tv [untitled] April 17, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
i have been a resident for the last 44 years. i've spoken before this commission for a number of years. i am back here to talk about the operating budgets, which has been approved of the last three years by deborah johnson, who is not qualified to approve it. you have gone up by 7% a year what you have taken over the taxi commission. and begun to squeeze the drivers beyond any reasonable basis. they are not part of the income producing part of the city and county of san francisco. they have no salaries, pensions, medical's, unemployment. they are paying for yours. thank you for your time. chair nolan: that would conclude
the public testimony. we have before us the budget as presented, including these items. director heinicke: let me start with this. at the beginning of this process, we ask you to scrutinize the work orders and make sure these were situations where there were was a proper nexus to the agency and this was a proper expensed to our money. we were looking at relatively lean times. let me focus on the police work order and the motorcycle unit. i will ask you to address that work order. your view that it is a proper work order for us to be pain. follow up with the two questions -- is this something we could revisit during the budget cycle as we discuss things with the police
department? i assume it is, but i want to make sure. i realize that is a broader discussion about staffing priorities, but there was comment raised that perhaps we could be using pco's instead of police officers to handle certain tasks. that would be less expensive to the agency. i have a few more questions, but let's start with this. >> we paid to the police department through a work order, which is the phrase the city uses in its budget process when one city department has services from another. $9 million of the work order supports a large portion of the traffic company of the san francisco police department.
these are the motorcycle police officers who do traffic enforcement. the decision -- work orders are for specific services, order of purchasing, or certain city-wide function that are allocated to all departments. most of those cases, it is not a choice of the individual departments. it is an allocation from city hall. it is an issue of where we believe the city department providing the services is best able to provide it. for us to do so, it would be more expensive. we would need to outsource the function. the traffic company is a little bit different than all of the other reporters. it is based on a policy decision that was made by city hall a number of years ago as part of their budget process.
it identified a nexus between a large number of the functions of the traffic company and the city's transportation department. the theory behind the nexus is that to we are charged with having a safe transportation system. we are charged with implementing the city's transit first policies. there is an argument to be made that the traffic companies supports both of those charter goals of this agency. in terms of making sure that transportation in the city is safe and enforcement works to the benefit of safety and the benefit of transit. there is a nexus for the use of mta funds for the service. there is also as many public speakers indicated, a
justifiable position that the city's general fund should pay these costs. that is not a decision that we can make unilaterally with the this -- at this board. it is something i have discussed with the mayor, would some of the members of the board of supervisors, and with the mayor's budget office. the challenge is, the reason why the decisions were made, the traffic company, and the way and work orders are allocated, was to protect general fund dollars there providing safety net services to our most challenged populations. the decision about mta police department work order was one of those decisions. the city is looking at the next fiscal year has $160 million general fund gap they need to close. to the extent they assume
responsibility for this work order, are fiscal challenge there are policy arguments to be made on either side of the issue. the way the budget is currently structured, the responsibilities -- it has been recommended to me that i include in my transmittal letter to the mayor and the board of supervisors, and articulation of how we could otherwise use those funds if that policy decision more different. if you gave us another $9 million, how we could put it to work to benefits the people of san francisco for the transportation department. that is something, i think comment that is a good idea. the other thing i been talking with the mayor and the budget office about is the fact that
there is a unit of the police department that has been providing direct services to muni for security on the system did have been grant funded for which the grant is expiring at the end of this fiscal year. we do not have the funds budgeted for that. the police department does not have the funds in their department to continue that service. that is a direct service provided to muni. i've also been seeking their assistance in the form of loring the traffic come -- lowering -- to make room for us to be able to find this direct service. i know that is a long answer. i think there is an arguable policy call in terms of where the funding comes from. it is a decision that needs to
be made by city hall. >> i very much appreciate that answer. i am not suggesting that this money is falling into a sewer hole somewhere. it is being used for our police officers. the question is where it comes from. i have a little bit of tissue with the notion that this is a city hall decision. -- issue with the notion that this is a city hall decision. not to have funds allocated for transit purposes used for other city hall purposes. again, i am not suggesting this is an el purpose. we need to support our police officers and we need traffic enforcement. the question is where this money comes from. i think we could make a unilateral decision to strike this from our budget and say, we will not pay for this because we do not believe there is a nexus. i think that would be an extreme mood and it would be one taken without enough -- extreme that
move. i also want to turn up the temperature a little bit on this issue. the transmittal letter you are talking about is the appropriate step to take. i think we need to make clear that we as a board are reviewing these things and not simply accepting them as the city hall decision. of course, we will value the opinions of the mayor's office and others to construct these budgets. we will pay our fair share for services. we need to revisit the notion of whether this is our fair share or not. we are an independent agency for that very reason. we're not a single agency in the traditional sense. i would ask that we continue to debate this and maybe we get a report back in several months on these negotiations to see if we want to take more extreme measures or see if we are reaching some sort of agreement and understanding where the
nexus -- understanding. that is the place i would like to get. one step in that process, i do not know this proposal, if they say there is money to be saved i would like to look at that. that is my first set of questions. i appreciate the long answer. this is one where many to push back a little bit more than saying this is a city hall decision. i know you are sensitive to that and i think the trend in a letter is a good for start. -- transmittal letter is a good start. put my second question concerns the parking proposal. i believe i have asked this question before. the plans for sunday parking is not -- will not have the deakin
running in and out of his church. you will be able to buy the entire block of time. do i understand that correctly? >> we are proposing for our meters. it is not the entire time. -- four-hour meters. it would be able to load the meter of to four hours. we will make it easier to pay for parking, credit cards, paid by phone. we are in the process of upgrading all the meter said they can be prepaid. if you're right at 11:00 the meter will start drawn the money down at 12:00. chair nolan: time for the board to discuss this. i will remind you of the last hearing. director heinicke: i am not sure we have the answer.
