tv Government Access Programming SFGTV January 21, 2018 3:00am-4:01am PST
benedict. >> we're back in session and we'll now go to item nine which is discussion of the enforcement report and discussion on various program highlights and various activity since the last monthly meeting. >> thank you, chair. we had a productive month. received nine new complaints. we opened 11 new investigations, and we dismissed 23 complaints which put a significant dent in our outstanding preliminary review matters. the details for which i can -- oh, no, i have it in here. 58 complaints only remain in preliminary review. so when we started this process, when we were down all investigators, we had almost
190 unreviewed complaints, and we're down to 58, so i'm proud of my staff. they're doing a great job. and thanks to everyone in the review chain that has to get through all that information. it's a heavy lift. i also wanted to highlight that you'll recall the sunshine ordinance task force received a complaint that this commission violated the sunshine ordinance regarding taking of vote of doing -- yeah, taking a vote of something that wasn't on the agenda, and the task force decided that you did not violate the law. the sunshine ordinance committee has decided to repope that complaint even though it was decided in december with the final issuance of that order, and we have declined to participate in that process. so i sent them a letter at that we had fully complied with our obligations and provided all the facts and arguments that were available to us regarding the incident previously in the
first hearing, and i asked them for a citation to hearing that allows them to reopen the adjudicated matter, and i have not heard back. the additional statistics regarding the open complaints are on page two. we now have 63 open investigations, and that caseload is growing as we get through the remaining 58 complaints, we'll have more and more investigations, but we're also working towards stipulated resolutions in several of them, and you'll have some findings of no probable cause and findings of probable cause coming before you over the next couple of months, as well. and you can see the matters that are with the bureau of delinquent revenuer, and people are keeping up on their papymet plans, so with that, i'll answer any questions. >> commissioners? any public comment on that?
>> i'm bob planthold. as a veteran of the sunshine ordinance task force, i want to comment on that. some weeks after the hearing where the decision was you didn't violate, i contacted the administrator for that body to s say what's the basis and what's the timeline for any appeal and reconsideration. you folks haven't mentioned that in here. there was a timeline, a relatively short timeline after the decision is made for reconsideration. i believe that timeline is long passed, so even if there was grounds for somehow taking the d.a.'s decision into account,
they missed the deadline, and that hasn't been stated in here. maybe it's been stated in the letter. it just bothered me that suddenly the task force seems to be saying well, somebody else differed with us, so we'll go along with them. and that's why the procedural issue of the timeline, it can be as important -- and i'm m t mystified why the task force said somebody else's decision made after is a different analysis? because my understanding, they can only reconsider a different understanding of the fact, not a different analysis. who knows who's going to go to the media and paint the picture their way, unless you can go to them and quickly say, it's not new facts and they missed the deadline. thank you. >> thank you, mr. planthold.
>> i have to say that my one experience with the task force they continue to underwhelm me by what they do. yes, sir. >> my name is douglas whepp, and i would like to thank the commission and its staff. i think they're doing a wonderful job especially compared to the old regime. i'm making a prediction that this is going to turn out to be another #metoo movement. when the public is convinced that there is enough momentum that their complaints will be seriously considered and correct correctly handled, there's plenty of people sitting right now, watching the tv, waiting to be convinced, and all of a
sudden, those complaints will come one, two, three, because most of them know who the obstructionists are. some of them will be exposed, and ultimately, the ethics commission up in the sky is going to be issuing more penalties. and maybe, if we're really lucky, if we're really lucky, there'll be some death sentences handing out to some deserving people. >> as an opponent of capital punishment, i don't like you to keep saying that. any further public comment? all right. we'll move, then, to agenda item ten, discussion of executive director's report. >> thank you, chair keane.
