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tv   [untitled]    August 3, 2010 10:00am-10:30am PST

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laurel hill. we received two proposals for merced heights and one for lewis. as i mentioned, i finally in march contacted city college after mass oing view approached the park about the two facilities. and told them that -- that, reminded them that there was -- there was an r.f.q. out. i was told they had no money to participate as far as rent is concerned. so, i told them that -- that we would not pursue anything until after their spring term because everything that had already been advertised for their classes and we didn't want to preclude their activities there, so then i proceeded with -- discussions with the language in action. >> a couple of the -- of the parents speaking had said that they would not -- you know a continuance would be a burden on them, because they -- they needed to make a decision about a preschool in the near future.
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if the schools in existence around the corner, i didn't understand that comment. >> i think amory could answer that better than i could. >> identify yourself. >> i'm amory donahue. i'm the founder of plan in action. since 2003, we have been operating as a private recreational program out of 2830 baker street. when -- when i have -- i got the r.f.p. via e-mail. i was like, wow this is a great opportunity but at that time i wasn't interested. we were happy in our location -- state licensing has changed. i can no longer operate as a private recreational program. i need -- i need to become a preschool. so licensing came to me and they said, you either have to have the children for just four hours or become a preschool.
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why aren't you a preschool? and -- so, we wanted to keep our -- our children in the program. i wanted to keep my employees employed. so i had to very quickly find a new location. i cannot stay at 2830 baker street. i'm not expanding the program, i'm actually -- the program will be slightly smaller and i have to be at two locations, not an one location. so i was very -- i picked up phone and tried to find the right person at rec and park because they're recalled seeing the e-mail about the r.f.p. i was happy to find out, quite surprised that they were still available. so that is when -- when tom and i started -- visiting the site and figuring out how we could coexist with the community. it was -- it one a natural --
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unnatural to me because my neighborhood playground was there and i had that framework. we been coexisting in the cal holl hoe play ground since 2003, going up there as visitors. i knew it was really important that we made decisions so that we could complaint to coexist. as i stated earlier, the parents that are in our program are living in this community. so -- so we have to leave 2830 baker street and go to the locations. parents -- it is very hard to find preschool for children in the city, especially if you're a working parent. if you look at my schedule -- i'm very -- it is odd for preschools. i tried to accommodate the working parents. i tried to accommodate the stay at home parents. that's why we half day and full
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day programs, so we could open our arms to all families. my parents have been very patient. this has been going on for -- for quite a while. they have been patient but they're getting nervous. they're -- their school starts and we can't continue to stay where we are. >> i don't want to -- to interrupt but if you could answer. what will happen if you don't get this lease? what will you do? >> i'm going to have to tell me parents that i don't have a place for their children and jobs for my teachers. >> i have other questions for staff. thank you. the three years of -- of nonpayment under the he's, could we get background on that? >> actually, i have beep with the department oaf a period of 15, 16 years. when i first was with the department, i know they paid --
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they paid rent. then i left the department and i came pack. i noticed that rent was not being paid by them. i remember it was difficult sometimes because -- between two agencies. it was not because they were being difficult, it was difficult to contract the money. i investigated this later after we started looking into this. and there was -- maybe phil or an interim manager, and talk about this had because -- there was -- it was supposed to be a sharing of a situation with funding. they were supposed to be offering tuition for some of our recreation directors in lieu of the rent. i'm not sure that's happening anymore. >> i can shed like on that. it speaks to the notify and outreach issues. i think for a period of time that predates me and frankly proceeded -- preceded blumenthal, there was in-kind
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tax credits not just for the space but our overall relationship with city college. they also use -- use significant number of our fields -- and not just this facility but other facilities as well. i think it is an important time to point out that we have a very strong relationship with city college. it transcends this particular department and this particular class. during the course of the last year that i have been on the job, i have actually had conversations with -- with trustee chair milton marks who specifically requested that when this issue was ripe six months ago that we delay six months because the class had already been put in the program guide. i have had conversations with -- with the chancellor, with chancellor griffen, we have had a few conversations with peter goldstein about this. this was a letter that again repredated my tenure as g.m. in june asking for a reconciliation with city college on various deeds for fields and facilities.
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there has been a year's worth of e-mail back and forth with city college and also -- also involving some of the -- of the group that is are here today. they discuss the challenge of not having -- having the -- the facility out there not leased in some of the budget challenges of our department and our desire to put out an r.f.q. and things that tom talked about. so, you know, sort of time back -- back to the outreach issue. we came here today, you know, the item proceeded and said look, there are ways in which we need to do better on outreach. this happens to be one where there's -- there's well oaf a year's worth of communication back and for the. while maybe not everybody -- knew exactly what was going on at every time, there's a definite -- there's a deff fit effort by the department as tom said, we actually did post notices at facility. we put out a survey asking people what kind of usage they like to see in the facility.
