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tv   [untitled]    April 11, 2014 8:00am-8:31am PDT

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people out here having a good time and we have no idea, how much work and planning has gone into this to make it the most sustainable festival in the united states. >> and literally, in the force, and yeah, unlike any other concept. and come and follow, and the field make-up the blueprint of the outside land here in golden gate park and in the future events and please visit sffresh . >> this is a meeting of the commission of the environment, today is tuesday, march 25, it is 4.05pm first item on the agenda is roll call. commission president arce is
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expected shortly. (roll call). >> next item is approval of the minutes of the january 28 commission of the environment regular meeting. in your pact today is a copy of the minutes, it's a discussion and action item. >> please speak into the microphone, thank you. >> i'm not used to all of the attachments here. so do i see any comments about the minutes? if not, i'd like to entertain a motion to approve them. >> i move we approve the minutes. >> second. >> is there any public comment on the meeting minutes? is there any objection to the meeting minutes being approved?
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hearing none, the meeting minutes have been approved. next item on the agenda is retroactive department of the environment 2013 annual report. commissioners, in your packets, you have a copy of the 2013 annual report. this is a discussion and action item. >> once again, is there any discussion or comments regarding the annual report? i'll give everybody a second to refresh. it's been a minute. >> i move that we approve this report. >> i second it. >> any public comment on the report? any objection to the annual report being approved? the annual report has been approved. next item on the agenda is review and approval ftd department of the environment's fiscal year 2014 through 15 budget. in your packet today is a copy of the budget.
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sponsors of this item are commissioner arce. >> director assmann, i want to thank you once again for always creating new and innovative ways to show us a spreadsheet. it is definitely a lesson in excel, every time we get to a new year i say damn, i want to copy that. >> well, thank you. commissioners, what you have in front of you is what we presented for the operations committee but didn't have an opportunity to present to the full board, full commission, sorry, and what i've tried to do is make it visually interesting and convey the information in a way that's easy to digest. what you have is a sheet for every program area which shows you the expenses and the revenue and
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then in chart form shows you the variance from this year to last year. and as you see from looking through these, there are relatively minor changes in all except for one of these, and the one area where we do have a significant shortfall is in the area of clean transportation where we had an earmark that has sustained our electric vehicle work for a number of years that is now ended or will end as of june 30th. we also have additional (inaudible) in the area of clean transportation so that's the one area that does not balance as of this very moment. everything else does. we have match revenues and expenses in every other area. as far as clean transportation is concerned we are asking for general fund support for clean
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transportation and we have a meeting with the mayor's budget director tomorrow to discuss this issue. >> okay. >> everything else i think is fairly self-explanatory. i'm happy to answer questions. you will see the expenses at the top left on each of these sheets, then you will see the revenue on the top right broken up by different areas. there's an overall chart which matches, shows our revenue for the entire department. it's in the form of a pie chart. as you can quickly discern from looking at that chart, we really have 3 major sources of funding, the imfound account is by far the largest at 9.6 million, energy grants at 7.6 million then 1.6 million from other departments. anything else is much smaller. 448,000 in clean air grant , 368,000 in ej grants, everything else is 200,000 over the last,
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approximately. the expenses you'll see on the large spreadsheet. you've got a chart that has expenses by program area and by category and it's got 2014 and 2014-15 listed. there are still some variables in this budget. the biggest variable is that labor negotiations have not yet been completed. we had to submit our budget without knowing what was going to be the result of those negotiations. obviously the budget will have to be balanced after those negotiations have been completed so it's an on-going process. our board hearing for our budget will be on june 16th with a second hearing on june 23rd if it's needed. we are being heard with general fund departments this year, not with enterprise departments, which i think is encouraging, given that we put in a request for some general fund support. the
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next step in this process is we work with the mayor's office to make this balance in its swiert before it gets submitted to the board of supervisors on june 1st and then the board of supervisors analyst, budget analyst, will be looking at this budget the beginning of june and then we'll have our hearings on june 16 and 23rd and it gets adopted by the board after that. with that, , i outlined this in much more detail to the operations committee but i'm happy to answer any questions regarding the budget. >> miss graffiti. >> thank you, i, too, am grateful for the graphics, makes it easy for me to understand what's going on. i want you to go into a little more detail about what plan b
