tv Government Access Programming SFGTV December 13, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
thank you for being here. >> thank you. good morning, chair cohen and members of the committee. i will be presenting on the report of the budget review process. in response to a request from supervisor cohen's office, we conducted a survey of how comparable cities and counties conduct their budget processes. these included california cities with mayors and other peer cities with similar characteristics to san francisco. in all, we surveyed eight california counties, six california cities, and nine u.s. cities. the primary areas of focus for our review included independent analysis and reporting, the two-year budget cycle, and the timing of the legislative bodies
review. we reviewed major trends, particularly in the general fund over the past five years. our source document for this analysis was the city's comprehensive annual financial report. because the most recent financial statement is dated as of june 30th, 2016, the review period is from 11/12 to 15/16. since fiscal year '11-12, revenues have increased from 3 billion to 5.8 billion and expenditures have increased from 3.1 billion to 4.3 billion. we found these actual operating results have been more favorable than projections. i apologize for this chart. some of the key got cut off. so the blue bars show budgeted
revenues, and the red bars show budgeted expenditures. the green lines show actual revenues, and the purple lines show actual expenditures. what this table shows you is actual fund revenues have exceeded general fund revenues in each of the five years, and actual general fund expenditures were lower than budgeted general fund expenditures in each of the five years. so this surplus year to year has provided a boost to the city's reserves. since the school year '11-12, the fund balance has increased from 456 million to over 1.4 billion, or 214%. the city's most discretionary fund balance, which is the unassigned fund balance that you see on that table, grew over
1,000% from 7 million to 242 million. this is, we would note, in addition to the other city reserves, which include the rainy day reserve. since 2000, there have been a few legislative efforts to address certain aspects of the budget review process, particularly related to the board's role. in 2001, the board passed an ordinance requiring the mayor to submit a preliminary budget on april 1st and stated the intention of the board to establish a new budget timetable by september 2002. in 2002, that resolution followed, and it added a commitment of the board to include policy directives to the mayor. in 2005, the board passed a
resolution to provide by the mayor on june 1st. it was not signed by the mayor. one proposed a new timetable for the budget in july with a march 1st preliminary budget, and a may 1st proposed budget. this did not pass. instead, in september, the resolution that did pass reiterated the current schedule, which is the may 1st deadline for enterprise budget and june 1st for general fund. we would also note that the controller initiated a budget improvement project in 2008, which included a perth comprehensive stakeholder survey, and some of the key recommendations of that process included the integration of performance management into budgeting and the need for the mayor and the board to provide policy direction in advance of the budget process.
to understand how san francisco's budget process compares to other cities, we surveyed 26 jurisdictions. we did not include a discussion of the process in our report because it's a difficult subject to survey since many aspects of this process are undocumented. we do believe that our recommendation, which we'll discuss regarding policy priorities, addresses the issue. we reviewed how legislative bodies receive budget information and found that one-third produced independent analysis and review. several of these jurisdictions having offices similar to ours. we reviewed the reports produced by those offices that would be beneficial to this board in its review. some of the context provided in those reports includes citywide
and department budget trends, budget risks, such as revenue sources that have not yet been approved, the status of prior-year projects for appropriations, and major initiatives and program changes. as you all know, in november of 2009, san francisco voters passed proposition a, which amended the city charter to transition to a two-year budget cycle for all departments. according to our survey, only three of the 23 use a two-year budget cycle. none of those are fixed. means that for each of the three jurisdictions there's some mid-cycle review or reappropriation. this indicates to us that the two-year fixed budgeted process is an uncommon practice. finally, we looked at the timing of the budget review and approval. we looked at major opportunities for legislative review and
engagement and found that in some jurisdiction, there's a process by which the legislative body reviews a preliminary budget. some examples are alameda county, which reviews the maintenance of effort budget submitted by the county executive that speaks to some of the gaps that the county executive sees forthcoming. gives them an opportunity to comment. in new york and portland, the preliminary budget is released in january and march, respectively, if for legislative bodies to begin review. we also found many jurisdictions provide policy direction to the executive office early in the budget development process. some examples of those are oakland, where the members submit a list of their priorities early in the winter. san diego, where the priorities are vetted such that there's
