June 23 2015 Urban Forestry Council Meeting DRAFT minutes

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
URBAN FORESTRY COUNCIL

DRAFT Minutes
Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

City Hall, Room 416
One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Jr. Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

Council Members: Dan Flanagan (Chair), Carla Short (Vice Chair) (Department of Public Works), Malcolm Hillan, Rose Hillson, Dan Kida, Igor Lacan, John Leffingwell, Sandy Sherwin, Andrew Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, Ana Alvarez (San Francisco Recreation and Park Department), Tom Carter (San Francisco Port), Yolanda Manzone, (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission), Jon Swae (San Francisco Planning Department), and 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 convened at 6:06pm.
Members present: Flanagan (left meeting at 7:06pm), Short, Hillson, Kida, Lacan, Leffingwell, Sherwin, Andrew Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, and Swae. Members excused: Carter, Manzone, and Hillan. Members absent: Alvarez.

2. Adoption of Minutes of the May 22, 2015 Urban Forestry Council Regular Meeting. (Explanatory Document:   May 22, 2015 Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action).
Member Hillson moved to adopt, Member Flanagan seconded. Meeting minutes were adopted 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.

Robert Beck, Treasure Island Director, at the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA): 


informed the Council that TIDA has received its first land transfer from the Navy and will begin redevelopment work starting this Fall. The management of the island will require the removal of a significant number of trees; there is also a longer-terms native management plan that requires the removal of nonnative trees to be replaced with native species such as oaks. TIDA want to adopt policies and procedures to guide the posting and removal of trees. They will be be creating draft policies that will be sending for distribution and would like comments on. They also want to take this opportunity to let the public know that they will be posting these removal polices in the future.

Anastasia Gilshtern: Provided comments on the Natural Area Program, identifying a 1986 ordinance to that led to the creation of the city’s Integrated Pest Management Program.   Expressed concern regarding any pesticide use, specifically noting usage within the Natural Area Program and at Harding Park Golf Course.


4. Review and Approval of Best Management Practices. (Continued from the May 22, 2015 Meeting) (Explanatory Document:  Draft Guiding Principles for Mature and Historic Tree Stands 6 16 15) (Discussion and Action)

Chair Flanagan explained the edits, noting that the change in language from “Best Management Practices” to “Guiding Principles” better aligned with the document goals.

Public comment:
Dee Seligman: Requested edits to the document. These edits are outlined in the explanatory document, “Public comment received on item 4.”

Eric Brooks: Provided comments regarding tree retention and the impacts of climate change.  

Member Leffingwell moved to adopt the Recommended Guidelines for Managing Mature and Historic Tree Stands; Member Sherwin seconded. Document was adopted without objection.


5. Presentation on Sunshine Ordinance. Speaker: David Pilpel, Sunshine Ordinance Task Force Member. (Presentation and Discussion)

The Urban Forestry Council heard a presentation from David Pilpel, who has been a member of the SOTF for the past 12 years.  Mr. Pipel described the history of open government requirements in California, the role of the SOTF role in ensuring open government standards are adhered to, and answered UFC member questions as well as questions form members of the public, including:   

• The Brown Act applies to legislative bodies of a public agencies. The Sunshine Ordinance applies to policy bodies created by a Board of Supervisors ordinance and anything that that body creates - for example UFC bylaws. The Environment Code governs the UFC; UFC powers and duties are described in the Env. Code and in the UFC bylaws.

• Meetings and certain items (for example bylaw amendments) have specific notification requirements, must be recorded, and must take public comment.

• Seriatim meetings occur when a quorum of members engage in a non-notice discussion on any issues that are within the UFC’s purview. This can include phone calls, online video calls or chats, and emails, among other discussion methods. Members should only email everyone for scheduling purposes. Members are encouraged to copy staff on all emails, for public records purposes, and never discuss something substantive by email.

• Any groups that the UFC appoints is a committee that must be noticed. The UFC can appoint a single person to research and report back to the group.

• UFC members can attend public hearings of other bodies. If there's a quorum present, members should not speak together about UFC business. Members may present at public meetings as private citizens on their own behalf, but should not present themselves as UFC members if they are providing comment on things that the UFC has not passed a formal opinion on.

