tv [untitled] September 21, 2012 7:00am-7:30am PDT
codifying the need -- the language access need that also exists. i'm also willing to support supervisor chu's amendment directing puc to maintain a reasonable reserve for this program. i think that's very fair and measured. while i thank supervisor farrell and chu for their two amendments i believe while it may not be the intention, they significantly -- the other two poemproposals significantly comt the puc ability to -- the program successfully. that's our goal to have a program that's implementable and a smooth execution. with that said i definitely also believe that all san franciscans deserve a choice on where their energy comes from and who will be providing it. i believe this program strikes the right balance between achieving our environmental goals and protecting our vulnerable customers.
and that is it for me, mr. president. thank you. >> president chiu: supervisor campos. >> supervisor campos: thank you. i want to first of all thank all my colleagues for all their comments today. it has been, i think for me, as a member of this board, great to see the level of the -- the substantive level of discussion here, and the fact is that we, as a body, could have differences of opinion but i think that whatever happens here has been enriched by the substance of the discussion. and with respect to the amendments, i want to associate myself with the comment that supervisor cohen, who i think put it extremely well. i appreciate the intent of the first two of the amendments that were presented by supervisor chu and farrell with respect to pages 5 and 16, but i will be voting against those two amendments for the reasons that
mr. harrington outlined, out of deference to him, and in their estimation their ability to make sure that this program is successful, i will respectfully oppose the first two of the amendments introduced by my colleagues. and with respect to the third amendment, which deals with the reserve for the reasons that mr. harrington indicated, i will be supporting that amendment. and so i will be urging my colleagues to vote no on the first two amendments by supervisors farrell and chu, but yes on the third. and with respect to the amendments that were introduced by supervisor kim, president david chiu, supervisor cohen, supervisor mar, i will be strongly supporting those amendments. i think that the add to the program and address some of the concerns that have been outlined. and, you know, a lot has been said about the viability of this
program, a lot of questions about whether or not the numbers add up, some questions about protecting consumers. i have a lot of respect for my good friend, supervisor farrell. i just respectfully have a different take. i actually think that, to the extent that consumer protection is the objective here, that the best thing that we can give consumers in the city and county of san francisco is a choice, and that's what this is about. about a meaningful choice, and a meaningful choice is making sure that the energy future of this city does not rest solely in the hands of one company. it is truly about consumer protection in my view, and because of that i think that we need to move forward with this. and to the extent that the numbers -- you know, there was a question about whether or not the numbers add up or don't add up. i am not a financial expert. but on that point i am very comfortable deferring to the judgment of ed harrington.
you know, ed harrington served as controller of the city and county of san francisco from 1991 to 2008. appointed and recommended by the entire board of supervisors, by mayor after mayor. he is a certified public accountant. and he also served as president of the government finance officers association of the united states, and canada. i feel pretty -- i feel pretty comfortable trusting ed harrington on whether or not the numbers add up. so i urge you, colleagues, to support this today. >> president chiu: supervisor farrell. >> supervisor farrell: thank you, president chiu. a few comments, colleagues. we talked about a number of the amendments. it goes to the definition of choice and i believe creating an opt-out program for residents in our districts is not choice. to me there is absolutely no reason why any law should be an opt-in program such as this. it smells of coercion and that's not something i'm willing to
vote for, for my residents in district 2 and for all representatives in san francis san francisco. supervisor campos, i too trust in ed harrington, his qualifications are impeccable but i want concrete numbers if i'm going to vote on nothing, or use that to vote on something and the fact is we have no numbers in front of us, they've never been presented to us, and to articulate that creating local power is a biproduct of this is a fallacy. i think when people articulate that and tell other folks that is part of what we're voting on today, that is untrue. i appreciate the fact that people have differences of opinion about how it may or may not be financed in the future but it is not on the table today and should not be articulated as such. i appreciate people's comments. to me it's a concept of choice. i think having an opt-out program for the residents is absolutely the wrong approach.
