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tv   LIVE Ethics Commission  SFGTV  November 28, 2016 5:30pm-8:01pm PST

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luc richard c . welcome,
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ladies and gentlemen to the delayed regular meeting for november 28th, 2016 of the san francisco ethics commission. i will first call the roll. vice-chair keane. >> here. >> commissioner chiu. >> here. >> commissioner hayon has been excused due to illness. and we are expecting commissioner kopp to arrive shortly. and before calling for public comment, i want for the record to acknowledge that
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all commissioners received a cookie, which i understand is from the friends of ethics celebrating the passage of proposition t and i'll have to check with the city attorney as to whether or not that gift of a cookie has to be reported on our form 700? it doesn't? all right, good . thank you. calling item no. 2 on the agenda. public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda. let me just say, thank you to the friends of ethics for their support of proposition t, and thank you for the cookie. it's very nice. i don't know about the $100 bill that is inside mine though [laughter ]. i didn't get $100.
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>> good evening. [ inaudible ] okay. good evening, david pelpal, interesting to hear about the cookie, was it a sugar cookie? a couple of quick things, i. 4 which was withdrawn from the agenda i'm just wondering if the item was just continued for a future meeting? >> director pelham, can you explain. >> yes, to clarify the request for the waiver was withdrawn along with the item. >> got it. and the staff report -- used an old templet and it
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was a sarif font -- the other general item i wanted to call to your attention, some of the charts on item 5 and the executive director's report have different -- it appears to be they in different colors or different some things. if there is a way to convey that information better, if not in color, that would be helpful. because i was trying to figure it out. the particulars weren't that important to me, but may be important to others, but otherwise the information was great. >> thank you, any other public comment? >> hello larry bush on behalf of friends of ethics. general comment that you may touch in later reports in looking over the campaign finance reports for the last november election, there are a flush of independent expenditure committees that appear to be cycling money
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back and forth between earth and found san franciscos for friends that work and friends of the -- protect san francisco, san franciscans against wasteful spending progress san francisco and several other better known long-lasting groups like spur and sf forward, where they would have some of the same consultants. in some cases they also had the same principal officer, and they often had the same donor and sometimes money would go from one committee to another committee to a third committee. so the whole issue of tracking the money gets very convoluted. i was tempted to get butcher paper and a magic marker to follow it, but i thought i would ask if you all would please do that as a public service. thank you. >> thank you. >> i won a case at the state court of appeal. i didn't
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have a lawyer. it was just me and i had no one to even look over the paperwork. and this had to do with a woman i didn't know. there was no basis for the filing. there was no evidence. i was not properly served and my due-process rights were violated and they charged after the wrong statute and this woman's name is barbara sklar, a commissioner with the arts commission. there is very little paperwork on her. she claims to have served under five mayors, but there is no record of that anywhere. for me it was very distressing to have these malicious charges put on me. i would say it took a year of mine time. i spent a lot of time in the law library myself and did everything on my own, but i'm sure it cost the city a lot of money. and there was no investigation at all. and i think that it was a
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waste of time. it was a malicious filing and it was meant to keep me out of 401 van ness avenue and for an artist prevented from a building that is primarily for the arts, that was a very -- i still can't make sense out of it. and i was hoping that by coming here, talking about it, it would make it less surreal for me. it was awful. i wouldn't wish it on anyone. >> thank you. any other public comment? i'll turn to agenda item 3. discussion and possible action on draft minutes for the commission's october 17th, 2016 special meeting. any commissioners have any additions, corrections?
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>> move approval. >> second. >> any public comment? on the draft minutes of the october 17th special meeting? i'll call the question, all those in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? hearing none, the motion -- minutes are adopted 3-0. and the record will reflect that commissioner kopp has just arrived fortunately as we move into the more substantive part of our agenda. as the record reflects item no. 4 was withdrawn. no. 5, discussion of enforcement program -- good evening. >> good evening, mr. chairman, excuse me for my lateness. >> discussion of enforcement report and highlighted various programmatic issues and activities of the
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commission's enforcement division, and i would ask ms. blome, if you would give us a little introduction, and discussion concerning all right no. 5. >> thank you, chair, i will turn it over to deputy director, director of enforcement and legal affairs jessica blome. >> good evening, commissioners. in the enforcement report this month i included a small synopsis of the fairly complicated sunshine ordinance regulations for handling matter s under the sunshine ordinance this commission passed several years ago. there are several items on the agenda tonight that deal with the sunshine ordinance and i wanted to give you some context before launching into those matters. just briefly to summarize what i have written, the first tract is chapter 2 referral. those matters are matters
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that the sunshine ordinance task force has already considered and they are already looked at the factual matter, considered the matter at a hearing, usually before committee and again before the full task force and issued some sort of order and determination for what they think mazhappened. has happened and an example of that was the task force considered the evidence and considered that matter over for referral. none of the matters on the agenda are task force referrals, but i thought i would include it so you can see the difference between the two. the chapter 3 referrals are matters that the commission ostensibly has authority to hear as an original matter. so you have the original jurisdiction to hear the matters and the first type of chapter 3 matters are where the complaint is alleging willful violation by the [sao-urb/] ordinance by department head and the second is where the task
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force has issues an order and sometime has gone by and neither the city attorney or district attorney has enforced that order despite being asked to do so. at that point you could take up the matter as a matter of original jurisdiction. and then the third is when staff initiates a complaint for violation of the sunshine ordinance on its own motion basically. on its own initiation. the first two subjects under that tract are clearly articulated in the sunshine ordinance itself and the third staff-initiated is one of the things that we'll look at when we look at sunshine ordinance regulations. in the it involves a matter where there is an allegation that an elected official or department head has committed a woeful violation of sunshine ordinance we don't find that staff has the authority to launch an investigation into any kind of violation of the sunshine
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ordinance. those matters should really go before the sunshine ordinance task force first. nevertheless those are the types of matters that we have tonight. and staff over the last several months has initiated its own investigations into various complaints. and we're presenting recommendations and reports to you on those as separate agenda items later. as you know, the available relief for anybody who has a sunshine ordinance complaint before the task force is the same whether under chapter 2 or 3. -- i'm sorry, did somebody say something? [ inaudible ]. i can't hear, you can order the respondent to cease and desist violation or produce the records and you ask the executive director to post a finding of violation of sunshine ordinance or ask the executive director to show warning letter to the
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respondent and authority of the violation. that is really the extent of our authority with violation of the sunshine ordinance. any questions on that portion of the report? >> do commissioners have any questions? i'm reading your memorandum. i had a number of questions in the second paragraph under "chapter 2 referrals." you say upon receipt of these referrals, staff reviews the sotf's findings, evidence and order. staff may then prepare a memorandum for the commission's consideration. if we believe further analysis would prove beneficial -- what does the staff do if it doesn't think it needs further analysis? >> it's just a pass-through referral. i think most of the referrals you have received from the
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task force have been pass-through referrals where you only receive the task force's order and the party's responses to the order and staff stays out of it. >> okay. >> i think that was the original contemplatation of chapter 2, but in the steve matter the facts were so confusing that staff thought it should weigh-in to sort of help the public and the commission along thanks. >> the remainder of the report is our general update we give every month. you'll note that our official complaint total is up to 30 now. we initiated a number of complaints during the election season. there will likely be more to come as a result of complaints filed with us over the election season. they are under preliminary review now, so you'll also note that the numbers of matters in preliminary review has gone up.
