tv [untitled] October 27, 2014 1:00am-1:31am PDT
of.com great way to get out and play. for more information, visit sfrecpark.org. that out and play and get into the groove. rec and parks offers dance classes for seniors. first-time beginners or lifetime enthusiasts -- all are welcome. enjoy all types of music. latins also, country and western. it is a great way to exercise while having lots of fun. seniors learn basic moves and practice a variety of routines.
[gavel]more information, >> good afternoon. welcome to the tuesday, october 21st meeting of the board of supervisors of the city and county of san francisco, home to the 2014 national league champions, the san francisco giants. [cheering and applauding] >> and with that, madam clerk, could you plea call the roll? >> yes, mr. president. supervisor avalos? >> present. >> avalos present. supervisor breed? >> here. >> breed present. supervisor campos? campos present. president chiu? >> present. >> chiu present. supervisor co-en? cohen present. supervisor farrell? >> present. >> farrell present. supervisor kim? >> here. >> kim present. supervisor mar? >> here. >> mar present. supervisor tang? >> present. >> tang present. supervisor wiener? wiener present. supervisor yee? >> present. >> yee present. mr. president, all members are present.
>> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, could you please join us in the pledge of allegiance. 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. >> colleagues, we have board meeting minutes from september 9th and september 16th. could i have a motion to approve those minutes? motion by supervisor mar, seconded by supervisor campos. without objection, those board meeting minutes are approved. [gavel] >> madam clerk, are there any communications? >> there are none today, mr. president. >> and could you read our 2:00 p.m. special order? >> yes, the first item of business is the policy discussion between the honorable mayor edwin lee he and the board of supervisors. the mayor may provide initial remarks for up to five minutes. the president will recognize supervisor breed of district 5 who will have five minutes to present her question to the mayor. follow-up questions are in order as long as the entire discussion does not exceed five
minutes per supervisor. >> mr. mayor, i want to welcome you back to our question time during this month of orange october. welcome. >> thank you. good afternoon, president chiu, members of the board, and of course to our public. as you know the month of october is an important month for many reasons. the last few weeks in san francisco we've had plenty of opportunity to reflect and certainly to celebrate. we welcome back fleet week and we not only celebrated and honored our armed force he, but we're able to practice our own humanitarian assistance and disaster training. and we have a strong emergency response system in place to rapidly respond to crises. last week i met with our city agency to ensure that the city stands ready to respond to a communicable disease outbreak. i am confident that we have the emergency response and public health infrastructure to do just that because we have our response plans and we've been practicing them and we've
trained and we just did so last week. and apart of the celebration, san francisco is honored to help commission the u.s. s. america. because san francisco will has and always will be welcoming and honoring of our uniformed women and men, we also unveiled a long awaited veterans memorial p/e at the war memorial. ~ at the we also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the loma-prieta earthquake. as many of us remember, 25 years ago this month the city came together like never before and we've remembered and we will always remember those 63 lives that were lost and we're also thankful for the live that were saved. not only that terrible destruction, came an opportunity to rebuild and improve our great city and we seized that opportunity. ~ we've invested millions of dollars through our earthquake safety and emergency response bondses. we're making sure story
buildings get the upgrades they need as well as the private schools. i want to thank you all for working with me on these important initiatives. and need i even say it, if it's october and if it's an even year, giants must be in the world series. [laughter] >> this week our city is awash in orange for giants pride week and i know we'll all join together to root our hometown heroes. so, now on to supervisor breed's question. >> thank you, mr. mayor. like to acknowledge our district 5 colleague, supervisor breed, for the one question during today's session. >> thank you, president chiu, and welcome, mr. mayor. as we have all now seen in the news and some san franciscans have unfortunately experienced personally, we have a crises in our fire department ambulance system. the department is out of compliance with the service level it is obligated to provide under its exclusive operating agreement with the state. it is also failing to meet its own standard for ambulance response times. the city aims to have ambulances on the scene of
emergencies within 10 minutes 90% of the time. in july and august the fire department's actual response time was almost 50% longer than that. there were 3 74 occasion when it took more than 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive in august alone. [speaker not understood] the fire department literally did you not have an ambulance available to send to someone in need have increased over 500% since 2008, averaging 8 times per day in 2013 and spiking dramatically since. meanwhile, the board of supervisors has approved funding for 16 new ambulances in the last several years and the fire department has still not completed the purchase or put a single one into service. i know you have convened a working group to develop short, medium and long-term measures to address the crises and i thank you for inviting me to join the process. but i and every employee group
in the fire department have lost faith in the current leadership of the department. we saw this crisis coming. i held my first hearing on it in january of this year. why was this allow today get so bad and what are you doing to hold the leadership of the fire department accountable? >> thank you, supervisor, for your question. and as you know and many others, i've been discussing this very issue with the fire chief, with the fire commission, and the many staff for months. a growing city, a growing demand coupled with year after year budget deficits have challenged our fire department on this response time issue from medic to follow calls. and the high priority for the fire department and the entire city fixed. yes, we have discussed this at length and you have been included, supervisor, in several in-depth briefings through our working group. first, let's use your question as an opportunity to share some progress that we are making.