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we have had a number of -- there's been a lot of back and forth about this. so, there was a history of payment. i think city college ran into financial challenges. i can't speak as to whether the department stopped collecting. i think because we have a great relationship with city college and we do believe in their mission. i think -- i think, as somebody said today, these are great programs. another thing to think about is -- you have a decision before you today -- but there are other opportunitys for us to continue to partner with city college on a program like this. you'll hear an. mation item that was supposed to come before this but because of the length of the hearing, president bule took us out of order to accommodate the people that came. but for six months, we have wean talking about the fact that we can't staff our club hows anymore. the budget impacts are very real. we have been searching where we can't identified community partner that is are consistent
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with our mission to help keep the space active. what we don't want to do and we do have a current -- a current tenant in laurel, that's different than callow hill but at cal holl hoe. at cal hollow, the choice cha is before you this tenant on august 16th which is where we cut oaf to the new model, the facility will be closed. we're interested in working with the community moving forward on -- on thinking about other creative ways to try to -- to -- to keep the spaces open. we have been -- for 12 months talking about the need for -- more community engagement and support and philanthropy. we just delivered a grant for -- to provide an extra day of programming at jolie rec center, which is not dissimilar from this. i could see additional grants for additional clubhouses. that's context. >> i have one last question, i
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apologize for that. i hear the department saying there's been conversations with -- with the current tenant and with the c. ccsf for a long time. there is a suggestion that we have heard for a continuance for another month, as i understand t the idea would be that the community would raise money for the current tenant to be able to afford the lease. i like to hear from the department how u think about the equities of that idea. >> part of the problem i think goes to what i had asked you about the seed situation. we had investigation on the seed whether we could charge rent for the programs. those programs are funded by state money. >> let me interrupt andcy, i think the proposal, there would be to the rec and park department. i like to hear from the department.
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do you think that -- >> maybe we should ask the city attorney if that's something we could do. >> there is -- the president points out, there's a distinction here. city college under the -- this is a noncredit course, it gets reimbursement from the state for the attendance. this is like -- >> like an a.d.a. >> it is like a parenting class. that's the decision. an education program either for parents or for the children is your choice. they can't they precluded from state law since they have a funding source, from charging the participants in the program. that doesn't prevent them or somebody on their behalf paying rent for the space they used. >> got it. >> commissioner sullivan, how do we feel about getting a donation to keep the city clean program in the states versus having language in action. if -- if the community a year ago or nine months ago or six months ago or three hawpes ago had come together to say we like to make a donation to keep the
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city clean in the space, we would have been thrilled. we would have been thrilled. we have been working very hard to make sure that the doors stay open on august 16th and all of our clubhouses. we have been working in gate faith with partners that match the mission as the park and rec department do so. we spent time on this. that isn't to say that folks coming at the 11th hour don't deserve to be heard. i do wish that when we had started connecting with the community about -- about the -- that folks really believed that it was true. we have spoken to members of the community and said, we attended those meetings, we heard you. until we heard that you were actually going to put somebody else in the space, somebody that could pay, we didn't believe it was going to happen. it puts us in a tough position. we have been out there trying to do what we been tasked to do, which we been telling people we were going to do and now people finally believe we have to do what we're going to do. we're saying, okay. you yow know what, if you come up with the money, we rescind on
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commitments we made to partners. so -- i would have been thrilled had they come forward a little earlier about a proposal like this. now it is really hard for us to ask these families, ask amory to put her plands on -- mans on hold when we have been negotiating for three months and everybody knew about it. >> before i ask the commissioner, the representative from supervisor alioto's office, i want to get a clarification on -- on the issue of the clubhouse going dark at cal hollow if the proposed he'ses don't go forward. that's not an option, the supervisor is comfortable with. nobody wants a dark clubhouse. the supervisor would like to see something -- something in the clubhouse. if -- i don't know if we could shorten the lease from five years to two years and give the community a year to start
