tv [untitled] June 15, 2011 6:00am-6:30am PDT
vedda something i think will really hell clarify a lot of issues for the rest of the city. >> i lived in district 7 in the want to continue, i think you're doing a fine job. we have a great supervisor, very impressive presentation, thank you. i work and have been around the city. i chaired a couple of major school funding measures. i am impressed with the fact that you want a safe city, and i do, too. you can't without the [unintelligible] we had breakfast one time. .
. he said, if i could get them to take their medication, i could save the city millions. the supervisors failed to adopt lawyer's law which would allow them to provide treatment to these people. the they are the major consumers of the illegal drugs in the city. and because they're self-medicating for lack of treatment. it's affecting the schools because you have to mainstream so many kids who are the victims of their pa rental mental illness. my wife taught in the schools for 34 years afpblet she recently was in a classroom where the father was sending his third grade child to school in baby clothes because the father needed help. so i think you begin by restoring the facilities or ensuring that when the police department, which has the major responsibility, takes people to p.e.s., psych emergency services, they are given an option other than to send them back to the streets or to put them in jail, where it's far
more expense to have deal with them. thank you. >> let me just respond to that just briefly. we have not reduced numbers of psychiatric beds at san francisco general hospital. what we have done is we have tried to cohort patients that don't -- that are in our psychiatric wards that don't truly require acute care into separate units so we can better manage our nursing costs and be a little bit more efficient in the way we do our work. we've certainly tried to reorganize. we've reorganized and redesigned the way our behavioral health center operates based upon recommendation that came from a blue ribbon committee that included community members and city members and people from throughout the community. so i think we've worked very hard to try to make that operation more efficient, more effective, and to provide a continuum of care that includes long-term care, as well as transitional care to move people
out of in-patient facility it's, hopefully to be able to manage them at lower levels and ideally move them back to the community. and just one comment on our leadership. the doctor has left the department. we have a brand new health director, barbara garcia. she is one of the most capable, knowledgeable people in that field that we can possibly have made a director. she is well known in the behavioral health community. she managed behavioral health over these past years. she manages, before becoming health director, mental health substance abuse programs. she was the individual working with all of the patient flow issues between our acute hospitals and the placements. she works closely with all the community-based providers. i think you will see a different perspective, a different focus and a different set of ideas coming out of the health department as time goes on.
it is clearly a very large problem. it's a problem that had its origin in the reagan administration, when the state hospitals were closed and when most of the responsibility for this was sort of delegated down to the counties. it is clearly a big problem for san francisco. we work very hard to manage it. we still provide more mental health services than any other county in the state. we provide more substance abuse services than any other county in the state, by a huge factor. and we clearly realize that there's additional need that needs to be met. no question about it. >> [inaudible]. >> the public health department doesn't work alone on this. and as a fantastic job as they are doing, we're also doing it with the proper level of law enforcement, working very closely with our police department and to make sure, you
know, a lot of people aren't making good judgments on the street. you know that. that's part of that whole challenge of mental health. so that's why i've been carrying out support for the community justice center, the community justice courts, get the folks on the street to actually force them to make a decision. do you want to be incarcerated or do you want serviced? -- services? i think we have to get there. with the d.a. support and the police department support, we're not wanting to put people to jail. we're wanting them to make good choices so they can get those services, but they have to make better choices. that's what's going on in those streets. they're making the worst choices for their lives. so i clearly understand and i support you and i want to be in that line with mayor christopher and all the mayors you've met so we'll follow up and continue this conversation. i'm not going to give up on those folks. we can't do that. got to change those lives, though, and make sure that our criminal justice system reflects that human nature which we've been working very closely with
to do. we know the failure of simple incarceration. that's not the answer. thank you. >> yes. >> ok, my name is alma and i'm here on behalf of the workers of the center. you said that you are happy of the convention that's come to the city. so, that said, why would you cut 10% of the budget for the center? are you aware of the consequences that's going to bring? last year you were about to lose oracle and the reason why we stayed is because the city gave them a big discount to stay here. now this year they're for sure going to go to las vegas if they realize that we have a loss of employees. and we want to receive the highest quality they deserve. >> budgets haven't all been set yet. all of the departments have been required to present 10% cuts. some of them are required to present 20% cuts. and we're going through those
numbers, we'll be meeting with the center to find out whether and how that may or may not interrupt the conventions. i do believe that the conventions are a great source to us and we certainly don't mean to diminish the quality services, i mean, the services of the center has been excellent. so we will look closely at that to maintain it but everybody's making the tough choices and i know we'll with be having s.m.g. and our conventions bureau come in and we'll day a-- pay attention to. that it's not a simple cut. we've asked people to put forward their best solutions to the budget challenge. and i don't look at this just across the board cuts. we've never done that. we will not do that in this budget at all but we will make decisions that make sure that our city is solvent and so i'll pay attention to that it. that's why we have these meetings, to get your input. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. i'm andy from the elderly.