>> president chiu: supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank you. you know, i have to say the opt-out-opt-out issue -- and this is not in any way a criticism of anyone because there's been a lot of stuff that's been happening, and conversations in the last few days, and few weeks. and, you know, i think it's unfortunate that the -- this amendment about the opt-in, or the preopt-in, or the market opt-in, whatever you want it call it, is coming up now, and i know we've had a response from the puc, but it feels a little bit seat of the pants to me. i, frankly -- you know, i think, ideally it makes sense to figure out what the level of support is ahead of time. but i don't know that i -- that we've even gotten a definitive
response about what is possible and what's not possible. and i know that -- mr. harrington is retiring on thursday. you know, frankly, to me, it seems like for this specific issue, because the opt-out-opt-in issue has been at heart of so much of the public debate about this that it seems to me that we should figure out if it is feasible. and if it it is feasible, maybe it's not, maybe it is, maybe this language here is the right language, or maybe it can be flushed out in a different way that addresses some of those concerns. it makes me uncomfortable that we, as a board, are voting on whether to have this, which is a significant thing, based on this sort of somewhat seat of the pants discussion. and so, colleagues, i know this is probably not -- i have no
idea -- maybe i'll -- be the only vote for this but i think we should continue this one week so that issue can be worked out definitively. because i just don't think we're in a position to address that in a thoughtful way right now, based on the discussion we've had so far. and that's just my honest and candid take on this particular, very central and important issue. >> president chiu: supervisor wiener's made a motion to continue. is there a second in seconded by supervisor farrell. the motion to continue takes precedence over any of the motions to amend but let's have a discussion on the motion to continue. supervisor campos. >> supervisor campos: thank you very much, mr. president. you know, we had a prior item where i actually voted against a motion to continue because i really felt that it was important, that if we were talking about a continuance that there be a discussion with the
main proponent of the legislation. i haven't had a conversation with supervisor wiener about a continuance so i will respectfully ask my colleagues to vote against the motion to continue. the reality is this. i understand the arguments that have been made. i respect the position that supervisor farrell has articulated. i do think that he has legitimate concerns about the opt-out program. but the bottom line is that we, as a body, the city and county of san francisco board of supervisors, do not have power to change the fact that this is an opt-out program. it is state law. it is state law. and at the end of the day, you can try to add as much as you can, and we have seen language here that really maximizes our ability to make sure that a meaningful choice is given to people. but at the end of the day the problem that people have, i think, is with the policy of this being opt out. and i respect that position. but that is not going to change
because we, as the board of supervisors, wait until thks week to take action. that is not going to change. the law is not going to change in sacramento between now and next tuesday. with respect to the viability and with respect to the merits of this program, i rely on what mr. harrington said, when the mayor floated the idea of a continuance yesterday, as mr. harrington indicated, the terms, the substantive terms of this deal are not going to change. the mayor's public utilities commission approved this item in december of last year. this item was forwarded to the board of supervisors at that time, and has been sitting in committee since january of this year. the mayor's office, and anyone who wants a continuance because they want to have modifications, has had plenty of opportunity to make whatever changes they needed to make.
they had months to make those changes while this was sitting in committee. their own puc is saying that this deal is not going to get better. and we heard the testimony from their own department of the environment saying that, in terms of meeting our climate change objectives, this is what needs to be done. i understand that people don't like community choice aggregation. i understand that people don't want to go down this road. but with ed harrington leading this charge, this is as good as it's going to get. and if you don't like cca under ed harrington, you're not going to like cca under anyone else. so let's take a vote. >> president chiu: if i could remind folks in the chamber we have a board rule that prohibits folks from expressing support and applause or objection with hissing to various comments. if you could respect that, that
would be appreciated. supervisor farrell. >> supervisor farrell: i appreciate supervisor campos' comments. to be clear that is not changing the opt-out nature of cca. we cannot do that by state law. what we're trying to do is make it better. and to me, for us not to -- this is something -- the first time i heard of it just now was when supervisor wiener mentioned it. but to talk about not working on it, which is the main issue of contention not only here on the board but to the public, to agree to continue this for a week to me is saying we're not willing to work on programs to make them better for san francisco janice and i think that is the wrong approach. so me it's take it as it is, shove it down our throats the way it is today. it can get better and we're willing to work on it, even if it's slightly different than what i've proposed today and real realize it's come out in a last minute. it's a huge issue. i think we can get support on the board and i don't see a reason why we don't try.