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i don't have the chart -- >> 87 matters are now in preliminary review. >> thank you. at the end the matters with -- sorry the matters under preliminary review and the bureau of delinquent review matters which they are diligently complecting collecting for us and we commend them for their great job. >> commissioner chiu? >> jessica, in terms of preliminary review, is it only the executive director who has the authority to make a determination whether or not a potential violation has occurred? >> yes. the executive director has to determine whether we have reason to believe a violation has occurred. >> okay. >> so after we go through the complaint, we just make an assessment of whether or not it's within our jurisdiction or whether it
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merits further investigation? if it merits further investigation we send to the city attorney and district attorney and once it is it's locked as a formal complaint. >> so there would be no possibility of delegating that review or sharing some of the workload? ? >> as a practical matter, the staff, all of the investigations in enforcement programs assist in that review and we present the executive director with a memorandum and recommendation. >> mr. chairman. >> commissioner kopp. >> i'm looking at page 4. the report active bureau of delinquentent revenue referrals, which five were identified and two against
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the same -- well, the same case, i guess. jackson, chris jackson, same case. >> different cases. he ran for election twice. >> different cases, all right. one of them, and one only a year-ago was reduced to judgment. do you get a report from the tax collector on what he is doing about collecting the judgment? >> we don't get regular updates, but when we inquire, they send us updates. our most recent update on this particular judgment was just within the last four weeks, and they have attempted to collect, but mr. jackson doesn't have any assets in the city. >> how have they tried to collect? >> they did not go into details about how. >> ask if they conducted an order of examination? >> okay. >> and ask them also, through the chair, with such
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request, what have they done on which committee to elect norman for supervisor? that is a referral going on a year-and-a-half. same thing with bob squeri for district 7 and same thing with isabelle and the second case of course is september 26th of this year. i'd like to know what they are actually doing. >> sure. >> and then the second part of the question, same subject-matter as my first meeting, we acted to penalize lynette sweet and that is not on here. is that because it hasn't
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been referred for collection? >> no. she has -- it's not -- the order isn't final for 30 days and she has some period of time after that to pay. i couldn't tell you how much. >> all right. >> but to at >> if i recall the total is 90 days post-order. >> >> give me that information, informally or otherwise. >> sure. >> the other type of question i have is on page 3, you summarize the type of complaints. but then on page -- i guess it's attachment 1, so it's got "1" under it. there are different words used to describe age of matters in preliminary review
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as of november 15. for example, i don't get it -- well,. i see what you mean. >> well, most of them do, i guess. i don't know. you've got -- maybe i guess they ared same or different word. >> for the purposes of table 1 of the report, governmental ethics being things like having political activity on city property or something like that. a conflict of interest would be a direct and financial interest in some activity that was happening. but for the purposes of the table, they have never been broken out that way and we didn't want to make the data
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-- we wanted to make the data look like what you normally seen and ethics include conflict of interest and governmental ethics activity. >> i have never seen it. thanks. >> any other commissioner comments? i'll call for public comment on agenda item no. 5. unfortunately the closed captioning isn't working. i have a hearing issue, but when discussing what i thought were the findings of the sunshine ordinance task force reviewing them and making sure they are supported by what was presented to them, and the committees there, by the
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task force. in any case, i understood that if you get a case that is referred from the task force, you have to hear it in a show-cause hearing. and a show-cause hearing, as i understand it, the respondent has the burden of establishing that whatever the complaint was it doesn't -- there is no merit to it. what i heard was that the staff here is going to evaluate the task force findings, which include at least two or three meetings of the full task force, and at least two meetings of a committee of the task force. and since the show-cause hearing is based on what the task force produces, i don't
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think it's appropriate for your staff to second-guess the task force, if that is what is happening. >> thank you. any other public comment? on agenda item 5? >> david pilpel. i was very interested in this item and i appreciate the summary that jessica provided. i do recall there was a difference between the chapter 2 referral and chapter 3 referral or matter, and it did have to do with whether the burden was shifted. so i'm sure staff can talk about that and the last version of the regs were adopted in 2013 as indicated. i believe there wass a follow-up hearing in the fall of 2013 and there was discussion about the handling of referrals from the task force and if i recall correctly there was a memo from then deputy director
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-- remind me of the former deputy director -- menardi to -- i think to the task force that memorialized the discussion that the commission had had in that meeting. as i say i think it was in the fall of 2013 and this memo was late 2013, 2014 and i'm sure you can find that and i think it would have clarified some of the understandings, but it did not go back and change the regs. there was a determination at that time and i don't know if you found that in going through stuff. >> yes. >> so i did remember it correctly? >> yes. >> so one of the things that i was concerned about, the regs sort of contemplate and the memo contemplates and tonight's agenda includes a number of sunshine ordinance complaints filed directly with the commission.
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there have been a couple of instances of that happening over time. i have never been a fan of that. i am of the belief that the sunshine ordinance really provides for complaints about violations of the ordinance to be routed to the task force, and that is the place to hear complaints. whether they handle them properly or not? if there is a referral from the task force, it comes before the commission, but this idea of having two venues that complainants can go to either the task force or commissioner or both potentially under the same underlying facts is troubling. i don't think that was the intent. i don't know if you ever asked the city attorney for an opinion on the ordinance? it's a little vague, admittedly on this 40 days, if no enforcement -- if no enforcement action is taken. but i do think that relates to enforcement of an order by the task force. and that is something that is kind of glossed over here.