today 25 of our seniors are sitting back there, thanks for the translation, mayor, and supervisors, and both of us are sunset residents. we're here to ask the mayor, please, and supervisor chu and elsbernd, to draw a line and say you will protect the vulnerable seniors and maintain the senior services for d-4 and d-7. a lot of our seniors have worked hard, paid taxes, and lived in the sunset. this is a beautiful, beautiful city and d-4 and d-7 are jewels of the city. and i ask you to boldly, because i know budget cuts are hard, but it's going to be 10 times harder when you take away services from the seniors. when you cut back the nutrition program, case management program, activities, we only have one senior center thanks to
mr. ginsburg. we're partners with park and rec for the past 20 years but with the budget cut i'm afraid we may have to stop paying rent. i'm here to ask mr. ginsburg to keep our partnership in tact. because as a city, the department of aging tried to cut back services for the seniors. any rent increase for south sunset center, any cut back of the nutritious meals will send a lot of our seniors out on the streets again with nowhere to go. so, mayor, thanks for your budget principle of safety, providing essential services is one of those safety principles and we ask you to please protect our population. thank you. >> i get the great pleasure of responding to that one. i want to thank you and south health for the elderly, a perfect example of how rec and park is doing business directly -- differently.
we reach out to some of our most successful and vibrant nonprofit partners to help us provide services and you're now currently providing senior wellness programming, not just at south sunset clubhouse but also in portsmoth square and you're doing it so very well. that partnership will continue to thrive and you will continue to be able to provide services at those two clubhouses and i do want to take a moment to point out our commitment to senior programming. we have the wonderful golden gate park senior center and if you look through our catalogs now, our recreational model has afforded us a great opportunity to provide much more robust, exciting and fun program, recreational programming, and health and wellness programming for seniors. and our senior programming is almost in all cases free for use. so, thank you for your partnership.
>> david, good morning. i wanted to raise two issues. staffing, overtime and set asides. why is it that certain departments, whether they're big or small, seem to manage their staffing and anticipate turnover in staff and house traping so they minimize the amount of overtime whereas other departments, fire, police, sheriff and m.t.a. in particular, seem to continue to use overtime even when they know that people are going to retire or trade out and they can anticipate those hiring and training needs? and the other concern was about with set asides. this is in particular to mayor lee and the supervisors. are you willing to consider a charter amendment for november, to look at our set asides, even though we've all voted for those things to cut back at least to some degree on all of those things like libraries, children's fund, city services
auditor, there are a lot of funds that we've set aside which, as you talked about, reduce our budget flexibility in these difficult times. are you willing to take those issues on? thank you. >> i'm the mayor's budget director. as you know, we have spent a lot of time over the last several years working on the overtime issue citywide. i know a lot of the departments that are here today have been very focused on it. we have a lot to do but we have actually, over the last couple of years, brought our overtime costs down very significantly. i know the police department's budget has changed dramatically, overtime is down quite a bit. so there are cases where we're working very hard to manage it. there are also other cases where overtime is not desirable but is a part of doing business, for example at the fire department.
