tv [untitled] May 17, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
another member can do that, maybe you -- they can help me out here. brecht's supervisor campos, this is probably not addressed -- >> supervisor campos, this is probably not addressed to you. >> can the sunshine task force to make a motion to disregard the charter legally? cracks through the chair, no, it has been our position and our guys that they cannot. >> what i would say is -- and i am a strong supporter of the sunshine task force and sunshine in general, and continue to be -- i understand the reasoning behind that, but i do not been that is how you address issues about not having a quorum and not having enough people show up to a body like this. i think the way to address that is to make sure that those of us
on the board of supervisors, the rules committee, the mayor's office, that we are aware that is happening and if people are not showing up, then people need to be replaced. but legally, and in terms of the charter, the charter is the constitution of the people and city and county of san francisco. and that constitution cannot be set aside by any government body. it is unfortunate that happen to -- happened, certainly not something that any of us, legally or otherwise can act. cracks i have a copy of a memo from the -- >> i have a copy of a memo from the advisory task force and this was from last year. this was written advice as well. i agree with what supervisor
campos said, that we are not allowed to legally or ethically skirt these laws. that is why -- my question, why the task force did that. thank you for your response. >> i just want to chime in that i did not know about this. i agree with my colleagues. if the issue with a quorum issue, that we need to talk about the structure of the task force rather than violate the city charter. it is the case that we need to reduce the size of the task force, then we need to figure out a structure within which the ordinands can run. i anders stand that as an all volunteer body, you are not paid to be there. but there needs to be a discussion about how we change the way the task force administers their meetings if quorum is an issue rather than violate the city charter. thank you, supervisor, for
bringing that up. i did get an e-mail from suzann stating that she would not be able to be here today. next we have mark, who cannot be here today. then i will call [unintelligible] and then david. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i have my own business. i will be able to attend these long meetings. this should not be an issue. i hope to offer fresh perspective is selected. this is my second appearance before this committee for this position. it was previously in march of last year when supervisor elsbernd was closet -- was kind enough to nominate me. since then, i was actively following politics, going to fund raisers and events and
recent elections. i've had the fortune of traveling extensively as a child. my father was a career diplomat, ambassador to the united nations, and i've lived in many countries, including sudan, turkey, bangladesh, and oman. i speak several languages and relate to people from all walks of life. i am myself multi-cultural operative and irish-american father and a turkish mother. i attended georgetown university and got my mba at johns hopkins. i was fortunate enough to work in the legal field. i think that will be an asset in helping to navigate the detailed material that i have seen on any task force cases. i moved to san francisco seven years ago and i have owned a house and the mission to the last three years. i'm here to stay and i would like to give back to this
beautiful city that i now call home. professionally, i am an experienced recruiter, and a chart -- an hr professional. i worked in an industry that is highly regulated by compliance requirements, special regards, and the companies competing for the government contracts are required to be increasingly transparent. my motivation in volunteering for the position in particular is that it appears to be all encompassing. i am politically independent and not aligned with any special interest groups and i possess strong skills in diplomacy, qualities i believe are necessary for this task force. transparent governance in the public sector is becoming increasingly important in today's world. i cannot think of a better place
for this task force to start what will hope -- what i hope will be a long record of service to the city. in addition, i still see that the task force meetings are not televised. i think this is very important as a body of work. i look forward to working with your appointee on this very issue. thank you. >> thank you for being here before us again. thomas could not make it today. then we have david pilpel and then davidsons. brecht's good afternoon. i think i'm well-known -- and then david simms. >> good afternoon. i think well known by this
committee. i've been involved in quite a number of things over many years. underlying all of that is a deep commitment to inform and meaningful public participation in at the various affairs of the city. i have served on the task force before. i have been appointed for four times. served 8 1/2 years, including a term as chair. there are people, i suspect, who will oppose my reappointment, who believe that i served with a different role, or with a different rule -- a different view on the task force. i think that attitude is healthy. i think it is important to have diversity so that we promote compliance.
the first thing i would do on the task force is to change the bylaws with respect to section 104.4. i believe it was inappropriate and unwise, etc. the second is to strengthen the procedures related to handling of complaints. and that leads to the third point, which is to strengthen our work on the outreach, education, and training so that we are doing pro-active work with departments to ensure compliance and protect the rights of the public to ensure that we have a better government. i am pleased to answer any questions you might have. gregg's thank you. i know you also applied -- >> thank you.
