tv [untitled] April 20, 2011 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT
subject at this point. maybe there is some way that you guys can think of to get them back in the picture more, get us all back together and on the same page. because we find that a lot of the process issues are with planning. you know, if you could help us with that, we would appreciate it. thank you. >> is there any further public comment? item eight, commissioner question -- them and may i make one more? -- >> may i make one more? i would like to make a couple of comments. i just came off a couple of years -- a couple of terms as president, and they went with many suggestions from our stakeholders, homeowners,
contractors, whatever. some of our staff with some ideas to make moves for the department. the answer was always yes, but it never happened. getting some cash shares, training them. we were really short on cash years for about a year and people to collect money, just take the checks. we did not get that done. instead of it cannot be done, let's ask why not? why can it not be done?
the director called me first before he decided to resign, and he popped out two or three names for replacements. and one of them was director day, and he got the position, and it was supposed to be very temporary. we were supposed to do a nationwide search to find a new director at the time. we did not have much discussion about it because at the time, the department was going on -- under tremendous pressure financially. we were in the middle of a layoff, and the last thing i wanted to do as president was asked the commission to spend another $100,000 to do a search. so i really worked hard to try to make you succeed. i wanted you to succeed. nobody wanted you to succeed
more than i did. i really got frustrated. i am glad now that i am not present any more. -- i am not president anymore. i have noticed in the past week or so that there is some communication with your name assigned to it. you are having an executive meeting, and at least we know about it. i never got any of that stuff when i was president. i quite honestly felt very frustrated. there are some incredible people that work in the department who really wanted to help, wanted to step up to the plate, and i did not particularly think that they got the opportunity to do it. morale for the last two years has been pathetic. i made some suggestions early on that we would have coffee once a month or something.
we did have that, and we had the coffee and donuts, and i assume that the director was going to give her troops and a little pep talk, but that did not happen. i went to these breakfasts. commissioner will was there at a couple of the meetings, and i was not even introduced when i got to these meetings. the director and her deputy sat over in the corner and did not talk to anybody. i just think that is off the wall. so i do not like airing of a dirty laundry, but somebody has to step up and say it. i sat down with commissioner romero at it -- for an hour-and- a-half a meeting with you, and i left after one hour, and it was obvious that this was regarded personnel, that you were not very well informed. commissioner romero was very
well informed. i am not. i do not understand if at all. basically, what i'm saying here is the department has been taken hostage for a couple of years. we got a new president. i just hope that he is treated with a little bit more respect than i was, director. i hope you can do that. the director does not have too much respect for the commission. i can guarantee you that. most directors do not want seven bosses, as they call us. we are not bosses. we're just overseers. but our role in the will of the president for the next year is to find out what the needs of the department are and help you with the needs of the department. i just hope that you can work with commissioner romero -- or
president. commissioner walker: i just want to again thank president murphy for serving. it is a challenge to serve as commission president. i think that this department, as evidenced by the financial state we are in and how we are actually hiring back, how we have tried to respond to some of the ongoing issues, and the fact that it does take a long time. i have served as president, and i know even with agreement on everything, and with leadership doing what they can, it is oftentimes like pushing water uphill. it has taken us 10 years to get our i.t. system going through
three or four directors. the same amount of time to do what seems obvious, preparing for earthquakes and doing what we can as a department. i get your frustration. i think that in hindsight we should look to the great successes that we have had. i think that it is probably very difficult for a department head to work with the commission. i think most building departments do not. i think that the issue of morale in our department has been there since i have been on the commission. the people that work for our department work hard. they believe in our city. they love our city. they look to us to help support our director in running the department, and i hope that we can continue to do that. because i think we are going in the right direction, and i think it is frustrating for everybody that we have gone through this economic challenge
that we have over the last couple of years, but i would remind commissioners that we actually are in the black, that we have done this painfully, because we had to lay off a lot of our folks. i actually, even as we may disagree on issues, i think that this is a commission that actually works together probably better than most in the city. so i would actually like to commend our staff, our leadership and commission for being willing to work together like we do. in spite of our differences. so thank you. commissioner murphy: one more comment. on one situation out there where there was a squabble going on between a couple of neighbors on a project, the chief was out
