Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    August 3, 2010 8:00am-8:30am PST

9:00 am
>> thank you. we also have 90 jr. zoologist. they are the teen volunteers who help mentor the nature trailers, and we have 29 teen volunteers who are our conservation terrorist threats at the zoo. i invite you to visit these kids. this week and is also the annual take our festival. children under 14 who bring in a teddy bear will be admitted free. this gives us a wonderful chance to highlight the zoo's bears programs, and we will also have the bernstein bears and quarter rory here to sell the g to help celebrate the weekend -- corduroy here to help celebrate week appeared all guests to bring in a thank-you card will receive a discount on admissions and have a chance to meet their favorite zookeeper's in behind- the-scenes talks and other special events. also, you may have seen the banners around the city.
9:01 am
the barn owl, which is drawn by one of our elementary school age kids -- that was part of the zoo's wild about art and science program, which was a collaboration with san francisco unified school district. this kicks off our kids will campaign where kids will have free admission during the month of august along with a paying adult. this campaign is under the board of directors as well as fisher- price, who is sponsoring play at the zoo we can. as far as exhibit at it, thanks to a gift from a marin county family, we will be able to open a portion of the south american rain forest exhibit this september. the newly opened area will feature the 0's 11 anaconda. the south american paris and frogs as well as an indoor topical area to encourage connections with children. thanks also to gifts, we are now planning to build another phase of construction, which will include a flood of floor exhibit as well as an area for risky
9:02 am
squirrel monkeys. programming for the exhibit will focus on the negative effects of the illegal animal trade that plague south america. lastly, the zoo's attendants in may, which is above projection, and i thought actually i could take a break and grieve for a moment. unfortunately, june's attendance has come in below expectations, and overall, this summer's attendance is looking lower. our west portal business papers are reporting a 20% decline in their business, cut by the slow west portal rail project. this combined with the closure of the southbound traffic on highway, is making access to these two very difficult this summer. we are trying to explore alternative transportation methods for visitors as well as employee very cat -- various types of signage, as well as discounts, some of which you have just heard. thankfully, we will be closing this fiscal year with a positive balance, and now, i have
9:03 am
finished my report. commissioner buell: thank you. questions? i was going to ask one question first, and that was it is my recollection that the early months of this year were not as good, either due to bad weather. in aggregate, are we running behind? >> we are likely to disclose our fiscal year as well. we were 3.4% decline on attendance this fiscal year. in the aggregate, when people do come to the zoo, they are spending more, so thankfully, our per capita are up, and also saw a return of corporate giving and foundation support. commissioner buell: 90. >> is there any public comment on this item? -- commissioner buell: thank you. >> while some of you were getting sworn that -- at -- and
9:04 am
a sari, sworn in. [laughter] -- i'm sorry, sworn in. i apologize. seriously, i did have a dilemma this morning. i could have gone to bed or been part of the media preview for the canadair festival, and i picked the teddy bear festival, and i can tell you i learned things -- the teddy bear festival. i learned things -- first of all, it was just incredible. but i learn things when they were getting prepared for the bears, they were throwing out food for the bears to attract them, and one of them was this, but it was a loved one, and i thought to myself, is that they're just going to pick it up and chomp on, or is he going to peel and like you do the federal -- i found out because i was improvised for the right time that he does or she does -- she
9:05 am
does appeal it down and eat it as if it was corn on the call, which is what is meant to do. why they do not compost that waste and edith as just regular vegetables, i do not understand, but there's have good eyesight because they do eat their carrots -- bears have good eyesight. even the sea gulls were delighted before the bears came in because as the fish were milling through the ice, they took their and got a little extra, but for whatever reason, as the bears got what was in water, because the sea gulls did not like to get to what, i guess. anyway, i just wanted to say thank you and how much i appreciate the zoo because it was really a great event, and i would urge everybody with a child to come saturday. thank you.
