tv Ethics Commission SFGTV October 10, 2021 12:00am-6:01am PDT
>> please pay attention to certain items in this report. the manning commission and department held a retirement party. some members of the real estate department and ton tactedlet planning department on blaf they behalf oftheir clients. it doesn't seem ej cam t. these attempts to pp make make p dem
apply to state agencies like the community college. therefore it wasn't collectly on point to apply that in in case. i recommended that we again take action to inform the filing officers with the state agencies and urge they do adopt them, that's what led me to where we are today. i will vote to sustain the findings you've heard me say what i would like to see go out of this.
>> to see who is the major contributors, or all of the contributors also sponsored by the chamber of commerce. that is publicly available and on the website. >> if you go through all of those steps, do you get a master's degree in public policy? >> it is a matter of visualizations on the dashboard as well as also available in the excel spreadsheet, too. >> two years ago we had a very wealthy donor who urged people to give money through a
political committee because then their donations would not be publicly revealed. in fact, that is what happened. i am particularly sensitive to the fact or necessaries are rubbed in -- noses are rubbed in this before. >> i appreciate your comments and suggestions. final question before we proceed further. is this is first offense by either the chamber ofmers or mrs commission? do you have any record if they are repeat offenders. >> the chamber of commerce has not been before the commission for enforcement matters.
mr. sinn, i do not see him either. both have not been before the commission for enforcement matters. >> i would like to suggest in the future proposed that you may want to include whether the defendants were repeat offenders. that would make the decision process different at least for me. >> i can say that the commission streamlined program as written and adopted does have general exclusions from the program for
respondents who have, for instance, specifically the same respondent has paid a prior penalty to the commission for the same type of violation in the last five years. that is applied when determining the eligibility of the respondent for resolution under the streamline program. if they have that within the five years, they are ineligible and it goes to the main line program. we have that codified already. >> without further comments from my colleagues, let's entertain a motion to approve this stipulation. motion, please. >> i move it. >> moved by commissioner chu, seconded by commissioner bush. open up for public comment,
please. >> madam chair we are checking to see if there are callers in the queue. if you are on hold wait until the system indicates you are unmuted. we are on the public discussion item 7. in the matter of no plan, no accountability sponsored by the chamber of commerce. complaint 2021-04 the. if you have not done so press star 3 to be added to the queue. you will have three minutes for the comment. six minutes if you have an interpreter. there will be a bell when you have 30 seconds remaining. i see no callers in the queue.
>> there is no public comment on this item. the public comment period is closed. let's call roll call, please. >> motion made and seconded to approve the proposed stipulation. complaint 2021-04 the. commissioner bush. >> aye. >> commissioner chu. >> aye. >> chair lee. >> aye. >> commissioner bell. >> yes. >> four votes affirmative and no votes opposed approved unanimously. >> chair lee, if i might offer a comment. i would like to really thank the staff as we negotiate these streamlining to try to make sure that we are able to deal with matters in a more streamlined way to hopefully get the
commissioner bush's vision that we can spend more time on matters that are more serious and in some cases more odious. i would like to thank the staff as we continue to build this out. i appreciate their work and i would like to thank commissioner bush for reading these items in detail and dealing with the staff on these matters as he raises them. i wanted to make those comments that we should continue to strengthen to streamline to give us more time to deal with matters that are more pressing. i just think the better off we are organized we know that there are people that aren't interested in our oversight, but the better off we are organized and more streamlined, the more we can do what we are supposed to do. i want to thank everybody for
their work and leadership on this, commissioner lee. >> thank you. i want to echo everything you said. thank you for commissioner bush's diligence in reviewing everything to make sure that we run a detailed and transparent commission meeting. i want to take this opportunity to thank our enforcement director, mr. jeff peers. i think the director will make the formal announcement later. i want to thank our enforcement director who will be leaving us, unfortunately. i do not speak on behalf of the commission, director peers that we thank you for your diligence and professionalism and
patience. much of my time here you were a staff of one and you work as a staff of 10 to move things forward. we really appreciate your work and dedication to this commission and also your commitment and dedication to make sure that san francisco has a transparent, clean, accountable system. we are very sorry to see you go, but we know that your new ventures, they are very lucky to have you. maybe my fellow commissioners want to express personal views to you but on behalf of the commission thank you very much for all of your work to the commission and to the city of
san francisco. >> thank you, chair lee. it has been my privilege. >> now commissioner bush your hand is up. you are muted. i guess not. now we go to agenda item 8. which is the presentation by controller's office on its preliminary assessment report 2021 report. building section permitting and inspection process. i want be to welcome. [ inaudible ] who will be making this presentation. >> good morning, commissioners. good morning, chair lee, commissioners and i am mark
della rosa from the controller's office. i am here with our audit manager who will share our presentation slides for today. i will wait to have those slides up. >> i don't have access to share. >> we have access? >> we are working behind-the-scenes. thank you for your patience. thank you for the opportunity to present to you today. i am joined by tiffany long, one of our audit managers. together we will present to you
our latest assessment that we issued last month to the building of building inspections permitting and inspection processes. the next slide we did place a timeline for the introductory information which you are familiar with. as you know we at the controller's office conduct our public integrity assessment. the goal is to provide recommendations to improve trap -- improvetransparency. this assessment today focuses on the internal controls and risk areas at the department of building inspection or d.b.i., particularly, related to improper treatment that had occurred within the organization. for the latest findings there are general recommendations that we offer. really they are to mitigate the effects of risks we identified
and create a stronger ethical culture to promote ethical compliance. as part of field work we used case study approach where we conducted a limited survey of properties by including 555 fulton and the other 2867 san bruno avenue. i have noticed irregularities and issues that have been described in public reports and complaints. [ inaudible ] this is the seventh report as part of the public integrity series offered for public comment and review. we have at least three more assessments in the pipeline. one from the san francisco public utilities commission, the other one we started at the department of environment. the third one, the city-wide
ethnics compliance. they are similar to the ones before you. it is really to provide stakeholders such as yourself to provide input on the most appropriate and effective to frame the issues here. some of the individuals that have been implicated as they relate to d.b.i. among them are former d.b.i. director tom huey who accepted meals from the developer and the permit expediter. three other individuals that have been criminally charged with fraud related to d.b.i. among them a former d.b.i.
senior inspector alleged for conflict of interest. sanchos a licensed engineer and plumber on the building commission project charged with defrauding a client. peter sherman was sued along with mr. sanchos by the city attorney's office for fraud related to several projects in san francisco. additional background, as you probably know building inspection commission is seven members body at d.b.i. it oversees enforcement of electrical and plumbing. within the d.b.i. department are three primary divisions. permit services that receives and issues permit applications,
inspecting of buildings and add min and administrative services for various functions. in transitioning down to slide five really beginning of findings and recommendations first one overarching topic the he had cal atmosphere in the workplace of organization leadership. the leadership impact on the employees themselves. within our assessment we noted d.b.i. director tom huew demonstrated discretion and abuse and control by setting unethical tone and negative culture.
he offered preferential treatment to in buildings. an example was mr. curran at the san bruno properties. a little more in a minute. mr. hui and curran failed to disclose gifts and participated in positions in which they had a financial interest. the next slide, we highlight given the tone at the top issues that we have identified. we do recommend that the building inspection commission to work with the department in insuring a strong ethical challenge and to reiterate importance of compliance. we recommend that d.b.i. and employees available of
whistleblower program to report allegations for miss use of city funds. third related to this topic require regularly certifying and compliance reviewers and inspectors with a conflict of interest rules and the department's statement of incompatible activities and code of conduct. second set of findings we present to be improper preferential treatment at d.b.i. we used the two examples the fulton and san bruno properties as examples. the example related to possessing. we note the plans for the property itself were getting reviewed quickly. the construction estimate provided caused the applicant to
be under charged. no reviews of the permit itself for the property. next slide we highlight some of the examples. we present to the san bruno property in which the relation to the inspection processes we note the inspections on file for this property did not identify violations or that they existed. providing final inspection and approval. there were no actions performed. as well as having a member of inspections for such a large project and we also note some of the issues on the data on the permit tracking system data for this property being incomplete. next we provided a set of recommendations that basically highlight the importance of
having an independent and robust compliance function within d.b.i. it must be independent and resourced with special staff outside of the current staff in the defendant and must have auditors and consultants to provide such a robust and independent set of activities. some of the key activities that we do recommend are the performing an annual risk assessment to identify risks. conducting monthly reviews, same-day inspections schedules. out of district inspections and also assessing the validity of the inspection approvals. among others we recommend
compliance function to identify any deviations from established procedures, ensuring training and guidance on permanent plans and inspection and testing of the various code of conduct and standards for all staff within d.b.i. next set of findings really relate to the d.b.i. data collection and monitoring activities. we did find that there were incomplete records and data control weaknesses that exist during pts. the records that can be modified by any inspector in the records has been closed. we note no central data monitoring in which d.b.i. prioritized using the data they hold for any decision they gain or identifying any trends
including potential fraud or risk areas. we therefore recommend requiring supervisor quality assurance review for accuracy and completeness. we recommend ensuring the permit tracking system contains reliable data. it is requiring all inspections complete. creating an audit log as well. the last set of findings and recommendations relate to insufficient fees and information. we note that the violations are found. we note that for projects penalties may not be sufficient to deter the conduct. we note the insufficiency of information on d.b.i. processes. there is a lack of sufficient
publicly available information on the activities. therefore we do recommend at th review and to provide more public information and conduct more outreach to the public on the various activities and processes within d.b.i. that concludes our presentation on this very last slide we do note what we completed this far. we also note coming once that were worked on that we hope to issue in the upcoming months over the next fiscal year. one at p.u.c. and defendant of environment and ethics reporting requirements. we are happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you for the
presentation. again, this report is very thorough. i know that, particularly the d.p.w. program has got a lot of attention from this commission and as well from the public. mr. moderator, can i see the general screen so i can call on commissioners who want to have any questions. any wants to raise their hand? commissioner bush. >> i wonder if you feel that the change in organization with the establishment of a new commission will have any impact on the recommendations you are
making here. >> you are asking if that would create an impact on any changes that will happen? >> or that you are recommending, yes. >> we can speak on your question, commissioner bush. what we can speak of is i know there has been a series of initiatives we also note in our report that the department itself has started to implement and i know there is also efforts within the board of supervisors as well as within the commission to implement the recommendations we provided as well in the initiatives that they deem necessary to turn the ship around. there is ongoing for the
director recruitment at d.b.i. it is a policy matter in terms to select the executive director. i don't know if that answers your question. we are limited in terms of capacity for the policy matter. we can certainly answer any questions you have regarding the assessment. in terms of new director under the new organization as opposed by the voters, do you suggest any particular qualifications like they have hands-on experience with building inspection? >> that is what we can include in the report. we focused on the larger controls that were related to those in the report itself.
it is being considered as well as reforms are put together or acted on. >> one final question i have for you. have you considered an inspector general internally within the d.b.i. or the city? >> i think we definitely highlighted in our report is the development of the robust compliance program. we basically placed it within the context of what makes sense. it has since this compliance function that we are
recommending. similar responsibilities to typical inspector general that you would think of. we focused our recommendation really more generally on the functions that need to be in place which are to, you know, conduct risk assessments, to identify spot check any irregularities in the processes. the function we are recommending within the assessment be itself and the compliance function does have facets of what you would think of in the ig position. >> thank you. commissioner chu. >> thank you, chair lee. thank you once again for returning to the ethics commission to present the results of your findings. it is a pleasure to have you here. the occasion to describe the
ongoing challenges the city has is a little disheartening sometimes. i think shining the light on the problems is the way to go through them. i appreciate the depth and breadth and detail in this report and the others that have come before us. thank you to you and your team for doing this really important work. i have a couple questions. one relates to the. [ inaudible ] in this report you lay out some very detailed and extremely insightful and helpful recommendations for these agencies to undertake. will your office be following up
to monitor what read mediation and other -- remediation and how they measure up against the recommendations you laid forth here and in the other report? second, with regard to the tone at the top and creating for lack of better temculture of -- term a culture of compliance, what role do you think that the ethics commission can play in helping to catalog that kind of change? >> your first question regarding follow up. yes, we have been following up on the recommendations so far. we pledge to do so moving forward. we issued in early august a
compendium report that reported the status implementation of all 32 recommendations or 34 recommendations that we had left from our previous assessment. we do plan to make sure that there are legislations that have been proposed, there are policies and procedures that have been implemented and the tools needed to correct the once identified. we plan to do so for d.b.i. and the other recommendations we plan. in terms of the role of this commission, a number of -- two or three recommendations speak to insuring the department d.b.i. insures that its staff comply with the code of conduct
with the activities. with the filing of certain forms including form 700. ensuring that the importance of such compliance. i know that seems like a routine type of word. it is very important. it is one that really is a good reminder to those tasked with conducting public service that interface with contractors that may be restricted sources for the d.b.i. staff to be mindful of their code of conduct and other expectations. from that perspective continuing on with the oversight goal and regulatory role that you have as we noted in our model.