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working on a plan but -- i also if i can correct one thing. mr. hart pointed out i incorrectly stated something up here. i hate being wrong but it was language -- >> don't we all. >> it is okay. it was language at play. it doesn't diminish my point. the point is supervisor alioto is a mother of though i'm a mother of two, we understand how great language this action is. we understand what they provide to the community. we're just bringing forward some concerns that our neighborhood groups have brought to us. dark clubhouses are not what we want. this is not what our neighbors want. and -- if somehow we could shorten the lease, five years is a long time and maybe do something with the community to take back our clubhouses, i think that might be an opposite too. >> thank you so much. >> commissioner lev tan. commissioner levitan: to what we talked about earlier, we're sort of living it here. douked a lot and it is not
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enough. it is he said and she said. i'm satisfied there was affair amount of outreach here. i think we have e-mails and letters that suggested the folks that aren't crazy about this knew something about it a year ago. this is something that the department has worked very hard on. that's really clear. i appreciate so much the efforts that have gone into this. i think this is an impossible situation for us. given or budget situation, as president buell said, this is splitting the baby. so i feel like -- the work of the commission, the work of the department in the last year has been really well thought out. i'm sorry if there are people that feel they haven't been heard. what i feel is -- i'm sfwatsed -- satisfied with the amount of outreach. i really like the idea of this program in these locations. i like the idea of something dynamic, not to suggest the program that was there before wasn't dynamic, frankly if they were there 40 years, there's a good chance i went to the
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program because i grew up there. my daughter goes to the playground and my new daughter will as well. i'm uncomfortable with the idea of the program being kicked out. i think that the work that city clean has done is wonderful. i might ask staff if there is -- is a place in the neighborhood where this program possibly could continue. so some neighbors. the only thing that comes to mind would be julius kahne. i'm wondering if that is something. i know members of the community have concerns, if that's something that could maybe allay concerns and still be a source of -- a source of -- for, for some of the folks that have used it. then before you -- before you become a tenant, i suggest that as a maybe consolation there to keep that program going. i think it is time to make a decision. they have waited long enough.
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i want to see us move forward. i appreciate the concerns of the community that it is a long-term lease. as we talked about a few minutes ago, if the city's fortunes reverse, we have a different set of concerns. you know. concerns that we could only hope for. when our when the budget changes. so i'm wondering if, to -- to the point, maybe we could shorten the lease and amory, i know that's not ideal for you. looking to -- to find a way to make this work for everybody today, go from maybe five years instead of something like a two-year but with a year's notice. you know. it -- discussion. you know, at least you get a heads up for every year. so i, thatst what -- i want to say to my colleagues, it is time to decide this. this is an exciting program. it is a way to frankly bring more users to parks that -- parks that maybe wouldn't use them otherwise. if there's a way to preserve the
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city college program that -- at the same time at another park, that would be great. maybe we shorten the lease. maybe that's something that could work for everybody. >> commissioner? commissioner bonilla: i'm very concerned with the displacement of the city college program. i am -- i'm particularly concerned because it seems like -- we didn't really work with them too well to put together a -- to put together some relocation strategies. you norks because i think that -- i think that is the right thing to do. whenever we're -- we're taking back a property, i think -- i think we definitely have to have some very serious in depth discussions with those -- with whoever is our in our facilities about the rae re location and -- making sure that we -- we leave
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no stone unturned, to make sure they're relocated. i have a feeling -- the feeling i'm getting right now is we're -- we're kicking out, we're bleeding out displacing -- of -- of bona fide organizations that serves youth. i hone, that -- that really -- does do -- does do a good service for the for the residents of san francisco. maybe this -- shorter lease will help. but i think we ought to do better than that. i think we ought to -- really look at -- at, having a discussion with -- with city clean on -- city college on what if anything that we could do to -- to make sure that those
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children out there, those parents have a place to be. we cannot -- our commission cannot be seen at this point in time as -- as not being sensitive to the needs of that -- that group. so i want us to commit today to work with them. to make sure that this is not seen as an out and out displacement of an important group in the city. >> what we should have commenced these conversations earlier, can i tell you that -- we -- >> i can't believe we didn't have a plan. >> we did commence the conversations internally actually within the department about alternative locations for city college. i -- it is premature to tell you exactly which locations they are. we want to do the appropriate outreach with the communities to find out whether it would be a good match.