my report provides some information on some significant operational developments. i won't go into a lot of the details, but kyle kundurt's report mentioned that with the new year, we have new tools to help people comply with some of the new requirements that took effect january 1. we have now information on-line, new tools for lobbyists to register on-line to comply with prop t that was passed november of 2016, and some other refinements for the lobbying program. i do want to note that we are getting a lot of good feedback from our engagement and compliance team from filers who are working through the system as we identify any hiccups or bugs, we are working with our i.t. staff quickly to try and resolve those things. so we do appreciate the candid feedback that we're getting from people, as well as the
filing comments. that's something that steven massey and other team members in his office put a lot of time in. obviously folks that have to file with these mechanisms are also going to be giving great feedback. also as you know the election called for the mayoral race called for june 2018, we've done a significant and unplanned ramping up of our activities. we did have a first session for candidates focused on the 2018 june mayoral race, an information session that we had about 20 attendees and we're updating information and supplemental guides to help that process. we will be doing that more as we move into the eligibility and we have started that with our staff, as well, and we will he arepo report on that as we go
forward. i do have a significant note that is unusual and not a frequent occurrence for us, but as i also report in my report, this week -- actually, last week, on january 11th, we were -- papers were filed in superior court by one of the mayoral candidates, angela alioto for mayor, and angela alioto for mayor 2018 committee, seeking to enjoin public financing for the mark leno for mayor 2018 committee. those papers were filed in an initial hearing held last friday in superior court department 302. we were represented as a named party by the city attorney's office, and this morning, after a subsequent hearing and subsequent papers filed this week, the judge issued a tentative order denying injunctive relief. and i'll leave the details for the city attorney to provide you with, but i just want to
convey our appreciation and thanks to andrew shan in particular for really getting some terrific papers in and being she soliticious -- very soliticious of us i'll turn it over to andrew. >> i'll be very brief. i just wanted to clarify, even though the document is titled a tentative order, the judge did adopt it as the final order from the bench as this morning's hearing. i also want to thank on behalf of my office, i want to thank the staff of the ethics commission for being so readily available. as you can imagine in a tro context, you do need to collect information very quickly, provide information very quickly to the court, and so they were always very helpful and responsive and quick to answer amy question so thanks o them. >> commissioner?
>> what was the issue? >> the sole cause or complaint in the petitioner's complaint was mark leno's campaign was violating the campaign ordinance by not defining what constitutes a matching donation for the purposes of the financing program. >> congratulations, andrew, and thank you for that. we had hoped to have an initial presentation about the budget today for this agenda. the budgets will be due to the mayor's office february 21st, i believe, and that does follow our next submissiocommission mo we will have a full packet of information before that was submitted to our office. we are keeping an eye of all cuts, but we will come forward with items that we know that we need to continue the work that has been started through legislation as well as
operational changes at the commission over the last several years. finally, i do want to introduce you tyler field who is our newest new guy. a mantle no longer worn by the policy staff. tyler joined this office this week as our new information systems business analyst. he's working with jared flores are and steven massey to continue to develop or filing systems for operational need and access to electronically filed disclosure information -- [ inaudible ] -- i think we've got a good -- we've got a good team that we're putting together here.
he's also got experience related to coding and other campaign related data, so it's a terrific fit. we're really delighted he's joining us, and i wanted to introduce him to you today. >> very impressive. good to have you, tyler. >> lastly, we are continuing to work with the department of human resources on our remaining hires. we have two positions that have been through -- actually, three that have completed or virtually completed the oral interview phase, so we have three other positions that are going to be posted, but we are continuing to work with the department of human resources closely to make sure we can be as aggressive as possible to get the remaining seats filled in the next number of months. so again, i'm happy to answer any questions that you have for me. >> one comment i would make in connection with your comments on the mayor's office having to do with the new budget. since we have a new mayor, i
think it would be good to remind the mayor and the mayor's budget people what we emphasized with mayor lee, that we have the power, and we would think very strongly of doing it, of putting on the ballot taking away the mayor's authority to set our budget if they were to cut us in regard to our needs because all of those years when mr. st. crois was here and never asked for anything, and everything went down and went down. we're finally getting up to speed and we're seeing people like tyler and the rest of you. it's working right well. we would not welcome any kind of cuts, nor would any kind of cuts be in any way deserved given the history of the commission and the fact that we're finally in a position to get the commission running as it should. so i -- i hope that in either a
diplomatic or as undiplomatic a fashion as you can that you bring it to the mayor's people when you petition for the budget that we want to keep. commissioners? >> well, i would appreciate it if you would sort off enlighte the other commissioners and the public that we're setting up a telephone system -- >> thank you for that question and my oversight. we have a meeting set with january 24th next week with the administrative and technology people in this building. it is the case that there is apparently only one meeting room that allows for a telephonic input by people remotely, and that is a meeting that happens at the same time this one does, so there is not currently technology that we can use in this room to simply
sort of patch in public comment by phone. we are meeting with -- we've started understanding the issues. we're meeting with the technology folks to identify what would it take to enable that to happen, whether it's through new technology that they can need, or whether it's something we can do through the voip computer technology to get folks in on conference calls or something of that sort. so we're going to identify what it would take to accomplish the goals that the commission mentioned in establishing the meeting days that we have, and that our plan will be based on that to fully make a request through our budget as necessary to try and make that happen. >> thank you. any public comment? >> hi. charlie marceller for the record.