>> thank you. commissioner bell. >> thank you for your report. this is a question that might display my ignorance how these things work. i am associating myself with commissioner chu's remarks. what is it that we might specifically do? would it be possible or am i displaying my ignorance for somebody from the controller's office to sit with somebody if it hasn't already happened with the ethics commission staff to actually come up with a couple of specific things that we might do? filling out form 700. what does that get you if the
d.b.i. person filled out the financial disclosure doesn't mean i will operate ethically. i am wondering are there some like couple or three things we specifically can, you know, do as ethics commission that comes out of your recommendation that we in conjunction with you your department could be more sing mt that. very concrete things so we can say that we have covered that waterfront in conjunction with your department's recommendation. >> looking at executive director and we have in our previous deliverables coordinated efforts with the office to identify the
key recommendations that we would like to see. i would defer to the director in terms of responding to what we found. >> thank you. if i might respond, commission chair lee to mark's question. in the memo introducing the item, the controller's findings and recommendations have been from the policy standpoint bringing issues and recommendations forward on that level. it is also important to note that self-informing our ethics at work. the four positions from the budget we are writing the job descriptions hoping to get those posted as soon as possible now that we have had other staffing hires and changes to note. that work is going to be before
we get the team on board. content that might be useful based on the findings in the reports the controller's office is issuing. reaching out to departments that have been the focal point of the reports to really understand those processes and where our work can be most helpful in that. i think we have specific ideas where we can be helpful. we would welcome the chance to sit down and comb through this as we shape up that program. one of the things i hope we can do at the commission meeting in november is to bring back to you that overview of what is it that we keep talking about. what that is going to look like. more tangible deliverables as you described. we look forward to that opportunity. i will keep mark on speed dial. it will be use full to us.
>> that is fantastic. i think that my comments that we should do everything we can to say what people should do. we can't control what they do do. they should know what they should be doing. to the degree what you just said is right on point. thank you. >> as i was reading this well written report, one thing that struck me was that at every point be someone has got to know what is going on. in your recommendation you talked about increasing public engagement and awareness.
it is hard for the general public to know there are these little acts that are happening behind-the-scenes. you also mentioned that the culture and the practice and the tone from the top that it also involved the entire team. everyone needs to buy into a culture that they can all be proud of and they could all embrace. you also touch on in your recommendations the whistleblower program which is something we hear at the commission have been focusing on. i think that is one year that i hope that director you will be continuing to talk about to share ideas and looking at ways to move forward.
i think looking back and taking the lessons learned is see something, say something. do something. that is something we have been saying a lot. looking at the numbers of whistleblower complaints we received is so very, very low. we need to take a critical look at why is it that people -- i have trust in our city employees. they all believe in a clean government. they are devoting their public service career to make sure that, you know, they are doing something good. what is it that when at every level that the activities happen
there are many people who knew who should step up. why didn't they? we need to make sure that, you know, they have the confidence and buy in that they are responsible and the right to speak up. by taking action they are protected legally, ethically and socially that they will not be reprimanded. they will be respected with a thorough investigation. their legal rights and professional careers will be protected. until that happens we will be discussing this years from now. my colleagues are right that, you know, we can put in all of these different proposals and recommendations. bottom line is until everyone
feels that they have equal stake and are protected. i would love to see specifically on the public outreach and engagement proposal as well as whistleblower program that both of us, the ethics commission and your office, have shared deep interest in and hopefully we can work together, not only with this particular department but the entire city family. thank you so much for your report. we will be seeing you again at your next report if not sooner. let's go -- >> i would like to echo chair lee's statements just now.
something i have been aware of is that our whistleblower program does not provide wall to wall protection for people. for example, we just saw the case of a whistleblower on facebook testifying before congress. if she were a city employee, she would not be protected because our whistleblower protections are for people who file a complaint within their department or within the city attorney or the district attorney. it does not cover providing information to an elected official or to the media. it does zoo that in other jurisdictions. i think one thing we might want to do is take a look at our law itself to see if our law should be more robust in how it
protects whistleblowers. >> commissioner chu. >> now we go to public comment. mr. moderator. >> if you are on hold wait until you have been unmuted. we are currently on the public discussion on the motion of agenda item 8. presentation by the controller's office on its preliminary assessment report and discussion and action related to report findings and recommendations. if you have not done so press star 3 to be added to the public comment queue.
>> hello. >> yes, we can hear you. >> great. thank you very much. i am dennis richards, currently suing the city of san francisco over actions d.b.i. took in retaliation against me speaking against corruption. this report is way overdue. i welcome it. the corruption at d.b.i. has been going on for decades. everybody in the city knew about it. what is embarrassing to me as a san franciscan it took the fbi to look at what is going on there. since the report was published. we learned the commission president who has been skirting the roles on his own residence he is enforcing. this report is already dated, in my opinion. the industry is running the
department. the department has been set up by prop g which actually establishes structural corruption. until prop g is changed and the industry is out of the day-to-day decision making of the organization i fear nothing is going to change. we will have 25 more years of the same discussion. please take a look at some of the depositions we have had in our case. mr. sweeney is not mentioned in this report. how can this ethics commission take action? take a look at how people do or don't respond to records requests. we don't believe mr. seenner swy ever responded. the cell phone had 30,000 lines of texts on it. he did not do a search for.
i want you to understand you need to look at the role of the mayor's office in the decision making, day-to-day decision making of that organization. i think one of the things that you folks were talking about commissioner bush. you need to have a required to report what you see. we are seeing from deposition testimony everybody in the organization knows what is going on, yet nobody is -- has the balls to report it. that is the real problem. the retallation people would state they did whistleblower they don't want to risk their jobs for it. it was an atrocious toxic atmosphere for the employees. until we blow it up and start
overall these findings are nice to have. the cancer is still there and will matakes take size in the future if you don't get rid of it. m atasticize in the future if you don't get rid of it. >> another caller is in the queue. your three minutes starts now. >> hi, i am stefani peak. member of san francisco land use coalition. i admire and applaud dennis richard. i would give him my three minutes. i am speaking on behalf of jerry drater whose analysis you received and i hope read. he pointed out the report is incomplete because the corrupt practices by officials at d.b.i. are not included. i think last monday there was a
land use hearing by supervisor ronen. it is obvious there is not enough oversight. some members do not use the existing database to create reports to identify violations in their department. the controller's office or outside audit should perform risk assessment this year. d.b.i. is still using paper job cards to record inspections. sometimes these cards disappear. bernie cohen said he reported on the san bruno card but not the d.b.i. system. in the job card is lost it is impossible to oversee the processes of d.b.i. i hope you read the journalist who is being picked up by the "san francisco examiner."
he himself knows whistleblowers and reports what is going on. thank you very much. >> it looks like there are no more callers. >> the public comment is closed. there is no action required by this commission. let's take a 10 minute break before we go to the next agenda item. it is 11:20 a.m. return at 11:30 a.m. thank you again mr. della
you're oven mute. >> clerk: we're back, madam chair. >> chairman: welcome back to this october 8th, 2021, meeting of the san francisco ethics commission. we are now on agenda item number nine which is presentation, discussion, and possible action on findings and staff recommendations of report on gifts: gifts to city departments. and i call on mr. port for the presentation. >> thank you, chair lee. commissioners. for the record i'm pat ford for the policy counsel. this agenda item is the third in a series of reports that the commission has undertaken as part of a comprehensive review of the city's ethics laws and this review is undertaken after
the revelations of the ongoing federal corruption probe that you heard from mr. dela rosa and his team in the previous agenda item. i have a set of slides which i will share with you now. all right. you should be able to see those now. so, first, i want to give a quick note on context on where this report falls within the larger project. so you'll remember in november of last year, we presented the first report as part of this project. that report focused on behested payments and at that time, the commission voted to approve staff's recommendations and legislation that would enact recommendations is currently pending before the board of
supervisors. at the moment, the rules committee is still in control of the ordinance. they've heard it three times, made some amendments that we support, we think they're good amendments. one of them is to add elected officials to who is covered by the new rule contained in that file. the file is now going through the confer process again. since some changes were made, we have to meet again, but that ordinance is still moving forward. the current phase of the project looks at gifts. the first report that we delivered in august focused on gifts to individuals and at the august meeting, the commission voted to approve in concept form, the recommendations that were contained in that report. what we're focusing on today pertains to gifts.