i also applied for the consumer advocate seat seat. tell me how you feel you fulfilled that seat. >> i have advocated strongly for many writers in relation to garbage rates and other avenues of city -- for municipal any relation to garbage rates and other avenues of city business. i believe that does qualify me for the consumer advocacy. >> thank you. and you know our policies so well. >> i can answer a fast quiz on sections of the ordinance, if you like. >> [laughter] may be another time. next we have david simms and then we have howled smith. >> my name is david. i am a nine-year resident of san
francisco. i am an elected each art -- elected attorney here in san francisco. we do consumer advocacy, class action, antitrust law. we have been very susceptible in doing that with great recoveries for several of the area charities. nonprofits like california and georgia -- rural legal assistance and others. my work is very important. it is one of the reasons i would like to serve on the task force, because i feel the governor richard b. doing as much as it can -- i feel the government should be doing as much as it can. open government is good government, and a more open we can become a better.
i have served on the board of directors of the bay area lawyers for individual freedoms, as well as my work in support of cheerleading. if you have any questions, i'm out -- i am here to take them. prexy referred to a number of organizations that i know very well. why did you list those? rex those are several organizations in the bay area alone. we do national class action. >> that you work with? >> yes. >> thank you. i wanted the classification. and i see you are part of the national cheerleading association as well? >> i have done a lot of work with cheerleading over the years. yes, i enjoy it. the more we can bring it back to san francisco, the better. >> i agree. i do not often see on a resume. any other questions?
we have howells' smith, and then we have bruce wolfe. >> good afternoon, supervisors. thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you my qualifications and why i am interested in serving. my work has been in the field of education. for 15 years i was a high-school teacher, primarily in social studies. i also taught journalism for three years. i also became a high school assistant principal for several years and then a principal for other -- over 10 years. i did teach your for one year at roosevelt and then in a lima, peru. i decided to retire and move to san francisco. in park city, utah, i it was the principal there. i also worked the film festival
held at my old high school. when i came here, i decided to become a lot of the service projects. i helped tutor at a local middle school. i served a year on a single grand jury. that should be interesting for all of you to think about. now i am a special advocate for casa for a young man in that system. i believe i am qualified for the task force. i have the energy and the experience to do it. i have been trained in the training process that teaches people to promote have a win/win situation as much as possible. i work well in groups, such as with my 18 peers on the grand jury. i understand a task force. i'm older, so i have experience. i have a big backside, so i can
sit for a long time frame. again, i have perfect attendance from my school system as well. i believe it is always better to know. i think informed citizens make a better democracy and i think that is what section 67 of the sunshine ordinance is all about. i think we make the best decisions when we have as much information as possible. i think timely decisions eliminate conspiracy theories and other nonsense. democracy is very important. that is what i try to teach as a social studies teacher for many years. i saw that most of the employees wanted to do a good job, but i have also attended about 10 taskforce sunshine meetings. but i also saw that people were just trying to gain information.
i have a real respect for those people. i think televising the task force meetings would be helpful in dealing with some of the civility issues. i was on the particular committee that encouraged supervisor campos and the ethics commission. i think that has been very successful. i think it would help with the ordinance task force as well. during the past five years -- i have lived in the city for almost six years -- i have really developed a passion for this city and what it is all about and its values. i was at the symphony on monday night and in closing its said those that can, do. those that can do more, a volunteer. i think we can fix the training
and education part. i think i feel good about the elements i can bring to the education part of the system. even changing the structure of the meetings. and televising the meetings would also be helpful. thank you. i appreciate your thoughtful consideration. >> thank you. and we have bruce wolfe and then karens to waft -- karen sssue rolf. >> good afternoon. my name is bruce. i worked as an advocate in helping to protect our children from very pointed out all adds
that could lead them down -- ac ohol ads that could lead them down the wrong road. i appreciate your consideration for appointment to the task force. i feel that i fill the requirements of seat number eight, which i am applying for, unless you see fit to appoint me to another seat that i'm also eligible for, too. something happened between my computer and my printer, and those should have ended up on my forearm -- form. my history is well known to you. i currently serve as the chair, assuming the role from our previous chair, polk johnson who decided to step down a little early. i enjoy working with the citizens and residents of san francisco in helping to ensure open government. while fully employed and i'm able to fulfill my duties on the
sunshine or dance task force. there is so much to do, much to streamline, much to build on. we can build cooperation and communication between all of us. the sunshine ordinance is simply based on state laws that we all taken out in that holding. -- n. ellis in out holding. -- we all take an oath in up holding. there's a lot of expertise and history the weibring to add to the collective brain trust. for instance, with changing technology comes new and innovative ways to deliver services. i've been a participant in this for some time in the open meeting laws and the public disclosure. i also saw that in the future, to include that. and the sunshine ordinand has also taken as part of its
charge, too. as the city's new technology systems come on line, more efficiency of compliance with the sunshine will be apparent. it gives the opportunity for staff to take a document that they are working on that they know is public and just by a simple click can have a public and on the department's website. that way, is available for the general public to have access to without having to make a request for it. as a social worker, martial arts instructor, like coach, and nit computer trainer, weibring methods of instructional -- i bring methods of instructional community. i think retreats are important, as i'm sure you -- you folks had retreat 21st jamacha the board. i find them to be very important -- you had retreats when you first came onto the board. i find that to be very
important for members that are new. there is much to be done in increasing the efficiency of the sunshine task force, process, and its charge. over the past two years, much progress has been made in bringing inefficiencies into order, and if it be your pleasure, i plan to continue in participation in conjunction with the various connected city offices to continue that. some of these are training and streamlining between department as well as resolving concerns about complained that the administrative level before becoming an official complaint. these are just a smattering of ideas. once again, i appreciate the opportunity to serve and will work deliberately and more closely with you and the city to ensure the integrity of open government.
