tv [untitled] September 28, 2010 8:30pm-9:00pm PST
to lead. it was a noble motion to equalize, i think that the people that built this wanted to see everyone have a chance to be here and have the opportunity. the disability community strongly supports moving forward. every time you do not vote in support of this, [unintelligible] i know you will have a conscience vote on this. president chiu: are there any other members of the public? public comment is closed. if we could take a vote on the motion to set as a committee? supervisor chu: aye. supervisor daly: aye. supervisor dufty: aye.
supervisor elsbernd: aye. supervisor mar: aye. supervisor maxwell: aye. supervisor alioto-pier: aye. supervisor avalos: aye. supervisor campos: aye. president chiu: aye. this motion is approved. if you could call atoms 28-30? >> the certificate of appropriateness in order to make the president's desk accessible to persons with disabilities. item 29 is approving the certificate of appropriateness. item 30 is the motion disapproving. president chiu: why don't we open up item 28 for the public hearing, alterations to the
legislative chamber. i know after the colleagues that wish to make opening comments, we have representatives from the mayor's office on disability and the public works. i want to acknowledge supervisor alioto-pier. supervisor alioto-pier: i want to think the mayor's office for all the work they have done. really the only comment i want to make is just a clarification that this is about making both the podium accessible and also making it accessible where the court sets. this will enable the board of supervisors to higher people in the clerk's office to sit exactly where she is sitting. i think that is important to make that distinction. president chiu: why don't we
turn it over to the mayor's office on disability? >> we have a power point presentation that might help. i wanted to review some of the history and the processes that brought us to this point. not only voting today on the design the would make the podium and the clerk's desk accessible, if we could bring up the document camera and go to the history, there we go. we can take the history slide? next slide? thank you. the earthquake and the renovations that occurred after in city hall triggered access improvements throughout city hall, a historic building.
we have beautiful access with the exception of the board of supervisors chamber. we know that the architect at the time recognized the need to make accessible, but they were unable between the disability community to come up with a design that would work during the actual renovation of city hall. we assembled a team of experts, both historic preservation and access experts. those familiar with the renovation -- there were 18 formal separate designs that involved a number of options. the process from 2004-2007, it was to the rules committee of the board of supervisors with
options we were able to find. those options were viewed as the next year with the joint session of the disability council and the landmark preservation board. we narrowed it to the two best options interview that formally with important stakeholders. and the board of supervisors staff narrowed it to option 10, that was lowering the podium. in 2007 and 2008, the committee approved the project, and it was appropriated by the board of supervisors. also in 2007, we assembled a panel of experts to provide a review for the final design and contribute some discussion to that.
we got the final and formal presentations presented to the city hall preservation advisory commission. all of which approved that design unanimously. in march of 2008, the certificate of appropriateness was voted down. we're coming back to you with this final design that lowers the president's podium three steps so it is 12 inches above floor level and lowers the clerk's podium 14 inches away from the president podium toward the center of the room to provide access. and we would build a short ramp, and if we could have the next slide, this is a tutorial demonstration of what this would look like with the handrail slightly different. as you can see from that slide,
it preserves all of the president's desk and the historic detail, providing with a very short wrap -- ramp. it vantage is with a disability access perspective, this design is that we have a ramp, not a lift which is strongly preferable. a lift would be noise and interrupt proceedings and probably break down. the ramp is short, so access is quick and direct. they're ready access to both the president's podium and the clerk's desk. the perspective is that the small footprint it creates in
the chamber, it is the latest work that would be done in the chamber of all of the designs we have considered. it preserves, as i said, features of the desk and the historic function so that we don't abandon the podium altogether. the action before you today is to approve or disapprove appropriateness. the funding mechanism will be brought to you at a later date. i would be happy to entertain any questions. president chiu: any questions for the head of the mayor's office of disability? supervisor avalos: a question
about -- was there ever a discussion about, you mentioned the end of your summary was doing away with completing the president's dyad-- this seems to me, the best way i would like to be able to do witit. that raised platform seems like an antiquated 19th century idea of what it is like to have legislative chambers, someone separate up there from the rest of us. i wonder if there were other designs having the equivalent of what we had here with the clerk and the president of the board working side-by-side.