some consent built before they're submitted to the mayor. in sacramento, where their budget office does sort of a feasibility analysis of recommendations and presents forward the ones that will be most feasible for implementation. we also looked at the timeline that these legislative bodies have. we looked at those timelines as they're required by law and as they're implemented and practiced. we found there are 72 days on average for which the 23 bodies have to review the proposed budget. and that is compared to the current review period for san francisco, which is 60 days. in conclusion, we presented in our report three policy options for the board to consider. the first is to direct our
office, the budget and legislative analysis to produce a budget overview report as part of our annual budget review in addition to the current reports that we produce that would look at some of those major citywide trends discussed. the second recommendation would be to amend the code to require the mayor to submit the proposed budget for the city's general fund departments to the board no later than may 1st. the final recommendation is for the board to produce a list of annual policy priorities to submit to the mayor by february 1st for incorporation in the proposed budget. thank you. happy to answer any questions that you might have. >> supervisor cohen: thank you for the thorough present takes. supervisor yee has a few remarks. >> supervisor norman yee: thank you for your report and the options that you laid out.
we'll take these options very serio seriously. they look to me like some things that can really benefit our process from the board of supervisors' perspective. i just want to ask one thing i didn't get from this report. one of the major concerns we had from last year's budget process and on the previous is this whole -- how do we change if there's any possibility, this whole process of add backs. and this report doesn't seem to address that. is there a reason? >> i think there's a two-part answer to your question. the first part, in doing a
survey, we were not able to identify other jurisdictions and how they did it because it's not really a documented process. so it wasn't really -- unlike some of the other things we speak about in the report, there was nothing we could point to that shows how other jurisdictions do it. the other piece of it is -- again, just reiterating, one of the things we really focus on in this report is the idea of formally developing policy priorities and working for the board of supervisors to work with those early in the process. we see that actually is informing the budget as a whole, but also to the extent that we're reappropriating funds that were identified in june, that those could actually inform that process. and then ms. guma (phonetic)
spoke about what other areas did. i'm going to have her add to that just a little bit. >> supervisor norman yee: thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, supervisor yee. in our survey, what we found were good examples in a couple of other jurisdictions about how our peer office supports their legislative body in developing the policy priorities. i think particularly we thought that sacramento's process is something that would be a good model to consider here where the council members develop their list of priorities, and the budget analyst staff work with the council members and the departments to assess how feasible the implementation of those recommendations would actually be. they go through a process of evaluating the process and through that, they develop a final list of policy
recommendations that's presented to the mayor for incorporation into the budget that's been cleared by the department. that's been -- you know there's some assurance that they will be actually able to move forward with those programs or expansion of programs that would be a policy priority. >> supervisor cohen: do you have another follow-up? >> supervisor norman yee: yeah, i guess maybe one of the follow-ups we could have is have individual discussions between committee members and some of the sacramento's counsel. okay. that would be helpful. do you actually know who they are? >> the council members? we spoke with the budget
analysts in sacramento who facilitate this process. if there was a meeting you would like arranged, we would be happy to do that. >> thank you. let's continue with the presentation. next up is mr. ben rosenfeld who is our city controller. >> good afternoon. members of the chair. ben rosenfeld. similar to the review madame chair asked regarding other practices, you asked us for a qualitative survey regarding the local process. so we worked through the process this fall and issued a report about six weeks ago now, which
is available on our website, regarding our findings. so i will briefly touch of these here. generally speaking, though, we administered a survey to multiple stakeholders, including board members themselves, members of the mayor's office, members of the budget legislative analysts office, and others who participate in the process, whether they represent advocacy processes and lastly surveyed a number of different department staff. we were fundamentally asking two different questions, which at a high level, which aspects of the board's approach from the budget process from your perspective is effective and what could be approved. it was broad across the responses, in terms of what was working well. for many respondents, schedule management was high on the list. the comments that the board is