the recommendations in the report and vote to approve the recommendations that it agrees with and once we have action by the commission, we can work on drafting legislation in conjunction with the city attorney's office that would embody both recommendations. rules on gifts and rules in city departments. and the final phase of the project is essentially it's a miscellaneous phase. so these could be things like recusal rules or statements about board activities, etc. i also want to give a quick background. this seems to change every time we talk about one of these reports. but at present, 13 individuals have been charged as part of the ongoing federal corruption as part of the investigation that includes two city
department heads and two other city employees. they have agreed to plead guilty and that includes one city employee. also the san francisco district attorney has brought criminal charges against a formal city employee for failing to properly disclose personal financial interest. at this point, seven city officers or employees have resigned or been terminated as a result of the corruption probe. one of the central allegations that is contained in the federal investigations is about gifts to the department of ecology to the department of public works. these gifts include funding for holiday parties, a staff appreciation picnic, d.p.w. branded apparel and merchandise, a health fair for city employees that included massages and acupuncture and
these funds were funded through recog recology. you remember the restricted source rule from the last report, the report on gifts to individuals. it's one of the key ethics laws. it says that city employees cannot receive gifts from restricted sources. a restricted source is a person who has thought to influence the officer or employee in the last twelve months. there are exceptions to this rule both within local law and then there are state law exceptions to the definition of gift. you'll remember in the report on gifts to individuals that staff recommended that many of these exceptions either be removed or that they be reformed so that they more
properly meet the needs that they are there to meet. although there are exceptions, those are currently still in flux and possibly will be changed. so to show you visually what this looks like, the restricted source rule would apply to gifts made from recology to officials within dpw. because recology. as i mentioned recology gave money through various noncity organizations including the lefty o'duels foundation and the account administered by the parks alliance that was then used by muhammad nuru and the department of public works to
confer personal benefits to officials within d.p.w. and for obvious reasons, this practice undermined the restricted source rule. it is meant to prevent that flow of gifts so there is no undue play. having the gifts eventually end up with the officials effectively results in the same outcome which is problematic. a major component of the report that we're delivering today is our empirical research into the public disclosure we stopped to prevent other city departments from giving gifts in restricted sources and ways to use them to consider personal benefits on
city officials. we found that several departments do engage in this same general practice. we found that city departments accept gifts from contractors, tenants, permit applicants or permit holders, and lobbyists and permit consultants. and each kind of these entities would constitute for all or some officials within the departments. when i say official, i'm referring to either an officer like a commissioner or elected official or a city employee. all of them collectively can be referred to as officials. these gifts then used by the department in ways that conferred personal benefits on officers and employees. and this includes attendants at parties, free food and drinks, and tickets to events like concerts and festivals. so to again depict this visually, whenever an organization is a restricted
source for a city official, the official is prohibited largely from accepting a gift from that restrictive source. however, the restrictive sources by making gifts through the city department that end up with the city officials effectively achieve the same outcome. and the same can be said when the funding for the gifts goes to a nonentity such as a sub group or nonprofit. they're paid for by the restricted source going to city officials and this is often done with the coordination or approval of the department. these practices, similar to what we discussed about dpw undermind the restricted source rule. they create the danger in the appearance in the eyes of the public. i do want to call out as we
mentioned several times in the report that the report does not include that these practices constitute a violation of existing law. rather what we're trying to do is understand empirically what existing practices are and to what extent they do or don't embody current laws. rather they do not properly achieve ethics goal and that ultimately, the law should be reformed in ways that makes sure that these practices don't occur. i also want to pount out that each of the practices that we talk about in the report are slightly different and there are differentint out that each of the practices that we talk about in the report are slightly different and there are different pieces of each
issue. statutory gift funds or other mechanisms of city law that allow departments to receive gifts without getting prior approval from supervisors. under the code in order for a department to receive a gift of $10,000 or more, they typically need to get approval or more. that's called accept and expend approval. that should be understood as being part of the board's budget process. essentially, the board can also create a statutory gift fund that kind of pre-emptively approves gifts for a certain narrow purpose it should be subject to all ethics rules for example. some of the gifts to the
departments that we found are included in contracts between the department and the restricted source providing the gifts. likewise this should not be making the gifts as not understood by some of the ethics rules. some of the officials that were invited to for free or at a discounted rate are also attended by noncity individuals. this does not negate. many of the noncity individual who is are present also themselves are restricted sources. lastly, many of the practices are long standing and, again, that fact in itself does not mitigate the ethics problems that the report discusses. a major part of this project just like the controller's project that you heard about is about taking a hard and close look at practices within city government. some of them being long-standing practices and making some judgment calls
about whether or not embody the kind of city we want to be, whether or not they have the right tone at the top and frankly some of them need to change at this point to set the right tone at the top. likewise, i want to point out a few things about tickets. free tickets should be subject to the restricted source rule just like other gifts. under state law, you'll remember this from the last report on gifts to individuals. under state law, individuals have to report gifts they receive on the form 700 and they're also limited form 700 filers to only accepting $520 gifts from a reportable source in one year. however, state law sets up a number of exceptions for those two rules. one of them is if an individual receives a ticket from a department pursuant to an established ticket policy and the tickets are reported on the form which is posted on the
department's website that those two state rules don't apply. so the individual isn't subject to the $520 limit. the individual doesn't have to report it on the form 700. but you'll remember from the last report, we think it's really important that all of the exceptions to those two gift rules not be wholesale applied to the restricted source rule. it's important that the restricted source rule be thought of separately and in this case, tickets even if they don't have to be disclosed in the form 700, still be subject to the restricted source rule. they should have different sets of exceptions. similarly, city duties can largely be carried out without free tickets. access to spaces is largely available to city officials. so if city officials need to perform safety inspections or code compliance inspections or other kind of site visits just deemed familiarity with a certain space that members of
the public would have to pay in order to access, typically, city officials can gain access to these spaces by arranging in advance with whoever's in control of that space. in the rare circumstance where a ticket is actually needed and the ticket is coming from a restricted source, if that ticket is deemed to be necessary in order to carry out city duties, the city should purchase the tickets. it's really hard necessary to carry out duties, it is reasonable and proper for those to be purchased by the city just like any other resource a city department may need in order to carry out its duties. i want to transition a bit and talk about the disclosures themselves. we also sought during the research for this report to evaluate how effective the existing disclosures of gifts to city departments are. we looked up three local laws
and we concluded that each one failed to provide transparency. the ones that is a true disclosure that's designed for the purpose of transparency is the website disclosure that exists in the sunshine ordinance. this requires city departments to disclose gifts over $100 to carry out city duties. it's decentralized if the information exists on each separate department's website. in order to find the information, it can be hard to. it can be difficult to review. so although that was the primary source of data that we used when we were doing this report, we did find it hard to use and we think it's not creating sufficient transparency currently. another possible avenue of transparency into gifts to city
departments is from the disclosures the departments have to make to the controller's office. this is required under the admin code that the department must disclose gifts they receive. it's not really designed or administered as a public disclosure. it's not something that the public can easily take advantage of easily accessing information. similarly, departments have to report annually to the board of supervisors about gifts that they receive. this should be thought of as something that the board uses as part of it's not really designed or administered as something meant to be primarily a public disclosure. so, likewise, it's hard to get out this information if you're a member of the public. it's hard to glean an overall understanding of what gifts city departments are getting. even when you take these 3
things together, it's difficult to piece together what the universe of gifts looks like. this brings us to the recommendations that are in your report. our first four recommendations pertain to how to address the flow of gifts from restricted sources through city departments or noncity entities ending up with city officials. so the first recommendation is that city law be amended to clearly prohibit any city officer or employee for acting as a restricted source gift and this rule would apply if the official knows or has reason to know that the source is a restricted source for the recipient. the standard of know or has reason to know that the source is a restricted source for the recipient. to use the example, d.p.w.
would prohibit muhammad nuru or anyone else within the department for accepting money from recology and using it to pay for holiday parties, knowing all along that recology is a restricted source. the second recommendation is to prohibit any city officer or employee from accepting a gift and, again, this would apply that the original source is a restricted source. similarly, in the case of d.p.w., this would prohibit if the recology is a restricted source for them. and the third recommendation is to prohibit gifted sources from passing a gift through
intermediary. if they have reason to know the gift will benefit. you'll remember from the report on gift to individuals that the commission wanted to adopt a new rule that would prohibit restricted sources from giving to city officers. this would dove tell that recommendation. they also can't give a gift to a third party if they know that's going to go to the city official. so in the context of this would prohibit recology from giving money to these three nonprofit but knowing all along that money was going there for holiday parties and other perks for dpw officials. the fourth recommendation is to prohibit noncity officials
acting as. this would apply if the intermediary knows or has reason to know for the city official that receive it this would prohibit the noncity organizations or individual who is served as an intermediary from doing that if they know that what's going on is actually a restricted source gift transaction. the fifth and sixth recommendations pertain to disclosure of gifts to city departments. recommendation five is that the ethics commission should administer single standardized gifts to the city departments in a sung l readily available location. you currently have to visit the separate websites of each city department. we think it would be much better for the public and
accountability departments like the ethics commission, the controller, or the city attorney's office if all this information were available in one place. we think that this information would also be able to satisfy the existing disclosure requirements. so it would be able to satisfy the controller's need to see gifts. the board of supervisors and we would want to work with those departments to make sure this disclosure does, in fact, serve their needs. finally, pertaining to that new disclosure, we recommend that departments be required to disclose the name of every city officer or employee who personally benefits for a gift to a city department. right now, this information sdoes not void including. for example, those tickets, not all employees who get tickets are closed on -- have their names disclosed. in some cases, that may be
allowed but we think it's important to see the names of all city employees who get tickets or gifts or anything else because otherwise it's hard to know if a restricted source gift transaction is going on. so this would be an important part of being able to monitor and being able to enforce compliance or noncompliance. so that concludes my quick summary of what's in the report. and i'll leave you with the same excerpts. the government decisions of officers and employees of the city and county should be and should appear to be made on a fair basis. i think we're not just trying to convince each other as city officials that our processes are working well, but also there's a huge need to convince the public, perhapses,
convince them again that what we do has integrity and our work is accountable to them, transparent, and is done in the proper way. >> president: thank you. and also just a reminder to our public, if you wish to make a public comment in response to this agenda item, please dial in now and enter star three to be added to the public comment queue so that we can call on you later. and can i have the other screen so i can see which commissioners would want to speak. commissioner chu. >> commissioner: thank you, julie. and, mr. ford, thank you for
this stellar work. this represents i'm sure many hours of and present this information -- a lot of information in such a clear and easy to understand manner. so thank you for that. so one of the questions that i had and just at the outset, i think that i am in support of all of your recommendations. i think that this is what's needed. i think that we have inconsistency and an effective
frame work for elicit. and our corruption in san francisco that we take very strong action here. and i would only ask then that as we continue to move forward, you know, what are the consequences? i think that we are seeing as corruption details come out that not only were there inadequate rules and regulations to prevent the wrong doing or the alleged bad behavior and there was a culture that enabled it, but what are the penalties and fines that would detour it through robust enforcement.
and second is, the conflict of this knowledge and i could be getting more into the weeds here is this idea of they should have known or they knew. so i would want to appreciate your best thinking on thank you that would capture the situation you've identified with the planning department and d.p.w. without running the risk of being unable to establish evidence of knowledge, you know, absent records or exhaustive investigation on the part of the enforcement people and in creating guidelines around what
the regulated community, so in this case, the restricted sources as well as the city officials will be very important so that everyone understands what they can do and what they cannot do and back to the knowledge requirement, would there be a kind of duty of inquiry on the part of city officials, as well as the restricted sources because this area that you're going to be giving a gift of substantial sums of money for a party. well, that should raise a red flag and say maybe i should talk to the ethics commission because there are going to be requirements around proceedings with such a thing. but i just wanted my other commissioners to ask additional
questions. >> thank you for those questions, commissioner chiu. so to your first question, i think we can think backward looking about conduct that's already happened and looking forward for the future. of course, we don't have the benefit of the kinds of rules that we're recommending right now, but we've discussed this briefly in the report, there are current rules against aiding and abetting violations of the ordinance for that matter. so, for example, if somebody aided and abetted a city official in accepting a gift from a restricted source, there could potentially already be liability for that person under the code. so as we always do, we will of course, share and discuss with the enforcement commission to
what we found to investigate any of the practices that we talk about in the report. but i think why we ended up recommending more explicit rules is that we think that it's not important just to have a method for enforcement, it's also important to have very explicit rules so on the front end, we have something to go out and educate people on. that you cannot act as an intermediary. if you know it's coming from a restricted source etc. rather than having a general aiding and abetting rule, we think it's best to have each of those steps. that's probably all we can say about enforcement of past conduct. but enforcement will look at it. they'll see what there is and look under existing laws. our hope is for future conduct that we would have, laws to
teach people on the front end of what is and isn't okay. your question about the new reason to know -- >> commissioner: i just want to interject on the enforcement pieces. as you're talking, i'm thinking on a prospective basis and i'm thinking out loud here and would appreciate more input from my fellow commissioners and also from you and your team as well. in thinking about taking a step back and drawing up and thinking about the corruption scandal that has engulfed our city with respect to gifts, i think maybe my mind set is let's not have this happen again. right. as we create these -- this revision of the gift rules and regulations and enforcement frame work, how do we prevent? how do we think about what has happened? what are the lessons that we are learning and how do we
prevent the types of inappropriate restricted source funding of parties and, you know, swag and things like that going forward so that it doesn't happen again? and i think that the people of san francisco are rightly upset and outraged, dismaid, and disappointed in theyed, and disappointed in the conduct of and so my hope is that whatever we propose would not just address those things that would prevent anything similar or anything from happening going forward and have robust penalties that would deter anything like the behavior of repeating because i don't think that there is -- i mean, there's no appetite for a
repeat of any of this to come forward. i think there's an opportunity for the ethics committee to recast and reframe the gift rule so that we can start to eliminate the problems that have come up and has gotten so much publicity. >> that's right. the d.p.w. holiday parties and other perks. we really tried to take as broad a view as possible. that's why we took the time to really go through and review all the disclosures citywide and i want to recognize mikal canning for his work of really going through and doing the hard work of reading all those and recording them and keeping track of them all so that we're able to in this report put
together a broad view of what the different practices are and you can kind of see how they vary from department to department and we believe the recommendations we've made are broad enough that they really encompass all of those practices. so we think this is not just a narrow response to just one incident that happened. rather try to look wholistically at a general practice. to your question about the new or head reason to know of standard, i think that the 'knew' part is hard to show. you need a document or remission or something. but the 'had reason to know' standard, i think we should consider that to be pretty broad. have reason to know doesn't necessarily mean they knew it but that there was some information there that they should have been able to look at and know that that was a
restricted source. and to your point about a duty of inquiry, we would consider some basic due diligence to be appropriate. that it would be reasonable for someone giving a gift, receiving a gift, acting as an intermediary gift. they should ask some basic questions. they should check is this organization a contractor with the department. that would be reasonable for them to check and if that information was there, then they would have reason to know that that's a restrictive source. >> commissioner: and, i think the more we can build a mechanism within the disclosure departments to require that level of diligence and a certification as to i have checked and to the best of my knowledge believe they are not, something like that just to create greater levels of accountability for ensuring
that the process is clean and transparent and that these, you know, city employees are taking these issues of gifts from restricted sources very seriously in going back to your last slide it also needs to appear to be fair. >> president: thank you, commissioner chiu. commissioner bell. >> commissioner: i saw commissioner busch's hand up. i'll defer to him if you come back to me, chair. i'll defer to my more
experienced commissioners, which is all of them. [ laughter ]. >> president: we're in the same boat. >> commissioner: if you could please come back to me after commissioner busch. >> commissioner: i have a series of questions. let me just throw out my questions without you having to take the time to answer them. when you looked at three admissions, there are certain categories for example and many of them category c is to allow familiarity with the facilities and the public experience with them and that becomes a route for tickets to outer lands which amounts to a lot of money. and so have you looked at whether or not the criteria where handing out free tickets needs to itself be re-evaluated. secondly, travel gifts don't seem to limit expenses and
we've seen that for hotel rooms in new york at $500 a night. and in other cases, we've seen complimentary golfing days in places like scotland and there doesn't appear to be any required disclosure of those activities and the values of those things. secondly, or thirdly, i guess, we've seen nonprofits task through to pay a commissioner's salary or other benefit and so that seems highly questionable that that can go on. the next one is that to be for a specific supervisor, but not for all of the supervisors. so, for example, in one case, a corporate entity created a
database of everything that was related to matters that came before the supervisor so the supervisor had easy access to them. but it would have been considered to be a freebee of free literature. finally, not finally. what's the word -- we have cases where a limit is based on the specific commission and the commissioner but not about the clear relationship between commissions so, for example, you can't give money to a member of the planning commission who's running for office, but you could give money to the member of department of building inspection because they're not a commission that you're before at that moment. so we know that things migrate
from one to the next to the next. and so why don't you just create a blanket then instead of doing it on a piecemeal basis i don't see anything in here that deals with special funds like a pandemic disaster or the city hall centennial or the super bowl or the americas cup and those are not for a particular department or commission, but they are to the city and how do you handle those. and, in terms of the enforcement issue that commissioner chiu just raised, in the past i've seen that we would discover and find that a
city commissioner was in violation of the rules but that the enforcement of that was up to the appointed authority and not up to the ethics commission. so how do you get past that hurdle because i know in the case of muhammad nuru, he disciplined an officer because he turned in an employee who was sexually harassing someone in the work place. so a settlement was required to be paid of $100,000 something but the city department head had no buy-in on that whatsoever. so that's the universe. i look at these things from the ground up and you're happily approaching it from the -- from
a higher elevation. hopefully we'll meet in the middle and find a good ground. thank you. >> president: thank you, commissioner busch. >> chair lee. i have some thoughts on that if it's okay i can share on those. >> president: okay. so you asked, commissioner busch, about free tickets and the public purpose for why the distributed tickets. we did look at them. we reviewed the public purposes that we reviewed and what they state for why they distribute tickets. we ended up not really analyzing those because we believe if the source.