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so this whole question of original jurisdiction, i think, is important. the amount of detail that is here about complaints, preliminary and formal, is very helpful. as i have said before, we can talk about bdr another time and i think the questions from commissioner kopp were right-on >> commissioner kopp has a question you may want to ask. >> well, i'm ask the city attorney: what is that the sunshine ordinance task force has the legal power to do that the ethics commission doesn't? >> the task force -- the task force basically issues orders of determination, which are then referred to ethics, but in terms of what the task force can itself impose? the answer is simply referring to the ethics commission. >> no, that is not my
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question. what subject-matter? >> oh, the subject-matter? >> does the sunshine ordinance task force have legal jurisdiction over, which the ethics commission does not? >> none. it's basically -- the sunshine ordinance task force has jurisdiction exclusively over sunshine violations -- sunshine ordinance violations, but there is nothing -- >> sunshine means what? open meetings versus closed meetings? >> right. so the sunshine ordinance was enacted by an act that amended in chapter 67 of the administrative code. . what year was it enacted? >> 1993. >> judge kopp, if i could interject? i don't want to
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disagree with the city attorney's office, but the sunshine ordinance task force does not appear to have jurisdiction over woeful violation by. all other violations of the sunshine ordinance, including open meetings and public records act and responses is with the sunshine ordinance task force in terms of investigation. >> to the exclusion of the ethics commission. >> the language would suggest that and the ethics commission is to handle the enforcement of orders issued by the task force. so if you think of yourselves as the enforcement authority for another body that does the evidentiary inquiry and investigation and makes the order, that is how the ordinance is setup right now. >> i think of myself as
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trying for the taxpayers to avoid duplication. but i have to do more studying. >> if i could respond to something mr. pilpel said? i did include and -- i did not include in my verbal -- i'm sorry, what? i did not include in my verbal summary, but i did include in my written summary that the respondent bears the burden of burden of proof in sunshine ordinance task force referrals to demonstrate he did not violate the law and i will add that staff's only role in a task force referral is to clarify or help explain the authority, because it's so confusing. we wouldn't interfere with the factual findings. >> thank you, i'm happy to discuss more -- >> -- i just wanted to
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say thank you and i'm happy to discuss further with jessica this issue. >> thank you. any other public comment on agenda item no. 5. >> public comment on agenda item no. 5, the reason why a member of the public might make a sunshine referral directly to the ethics commission as opposed to the task force is because of the make-up of the task force. while david pilpel did not address himself as a member of the public he was on the task force for quite a long period of time. and a lot of the things he did were illegal, and they were ethically wrong and there were a number of people, including myself, who came to the ethics commission because they did not feel that their complaints were heard fairly. >> and who are you? >> ann treboux. >> hearing no other
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comments, no other questions by the commission, we'll turn to agenda item no. 6. which is discussion and possible action on staff's report and recommendation for handsling ethics commission complaint no. 03160621. san francisco urban forest coalition versus john rahaim and sarah jones and mr. grossman, i believe that is subject to your comment. >> well, i understand i have ten minutes actually. is that right? >> correct. >> i won't have ten
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minutes' to say and actually i was going to begin my comments differently until i heard this last discussion. i'm probably one of the few people that was engaged directly with mr. st. croix in drafting the regulations that ultimately were adopted. he didn't follow many of the recommendations of the people on the task force that were interested, and decided to do things his way. but i did discuss the issue of the burden of burden of proof directly with a couple of the then commissioners and they felt that was the best way to go, rather than just enforcing, which is what the sunshine ordinance says. my complaint is a little different. but i think in background, i even wonder whether any of
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the staff that have come aboard recently have actually been to the task force meetings? because so much of their business could, and possibly should be driven by what the task force does. the complaints that are filed directly with the commission are very limited to department heads and elected officials. and the bulk, i'm sure, of what you get from the task force involves other people. i will try to make this short and direct it to the single issue raised by the complaint, which is the planning department's violation of the sunshine ordinance by its failure to provide public access to information that planning should have input into the two indices it creates to
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provide the public with public information. in its statutory role under ceqa, and the san francisco administrative code. i think this goes further to my point about the staff's orientation about public access. california has in its constitution the right of public access. it's constitutional here. it's not a statute. it's not some board issuing a rule. and what it says actually of an important part for our discussion is that a statute court rule or other authority, including those that affect on the effective date of this subdivision shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the
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right of access. so when you construe 6729, that is the way it has to be construed. but this complaint is not about the complainant not receiving copies of public records sought under a separate and different records request. this is a complaint about the public using its access to look at the information at the heart of the planning department's responsibility as the gatekeeper for ceqa. it's a state and city environmental laws. if you are not familiar with ceqa, you should know it affects almost everything that planning touchs from reviewing its own and other initiated legislation to review of small projects sought to be built in the city. so if they want to completely
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tear up geary boulevard to set in some red bus lanes, it's got to go through ceqa. and it's got to be reviewed by an agency and in san francisco it would be the planning department, unless -- i could go into that, but i won't. it's the most important environmental review that there can be. so the complaint is really about the planning department's to provide the path for that information, which is mandated by section 6729. it's not about the records that might have been identified if the planning department had fully complied with 6729 of the ordinance, which it has not. setting up the index doesn't provide any information. it just provides the structure for the information. and as we know under the
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sunshine ordinance, the content of any public record is public information, and it is accessible to the public. so the complaint is strictly focused on their delivered violation 6729. now that provision has been in effect at least since the year 2000. 16 years. the scope and level of planning's role and responsibility under ceqa and the city's administrative code has to be understood to comprehend the significance of planning. this environmental group deals with ceqa and the city administrative code. they have 13 separate
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subgroups, divided into various aspects of the kind of review required of the focus and has a staff of probably more than 30 people. all of this is happening at the same time, because that is all they do. so you figure out the number of ceqa-related reviews since this group was setup probably is -- it's staggering. it's probably thousands. so how can a member of the public, like me, quickly determine when and whether there was a ceqa review of a particular public or private project? or of legislation? without accessing the indices into which planning should have inputted the information and maintained it for all of these years? certainly since 6729 became law, which i think it was
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expanded in the year 2000 and the indexs were put in place by planning filing with the city administration. and the idea that this by creating the indices they have complied, which is what the report says nonsense. it's not the setting up of the indices, but the information that should have been put in there all of these years. i know, because i have asked for ceqa reviews, and what i get is a single sheet of paper, and that is the end of it. where is the file? well, we really don't keep notes. i'm talking about the reviewer. we don't keep notes. we don't show the amount of time we spent, you know? it's basically an empty well. and i'm talking about when they review legislation. i'm not just talking about a
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3-story walk-up. i'm talking about the better streets plan amendment, which was almost 200 pages long. the one-page report was, "it's exempt." period. no notes, nothing to show how much time was spent reviewing it? nothing. so in my view, they don't have any excuses, or any rationales for their failure to comply. the fact is that once i filed the complaint, they should have gotten right on it, but here we are. what? i filed it in april, may, june, july, august, september, october, november, seven months later, nothing. nothing. >> can i interrupt? >> yes. >> how did they get right on it if they don't have records? how do they get right on it? as i understand your
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complaint, it's based on the fact that they don't keep notes. how do they get right on it? what are they going to do? >> they don't keep notes and they don't keep records of their time. occasionally what you will see is is an email. i made about three or four records requests dealing with specific legislation, and recently with the geary avenue rapid transit project, if i only have 20 seconds left? >> i moved whatever-- >> anyway, the main thing is, i think, in my response to the report, i made it clear that i don't get how they could miss the issue? how could you miss the issue? i don't understand that. there is only one question:
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you either input the information, and make it accessible, or you don't. and they haven't. >> mr. grossman, part of the problem i have is that i don't know what you are saying that they should have produced for you that they don't -- that they didn't -- that they do have? >> it's not a question -- this is not a records request. my request to them was to identify the records that they have put into the system. into these two indices. i didn't ask for any. i made two records request. one was a general request related to the amendment to the better streets plan and i got a ton of stuff, hundreds, they say. it might have been hundreds. i'm not sure. i made a special request in an immediate disclosure request and it's right in the complaint.