there, saying everything was ok. all it needed was a signature from our director. she would not back up her troops. in the meantime, it cost these people over $1 million. >> that is not before us here commissioner -- that is not before us here, commissioner. commissioner murphy: that is additional comments. >> i just want to say even though i am happy to serve as vice president this year, i am still the new kid on the block. i have been very appreciative, actually, of the staff and my fellow commissioners, who kind of update me on what has been going on. and i have been involved in some other city parties, and what i have noticed is sometimes we do not hear from a lot of the
people that come in and get taken care of. i understand, just like when the inspectors have to go out, and then they tell a contractor he did not do it right or we have to hear from the property owner. yes, they did it without a permit but did not know they needed one. some of the stuff we heard this morning. i feel like part of our position here is to act as that bridge to the community, but to also work with the staff and help them when we did things like that. i have been tipped i think every single meeting on this commission now, and the people i see in our public comments have been a lot of the same people, which is good, but at the same time, i know there are a lot of other people are getting their permits fold, doing the job, getting it passed, and everything is fine, so they do
not have any need to come here. this is something that i am kind of conscious of, too. when i'm out there as a homeowner or landlord, i tell people to do it with permits, get it signed off on, do it right, and you will not have any problems. that is what i am kind of learning. i wanted to say that i am not only appreciative of the director, but also of the inspectors that are out there. nobody wants somebody walking through their house or their property saying that this trap was not done right. but at the same time, it is a thankless job, but that is why we have codes. that is why we have to do it. >> thank you. >> item 8, commissioner questions and matters.
8a is increase the staff. commissioners may make inquiries to staff regarding various documents, policies, practices and procedures which are of interest to the commission. commissioner walker: could we maybe get a follow-up to our department working with the health department on the update from our hearing that we had? and also, i did not know it is appropriate for our commission at this point, but the concept of adaptive reuse of some of these buildings and how it is we can, as a department, either through education or discussion about codes -- like the issue we heard in the abatement hearing
where people are living in buildings that were previously office or previously indiana. maybe we could engage in some conversations with some of the group's going on to recommend code changes or process changes to the department. or code advisory. maybe -- i do not know if we want to have it as an agenda item, but maybe get the department involved in those discussions. >> i can get your information on what we can and cannot do. >> that is perfect. that would be great. them a great. thank you. i have a question for steve. i know that in the past, i have asked about the gray water in dealing with where we could move forward on more green
technology and would love to work with the department to help promote the clarity on which department will move forward on the green side, especially in the plumbing. >> we have been working with the health department and puc as well trying to get notification out to a bunch of different organizations on how it is being performed, what is being done, what is being looked at. there are some projects where certain requirements from puc are different, and they are coming to us after the fact or starting the process and not coming to us and finding out after. so we are trying to clarify that. certain business owners and contractors so they know exactly what to look for and how to install these types of systems.
again, i spoke to you earlier. i would love to sit down and have a conversation of how in the process and where we are at and with the apartments are planning to build. >> i know there is the move towards and green roofs and the category where sandbags would be needed in the category of where as a result of the roof drains and all that, that basically will provide problems for the system. those are one of many things that we could really -- >> those are situations we have dealt with in the past. we have always had it in the code that clarification to explain to certain agencies or contractors as well like that -- these issues are coming forward, and yes, this is still a requirement. yes, this is a requirement for san francisco. we have combined systems to explain exactly how that needs to be done. just getting the word out and having him speak to the plumbing
department is very helpful to a lot of different agencies in selling these types of systems. >> so with the new type of project and the pre-plan review, would it require that there be some category that the permit review process would allow for that to happen? >> working with the director, we have already spoken about types and have the -- >> we cannot discuss -- we can agendize. >> i will talk to you, but that is the category that i just wanted to ask. and that is there any public comment on item 8a? ok, item 8b, future meeting agendas or items.
the next regularly scheduled meeting is on may 20. litigation is on the 17. is there any other input from the commissioner? any public comment on item 8b? item nine, review and approval of the minutes of the special meeting of october 7, 2010. for all in favor? item 10, review and approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of november 17, 2010. the move to approve.