i'm wondering if we could maybe switch rooms with the other people? nope? and i also noted you have two auditor positions coming up since oral interview have been completed. and i imagine they might be hired in the first half of this next calendar year, which is probably because we are obviously going to have some draw on the public financing. so for the emphasis of concurrent and proceactive aud and enforcement, i think it would be good to go full blast as we can on the auditors, so we don't lose those resources within house. and it would be a good training opportunity i think as well. and i'm wondering if there's any moneys that are given to
the department or involved with the special election process. is there any discussion about the special election and the department of ethics receiving additional funds? >> i would like to say i wish, but not that i'm aware, no. now one clarification is there is a provision in the law for a public financing program that does require when there is a vacancy in the mayor call an and election call that an additional $8 perresident be accounted for in our election campaign fund. and so we communicated and confirmed with the controller's office that that level of funding does exist in the current funds balance, so for example if all mayoral candidates, the six who have qualified to be on the ballot and have indicated that they want to be public financing participants, if each one of them wanted to receive the full financing of $975,000 for their
campaigns, the fund would be able to withstand that draw, but come november 's election, there may need to be additional put in based on the language that's in the charter, but based on our ad stiff cost, based on the election call, there is not a provision that does that for us particularly. >> i would imagine that doe gets special consideration because they may have to setup poling stations and pay workers. and also, how many candidates have filed for public financing so far? do you know? >> well, there are -- in terms of what we mean by filing, there were eight candidates in the mayoral race that were qualified for the ballot. six of those eight filed statements of interest to participate in the public financing program, and i believe out of the board of supervisors race for june of 2018, there were three candidates that qualified and
two i believe expressed an interest in participating. i may be off on the board of supervisors race, but six of the eight in the mayor's race have filed to participate. as we came to the meeting today, there have been no requests by any mayoral candidate to actually be certified or to receive public funds yes. >> oh, so certification is still yet to come for those six, so that number may not be the full six. they're keeping their options open at this stage? >> no. to be clear, the candidates when they filed their nominating papers to be on the ballot, they were required to also submit a statement whether they intended to participate in the program. so six of the eight candidates filed statements. each of them indicated they wanted to participate in the program. the next step would be the candidates requesting certification to be eligible to receive public funds from our office. and then, the next step after that would be to actually submit a matching funds claim once they have been certified
as eligible to matching -- for public fund financing. the certification eligibility is relevant and important because it releases a first initial grant to candidates for their campaigns. after that point, they will then submit matching funds claims to have contributions matched up to the limits within the law. so i hope that clarifies the filing process a bit. >> yeah. so the -- i'm doing that in part for the public who's watching. but i'm also wondering, too, if by the next meeting of the commission, which is on the 16th, i believe and we'll have a cleer pictuarer picture as t been certified and their data. great, and you'll also have a clearer picture of your staff demands, especially if they're all going forward big money. mayor's office requires considerable funds because
you're reaching out to everybody in the city in a very robust and aggressive way, especially when there's a strong candidate base. thank you. >> thank you. any further public comment? we'll go on, then, to agenda item number 11, discussion and possible action regarding status of complaints received or initiated by the ethics commission and there's a possibility of a closed session. >> i have a request of closed session. >> all right. there's been a request for a closed session. is there a second? >> i'll second it. >> all right. all those in favor of the closed session. opposed? okay. we'll go into closed session. -- yes, andrew. >> before we go to closed session, perhaps we should provide an opportunity for public comment. >> all right. any public comment on our going