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i talked about 6729. i didn't talk about where are my records? which would be 6721. i'm just trying to understand, you say they produced a hundred or whatever it was in response to your request. what is it that they didn't produce? >> they didn't produce any evidence that they had started to fill up the two indices. >> online, you mean? >> it's hard to separate the record from the information. but that is really what it is. in the database it's just information. it's not the record itself. so they should have that information, public information, in these two indices. why else create them? you know? it's like any database. i could create a database on
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excel that allows for all of this and never fill it any of the blanks. that is what this complaint was about. >> well, if i may? it sounds like to me -- >> 6729 requires them -- >> it sounds to me, mr. grossman, that -- either they don't make notes as they look at the ceqa statutes, and they look at the ceqa regulations, or if they do, they toss them. and what you are trying to do is make them a, keep notes on what they looked at, what statutes, what regulations, and b, that they make notes, keep the notes. isn't that it? >> and make it accessible. if they do 100 ceqa reviews a year and it's probably
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closer to a thousand, how do they keep track of them? how does the public know which ones they have done or not? >> what was in the hundreds of pages you got? >> for the first request? >> yes. >> well, it was everything. it was the emails that were sent, among the planners, who were rewriting the better streets plan through this amendment. >> so it wasn't strictly on ceqa? >> it wasn't on ceqa. >> thank you. >> if they do a ceqa review, it should have been in there, but they did not do a full review. they exempted it under the exemption provision that they use indiscriminately. i'm not a ceqa expert, but it's very complicated stuff. >> commissioner keane.
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>> mr. grossman, i'm also having trouble with what you are indicating is wrong with this organization in terms of some of the things you said. so let me just see if i can specifically go to one of the things that you said. that you were dealing with that i'm certainly familiar with and have some concerns about as well. you are talking about the redlining aspect of geary boulevard? >> yes. >> and this group, this organization would have the authority to go ahead and look to see whether or not that is something that is properly should be done in terms of the bus lanes and all of that? that is a large thing in our city. this is a group that -- and you said that in regard to your contact with this group, in regard to a matter like that, that they would have dealt with. and you asked them, well, what did you do with it? they told you, well we don't
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keep any files and we have nothing to tell you as to how we arrived at whatever decision we arrived at? am i accurately summarizing what you said on that issue? >> that is actually a little more complicated. the geary project as they call it, brt, bus lane project. >> what is that they wouldn't have a file on? you said generally -- wait a minute -- this general statement that when you addressed them for various things, on anything, they had told you we have no files. this is what we did, but we have no idea -- how we got that. is that true? >> well, it's partially true. i gave a poor example, because with the geary street project, actually the planning department was
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hired by sf -- transit authority to do the eir. eis review. that was all done under contract. so it would not necessarily fall within this. but the better streets plan amendment clearly did and was clearly all planning. they wrote the law. and they got -- i think president of the board to introduce it. they had their hands all over it and then -- if you want to really just drill-down on it, that had an environmental negative to it, because what it did was it eliminated street tree plantings in many situations. they gave -- the planning
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code had a provision if you did certain things, build a new building, put in a garage, whatever, you had to put in a street tree. and if you didn't, then you had to pay an in-lieu fee in place of it. what the amendment to the better streets plan did, it changed the way that operated and gave the project developer a credit, if there was an existing tree there. which meant that they could be losing 100, 200, 300 treess a year and they didn't even consider that an environmental issue and we know how important street trees are, the urban forest. that is my interest. that is my interest. >> how do you know they didn't consider that? >> pardon? >> how do you know they didn't consider that? >> because there are no notes. >> it gets back to what i
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said, what you are asking for, by way of relief is some law requiring notes. >> i beg to differ, quentin and you know i do that very, very cautiously. >> go ahead. how do you differ? >> i differ with you -- they don't have to do notes, if they don't want to. but they have to say that they didn't do notes and put it in the indices. >> all right. >> no notes. >> all right. >> because the public is entitled to know what records are available on that project. as they say if there are no notes, there are no notes. >> just as a footnote, i'm familiar with the project. i'm familiar with -- i'll call it turmoil -- it's not quite turmoil, but it may become. maybe there should be a law
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that says if you are going to reach a conclusion of a ceqa exemption, you lay it out for the public on why. >> well, yes, because -- >> i think that is above our pay-grade. >> of course it is. but the point is that 6729 was designed to improve public access. >> all right. >> so that the departments who do regular kinds of business, like the planning department, will make it known what they do. >> yes. >> and what is available? they do it for other things. if you want to look at a permit application, they are all over that. you can see that. >> when you say "you can see it," you can see it where? >> on their website. >> is your complaint that they didn't put this on their website? >> no. my complaint is they didn't
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fill it out and it was -- i think 6729 actually has words that could be construed it has to be on its website. >> the environmental impact report is available, isn't it? >> it is, sure. but how do you know there is one? >> well, isn't there? >> you just ask for it. >> wasn't your complaint though that they didn't put it on their website, so you could download it? >> that is what i do actually with permits. >> right. >> it seems to me that the purpose of that indexing was to make available to the public in ways that are modern what information is available on these things. >> the index that you refer
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to, it lists subject-matters. >> yes. >> and you go s to the index and you ask them for the documents. >> no, what you do, if it's accessible on their website like the permits are, you can find it maybe with an address. >> i understand all of that and i'm saying if they have given you an index, can't you say give me everything that you have under this category? >> you could. >> do you? >> huh? >> did you? >> i don't have to. >> you mean -- >> i'm entitled to do it the way the statute outlines it and says it should be done. planning has -- listen, i could tell you stories about planning that you wouldn't believe. commissioner chiu. >> mr. grossman on the website with the indices it does say if the record is available, you can click on it and download, but if it's not available they give a name and number to contact
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to see the actual paper copy. how does that not meet your need? >> it doesn't meet my need because it doesn't meet 6729. i shouldn't have to ask for it. i don't have to ask for a copy of a permit because i can get that off their website. if i -- i have been dealing with planning department and the department of public works for at least ten years. and i have gotten used to the things they do that are not permitted under the sunshine ordinance. okay? the planning department has created the office of public records, a nameless position, so that if i submit a records request to a specific planner, like i did with sarah jones, she doesn't do
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anything with me. she sends it to this nameless person, and then i get either "we don't have anything," or i might get if there are too many records, well we'll put them on a cd and send us a dollar and we'll mail it to you. okay? even though there is nothing in the sunshine ordinance that says they should do it that way. but i learned to accept that kind of nonsense, even though i'm not well enough any more to drive down and get what i need to get. so if i send it to the custodian, which is what 6721a says, or b, that person should be responding to me. not somebody whose name i don't know and who puts it in a format that is not one that they regularly use for their
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own record-keeping. >> thank you. i think your time is up, well past it. >> i just have one more thing that i wanted to say. >> i move 3 minutes. >> i was demoralized by the report, because it was so off-base, and because it was so poorly written and because it lacked complete understanding of public access. and that is why i made a big deal out of the constitutional provision, because there are cases that are going to come up here, which will depend on statutory interpretation. and if they are looked at, like any other case of interpretation, that constitutional provision won't be reflected and it's important. >> i have asked ms. pelham,
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notice was sent to the respondents in this matter? >> yes. >> and is there anyone here from either the planning department or sarah jones, or john rahaim? do i hear a motion from any commissioner? >> before there is a motion -- >> pardon me? >> mr. chairman, before any motion, may i? >> sure. >> i'm trying to think of ceqa law. as i remember ceqa law, if a governmental planning department or some other
