February 19 2014 Operations Committee Meeting Approved Minutes


*WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2014, 5:00 P.M.


*The February 12, 2014 Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Commission on the Environment Operations Committee was rescheduled to February 19, 2014.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Angelo King (Chair), Heather Stephenson, Sarah Wan

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

1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Operations Committee meeting convened at 5:02 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners King, Stephenson and Wan (5:07 p.m.)

2. Approval of Minutes of the November 13, 2013 Operations Committee Meeting. (Explanatory Document: November 13, 2013 Operations Committee Meeting Approved Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner Stephenson, second by Commissioner King, the November 13, 2013 Operations Committee Meeting Draft Minutes were approved (AYES:  Commissioners King and Stephenson; Absent:  Commissioner Wan).

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 were no members of the public present at this time.

4. Review and Approval of the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget.  (Explanatory Document:  Department of the Environment’s FY 2014-15 Budget) (Explanatory Document:  Department of the Environment 2014-15 Draft Budget) Sponsors: Acting Director David Assmann and Commissioner Angelo King; Speaker: David Assmann, Acting Director (Discussion and Action)

Acting Director David Assmann reported on the Department of the Environment’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-15 Budget in comparison with the 2013-14 FY Budget for all program areas describing expenses for salaries, benefits and overhead, non-personal services, grants, materials and supplies, and services of other departments.  A description was provided of revenues the Department receives to support programs from the Impound Account, grants, and other City departments and assumptions that were made.  It was reported that funding for all program areas remains essentially sufficient with the exception of a shortage for the Clean Transportation program in the area of electric vehicle infrastructure and Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Ordinance implementation.   The Mayor’s Office has suggested that the Commission write a letter to the Mayor to request General Fund money for this mandated program.  Acting Director Assmann reported on increases and reductions in other program areas and how funds would be allocated to cover shortages.  The Budget would be submitted to the Mayor’s Office on February 21 and then to the Board of Supervisors in May.     

Upon Motion by Commissioner Stephenson, second by Commissioner Wan the Committee authorized the Commission President to write a letter on behalf of the Commission requesting restoration of funding of 1.5 Full Time Employees in the amount of $280,000 for electric vehicle infrastructure, and that the Healthy Air and Clean Transportation Ordinance implementation efforts be taken over by the City Administrator’s Office.  The letter should list the Department’s quantitative accomplishments for this program, workload for next year, and what has been done to leverage funding received in the past.  (AYES:  Commissioners King, Stephenson and Wan)

Upon Motion by Commissioner Wan, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the FY 2014-15 Budget was approved.  (AYES:  Commissioners King, Stephenson and Wan)

Commissioner King requested updates at future meetings on Clean Transportation and Environmental Justice program area funding.  Acting Director Assmann reported that a Request for Proposal(s) for Outreach funding for professional services is being released now and will be shared with the Commission. 

5. Overview and Report on the Department of the Environment’s Comprehensive Grantmaking Program. (Explanatory Documents:  Survey on San Francisco Environment Grantmaking; Standard Process for Creating a Request for Proposal for Grantmaking; and SF Environment Grantmaking Survey Results) Sponsor:  Commissioner Joshua Arce; Speaker:  Shawn Rosenmoss, Senior Environmental Specialist, Development and Community Partnerships (Informational Report and Discussion)

Commissioner King reported on past concerns expressed by applicants about the grantmaking process and recent concern due to the extension of a deadline for submitting a Request for Proposal(s) (RFP).  Ms. Rosenmoss reported that extending deadlines is a common practice and the reason for the extension of the Carbon Fund RFP was due to the implementation of a new mechanism for uploading grant proposals, which had caused confusion for some applicants.  The deadline was extended in order to make the submission process fair for all applicants. A notice about the extension was issued to all applicants, those who attended the bidders’ conference and any groups that were asked to forward the RFP to their channels when it was initially released.  Ms. Rosenmoss reported that one local foundation extended its deadline with its most recent round in January, as well as the California Energy Commission two years ago. She also reported that the USDA has done this before. .

Ms. Rosenmoss reported on the online survey sent to 43 groups who were funded and/or applied for Environmental Justice, SF Carbon Fund and/or Zero waste grants in the last rounds of grantmaking for those programs. This survey was about the process. There was subsequent follow-up to the survey.  She reported that from the eight responses received, the overall response was positive, but that there were comments made by people who were not funded or about issues that there is no control over due to requirements that must be part of granting public funding.  Ms. Rosenmoss discussed the benefits of applicants attending the bidders’ conferences for specific grantmaking programs to learn about the goals and objectives of the programs and on how to write a good grant proposal.   She reported on the similarity between the Department’s application process and other City departments and foundations and that in order to support capacity building for applicants, proposal requirements were designed so that when applicants created proposals for the Department, they could modify it for other applications.

Commissioner Stephenson suggested that the bidders’ conference be recorded and uploaded to the website or that it should be sent directly to bidders.  Ms. Rosenmoss and Committee members discussed ideas to improve the application process such as better communication by staff about the primary RFP point of contact and providing the survey right after a proposal is submitted.  Commissioner King suggested making the survey easier by asking fewer questions.  He asked that Commissioners be given a heads up at future meetings about upcoming RFPs so that concerns can be voiced, and that the public be checked in with regularly to make sure the process remains efficient. 

6. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  The next Commission Operations Committee meeting is scheduled for May 14, 2014, 5 p.m.  Commissioner Stephenson suggested a discussion on waste in public parks.  Commissioner King suggested reporting on the Department’s budget only if there are significant changes made.  He suggested an informational report on the Energy Watch program for May and a future discussion on the Commission taking a position on artificial turf installations.

7. 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.  Ms. Lurilla Harris requested a future agenda discussion on provisions for animal care during emergencies.

8. Adjournment.  The Operations Committee Meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m.

Monica Fish, Commission Secretary
TEL:  (415) 355-3709; FAX: (415) 554-6393

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Operations Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 5:00 p.m., at City Hall, Room 421, San Francisco, CA  94102.

** Copies of explanatory documents are available at (1) the Commission’s office, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, San Francisco, California, 94103 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Photo identification is required for access to the building; (2) on the Policy Committee’s website http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/agendas, or (3) upon request to the Commission Secretary at telephone number 415-355-3709, or via e-mail at [email protected]. The meeting audio can be reviewed at the website link by meeting date http://www.sfenvironment.org/commission/audio. 

Approved:  May 14, 2014