into closed session? >> how long do you think you'll be? >> 15 minutes. >> oh, quick. so you'll come back into session and there's really not much on the agenda, probably, so -- >> we'll sneak in a bunch. >> -- so we probably are going to leave you. >> there'll be some new business. >> but we'll wish you happy new year, and i also did want to say that in this agenda, i've seen evidence that you guys are putting some teeth in your toothless tiger, so i appreciate your hard work. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> okay. well, we'll be in closed session --
>> okay. we're back in open session. is there a motion to not reveal what was discussed in closed session? >> so moved. >> all those in favor of the motion say aye. opposed no? motion carries 3-0. all right. we'll move now -- do we need any public comment before we -- [ inaudible ] >> okay. any public comment? we'll go to item 12, discussion and possible actions on items for future meetings. >> mr. chairman, i have two items. one is i should like to schedule for our march meeting an item to submit to voters at the next possible election a
charter amendment to provide for independent counsel for the ethics commission. and as noted in the prior discussion touching that subject matter, that san diego law is a model which, in my opinion, would be satisfactory. secondly, i would like a legal research and as appropriate preparation of an ordinance dealing with a practice that
has been commented on, i guess, previously, and certainly prior to my appointment to this commission of candidates for office in the city and county of san francisco using funds from a campaign committee for a county party central committee. and this essence of the democratic party central committee is the one that has come to my attention in which a donor can exceed the $500 per person contribution limit of our campaign and anticorruption law.
and for example, contributions to a couple candidates for mayor, such as $1,000 from emerald fund, a real estate development corporation; $20,000 from salesforce, $5,000 from the labor union; $25,000 from the ceo of a corporation. $5,000 from boston properties, another commercial real estate developer and operator. green cross, $1,000, a marijuana dispensary corporation; and in-kind contributions amounting to a value of $12,000 for parties.
and, for example, one of the candidates used $7,000 on a parade float from a campaign for democratic county committee account. it's all for purposes of name recognition. that's obvious, and it's a form of what used to be called a slush fund. i'm not sure of the legal prerogatives of the city and county of san francisco because county party -- party county committees are authorized under the elections code of the state of california. but if at all possible legally,
i would ask, also for calendaring at the march meeting, a preparation of an ordinance to prohibit the use of money contributed to a campaign to elect a candidate to a county central committee -- a partisan county central committee, whether it's a republican party, the green party, or any other party of for campaigning for public office -- elected public office in san francisco. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner. i think on both of those, if the staff can work on proposed language for us to discuss at the march meeting, that would be helpful, so we can use that
for our discussion. the -- at our next meeting, we -- as we had earlier talked about, we're going to be taking up the whistleblower ordinance, and also the corrupt practices ordinances -- ordinance in order to have both of those on the june ballot. so those are a couple of things that we should gear up for in order to vote on next time because we'll need the super majority in order to put those on the ballot. those are the only things that i have. anything further? okay. any public comment? is there any additional public comment -- on item 13, is there any additional public comment
on any matter appearing or not appearing on the agenda? yes, sir, mr. yapp. >> yes, sir. my name is douglas yapp. the first thing is i'm supportive of hiring more staff. basically, all those past years, we all know what happened, so we have to gear up, and we have to tell the public that this is like a football team. it's not the j.v. squad anymore. it's going to be like a real team, and when one person leaves, there'll be adequate backups, so in other words, the success will continue in an ordinarily fashion. secondly is the example of harvey weinstein. when he started it, it just got bigger and bigger and bigger. i guarantee you there's plenty
of viewers listening to what i'm saying that's secretly saying when those guys are staffed, i'm going to file my complaint. and then, people in the past, like oliver luby and joe linn will say we've waited and waited, and now the tide is turning. it's like water. slowly, it goes up, and then, it floats, a chunk, to the top, because basically, that's what people are waiting for. they want a real football team that's not playing with the j.v. like the previous director. it's obvious you mean business, and people will come and complaint and give you the proof just like the u.s. gymnasts for the women's squad.