9:06 am
>> is there any additional public comment on items six, san francisco zoo? seeing none, public comment is closed. this was discussion only, so we are on items seven, the recreation and parks department community outreach program. -- we are on item 7. >> commissioners, director of policy and public affairs from the department. i'm going to take you through our outreach policy by division. the idea here is to introduce what we're currently doing and
9:07 am
get some feedback from you and from the public so that we can continue to refine this process and ultimately come back to you in september with an actual outreach policy to adopt. this is our first stop in what will be a long and son road show, including visits to parks trust, prozac, and other of our partners. as we move through this. quickly, the different types of things that we do that require public outrage generally fall into four categories. our planning a capital of which, of which were permits and special events, out reach a long rfp's, rfq's and leases. most of which is discussed through our budget process, but
9:08 am
there are other times we do talk about budget policy with the public. our current tools, if you will, that are available for out of reach. our partner organizations, there e-mail list, our own e- mail list, supervisors, and their office of neighborhood services. our website, actual postings at the typical location, when that is possible, in our website, which, as you heard, is undergoing renovation and hopefully will be much more accessible and usable so that it will be a better tool for us in the future. some new media, which we are working on building. facebook and twitter. attending community meetings to the extent we can engage the media, the newspapers, and television and community newspapers, and most importantly, prozac.
9:09 am
is important to note that the outreach is really conducted by division but run through the public affairs office, which at this point is elton, who is over there, and myself, who has other tasks as well, so we need to amplify our efforts, and that is why our partner organizations are so important in this. quickly going to go through, as i said, out reached by division. the planning a capital division probably has our most refined outreach process, and part of that is because some of it is actually in the code for what is required for average, like the planning department, and dpw who do similar capital projects. obviously, this does not apply to every situation. there are exceptions to every rule, but essentially what happens is the project manager will host a conceptual design
9:10 am
meeting. anywhere from three to six, depending on the complexity, the number of users, the issues, the neighborhood, and in order to host those, we actually send out a mailing, as we are required to do by code, to not only property owners but also residents, so ranchers and property owners within 500 feet of the proposed project. we conduct those meetings. the goal of those meetings is to identify the goal of the project, and by varying needs and user groups, and eventually take all of that information and turn it into a conceptual design. in some cases, it results in 1 conceptual design or results in a couple that are then further bedded -- vetted. the conceptual design has been brought to you, and it has its own outreach and notification process associated with it. our website, the newspaper. all those things that they do so
9:11 am
adeptly. once that is approved by you, in most cases, there is a little bit of silence on the out reach front. if there are additional tweaks to conceptual design, as you look closer to detailed design, occasionally, there is a need for another public meeting, which the stakeholders who were part of the previous meetings would be notified, usually via e-mail, and that meeting take place. then, we usually have a ground breaking. we invite all the stakeholders, try to publicize that to the media, let people know what to expect. ben, go to construction. in construction, obviously, we come to the commission for an award of contract. again, that goes through the notification process of the commission. we also send a notice to the people who attended the conceptual design meeting, some of the 500-foot radius, but the
9:12 am
people who actually participate in the process gave us their e- mail addresses. we usually talk to supervisors' offices throughout this project, but we always reach out to them and ask for a reward and to make sure anyone they know who is interested is aware and that they are aware of it. we try to. this is an area we need to improve on. cause actual signs at the site as to what is happening. and then, similar to the ground breaking, we have a ribbon cutting. there is usually public out redrawn that. we engage with community organizations to put that on and the sorts of things. -- there is usually public outreach are around that. hopefully then we have a facility that opens and makes people happy. this is, as i said, similar to what other agencies that to our capital projects do and similar to what the planning department does. before i move on to rfp's, any questions on capitol?