and i'd like to also correct some serious misinformation that ha been widely shared by the public, but out of context. most importantly, when you call 911 for an emergency medical call, a paramedic will be by your side within minutes providing high-quality medical care. unfortunately, a few inaccurate and irresponsible comments by some official have led people to believe that the fire department cannot provide medical help to 911 callers. let's be very clear. that is not the case. the question that you have asked is about medic to follow or in plain english, how long did you it take after the first paramedic arrive on scene and have already begun lifesaving treatment, how long would it take for an ambulance to arrive to transport a patient to the hospital.
supervisor, as you are a former fire commission, you know that the city's arrival goal for code 3, which is life-threatening emergencies, is 10 minutes 90% of the time. the city's goal for code 2 which is nonlife-threatening emergencies is 20 minutes. we are not meeting those goals and i have been seriously concerned about this issue for sometime. and more than a year ago chief hayes white sounded that alarm with more paramedic and ambulances that were needed. that's why i if you hadveded in my budget 35 new emergency management system hires, 16 of which are meant new personnel. this investment which chief hayes white advocated for many months ago has already lowered the average wait for a code 3 emergency medical transport by some 11%, getting us two minutes closer to our 10-minute goal. 19 new ambulances have been
purchased and a new hiring plan is underway. we are also implementing changes that come from the working group, changes such as calling on private ambulance fleet to dedicate more resources for emergency calls, to deal with those times that we have low staffing availability. and speaking of staffing availability, we are putting safety restrictions in place so that we prevent what happened last august 30th. on that date the fire department had to deal with 300% increase in paid sick leave utilization as compared to a normal given day. so, supervisor, we're making progress. we have more to do. in the coming weeks we'll increase efforts to reduce unnecessary use of 911 system by stationing medical personnel at the next door shelter on polk street which generated the single highest 911 call volume in 2013. the fire department -- health
department will also be reinstating the home team model, which is the homeless outreach medical evaluation model to lessen the impact of repeat users on our ems system. this keep working together to assure we achieve our code 3 response time goals. san francisco is counting on us and we owe it to our residents and anyone who visits our city. and together we'll make sure that the fire department has the resource he they need to continue saving live. thank you, supervisor. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. mayor. that concludes today's question time. and with that, madam clerk, why don't we go to our consent agenda, item 2 through 8. >> items 2 through 8 the consent calendar are considered routine. if a member objects, an item may be rehe moved and considered separately. >> colleagues, would anyone like to sever any of these item? let's take a roll call vote. >> on items 2 through 8, supervisor dado? chiu aye ~. supervisor cohen? cohen aye. supervisor farrell?
farrell aye. supervisor kim? kim aye. supervisor mar? mar aye. supervisor tang? tang aye. supervisor wiener? wiener aye. supervisor yee? yee aye. supervisor avalos? avalos aye. supervisor breed? breed aye. supervisor campos? campos aye. there are 11 ayes. >> thank you. the item is passed -- these items are passed. [gavel] >> madam clerk, please call the next item. >> item 9 is an ordinance to amend the administrative code to provide an exception for permanent residents to the prohibition on short-term residential rental under certain condition to establish procedures and an application fee for a short-term residential rental registry for tracking in compliance and to amend the planning code to clarify that short-term residential rentals shall not change a unit's type as re deckv and making the requisite finding. >> thank you. president chiu. >> thank you, mr. chair. colleagues, i know we he had a very lengthy discussion on this topic two weeks that go so let
me very briefly say thank you. i want to thank you for your consideration of our legislation to regulate short-term rentals. and i very much appreciate all the work that all of you have done to tackle a very complicated and complex policy issue and to find a balanced solution to both allow people to afford to live in their homes and to stop hotel conversions. after two years of process that ha included multiple planning and land use hearings on top of countless stakeholder meeting, we are ready to take action and we need to take action. the status quo is simply not working and with that, colleagues, i ask for your support. >> thank you. supervisor yee. >> thank you. colleagues, i think the conversations that we have had in the last few weeks have focused on the concerns that i have heard from my district and that i continue to have with this legislation. as president chiu said, this is a complex issue and i don't
believe in the one size fits all approach that this legislation takes in legalizing short-term rentals. we have zoning laws that allow certain use he in specific areas for very good reasons. whether we are talking about formula retail controls or our recent discussions about pinball machines and video game arcades, and planning -- the planning commission and the board of supervisors have always considered the individual needs and characters of neighborhoods. i cannot support this legislation in this current form because it does not provide that nuance and thoughtful approach that i think is needed. i also think that we have -- we are missing a great opportunity by not collecting back taxes owed by these platforms. therefore, colleagues, i will not be able to support this legislation today. >> thank you. supervisor avalos.