if there is a program attic need if the department needs to acquire those tickets, that should be something they factor into their budget. that is totally reasonable and proper for those to be something the department needs. you're correct that gifts of travel, they're not subject to the as we talked about in the report on gifts to individuals under existing city law, that also means that they're not subject to the restricted source rule. we think that's a big problem. we don't think those were intended and that needs to be reversed. >> commissioner: just to give an example of that, i've seen city officials who flew on a
private plane to europe and only had to put down as a disclosure the amount of the economy flight that would have gone to europe instead of having a seat on a private flight. >> yeah. i think that speaks to, you know, methods that are used to value gifts and i think that's absolutely something we can look out to is how are we valuing gifts for purpose of disclosure and both the $520 yearly and this should not guilty be exempt from the restricted source rule. also to your question about special funds, i think that issue really would be addressed in both reports. so in the context of behested payments under that ordinance,
that resulted from that process, the official would not be able to ask that person to make a payment to a third party. they would not be able to fundraise for that special fund from interested parties. that's how that part of it would be addressed if there are gifts being given, the recommendations in this report would address it. and to your question about the certain rules to be up to the appointing authority, i think that's definitely the kind of thing we can look at in the miscellaneous final phase of the project. so i'll make a note of that and we'll check that out. >> commissioner: thank you. >> president: okay. commissioner bell.
>> commissioner: thank you, chair lee. so i joined my colleagues on commissioner chiu's statement on all the work you have done it was really a job well done. i liked your graphics of flow where the money goes and gifts go and explain it and hope that the public can see that and view that. my comments go on i'm not so sure about the enforcement piece. so it's my experience as a lawyer as other are, you know rules and public policies and procedures, meanwhile, the new war is maybe running ahead. i see this like a chess game in
that in the course of human condition, in the human condition, there are already people trying to figure out how to do corrupt sufficient and so we may not prevent it in the future because that's the game is that you try to nail it down and people try to unnail it. and so i joined with commissioner chiu on this confidence and also that we try to prevent it, but understanding that we might not because that's just a course of human event. what i would like to say though is that we should have it as much as we can informing people about what you've given us so that they actually have to be more culpable in violating these rules rather than, "oh, i
didn't know." and so i think the gift rules if i can call them that, we need to have a strategy about advertising, training, getting it out to the people so that those in the middle that don't want to be corrupt are now informed and basically we will know that we're trying to build a culture that essentially you just violated these rules. you know what they were, you just violated them as opposed to i didn't know and no one told me kind of stuff. and so i just would hope that we come up if we haven't already, if the team comes up with a plan of knowledge transfer so that people know and understand why we're doing what we're doing. so that would be my sense of
the prevention is, you know most people want to do right and this stuff can be complicated and confusing, but i would hope we would have a methodology to inform whoever we believe how far down it goes that these are the rules and this power, you know, we have something that will give you the basics as to what a gift is and now you know and therefore you should proceed accordingly. so the last thing i would have as a question is give me your response to the museum letter, the museum's letter about ticketing. i've heard everything you've said about ticketing, but what struck me is when they said, how can you ask us to, you know, be in charge of the library and we can't even take books out and so i don't know
if that analogy is actually spot on, but if that's the argument they're making i'd like to know you your take on the ticketing and your recommendations on the ticketing. can you just give me a response to that part, not just the library part, but their part about why they feel that the ticketing piece keeps them from doing what they need to do in terms of oversight. >> yeah. absolutely. to your first point about education. i mean, we definitely see this wholistically that we need to on the front end be educating people and on the back end have the enforcement and we really try to and she's visibly working on our officers to start that. to get out there in front of a
much bigger audience than we're currently reaching with existing ethics training to do exactly what you're describing. so that process is under way and we're working towards that. >> commissioner: okay. excuse my phone ringing. that will be the last time it rings. because what i would say is to have these rules without a roll-out about people knowing these rules is not going to get us far. i mean, i see them as equally important, quite frankly, not just the rules, but it's also telling people what the rules are. >> absolutely. and i should be clear our roll-out of the rules is not going to exist onto in the work program. that will be a huge part of our effort to educate folks, but we already have an existing process for rolling out rules. our engagement and compliance
team already has trying to get those to people. so i think any and all suggestions are totally welcome of what might be better ways to do that, but we're definitely working towards an exponential ramp-up and how we're going to do that so we have more bodies in chairs working on this exact issue. >> commissioner: well, sign me up if you need a commissioner on the roll-out and more. >> absolutely. let's connect on that. >> commissioner: and then i have a question about the ticketing and museums. >> definitely. so to that point, we don't contest the idea that commissioners should be familiar with the things they are overseeing. i think the issue that we have is when commissioners are getting a personal benefit from
a restricted source. in so far as it is necessary to obtain ticketings to carry out any city duty whether it's gaining familiarity or performances or anything else. that's something if departments need that, they should budget for it. that's something they should be able to get. i think getting them for free from the restricted source should not be the solution. >> i just wanted to know what your answer was specifically. let's say i'm on the commission of the dejeoung, the two museums that are together and i'm doing oversight and i do just roll up and want to walk through and do a visit about gender binary bathrooms or
something like that and they ask me for my tickets and i say, hey, i'm a commissioner, i should get in for free. or i already have a ticket because i'm a commissioner. how is it that you're saying to get that i should be able to get in free as many times as i want to do the inspection or i should be on the list that when my name comes up, they let me in? >> yeah. i think that's a good distinction to drop between mere access to a space versus getting a ticket for performance. what we found in our review talking to different city departments and also private organizations that put on events is that it is already a standard practice. if someone needs to get in to do something, they can arrange that in advance.
so that would be that ground up solution would be to plan for that. to contact the museum and say we're going to do a walk-through. please make note of that and we're going to come and if that's something that if that process doesn't exist. that can easily be set up. >> if that distinction's there, then the library's letter is just totally off point. >> yeah. we said that access to spaces, that's not a gift. if you're just doing a city duty, looking at something expecting that, that's not a gift. if somebody needs to sit down and if we have to recognize that's a small subset of this
larger problem we're talking about. i think, right there, that's where the department can purchase a ticket and there's also a distinction to draw between that need and the practice we're observing. the need it for a commissioner or a trustee to sit in a seat and observe a performance. the practice that we're seeing is for commissioners to go to many performances and to get multiple tickets to a single performance for guests. that can't be tied to that purpose and so i would just observe that it's not just what you just said did not come through clearly to me in the writing and that what you just said, you might want to strengthen it or in some kind of presentation emphasize it so
you might want to revisit that and be very clear and specific about that distinction and give examples of what is alive and what is not i think that's exactly what we want to emphasize. >> commissioner: thank you so much. great work. thank you. >> thank you. >> that brings up a question i should have asked. some of the city gifts are from entities that are not city departments. for example, the war memorial board is actually a separate foundation. how did that get handled? >> trustees are city officials
so we treated them similarly to other city officials. >> commissioner: mr. ford, a gentleman has his hand up trying to respond to that, i think. >> i was asking the war memorial board is not actually a agency whenever the park board. >> i understand there are city officials. so i think in so far as they have different needs to certain performances like we were just discussing with commissioner bell, i think that's something we can look at in regulations. by in large, since they are city officials, we think it's important that ethics rules apply to them as well. but, yeah, chair lee, the
director is here if you want to recognize him and let him comment. >> chairman: okay. i do not see him. >> commissioner: chair lee, mr. collin. >> chairman: would you like to make some comments and responses to some of the things that we raised. >> if i may. and thanks so much chair lee. can you hear me? >> chairman: yes. >> thank you. i participated in the authoring of the letter that commissioner bell just referred to in partnership with the fine arts and i think there are some great points being raised by commissioners and some questions that i hope i can clarify. i also would like to start by thanking mr. canning and mr. ford for their work on the
report. it's clearly a labor of love. it's pretty incredible i think the way to address this, first of all, i'll directly address commissioner bush's remarks is that the war memorial is a city trusted appointed agency so it's not a private foundation board, it is a city board. and it's one of the boards that governs the charitable trust departments which are really unique city agencies and i would echo commissioner bell's phrasing and it can be a little complicated and confusing in terms of their composition. one thing i'd like to point out is there is an erroneous statement included in the report and that is that the charitable trust departments
are empowered by the city charter in article five to accept gifts of any size and amount whatsoever without the approval of the board of supervisors the charitable trust departments who have exclusive charge over all of their assets which, again is an interesting power and in article five of the charter as well. exclusive charge over the assets as well as exclusive authority to enter into the contracts. they were given as gifts to the city and so they do function as other city departments and they're outlined in article five of the charter.