effectively conducting a process to meet its charter deadlines that result in both the committee proposing a budget to the full board, and the full board adopting a budget by the end of the july, as the charter requires. there was also a fair amount of feedback that the board's process did allow for a number of different opportunities for public participation in the process, whether they be commenting in public comment on different proposed budgets or the mayor's proposed budget or a number of community members thought they had access to board members who were receptive to their concerns. when asked what aspects of the board's budget process could be improved, a number of different themes were reported. these varied between groups. generally peeking, they fall in
these areas. transparency, the key parts of the budget process. time pressure, a number of different participants felt it lacked for adequate time to conduct tasks at hand. third, feedback from different groups that the board's approach to the budget could be more policy focused and less line-item focused. fourth, that some specific example of communications could be improved so that different stakeholders had clear expectations of how the process was going to work. and, lastly, this cuts across several themes above, that the process the board uses to reallocate savings to different uses could use significant work. if we look at these responses as a percentage of each of the
respondents, you see it here. so about 50% of respondents commented that both transparency could be improved and the prosect could be improved. if we look across different stakeholder groups, so the left bars reflect -- i'm sorry this is somewhat washed out on the slides you have in front of you, but on the left, you see responses from the board members themselves and the offices. the middle bucket represents internal stakeholders, those within the government that are participating within the budget process, and the far right are the extent stakeholders that participate. you can see results varieded pretty significantly across these groups in terms of what people thought could use work. a couple of themes pop up. you can see here for all three
groups, the addback process is reported as an area that could bear significant improvement. those who participate in the board's process, it was said that transparency could be improved. those are the key themes we see in the results we have. so some thoughts, and there's a lot of different ways that the board could approach these questions. the board has approached the budget process differently over time. there are a lot of different ways to bite into these issues. these are some preliminary thoughts from our office. first is that there are a number of steps that the board could take to maximize their time, the time they have available to review the budget, to reduce the time crunch that falls in june into which the board really packs a tremendous amount of
decision making. part of it could be as simple as it has the five-member committee begins in march. you could move that up and begin earlier in the process. as you know, the city's budget process really starts in november. there's a lot to talk about, if the board was willing, as early as january. secondly, the balance between the may departments and the june departments is an important consideration, how you offload work from june. by maximizing the number of departments and the scale of the departments that the mayor submits to you for review in may, you can really pull a lot of work off of june, which makes more time available for other tasks. that was really fundamentally the design that was sought with the split-budget process, where half the budget comes in both may and june.
that's something we could work with, both the budget analysts and the mayor's budget office as we frame this coming year's budget process, is seeing how much could really be pulled forward to may for submission. lastly, how you think about what you want to conduct in june and july, what business you're trying to conduct, and how you can pull much of that work earlier into the presubmission timelines is critical. there would be a number of different ways to do that. similar to the budget and legislative analysts, there would also be ways to identify the policy priorities earlier in the process and begin work on them in a way that would probably provide for more meaningful outcomes in the process and also provide for transparent process. again, there would be a number of different ways to approach that question. we do see -- and this is a more technical set of recommendations
that relate to some of the feedback from different groups. there are pieces of stakeholder education and training that could be enhanced during the process. that's something we heard from different groups. and then lastly, the addback process itself. there would be a number of different ways to approach this. i thought this chart was interesting because it tells us something about how the changes in the board has approached the budget itself in terms of the addbacks over time. this is showing you the number of addbacks, meaning individual line items in the board's restoration package at the end of the day, backed by year back over time. it's also showing you in the cross hatch bars here, the number of addbacks that are under $50. you can see a remarkable increase in the number of addbacks that the board has allocate through the budget process over time. as high as consistently over
200, as high as 250 different line items in recent years, compared to historical norms in a prior period of under 100. what this means is the allocations that the board is making are increasingly narrow and specific. you see the number of small addbacks increasing. i think this tells us something about how -- and the question it raises for me is how the board wants to balance what you're trying to do with the allocation process itself. are you trying to allocate money for different policy priority areas or are you trying to do that in addition to allocating to the specific programs within that to achieve that goal. that balance is an important one. it's something that strikes us. there would be a lot of different ways to restructure the addback process, again with the goal of improving the efficacy of that process and the
transparency. here is one outline of one such way at the bottom of the page. i think this is in line with the recommendation you hear from the budget and legislative analysts regarding budget priorities. february through may would be a period prior to submission of the budget from the mayor where the board could engage in a process of developing and adopting as our legislative leaders set up policy goals for the upcoming fiscal year as a board. they would would be high-framing strategy choices the board would be making. they would reflect if this was done effectively where the board felt additional investment was needed at a high level to move key priorities forward for the city. you would adopt that as a body. this would provide direction to the departments, to the mayor, regarding what the priorities were. having done that, you could then, as a body, move into developing different investment
strategies, help move those policies forward. for example, if the board adopted as a policy priority that you wanted to see a cleaner city, the next step of this project, then, would be a discussion of, well, how could we make the city cleaner? what are the specific proposals that members of the public would have, either us or the budget and legislative analysts for you that could move the goal forward? you would see different proposals coming forward to move those ahead, and you could begin to weigh how you want to spend money when it's available at the end of the process. it could be a longer and more thoughtful process that has more analysis sitting under it with more of it conducted in public meetings. then following submission of the budget in june and july, in this conceptual outline, the board would be reviewing the budget the mayor has proposed against the priorities you have already
adopted and against the enhancements you've determined are the means to move forward. it would allow you to identify gaps by what the mayor has proposed and what the board of supervisors has identified as your priorities. it would help frame the june and july budget process. and then after budget adoption, and i think this is an important thing to keep our eyes on, is the role of the budget committee can be also to monitor the implementation of the budget as well, not just develop it. so if the board has adopted four different policy priority areas, coming back to those over the course of the budget year after it's adopted to say how are we doing? is the money being spent? are we seeing the results, et cetera? this is a way one could see of the addback process. i will leave it there.
there's more information in the report. we look forward to working with you on this project in the year ahead. would be happy to take any questions you have. >> supervisor cohen: thank you, mr. rosenfeld. i appreciate it. we've had many conversations about shaping this and making it as painless as possible. i also want to indicate that i really do like the idea of board priorities, talking to my colleagues and figuring out where exactly the tranches of large subject matter will resources. supervisor yee? >> supervisor norman yee: as you look at these strategies, some are probably within the purview of what we can handle here as a committ committee, high-level
priorities, things like when you start looking into strategies and so forth, do you know if other jurisdictions have done this where they're not -- there's additional staffing needed for additional consultants? i couldn't imagine that could be -- what you're talking about is what the mayor's office does with probably 50 staff members to do this type of work. or is it just melissa? [laughter] >> so i think it's a good point. any of the work requireded here is going to require not just the attention of the committee, which would potentially be significant, depending on how you draw this. it would also require professional help around it to help drive it forward. the mayor's budget office has eight or nine people in it. it's important to remember that. you have resources from our office and the office of budget
legislative analysts. that could be tweaked around. it depends on how you approach it. i know a number of other jurisdictions use facilitated processes to get through these different stip s. i've been to county budget workshops elsewhere where they have a workshop approach to some of the early policy goal setting that could be a facilitated process that would be different than a standard meeting here. i've also been here for times when this board of supervisors has adopted policy priorities. i think done best, you need support of a committee. i think there could be significant support that could be provided by our offices. to move different pieces ahead. >> supervisor norman yee: part of what i'm talking about is a big part, which is the dialogue we would have as committee members with the community.