• Members can attend staff meetings for city staff, but there should never be discussion on things that could come before the UFC with a quorum of members present.

• Members were encouraged to report any possible violations to their staff support, Ms. Hui. Members are encouraged engage in good standards among UFC colleagues.

• Members should rescue themselves from votes where this is a potential conflict of interest. Due to the advisory nature of the UFC, there may be only limited instances that should require recusal. For example, if a member’s cousin proposes a tree for landmark status, the member should disclose their family relationship with the membership and may recuse themselves from the vote. 

• If the UFC is holding a hearing where presenters are in attendance, but the UFC is not able to gain quorum to hold the meeting, he believes it is better practice to have no discussion then to allow the presenters to provide their presentations or hold any discussion, noting that the UFC should use their discretion. If the UFC opts to hear the presentations, the UFC should be clear that no decision can or should be made. He suggests amending the bylaws to allow the Chair to appoint pro tiem members to committees.

• If the members are interested in a site visits or field trip, Mr. Pilpel suggests noticing the trip, and providing a meeting intersection on the notification. If the site visit will include a walk or tour, note the time the group will depart and the time the site visits will be completed. An audio recording may not be required; notes on salient points may be recorded and posted as event minutes. Mr. Pilpel noted that there may be additional ways to host a site visits or field trips in adherence with open government standards.

• Discussion on public comments received should be limited to asking for clarification, asking staff to follow up in some way, and setting up an item for discussion at a future meeting. If there is a need to limit public comment, it is best to supply a reasonable explanation for why a limitation is needed and the limitations applied must be uniformly applied.  Anyone can make public comment; individuals providing public comments are not required to disclose financial or personal associations. 

Public Comment: 
Dee Seligman: Requested information on whether it is reasonable for a body to move an item to a later date, if there are unknown sources of public comment as the reason.
Mr. Pipel responded that a public body may not act on item that is not on the agenda and may choose to not act on any item that is on the agenda for any reason.

Anastasia Gilshtern: Requested information on whether or not contractors or other paid professionals may provide public comment on items.
Mr. Pilpel responded that anyone may make public comment at a public hearing.

Frank Mason:  Requested informing on whether there were provisions for notification is a nonprofit is receiving public funds.
Mr. Pilpel responded that there may be limited circumstances, primarily in the health and social services areas, where organization are required to have two public meetings per year to disclose.  


6. Review and Approval of Draft Resolution 2015-04-UFC amending Urban Forestry Council Bylaws, Article VI – Meetings, Section 1: Quorum, to change meeting quorum requirements based on the composition of Urban Forestry Council membership. (Explanatory Document:  Notice of Proposed Bylaws Amendment and Draft Resolution) (Discussion and Action)

Member Kida moves to adopt the resolution and bylaws, with removal of word "original" on line 13 of the resolution; Member Leffingwell seconds. The resolution and bylaws was adopted without objection.


7. Committee Reports: (Informational Reports and Discussion)

Planning & Funding Committee. Chair’s Report. 
The committee did not meet and does not have a report. 

Landmark Tree Ad Hoc Committee.  Chair’s Report.
The committee did not meet. Member Hillson noted the nomination that is being considered at the Planning Commission and suggested that the committee should meet to develop a guide for the landmark tree evaluation process. 

8. Staff Report. (Informational Report and Discussion)
Staff introduced SFE’s summer intern Nathalie Folkerts.

9. Chair’s Announcements: Chair, Urban Forestry Council (Information and Discussion)
Chair had no additional items to report on.

10. Urban Forestry Council Member Announcements. (Information and Discussion)
Member Swae noted that Planning has a summer intern exploring the idea of a street tree nursery: Member Short from Public Works is supporting the project which should be complete by the end of summer.   

11. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Information and Discussion)
Member Leffingwell suggested a future item discussing the Emerald Ash Borer and development of a proactive response to the pest.  Ms. Hui noted that staff is available to find presenters on issues of interest to the UFC. 

12. 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 additional public comment at this time.

13. Adjournment.

Meeting adjourned at 7:16pm.

The next meeting of the Urban Forestry Council is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 6:00 p.m., City Hall, Room 416, San Francisco, CA  94102.

Respectfully submitted by Urban Forestry Council Coroidnator Mei Ling Hui. 

 

Meeting minutes approval date: