May 13 2015 Operations Committee Meeting Approved Minutes




WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015, 5:00 P.M.



1. Call to Order and Roll Call.  The Commission on the Environment Operations Committee meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m.  Present:  Commissioners Stephenson and Wan; Absent:  None.  Acting Commission Secretary Buerkle announced that Commissioner King had resigned from the Commission, and that Commissioner Stephenson was appointed as Operations Committee Chair.

2. Approval of Minutes of the January 21, 2015 Operations Committee Rescheduled Meeting. (Explanatory Document:  January 21, 2015 Operations Committee Meeting Draft Minutes) (Discussion and Action)

Public Comment:  Ms. Nancy Wuerfel questioned whether the section of the minutes that states that the Board of Supervisors assigns an analyst to review the Department’s budget is correct.  Finance and Administration Program Manager Joseph Salem reported that the Board of Supervisors has assigned the Department an analyst to review the budget.  He reported that the Department’s budget would be heard with other enterprise departments on June 1, 2015, not May 1 as was indicated in the meeting minutes.

Upon Motion by Commissioner Wan, second by Commissioner Stephenson, the January 21, 2015 Operations Committee meeting minutes section was approved (AYES:  Commissioners Stephenson and Wan).  The Commission’s Special Meeting section would be voted on at the May 26, 2015 Commission meeting.

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. Department of the Environment Fiscal Year 2015-16 Budget Update.  Speaker:  Joseph Salem, Program Manager, Finance and Administration (Informational Report and Discussion)

Program Manager of Finance and Administration, Joseph Salem, provided an update on the Department’s budget process.  He clarified that the Mayor’s Office would be presenting the Department’s budget to the Board of Supervisors on June 1, and not May 1 as previously indicated.  Mr. Salem stated that discussions are just beginning with the Mayor’s Budget Analyst, and that the budget has not changed from the previous budget that was presented at the January Operations Committee meeting.  He reported that the shortfall in the Clean Transportation program has been closed due to the extension of grants and Energy Watch program funding, but that the gap in the Biodiversity program is yet to be closed. 

Commissioners inquired about the basis for funding shortfalls and next steps.  Mr. Salem reported that the reason for funding gaps in these two program areas has to do with reliance and unpredictability of grants from year to year.  A discussion was held on future plans to hold discussions with other City departments and apply for grants in order to secure funding for the Biodiversity program.   Communications and Policy Director Guillermo Rodriguez reported that a General Fund request was made to supplement the Biodiversity program.  Commissioner Wan reported that she and Commissioner Arce would be meeting with the Mayor’s Office Budget Analyst to discuss the General Fund request.

Mr. Rodriguez reported that the Mayor’s budget directions to City departments had indicated that there would be additional General Funds available to City departments, and departments were instructed to put together a list of requests.  The Department had submitted a request for General Funds on an as needed basis to address administrative overhead that grants and contracts do not cover and to establish environmental community councils.  It was explained that the Mayor’s Office was briefed on the Department’s request, and that the Mayor’s Office will be identifying priorities in the future. 

5. Department Outreach Campaigns Update. (Explanatory Document:  2014-15 Outreach Campaigns Presentation) Sponsor:  Commissioner Angelo King; Speakers:  Donald Oliveira, Outreach Manager, Cara Gurney, EnvironmentNow Coordinator, and Friday Apaliski, Senior Communications Coordinator (Informational Report and Discussion)

Outreach Manager Donald Oliveira presented on the Department of the Environment’s outreach campaigns for calendar year 2015 presenting campaign timeline and highlights from the (1) Biodiversity San Francisco’s Ugliest Yard competition; (2) Travel Options Pilot; (3) Used Motor Oil Recycling Campaign, (4) Zero Waste Participation that includes the Bio-Bag and Free Coffee Pop Up Campaigns, (5) Healthy Nail Salon, (6) Step Up Power Down, and (7) Energy Watch.  Mr. Oliveira discussed the participation of the Department’s EnvironmentNow Team in ensuring the success of campaigns.  He reported on grassroots efforts, volunteer and integrated communication teams, marketing strategies, pilot campaigns, and community partnerships that work to achieve program goals.

Outreach Manager Oliveira reported that the Step Up and Power Down campaign in partnership with PG&E and the City of San Jose is to be formally launched in June.  The campaign’s focus is to increase energy efficiency programming in small businesses.  He discussed EnvironmentNow work providing outreach efforts for the Energy Watch  program that offers technical support and financial incentives for energy efficiency upgrades to help decrease energy waste.

Senior Communications Coordinator Friday Apaliski presented an overview of San Francisco’s Ugliest Yard Competition, Used Motor Oil Recycling Campaign, and Healthy Nail Salon Campaign discussing the importance of meeting with program staff and identifying goals to ensure success of outreach programs.  She reported on campaign focus, translation services available to target audiences, and the value of community partnerships in meeting goals.  Ms. Apaliski reported on outreach, advertising, and media strategy to reach the community and campaign results.

EnvironmentNow Coordinator Cara Gurney presented on the EnvironmentNow and Zero Waste team’s work to increase participation with San Francisco’s Recycling and Composting Ordinance discussing focus areas, the importance of training and education, program schedule, partnerships, advertising, pilot programs, media coverage, and next steps.  She discussed the focus on small business engagement and participation campaign timing for the media launch and neighborhood roll-out.   