if it's going to be meaningful, it's going to require much more meetings than we're having now. >> i don't deny that depending on -- i think there's different moves with how you could move forward with this place. if this is where folks wanted to go, you could take it in steps. to do the golden version of this would take significant time from the board itself. it would involve you using your existing time as a committee differently. i think we've all talked in both the process itself and after the process that it's probably a broad feeling by board members themselves and departments that the way we're conducting march, april, may hearings is probably not adding value in the way you want. probably a smaller step would be how do we want the use those hearings differently without increasing the time from the board and departments and without meeting additional
resources, we could make them more effective and organized around those concepts. >> supervisor norman yee: i guess the last question i would have would be looking at the two reports in regards to -- i'm looking at your arrows here in terms of timing and also the recommendation from bla, with their timing of when we would like -- or when the mayor would submit the budget is different. so what i'm seeing here is pretty much the timing for submitting the budget for us to review will remain the same versus bla report saying that we should get a month earlier than what is existing now. >> i just want to quickly
interject. melissa whitehouse is going to be presenting and will be presenting that. if we can continue with the presentation? >> i will just briefly say, you're correct, supervisor yee, the budget legislative analyst has suggested moving it up from may 1st. we have not. we have suggesteded that the board can effectively move half of the budget up to may 1st by maximizing the number of departments you have under your processes of may 1st. we have not suggested changing the date, just using the dates differently. >> supervisor norman yee: okay. thank you. >> with that, it's perfect transition to melissa whitehouse. she's the director of the mayor's office of budget. as she cues up her presentation,
i want to welcome you and thank you for being here. >> thank you. i really appreciate you asking me to come and speak on this item today. as you know, our office cares very much about the budget process. i do want full disclosure for the body. i did discuss these recommendations with mayor lee several times, but i have not had time to discuss with acting mayor reed. please take this today as the budget office's perspective. i will be happy to report at a later date. so from a very high level, you've heard from the budget analysts on the great work they've done for you all on research. i want to say thank you for taking a look at this process. it's really wonderful that this committee and the chair wants to take a look at this and figure out how to make it better. i think that's a worthy exercise. everything that has been recommended and discussed today, we want to be helpful in any way
that we can. there's one area of disagreement with the budget analyst report, which supervisor yee just mentioned around timing i'm going to talk about why that is. and the rest of the time, i tried to put together what all the recommendations together sounded like to me. that's using the hearings more productively, requesting work from the three financial offices. i have to agree with the controller. all three offices feel like we're here to help and want to be helpful and focus on where the board wants us to focus and the addback process. so moving the proposal from june to may 1st would be incredibly challenging for us. the typing of information, i think, is -- timing of information, i think, is my biggest concern. we usually know how much discretionary choice the mayor
will have to meet by may. people are asking what is in the budget and what is the mayor going to find. i can't really tell them until late may. that's when i actually know. that doesn't mean we do nothing until mid-may and wait until we know that information. we work extensively until mid-may. a couple of big reasons are these pieces of information we find out. these are usually finalized right near the end. we have police and fire open this year. a 1% change in wages for police and fire is about 7 million callers, so you can imagine, you know, this can have a big change, and then the following year, it will be all other labor unions that are open. it's one thing. another is we've got a weather update and the nine-months report. it's always a number i'm anxiously waiting to hear. the next is the mayor's revised
budget. it comes out on may 11th. i did not know on may 1st what we were going to ahear. we had to have very difficult conversations with the mayor regarding a negative $20 million. i think this is a good example of why it would be very challenging if the board had had to make a cut that large in such a short period of time. similarly, i know the controller mentioned that -- and actually be budget analysts -- this conversation has happened in the past. one of the outcomes of that is that we actually do, in a year when budgets are all open, we do propose a significant portion of the budget already on may 1st. it's not just underpriced apartments. we proposed 36% of the budget or 3.5 billion and 13 departments on may 1st. we look forward discussing with
this committee which apartments will be introduced. do i not anticipate any challenge with departments moving forward on may 1st. this committee will have much more work in may than last year when we had five departments with closed budgets, and that's why we had not proposed any may 1st budgets last year. similarly, i just wanted to note i did review the budget analysis around the actual time to review budgets. from my perspective, if you look at similar governments, similarly strong mayor government systems like san francisco, this board of supervisors, right in the middle of that time frame i saw as average, for the six strong mayor cities in california, including san francisco, there's approximately 54 days for legislative review, and, as you know, this body has 60 days. i do think there's an issue of using the time more efficiently and productively, but proposing our budget earlier than we