9:13 am
we are good? ok, so then, we have another area requiring out -- if, as you know, our rfp's rfq's. we are getting into this a lot more. this is an area we are particularly interested in working back in the public feedback. there are three distinct phases of this process, authorities elections award. all of those come to the commission, and all of those have come -- co-mandated out reach with them. posted on our website and advertising in the newspaper. we also send out rfp's to our internal data base, and that, frankly, it's mostly people interested in responding. that is something we are growing as well. but we also at each point in this process -- primarily
9:14 am
authority and reward work with the supervisor and the community to identify the appropriate stakeholders to talk to. so for authority to issue an rfp, it generally goes that the person who is working on that rfp will call up the supervisor's office and say, "here is where we want to do something. what are the relevant community groups i should talk to?" we reach out and speak to this community groups and anyone else we know, usually their president or someone else on the board, let them know what we are thinking about or gathering information on, and get their feedback as to what level of average is appropriate. as you can imagine, this needs to be something that is scalable. the outreach for any large capital renovation -- still is very different from perhaps the food part. we kind of judge that based on the community response and what the community groups tell us in
9:15 am
areas of interest, so that means the meetings could looked like anything with their president or they invite us to entirely community meetings, and that holds throughout both the authority and a war process. -- and award process. on occasion, after the third stop at the commission, we will host award meetings with community groups. not on every occasion, but that is really one we have the authority to have a conversation about negotiation because prior to that, the winner has not been awarded and, frankly, the german vat whether the panel select is actually going to be awarded, so we wait until after that award to have questions about refining conversations. >now to our permanent special
9:16 am
event out reach. we issued, laths, about 57,000 permits a year -- the issue last count about 57,000 permits a year. we clearly do not due out reach around athletic field reservation, think reservations, those kinds of things. the events that we do all reach around or ask the sponsors to be out reach around are listed here -- new, large, controversial, stick amplified sound, they have other agency involvement. of our 57,000 permits, we estimate that around 5000 of them trigger sort of a significant event threshold, meaning there are a large number people. for the most part, that is how we govern it. i believe the majority of those also have other permitting processes. whether that is the sfpd giving them a parade permit, whether that is an interagency group
9:17 am
that does road closure, all of which also have their own out reach and thoughts with a public to weigh in -- for the public to weigh in. on those, say, 5000 or so significant permits, there are a few things we do for all permits, and a few we do specifically for the significant ones. all permit applications are published on our website within a week, and you can track whether they have been approved, pending, all those kinds of things. the permits and reservations division does have a method by which they can track and monitor feedback about an event, so if there is a small run, and there's feedback about how that interacts with visitors or noise or those kind of things and log that because many of our events are year after year after year events, so based on the feedback from the community, we can then
9:18 am
modified to permit the following year. so we keep track of that. as i said, many of our significant permits have interagency collaboration, but we also to notify people, even if there's just a part event that may impact the police department or the mta. we notify our colleagues. most importantly, we mandate that sponsors of large events do our reach, and a document it to our permits and reservation division, with an actual list of what they have done, and we ask them for letters of support. if they have done all this out -- and talked about it, please document that for us, and as you see, the proof is in the pudding, when people show up here. but we do try to do most of that work in advance. then, the last area is significant policy changes to back in park policy. as i said in the introduction,
9:19 am
most of those our budget- related, and i happen at the part of our budget process which seems to have grown in length. -- policy changes to rec and park policy. we are mandated by the charter to do four community budget meetings. we also be a variety of staff meetings, and the budget committee at the board of supervisors also host meetings. mr. general manager, the total is upwards of 15? >> with community, and we also have a staff to discuss budget, and community and public meetings and staff, probably in excess of 40. >> so that is our main tool, but we do have on occasion, as you are aware, long-term planning issues that we engage the community on, whether it is the advisory council, for static turf task force, those types of things, which we work with the community to identify the key
9:20 am
stakeholders, put together a task force, and as he publicly noted at the meeting, this public comment, not quite as dignified as the commission meeting, not to say that that are not dignified. the last piece of legislation, in that most of that frankly is driven by the founder of the legislation, which is frequently a member of the board of supervisors or the mayor's office, and we participate in their process around legislative changes. i wanted to just give you a quick overview before our wrap up of white other similar situated agencies do -- of what other similar situation agencies do. our closest relationships are with planning, dpw, and the puc. most of that outreach is mandated by the code. planning has, depending on
9:21 am
weather is something that -- they have a variety of different requirements, but we are in contact with them out what they do and, frankly, are trying to improve their best practices. rfp's and leases -- is mostly the port in the air for that are similarly situated, and frankly, because they are not as embedded in the neighborhood but surrounded by residents on all sides, they have not had as many things where they need to do outreach, so we -- we had a conversation with them about what they do, but we feel pretty good about where we are in terms of other sister agencies on that front. lastly, permits and special events -- mostly the entertainment commission and the film commission that have similar out reach requirements around those things or needs around those things, the film commission has no written
