that would accommodate staff and visitors to the Department.
  • Meeting space design should take into account public meeting requirements. Deputy Director Assmann reported on increased access to meeting space in the new location.
  • The benefits to the Department of locating the Eco Center on a ground floor in order to retain the current energy of the present space in terms of public access, foot traffic, informality of public interaction, and visibility.  He suggested monitoring foot-traffic and querying the Department’s constituency for feedback in this area.  Deputy Director Assmann discussed the configuration of the proposed Eco Center that would be in the Department’s main entryway on the 12th floor.  Ms. Kass and Ms. Rosenmoss discussed the option for future ground floor space in the building.  Ms. Rosenmoss reported that many of the same activities will be retained in the new space.    


Commissioner Heather Stephenson inquired about the following considerations:

  • Program area interaction and accessibility in the office space configuration.  Deputy Director Assmann and Ms. Rosenmoss reported that staff is being surveyed to determine individual needs and the best design for staff/program area adjacencies, offices, collaborative spaces, filing and storage, furniture design, and other related considerations.
  • Whether the current office furniture would be reused or if new furniture would be purchased.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that it would be a combination of the two, that any thing usable would be moved with the exception of the cubicles that are not designed for the new space.
  • Whether the purchase of office furniture would be included in the building lease agreement or through the City.  She suggested contacting plant nurseries that may be able to provide greenery.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that there are plans to add greenery and to accept donations.  He reported on the amount of building donations being offered for renovation and the Department’s costs.   
  • The term of the lease.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the lease is for seven years with two five-year renewal options.  


  1. Strategies and Structure for the Department of the Environment Public Outreach and Education Program Area. (Explanatory Documents: Department Organizational Chart and EnvironmentNow Campaign and Timelines Chart) Staff Speakers: Kevin Danaher, Outreach Program Manager and Donald Oliveira, Grassroots Coordinator (20 minutes) (Informational Report and Discussion)

Commissioner King reported that one of the responsibilities of the Commission Operations Committee outlined in the Bylaws is to oversee outreach for the Department.  Mr. Kevin Danaher reported on the Outreach team’s organizational structure, key personnel, and work assignments.  He discussed the current program’s shift to a community organization mode with emphasis on developing neighborhood community relations with anchor institutions and key leadership that would create an impact by circulating messages within their community.  He discussed current events—the Mayor’s Earth Day breakfast, soft launch of the Department’s new website, new newsletter template, recent press and media coverage, and statistics from social media.  Mr. Danaher emphasized outreach objectives to accelerate movement toward sustainability and a culture of innovation through comradely criticism and a constant improvement model.  

Mr. Donald Oliveira reported on the EnvironmentNow program’s organizational structure, neighborhood campaigns, and outreach activities in the Toxics Reduction and Zero Waste programs and work accomplished on the new website launch.  He reported that the Outreach team’s focus has transitioned from an advertisement/media-driven message to a neighborhood involvement and outreach campaign so as to educate the public and engage them for feedback.  This approach would lead to a sustained behavior change.  Mr. Oliveira discussed key campaigns, strategies, goals and objectives, target audience, and timelines for each project (reference explanatory documents). 

Commissioner King commented on the following:  

  • Suggested that Director Nutter mention the Commission at events such as the Mayor’s Earth Day breakfast. 
  • Offer environmental outreach associates training in Cantonese in order to build capacity and lead to better outreach and individual opportunities that would meet the requirements of the Department’s job announcements. 
  • Implement a trial outreach campaign advertised only through social media to determine its impact and influence.  Mr. Oliveira reported on plans to test strategies through the implementation of social media such as Zipcode+4 advertising on computers.
  • Schedule field visits and events that focus on products that may be new or that the community is not familiar with.
  • Expand the partnership with the Bicycle Coalition to increase messaging, programs, and access to bike facilities.  Bring bike racks to install at Department events.  Ms. Rosenmoss discussed the Municipal Transportation Authority’s lead role in bike planning and the Department’s Clean Air team’s work on alternative transportation programs.  She discussed the Department’s search for funding to work with the Bicycle Coalition on bike planning around the 4th and Mission corridor.  Mr. Danaher and Ms. Rosenmoss discussed current programs and collaborations to promote the bicycle as alternative transportation and the Department’s purchase of cargo bikes. 
  • Consider creating policy or make recommendations to strengthen the most difficult campaigns that people may not be motivated to do. Mr. Oliveira discussed strengthening the enforcement of ordinance penalties as one solution.

Commissioner Stephenson made the following suggestions:

  • Present information by hierarchy of each program’s target objectives, audience, and strategies so the Commission can provide feedback to the whole plan. 
  • Present overarching Department objectives that are not programmatic. Identify goals that are in the Department’s purview and ones that may be in the purview of other Departments.
  • Held a discussion on the importance of developing education and outreach strategies that are tailored to each neighborhood based on knowledge of the user base.  Mr. Oliveira concurred that this strategy is tailored to each user base and can evolve based on the knowledge of the resident.


  1. Department of the Environment’s Website Redesign Update. (Continued from the October 19, 2011 Meeting—This agenda topic will be proposed for continuance to the July 18, 2012 Meeting) Sponsor: Melanie Nutter, Director;  Staff Speaker: Jesse Woltjer, Internet Communications Coordinator Assistant (Informational Report and Discussion) 

This agenda item was continued to the July 18, 2012 meeting.

  1. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion) Commissioner Stephenson requested a case study on one program that the new Outreach team is starting to be presented at the October Commission Operations Committee meeting.  Mr. Oliveira reported that the case study would include a study of the impact of strategies, messaging, and social media.  Deputy Director Assmann reported that the July meeting should include an update on the Department’s move and website redesign.  Commissioner King suggested a future meeting discussion on outreach for the plastic bag ban and design for the Department’s new location. 


  1. Public Comments:  Members of the public may address the Committee on matters that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There were no members of the public present at this time.


  1. Adjournment.  The Commission Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:37 p.m.


The next Operations Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m., at the Department of the Environment’s Eco Center, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA.


Respectfully submitted by,

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary

TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393

*Approved: July 18, 2012