we have a certain level of staffing that's required to keep our fire engines in service. some of those shifts have to be filled on overtime. and we try to do so strategically but there are cases where it's part of our management process that we need to use some overtime. so we're working on that very closely. we've passed some legislation that requires additional restrictions and reporting on overtime and we're working very actively to manage it. >> if i may say, with respect to set asides, you know, i've been around for 21 years and i've watched whole legislative bodies do these set asides. i know that there are very emotional support for these set aide asides, whether children, seniors, parks and so forth. as a nonpolitician, i'll tell you, i think that i still have
strong values that reflect a lot of those set asides, too. but at the same time when the city is in dier circumstances, sometimes -- dire circumstances, sometimes not because of our own doing but whether the state's cutting back or the fed's cutting back, we need that fiscal flexibility, to be able to relook at what we've done set asides. so i'd be very willing, david, to be quite candidworks with you, to work with the supervises that are allows us the flexibility that in those very hard times we're not holding ourselves strictly to strict set asides, that we have the flexibility to balance our budget and be fiscally responsible. and i think a conversation's going o'on with the board of supervisors already to allow that viewpoint to go forward. again, to me i think this is a time to do it because i'm not looking for votes, i'm looking for honest solutions to the way we do business in this city. and i do think we need to
revisit strict set asides so we're given the fiscal responsibilities to balance the budget the right way and still honor the strong values that we have with, whether seniors or open spaces or schools. >> hi. my name is lara and i'm the chair of the mental health board and member of the c.a.t. training program right now. i would like to ask the mayor and supervisors elsbernd and chu, where do they stand with the mental health funding? they have cut tremendously. the mobile crisis. and we're trying to establish the c.a.t. but it's not fair for the police department, for to us ask more of responsibility if we are cutting the facilities or the organizations. and the contract providers for
the mental health, for the mentally challenged people, if they're not -- if they keep cutting all the facilities. there have been so many facilities that's been closed and i would like to address this and like i said, if they want to ask, i would answer the question, where do they stand on the mental health funding? thank you. >> i think that greg has already sean answered that with public health. we're not cutting. but virginia to be honest with you -- but i have to be honest with you. if the federal government and the say it government, looking for what they're planning to cut for the city and the realignment, if they're cutting those programs, there's no way i can back fill. there's no way this city can back fill the cuts coming from the state and the feds. i'm going to be brutally honest with you. we can't afford to back fill the cuts that the state and the federal government is going to plan and we are getting
information that they're going to be cutting in those areas very drastically. and so we don't have the budget here to fulfill those cuts from the feds and from the state. so we're going to have to figure out something else different if we're going to try to challenge ourselves to meet the same level of services. but that's the immediate challenge now. we as a city do not have the funds to fill those backfills. those cuts coming from the state. we simply aren't going to be able to do that. and you've got to pay attention to what the governor's about to do. or not do. all of us here are going to have that responsibility. i'm eyeing what the governor every day is talking to everybody in the state and if we don't have those tax extensions we've got huge cuts, we'll not be able to manage today. we'll do our best, but there's kind of a crisis brewing about what the state's about to do and need to forewarn everybody. we're going to have the best minds to deal with it but it's a storm coming that i'm afraid is going to hurt a lot of us.
>> [speaking foreign language] >> so the human -- the questions right now, the comment right now is that the human services about to propose this year is proposing to increase our home care workers' premium up to $10 from $3 to $10. the comment we want to make is that since we have this healthy san franciscans. if somebody earns $900, which is about what home care workers make, to actually -- those qualify for -- those who work on home care, most of them require for helping san freanans which
don't -- san francisco ans which doesn't pay a premium. the proposal doesn't make sense. ddsan -- >> if i could respond. philadelphia ar naled again. the question had to do with the inhome supportive services program. there are about 21,000 recipients in san francisco of in-home supportive services. there are 16,000 to 18,000 providers of those services. the providers -- this is a program that's been under attack by the state government for about the last four years. the swartz administration tried to cut wages, hours and has succeeded to a certain extent in cutting 3.2% of the hours that consumers can receive, which would translate into a reduction in hours by the providers. this is not something that we initiated. there was a proposal two years ago to cut the wages. the san francisco backstopped that cut and actually provided enough money to keep the wages in place.