one doctor was able to shut them up until a couple of women got brave, and another stepped forward, another stepped forward, and we see what's happening. so the same thing is going to happen in san francisco. people are not going to say well, chicago is corrupt, new orleans is corrupt. they're going to start saying san francisco's corrupt because we're going to make a difference. and let's put it this way: there's plenty of people that did all the legwork in the previous years, and they will be cheering you on. and let's put it this way: i think the commission is ready to handle something so sensitive, nobody, not even a certain ex-mayor wants to even mention the name.
the name is joseph malispen, m-a-l-i-s-p-e-n. ex-day city employee. last person i worked with. plenty to say, and he paid the ultimate price for what he had to say at the hospital. i think the time is coming soon that the city will look into mr. malispen and will find out the real truth, the real truth of what happens to a dead [ inaudible ] man in san francisco. >> thank you. any further public comment? we adjourn. >> motion. >> second. >> all those in favor say aye. we are adjourned.
commissioner anderson? here. commissioner mazzola? here. and commissioner mcdonnell does have excused absence. just a few quick reminders, we ask that you turn off any sound-producing devices that could go off during the meeting and take any secondary conversations outside. if you would like to speak on an item today, we request, we do not require that you fill out a blue card. i will call the cards in order that i have received. after that, anyone else who would like to make public comment on an item can come up and do so. you will have three minutes, commissioner? >> president buell: three minutes. >> three minutes on each item. if there is an item that is not on the calendar but does fall under the jurisdiction of the recreation and park commission, you would speak under general public comment. that is item 4.
we will have general public comment for 15 minutes and then it will be continued again on item 13. when you do make public comment, please address your comments to the commission, neither the commission nor staff will make comments or ask questions of staff until after public comment is closed. last, if you do hear the emergency alarms go off, you need to evacuate the building. as note, the elevator immediately goes to the first floor, so you will not be able to take the elevator down. if you need assistance in evacuating the building, we would ask that you go to your closest place of refuge which is directly across the hall in the men's restroom. when you go in, you will see a little speaker, just press that, let the sheriff know where you're at and they will assist you. with that, we're on item 2.
the president's report. >> president buell: thank you very much. i'll be brief, but it gives me great pleasure to announce that on january 24th here at city hall there will be a gala by the trust for public land and they will be honoring none other than our general manager philip a. ginsburg and jackie and dan, who are very much trustees, i believe of the helen diller foundation which have been generous to san francisco parks. with that, i extend congratulations to our general manager and job well done. >> is there anything who would like to make public comment on the president's report? what time? [laughter] >> president buell: richard, it's nighttime. i don't know what time, it starts i think, of 30. -- 6:30.
>> secretary: ok, seeing none, this item is closed. we're now on item 3, the general manager's report. >> i only wish i could be as quick, happy new year, commissioners, holidays have come and gone and we're back kicking off 2018 and things are happening in the park system. i have quite a few things to announce. bear with me, i'll try to get them through quickly. all good. on january 27, from 10 to 1 p.m., we want to invite the public to join the recreation and park department and numerous other city agencies at the county fair building to golden gate park for the final in a series of three city job fairs that have been taking place in the month of january. we are joined by the airport, the human services agency, the sheriffs department, the fire department, and our good friends at the u.s. post office,
providing job seekers with employment opportunities, training and program resources. our department is looking currently to fill a variety of positions, including recreation leaders, camp assistants, camp culinary staff, gardeners, apprentices and more. you can check out our website. or call us. on january 27th, i invite everyone to join us for a graduation ceremony of our latest class of green agers at the boat house. green agers are teens who live or go to school in the bayview, chinatown neighborhoods and have learned about park stewardship and supporting parks and events and programs. they meet regularly with recreation and park staff.