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entity concludes that a project is exempt, at least the custom and practice was there would be a written explanation for it. it would be laid-out in writing. and speaking to mr. grossman's complaint goes beyond my technical prowess as to how this should be done. but the other part seems to be that these deliberations in the planning department, at least hypothetically are conducted orally between employees of the planning department, or some other department of city government. and there ought to be a law that makes them put it in
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writing. that is what i gleaned from this. and maybe there should. maybe there should, but i always thought with ceqa you have got to lay it out why it's exempt? it's a major issue. >> my understanding from what mr. grossman has said is that there may well be all of these documents, but because they are not online, he feel it's a violation of the ordinance. >> that is not correct of my position. >> tell me how i'm incorrect on that? >> pardon? >> explain to me how that is incorrect? >> i have the right to know if there was a ceqa review and what the conclusion was. >> wait, didn't you say there was a -- it's assigned, it's an mta project, take geary boulevard. it was assigned to the
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planning department to do the ceqa review. and planning department concludes that it was exempt. is that correct? actually not. >> that is not correct? >> they haven't concluded anything. >> they what? >> they haven't concluded anything. that was done by the sf cta as the agency, the lead agency on the project. all they got from planning was input. i'm still looking at -- >> so mta -- as mta as a matter of public record issued a finding that it's exempt? >> not yet. the lead agency is the cta, not the mta. >> cta? >> yes, county transit --
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county transportation authority. >> all right. i'm hopelessly confused and if i said i was puzzled, i would be ahead of the game. >> isle. >> i'm sorry. >> i'm not talking to you mr. grossman. mr. chair, as to whether or not we have a motion, i have no idea what any of this is even about about after listening? i respect mr. grossman a lot, but i just -- i'm totally lost on this item. >> it's such a simple thing. either they put the data in the indices or not? and if they don't do it, they are not complying with 6729. that was the whole -- >> the city attorney is going to help us out here, mr. grossman. >> this is -- i think it's important to come back to what is the alleged violation and who alleged to have made
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the mistake and 6729 is a requirement that city city administrator keep basically a website that includes a description of certain categories of documents. that has nothing -- that is not a requirement that is imposed upon the planning department. it's not a requirement that is imposed on any individual employee, like director rahaim or the planner at issue here. so if you look at the language of 67.29, it just simply requires the city to prepare an index of public records, the city administrator is responsible for that index and then there are certain requirements that the index has to clearly and meaning fully describe, as much as practable, basically what the categories of documents are and has nothing do with the planning department or any individual within the planning department. so my view, i don't see how you could find a violation against either
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of the two respondents here, because they don't have a responsibility -- >> i'm sorry -- >> mr. grossman, you'll have your chance. continue. >> so that is my point. this is not -- the way the complaint is framed, it's not a request for particular specific documents. it's just an allegation that the online index is deficient and whether or not that is true is irrelevant for purposes of this complaint. because the allegation is the direct rahaim and one of the planners, it's against them specifically. >> the question following up, if they -- if the department files its indices as to what records it has is it obligated to put on its
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website all of the records that the indices indicate. >> it's not a requirement that is imposed on the planning department. >> is it imposed on the city administrator? >> it says that the index shall be continuously maintained on the worldwide web. the index itself, but it doesn't mean a comprehensive set of links to every document. >> that is covered by the index. >> how are you going to construe it against their doing that in the face of the section 3b of the constitution? i was just about to say something and i'm going say it: the sunshine ordinance has a specific provision dealing with the city attorney, and the city
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attorney cannot aid or assist any department or agency or unit of the city government in denying access to a public record. it's a specific provision in the ordinance, and what he just did was exactly what he cannot do. >> he hasn't denied us access to any record or denied you access to it. . >> well, look you can be unhappy with me. that is fine. you are all lawyers and you all went to good schools and you practiced and you know the difference. what i'm telling you is exactly what is in the law. if you don't want to accept that is your prerogative but the city attorney, when the mayor's aide was here, the
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city attorney provided him with a ten-page letter indicating he had every right to delete those entries on his daily calendar. nobody said you can't do that because of sunshine ordinance and your staff isn't well-versed enough to understand that the statute is what controls, not the city attorney's ability to do that. you hit me in a really sensitive spot. >> mr. chairman, and mr. grossman, i look at it from the standpoint of what relief do you want? >> i want an order that they have to activate the indices, period. >> and who is "they?"
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>> the planning department. >> all right, i wouldn't vote for such an order, but i would vote for and make a motion to send a letter to the city administrator to put this material up on the website. >> i'll second that. >> >> any discussion? >> i don't know that there is any material to put on the website according to mr. grossman's testimony. >> 67.29 requires that it be an active indices. it's totally dead. and has been for years. >> we need to a 67.29 expert. it's beyond me. >> so no. 1 the scope of options that are available to the commission right now are listed in chapter 3 and so
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basically what you just described sending a letter to the city administrator is not one of the options. what is before you is to determine whether these respondents have violated the provisions of the ordinance that have been alegend, which is 67.29? so i can read aloud to you what the options are that available to you. i guess one is that you have to determine if you believe that the respondents here, director rahaim and sarah jones have woefully violated the sunshine ordinance. so that is one and you have to make that determine ation and if you believe there is a woeful violation, can you can order the respondent to council district the violation and/or produce the
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records. there is an option to post on the commission's website, the commission's finding there has been a violation. you can issue a warning letter, et cetera but what is at-issue here is whether the respondents have violated the provisions of the sunshine ordinance that have been alegend? legend? alleged? >> i'm not sure what the violations that allegedly occurred and i don't know what the response is of the respondents as to why they say they have complied and haven't violated it? we don't hear anything, and this is one way to go and they are not here and the only evidence that we have is what mr. grossman presented, and either it appears from that evidence whether or not
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there was a violation, but frankly i don't know how to make that determination. >> i would disagree there is no other evidence for the commission and we presented the analysis including sedan jones on behalf of mr. rahaim and planning department officials and that they didn't appear here today might mean that they agree with the staff report and didn't believe their response or presence was necessary. we looked at all of the documents that were produced, which included the eir, what the planning department concludes was that the amendment to the eir was categorical exemption because it didn't have significant impact on the environment because it was just an amendment. so it didn't produce a ceqa compliance document and i think that is the crux of mr. grossman's complaint thats planning department did not produce a document saying why they felt why the amendment was categorically exempted
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under ceqa, but ceqa doesn't require them to create that record, the index to records under the sunshine ordinance does not require them to create that record and nothing in the law requires them to create that record. so they canot produce it. our recommendation is that you find that mr. rahaim and ms. jones did not violate the law, and i should say sunshine law -- whether they violated ceqa is a certainty question. mr. grossman has a lawsuit available to him against the city if he firmly believes that ceqa was violated. that is not purview of this body. >> well, in the interim can we send the letter i outlined or would that contradict what you just advised of your conclusions? >> i mean, if you find that they violated the law and if you find that mr. ra haim
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and ms. jones, then you can send a warning letter under the sunshine ordinance. >> i will withdraw my motion. >> i withdraw my second. >> again, i'm calling -- is there a motion that we accept the recommendation of the staff? and find no violation? >> so moved. >> second. >> public comment? >> david pilpel and i'll try to keep it brave. brief. i'm familiar with the laws and. >> which laws? >> the ceqa and planning department and procedures. i think in this case the
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staff and city attorney got it right. i don't think there was any violation willful or otherwise by the two respondents and mr. grossman is involved with better streets and if he is interested in the environmental review aspect of it, and he appears also interested in the geary brt project. my understanding is that there is a draft eir on that that is out. there was a hearing on that draft eir last year or earlier this year, i think. and that the response to comments is coming, and that document presumably will be certified by the san francisco county transportation authority as the lead agency.