it speaks of being afraid to have that dialogue. >> president chiu: supervisor cohen. >> supervisor cohen: i was, through the chair, wanting to ask supervisor wee wiener just o maybe articulate about what you hope to accomplish in one week's time. >> supervisor wiener: thank you, through the chair. >> president chiu: supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank you, supervisor cohen. i also just want to, in terms of what supervisor campos mentioned, i was handed these amendments when i walked -- after i walked into the chambers today. so i totally agree that had i received -- you know, had i received this beforehand, i certainly would have said something. but we were handed this, and then we just saw a discussion between the makers of the motion and the puc, and there seems to be a disagreement about whether this is viable. but this amendment could also be presented in probably 30 different forms. and maybe all 30 are completely
unviable. maybe some of them are viable, and some of them are not. if we don't continue it, that's fine. i accept that and i respect that. but it seems that for an issue that we're considering of this importance, it would make sense to at least know, for sure, whether this is viable or not viable in any form, rather than having language, and then we're scribbling on the paper, sort of the seat of our pants. that was my only point. and the word -- the continuance, i will not take that personally but i am a big believer when you have an issue staring you in the face that over the last number of days has been the main issue being discussed in the public, perhaps the main concern that's being expressed, if there is a way to address it, and to do it in a thoughtful way that works for the puc, then we should see if that's possible. if not, so be it. but that was the only reason,
for my making of the motion, and the only reason why i did it here in the board chambers after i received this language. >> president chiu: supervisor chu. >> supervisor chu: thank you. i want to thank the comments. i do support supervisor wiener's motion. and, you know, i think the intention, as we saw today, being able to accept potentially this amendment on the reserves, being able to potentially make amendments to the program that would actually strengthen our comfort in making sure that people are choosing a program that they want to be in, i think these are all very legitimate things to do. i think that supervisor farrell has already articulated, we understand that there is limitation -- there are lintations set by state laws, limitations based on not being able to do an opt-in program and that will not change within a week's time. when is important for us to look at and work with our state attorney on is how to strengthen this program, this opt-out
component that we have to include in the program such that we make sure people are notified adequately, that they are able to understand fully what risks they are going into, what the rates potentially would look like. this is something that is very crucial in understanding it. i know for one, having parents who were immigrants, having parents who worked all the time people sometimes just miss things, they miss bills that come in the mail, sometimes they miss things through e-mail, they're busy working. so really being able to strengthen that component is very important. i think we can benefit from a week's time. i'd like to come to a place where i could support this. so this is -- that's the place that i come from so i hope a week might be able to help us get there. >> president chiu: supervisor olague. >> supervisor olague: yeah. i won't be supporting the motion to continue. i want to be consistent. i know supervisor campos had not been aware this motion would be
made. i think it's important to move ahead with this. i'm pretty satisfied with where it's at currently. i'm not at a place where i would be necessarily supportive of many amendments. i think we're at a good place. i'm ready to move forward with it as it is presented to us today. and i believe that with the amendments that supervisors kim and others have introduced, as far as being sensitive to the needs of communities who are monolingual, or low income, i think have been addressed through those amendments. so i'm comfortable in moving forward with this today. >> president chiu: supervisor cohen 106r7b8g9s thank you very much. to supervisor chu and maybe possibly other supervisors that are thinking about supporting the continuance, could you share with me what tangible goals, one week is not very much time, what
tangible goals will you want to solve, what questions are you looking to get answers to? >> i can speak to it. i am not suggesting that in a week's time we're going to come to a comprise that we will all agree with but i think we can benefit from a conversation more in detail and in depth with the city attorney to really understand given that we have an opt-out requirement by the state, what is the limitation that we can push to make sure that we have something that markets aggressively, make sure that we don't have people who are registered for the program. that is something that would be had in terms of a conversation over the next week. i think it also provides opportunity to clean up some of the language. i absolutely accept responsibility that a lot of the amendments were on the sly, so i think it provides us with an opportunity to clean up some of that and make sure we're not inadvertently putting something forward, amendments put trd that don't make sense.
again, it is not an indefinite continuance, we're not saying send it back to committee and we'll never look at it again. we're saying one week and take a vote either way. >> i have a question for the city attorney. given some of the comments that you heard as to reasons why we should have a continuance can you offer some kind of opinion, or advice, some thought, as to is there any more insight that you can give us to this matter? i mean specifically an opt-in-opt-out. >> if we can hear from the city attorney's office, i don't know if that's mr. gib mer -- >> deputy city attorney. i don't think i can answer that question. i don't think either of us can. of course, if supervisors have additional questions or ideas, and they would like legal advice on those questions or ideas, we're always available to
discuss. but i'm not sure i can offer something right now, to answer the questions you're asking. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. the reason i asked the city attorney's office because i'm sure those who have questions would be going to the city attorney's office. so just curious. i don't know what question hasn't been asked already. although i do understand the need to clean up legislation. is there another way -- or to clean up the language, excuse me, to the legislation. if we vote on this today, and would there be opportunity to clean up legislation -- clean up the language to the legislation or we have to vote on it as is? madam clerk, i'm asking you. >> >> president chiu: is that a question for our clerk? >> supervisor cohen: yes. >> clerk calvillo: supervisor cohen you could vote on this idea today. you could always bring another ordinance in its place to correct the language. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. that answers my question. >> president chiu: thank you.
president chiu. >> president chiu: colleagues, having thought about it and thought about the issue of potential continuance over the last few days, i am not prepared to support the continuance for a couple of reasons. first of all, we know that this issue has been in the works not just for months, but for years. and this question we're talking about has been a fundamental issue within this discussion. it has been frankly a little surprising to me that the issue has come up at the last moment. i know we have colleagues and members of the administration that have had questions vis-a-vis the city attorney's office. i hoped we would be able to -- beforehand but i not heard any articulation about information that we are going to learn over the next week that ought to change our minds on this. and i think that there is a majority of this body that is prepared to move forward with this today. that being said, let me state that if there are any new pieces of information between the first reading and the second reading,
i think we will always be open to hearing about things. and if there are things that are superior to the program that might be voted on today after we vote on the amendments, you know, we do have at least a week before this matter leaves our hands. so this is not in any way i think foreclosing those discussions, but i think in it the spirit of moving this forward, given all the discussion that has happened, i will not be supporting the motion to continue today. >> supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank you, mr. chairman. just so folks don't think that any of us are sort of log gagging around, for many, many months, i have received a very, very consistent message from everyone who i've ever spoken to about this. the advocates in favor, people against, the puc, that you have to do an opt-out, and an opt-in is not permissible, period.