one of the main reasons we are increasing the citations for the parking, sorry to switch topics, the courthouse the that the state has imposed on us. the last time around, i ask the question of whether san francisco is receiving that money back or whether we are finding other counties courthouse. -- funding other counties courthouses. i think we need to our part state legislature with informations they can understand where this money is going. if it is going back to find san francisco, that is one thing. if it is going to fund courthouses and other counties, that is something we need to know. if we could give an answer on that question, i would appreciate it. chair nolan: any other members of the board?
>> i, too, am prepared to vote on the budget. i have still below major concerns. the work order. i would urge you do look at that work order because i think it is unfair that we are offsetting that when we are in a budget crunch. that is $9 million. maybe we can offset it with other agencies. i am not sure, but i would urge you to take a look at it. the second thing, as you know, i think san francisco is a great city, a diversity. but promote diversity. we promotes families. my concern is that it's -- the sunday parking impacts the
quality of life for families to move around the city. it is a time when families move around with small children, senior citizens. when you start stipulating and implementing parking on sundays, it does have an adverse affect. will the money that we raise from parking meters, it will not close that much of the gap? the quality of life is very important. i worry that the impact the quality of life, not just for people that are here, but people come into the city to appreciated and enjoy. i would like us to think about what we are trying to tell people about who we are, what we are, and what we offer. i want people to enjoy it. i am not sure of the fact that we promote other activities in
the city that impact services. what is the impact of overall quality? if we want to support other organizations and functions on sundays, we should look at the quality of life for everyone. sunday is something that provides that opportunity. now we're taking that away. many social programs that are provided throughout the city -- as we take away and people, and to volunteer for the social programs, now they would have to pay for parking and volunteer or get a ticket. if you are coming into volunteer, for example, how does that impact the quality you are giving back? it is something to think about.
i urge the board to think about that. >> one of the things we need to look at t-- do we have a contingency plan, mr. director? if we do not pass the parking meter part of the budget, do we have a contingency plan to fall back on? how do we get that $2 million back? are there ways we can do that? >> i did not make contingency plans for different line items in the budget. we just went through an exercise of identifying what choices we where -- we would make sure our
revenue situation change. i guess i would make the same choices. i would recommend the same choices. were we to forego the revenue :::::::ñ revenues, i would like to make the same recommendations for where we would make expenditure reductions accordingly. >> the other thing, we used to have a rainy day fund. nobody was supposed to be able to touch it. based upon the recommendations in the past, that rainy day fund should be put back in because it is our money to use for things like maintenance.
if we have a hole in the means department, we could use that funding to fill that. -- maintenance department, we could use that funding to fill that. >> in this budget, we are proposing to fund $2 million a year towards trying to get back in line with the board's reserve policy. we will know at the end of the fiscal year but we have been there. right now, we have $37 million in the balance. we have not been adhering to the boards approved reserve policy. we are attempting in this proposed budget to get ourselves back on track. >> ok. director ramos: thank you.
i can count on my hand how many times and missed church's growing up as a kid. i happen to live about two blocks away from st. ann's. never farther than an arm's length away from a rosary. i been called many things in my life, but never the devil. it is shocking to hear that from a community that lives by judge not lest ye be judged. i have gotten minimal sleep trying to put this thing together. trying to fight to keep people
from being displaced in their communities. fighting to get people to church so they can get to where they need to be. i think it is very disingenuous and unfortunate that we took the kind of comments that we did given the direction that we have said we want to go. making the city a place for everyone. the reason i am on this board is because my christian teachings, we should look out for those who are the least among us. people that do not have a car cannot afford a car are being pushed out of this city because they cannot even take the bus. we have been told that if we do not pass this budget, it results in a service cut.