Commissioner Stephenson discussed the importance of developing a mechanism for measuring the success of outreach programs and identifying whether problem areas exist more in the residential or commercial sector.  Commissioner Wan commended the Used Motor Oil Recycling campaign efforts to work with community partners on grassroots campaigns.

Policy and Communications Director Rodriguez discussed the minimal amount of resources that are used to achieve such a high degree of success in outreach programs.  He discussed the importance of reminding the community of the importance of all of the Department’s campaigns that are part of San Francisco’s culture.

Public Comment: 

Mr. David Pilpel asked that the outreach campaigns presentation be added to the website.  He suggested that Healthy Nail Salons be certified as green businesses.  Mr. Pilpel spoke of his concern that campaigns are funded by rate payers, and that a nexus be shown between funding provided by tax payers and benefits achieved.  He stated that campaigns should also align with the Commission’s and Department’s strategic goals.  Mr. Pilpel stated that the community should now be in compliance with the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance, and that there should now be a focus on enforcing compliance.
Ms. Nancy Wuerfel stated that rate payers have been providing a lot of funding to Recology for providing outreach services.  She suggested that the Department provide metrics on what the Department programs are providing versus what Recology is providing through the use of tax payer dollars, and then consider what programs should be promoted and what changes should be made.   
6. Department’s Social Media Activities Update.  Sponsor:  Commissioner Heather Stephenson; Speakers: Donald Oliveira, Outreach Manager and Friday Apaliski, Senior Communications Coordinator (Informational Report and Discussion)

Outreach Program Manager Oliveira and Senior Communications Coordinator Apaliski provided a report on the Department’s social media activities and recent successes highlighting Earth Day, the Ugliest Yard Campaign, and the launch of the 0 50 100 Roots Campaign, San Francisco’s Climate Action strategy.  Ms. Apaliski reported on how focus and engagement and on specific programs for a period of time generates more interest and provides greater access to cultivate and share information.   A discussion was held on the importance of leveraging partnerships and the media in social media activities increases interest in programs.  Mr. Oliveira and Ms. Apaliski discussed the role of social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter in reaching approximately 50,000 people.  Social media also provides the ability to build partnerships with other City agencies and community organizations to spread the message, engage the public, and build momentum around programs. 

Commissioner Stephenson requested a future presentation on social media metrics that includes information on whether followers of these outlets have increased over the years and which programs generate the most interest and influence sharing.  She suggested that Department staff comment and ask questions on other people’s feeds as a way to create relationships and create communication channels.  Mr. Oliveira reported that efforts are being made to review the feeds from other City agencies and what is trending nationally. Mr. Oliveira and Ms. Apaliski reported that a report on metrics showing the success of social media efforts would be provided at the end of the year.

Public Comment:  Mr. David Pilpel suggested that the Department link San Francisco’s Ugly Yard Campaign with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s front yard efforts and the City Ordinance requirements for landscaping.  He suggested that a message should be relayed on what can be done to make improvements to yards. Mr. Pilpel stated his disappointment that the Mayor did not continue the Earth Day Breakfast tradition because it provides an opportunity for the public to find out about the Department’s activities and priorities.  He stated that the bus tour was not open to the public and he felt excluded.  Commissioner Stephenson reported that a report was provided on Department activities at the reception after the bus tour. 

Mr. Pilpel stated that City Departments should create a channel of communication that is open to everyone, not only those that have social media available to them.  He suggested that City departments should consider how the use of social media relates to Sunshine Ordinance open law requirements on record retention and exclusion of people that do not have social media.   

7. New Business/Future Agenda Items. (Discussion)  Commissioner Wan and Commissioner Stephenson suggested a metrics report at completion of campaigns.   Commissioner Stephenson suggested an in depth discussion of each aspect of the 0 50 100 campaign.  She suggested a focus on transportation for an upcoming meeting that would include a presentation from car sharing companies and MUNI on how car sharing services impact car trips and MUNI ridership.   Commissioner Stephenson suggested that there be a joint discussion with the SFPUC on how the Department can provide outreach and communication efforts to address drought concerns.   She asked for a presentation by the Zero Waste staff and the Recreation and Park Department on composting and recycling efforts in parks.  Commissioner Wan asked for a more in depth discussion on the 0-50-100 campaign and how to influence participation.   Mr. Rodriguez reported on how these topics could be focus areas for future Commission presentations.  He reported on the Department’s work with the SFPUC to address drought concerns and information that will be provided at the upcoming hearing at the Board of Supervisors on City activities around the drought. 

Public Comment:  Mr. Pilpel suggested that the Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Country Transportation Authority be invited to present on transportation as part of the 0 50 100 topic, but that their presentations should be limited to specific focus areas and metrics.   He suggested that the Recreation and Park Department present on their Strategic Plan and its impact on environmental programs. 

8. 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.

Mr. David Pilpel inquired about the Department’s contact for public records management.

9. Adjournment.  The Operations Committee meeting adjourned at 6:26 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, August 12, 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, 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