already do, i don't think is necessary to address the problems we've heard from the controller's survey and expressed from you over the last budget seasons. my budget season is well under way for the current year. we proposed instructions on december 6th. i know departments, especially with commissions, have already been working for months on that are budget. so it would be extremely channelling to change the date at which we propose our budget this current year. then i'm going to talk a little bit about would changing the date solve the problem. i think the answer to that is probably no. just at a high level, i mentioned this, we spend months meeting with community members, the mayor himself, and many of the senior advisors leading up to the proposal. we make so many presentations on proposals. when i have the final
presentation about how much money we do or do not have, it's not like we're starting from scratch. we have the information needed for decisions on may 1st. for example, i just wanted to talk about last year's process. in '17-18. for our current-year budget, after all labor costs, baselines and other adoptive policies, such as fully funding the capital plan, the mayor made approximately 33 million in discretionary that was focused around homelessness. it was many, many months, consulting with community stakeholders, the board of supervisors allocated $30 million in the same year. the decisions were made over a much, much shorter time period. i think that's something to think about. and you know that the board will
have an addback process every year. we put together a table that looks at addbacks. the average over both years since we've been doing two-year budgeting, there's been about $25 million on average in the first year. i don't believe that the board -- i understand this past year that maybe there was some waiting to see how much the final dollar value would actually be before making serious decisions about where to spend, but i do think you can make assumptions similar to what we do when you know you're going to have a process and you know you're going to have a ballpark of some funds to spend, and you don't have to wait until the last minute to start thinking about how to allocate those funds. and the last slide, trying to summarize the allocations. we're largely in agreement with the budget analyst and controller. it would be extremely helpful for me and any mayor to have the
board of supervisors provide a meaningful list of priorities for the upcoming year. i meet with every member of the board and hear their priorities. we do take it into consideration when taking into account the mayor's budget. i think our office and the departments really do want to please this board and provide helpful information. whatever is most helpful, we would like to present. and then asking as supervisor yee had pointed out, this will take additional work and manpower. i think all three offices will be happy to present savings proposals. i believe it was a challenge to do meaningful analysis. if any of those offices had that information in advance, we could come up with something. i know the board gets a lot of proposals from community members and groups, which is very helpful at our office, but you could also, as a body, knowing
your priority areas, asking for enhancement approves from departments as well. that's something the mayor's office definitely does during the phase. asking for an overview report is a great idea. one thing that hadn't really been talked about, but i just wanted to make a plug for it is moving departments to fix a two-year budget. in the off years where there's a bunch of department budgets that wouldn't be open, it would make sure that the budget committee is focusing more on the departments they care most about. for example, i know there are 12 departments the last psych where will the budget analysts didn't do a report, and the board didn't hear very much about. so that would be a good place to start, if we're adding to our existing -- i think we had five departments the last go around. and the next year, everything is open. we need to talk about which departments will be fixed. i'm happy to talk about that if anybody wants to.
the last one, i know chair cohen already started making some of these changes, but you could ask for the list by may 1st, so an earlier deadline. you could continue to set district specific amounts, like chair cohen did this year, and really hold offices to those amounts at an earlier date. you could set a minimum amount of addbacks. smaller addbacks have gone up specifically. you could try to revert back to a time where you said all citywide addbacks needed to be 100,000, or whatever is an appropriate level. again, using the spring hearings to hear about enhancement proposals and items that would really inform the addback process, i think would be a good use of your time. thank you again very much for letting me speak on this matter.
>> supervisor cohen: thank you for the time and energy you've dedicated to helping guide us through this process. supervisor tang, i see your name on the list. >> supervisor katy tang: thank you. i think it's pretty good idea. speaking about beginning the process earlier, just given the sheer number of things we learn, whether it's mid-may or afterwards, i just don't support moving the budget process any earlier. i don't truly believe that we will collectively achieve any better results from doing so. so i commit to working with supervisor cohen. i also want to speak to the blas recommendation regarding having our board similar to sacramento
city council passing or adopting policy recommendations, that analysts could look into the feasibility and present a vetted list to the board later. in the past, we have adopted similar types of resolutions, but i think they were too broad. right? it was all the members of the board just said, yes, we support public safety. we support homelessness and we support housing. then it became a long laundry list and didn't give an idea to priorities. i haven't seen what sacramento has done, that would also be a recommendation i would add. thank you so everyone who looked into this. i hope we'll be able to have an improved process in the future. >> all right. thank you. let's go to public comment. we have commenters here. i want to give them an opportunity. welcome. good to see you.