>> thank you. i actually, just based on discourse about this legislation that's continued over the past week, i don't think that we approved the exact piece of ordinance that is going to be right for the city. yesterday there was an op-ed that was written by dianne feinstein, senator feinstein, the great senator from the great state of california. and she has been one who ha worked on this board of supervisors and was mayor for nine years on top of nine years on the board of supervisors, and i think what she has to say relates to all the amendments we tried to put in place last week for this legislation. and i'd like to take another bite at the apple to see if we can get an ordinance that more closely resembles what would be best for san francisco and its
many neighborhoods as well as what's best for making distinctions between residential property and hotel property, as well as trying to limit the length of stays that often, if there are longer length of stays in our residential -- residential units, that could undermine rent control, could undermine the amount of property that's available for renters. renters are desperately under attack in this city, and if we're seeing that our rental stock is being eroded by legislation like this because we haven't closed some of the loopholes that are in it, then we know that many, many san franciscans will continue to suffer and to leave this city. and we're seeing the great divided wealth in san francisco widen right before our eyes all over again. and, so, i would like to go back to proposing a 90-day cap
to short-term rentals for both hosted and unhosted rentals. this was an amendment that i had put forward last week and i know the city attorney has drafted that already so can make that available. it was shared last week so i think it's easily at their disposal to be able to provide for us. but when i proposed that as an amendment to the ordinance. ~ but i want to propose it a an amendment to the ordinance. >> is there a second to? supervisor campos. >> thank you. >> supervisor campos. >> thank you. i have another amendment that i'd like to make. i don't know if it's appropriate for me to speak to that amendment now or if we want to stick to speaking to the amendment by supervisor avalos. >> i think as we did last time, let's take all the amendments in case there are others and then we'll take them one by one. >> thank you very much, mr. chair. and, again, i want to thank all my colleagues for all the time and energy that has gone into this and all the members of the public from all sides of the
issue that have gone before the board to speak about this. last time two weeks ago i introduced an amendment that would simply require the companies that in this line of work to do what every business in san francisco has to do, which is to pay back all the taxes that they owe the city and county of san francisco. i'm not going to repeat the arguments that i made, but i do want to note what was said by senator dianne feinstein in an editorial. it is not pretty typical that senator feinstein and i find our self-on the same page, and i think that when you have a coalition that is opposing a piece of legislation like this one that is as broad as the coalition that has been working on this, a coalition that includes tenants, that includes landlords, that includes the labor community, that includes
planners, that includes so many different businesses, i think that we have a responsibility to pay attention to what they're saying and to really take note. it's not often that you have dianne feinstein on one side of an issue agreeing with someone like chris daily, but that's precisely what's happening in this issue. as senator feinstein noted in her editorial, in her view this legislation is a short-sighted action that would destroy the integrity of zoning throughout san francisco. this is not only former member of the board of supervisors or a president of the board of supervisors, but a former mayor of san francisco saying that. and on the issue of back taxes, i want to just note what i said last time. on april 3rd, 2012, the city's tax collector issued a memo stating that a website company who receive rent and connection
with an occupancy transaction is an operator that is responsible for collecting the transit occupancy tax associated with that rental and for remiting it to the city. we have heard testimony from air bnb that they owe approximately 25 million in unpaid transit occupancy tax he. senator feinstein further stated in her editorial that this common sense amendment to collect back taxes was rejected by the board of supervisors and i quote, we must protect the integrity of san francisco and ensure that taxes that are due are paid in full. end quote. i agree with senator feinstein and still find it unbelievable that we rejected this amendment the last time around. these companies have violated our tax code by failing to pay the taxes for the past 2-1/2 years. there has been much discussion
about this issue in the last few days. recently, actually, a member of this board, supervisor cohen at a forum last week indicated that she wanted to do something about the back taxes as reported in 48 hills. in response to the question as to whether she was going to do something about the collection of back taxes, supervisor cohen responded, and i quote, "heck yes." supervisor cohen, i want to give you today an opportunity to do something about the comments and the statement that you gave at this forum. and, so, with that i would like to reintroduce my amendment to make the operative date of this legislation 30 days after the treasurer tax collector certifies all outstanding transient occupancy taxes have been paid. let's make the statement that there aren't two sets of rules in san francisco. just like any business in san
francisco, air bnb must adhere to our tax laws. before a law that legitimatizes a company's presently illegal activities is past, we must demand at a very minimum that the company pay its fair share and pay the 25 million in taxes owed to the tax payers of the city and county of san francisco. so, i make that motion -- that amendment, and i will distribute copies of the amendment which you should have already from the last time, but we'll make sure that you have extra copies. >> so, is there a second -- seconded by supervisor avalos. thank you. supervisor wiener. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i voted against both of these amendments last week and i'll be voting against both of them again today. i think that either one frankly is just not the right way to proceed with this legislation.