they research issues they're interested in. they create projects based on what they found. this is a really amazing youth leadership program that we've been operating now for i believe six years. and was recently expanded with your support in your most recent budget. it is equity zone initiative and we're proud of our work cultivating the next generation of park stewards. moving into february, rec and park will host two public budget meetings on thursday, february 1, at the betty a ann recreation center and february 28th ingleside police station. you'll hear a preliminary report from our chief of administration and finance, derek chu, but you can learn more about the budget cycle and updates to our strategic plan and we want to hear from the public about your priorities and neighborhood parks. for more info check out our
website. moving later into february, we're so excited. to announce in partnership with friends of the randall museum, the grand reopening of everyone's favorite science nature and art museum. on sunday, february 11th. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. come and explore the new museum, enjoy free kids' activities and entertainment, including the latin grammy award winning bilingual environmental science singer mr. g. mr. g. i'm not kidding about that title. the $9 million renovation was funded by california state parks grant. general fund support, park fund support and a lot of the philanthropy through the friends of the randall campaign that included a very helping hand and assist from our very own
commission president mark buell. join us on sunday, february 11th. if that weren't enough exciting news, on valentine's day, everyone is invited to show their love for parks and for our very own civic center plaza by celebrating the grand opening of the new helen diller civic center playgrounds, beginning at 4 p.m., running to 7 p.m. thanks to the amazing support of jackie and the helen diller family foundation and trust for public land, their willingness to invest in the civic center and the neighborhoods. their trust in our own vision and ability to serve the growing children and families living in the area. we are making more than a $10 million investment in civic center to further empower our communities to enjoy healthy and safe recreation right outside of
city hall. the new state-of-the-art playgrounds are exceptional and will combine lighting, nature and whimsy to create unique play spaces that surprise and inspire. the event on february 14th will include kids' activities, ribbon-cutting and ceremonial first lighting of the playground lighting features. i would add that the lighting features are particularly poignant, because when maybe three, four years ago, we showed mayor lee the design for this amazing playground, he loved it, but he said there should be light. and there will be. >> beautiful. >> general mgr. ginsburg: yesterday marked the beginning of the west side enhanced recycling water project and continuation with the san francisco public utilities
commission to build more sustainable systems. this project will produce and deliver recycled water to irrigate golden gate park and the lincoln gate golf course. offsetting the need to use ground water and other potable water supplies. we've been working over a number of years to reduce our water use in our parks. when this project is complete in 2021, 70% of the water we use will be recycled water. and five of the six golf courses we operate will be irrigated with recycled water. overall, we have reduced our water usage in our parks by 43% since 2013. and that's through ways big and small, yes, it's through recycled water and this next project is a quantum leap, but it's also through repairing old
inefficient irrigation systems, through sustainable design, it is through technology, we are now using climate sensors, irrigation sensors in the parks that can pick up the moisture in the soil and only irrigate when it achieves a certain level of dryness. and most importantly, through the hard work of the men and women in our department, both our gardeners and our plumbers, who have really done a miraculous job and taken this initiative extremely seriously, as a result we have become one of the water conservation leaders, not just in the bay area, but park systems nationwide, so it's a good-news story. last summer, you may recall we were horrified at the news that the playground in koret had been vandalized, burned. i'm very pleased to report that with the funding commitment from mayor lee, and generous support
from the koret foundation, the san francisco parks alliance, our own general fund capital resources and other donors, we have sufficient funding to repair the playground. we expect to start the demolition of what is left of what had been burned, site preparation and site preparation and playground equipment replacement in february with anticipated reopening by the end of march. that returns the playground to its former glory. it is open for business and beloved and everybody is happy out there, but one of the signature elements is no longer there and that's what we're replacing. commissioners, if you recall we enlisted the help of phil wright, the assistant manager for sacramento and one of the state's key thought leaders on youth soccer. someone with experience managing