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would be if we don't get the desired general fund support. >> in the area of clean transportation we would have to reduce services basically is what it comes down to. our electric vehicle program was entirely funded by the earmark and we would not have an electric vehicle program if we did not get support. there are lots of grants for electric vehicle installations. there are no grants that we have been able to uncover that cover the cost of personnel to work on those installations or to coordinate or do any of the administrative work around that, so all our electric vehicle work is dependent on getting some sort of support to augment those grants to be able to continue the electric vehicle work. >> thanks. >> commissioner josefowitz. >> could you maybe talk a
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little bit about why the outreach budget is going up by 10 percent and then why the climate renewables budget is going down and it seems like in particular the pc's revenue stream is going down a lot? >> i will address the second one first. the reason the climate renewables budget is going down is specifically tied to the fact that a lot of our support for climate work comes from the sfpuc, specifically the power division of the sfpuc they have a major budget issue this year and they have dramatically decreased our work order. so as a result we have also cut our climate work correspondingly. the outreach budget --. >> what is that going to actually lead to? what are we not going to be able to do next year that we were doing this
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year? >> specifically we have a vacancy in that area. it means that we will not fill that position as quickly as we would otherwise. it certainly, it's -- and the result of that will be that we'll have less capacity to do some of the climate work we've done in the past. i think what we are looking at now is efficiencies in trying to think if there's a way to streamline the work we do with other deptds -- departments on climate action plans, for example. we're looking at whatever efficiencies we can in terms of the climate work we're already committed to. >> it seems like there's -- so what do you -- i mean do you think we'll be able to find 15 percent of efficiencies if that's the amount of, sort of, reduction in budget? or do you think we're actually going to have to not work on something next year that we worked on
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this year? >> remember, too, that our budget is somewhat fluid in the sense we're always trying to raise funds. if we come up with a new grant 3 months from now, we might not have this deficit at all. and our budget's never static. so our hope is that we will be able to continue to do fund raising and ultimately not have this reduction. >> yeah. >> so that we can continue to do the work. >> my hope is that, too, but i think it would be helpful to understand how the budget translates into actual sort of deliverables or programmatic actions or whatever and if cutting the budget by 15 percent isn't really going to change what actually gets delivered by the department then we should all be cutting the budget by 15 percent to a certain extent and similarly for the green building, if we're cutting it by 12 percent and nothing much is changing, that's great to a certain extent. >> yeah, what's happening on the green building sector is that if you notice the
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reductions are actually in non-personal services. it means we rely more on staff and less on consultants and it remains to be seen whether we'll be able to cover everything we've done in the past with staff without relying on consultants. the other thing about the green building work is that that is an area where we've been fairly successful in terms of raising additional outside funding. so i'm pretty confident that that one actually will be made up, that we will not end up with a shortfall in green building. in answer to outreach, part of that is an reorganization of how outreach staff was being attributed to program areas. and it's really not a change but more of a realignment. >> okay. >> where outreach should be allocated. so even though it looks like there's a big increase, there really isn't a big increase in terms of staff,
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it's that some of the staff had been assigned, for example, to some of the energy work. there are outreach staff in the energy program that really should be listed as outreach staff so it's a realignment to line them up where they should be. >> why is energy efficiency and green building in different categories? they seem quite similar to me, but maybe i'm misunderstanding exactly where the dividing line is. >> well, i mean green building covers more than energy efficiency. we've always tracked it separately. so energy -- also the staff that we have on green building are not in the energy -- well, historically they have gone from being in the energy unit to being in the toxics unit to being on their own. and it's because they cover a range of subject matter and the last iteration it was like, okay, we should really separate them out because we have separate green building staff. they are not
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energy efficiency staff, they are green building staff. they don't just work on energy efficiency, they work on renewables, they work on waste and water issues as part of green building. so it really is a more holistic look at what they do by putting them in the green building category. now they obviously have to work very closely with the energy efficiency staff because a lot of what they do is energy efficiency, but it's not exclusively what they do. our green building staff spends a lot of time working on pace programs which are really financing programs is what they're working on. now they are financing programs for renewables. >> and energy efficiency. >> and energy efficiency, correct. so it's really how you want to categorize it and we've had some discussions lately, it may be up to the new director to determine maybe about reamalgamating our energy and green building team into
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one unit. we really have four kind of overlapping areas, we have the climate team, which is, they do cover a variety of areas. we have energy efficiency, then we have renewables and we have green building and they all have some level of overlap this terms of responsibility. one of the reasons we broke them up is because the unit was pretty big and it was harder to manage as a large unit. but then you lose some of the synergies when you separate them out. >> this is all very interesting. i guess i would say when there are significant budget cuts to individual departments like --. >> clean transportation? >> clean transportation you said we're cutting by 37 percent so there won't be any electric vehicle programs. i think it's very helpful for us to understand. but it would be great also to understand in climate and renewables and in green building what those