>> good afternoon, supervisor. debly lerman. i want to start by expressing our condolences for this terrible tragic loss our community is experiencing. i also want to thank supervisor cohen, in particular, for calling this hearing and requesting these very informative reports. i am not sure whether you've had the chance to review them, but the other day the budget justice coalition, which is a coalition of about 30 non-profits and advocacy organizations in the city submitted a policy paper to the board of supervisors. i have some copies of it with me today that i will gladly distribute. the purpose of this paper is to submit our own recommendations for structural reform of the process with the lens of
participation and equity values. in particular, the recommendations would do the following: increase the amount of time the board of supervisors has to weigh in on the possess, including participation by all members of the board. to renew a shared focus not just on expenditures but also on revenue proposals, to increase information sharing and transparency with the public and with accessibility of budget information and participate meaningfully and knowing that this is very popular with the board, the intention would be that it be limited to a percentage of the amount available rather than a flat dollar amount. some other presenters are here
today to speak about some of the specific recommendations. it's encouraging that the reports that have been -- >> supervisor cohen: great. thank you very much. i can take the copies from you. >> good afternoon. my name is jamie rush. i'm speaking today on behalf of the aides legal referral panel that's been involved in a number of ways, including advocacy with the budget coalition as well as the human services network. i just have a few additional comments regarding the addback process. as it stands currently, the addback process is one of the only ways for community groups like the aids legal referral panel to have meaningful input into the process. i think it's safe to says and has already been said that the
addback process is far from perfect. from the perspective of many community groups, one aspect of the process that has become particularly troublesome is the designation upwards of $1 million in funds for each individual supervisoral district. it's my understanding that in the last budget cycle, $12 million of the total addback funding was earmarked for district specific asks, and the amounts seems to be growing in recent years. while it's certainly great that funding for district specific projects is available, we feel that the allocation of addback dollars should favor citywide needs and the needs of the most marginalized populations over a district project. compounding this concern is the fact that there's really no transparency in the budget process as it relates to the district set asides. we feel addback funding can have the greatst impact on the
largest number of city residents if it's used to invest in the wide unmet needs, education, equality, and food safety and the entire city benefit what is all residents have what they need to live and thrive. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is honey mahogany. thank you for bringing this review. i've learned a lot today about the budgeting process and how it all works. it was very informative. i'm also a member of the budget coalition. i also wanted to raise some points i thought were particularly important, specifically to me who is a person who is newer to this process and being more politically involved in the last year. i think that there are a lot of barriers for the public, in terms of learning how the budgeting process works and how they can advocate for funds for organizations that they either
work for or benefit from. so i think there really does need to be an increased transparency in the budget, and that means doing things like requiring all documents to be available to the public in a transparent manner. having updated budgets available online or somehow accessible to the general public. i also think there needs to be more community input given directly to the supervisors that's less behind closed doors. like having a meeting in each district or a way to have community members have meaningful participation in the budgeting process. i think that can also be done through the mayor's office and that the mayor should also hold at least one community hearing that speaks to the framework of the budget. thank you. >> supervisor cohen: thank you. i appreciate that. next speaker, please.