i have enormous respect for senator feinstein and she is absolutely one of the best elected officials we've had in san francisco. but you can't always agree on everything. i think it's really important, and these two amendments actually raise an important issue. i know and we've seen from some of the opponents, it's all about air bnb, all about this large company. and, so, it becomes very easy to vilify when you're talking about a highly valued growing company. it's not just about air bnb. this is about real live residents of san francisco, real live people who are residents of this city who are our neighbors who rely on home sharing, whether it's to make ends meet, put a new roof on their house, to put their kids through college. a lot of people are struggling
in this city and i know it's tempting to say everyone who is involved is a landlord doing evictions, that's not true. some are, but most are not. i know he it's easy to say everyone is abusing the system, that is simply not the case. there are a lot of people in this city who are relying on whether it's renting out that extra room or whatever the case may be to make ends meet. and, so, when you talk about, well, if we don't limit everyone, even someone who has an extra room in their home that they want to rent out for more than 90 days, we're going to limit everyone to 90 days and if you don't do that you're rezoning the city and you are somehow helping this large corporation. what we're doing is allowing people to actually make ends meet who need this income. and by putting this restriction in place, we are harming real live san franciscans, and i think we have to keep that in mind. this is not just about corporations. it's about residents of our
city. i also want to -- in terms of the tax argument, and we had a long discussion about this last week and given that it's being raised again, i want to reiterate what i said last week. we know that with or without this legislation, this legislation proceeds without this amendment. our treasurer tax collector had the authority a year ago, six months ago, today, tomorrow, up until the expiration of the statute of limitation if he chooses to go into court and to sue for collection of back taxes. we don't need to authorize him to do that. if he decides that that is the best way to proceed, he has the power to do that. and, so, what this amendment is proposing, this amendment is not about somehow authorizing the collection of back taxes. we already have the power to do
that and this legislation won't change that. what this amendment about back taxes says is that unless and until that money, the back taxes he are paid, home sharing in san francisco is illegal period. and although he it's easy to say, well, it if air bnb doesn't pay the back taxes, we're going to hold up air bnb's ability to have legalized short-term rentals? no, what it means is individual residents of san francisco will not be legally able to do home sharing until those backs taxes are paid and until the years and years of litigation leading up to maybe the payment of the back taxes proceeds. we also know that and we have other litigation that this city is engaged in with expedia, with travel os it, that it is not so clear that air bnb is necessarily the entity that's
liable for any back taxes ~. it could be residents of san francisco. so, are we saying that unless the tax collector starts going after residents of san francisco to collect back taxes we're not going to let this legislation go into effect? ~ travelocity we also know if we decide that we're not going to go after individuals in san francisco, we're not going to start doing tenants and elderly homeowners to try to get the backs tackes we claim they owe if we're going after air bnb. there is going to be a litigation and it could be for years. the expedia travelocity ha been going on for years and year. instead of collecting $11 million right now today for our hotel tax and for the arts and all the other uses we use hotel tax he for, instead of starting to collect that $11 million today, we're going to cut off our nose despite our face and say, we're not going to do any of this, we're going to keep
this illegal, we're going to keep it in the dark until we can go for years and years and years of litigation up and down the courts and maybe collect the back taxes. or maybe we'll lose and we won't get any of the taxes. so, this amendment has been portrayed in such a simplistic way. this is just someone owes back taxes, pay it, and what we're doing -- what this is proposing is going to hurt san franciscans, it's going to undermine our hotel tax and we very well may lose. so, this is not a well advised amendment and i will be voting against it. >> thank you. president chiu. (applause) >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you, colleagues, for your discussion. given that these were topics that we did discuss and debate fully two weeks ag i think my perspective on these issues are clear, but let me just reiterate. first of all on the 90-day cap, we heard from hundreds of residents in san francisco who have told us that if there is a
90-day cap on hosted rentals, in other words, places where they currently live, there are seniors, there are empty nesters who literally to them this cap would be tantamount to an eviction notice. they would not be able to continue to live in san francisco. and i think we need to think very carefully before we move forward in this way. on the issue of taxes there's been a lot of noise in the last couple weeks on this topic. i want to take a moment to reiterate facts. the first fact, i was actually the first supervisor to say publicly that they we ought to collect all taxes from this activity, including and particularly back tax he. i think, colleague, we all know that all this, our legislation does is it requires for the first time hosting platforms to collect and deliver taxes. likely it's estimated $50 million over the next three years. it's also a fact that our legislation affirms our tax