December 11 2012 Planning and Funding Committee Approved Minutes


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2012, 4:00 p.m.

City Hall, Room 421
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Maria D’Agostino (Interim Chair), Dan Flanagan, Daniel Sider, Sandy Sherwin, and Andrew Sullivan

Order of Business

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

1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Urban Forestry Council Planning and Funding Committee meeting convened at 4:12 p.m.   Present:  Chair D’Agostino, Members Sider and Sullivan; Excused:  Members Flanagan and Sherwin.

2. Approval of Minutes of the October 9, 2012 Urban Forestry Council Planning and Funding Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  October 9, 2012 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Chair D’Agostino, second by Member Sullivan, the October 9, 2012 Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Members D’Agostino, Sider and Sullivan; Absent:  Members Flanagan and Sherwin).

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. Appointment of Chair to Planning and Funding Committee. (Discussion and Action)  Members were asked for their interest in chairing the Committee.  This agenda item was continued to the January 8, 2013 meeting.

5. Update on Changes to Administrative Support to the Urban Forestry Council. (Explanatory Documents:  Administrative Support to the Council Letter; Work Plan, and Administrative Support Comments by Member Hillson)) (Discussion) Committee Members reviewed explanatory documents and expressed concerns about the fairness of the changes to administrative support.  This agenda item will be discussed at the Council meeting on December 14, 2012.

Public Comment: 

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel read a statement into the public record (written copy provided to the Planning and Funding Committee and the full Council) commenting on her disagreement with the budgetary figures provided for administrative support to the Council.  She provided a financial analysis of the Urban Forestry Council and offered her support to restore funding and staffing levels. 

Urban Forestry Council Member Rose Hillson reported on a document she researched from the City Controller’s Office showing the $51,000 budget allocation to the Council.  There was a general discussion about the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 fiscal year budgets.  She provided copies of the ‘Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhood’ resolution for the Planning and Funding Committee as well as to the full Council.

6. Proposal to Amend the Urban Forestry Council Meeting Schedule.  (Explanatory Document: Meeting Schedule Recommendations) (Discussion) Committee Members discussed the pros and cons of reducing the meeting schedule.  This agenda item is scheduled for discussion at the Urban Forestry Council meeting on December 14, 2012.

Public Comment:

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel asked about noticing for Working Group meetings.  She advised the Council to seriously consider aligning meetings with budget meetings and to participate in budget discussions. She also warned against reducing the meeting schedule to just six meetings because of fall off in attendance.

Council Member Hillson expressed her concerns about Landmark Tree Committee meeting timelines and reduced capacity to meet those timelines if the full Council’s meeting schedule were to be reduced.  She stated that starting in 2014, if the Council does not meet a certain minimum number of times a year, scheduling will be done 'as available' and not calendared as is done now.

Mr. Frank Mason stated that it is difficult to find the Council’s documents and meeting schedule on the Department of the Environment website.

7. 2011/2012 Urban Forest Annual Reporting. (Explanatory Document: Revised Survey Questions for Fiscal Year 2011/2012 Report) (Discussion)  Committee Members discussed the revisions to the Annual Report Survey Questions for this year.  Concern was expressed about the number of hours allocated to this project and whether staff has started work on the project.

Public Comment:

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel inquired about the recipients for the Annual Report questionnaires, if an analysis of responses has been done, and what the Council does with the report once it is complete.  An explanation was given on which stakeholders receive questionnaires, and the difference between the stakeholders who do work on trees, and those who work on policy.  It was explained that the Council does not have the resources to do an in-depth analysis of the information that is received, but the Council has been trying to gather meaningful information, and doing the best it can.  The reports are forwarded directly to the Board of Supervisors with an explanation of its relevancy.

8. Board of Supervisors and Council Members Meetings Update. (Explanatory Document: Board of Supervisors Meetings Tracker) (Discussion) Committee Members discussed changes to Board of Supervisors members since the election.  Member Sullivan will schedule a meeting date with his District Supervisor Weiner, and Chair D’Agostino will schedule a meeting with her District Supervisor Chiu.

9. Urban Forestry Council 2013 Work Plan Goals.  (Explanatory Document: Urban Forestry Council Prioritized Work Plan Goals) (Discussion)  Committee Members will further review goals from last year and accomplishments made toward goals and create Plans A and B to be chosen based on resources of staff and funding.

Public Comment: 

Unidentified Speaker inquired about what specific things the council would like to see happen.  Committee responded that a discussion will be held at the full Council meeting on future goals, and that the public is welcome to engage with the Council on projects they would like to see accomplished.

Ms. Nancy Wuerfel suggested that the Council create a goal to restore its funding to $150,000.  She recommended that the Department of the Environment ask for funding from other City departments.

Mr. Frank Mason recommended connecting Friends of the Urban Forest and Department of Public Works Bureau of Urban Forestry so that prospective new tree stewards understand their responsibilities and potential consequences for poor maintenance with regards to the full life-cycle of the tree.

10. New Business/Future Agenda Items.  (Discussion) Chair D’Agostino will look into next steps on organizational capacity and engagement activities for Council Members.

Public Comment: 
Mr. Frank Mason commented on the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee meeting held by Supervisor Weiner and was concerned about some of the property value statistics that were discussed.
Ms. Rose Hillson provided general comments about the Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee meeting.
11. 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.

12. Adjournment.  The Urban Forestry Council Planning and Funding Committee meeting adjourned at 5:57 p.m.

Prepared by Maria D’Agostino, Interim Chair and Monica Fish, Council Secretary

The next Planning and Funding Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 4:00 p.m., City Hall, Room 421.

Copies of explanatory documents are available to the public at (1) the Department of Environment, 11 Grove Street, San Francisco, California between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., (2) or at the Planning and Funding Committee’s meeting website posted  with each agenda or meeting minutes, (3) upon request to the Council Secretary at the above address, telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected] within three business days of a meeting.

Approved: January 8, 2013