i also know from experience of watching the president conduct business here, and having a clerk at next to the president is an important function. i wonder if there was a discussion about configuration that would provide ample access for people with disabilities. >> there was a great deal of discussion about that as an alternate design. there were a couple of reasons why that approach was rejected. the most important perspective is that we did not trust that the podium would be permanently
there. once they don't have someone in a wheelchair on the board like we have changes in administration, someone wants to use the president's podium, we would have one of two situations. we would start using the podium again and we would have another situation, or we would have a backlash against the disability community. this is a common occurrence. why do we need to use it? ada is just a ridiculous law. we get that all the time. another thing i can say to the design is simply that when you remove three steps, the desk will be much closer to where it is right now. it will be much more of the experience, closer to the board
of supervisors. there is room at the desk to have both the president and the clerk side-by-side if that is what they choose to do. and from the preservation perspective, it is not that we remove the podium altogether. we couldn't just take it. >> i guess the question is, how much did you explore creating a space at this level that would provide ample room for access? >> it would be one of the designs that we explore the most. it was very thorough. it was a strong competitor to the design that we have settled on. >> it seems like if we make that change in investment, that
argument about having the podium up there, it is something begging to be done. i don't think that is necessarily the case. if we create access at an hour -- a lower level -- >> starting over with not only cost us a great deal of money, but delay us many years again. personally, from the disability community, i have heard that we would never feel that there was a permanent resolution for access. we would still have a president 's podium there. we will use that for the clerk, and the person who is the president would like to be up
higher and have a fuller view of the room. it would start using the podium again. there is nothing that we could do to permanently block off the president without changing it. >> i understand that it was used by the mayor and the board chambers at not necessarily the president of the board. >> it is used by any number of people depending on the use of this room. there could be pressure from any number of different parties. if the governor comes to visit and is holding a session and he asks to be able to use the podium and wants to walk up the steps, i think it would be very hard for whoever is the clerk of the board at the time making that decision to say that you
cannot go up to the president's podium. and we would have been inaccessible feet -- seat of power. supervisor daly: i am having some of the same issues as supervisor avalos. there is one thing going on from the office of disability, but what hasn't seemed to happen, if we are going to do a significant redesign, this department, what does the board of supervisors want? it has been in front of us before, so we know what we don't want. for all the time and energy put into how to make this accessible, i was never asked
whether or not i think this are re should be rearranged to moving forward for future boards. i am not going to be here, but i agree with supervisor avalos, this whole notion that whether a person with a disability needs to be up in some perch looking over the other members of the board of supervisors. whatever number it is, this is a much more kind of hands-on work with the president, these chairs -- i would prefer to see them on the same level that other members of the board of supervisors.
i have never been asked that question. it seemed like that would be our presence. i am wondering if we can lower the current perch, why can't we leave it the way it is and take out the steps? it would be very difficult for me to even get up there wanted to. -- if i wanted to. i move forward with the design, ideally bringing it down to the floor level. that way there is proper clearance in the back. that would seem to be what is right. we can put something in the ballot, in the charter that
this would be the president's spot. you don't say that you trust future administrations, they can put another million dollars of work to redo it or change it. all sorts of things. what about taking up the steps? -- out the steps? >i might be overestimating my climbing ability. >> the concern about simply removing the steps is financial, that is not the expensive part of this. there is nothing that would prevent any president from a newly accessible design 14
inches. supervisor daly: i am recommending a charter amendment. >> with the design will have presented, the president and the clerk could still set at the desk if that is what they chose. they would not need to use the podium. supervisor daly: i am saying i don't want that torus available. >> i thought you wanted to the president and the clerk -- and supervisor daly: to be on the same level. >> they can choose to do that. supervisor daly: you are not hearing me. i don't want the choice. this is what is frustrating. when i might have been at the
beginning of this process, i don't agree. i haven't been consulted. i voted against it once, but this is a bit frustrating. it seems like we have a department in the public chamber, but it is controlled by the board of supervisors. i don't sense that there is -- the president needs to be oup, probably because there is only one president. that is sort of the feel. we want to change that, and this is a good opportunity. it will be even more accessible than a ramp.