and that's both gallery spaces and performance spaces. so in regards to the gifts, the report is just incorrect. there is another exception for exception of gifts. the commissioner made a remark about nonprofit organizations contributing to the salaries of city employees. now, i don't know much about that as a citywide practice and i don't know to which department, commissioner, you might have been referring, but i can say that the governing boards of the museums are actually granted by the city charter, the ability to accept and utilize contributions to supplement or pay for the salaries of its appoint fees and that's in charter section 5.102. that power does not apply to the war memorial, only to the two museums. the asian arts museum and the fine arts museum of san francisco. so that's another sort of thing that makes this a little
complicated and confusing. i agree completely with mr. ford's statements that access to spaces is not a gift. that is exactly the viewpoint that we take and put in this letter and i think commissioner bell raises an interesting point of practicality which is that he as a commissioner should be able to go to the dejeong or other museums and you could arrange for the whole commission to come down at the same time. the access of the space being granted to the commissioner is not a gift. that's absolutely correct. the credential being provided to him so that he may do that is exactly that, it's a credential that allows entrance to the museum at a time of his convenience so that he can exercise his duties as a commissioner. so i agree with you, mr. ford, that access to this space is not a gift. with regard to the fair political practices act, it really clearly defines when a ticket is not a gift and the
charitable trust departments really do follow the guidelines. i think you'll notice that in the report itself, there are 140 we really do try to be compliant. with specific regard to tickets for the war memorial which i understand is a point of concern, you're correct, mr. ford, we are a small subset. we are the only city department that runs a performing arts center. one of 50 departments wherein a person who needs to understand the function of this department needs to come and walk through the building when people are in it and needs to spend time in the auditorium. that's part of the function. and in order to do that, we need an assigned seat. that's very unique to our department. the auditorium space can't be
excluded from operation and oversight because we own it. we own the seats and the stage, we own all of it: so for a trusty or other city folks needs to understand the function of our department and come down and see how our performance works and better understand the performance. but the seats themselves that we use are not gifts that were given to the department. they do not give tickets to the war memorial. so that we can use them without
having to request tickets for the ballet or the opera rather just like the bars and food service areas and storage rooms and other spaces. and any of the seats that we don't use, we donate them to the departments and then they get to sell them and i think that's an important thing to understand because what it does is it actually obviates the need for a person to try to accept the gift that what ends up happening is you're depriving the city officials to go perform so while i
understand this is very unique to the museums and more specifically to the war memorial, this is definitely typical of any city department and i also think that the idea of these having undue influence, that's i don't think appropriate. i don't think that that makes sense as i just said. i also respectfully disagree with mr. ford that it's a reasonable expectation to ask taxpayers to purchase tickets for city officials to perform their duties when the tickets can be acquired through other transparent and legal means which is we're finding out that the city is expending my funds on that, i would not be happy about it. lastly, i would just like to close with a statement about
equity. i think you're all city officials and, you know, our boards, the museum, and the performing arts center boards, these are volunteer positions. these are not compensated, commissioners. we ask a lot and make you all spend a lot of time doing things and there is -- how would i phrase this? there are people on my board who are of certain wealth and people of modest means and if we would take away the ability to access the performing arts center, the museum, more specifically with the performing arts center because you do need an assigned seat, i do fear that will create inequity among board members. you'll notice that on some of the certain trustee names never appear and the reason is they're wealthy and they have box seats and so they do come, they don't have to ask for a ticket, they can afford it. there are other trustees who cannot. and so i fear that if the
charitable trust departments are included. we'll be creating an inequity on board members where you'll only be able to function if you have your own personal means and then the decision maker who is can't afford that won't have equal access to information. so those are some of my concerns and hopefully the clarification around what's included in article five regarding the accept kenley jansen acceptance of gifts and those not being things that are i hope that all makes sense and is clear and i hope that answers any questions you may
have. >> chairman: thank you. i think in a perfect world we will need to even have gift rules. gifts should be prohibited once and for all. i think the federal government had a really good system that, yes, it may be allowed, but it makes it so difficult for officials to even entertain accepting a gift. lightning when we go to meetings, we bring our own bottled water because just a bottle of wart is considered a gift and so i think that creates a different kind of culture for both the officials as well as the public that, you know, the officials are here to serve the public and therefore there should be no reciprocated
actions. that's a perfect world. and in the reality world, i see there are two kinds of gifters, if i may use that term. there are those who are city residents who really want to show their appreciation to their public officials or want to show their support by, you know, by providing a private plant for earth day or, you know, some special cookies or what have you during the holidays. i think that we should find ways to allow that to continue because there is a bigger group of gifters that we are -- we need to focus on and those are
the professionals so to speak and those are the one that is commissioner bell has spoke of. those are the folks who are at least two steps ahead of whatever we do. they will find a way to go around whatever restriction that is we spend time to evaluate and oppose. so i think that we need to really find a balance to create a way to acknowledge that, you know, gifting should not be viewed as a quid pro quo. that's something that we definitely need to really look at and how do we deal with it. and i understand your dilemma and your unique situation. but i think for the public
because right now we're looking at the public's confidence level in our government. do we have a clean government. do we have a government that treats everybody the same. so if i were to see a commissioner occupying the seat watching a ballet performance, it may be easy for the folks to see, hey, you know, why are they there? you know, is it part of the perks that they have? and that sends a really -- is not a very good message and you mentioned about, you know, the commissioners really need to see the areas and they do, but do they really need to be there at the performance to see that
i'm still not convinced that they do and good for the other commissioners who have the box seats. maybe they could invite their colleagues not to create a quarrel situation, but maybe on their personal level, they can support each other because the bottom line here is the perception that government officials are getting, you know, something that public officials should not be getting. so that's a perception issue that i really struggle with because until we send a good message that when we talk about an ethical government, we practice it. so, you know, maybe on the
short-term, maybe you can explain it on your website that as a commissioner, these are the things that, you know, you get not the benefit, but that's part of your duty. i don't know. that's something that we need to really discuss so that people will know that as a board commissioner, these are your responsibilities, therefore you are required to do certain things, but it's notable that other arts museums, they do not give out free tickets to the commissioners. the arts museum and what have you. so the other things that i really want us to look at is i understand on the practical way many department employees do
value holiday parties, birthday parties, and special cautions and, you know, and it may be unfair for the staff to have to pay for it because, you know, there is an equity issue here. i wonder, mr. ford, have you looked at other best practices where i know that from the federal government, we have a crowd funding source that senior executives who get paid a lot more than the line staff, we are asked to put in to a city, but there's a firewall. nobody knows how much money we put in, who put in the money, but if the budget is for $10,000 somehow $10,000 comes
up. everybody has a great time, great party and that, commissioner bush, remind me, that met the federal ethics rules because no one knew who paid for what and no one would ask for whatever favors in the future and with the event of crowd source funding, i wonder if this is something that this commission may want to consider and recommend to different departments. that, yes, we understand that there needs to be these, you know, additional funds to support staff relationship building and what have you, but instead of nibble around the current gift rules, you know,
firewall built in. because you know whoever thought this out, there are folks out there who are already plotting how to go around it and we may be back in a year or so to look at ways to close those loopholes. so that's my frustration for the day before the giants game. so if we can entertain -- if there's no more comments. commissioner bell, i see your hand raised. >> commissioner: yep. and commissioner bush's hand was up before mine. >> chairman: okay. sorry, commissioner bush. i didn't see you. >> commissioner: i'm sorry. yes, so my hand is up for mr. calden and thank you,
mr. calden for your advocacy and direct points. so i have two questions for you in response to what you said. >> yes, sir. >> commissioner: so as i understand the letter, the people that you are representing, want an exemption from the gift rule as expressed by the commission because of the reasons that you stated, you want to be exempt from them. >> let's parse that out because there's gifts to city departments and then there's the concept of an individual person receiving a gift and they're two separate issues. so i'm going to address them both, if you will. the first is in regards to city departments which the report
addresses in section a.3. the only exception is if a gift is accepteded under the terms of the statutory gift fund. that's contradicted by article five of the charter because article five of the charter gives the governing board the ability to accept gifts of any amount without action of the board of supervisors. >> commissioner: you're saying you're an entity that that does not apply to. >> i'm saying -- yes. i'm offering that as a correction to the report. even if you did pass this -- even if this legislation did pass, the charter trumps the admin code and that section would not apply to the charitable department. >> commissioner: i love the word trump. we get smacked down on that one. >> well, with regard to gifts. let's talk about gifts to individuals. which i think is what you might be after. my intention and i do understand chair lee's point about perhaps the public perception of a commissioner or member of the board of
supervisors say sitting in a seat at the ballet. i do it differently. i think that if a person is funding these departments, they're otherwise charged with the oversight of them and they're not watching shows that that isn't your responsibility. i think it's within your responsibility for who has management oversight rules and responsibilities to not comment on things. i see it exactly as the opposing view and i think the people of san francisco would agree with me that, oh, you run a performing arts center, but you've never watched anything from it. so i think the public actually moves in the other direction. as far as the value of the -- or the number of seats and tickets used, it is correct. the vast majority of tickets are the charitable trust departments distributed through the war memorial because you need to sit in a seat. the fine arts museum, they have much lower ticket prices. if you are a person, so a ticket price to the dejeong is
$200. you can have free admission for two members and two guests all year and it's fully tax deductible. so if you're a person who itemizes your taxes, that's free. so the cost differential is much greater and i didn't create the cost differential. the board of supervisors voted to take an overthe role of u.c. regions and the responsibilities to the war memorial in 1928. so the trust dates back to 1921. and part of running it is coming down to see things in it and part of doing that is receiving a seat to sit in. so my argument actually is that those tickets aren't gifts and i can go back to what mr. ford said. the ticket itself is just a credential to access the space during the public use period because the public use periods for the museums and the performing arts center and this
is completely unique to us. but the public use period does require ticket for access. >> commissioner: and i appreciate that because i understand how you are framing it and reasonable people can frame things totally differently and to their advantage. so i get that. my question then to you is then where is -- if what we were -- if we were to agree with what you said, where's the oversight to make sure there's not abuse to what you claim? because you can claim a wonderful purpose. yes, i'm on the board of whatever, i should see a perm answer to see if the volunteers even know where the rows are and the seats are and if people are in their seats or on their cellphones. i could see that i want to observe that. but what is the mechanism you're proposing for us or -- i'm sorry -- to inform us on
how we make sure that isn't abuse? what's the oversight? >> the form 802s accomplish that. the whole reason the war memorial's included ntsz report and that we're having this conversation is because of the consistency and the regularity with which we file our form 802s. again, 80 out of 140 were filed out of the war memorial alone. the reason that mr. ford and canning were able to create this report is that all of this information is readily available on our website. if you want them on the ethics commission website. if you want a centralized website, that's fine with me. so i think the reporting function itself is what accomplishes that and if the ethics commission wants to sit down and talk about how we do it and maybe give us coaching. i'm all for learning. [please stand by]
carry out its functions it's hard to say how that would be an affront to tax payers. it is important to push back on the concept that the city can obtain for free, it should do that, rather than pay for it. we talked about that for the free males. for a business lunch with a contactor, it's okay to pay for the free lunch. rather than save on the restricted lunch. especially on save appreciation.
they recommend the city do more to pay for staff appreciation for that very within. it's much better that we as a city value that and consider it necessary. rather than rely on restricted sources to pay for it. let's end that practice. i wanted to provide some of those clarifications. >> thank you for the clarification. if there are no more questions. let's go to public comment -- >> can i ask a question here. i can't cite the specific part of the law, there's a provision that says you're in frequent
contact with somebody on the seam revenue source there's prohibitions that are triggered. did you know what those are? >> i think you're talking about the disclosure on the record bp people and personal relationships. >> do you have that. >> this is on the docket for phase three. the requirement is that if it's a public official that's on a public body, they disclose it on
the record. if it's not someone on a public record, it's not really clear. they can keep a memo or something upon file. it's not blg centralized. that's something that we're going to look ats on phase three gentleman i look at some of the spur members. that's half the department heads. >> if the city attorney is available, i would call commissioners are on the call,
they are required during open session, they have a personal relationship with even to recuse themselves from the vote. they need to make that point clear at the open public meeting, a. i correct on that bun, city attorney? >> i'm sorry. i'm not sure i caught all of the question. >> whether there's a new record to declare personal relationships, any understanding is commissioner rz required to
declare when an item comes up even if they re not required to reer cues themself, they are required to declare they either know this person casually or whatever. >> yeah. thank you for the clarification. >> yes. commissioners have that dislez disclosure requirement. in terms of having that as a mere of public record. it's at a public meeting and immediates to be captured in the moting mens.