9:22 am
outreach policy, and for the most part, they ask that the production companies to the outbreak. like us, the outreach is done in terms of the scale of the project, so if there's two cameras out, somebody has the tripod and a camera, and another person -- they may not do any our reach. if the filming requires closing a whole lot, and there is going to be a gunshot and people would be worried, they require more outreach. it is a flexible and scalable thing that is based on experience and on common sense. lastly, the entertainment commission. they did a couple things. six plays permit do not relate as well because they are basically giving extended hours and live music permits to a place that will be there in perpetuity. our special events are usually just one day in a park and then broken down. those requirements are code-
9:23 am
mandated. a part we do that a similar is when a permit a special events and give life music or those kinds of things. they also do e-mail blast, talk to the community group, and they do not get any mailings. everyone seems to be trying to get away from mailings. again, it is scalable based on impact and duration. however, the commission last year formalized and adopted their policy. they have been doing these types of things for years and years and years, but i just actually formalize them last year. so we will continue to work with those agencies, with the public, with our partner organization to refine, streamlined, and coordinate within the department our outreach policies. a couple of things we have identified that we would
9:24 am
definitely like to do is the film commission, when they require the production companies to do it all reach, they actually have an approved flyer with the approved language by the commission that they've been give to the production company. the production company fills in the specifics. they get it back to staff. staff approves that, and that is what goes out. i think that is something we would like to adopt for our large permitted even. undertaking an effort to update and improve our distribution lists. a lot of that is just pulling what our sister agencies have, and improving what we have. again, our new web site, we hope, will be a big key to this, and lastly, the general manager has asked that we make sure, whether it is an article or colorado or just this kind of bullet point of it in community newspapers about what we're doing in that community, so we
9:25 am
will be doing that by community. probably starting in the fall. so those are sort of the things we have identified in addition to coming to you and coming to the public and asking for your feedback, that we would definitely like to undertake before we come back to you to approve the policy. commissioner buell: questions? commissioner sullivan. commissioner sullivan: i wanted to ask, your job is to focus on our reach and that kind of thing, but how do you make sure that the rest of the department of planning and capital, etc. -- how do you ensure that they know to do the right thing when they have a project. -- frank, that is one of our challenges. as i think you have heard the general managers say, i believe 50% of our staff this in an e- mail, so communicating those things within the department and making sure things are actually run through a channel and
9:26 am
authorized before they go out is one of our biggest challenges. i do not have a great answer for that. i hope to when i'm back here in to dinner with our policy. >> i want to chime in on that because i would like to present a slightly more optimistic view which is that sarah has presented the different channels and the job -- if necessary. policy changes, permit and events, capital projects, and what is really, frankly, in your area for us as we figure out how to solve our way out of budget challenges rather than cutting our staff, but by making money, and we try to work to become a little bit more financially sustainable, it is the rfp and lease process. we have four channels, we have a team that primarily focuses on. our permits and reservations division focuses on special
9:27 am
events and permitting issues. our planning capital team focuses primarily on capital projects. the general manager's office focuses for the most part on the larger policy change conversation, so while staff is -- will continue to fluctuate from time to time, maybe we will get new staff in, but i think as we develop protocols for each of those subject matter areas, i think we could actually very effectively manage specific personnel changes, and as you can see, i think we actually, but typically in our planning and capital group, we have very specific things we did with respect to our capital project. we are very lucky to have sarah on board. as everyone knows, there has been a lot of time at city hall, board of district supervisors. i do not know how many people understand the need and importance of community outreach more than sarah, and we're giving her time to build the systems that are necessary. >> you ask for input.
9:28 am
i do have a couple of suggestions. one is that we are doing a lot more facilities leases and we used to, and i think we ought to have an ironclad rule that if we're doing something to a facility, that the notice ought to be on the facility carries as the most likely place people are going to find out about it. i'm sure there's a certain amount of judgment in deciding how much outreach to make. it is not always a bright line. we are a department that knows where something is going to be controversial, i could desperately bend over backwards to go the extra mile because when we have competition, on policy, that is the last thing we want to hear, but the other last thing is i did not find out about this until yesterday kind of thing. commissioner harrison: this is all in new project that is being put together. >> essentially what i am reporting to you our existing policies.
9:29 am
capital division, as i said, has the most robust and codified policies. they have a handbook that you can go to the new p.m. that does have an outreach chapter. one of my undertakings is going to be to update that. this is -- in terms of actual establishment of a policy for the commission to adopt, yes. i think we will be making some tweaks to our practices as we evaluate them and what to make them more robust, but this is not a new endeavor for the department. we spend -- as you know, i engaged in a community outreach. >> you mentioned in one of the kermit sections about a sponsor noticing. we are the sponsors, right? so i noticed the 500 feet more round of a particular area