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those records exist related to those documents at either sf cta or planning department offices. my understanding is that there is nothing that specifically requires all of those records to be available online, neverthelessing the planning department has an environmental planning page that includes a large number of environmental eirs and other exemption documents for the last few years. there was an amendment to chapter 31 in the city about three years ago that changed the procedures for how san francisco implements ceqa. so that is as to the underlying records that it appears mr. grossman is concerned about. with regard to 67.29, that dates back to 1993. the original sunshine ordinance was amended somewhat with prop g in 1998 and to maintain a index of records and is on the web, which identities types of documents.
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so as you got in one of the submittals here, case files environmental review, under the category major environmental analysis is the type of listing that would be in the index of records. it doesn't have every single document within that type. it's not possible to maintain that on an ongoing basis. just as the ethics commission's website and index of records will show campaign finance reports without listing every single campaign filer by name or by id number. nevertheless if someone goes to jarrod or someone else in the ethics office and said i'm interested in such or such a campaign or ballot number, they'll pull up that file and produce it. so the index to records is simply a
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tax onotomy. it's on the city's website and has been for 20-plus years and it's been upgraded and updated a couple of times, including the last couple of years. joan lubamersky, and the city administrator's office is responsible for that and i can answer any other questions. as i said, i think the staff got it right and i think that is the correct motion in this case. >> thank you. >> thank you. i hope that was helpful. >> any other public comment? hearing none, i will call the question. all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? record should reflect that the motion was carried 4-0. turning to agenda item no. 7. which is for handling ethics
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commission -- -- complaint no. 1516-23 and 1516-24, joel warnee v. nancy sarieh and the sunshine ordinance task force. that matter has been continued to our december 19th meeting at the request of the chair of the sunshine ordinance task force, who contacted ms. pelham, i think, in early in the week before thanksgiving. indicated that they did not have an opportunity -- would not have an opportunity to submit a response to the staff memorandum and requested that we put it over to give them a chance to do so. and they are to file whatever response they wish by december 12th, as well as
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mr. warne may file whatever he wishes to supplement his complaint by november 12th. >> december 12th? >> december 12th. >> december 12th, right. turning to agenda item 8, which is ann treboux v. barbara sklar. ms. treboux do you want to provide the commission with your response and comments on the staff's recommendation? >> chair, we had a request for a five-minute break, if we might? >> all right. >> thank you. >> we'll make it a 10-minute break. so 10 minutes after 7:00 (commission in recess)
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[ gavel ] . all right, we'll proceed
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now with agenda item 8. which is the commission -- ethics commission complaint no. 1617-06 ann treboux v. barbara sklar and ms. treboux you have ten minutes to respond to the staff mem memorandum and recommendation. >> this complaint was originally filed with the task force within the three-year window when it was actually heard the first time. unfortunately david pilpell was on the task force. he continued to interrupt me while i was presenting the case. he actually sat in the audience with the respondent
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and kind of goaded them as to how to respond to the complaint, and when he was up there he baited kay patterson along as to how to answer the complaint. the conclusion was that the sunshine task force lacked jurisdiction, because the paperwork didn't necessarily have to reside with the arts commission in their office. it would have been in the ethics commission's office. that was the conclusion of that. so it would have been within the three-year window, if i had directly come here, and i didn't know that i could come here to file a sunshine complaint at that time. so basically it came about because barbara sklar has been the chair of the street artists committee for now probably about two years. and obviously she did not know how to run a meeting.
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she didn't know the rules for it. she didn't know how to handle public comment, and at the first meeting, there were only three people in attendance, the clark brothers and myself. so basically she was carried outcrying because it became something of a shouting match and security was cleared and it was clear to me there was no order in the room. i looked into her sunshine filings and i person can claim that they will take the sunshine training. there is no paperwork to say i have taken it and here is a test you can quiz me on that i know the sunshine ordinance and such. in fact, several violations and warning letters issued from the task force against barbara sklar in that intervening year for
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mistakes she made in running meetings. some were letters and some were orders of determination. so there is that. so that basically the introduction, and the background came from firsthand knowledge that this woman doesn't know how to run a meeting. so then i began looking into her paperwork on your database. and because it takes a long time for this information to download, when i originally filed the complaint, there was a lot of paperwork missing for a lot of years. i think it went back to 2010, and my concern, as i've said, she claims to have served under five mayors with the arts commission. i couldn't find any evidence of that. that would be with the board of supervisors, with the
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supervisors, with the county clerk's office and there would be oaths of office in there and there are none, absolutely none whatsoever. so then the form 700s, a lot are duplicatives when i first began looking into your database. the conclusions that you came across, i think were probably correct when this thing was written in 2016, but when i filed it in august 4th, a lot of the information was not downloaded in our database on your website. that is why i filed it. and to this day, barbara sklar continues to file paperwork saying that she will comply, or she will
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take the sunshine training. but there's never been any indication that she actually took it or anybody quizzed her on it and since these things are filed electronically, it's kind of confusing as to who actually filed it? whose signature is not there? so when you don't have anybody in person quizzing somebody about meeting paperwork, it becomes very confusing. this woman is 80 years old. she is deaf. she was a political appointee. her husband served on the muni something or other. there was only one record through the board of supervisors in 2009, nothing was checked. she claimed to have a background in -- a diverse background which, in fact, all she had is a background
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in helping elderly people. i don't know what that has to do with street artists, which are street artists. you know, a rough group bunch of people to put an 80-year-old woman who is seemingly afraid of her own shadow in charge of this group of people is not a good thing. but she is so scared, she shouldn't have served on it. she doesn't appear at many art commissions meetings. about three full commission meetings a year, probably two visual arts and one street artists meeting. so she doesn't even meet the meeting requirements, but that is not under your jurisdiction. so that is it. she still continues to file these funny paperworks, and should know how to run a
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meeting. so how she flipped by all these checks and balances and why her background was never checked out? why her resume was never checked out? you know, making a claim in city hall in the public record on tv at a board of permits and appeals claiming she served under five mayors, but she can't even remember the names of the mayors she served under red-flags anybody and particularly when commissioner fong questioned her, she wasn't responding. even though she was sitting in the front row, she's deaf and it's apparent on the video. and then she filed the complaint against me, which was totally bogus. anyway sticking to this complaint, okay, you know, the statute of limitations timed-out and that is a shame. but she is still continuing to do the same thing. that's it. >> thank you.