correct thank you, mr. wolfe. -- >> thank you, mr. walsh. i do not know if you can address the quorum issue or not. brecht's i can. this was not an easy -- >> i can't. this was not an easy issue for the task force -- i can. this was not an easy issue for the task force to face. after a lot of research and reading and reading over and over and searching through the charter and all of the administrative code, under section 4104, it only speak to the executive branch. the sunshine task force is not of that. it was created by the voters. and actually, there is no mention that the sunshine or dance reports to visit -- to the
executive branch at all -- the sunshine ordinance reports to the executive branch at all. that is what led us to ofeel tht it is appropriate to make those changes. >> i have the opinion of the city attorney here. >> is it opinion or advice? rex is a memo. how is that? -- it is -- >> it is a mammal. how is that? you guys are subject to it. -- >> it is a memo. how is that? you guys are subject to it. gregg's when research to see of this particular body was encompassing under the section that referred to it did not seem like it applied at all. brecht's i understand that is your opinion, but -- >> i understand that is your opinion, but on the board of supervisors we take our opinion very
seriously and abide by it, especially when there are clear decisions or opinions that they give us. do you view it as advisory comments? how you guys feel about it is kind of interesting. i think we all rely on our attorneys. >> we had understand -- we had asked for a reason why at the time. and we did not get a response. it is just the way it is. it was a difference, i guess, opinion because what was written in the city codes speaks to boards and commissions and other bodies that are under the executive branch. that question came up with a silent on the response. it makes it a little difficult to move forward. but at the time, we were having
some issues with regard to attendance. there were some vacant seats that were difficult. to have six members show up, which would constitute a quorum, and a voting quorum, then it was important that the public had the best opportunity to get its justice when it needed to, or to get the respondent when it needed to. but one person could vote no or justice -- and justice would not be served, or justice would be served, depending on the viewpoint. >> i do not really need to hear more from mr. wolf. i have a great deal of respect for mr. wolf. i think his work on these issues is very clear and has
been demonstrated for many, many years. i do think, though, that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the charter relative to any body. as a charter city, which we are, we have unique powers and authority in san francisco. and the charter is the constitution of the people of the city and county of san francisco. that, then, becomes a living document that outlines a democratic form of government, and self-government for the people of the city and county of san francisco. to the extent that the sunshine ordinance goes to the people, it all comes out of the city charter. it is the way every basic fundamental right that we enjoy as americans comes directly
from the u.s. constitution. you cannot exist as a sunshine task force, we cannot exist as a board of supervisors without the charter itself. i do not think that's regardless of what the code says, a body that is created by the voters can disregard based on the very foundation of the government what is good for san francisco. i do not see how legally that it's possible. and to the extent that you are advisory to the board of supervisors, the board of supervisors to which you are advisory to can never to disregard the charter itself. to change the constitution of
the city, to change the charter, you actually have to go to the voters of san francisco. the charter is essentially what gives government the power on behalf of the voters. in so doing, and disregarding this charter, you are essentially -- i think -- disrespecting the voters of san francisco. i know people felt differently, but underlying that is the fundamental misunderstanding of what the charter is and what it represents. if a body like the sunshine task force can unilaterally disregard the charter, than any government body can disregard any other document, including the sunshine ordinance itself, which legally as an ordinance actually have less legal power and is less
binding than the charter itself. if it is the case that a government entity like the sunshine task force can disregard the constitution of the city, than any government entity can disregard any law. you are talking about going to the very foundation of how a democratic government works in san francisco. >> i am understand completely what you are saying. and again, this is not meant in defiance of the city. brecht's -- >> mr. wolf, if i could interrupt, i know this was not a question for you to respond to, but given what my colleagues are saying and i strongly agree as well, if we appoint you to the task force, would you consider complying under the charter and working with as to figure out how we can
structurally work with the task force to ensure that u.s. quorum -- that you have quorum over adjudicative decisions? gregg's absolutely. -- >> absolutely. i think as far as quorum, we had it once, but we have not had a problem with it since. since the rules have been more explicit, everybody has been on notice. thank you very much. >> we are glad to see you are back in house, and we know that you were out for health reasons. thank you very much. next we have karen and then the lease. -- louise. >> i am here today because i believe that's t