January 21 2015 Commission on the Environment Special and Operations Committee Rescheduled Meeting Approved Minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
OPERATIONS COMMITTEE RESCHEDULED MEETING
AND COMMISSION ON THE ENVIRONMENT SPECIAL MEETING

*APPROVED MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2015, 5:00 P.M.

CITY HALL, ROOM 421
ONE DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT JR. PLACE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA  94102



**The Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 5:00 p.m. Regularly Scheduled Meeting of the Commission on the Environment Operations Committee was RESCHEDULED to Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

ORDER OF BUSINESS

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


1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Special Meeting was called to order at 5:07 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Arce, King, Stephenson and Wan; Excused:  Commissioner Wald. 

2. Approval of Minutes of the November 12, 2014 Operations Committee Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  November 12, 2014 Operations Committee Meeting Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)  Upon Motion by Commissioner King, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the November 12, 2014 Operations Committee Meeting Minutes were approved without objection (AYES:  Commissioners King, Stephenson and 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 was no public comment at this time.


4. Review and Approval of the Department of the Environments Proposed 2015-16 Draft Budget for recommendation to the Commission on the Environment.  (Explanatory Document: Draft 2015-16 Budget) Sponsor: Jennifer Kass, Deputy Director; Speaker:  Joseph Salem, Program Manager, Finance and Administration (Discussion and Action)

Finance and Administration Program Manager Joseph Salem reported on the Department of the Environment’s Budget schedule that would be submitted to the Mayor’s Office on February 23.  The Mayor’s Office would then submit the Budget to the Board of Supervisors on May 1 at which point the Department is assigned an analyst from the Board of Supervisors.  The Department’s budget hearing schedule before the Board of Supervisors is dependent on whether the Department is scheduled with enterprise departments in May or non-enterprise departments in June.  Revisions to the budget are to be made before February 23 after negotiations with other City departments, resolution of funding gaps, and response received to General Fund support requests. 

Mr. Salem reported on the Department’s Fiscal Year 2015-16 program area revenues and expenses categorized by salaries, benefits and overhead, non-personal services, grants, materials and supplies, services of other departments and variances from the prior fiscal year.   He discussed challenges that are faced this fiscal year and work to be done to meet challenges.
Commissioner King reported on discussions about how the Department is dependent on grant funding and challenges the Department faces because most grants do not cover non labor costs.  Mr. Salem stated that programs with multiple funding sources are generally able to establish a nexus to cover non labor costs; however, positions that are 100 percent grant funded do not pay for non labor costs.  A discussion was held about short term solutions that have been administered to meet funding gaps but a long term solution is needed.

Commissioners discussed strategies for requesting General Fund money in order to fund unfunded mandates and non-labor costs that grants do not provide for.   It was suggested that City departments be provided with funds to fund the Department for work that is being done without compensation, and that the value of Department programs be communicated to City agencies and the Board of Supervisors so the importance of the investment is understood. 

Commissioner King asked that the Department provide equitable opportunity to a variety of culturally competent applicants when issuing professional services contracts.  He asked for a list of professional services that are planned.  Policy and Communications Director Guillermo Rodriguez reported that the next cycle of Request for Proposals for professional services will capture workforce development.

Deputy Director Jennifer Kass reported on the history of the Department’s General Fund support that had decreased over time and finally eliminated in 2004 and the Department’s current source of funding received from the Impound Account, City agency work orders, and grants.   She explained that the Department does not receive discretionary funding and discussed challenges faced when there are a large number of employees on leave.   Deputy Director Kass reported that some grants allow for partial cost recovery rates and others none.  Director Raphael explained that additional funding is required because the Environment Code continues to grow and City attorney fees are increasing as a result of additional programs. She reported that having discretionary funding would also allow for payment of City Attorney fees and leveraging of grants. 
Deputy Director Kass reported that the Department is not always able to accept a grant for program work because of the inability to pay indirect staff costs.  Director Raphael reported that General Fund money is needed to cover unexpected unfunded expenses.  Commissioner Arce suggested a proposal similar to the Mayor’s shared prosperity agenda to request discretionary funding.  Commissioners Stephenson, King and Wan and Department staff discussed strategies for requesting General Fund money to fund discretionary and program funding.  Commissioner Wan suggested a discretionary match fund.

Mr. Salem reported on public comment received from Ms. Nancy Wuerfel in opposition to charging Biodiversity Program expenses to the Impound Account since the source of these funds are from refuse rate payers.  Mr. Salem reported on the nexus between the Biodiversity and Toxics Reduction Integrated Pest Management programs.

Commissioner Arce left the meeting at 6:26 p.m.  The Special Commission on the Environment meeting reverted to an Operations Committee meeting at this time.

Upon Motion by Commissioner King, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the Department of the Environment Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget was approved for recommendation to the Commission for consideration at its January 27, 2015 meeting. (AYES:  Commissioners King, Stephenson and Wan)

5. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Commissioner Stephenson suggested a report on social media and outreach metrics. Commissioner Wan suggested a presentation on Partners in Places.

6. 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.

7. Adjournment.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:30 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 13, 2015, 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 13, 2015 and May 26, 2015