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budget cuts would actually lead to in terms of programmatic change if we can't actually meet them with sort of grant funding on an on-going basis. >> we kind of go through this process almost every year where we do a snapshot of the budget when it gets submitted but we're always pulling grants in throughout the year and we very rarely actually have had to make cuts. so this time between transportation, if we don't get general fund support we definitely will have to make cuts. however, in the other two areas i'm still hopeful we will match the track record of previous years and be able to pull in extra and not have to cut programs. >> commissioner stevenson. >> just quickly, can you tell us tomorrow when you meet with the mayor are you also going to be talking about eventually moving the hacto implementation person over to the city
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administrator's office? >> i'm sure that will be part of the conversation, yes. >> you know, piggybacking off of commissioner josefowitz, yeah, it just seems as if some of the things that are kind of focused in the same way, it would be interesting at some point in time in the year maybe to talk about that with the director seeing there is some budget savings in terms of outreach and things of that nature. because it seems to me that, you know, having all these multiple departments when they still kind of intermingle in the same area seems a little inefficient for people doing efficiency. yeah, so i think at some point in time i think in concert with the director one of our committees may want to take that on looking at the
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budget and the program at different times we have had different committees to look at this and look at that and change those things up. i don't recall it actually engaging the department in the structure of its departments, but it may be one of those things we may want to take a look at next year. >> i also think that it would be great to assign outreach according to the program areas that they are supporting as opposed to having it separated out from sort of a business unit perspective. i think then that makes more sense that we're going to be spending x, clean transportation if x percent of that is outreach, that would be a neat way to look at it in the future. >> actually there was a time when we did that, when we didn't have a separate outreach budget, it was all embedded in the individual program budget and maybe that needs to be
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revisited again. if we did that i can tell you right now that the majority of our outreach funds are spent in zero waste and toxics reduction. that's where the major funding comes from. but, yes, it would be a more accurate reflection of the resources put in each program area. i would be the first one to say this is an ideal time to look at how we organize our staff and structure because we have some overly large programs and then we have some really small programs. our largest program is 40 people in it, that's the outreach program. our smallest program has one person in it. obviously that's not the equitable way to divide things up, so we may want to look at every area and figure out what's the most appropriate synergy and ways to put things together. so it would definitely be something that would be worth having the commission take a look at in conjunction with the new director, what's the most efficient way to organize the 115 people we have into a
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structure that makes the most sense for working together. it's always going to be somewhat changable as our funding changes and sometimes it fluctuates pretty dramatically but certainly our staffing doesn't change that dramatically. there are certainly ways you can organize staffing that may make more sense. and to tackle the issue how does climate relate to renewables, those kind of questions are always worth asking and it's always a good opportunity when there's a transition it look at things with new fresh perspective. >> yeah, because, well, definitely. because even when we had the discussion about rfp's and how, you know, people would call other departments because they were familiar with them, it just seems like there's some overlapping. okay, that being said, this is
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an action item, folks. is there -- wait a minute -- we need to take public comment before we take the vote? so public comment on david assmann's report? >> yes, good evening, commissioners. eric brooks, i'm representing san francisco clean energy advocates, also the san francisco green party and the local grass roots organization, our city, and i want to speak to the specific budget impacts and potential budget benefits of the clean power sf program which ended up not being included in the climate action strategy. the san francisco public utilities commission and the mayor's office have dramatically dropped the ball on this issue. thankfully the local agency formation commission is proceeding with planning out the local installation program for clean power sf, because they know, as
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the organizers out in the community know, that this program is going forward no matter how much resistance the mayor's office puts against it. the issue of the budget is that this program has the potential when you are in the middle of budget losses, to bring you those funds back and more. and you can talk to the director of cca at lafco, jason fried, about this. once we get clean sf moving forward we will have access to millions more dollars of energy efficiency funds through that program. it's easier to get funds through the ccup once you have a cca going forward. that's one of the big ones and it's a good example. the san francisco public utilities commission, we've said this to them in public comment, they seem to be not recognizing it and they are