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any discussion of commissioners? >> mr. chair, i'd just go to the conclusion of our staff, that we don't have jurisdiction relating to this matter. so i move that we take the staff's recommendation that there is nothing that we can do. >> i'm afraid we have to -- statute of limitations is getting a lot of attention in this commission. >> do i hear a second? >> second. >> all right. any public discussion? >> david pilpel, i'll try to be brief and just ignore ms. treboux's personal attack by me. this complaint involves barbara sklar, the widow of
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dick sklar, the general manager of committee and she is, as i understand is an artist in her own right and has served for sometime on arts commission, and i believe has earned ms. treboux's ire by chairing the street artist committee, where they have tangled for some years, resulting in a number of complaints to the sunshine ordinance task force. on the instant complaint before you, yes, as you heard, i agree you don't have jurisdiction based on the statute of limitations. further it's not clear to me the statute of limitations issue weren't before you it's not clear to me what you could do other than write a letter or find a violation? i'm not sure how you can compel somebody to fill out this particular form. as i recall the sunshine
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ordinance requires designated individuals to certify annually that they have read or will read the sunshine ordinance and any training materials. it doesn't require a hard-date we specified. however, the state requirement, which somebody helped me with it 1822 -- 1234? right, like i said, thank you. does require a hard-date and a separate form, i think there is a separate form for that, the training declaration requires a hard-date and i don't know what the penaltis are under that law for failing to file it, or on a timely basis or otherwise? i assume that is too governed by the 3-year statute of limitations. so in summary, i don't think there is anything you can do on this particular complaint, but to ensure that designated
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individuals do file and have been trained and are maintaining all of their forms; that would be helpful. but i assume that is underway as part of the compliance review. thank you very much. >> thank you. any other public comments? >> i'm walking in with no knowledge, but only a lot of opinions, which is if somebody has not filed the normal process in the past is that the commission would refer to the fppc and they will be fined. usually it's a $200 fine for failing to file. so if there is an issue here that someone has not been filing form 700s, it should be referred over. >> of. you also have the authority to act on your own on that. you are commenting in reference to form 700? >> yes. >> thank you. >> i will call the question, all in favor per square foot motion?
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many of the motion? >> yes. >> aye. >> opposed? motion carried 4-0. agenda item no. 9 is discussion and possible action on staff's report and recommendation for handling ethics commission complaint no. 1516-59, alvin johnson v. san francisco board of supervisors. is mr. johnson here? and notice was sent to him that you would be hearing it? you want to just summarize the staff recommendation? >> so mr. johnson filed a compliant with the ethics commission that the board of supervisors had willfully violated sunshine ordinance
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and upon investigation it was determined that not only did the board of supervisors responsibility sponds to the 40 requests because the volume and close proximity of the requests necessitated the rule with mr. johnson's voluminous requests because it's not possible to respond to them all submitted so closely together and the rule of reason is invoked on the city attorney's office to allow staff to continue their work that needs to be done and not just drop everything and employees responding to requests and staff recommends that the commission find no violation of the sunshine ordinance predominantly because eventually all requests were responded to. >> do i hear a motion? >> mr. chairman, i will move that we find the board of supervisors didn't willfully
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or non-willfully violate the sunshine ordinance. >> second. >> any discussion among the commissioners? any public discussion? >> david pilpel again on my time on the sunshine ordinance task force mr. johnson was before us physically once and filed a number of other complaints that were subsequently dismissed for lack of prosecution. he, as i recall, was a former city employee who is no longer with the city and he became very upset about how all that happened, and particularly with the department of technology, and subsequently filed a large number of requests with various agencies including the department of technology, human resources, city attorney, retirement, civil service, board of supervisors, this commission and the list goes on. the city through it's very
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departments as i understand has used this implied rule on reason on a very limited number of cases with mr. johnson, with one or two other people over the fullness of time. but very rarely does it have to come to that. in this case it simply was necessary, as i understand it. so i would agree with the staff recommendation that the board of supervisors has complied with the ordinance. there was no violation. they have spent hours and hours as has your staff in responding to requests from this individual. thanks. >> thank you. any other public comment? hearing none, i will call the question. all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? hearing none, the motion is carried 4-0. turn to agenda item 10, which is discussion of education and compliance division report.
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mr. petersen, who is making the presentation? mr. florence. flores. >> good evening commissioners, i will talk what is going on with the campaign finance program. we produced the sf ethics information info graphic and again, just like we did last time, we wanted to produce a snapshot of a story of this past election. and and a lot of money has been raised and spent either for ballot measures or to support or oppose candidates this year. again, the purpose of this handout is to really highlight our dashboard's page to let the public know that they can utilize this information to find out information about what is going on in their particular jurisdiction with regards to the candidates that are running?