what is on the table this budget year is a proposal to have the providers who are currently covered by the san francisco health plan, which is complete medical coverage, their contribution to that plan is $3 per month and our proposal is to increase that contribution to $10 per month so that the services and the coverage can be maintained but the city costs can be reduced. >> we've got time for two more questions. >> ok, yes. i understand that the city is going to be going through a new transit board and they're funding three projects. i'd like to know how that affects the budget, positive or negative.
>> we have a few projects which we're funding in terms of the n.t.a. the big project is the central subway project. the vast majority that have money is federal funding. it's ads 1.6 billion probably and we're on a path right now to identify $1 billion in funding for that project and it looks like we're in good shape. we similarly have projects in the bay view hunters point area in terms of redevelopment projects, as well as b.r.t.'s. all of these projects clearly are trying to deal with the demand we see from a population growth perspective, a significant growth here in the city in terms of ridership and we have to make those decisions right now to build the fra infrastructure so we can move people around. the m.t.a., the muni city, literally is one of the most productive systems in terms of per capita resident usage of a transit system in this country next to new york. so if we have 800,000 residents here in the city, 700,000 people
ride the system everyday. the very demanding environment. and we need to build for the future and we're taking our capital dollars right now to reinvest, rebuild the system, build more of the system so that we can deal with the population demand and transit demand we see in the future. >> my name is paul simpson. there's a big elephant in the room that no one's commented on. i'm wondering if someone among our esteemed panelists might stand up and respond to this. first of all, i want to say that i appreciate at least stepping in -- ed lee stepping in as the mayor jumped off. we have a situation here where the city takes in $6 billion. it takes in a lot of money. but approximately $1 billion of that are going to employee retirement benefits and current employee benefits.
everyone talks about a partnership of labor. that partnership is dysfunctional. is there anyone among our officials that are prepared to stand up and say, during these times, this city has a dysfunctional partnership with organized labor that is one-sided and is draining our coughers and affecting the ability of those that live here with our families in san francisco to drive on our streets, to enjoy our playgrounds, all the playground directers have been terminated, to sharpen our local storeses where the meeters have been increased and the times on them have been reduced and bike lanes have been thrown in i want to know when our politicians are going to say, enough is enough. organized labor is killing us. is there anybody here that's willing to stand up? >> i don't share the same view, to be honest.
ok? i'm going to be honest with you. i don't share the same view. but i'm also, you should know this, i'm not in anyone's pocket either. i think the city has enjoyed a very solid relationship with labor. i have a lot of -- i mean, i work with these folks every single day. not only department heads, all of us here, we have with -- part of the enjoyment is figuring out how to do things well but also to give people a decent wage. decent benefits. a decent pension. many of you appreciated employers that did the same thing for you. when you were working. it's that relationship that makes san francisco special. i'm not about to have a wisconsin kind of viewpoint here. this is not there in san francisco we work hard at this -- this is not there. in san francisco we work hard at this relationship. yes, we've had bumps, we've had difficult discussions.
there are sometimes things that we don't like to hear that are distracting, whether it's a strike vote or something else. but we manage to get things done and that's what i'm here -- i'm not making any new promises as mayor. i'm trying to keep the old promises. a lot of you have been here a long time. you want the city to be safe, you want it to be solvent, you want it to be successful. i'm trying to resurrect -- [inaudible] and we don't do that by making, i think, unauthorized stretch against any part of san francisco that we work very closely with. so i'm just going to be bold about it and tell you from my heart, i think we go in a different direction. i think we maintain that special relationship we've had with labor. they are partners and we will work this out and when it comes to pension reform, li be honest, let the numbers speak to us. not political positions. and the numbers are saying, we've got to do things better and those numbers will be there for -- we'll correct this and make sure the pension doesn't eat away at all the services. that's what i'm here to say and