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continuing to not do any work on clean power sf, even though the lafco is proceeding because the lafco gets it. we know that you get it and we also know your staff get it, i'm not up here to demonize staff. staff has been very clear that clean power sf is necessary to the city meeting its action goals, necessary to the clean action strategy and had it not been from signals from the mayor's office to kill this program when it shouldn't be and when you can get more funds from it, staff wouldn't have felt like they had to leave it out of the climate action strategy. with that said, we and others spoke at the policy committee meeting a while back to make clear that the climate action strategy needs to have clean power sf put back in it. the staff is great but the staff made a mistake in responding to the mayor's pressure by removing the program that's the most important program in the
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city for clean energy for the city to reach its goals and for your department to reach its goals. and like i said, this specifically impacts this budget and future budgets because it gives you an opportunity to reprais the money you are losing because of the cuts you are facing because sfpuc has not got its house in order, to be blunt. it should have known about that water tunnel problem long before, long ago when they first looked at the tunnel. thanks. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. brooks. seeing no more public comment, i am going to close public comment now. i'd like to entertain a motion to approve the budget or any discussion you may want to have. >> i move we approve this budget. >> second. >> any objection? the budget has been approved. going back to item 3, public
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comments, member s of the public may address on matters that are within the commission's jurisdiction and are not on today's agenda. >> well, i was going to wait for item 7 because it sort of fit because it mentions this. but i might as well do this as i think it's more appropriate to raise this as public comment, which i thought you were done with. let's get to this issue of the fact that, you know, the mayor clearly -- i'll just say i'm willing to say this out loud. the mayor's office is heavily in bed with the pacific gas and electric corporation. former mayor willy brown is a $200,000 paid political consultant for them and helped in a big way to get mayor lee in office. mayor lee has received donations for his campaigns from pacific gas
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and electric and other parties that are involved with pacific gas and electric. everybody that's worked on this issue for the last 10 years as i have or even the last couple years knows what's going on here and knows that clean power sf is being held up by political maneuvers from a government that is compromised by its relationships with the fossil fuel energy corporation. and like i said, to your staff's credit, they have said against that pressure for years that clean power sf is the, one of the primary tools to reach the climate action goals of the city and without it, the city can't reach its goals. so on march 31st supervisor avalos has called a hearing which may be uncomfortable for this commission, may be a little uncomfortable for staff, but i'm arguing should be a lot
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more uncomfortable for the city and what we need for you as a commission is to stand up to the mayor's office and tell the mayor that this is unacceptable and as you do so, communicate to your staff, you have our permission to put this back into the climate action strategy where it belongs in a 17 principal role. the newspaper reports about how just a graph got eliminated, there was more about clean power sf in original graphs of this climate action strategy. we need to make sure the climate action strategy reflects sanity, reflects the fact that this planet -- new reports come out every week, there was a new one last week where scientists are clearly saying that the climate crisis is much worse than we thought it was going to be, it's approaching much faster than we thought it was going to approach and meanwhile there are thousands of workers out of work in the city of san
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francisco that could be put to work by clean power sf so this isn't just an environmental issue, this is a worker issue. and the current commissioner that's, you know, that are holding the mic, we have talked before how the southeast side especially needs these jobs. it's time to stand up to the mayor and say mayor, even though you appointed us we have to tell you you're wrong and then let your staff go forward with doing the right thing. thanks. >> thank you. any other comments about non-agenda items? seeing none. >> next item is commission secretary's written report and unless you have any other questions, the written report is in your packet. in addition to what's in the report there have been over 300 emails received from sierra club members. >> yes. >> asking about the climate
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action strategy, that it should be, that the clean power sf should be included in the climate action strategy and that is also in your packet today. >> okay. >> next item -- is there any public comment on commission secretary's report? next item is director's written report. >> who would that be, exactly. >> acting director assmann, there is a written report in your packet also. >> okay. >> is there any public comment on the director's report? any discussion on the director's report? hearing none, the next item is -- oops. >> i was going to ask some questions. >> oh, i'm sorry. >> that's okay. >> commissioner josefowitz. >> the carpool to school week, i know that we'd be trying as a
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department to encourage sustainable mode choice around school commutes maybe with not quite as much success as we would have hoped for. how did that go? >> well, it certainly -- let me just pull that section up. >> it's the bottom of page 2. >> the bottom of the page, the bottom of page 2, very last item, last bullet. >> yeah, i mean we did have 11 schools participate so that's not an insignificant number of schools. and then there was a launch activity at two of them just to promote it. >> yeah. >> this is not going to be


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