January 20 2016 Operations Committee Meeting Draft Minutes


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2016, 5:00 P.M.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Commissioners Heather Stephenson (Chair), Lisa Hoyos, Sarah Wan


1.     Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Operations Committee meeting was called to order at 5:05 p.m.  Present: Commissioners Stephenson and Hoyos.  Commissioner Wan was excused.

2.     Approval of Minutes of the May 13, 2015 Operations Committee Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  May 13, 2015 Operations Committee Meeting Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Public Comment: David Pilpel suggested adding the name Rachel before Buerkle in Item 1 and Commissioner Stephenson accepted the amendment.

Upon motion by Commissioner Stephenson, second by Commissioner Hoyos, the May 13, 2015 Operations Committee meeting minutes were approved as amended. (AYES: Commissioners Stephenson and Hoyos; ABSENT: Commissioner Wan).

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

Public Comment: David Pilpel said that he wished he had received budget documents before the meeting.

4.     Operations Committee Recommendation that the Commission on the Environment Approve the Proposed 2016-17 Draft Budget for the Department of the Environment. Sponsor: Jennifer Kass, Deputy Director; Speaker: Joseph Salem, Program Manager, Finance and Administration (15 minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Joseph Salem, Program Manager of Finance and Administration provided an overview of the fiscal budget for 2016-17 and 2017-18 which will be submitted on February 22, 2016.

Joseph said that that Department has been in the process of realigning the Department’s energy, climate, renewables, green building and outreach programs which are reflected in personnel variances in the budget but the staff count remains the same.

This is the first time the Department is required to submit a fixed two year budget where the Department is held to the second year budget and must go back only if there is more than a 5% variance.  This makes it difficult because the Department relies heavily on grants for year two.  The document represents the 2015-16 budget with a cost of living adjustment.

In 2016-17 there is a .5% increase in staff count which was added to the administrative budget.  There was a decrease in clean transportation as a result of the realignment and a grant decrease.  There is a variance as a result of three EV grants from the CDC.

Commissioner Stephenson asked if the staff number would change as a result of the grant.  Joseph said no.

Renewables has shifted from the climate program to the energy program to be more reflective of the type of work. 

The environmental justice program has a deficit because it was funded by revenue from a settlement which will be completely used up next year.  This is considered the most vulnerable part of the budget where the Department will have to find the revenue to close the gap.  Commissioner Hoyos asked if the Department has received grants for environmental justice and asked for an update on the work of the program.

The energy program shows an increase in revenue due to the Energy Watch program which the staff is developing.  The municipal green building program is being supported by a PACE Green Finance add back from the Board of Supervisors for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The toxics team budget shows an increase in its budget as a result of extended producer responsibility funding for the safe medicine disposal program.

Deputy Director Jennifer Kass said that it is possible that there may be a temporary staff increase especially in programs that receive grant funds like energy and that there were a few positions that were not able to be fully funded last year.

Commissioner Stephenson asked about the Commission receiving a briefing on the staffing changes.  Policy Director Guillermo Rodriguez said that Director Deborah Raphel mentioned some of the staff changes in her Director’s Report and that it was going to be recommended that the Department come back to the Operations Committee to provide a briefing on the realignment.

Commissioner Stephenson asked about the progress of work to offset the burden placed on the Department for paid leave when that money is not paid for by grant funding.  Joseph said that there was no new general fund funding to solve this problem and said that there is a meeting scheduled shortly and that this challenge will be discussed. Commissioner Hoyos asked how the Commission could be of assistance. Guillermo said that staff has relayed their concerns to the Mayor’s Office and that the Operations Committee has been helpful in prioritizing what the Department should request from the Mayor’s Office and the Commission in the past has brought the Mayor’s Budget Director to the Commission to discuss their concerns.  Commissioners have also met independently with the Mayor to be supportive of the Department’s request.  Guillermo said that the Department is looking at a number of budgeting alternatives that will be presented to the Mayor’s Office in February.

Joseph introduced Mark Brown, Budget and Finance Support for the Department of the Environment who will fill in for Joseph if he has to take a leave of absence.

Public Comment: Phoebe Haynes, Boost Management, said that she is a business owner concerned about climate change and wants to know what her business can do to combat the problem.