there are different levels of accessibility, why not make it as close to 100% accessible and drop it on the floor, not have a ramp with an incline that is more difficult to access that ground-floor level? i would get rid of the top thing if we could. we could make it accessible for everybody. >> i disagree with you in terms of the consultation. i had spoken with everyone's staff or invited discussion with everyon's staff with two exceptions. this time around, i was told you were not interested in talking with us. there have been many opportunities for supervisors to participate in the discussion.
supervisor daly: i still disagree with you. supervisor campos: think you, mr. president. just a follow-up question for the department. in terms of doing different designs, the one that is presented to us, how much additional time are we talking about if we wanted to go that route? >> we would have to start the process all over again. supervisor campos: thank you. you know, i am not someone who has a history that people who have bet on the board have, and i certainly don't have the history of involvement on this issue.
from my perspective, i don't know that i would choose this specific design. i do think that supervisor avalos and supervisor daly have a point about where the president is in terms of the rest of the board. i don't think the person should be higher than the rest of us. be that as it may, what i am interested in is how do we make the entire chamber accessible. beyond the practicality which is important, there is a symbolism that comes with making every area accessible, whether it is used by the president or an area that is used by the mayor. i think that accessibility is important, whether you have a member of the board that will
benefit from that or not, i can see how the community -- that symbolism is something that is very meaningful. i am not interested in beginning a process, even after the end. i can see how maybe it would result in a happier one. i would want to make this accessible as quickly as possible. i understand the points that are being made by my colleagues. supervisor daly: just on the design process, did one design say -- let me ask this to the folks who have some building and
engineering background. how do you come up with a design and not have options that we want, and alternate design or an alternate plan? that you have to start all over? it seems that this project, the most sophisticated and most complex being the bridge build right now or the transit center, you are never in a place to go a different direction that you are all the way back to square one. was this by design that if we rejected it, if we wanted an alternative, we would have to start all over?
that way we would not be able to engage and talk about some of the different possibilities? >> supervisor daly, first of all, i appreciate the frustration of being posed with only one choice. it makes it somewhat of an upper down position and it is not the best position to be in. supervisor daly: you can change things and it is not like all of the work is lost. you make the alterations. i am confused that the head of the office of disabilities says that if we want something that has elements of your proposal but is a bit of a different path, we would have to start
over again. that makes no sense. >> in terms of getting construction documents ready for a different design, it would not be a significant effort. we would have to pay to get that work done, but that is not really what the time of the restart would really impact. this did start with 18 different designs that went through a lot from the city hall preservation committee, the landmarks preservation board, the disability community, to get to a point where it was narrowed down to seven or eight. and then, in the end, there was only one that was able to get through stakeholder groups and processes that have the
consensus to move forward. it is not an issue of engineering design. the process included a peer review directed by the board of supervisors president. there have been points where tehe board weighed in as well. i appreciate that you believe this is not the best design. the alternative design would be significantly different in cost. it would not be huge, but getting a certificate approved to come back would require vetting through all of those committees.
i did not have the exact history of all the process. it went through many different groups, and this was the design that came out of that process. it would be going back through those groups that would be the time and effort, not generating the construction documents with this. supervisor daly: i know a little bit about how government works at this point. you know, look, if we had a design that has been half vetted, that is not the preference of some stakeholders but that actually would work for the board of supervisors and would be more accessible than the current design and we said this is what we want, i believe that unless there is friction