>> good afternoon, supervisor. i'm jessica layman with senior and disability action and also with the budget coalition. i want to echo what some of my colleagues have said about really bringing in the community and finding ways we can work together very effectively. in particular, i want to mention one of the recommendations that debbi lerman raised about looking at revenue. we all spend a lot of time looking at city expenses and talking about other ways to cut costs so we can meet the needs of all of our communities. we would really love to figure out how do we have a renewed and shared focus on preserving revenue. to do that, we propose creating a revenue committee to consider, discuss, and analyze new revenue proposals for the city and county. that could include all the different kind of revenue proposals that come up from supervisors, from community groups from all over.
whether they go to the ballot. whether they're considered by the supervisors to really bring those together and talk about them. and the revenue committee could outline a ten-year plan for what revenues will be needed and how we would raise that to support all of the capital and program goals. it could also be a venue to have a regular analysis of cost saving and expenditure savings so we could move forward together. thank you for listening. >> supervisor cohen: thank you for speaking. >> hi. jennifer -- on homelessness. it feels awkward to start speaking without acknowledging the passage of mayor ed lee. our heart goes out to all his staff and family members. excuse my voice. i'm really sick. i want to thank you guys for looking at this and especially the supervisor malia cohen for
spearheading all of this. it's an example of messy beautiful democracy at work in very wild ways. there's a lot of ways we could improve it. i want the kind of talk about from our perspective -- and i've been engaged in the process here at city hall for more than 20 years. for us, the coalition on homelessness, we're provide with the emergency provider association. we go through a really extensive process to develop a budget proposal. we do tons of outreach to homeless people. we figure out the unmet needs. figure out capacity in the system. come up with creative ideas. we do all this research that basically takes us nine months to develop our budget proposal. it's always been the board of supervisors for us. it's been the people's access to the budget process, and it's
incredibly important because it's separating out from the executive branch in this way we're able to pull things forward that are truly coming from the people who are the ones that would benefit from the budget process or the ones who are the most in need, having their voice directly translated to the board of supervisors is really important. i wanted to just call that out. i think the worst kind of changes we could make in the budgeting process is to move away from that and have a reliance on the executive -- >> supervisor cohen: thank you. is there any member of the public that would like to speak? no? public comment is closed on this item. thank you to those who presented and to those who spoke. we're going to -- this is our last budget committee meeting of
the year. we're going to be transitioning into 2018. we'll be working very hard to improve the process, to improve transparency, to improve our stakeholders' voice. katy tang and i will be working with our colleagues as well that will help melissa whitehouse with her process. what's interesting is we're at this unique period where there's so much transition happening. i'm optimistic that good things will come out of this transformation as we move into 2018. i also wanted to just acknowledge that alabama game through last night. so there's a little bit of hope, i think, inching its way back into our consciousness. i don't know what it's been like for you, but 2017 has just been incredibly, incredibly difficult personally with the passing of our mayor, but also just politically with the transitions that our country has gone
through in this first year under the trump administration. so i will get off of my soap box now and get back to the agenda at hand. i would like to entertain a motion to file this hearing, supervisor. >> so motioned. >> thank you. i will take that without objection. my friends, i believe this meeting is adjourned. madame clerk, is there any other business. is this >> no >> supervisor cohen: thank you. we're adjourned. enjoy your holiday.
>> (clapping.) >> in san francisco the medical examiner performs the function of investigating medical and legal that occurs with the city and county of san francisco from a variety of circumstances in san francisco there is approximately 5 thousand deaths annually i'm christopher director for the chief mr. chairman the chief my best testimony a at the hall of
justice on 870 drooint street that is dramatically updated and not sufficient for the medical chairman facility i've charles program manager public works should a earthquake of a major are proportion occurs we'll not continue to perform the services or otherwise inhabit the building before the earthquake. >> we're in a facility that was designs for a department that functions and in the mid 60s and friends scientific has significantly changed we've had significant problems with storage capacity for evidence items of property and also personal protective if you're doing a job on a daily basis current little storage for prirjs are frirnlsz we're in an aging facility the total project
cost forever ever commercial is $65 million the funding was brought by a vote of go bond approved by the voters and the locations is in the neighborhood the awarded contract in 2013 and the i'm the executive director we broke ground in november 2015 and that started with the demolition of existing facility we moved into the foundation and january so pile foundation and then with second construction of the new facility. >> one of the ways that we keep our project on time on budget and we're having quality to have regular meeting and the variety of meetings with construction process meeting as well as cost of control meeting and