David Pilpel requested a cover memo to the budget, a presentation on the reorganization including classification changes, that the breakout page be broken down by FTE, that the total summary include all other sources including general fund add-back, that the projected impound account expenditures breakout and a breakdown of goals and organization charts.

Upon motion by Commissioner Hoyos, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the Operations Committee recommended that the Commission on the Environment approve the Proposed 2016-17 Draft Budget for the Department of the Environment. (AYES: Commissioners Stephenson and Hoyos; ABSENT: Commissioner Wan).

5.     Recap of 2015 Department of the Environment Outreach Campaigns and Update on 2016 Campaigns.  Speaker: Donnie Oliveira (10 minutes) (Discussion)

Donnie Oliveria, Outreach Communication Manager for the Department of the Environment, said that the outreach team has diversified the funding sources and as a result outreach has been more robust.

Luke Easdale, Marketing Specialist for the Department of the Environment, gave an overview of the Department’s Step Up and Power Down Campaign which helps small and medium size businesses become more energy efficient by changing behaviors. The goal of the program is to enroll 600 businesses by the end of 2016.  To date 487 businesses have signed up to participate putting the Department ahead of schedule.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about the languages that the outreach is provided in and what types of businesses tend to join the program.

Friday Apaliski, Marketing Specialist with the Department of the Environment gave an overview of the Coffee Pop-Up program which aims to encourage commuters to use reusable cups and mugs which is the San Francisco Thing to Do.  The Department used a pop-up coffee shop to bring people through the journey of a single use cup.  Over five days and two locations, the Department gave out nearly 2,000 cups and garnered 450,000 earned impressions on Twitter and Instagram with folks using the hashtag #SFThingtoDo.

Commissioner Stephenson asked if there was a sense of how many people brought their own mug.  Friday said antidotally about 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 people had their own mug.

Commissioner Stephenson asked if there was press promotion of the event.  Donnie said that it was a difficult time to garner press but that there was an activation through the Department’s social media.

Commission Hoyos asked if there has been outreach to vendors to encourage them to stop the use of single use cups.  Donnie said the Department, through a grant from Clean Water Action, is starting a program with coffee vendors to incentivize the use of durables.

Cara Gurney, Green Jobs Coordinator with the Department of the Environment, gave an overview of the Healthy Homes Project which was done in partnership with the Department of Public Health.  The project was performed at the Sunnydale public housing structure to let residents know about code enforcement services provided by the Department of Public Health to identify and rectify health hazards in the home.  Homes with children were targeted with the assistance of the Department of Public Housing.  The Environment Now team engaged 158 of the 187 families – an 84 percent success rate. 68 percent of the residents reached signed a consent form to participate.

Krute Singa, Commute Smart Program Manager with the Department of the Environment, gave an overview of the SF Moves program which reaches out to targeted neighborhoods to encourage transit alternatives using human centered design.  The program started in the Mission where pedestrian and bike rider safety education was a major concern.  In the Mission 7000 surveys were sent out and 250 people responded. A program will be launching in Ingleside shortly and will take into consideration lessons learned from the Mission.  The money came through a grant from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

Commissioner Stephenson asked about the results of the program.  Krute said that there will be an analysis once the program has completed and that data is still being collected.

Tamar Hurwitz, Environmental Education Manager with the Department of the Environment gave an overview about the Departments program to teach composting and recycling in school through funds from the impound account.  In 2015, the Department was in 94 schools and came in contact with 11,600 kids with zero waste outreach.  Besides zero waste, the educational program includes presentations on a giant sweep, a stop litter campaign, water conservation in partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Department and native habitat preservation.  Last year the Department went over its required quota for water conservation presentations because the demand was so high.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about how schools are selected to receive recognition.

Commissioner Stephenson asked if the purpose was to change school behavior or behavior over all regarding stewardship and asked whether information was sent home.  Tamar said that packets are strategically sent home for many presentations.

Commissioner Hoyos asked how programming is spread out over the City.  Tamar said that there are so many requests from a wide variety of schools that the Department works to ensure balance across schools in the city.