soccer organizations to review our youth soccer field allocation policy and make recommendations to us that addressed the significant amount of growth, and frankly, the change in the business model for the youth soccer organizations. and so how do we keep up with that? based on mr. wright did issue a report, you have seen it, and he articulated a number of recommendations, based on the recommendations now, we drafted proposed changes to our own administrative procedures and distributed them for comment to youth soccer organizations and nonprofit organizations with the hope of getting feedback and finalizing the changes in february. i believe you are getting, if you haven't already, you're getting a copy of the recommended policy changes and they're simple. they're to make sure we remain consistent with the park code and the approved benefit policy and that we use that tool to
ensure equity and access in youth soccer. a couple of recognition items. i do want to acknowledge my amazing team who hosted last friday's martin luther king day celebration at the rec center. our staff just did an amazing job in organizing celebrations, legacy of dr. king. it included our annual rec centre, which was the 34th annual community celebration, but it also included a family-free swim day at the pool in bayview and three other pools around the city and a number of volunteer work parties around the city in honor of the national day of service. our recreation staff including bob, jackie, lorraine, and linda, our aquatic staff, our volunteered division all deserve kudos for helping us celebrate
and remember the positive impact that dr. king's life had on our nation particularly at a time when our country could use reminding. i want to acknowledge and thank our speakers including the honorable brown, who gave an amazing speech and special shout tout margaret macarthur for her help in facilitating mayor brown's appearance. i want to thank our terrific police chief, chief bill scott, for coming to the event, bringing his team and for his remarks and lastly, i also want to acknowledge commissioner low and commissioner anderson both of who attended and commissioner low's introduction of mayor brown was awesome. it was really good. [laughter] it was really a beautiful event. lastly, and it was my hope that
he was going to be here today, so we could vet him in person, but unfortunately, tom hart is sick as a dog. so we sent him home. he showed up at the office is this morning to come down here today and dana took one look at him and using her strongest motherly instincts, said, tom, you're going home. so tom went home. so he's not here. but here's what i would like to say about him. he is one of our longest tenured employees and truly one of the nicest, kindest and sweetest people that work at rec and park, or may have ever worked at rec and park. he's going to be retiring next week. a member of our property management team that includes our golf division, tom joined the department in 1990 as a member of our purchasing unit. he joined the property management team as senior administrative analyst in 1994
where he's been since. over the years, tom has managed a number of projects, but the ones that stand out and the ones he's most proud are the development of the golf agreements, the japanese teagarden rfp in 2009 and the subsequent renovation to the tea house and gift shop. some may not know this about tom, but aside from being a sports fan, the warriors in particular, he's a very accomplished singer who has performed around the world. and very coincidently sang at my daughter's bat mitzvah. he majored in music and vocal performance in kansas and had professional positions with the opera and symphony. the baroque orchestra and the festival. he was a founding member of the
male a cappella group and toured with that group over ten years, performing in a thousand concerts in all 50 states, south africa. he plans to spend his retirement singing more, he's booked for the next 18 months. and just a personal reflection, i just want to echo that it's rare that you meet someone so selfless and egoless and just so kind. and it makes me proud to be in public service, to be able to have worked with someone like tom hart. so i thought i'd end with a quote that i actually have to give credit to alton pond for finding, musicians don't retire, they stop only when there is no more music in them and tom has a lot of music in him yet. a big congrats to tom.
i'm sorry he's not here to receive kudos in person. there will be a celebration for him out at harding i think next week. and we will pass along information for that if any of you are available to attend. that is the conclusion of my recognition. we have this month in parks, we have a special video that may or may not have seen. it is our annual report. 2017. in retrospect. [ ♪ ] it's been another amazing year for us at the san francisco rec and park with 220 parks, 4,000 acres of open space, we have one of the most special parks in the entire country, but what makes our park system so special are all of you. the people who use the parks
every day. who participate in your recreation programs, who volunteer, who advocate, and who work in our parks. our accomplishments are your accomplishments. and without all of you our park system would not be as lively and vibrant. enjoy this look back at the past year in our parks. >> we have a great park system. >> a lot of folks. >> safe clean and fun. we promote our parks historic and cultural heritage and we're building the great parks of tomorrow. >> we were the first city in the country to place parks within a 10 minute walk of every residence. we cut 14 ribbons and broke ground on two additional park renovations. we bought land