>> he'll second. if mr. ford could explain briefly what the next steps would be, that would help the context of this motion p. motion.gentleman the vote actua. >> rules regarding dpifts to individuals fsm you take action today for gifts given to city departments. that will allow us to begin drafting ordinance language. we'll put together recommendations into those two reports into a single ordinance.
in june of next engineer. p if my recollection is correct it's three months out. >> okay. your motion and second stays the same. we can proceed. now let's proceed to public comment, please. >> callers please wait until the system indicates you are unmuted. press star three to be added to the comment queue.
you have three minutes to add your public comment. you'll hear a bell go off with thirty seconds remaining. first caller in the queue. >> members of the ethics commission. i'm the clerk of the board pursuant to charter section 21118 we realize the role is a solid partner to you and the work you do. in put sue ant to record keeping and immediate inspection p it yr report does mention our office in receiving and compiling
accountability and have a strong instrument of integrity that is helpful to you. we can keep puz updated on our progress. jol tuz. i want to make sure your comments will be included in our minutes fors this meeting p. .>> i've been listening for the longest time. i find this whole subject very convoluted.
we have 35,000 employees. we have no way of knowing what is being done in each department. what are the obligations. at the end of thary there's checking done as there is in a federal government. with the gifts. you're going all over pleas. it didn't start with a political system. as citizens we good to the sunshine task farce and get
category. how can you help the tax payer. the tax payer is pissed off because you have all these expediters. you never mention them. you have all the powrl brekers.. you have the machine. you have nancy pelosi. very corrupt. >> can you caller. next caller on the line. >> commissioner, thank you so much p. i'm looking at you and
hearing wha you said. we'll ten with our deterrence and resources of corruption and money. you're paying a lot of attention to a 30,000-dollar roll esm watch. and tickets. you're missing the biggest points of all. the billions in contracts used as a way to get the money as a way for gifts. the community benefits exam. the puc public funds.
nsm. >> i am available to speak. this item enforce pment staff prepared at the name of the commission. at a subsequent meeting the kinds of things that might be within the realm of staff discuss when presenting a proposed settlement before the commission. i think have staff id fie the kinds of considerations the approach we've taken so far. that request arose around the
conceal. in 'prior meeting there wagz a seven factor and blp they can wy can pay the money. another consideration is to look at other cases that this commission has resolved or similar administrative agencies might have resolved to try to get a sense for if we can put it this way wharks is the cost, what is the prays tag on this kind of violation. what we're attempting to do
deciding the benality. it's a bifurcation approach. i think that our rules should consider -- i know that our law and our charter allows the dmilings r commission to set puch hearing office everies. wouldn't require anything new p. i thought i would put that forward as it what a hearing maight be. hear mightbe.
one member of the commission to act as hearing officer we would need to treat this as far as i understand. a matter of public atability, a public meeting. >> i have no problem with that. it creates a little bit of space between a fuel commission and a single commissioner conducting a hearing. >> p i just had a couple of brief thoughts. i know we're press for time. we're not talking about in main full blown hearing of the merits
restroom. >> my memory comes frz a siem when the commissions executive director deferred to the ftbc. he with just going to let it dee. that became so obnoxious that they moved forward and also accepted the reservation of the executive descrector. it was a very fraught moment i disoir to have it this issue
elevated beyond the executive director. i think that's a good thing. i'm just thinking that the emphasis on parody is all the people who are making an decision there's a defense shouldn't also make what the penalty is. that's the distinction joop you're right. thp commission as well can re sort to the use of a hearing officer. if i understand the regs correctly only as a hearing on the mereets is pretty enfroak
to what extent a close session koz help solve some of these issues. >> there's a strong presumption that all meetings of a public body such as this one meet in publish session. unless we just foi it nm the exception of 'brown act. >> are we talking about violations other than campaign violations. >> i think we're talk you can
regulations p. the possible use of closed session even if the regulations provided for it, the use of closed session would enable the commission to address that particular practical consideration that you're veering into confidence methods or fakes related to but would not resolve the due perfects he is concerns or other practice cat consideration about wanting it make sure that bhrp many whz
the guard rails which we could talk about, deputy city attorney commented in terms of our kneeing today. i really appreciate this. i didn't know all of that about the closed session. can we go into what i know as executive session for things. to have the ability to have dleb deliberations. i was just tray to go get into some of the deliberation verse
the rationale behind things -- i think it's one thing to read about the rationale and the process of going through the deliberation and decision making process. i wonder if i can propose if this is possible for the commissioners, no more than two, to sit in in one of these sessions with the staff so we can really expary yens the back and forth and negotiations.
programs and policies and boards and commissions. it has several components. retention, discipline, professional development, a culture of infusion, phase two from the city's framework moving to a broader prospective. what you've seen is skin with phase one work and what is happening in the city. how we can build and strengthen how we do our work. create as much diversity and
equity in our work as we can given where we are with our oal priorities this year. internally we've been talking about in taking baby steps a rong this journey thsm is a rorlt that engages staff sloardship we have been working closely with the department of human resources groups and doing out reach to reach non traditional sources of applicants to our positions. it's very much focused in hiring
an recruitment. two specific action items that are identified and reported on in our august report or framework. that is really to embed a fy22 he pep p. we've been rely on heavily on dhr at this poin but know that's not where the work stops. what we're hoping to do with the department of human resources sup sort because we're a small organization, fostering healthy
environments. we've looked at surveys. where we may need to build and want to build in this area. as we think about our ongg hiring. dreking with prlder community kn vapes and roach noorm placers anld a pipe lienl p. frm parking lot si, education and out reach. pipeline for future hires. perhaps we as an ethics
community has not looked at in the past. that's something that we need to talk about, when we reach out in the campaign season, we want these issues not just to be words on paper but really think creativity that are effect ef pf .i'll pause there and see if you have any particular questions for us at this point.
>> thank you. pp i am focused on your power point for inclusion and blanging. and belonging. this is the the city's template and you are filling that out. congratulations on that. i think you want to have a conversation with the staff on what inclusion an plonging means for your staff in terms of, they
are not pre vieding mental health serch sesh he ises. it is 'a very own equal roam and howp it is structured to meet that t. you meeght want to be aware of other thing going on in the city. can i make a connection between ethics and some of the cultural perceptions in the city. for example, there is currently going on commissions that have plans about reparations. i think in terms of an external sense of what's going absurd
situation. i would recommend as part of our equity we plan in the next 12 months to do a teaching or awe community meeting that's targeted to individual language pfs about whraz available a ej ethics is they can make use of what we dough and more accurately participate in our ploa dprpls. we know from voter roles.
not feel exposed is inkred bri valuable. kre a base line where the organization is today and understand the areas where there's room for improvement pause people's perceptions can widely and what we may understand and what's happening mee be juf ten of the he is perg. obtain really useful insights to
>> that is information thag we e asked for over in human resources. as we write job disremember descriptions what are we seeing from stage to steaj. that would be very fof active for us. we haven't awldz got it op our radar. it's frp understand p. he's thip think the answer that we all addly know, we have not. we have not done the job that we should with you the resources we had had, we have not.
elements, pi look at the qualitative and awn equal background that they can bring to this commission. that's the way it principling true racial eqwight to th dep. he twn echo when uz look a the new hires. look at what you are deficient in. that's the best dhans is when you have these new hires. i don't know if you want any action from commission. i think juf a entrepreneuration to follow pum up with you.
>> we're happy to provide an ongoing update and after our process is completing for further progress on the plan. we'll make sure to give you an update after our hiring process from any insights we have on that. >> the last i checked the top three language spoken by san francisco residents are chinese, spanish and vietnamese. keep that in mind when you interview prospective applicants. >> commissioner lee, we are getting up to 2:30 p.m. pi will
i willhave to drop off. i'm hoping i can come back after 15 minutes. >> i have a feeling we'll be seeing you again. >> we have come to the public comment for item eleven. you'll have three minute it provide public comment. you'll hear a bell go off when you have thirty seconds remaining. first caller, your three minutes starts now.
>> sixty six percent of the ldes in san francisco do not hold a state license as required. the city projects that you're dealing with and the city is paying for and the residents are paying for are being inflated in prices, not done according to the plan specifications. i'll give you one example. a san francisco based organization. they compared the sub way at three point four billion dollar per mile.
compared to london which is a compatible city in size in size at 49,000 per mile. what happened to the billions. what happens is all the lbd's, all the cronies of willy broan that ended up being years and contractors are licensed. one more example -- >> i'm sorry caller. your time has expired. >> it looks like the only other
caller is also mr. hawks. i think we can move on. >> public comment is closed for this item. let's move onto item 12. discussion and possible action and resolution on continuation of remote it commission meetings. >> thank you. city attorney is with us as well. should you have any questions about the provision or background. as you know, the circumstances around covid and public meetings and reopening continues to
evolve regarding public meetings, bodies to continue to meet remotely but a requirement that every third days stating a need for remote meeting. we attached the city attorney's advice and the resolutions adopt. we have not yet heard any definitive word about moving into city hall. as soon as we hear about that, we'll share that with you an the public. we have to come into compliance with the resolution i've attach today this memo. with that i'll pause.
if there are any additional comments she would like to make. >> i do not have anything to add. the director covered everything we've advised about this action needed today. >> i would lake to echo a comment that came from a member of the public a while ago that we at least remain with the capacity of being able to call
in. i'm less handicapped than some. i understand there are people who work during the day. we tried to do this many years back, at that time, the city didn't have the capacity to put news a room for the city to have access to put us in. i do encourage we utilize the capacity. >> thank you chair lee, i was going to make same comment. under score the moment that we're living through right now,
i think it's important for city government and the ethics commission to be responsive to the people and residents of san francisco whom we serve. there's been a reckoning that's happening in the work force with the rise of zoom and remote meetings. it would be very inequitable to take that away after the emergency of the pandemic has subsided and to require people to come in person because it's inconvenient for scheduling. access, i think is really critical for the public. it's important that we do all we can. .director pellum as you learn
include the ethic's commissions title where that exists. >> i will need a motion and second to approve this resolution. >> motion. >> just to clarify the doctmentt that's available has ethic's commission. >> so moved. gentleman moved by commissioner bell. >> seconded by commissioner bush. >> let's open it up for public comment.
the director's report. >> thank you. i will just highlight for you the bottom. line that i'm mostexcited about. we do have some new staff that i'll be introducing you to. jeff has been with us for four years. as awf all experienced diring his name. it's b challenging times. he has seen us grow to a much
larger time than has been seen in the commissions history. i think it's really important to acknowledge the important work that jeff has been doing. we are going to miss him. is he a compassionate unflabbable. wep appreciate his mind and compassion for doing a lot of work and leading us to a frem am
pms they are both joining us as senior investigators. their backgrounds are very impressive. we have a lo changes going on in the enforcement division. bringing on a new team and wish the old team the best. i'll pause there and turn it back to you. >> thank you. my colleagues, thank you for the great years of seshing this cometion.
wish them gdz speed and adconvenient you'res ahead. the new staff will add the enjez to keep this work forward. p. >> i just want to add my thanks to jeff in in particular. and ron. >> it's been short but it's been sweet. i want to thank jeff for doing orientation, answering questions that vi, spenning time with me as he goods off to his law firm.
public comment is closed. i would like to ask my commissioners if we can take on agenda item 15 first because she mentioned she might be able to join users in a couple of minutes. i definitely want her participation on agenda item 14 which is possible action meetings. >> don't we go onto agenda item 15 which is additional opportunity for public comment for matters appearing or not appearing on agenda. >> we're not checking to see if there are callers in the queue.
please continue to wait until the system lets you know you are unmuted. for matters appearing or mot not appearing to the agenda. yule have three minutes to provide your public comment. you'll hear a bell go off when you hear thirty seconds remaning. joom nowp we're on agenda eye emmy number 14. pp possible items for future
meetings. i know we discussed the whistle blower program. gentleman.>> i would say the whe blowers program. it seams like we can lack at both of them a within tame an make recommendations in the or how it's being implemented. >> okay. anything else. >> public comment, please. >> sure. do we need to formerly make a motion first? >> : i don't think we need to.
