August 27 2013 Urban Forestry Council Special Meeting Retreat Approved Minutes


Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

Port of San Francisco, Pier One, the Embarcadero
Conference Room Bayside 1
San Francisco, CA  94111

Council Members: Dan Flanagan (Chair), Dr. Larry Costello (Vice Chair), Malcolm Hillan, Rose Hillson, Dan Kida, John Leffingwell, William Most, Sandy Sherwin, Carla Short (Department of Public Works), Andrew Sullivan and Jon Swae (San Francisco Planning Department). Advisory Members: Mike Barrow (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission); Phil Ginsburg (San Francisco Recreation and Park Department); San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (Vacant); Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Vacant)

     Public comment will be taken before the Council takes action on any item.

Order of Business

1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council Retreat convened at 10:10 a.m. Present:  Council Members Flanagan, Costello, Ginsburg, Hillan, Hillson, Kida, Leffingwell, Most, Sherwin, Short, Sullivan, and Swae.  Excused:  Member Barrow.

2. Adoption of Minutes of the June 25, 2013 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  June 25, 2013 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Member Hillson, second by Member Flanagan, the June 25, 2013 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection.

3. Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.  There was no public comment at this time.

4. Urban Forest Master Plan. (Continued from the June 25, 2013 Meeting) Council Member Jon Swae, Planning Department representative, will provide an update on the Urban Forest Plan to the Council.  Speaker:  Council Member Jon Swae, Planning Department (Informational Presentation

and Discussion)  This agenda item will be proposed for continuance to the September 27, 2013 Urban Forestry Council meeting.

This agenda item was continued to the Call of the Chair.

5. Review and Approval of the Urban Forestry Council 2013 Draft Annual Report. (Continued from the June 25, 2013 Meeting) (Discussion and Action) This agenda item will be proposed for continuance to the September 27, 2013 Urban Forestry Council meeting.

This agenda item was continued to the Call of the Chair.

6. Urban Forestry Council Strategic Planning.  Michael Allison, Principal, Michael Allison Consulting.  The Council will discuss strategic planning and begin identifying a two-year work plan.  The action would be to set up strategic plan two-year goals. (Explanatory Documents:  Self-Assessment Survey Report; History Brief for 2013 Strategic Planning, and Stakeholder Feedback Survey, 2013-15 Draft Strategic Plan, and Retreat Notes) (Discussion and Action)

Mr. Michael Allison facilitated the Council retreat.  Council Members and Council Coordinator introduced themselves and described their affiliations and interest in the urban forest.  The Council reviewed its history and accomplishments, discussed its role and relevancy as an advisory body to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors, and how the Council is perceived by institutions and its constituents.  Council Members discussed their vision for the future of the Urban Forestry Council.  Common themes, goals and overarching priorities for the next two years were identified.   The Council considered changing its status as an advisory council to a technical advisory committee and changing Committee membership, structure, and schedule.   After discussions were held, a Draft Urban Forestry Council Strategic Plan was created for 2013-15.  (Reference Retreat Notes and 2013-15 Draft Strategic Plan.)

Public Comment:  Ms. Dee Seligman cited Council discussion on the possibility of changing to a technical advisory committee in order to avoid Sunshine Ordinance requirements and spoke in support of Sunshine Ordinance meeting laws because of the transparency it provides.   She suggested that participants use microphones at future public meetings for better audio quality.   Ms. Seligman stated that all City Commissions and Committees should issue responses to public comment questions either at the meeting or by way of a formal response.   She suggested that doing so would engage the public more and increase the Council’s relevancy and visibility.  Ms. Seligman thanked the Council for welcoming her to the meeting.  Council Member Hillson reported that the public also has the option to review meeting audio recordings that are available for public review on the Council’s website as a way to review past responses to public comment inquiries.

7. Staff Report. 

Council Coordinator Hui reported on staff work on the Urban Forestry Council Strategic Planning retreat and Annual Report that will be considered for adoption at the September 27, 2013 Council meeting.

8. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion) 

A proposed Bylaws amendment to change Committee membership, structure and schedule would be scheduled for a future Council meeting.

9. Public Comment:  Members of the public may address the Council on matters that are within the Council’s jurisdiction and are not on today’s agenda.

Mr. Frank Mason spoke of the Department of Public Works backlog to replace defective sidewalks that would cost over $14 million dollars and the need to provide maintenance for what the City currently has before expanding the urban forest.  He asked that the City not adopt a one fits all policy for relinquishing street tree maintenance to property owners and consider an opt-out policy for property owners who are disabled seniors and their caregivers who may not be able to provide tree maintenance.

10. Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council Retreat adjourned at 3:43 p.m.

The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Friday, September 27, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., Room 400, San Francisco City Hall.
Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at the Department of Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California 94103 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address or telephone number 415-355-3709 or via e-mail at [email protected] within three business days of a meeting. Explanatory documents may also be available at the Council’s meeting or agenda website as attachments with each agenda or meeting minutes.  Meeting audios can be accessed at the following weblink

Respectfully submitted by Monica Fish, Council Secretary

Approved: September 27, 2013