Donnie said that Outreach is gearing up for a new Zero Waste campaign to inspire people to use the correct bin all the time.  Outreach is starting up the Zero Waste Council this year in Chinatown and will work with the Commission on this.  Another project is the New Resident Transportation program which will reach out to new residents to discuss alternatives to transportation.  The Department is also focusing on its 0-50-100 campaign to highlight the work of the Department.  Additionally the Department is rolling out its in language websites with unique content.

The outreach team is also working on branding of the Department and is revisiting the Department’s logo which has trouble translating to responsive technologies.  Commissioner Hoyos asked about the design firm.  Donnie said they are using School of Thought.

Commissioner Stephenson asked if there has been an uptick in bin usage after the advertisements were run. Donne said that there has been an increase in recycle and composting in the business community but that there has been such an increase in consumption and San Francisco’s population that which the recycling and composting rates have gone up they are not keeping pace with the increase of landfill.  The Department is currently conducting a zero waste survey and the early results show that people are knowledgeable about how to divert waste but the question now is how to get people to do it.

Commissioner Stephenson said she was impressed with the teams use of metrics and their knowledge of statistics.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about small business outreach.  Donnie said that Environment Now visits small businesses and assesses their stewardship activities.

Public Comment: David Pilpel asked for the handouts to be posted to the website and dated.  David encouraged the Committee to pass a resolution supporting Step Up Power Down, for the #SFThingToDo campaign to focus on overall consumption habits, for the annual report to mention the work in public housing and the work of the IPM team, and generally encouraged for the use of more metrics.

6.     Update on the Environment Now Green Careers Program.  Speaker: Cara Gurney, Green Jobs Coordinator (10 minutes) (Discussion)

Cara Gurney, Green Jobs Coordinator with the Department of the Environment, gave an overview of the Environment Now Green Careers Program.  Using economic stimulus funding, the program started as Jobs Now to hire underemployed residents of San Francisco to spread the environmental message of the Department – about 60 employees were hired.  When the stimulus funds expired the Department decided to keep the program because of its success at engaging residents especially in underserved communities.  Cara discussed how as a result of the program’s outreach to the Bayview neighborhood composting in that area doubled.

Today the program is made up of multi-ethnic and multi-lingual individuals mostly San Franciscans who are interested in the environment and serving San Francisco.  Employees spend about two years in the department learning skills such as communication and administration.  85 percent of the individuals involved in Environment Now go on to get another job or enroll in a higher learning institution.

Environment Now staff become the feet on the street and the face of the Department.  Because the program is impound funded, the primary outreach is on zero waste and toxics to businesses and residents.

Commissioner Stephenson commended the program.

Commissioner Hoyos asked how the program prioritizes its goals.  Cara said that the program managers create their goals at the beginning of each fiscal year and then turn to the outreach director which then prioritizes the Environment Now’s work. The priority of Environment Now is behavior change.

Donnie Oliveira commended Cara for evolving the program to be able to do outreach directly to businesses.

7.     New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)

Commissioner Stephenson requested a presentation on the realignment.

Policy Director Guillermo Rodriguez said that the Committee will continue to be briefed on the budget process, the Department has been responding to the City’s new language access policy, there have been internal branding and strategic planning efforts and the Department is trying to do additional research on what residents think about zero waste.

Commissioner Stephenson asked for more information on increased consumption as part of the discussion about moving the zero waste needle.

Commissioner Hoyos asked about the Department’s role in encouraging citywide campaigns and rules to reducing waste.  Outreach Manager Donnie Oliveira said that his team is taking a look at the waste stream to identify the next waste stream and audience that should be targeted.  It’s likely that the next item of focus will be soiled paper products.  Commissioner Hoyos asked what methods are used to change behavior.  Donnie said that the preference is to use outreach but that the City has pursued legislation in the past.

Public Comment: David Pilpel discussed the textile recycling program and other recyclables, encouraged the Committee to discuss items other than the budget and requested the annual report come to the Committee.

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

David Pilpel mentioned the last truck to Altamont and announced the Artists in Residence Program event at Recology.

Commissioner Stephenson welcomed Commissioner Hoyos.

9.     Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:19 p.m.

The next meeting of the Commission on the Environment Operations Committee is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 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.  


Posted: February 3, 2016