>> cool. wheel check to see if there are callers in. >> for those on toamed please continue toooooooooooooooooooooo >> chair bustos: this is the regular meeting on the commission on community investment and infrastructure tuesday october 5, 2021. i like to welcome members of the public who are streamlining inor listening to us live as well as the staff and other participants. following the guidelines set forth by local officials at this time, members of the commission are meeting remotely to ensure the safety of everyone including members of the public. thank you all for joining us. madam secretary, please call the first item.
>> first order of business is roll call. commissioner brackett is absent. [ roll call ] all other members of the members are present. next order of business is item 2 announcements. next regularly scheduled meeting will be held remotely on tuesday october 19, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. announcement of public comment procedures, be advised a member of the public has up to three minutes to make public comments on each agenda item unless the commission adopt a shorter period on any item. during the public comment period, you will be instructed to dial 415-655-0001. enter access code 2482 190 7334.
next order of business is item 3, report of action taken previous closed session meeting. there are no reportable action. next order of business is item 4, matters of unfinished business. there are no matters of unfinished business. next order of business is item 5, matters of new business consisting of consent and regular agenda. first is the consent agenda. there are no items. next is regular agenda. 5a is authorizing teleconference meetings and making findings and support there of under california government code section 5493e. resolution number 34-2021. >> good afternoon commissioners. this first item relates to the rules around which we are allow to meet remotely during the pandemic and last week we received some guidance from the city on recent changes.
>> i'm jim morales. as you know, the agency is subject to public meeting laws which under state laws refer to as the brown act. brown act requires that the commission meet in person. allow the public to participate and provide maximum opportunities for the public to be part of your deliberation and discussion. there's a section in the brown act that allows for teleconferences because it requires that each location where there might be a teleconference location where commissioners at the location using teleconferencing that they
would -- the public will be able to attend those locations. 18 months ago when the state -- when the governor proclaimed that it was a state of emergency because of the covid-19 pandemic, as part of the governor's executive orders and to protect the public's health and safety, his orders suspended the requirements of the brown act that governing bodies meet in-person and basically lifted the restrictions on teleconference. as a result many other governing bodies around the state were able to meet entirely remotely, still providing for public comment and participation. on september 16th, the legislature passed a law that
changed the standards for the remote meetings. the standards are now that the local body that is meeting must adapt a resolution and make certain findings to continue to meet remotely. those findings are that a public state of emergency continues to exist and that either state and local officials are recommending that social distancing be promoted or enforced or that meeting in person creates imminent risk to public health and safety. you have a resolution before you that makes findings that the state of emergency continues. the governor's state of emergency as well as the mayor's state of emergency continue to remain in effect.
also, that our city health officer continues to recommend social distancing as a way of mitigating the risks associated with the pandemic. in addition, the health department continues to recommend that boards and commissions meet remotely to protect the health and safety. you have before you the resolution, the law also requires that when you hold remote meetings that you abide by certain standards. those are attached as an exhibits. the commission to date has followed those standards for the most part. will continue hopefully to do so in the future. finally, i would note that this is an action that the commission will have to take each month. in other words, every month you'll have to make a finding
that the public health emergency continues to exist and that social distancing has been recommended by health officers or that there's an imminent risk for meeting in-person. this will be the first of perhaps several resolutions that you will see. with that, i conclude my presentation. >> chair bustos: thank you. madam secretary, do we have anyone from the public who wishes to provide a comment? >> clerk: at this time members of the public who wish to provide public comment on it item, should call 415-655-0001. access code 2482 190 7334. press the pound sign. press star 3 to speak. i will allow the public few
moments to call in. mr. chair, it does not appear there are no public comments. >> chair bustos: hearing no request. i will close public comment. i will turn to my fellow commissioners for any comments or questions they may have. commissioners are there any questions regarding this item? >> commissioner: no comment. >> chair bustos: i want to thank our city government for keeping us safe and for keeping in mind the health and safety of our public and constituents as well as the commissioners and staff. i want to thank general counsel morales as well as jaime and sally for keeping us compliant
and making sure we're doing what we supposed to be doing. commissioners, may i get a motion for item 5a? >> commissioner: i move that item 5a be accepted as given. >> chair bustos: may i have a second? >> commissioner bycer: second. >> chair bustos: please take roll. >> clerk: please announce your vote when i call your name. [roll call vote] the vote is 4 ayes one absent. >> chair bustos: motion carries. place call the next item. >> clerk: next is agenda item 5b, amending the community
investment and infrastructure debt policy to explain existing practice and document debt management improvements. discussion and action resolution number 32-2021. madam interim director. >> commissioners, the remaining two items on our agenda have to do with our issuance of debt for our work program. first up is an update to our debt policy. our deputy director will walk you through this item. >> good afternoon commissioners. we are coming here today to look at amending our debt policy. just a refresher, a debt policy is a set of written guidelines that direct the debt issuance practices in compliance with laws and regulations and best practices and management and
compliance. the reason in we want to do this is because it gives our investors confidence that we are managing our debt portfolio according to all the best practices and current legislation and that can translate into a lower cost of borrowing. which of course, is good for the agency and in the long run. we want to pay the least amount possible to borrow debt. as a refresher, ocii death policy was last approved in 2014. this policy was amended in response to a solution. since that time, a few things have happened. in advance of this next issuance, we want to amend our debt policy to incorporate legislative changes that have happened since the debt policy
was last approved in 2014. help explain some of our existing practices and highlight some improvements we've made to our debt management program. the -- this is quite a long process. this is about a year. that's because we really wanted to go and take an in-depth look at our policy and bring it up to the most current and recent standard of best practice. we researched best practices including standard issued by the gsoa or government financial office association. which is like the bible for all things government finance. we reviewed all the debt policy from our sister agencies so that would include the port, the m.t.a., the airport, the p.u.c. we looked at all of those
policies and pulled out items that were relevant to us. we reviewed our best practices and other debt policies with our municipal advisor. we identified a number of changes that we wanted to make to the debt people. -- policy. we made the changes and sent it to the wpta debt certification program. which was a program that uses debt policies according to set of issue standards and those policies that meet those standards receive official certification. we did receive that consideration from the wpta. one of the primary things we're doing in amending the debt policy is incorporating legislative changes. the big one is health and safety code section 34177.7.
essentially that legislative change allows ocii uniquely to issue new money debt under certain circumstances. those circumstances to are fund our affordable housing obligation and to fund infrastructure. we also incorporated legislative changes required by government code section 8855 which sort of overall industry wide move to step up their game. the government code require that all debt policies have address five things. one of the purposes for which debt maybe issue, two the types of debts maybe issue, three the relationship of the debt and budget and four policy goals related to the issue balance and objectives and five internal controls. the response to the legislation
were purposes to which debt maybe issued and types of debt that may be issued. in terms of the purposes for which debt may be issued, i think we've always had a shared understanding of why debt may be issued. to put it in writing for full government, transparency and accountability, the debt policy states the debt proceeds maybe use to finance, environmental review design, acquisition and other predevelopment activities, public improvement, affordable housing and to refund outstanding debt. the types of debt that we can issue are defined by redevelopment. we can issue tax allocation bonds which is property tax revenue.
and mello roos bonds. both are allow to issue new money bonds. in terms of existing practice, what we mostly did in the debt proposed amendment was to make a more complete description of our practices for issuance infrastructure and managing debt including staff role in responsibility and then to clarify the type -- how we think about certain policy and financial consideration. for example, when we would use a cash versus assurety fund reserve. we look at least cost, what is the impact on the cost issue of the debt.
under what criteria we would negotiate. debt approval procedure is something you're familiar with. because you are a big part of it. first, we have to get the approval of the oversight board and we have to have the department of finance approve the issuance. we come before you twice. once with the bond purchase agreement and now to confirm the sale and to approve the preliminary practice. in terms of highlighting our debt management improvement, we've been working really hard over the last two or three years to improve our debt administration. we created a financial information website which is a website that compiles all of the financial information about ocii in a single place and for
potential investors to access. we formalized account payable policies and procedure and toen sure bond procedures are spent according to applicable regulations. we updated our disclosure policy. you proofed that updated policy in the spring. we entered an m.o.u. and t.t.x. to -- [indiscernible] so we can be making the most of our proceeds prior to expenditure. you approved that last year as well. that is the end of my presentation. i welcome any questions. >> chair bustos: thank you.
madam secretary, anyone from the public wishing to peek on -- speak on this item. >> clerk: members of the public wishing to provide public comment should call. to dial 415-655-0001. enter access code 2482 190 7334. press star 3 to submit your request. we'll give them a few moments just to call in. mr. chair, at this time, do does not appear any member of the public wishing to comment.
>> chair bustos: i'll close public comment. i'll turn to my fellow commissioners for any questions they might have. commissioner scott? >> commissioner ransom-scott: no question. thank you so much for all of the information you just shared. it's just a heart beat for me and our fellow commissioners that we stay on top of everything it takes to give affordable housing in the city of san francisco. this great city that so many of us love and want to stay in and making it affordable is the most important thing to help that. so thank you. >> chair bustos: commissioner bycer? >> commissioner bycer: no questions. like commissioner scott, really excited and grateful that staff are dotting their is and crossing their ts.
it may same like when talk about issuing debt. debt is the core part what ocii does. thank you for trying to make it simple and understandable as possible. >> chair bustos: thank you. vice chair rosales. >> vice chair rosales: only question i had is the reference to cost of environmental review that we can issue debt for purposes of financing that cost. does that include legal fees? >> that's a great question. in general, we can -- the process that we use, for every issuance, we issue bond council. we go over the sources as part
of the issuance process. i'm actually going to direct that question -- i know we can fund the e.i.r. cost. i will refer that question to our bond counsel. >> yes, you can finance legal fees related to the cost of issuing the bonds. commissioner rosales, were you thinking of other legal fees? >> vice chair rosales: yes like land use attorneys to review the environmental impact reports. for defensibility, compliance. those kinds of legal costs. >> the short answer is yes. depending on the specifics of
the legal fees and the projects and whether they can be capitalized in the project. we may need to be thinking about issuing taxable bonds. it's a question of if you can issue tax bonds. the answer is yes. >> vice chair rosales: thank you. >> chair bustos: thank you. thank you for the question. i want to echo everybody. thank you so much for being on top of this and making sure that the city resources are maximized and are -- the public deserves it. i want to thank you for that. commissioners, may i get a motion for item number 5b?
>> commissioner: mr. chair i move that we confirm the issuance of new money tax allocations bond. >> we're talking about the debt policy. [indiscernible] >> commissioner: my mistake. >> we updated the number. sorry about that. >> commissioner: i move that we amend the passing of agenda item 5a, resolution number 32-2021. >> chair bustos: thank you commissioner scott. may i have a second? please take roll.
>> clerk: commissioner brackett is absent. [roll call vote] the vote is 4 ayes and 1 absent. >> chair bustos: sorry commissioner scott, i was looking at another page. all right, please call next item. >> clerk: next is 5c, confirming the issuance money tax bond of the california health and safety code to finance affordable housing obligations in an aggregate principle amount not to exceed $130,400,000. approving preliminary and final official statements a continuing disclosure certificate and other related documents and action. discussion and action resolution number 33-2021.