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how much are they raising and how much are they spending and importantly how much expenditures are affected in the races? another important distinction i want to make is -- sorry about that -- is that of all of the different -- of all the many years i have been at the ethics commission in monitoring finance, this is by far the busiest election i have experienced. on the handout it shows that the number of electronically filed campaign statements literally doubled this year, and what our staff is still growing, we have been able to handle a lot of the monitoring of the campaign statements, as well as disclosures that are involved with these types of campaign statements. >> thank you. i thought it was a very --
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i appreciated the memorandum that you filed. i thought it was very helpful and informative. any comments or discussion among the commissioners? >> chair renne if i would add pat petersen could be with us, but works with jarrod in the education and compliance division and i believe the day after the election and the voters approval of prop t with 87% to the vote and we provided to those registered as lobbyists and consultants and developers and a whole host of individuals on our mailing list a copy of the faq on prop t to flag to your attention. even though the law becomes operative january 1st, 2018, we know it's important for folks to understand how it might apply to them and to
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contact us with questions and i just wanted to highlight that as well. >> thank you. any public comment? >> larry bush for friends of ethics and to express our thanks to jarrod for the help in making us able to comply and if you can believe how humiliating that friends ofethics didn't comply. thank you. >> i'll turn to agenda item 11, discussion of the executive director's report. ms. pelhan. >> thank you. i'm very happy to share news on the staffing front. first we have a new staff member who will join us as our new senior clerk in the front office, a very small
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front office, but jacquelin hickey will join us january 1st and we're very excited about her coming on-board and getting up to speed very quickly with all the work that we have ahead of us. i also wanted to highlight for you sad news, but news that catherine argumedo, who you have been used to seening regularly, but also one of our investigators decided to pursue an opportunity to resume her private practice of law as an immigration attorney. so she left our office november 10th but we were glad to be able to give her a farewell and thanking her for the work she has done and particularly over the summer when we were done to one investigator, derrick chatfield left for an opportunity, catherine did a terrific job keeping the complaint process on-track and responding as timely as
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she could to incoming complaints. so she did a terrific job with also the able guidance of our deputy director, but i wanted to on behalf of all of us she left the commission and to thank her for her commitment to the work of the commission and the contributions that she made during her time with us. also at the end of this week, frances mcelroy and jack kines, who have been with us as part-time staff assistants their time with us is coming to an end since the election ended bub they made jarrod's life possible over the last few months and making sure those with requirements with the law were able to get the information that they needed to comply with the law. they have both been terrific assets and we'll be missing them as well. separately as of today we have three positions that closed. they were in recruitment, three certain investigator or investigator legal analyst positions and we'll move along with that process, a
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senior civil service hiring process and we look forward to keep doing you informed about that and the recruitment for compliance assistant and i'm hopeful well have news for you at the december meeting as well. i did provide also an update of the november policy plan. as you might imagine with a lot of the focus of my time on all things hiring, and some of our staffing changes that we have seen -- some of the items are taking -- have been pushed further into 2017. so i very much welcome conversations with you, as we go forward. but about how to prioritize these? if you would like to see some different priority order? i just wanted to highlight for you a number of the items that we were hoping to get to were pushed back by a couple of months and will continue to keep you apprised from
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the staff's perspective where these might be landing. to bring those forward in the early part of the year with the public financing and campaign financing system in the city. i wanted to highlight those for and happy to answer any questions that you. >> any commissioners have any questions? >> chair renne, i have a question. director pelham, since catherine has left and she was our last investigator, how will you be handling -- do you have resources to handle the incoming and ongoing complaints? >> we do. it's a secret weapon called our deputy director, jessica blome. the reality is that we'll have to pull in staff as needed depending on the nature of the issue? i think one of the challenges in particular will be that following the heels of a busy election season and you have seen on the chart that
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jessica provided to you, 89 matters under preliminary review and those matters will be continue to be in preliminary review and she'll continue to work through them. review of the sunshine ordinance and regs, those will take a back seat to making sure we triage any complaints or investigations that need to continue? so we'll be using other staff members as possible, depending on the need that we have and the particular background and skills that they bring as well. but again, today's good news that we have three positions that were in recruitment, and we're hopeful that we'll have a strong candidate pool to bring there folks in the early part of the year to help us with going forward. but in the meantime, it will be triage. as best as we can and we'll keep you informed. >> thank you. >> i have a question on page 4 of the report, where you
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set out the revenues. you show revenue for statement of economic interest filers. explain that? do you have to pay to file a statement of economic interest? >> no, you do not. you do have a late fee that you pay if you file late. so we could probably be clearer in future charts to make sure that is clear and it's not a fee for service, but a fee for a late filing. >> thank you. >> other questions or comments? public comment? >> david pilpel, once again just wanted to thank the staff for a comprehensive report. and in particular, the chart, one of my favorite documents. a number of these items i
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would suggest would lend themselves to an interested persons meeting, so that before something is brought to the commission, for example, the enforcement regulation. which i would think are going to be complicated and a lot of pieces and a lot of changes that we have discussions with people who care about these things and this is what we're currently thinking and what do you think and maybe offline somebody can tell me -- i must have missed this the citywide relations policy? it's not at all obvious to me what that is? is that personnel relationships? is that among departments? sometime you can explain it to me. thank you. >> thank you. turning to agenda item 12, discussion and possible action regarding status of complaints received or
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initiated by the ethics commission. i'll first call for public comment on agenda item 12. >> david pilpel. in my experience, i think this is the first time in its history that the commission has gone into closed session in general terms to talk about the status of enforcement matters. obviously you've had closed sessions on particular matters over the years, but i think it's the first time that you have looked at the enforcement program in terms of specific cases that are outstanding. so that is fine. i hope you'll talk about the status of things, and maybe priorities. if there -- if there is a discussion about prioritization and ways to triage in which things should be handled sooner than later and what not? if there is way you could make that part of the discussion public per the
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results of that, i think that would be all to the good. i think we would be interested in knowing how you would hope to prioritize the significant caseload that you have now, and what is ongoing? obviously things that are older should take some priority, but if things come in more recently that are of more significance or magnitude in your judgment, or the judgment of the staff, that, too, would make sense to prioritize. in any event, however you come out with that, the public or least some of us would be interested there that. otherwise, i hope you get through figuring out what to do with that big caseload and reducing it. thank you. >> thank you. why don't we go into closed session. >> i don't know if there is more public comment? we will go? >> why? why would would go? why can't we talk in public? >> because they are all confidential until such time -- >> the charter requires
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confidentiality. >> the charter requires it. all right. >> thank you all very much. good night. >> all right. any other public comment? >> a little bit in the dark as to this -- as to exactly how broad your review will be? one of the issues that had come up earlier was the process for selecting committees to be audited? and a motion was made at that time, but not accepted that you ought -- there were committees under criminal investigation for money-laundering. and the decision was that they would be selected out of order and instead, the commission was operating under a process of selecting things at random, rather than with a priority. i would like to suggest as you look at these issues, if you do have criminal charges that have been in the press and so forth, it would be
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well-advised for the commission's credibility to elevate those beyond what might be selected by random, to make sure that they are audited and the public is aware that you would audit. thank you. >> commissioner keane? >> just a comment for the record, mr. chair, and sort of following up on commissioner cope kopp's observation and something that i brought up the last time. in regard to these matters the question of making probable cause determinations and the question of the fact that there has been a complaint filed, there is really no due process requirement that we have all of this confidentiality. and i would echo what i said the last time in regard to
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the discussion that ms. pelham sometime next year, we really engage this matter in regard to having these secret, closed probable-cause proceedings and also all of the other aspects of confidentiality. the charter requires it. i don't think it's necessary and i think the public has a right to know both of the complaint and of the probable cause matters, how the probable-cause matters are dealt with? it's something that i hope we take care of within the next year. >> do i hear a motion that we move to assert attorney-client privilege and meet in closed session with the city attorney? . so moved. >> >> certainly, i'll second.
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>> all in favor? >> aye. >> all right. [ gavel ] (commission in closed session)
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