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we did want to find some place nearby. we were investigating with our attorney general, whether we could built it -- build it into the cost system. they're things we were thinking about. it was because -- this is happening somewhat quickly. we weren't prepared to talk about it today, it is a priority for the department and those conversations have begun. >> commissioner? commissioner levitan: i want to add on. i feel the same way, i have excerpts but at the same time my feeling is if city college at the time -- felt strongly, they could be responsive with the contact we initiated with them. i think we're trying to do the right thing for the users of that program. it would have been nice for city college to care as well. >> and some -- sometimes you don't know what you have until cure about to -- you're about to lose it. >> i want to reiterate our commitment to the city college. we -- we very much share a
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mission. you know, city college is also in the recreation business quite frankly and there's a hot of simbi yose sis? in terms of shared space and instruction. we have a broad commitment to work with city college. and we'll absolutely continue those discussions. we have -- as you know, we have lots of facilities where we're in a position where we need programming. we'll work in the neighborhood, and perhaps in new neighborhoods and communities to try to keep this program going. i am -- with respect to this particular program just so you understand that there really were some -- a lot of significant back and forth, over -- over a -- two-year period actually and you know, i don't know that you need more discussion. if you do, the individual in the room that has the most continuity is our deputy
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director of operations skearns. there's a lot in the file to show that we have been engaging for a long time with city cleem on this particular issue. >> let me ask a question. i don't know if it is more appropriate to ask a city college or staff. do we have other locations where city college provides this service in san francisco? >> maybe city college could answer that. >> let me ask city clean that. city college that. >> we have had e-mail exchanges over the past two years. i have been the department chair for three years. when i started as chair, we were actually in -- in nine park and rec facilities if san francisco providing child observation services. when -- i have had, i dealt with three different park and rec directors and -- so -- and terry
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schwartz and folks that are not available right now, who i have met with. so communication has been challenging. i feel like i have been to meetings with someone and then -- >> you had nine lobes. what happened to those nine locations? >> there's also been a concurrent movement on -- on -- the -- the behalf of park and rec to provide fee for service programming at different facilities. i would say two of the facilities specifically mission rec center and eureka where we had a multiple day programming, we were actually in conflict with fee for service programming at park and rec. our -- our classes are rhea and again they're not for the children, they're for the parents. this is parent education and they are free. so when there's a free program for parents with children, operating next door to a fee for service program, there -- there can be a youth conflict.
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we -- we were -- we were requested that we leave ins i have been chair at west portal, we were at west portal. we were asked to leave because there was programming going in this. >> programming. i guess -- >> our services were cut back at eureka because they were -- they were in competition with the service programming. mission rec. we attempted to provide services at jolie and because we are funded through -- through a portion -- apportionment through a.d.a. we didn't have the numbers after a three month commitment to maintain that section. >> there have been a variety of reasons, part with rec and park looking for fee for service operators. >> correct. >> i guess my first observation about that is -- this trend has been going on for a while. this isn't new to city college. but -- be that as it may, the question that i was getting at
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is the service you're roadwaying is that to serve a geographic area or anybody in the city. what is the practical experience of that? >> we primarily serve the neighborhood. many family dos walk and -- and come from the immediate neighborhood, although we're open and free to any parent who brings a kiled, the parent enrolls as a student. and they're able to participate one day a week, one day a month or five days a week. >> got it. >> are there occasion when is the children are there and not the parent? >> absolutely not. a r as -- we operate licensed facilities. i'm the manager of all of them. the licensing regulations when you leave your children are very stringent. they're very cumbersome. i work with licensing quite intimately at our five programs. there's square footage
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requirements and exclusive use of yard space requirements and exclusive bathroom requirements. so these are courses where parents coming with -- come with their children. we would not be able to outfit the clubhouse. we're a licensed childcare facility. >> there's not a circumstance with a babysitter would come there and be there? >> that would be allowed. >> who is getting benefit of that? >> the adult. it is a parent education component where -- the primary curriculum, the curriculum delivered is to the adult. in your own words on child development principles and what children are doi6 c1 in your own words on child development principles and what children are doing at different ages, it is not the child, so i think there's a distinction. >> okay. thank you. my last observation then is -- and i think it may be yet another elephant in the room is that -- if julius kahne were available and the neighborhood could be worked out with the
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outreach program and it suited the needs that -- because you're not necessarily site specific and laurel heights is not too far from that location, that you may keep your -- a good portion of the constituents, if that were the effort to keep your service available under the circumstances that you find yourself with, which is financially constrained. >> well -- in theory yes. three years ago i did attempt to try to meet with personnel at park and rec. that was around two distinct issues. one is -- it was terry schwartz specifically. one was to develop a plan whereby which we could come up with a shared use plan for the city of san francisco. where we could maximize our programming which is free and serve our mission and also -- allow for park and rec to maximize the use of their space. i have to say, i didn't get very
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far in the manning. there was so much upheaval from the -- from primarily park and rec, i'm still here, it was difficult to go long-range planning. our program was chiseled away and we had to relocate. we relocated some of our -- our programs to community nonprofits as well as pulled back and relocated to our campus locations. however, i think as a -- as a fran resident and parent -- i think park sites are very appropriate sites for parenting and -- especially parenting programs where you bring children. i have to say in any other circumstance, r, i would be, this is not a side issue, i would be advocating for more childcare in san francisco and as i said, many of the staff of this program are my students. so i am -- i'm feeling somewhat torn -- >> i understand. >> but