>> thank you. as you heard, commission sees bond issuance action. on july 20th of this year you took action to approve the issuance of these bonds to fund affordable housing. since then, we've successfully completed a number of other approvals including the oversight board and the state department of finance. we now return to you for the final approval of the bond issuance. john daigle will join from the finance team to answer any questions that you have. >> good afternoon chair bustos and commissioners my name is john daigle. i'm debt manager for ocii. this will be the final action of the commission to move us towards the completion of this
transaction. issuance of the 2021 affordable housing bonds. basically, we'll go through previous approval, review of the enforceable obligation. first action is approval of the budget by the commission on april 20th. resolution 13-2021. the budget was ratified and approved by the are board of supervisors and signed by the mayor july 30, 2021. the authorization of the bond issuance was first entertained by the commission on july 20,
2021 and it was approved and a it allowed us to get going in earnest and approve the sub supplement to the bond as well as bond purchase agreement. our next step immediately afterwards is to go to the oversight board. they approved the issuance as well. we forwarded that to the department of finance who came back and record time with an around around september 3rd. just to review of authority. you all familiar with this and i don't think i need to read through it all.
circumstances change the funding might be reprogrammed to other affordable housing projects. we want to make sure that we are able to use the money for other projects that's necessary. the proposed action in the resolution before you conforms the issuance of the housing bonds. the preliminary official statement, the p.o.s., is released prior to the bond sale and it informs the investors of the legality revenue source of repayment. it includes information that would affect reasonable investor's decision to buy the
bonds. this is said to be the only information they are told to rely on. in the industry, the most scrupulous attention is making sure nothing material or important is left out. after the bond sale, we have the final official statement, which is 98% preliminary official statement. there are things that aren't known until the bond is actually sold, the amounts for the various maturities, the interest rates and so forth. those all get filled in and few weeks later after the sale, the final statement is provided to
investors. this action also approved continuing disclosure certificate. this describes, and specifies the information required to dispose to the market after the initial sale as long as the bonds are outstanding. this takes part of the annual report that is published. it also requires that we do an interim update, material revamp. legally defined that would affect the repayment of the bonds or the rating.
looks like the amount will be -- [indiscernible]. the funs will be spent as described in the uses down below. it's possible that number may change as the planning process continues. based on marketing conditions as well. the project fund, based on the $123,655,000. it's important that the project funds will be funded with $116,500,000. the scope of the projects or detail of the project change, those numbers will change. the projects will be adequately
funded. to summarize, the p.o.s. and o.s. approved. there's the authorization. we have three times as much money available as we need to make these payments. associated risk factors includes reduction in the tax base and assume values as well as natural disasters. -- other financial matters, this will be our first social bond. they don't differ in their purpose or any other material
aspect. it's really just beginning to be used. as far as any international, or designation that is consistent with sustainability development goals. we don't what this would have material impact on the bonds. we thought it was something you want to participate in and a way to designate our bonds in a way that reflects the actual use and purpose of financing. the disclosure statement, i think i outlined that.
it describe the information required and obligated to disclose that annually. it's attached to the p.o.s. it's consistent with the continuing disclosure certificate for previous bond issues. the final steps are obtain a credit rating. we did obtain our credit rating. the rating of confirmed by s&p at an a. we pushed for an upgrade. that was a bridge too far under the current circumstances with all the uncertainties around the economics of covid. we did uphold our credit rating.
fair marketing materials is under way. we're having an investor coming up in the next few days. due diligence has, that's always ongoing. we completed the due diligence process as well. the next stop will be to release the p.o.s. and then place the bonds and close the bond sale. with that, i will -- before i close my presentation, i would like to introduce the members of our team who are here. they will be available to answer any questions that you might
have. we have alexis chu our disclosure counsel and is the primary author of the preliminary official statement. next we have david broadley who is a municipal advisor. previously called financial advisor. gary kidhada. david neely from urban analyst. david puts together fiscal consultant report which has extensive information at the end of the p.o.s. basically supports all the representations regarding the
payments. it's a critical role. with that, i complete my presentation and invite any questions. >> chair bustos: thank you mr. daigle. do we have anyone from the public who wishes to provide a comment on this item? >> clerk: members of the public who wish to provide public comment on this item should call 415-655-0001. enter access code 2482 190 7334. followed the pound and pound sign again. if you already on the phone and
like to provide public comment, please press star 3 and raise your hand. let's allow a few moments. it does not appear we have members of the public wishing to implement on this item. >> chair bustos: hearing no request to speak, i will close public comment. i will turn to my fellow commissioners for questions and comments. i like to start with commissioner scott. >> commissioner ransom-scott: no questions mr. daigle. thank you for your presentation again. as i said with berea, this is so needed. got many states that are affordable but they still do not do the social work that san
francisco stands out nationally with. so thank you for ongoing work towards affordable housing for san francisco. >> chair bustos: thank you. commissioner bycer? >> commissioner bycer: it's i didn't want to talk about debt. we had lot of people come to us saying the conditions of covid affected their projects and amount of housing they can build. this is a real testament to the ocii team and john, that we're able to maintain our credit rating in this moment. i think that's an important win. i'm excited to move this forward.
>> chair bustos: thank you. vice claire rosales? >> vice chair rosales: thank you. i don't have too many questions. i want to a little bit more information on the social bond. this is the first time we're using it. it's a new product or a new offering in the market. i love it. i think it aligns well with our values. i'm wondering if we can continue using or resorting to the social bonds in the future? john, can you address those? >> as it matures, we're early adopters on this. it doesn't require us to do anything differently with our bonds than we do already. it certainly has no cost to us.
i think it's simply makes it clear to the marketplace, it emphasizes that these bonds are consistent with the values and the goals that were stated earlier. i don't know why we wouldn't continue to do it. >> i would say commissioner rosales, this is a somewhat new product. certainly not cutting-edge in market risky way. we're following little bit in the city path. the city already issued a series of social bonds. these bonds fall under the larger -- [indiscernible] socially responsible investing.
green bonds are also in this category. the p.u.c. has had a lot of success issuing green bonds. which is where you're saying that the proceeds will be used to fund products for environmental purposes. i heard the p.u.c. start talking about this three years ago. what was interesting the first time they were in the market, they didn't see a big differentiation. what they did, they did a test where they you issued two very similar bonds at the same time. one is a green bond, one standard tax-exempt bond. this found that the green bond, because of the interest and socially responsible investing, actually was three times oversubscribed relative to the tax-exempt bond. that market pushed their costs lower than they had not.
over time, they've become really starting to leaning into this. really become kind of really built a name for themselves as a green market issuer. they've been going to lot of conferences and really been on the cutting-edge of this sort of investing. in talking with the financing team and underwriter, we're hopeful by being one of the early adopters that we'll be creating a name for ourselves in this space and that investors will be looking to us as an issuer for socially responsible bonds. some day in the future, it will >> vice chair rosales: excellent kudos to everyone. creative thinking. like said, when i read it, i thought this very much aligns with our values and to the extent that we can, in every
decision that we make, where we have the authority and discretion to make to continue to affirm those values. it's not just organization but it sends a message to other agencies like to follow in our path. thank you. also thank you to the team. i did read -- i have to say that i didn't read every single page. i read most of the pages on the preliminary official statements. there's a lot of due diligence. thank you again. it was well represented in the staff memo to us as well. >> chair bustos: thanks. just echoing all the commissioners implement about this wonderful work team. we are leading the way and walking the talk. that's a beautiful thing. amen to all your work that you doing to make our planet and our
communities better. i will need a motion for this item. may i have a motion? >> vice chair rosales: i will move the item. ransom-scott i second that motion. >> chair bustos: please take roll. >> clerk: please announce your vote for item 5c. commissioner brackett is absent. [roll call vote] the vote is 4 ayes 1 absent. >> chair bustos: motion carries. next item. >> clerk: next order of business is item 6, public comment on non-agenda items. >> chair bustos: do we have anyone from the public who wishes to provide a comment?
>> clerk: members of the public who wish to provide public comment on non-agenda item should call, 415-655-0001. meeting access code 2482 190, 7334. if you want to provide public comment, please press star 3 now. it does not appear there are any members was public. >> chair bustos: okay i will close public comment. please call the next item. >> clerk: next order of business is item 7, report of the chair.
>> chair bustos: i have two items i want to bring up and the items of thanks. i want to thank commissioner bycer who is on a committee on some of the odd work -- art work that will be installed in mission bay. he's representing our commission on our committee. we're hoping to have some wonderful art that will be displayed there. commissioner bycer, thank you very much for agree to be part of that committee. second is i want to thank commissioner bivett and commissioner rosales. as you know, especially members of the public, the western edition, which was known as the
heart of the west was decimated because of the work of justice hermann and the redevelopment agency. families were given certificate of preference to be able to come back. although that coming back lasted, the wait time was about 40 years. many of those who had the original certificate of preference passed away. many of those kids of those people grew up in other places and actually found a new home. the grandkids and many of those after them were saying they want to come back to their home of san francisco. we did all we could to expand the certificate of preference program, being able to have other people or the next generation inherit it certificate of preference. but our commissioners rosales and brackett took it a step further and worked with david chiu and the state legislature. last wook our governor signed in
law extending the program for all descendents. that's a huge deal for write the wrongs of redevelopment of the past. i couldn't be more proud of this commission and the work that has gone on to preserve the certificate of preference program to do right thing. i want to publicly mention that and want to thank all of the commissioners who worked so harding on doing the right thing. i want to thank you for that. please call the next item. >> clerk: next order of business is item 8, report of executive director. >> thank you. commissioners, my only report is to say i hope that i will see all of you next wednesday at 11:00 at the crossing at east
opening ceremony. on the -- we hope to see you there. it should be a fun event. >> chair bustos: thank you. are there any commissioners that have any questions for our interim director? please call the next item. >> clerk: next order of business is item 9, commissioners questions and matters. >> chair bustos: this is our opportunity if we have any questions or comments? seeing none. commissioner scott? >> commissioner ransom-scott: i cannot hold back. i'm in tears with your announcement. that is so huge and historic. i cannot hold back. i can't.
i want to thank you, mara. can't thank you enough. not just because of relatives, friends being a native. 75 years i seen people beg to come back and a way to come back. it's something that they can come back to. this is so huge. i hope there's a script a way that we can continue to -- this needs to be announced at every meeting going forward. it won't get out with one announcement, one news media. it needs to be an ongoing announcement. this is historic. so thank you. miguel, just every one -- i can't wait to thank assemblyman
attorney david chu. this is huge. >> chair bustos: thank you commissioner scott. it's our momentum of doing the right thing. also, within the same week the governor signed legislation that gave back beach-front property in los angeles. southern california had belonged to a black family. that the city took away. after 100 years, they're getting their land back. it's very exciting times. the cool thing about this, i think hopefully everyone realizes that life is not a zero sum game. there's enough for everybody. we should be celebrating in these wins for communities that have been neglected,
marginalized and shut out. i'm very excited. thank you commissioner scott. any other commissioners would like to say anything? okay. please call the next item. >> vice chair rosales: i want to thank commissioner brackett who is not here. she drove the issue, the staff as well, sally and everyone who basically just pushed forward on this very momentous position, policy. there were some question whether it would be approved by the legislature. here we are. i want to note that our claire -- chair like to call up on occasion. we want you to come back home commission. i think this is a nice touch to that message.
to the community. if we can, we should put it on our website. >> chair bustos: definitely try to do that. this is wonderful. i'm glad all of you are -- commission and staff, thank you. next item? >> clerk: next order of business is closedsession next order of business is item 11. >> chair bustos: we need a motion to adjourn. may i have a motion and a second? >> commissioner ransom-scott: i move that we adjourn the meeting. >> chair bustos: thank you commissioner scott. thank you so much. we will adjourn this meeting at 1:58 p.m. thank you.
i'm louis lieuman the executive directortor san francisco fleet association. together again in san francisco for fleet week. there was a late decision back in june from the board of directors for the san francisco fleet week association, we struggled with whether we were going to have a fleet week or not. we had to make that call because it takes a long time to organize an event like t