and that's all i ever heard. and so we were evaluating this, or at least i was, do we want to do this, given that state law restricts us from having anything other than an opt out. late last night, and then this morning, was the very first time that i was ever even informed by anyone that, wait, we might actually have the possibility of doing this preopt in, or whatever you want to call it, that that is actually legal. that had not been conveyed to me before then. so -- and then received the language, walked into the board chambers. so i want to be clear this is not a situation where there's been something known, dangling out there six or nine months and then someone perks up in board chambers. in terms of how i learned about it that's how i learned about it. and again if people don't want to continue it, i totally respect that. but for the reasons i stated
before, that's why i made the motion. >> supervisor campos. any further discussion? why don't we take a roll call vote on the motion to continue. >> clerk calvillo: that's one week to september 25. >> president chiu: that is correct. motion to continue to the 25th, yes. >> clerk calvillo: president chiu, no. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, no. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, no. supervisor mar, no. supervisor olague, no. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, no. supervisor campos, no. >> clerk calvillo: there are four ayes and seven nos. >> president chiu: motion to continue fails. and unless there's any discussion, why don't we --
supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: i just wanted to state that in terms of what appears to be just the only dispute is in the first two, the third amendment, plus supervisor kim's amendment appear to be uncontroversial, in terms of the disputed amendments, i will not be supporting them because i do not believe that i have enough information to -- given how quickly this has all unfolded to know whether this is something that is possible to implement. it might be but i just don't know and i don't feel comfortable voting for an amendment where i don't know if it's feasible or if it's a poison pill. >> president chiu: any further discussion, colleagues? so why don't we take the amendments in the order they were made. first were amendments made by supervisor kim and with the technical changes of spelling the word through correctly, and the wording change in the final paragraph to ensure that that pursuant to its authority under charter section 8b125 the board will consider rejecting rates that do not -- the policies made
in the resolution. take a roll call vote. >> clerk calvillo: president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. supervisor mar, aye. supervisor olague, aye. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, aye. supervisor campos, aye. >> clerk calvillo: there are 11 ayes. >> president chiu: the amendment passes and now with regards to supervisor chu's amendment if we could take a roll call vote on the first two amendments, which are to amend pages 5 and pages 16 of the resolutions as they've been described in the materials circulated. madam clerk, could you call the roll. >> clerk calvillo: president chiu, no. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, no. supervisor elsbernd, aye.
supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, no. supervisor mar, no. supervisor olague, no. supervisor wiener, no. supervisor avalos, no. supervisor campos, no. >> clerk calvillo: there are three ayes and eight nos. >> president chiu: that amendment fails. with regards to supervisor chu's second amendment of the ordinance of section 3 in the resolution at page 9 stating the puc will recommend the inclusion in clean power sf rates a component to begin recovering reserves required for this program, et cetera, roll call vote. >> clerk calvillo: president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, no. supervisor mar, aye. supervisor olague, no. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, no.
supervisor campos, aye. >> clerk calvillo: there are eight ayes and three nos. >> president chiu: the motion to amend passes. now discussion on the vote on the underlying items as amended. supervisor farrell. >> supervisor farrell: thank you, president chiu. colleagues, i respect everyone's decisions. with that however i'm not going to be supporting the underlying items, but what i would like to do, the one thing i want to make clear is again, as mentioned before, everyone supports our green economy in san francisco and any job creating measures to that effect are something i want to support so i'd like to divide the file for item 16, the $6 million going to fund go solar sf to energy efficiency initiates as well as the study of the local build-out i would like to separate those items out and have a roll call on those items separately. >> president chiu: okay. why don't we first take a vote on the $6 million program items that supervisor farrell would like to sever out. if we could take a roll call
vote on those items. >> clerk calvillo: president chiu, aye. supervisor chu, aye. supervisor cohen, aye. supervisor elsbernd, aye. supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. supervisor mar, aye. supervisor olague, aye. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, aye. supervisor campos, aye. >> clerk calvillo: there are 11 ayes. >> president chiu: that portion of item 16 passes. and now on the balance of the item 16 and 17, collectively, is there any discussion? supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank you, mr. chair. i am going to be voting in favor of cca today. i had been hoping that we could add some additional language about the opting in versus opting out.