an addition from the revenue side, i want to speak to the idea of what is happening in this city. 49 square miles. our city is not the same city that it was when it was sand dunes. it is not the same city that it was 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. we are jammed packed to the gills. on sunday, it is is about as bad as it ever is. that affects our transit. when we cannot find the support that we need from communities like yourselves, i am going to sacramento in -- on may 2. i am going to talk to those people. they can keep us from having to transfer these painful sources of revenue on to the community
because we have to protect what we have. we do not get the kind of funding that we need and we are in these positions, we have to make tough choices. i am thinking about the folks who do not get free transit. they do not get free transit on holidays. they have to pay for a trip to get to where they need to go after 6:00 on a sunday. or 10:00 on a weekday. or any time. i really do, and and very sensitive, to the needs of this community and the services that you offer. i want to support you 100%. i've been there with you in the past and i will be there in the future, but at this point in time, we have to start thinking about a different way that we use our streets. in a way that it does not make the transit service more expensive and difficult to provide.
i do support the idea of sunday meters. hopefully, at some point, we will get to a place where we can have more money than me know what to do with. when we have people like you who are active, all the folks who came here and expect us to extend the program, and you were there to fight for more funding, we might be able to see things differently. at this plant, we are in a desperate situation and we have to do what we have to do. in addition to thing about the long-term needs of providing service to the people who are least able to get a around. we're not talking about congestion fees. we would charge people just to drive your car into the city. that is maybe the next stop.
i am asking you all to be engaged and to help us fight to keep us out of these predicaments. and to come to more welcoming solutions. at this point, we have to do what we have to do. thank you. director lee: this whole thing on meters on sunday, i have seen areas where streets are just packed. i went down to the financial district on sunday to help my wife " at a for office. every -- moved out of her officeevery spot was taken. we were not charging for the meters. i do understand the need for the faith community. i do not know if it is possible, you know, we have these smart meters, if we can identify where these locations are at, what is the impact if we did not put
these meters into effect at the churches? i do not know. a huge impact? it may not be. is that available? >> logistically and technically, that would be possible. legally, i am not sure. that it would be defensible. it would be theoretically and administratively possible to do that. i am not sure would be on solid legal ground to do that. director lee: one of my main concerns that you have areas that people part and they leave
their vehicles there all day. there are areas where i will not even shop at because i know there is no way to get in there. i go outside the city to do my shopping. it is impossible. ok? >> i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> to let them know that it has been going on for a number of years. it is time to look at it and maybe to share the pain would some other city agencies. share the pain with the general fund. it will be a hole in somebody's budget that will have to be plugged. it is unfortunate that needs to be our budget. it would be great to continue to look at that. i am ready to go ahead and make a motion to approve the budget. i want to state that i am still
completely in favor of the sunday parking meters. we have been doing a lot of work around parking policy on this board. we had a lot of goals and we have strategies in place as an agency. managing parking is one of them. just because it is a sunday does not mean that we turn our backs and we stopped managing parking. we need to keep our transit vehicles moving. we need to keep people moving around the city and the most efficient manner. bernie madoff will find that it is easier to find a meter parking spot -- we may find that it is easier to find a metered parking spot once those are enforced. people are paying for muni on sunday evenings. it is -- you cannot make policy changes without finding some group that seems to be hurt by this policy change. it is always interesting to look at it the other way. if we currently had a free muni
on sunday for everybody, what position would be be taking to defend that for everybody? i would like to look at it in the reverse. if we were paying for sunday meters all of these years, what would be the arguments we would suddenly be used? i do not think it is gone to be as bad as everybody thinks. it is going to help our commercial areas. it is going to manage our parking. it will keep our transit vehicles running. and it is good policy. i am willing to make a motion. >> is there a second? >> second. director bridges: i have a quick question. is it possible -- to have some type of exemption from a period of time?
not all churches are located in those commercial areas. a limited amount of churches. >> administratively, it would be theoretically possible. legally, i am not sure we could do that. i am happy -- i hear the question. i have offered to address specific location concerns with any party, not just faith based. just as we do generally it with our parking policies are having some adverse or unintended impacts. i am happy to explore that. faith based waivers probably would not be legal. director bridges: they could apply for that specific thing. we should explore the possibility. it would not be in every district.