SFMTA Board > March 2, 2010, minutes
ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Call to Order
In the absence of Chairman Nolan, Vice Chairman McCray called the meeting to order at 12:43 p.m.
2. Roll Call
3. Announcement of prohibition of sound producing devices during the meeting.
Vice Chairman McCray announced that the ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at the meeting. He advised that any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices might be removed from the meeting. He also advised that cell phones that are set on “vibrate” cause microphone interference and requested that they be placed in the “off” position.
Board Secretary Boomer stated that Item 12 had been removed from the agenda at the request of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. The item will be presented at a future meeting. She also stated that the closed session scheduled for the meeting was cancelled.
5. Introduction of New or Unfinished Business by Board Members
Vice Chairman McCray stated the audit that is being conducted by the Budget Analyst had commenced. Each member of the Board will be asked to participate. The audit includes an evaluation of how the SFMTA Board governs.
6. Executive Director’s Report (For discussion only)
7. Citizens’ Advisory Council Report
8. Public Comment
David Pilpel stated that there are a number of staff who will be retiring at the end of June. This will create a significant knowledge gap. He suggested a presentation regarding staff plans to preserve this knowledge. He expressed concern that the contract on the design services for Central Subway is an example of misguided priorities when the agency is cutting a significant amount of service.
Robert Cesano spoke about the transferability of medallions and expressed appreciation for the vote. He expressed concern that the Board may play around with the percentage that was in the original package. The State and Feds will take their taxes. He stated the people who are disabled or who are a liability to the public or the companies they drive for need to be encouraged to take the option.
Carl Macmurdo, Medallion Holders Association, expressed appreciation for the approval of the taxi medallion reform proposals. Some comments made by Director Heinicke may have disastrous impacts. The plan needs to be amended to allow for a resale tax. He added that Director Heinicke wants to maximize revenue but we can’t play Russian roulette with public safety.
Mark Gruberg stated that what took place at the town hall meetings were discussions. 90% of attendees were medallion holders and company managers. This was not a consensus plan. People who didn’t pay for medallions are saying that $150 - 200,000 isn’t enough. Ordinary drivers will lose the possibility of obtaining any kind of meaningful benefit.
THE FOLLOWING MATTERS BEFORE THE SAN FRANCISCO MUNICIPAL TRANSPORTATION AGENCY BOARD OF DIRECTORS ARE RECOMMENDED FOR ACTION AS STATED BY THE SFMTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO OR CITY ATTORNEY WHERE APPLICABLE. EXPLANATORY DOCUMENTS FOR ALL CALENDAR ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW AT 1 SOUTH VAN NESS AVE. 7th FLOOR.
9. All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors and will be acted upon by a single vote. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Board of Directors or the public so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item.
(9.1) Requesting the Controller to allot funds and to draw warrants against such funds available or will be available in payment of the following claims against the SFMTA:
(9.2) Approving the following traffic modifications:
Item 9.2 I was removed from the Consent Calendar at the request of members of the public.
Michael Henschel urged the Board not to approve the item because it would be a hardship on his business. He anticipates a 10-15% loss of revenue. His guests would have to park a block or two away. He questioned whether the initial petition met the 50% signature requirement.
Doug Montgomery stated that he originally signed the petition but now questions whether there is a parking problem and if this is necessary. He asked that the item be reconsidered.
Susan Callari stated that parking has been more difficult. Recent surveys show that 89% of their parking is taken. Neighbors have to park on 17th Street which is a busy street with no crosswalk. Our blocks are a parking lot for people who don’t live there. 37 other households want this. 51% of 72 households are in favor of this item and 30% are against it.
Kathryn Siegler stated that there are “J” stickers in her neighborhood except for on these blocks. They can’t park on the blocks where a “J” sticker is required and have to look for parking. She expressed appreciation that businesses struggles but believes residents should come first.
Debbie Engel stated that she supports the proposal. Residents would like to have priority for safety and convenience. She asked the Board to move ahead and implement the “J” sticker.
Bond Yee, director, Sustainable Streets, reviewed the residential permit program and the request for the “J” parking permit area. This request met the threshold and qualifies for the program.
On motion to approve Item 9.2 I:
ADOPTED: AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray and Oka
ABSENT - Nolan
(9.3) Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to execute Contract No. 1234, 21 Hayes Pole Replacement and Miscellaneous Overhead Construction, with Rosendin Electric in an amount not to exceed $6,177,331, and for a term of 365 calendar days. (Explanatory documents include a staff report and financial plan.) (Carter Rohan)
Item 9.3 was removed from the Consent Calendar at the request of members of the public.
David Pilpel expressed disappointment that the proposal didn’t include non-revenue wire on Masonic. Buses that pull-out from Presidio have a circuitous route. The Agency should add it as a contract amendment as it will lower operating costs and increase operating efficiencies.
On motion to approve Item 9.3:
ADOPTED: AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray and Oka
ABSENT - Nolan
(9.4) Authorizing the Executive Director/CEO to implement the TransLink® Fare Media Plan, which gradually transitions various forms of Muni paper fare media and tokens to the regional TransLink® system. (Explanatory documents include a staff report and resolution.) (Sonali Bose)
Item 9.4 s removed from the Consent Calendar at the request of member of the public.
David Pilpel stated that there was no CEQA review. This plan changes fares and will have a disproportionate impact for people who live on hills. It’s not clear how a cash fare would be processed. Translink shouldn’t force everyone to use a Translink card. He encouraged the Board to put this off.
Vice Chairman McCray requested that the item be considered by the Policy and Governance Committee before it is returned to the SFMTA Board for consideration.
Item 9.4 was continued.
On motion to approve the Consent Calendar (Item 9.2 I, 9.3 and 9.4 severed):
ADOPTED: AYES – Beach, Black, Heinicke, Lee, McCray, Nolan and Oka
ABSENT - Nolan
10. Public hearing to consider a declaration of fiscal emergency caused by the failure of agency revenues to adequately fund SFMTA operations, programs and facilities for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012 pursuant to the California Public Resources Code and California Environmental Quality Act Implementing Guidelines. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Sonali Bose)
Sonali Bose, Chief Financial Officer, presented the staff report.
Sue Vaughan stated the Board should have foreseen that our public transportation system is imploding. The Agency needed to have had a rainy day fund. In 2007, SPUR generated a list of revenue options that the Board didn’t act on. The Board hasn’t done everything it could do. The agency should extend parking meter before additional service cuts.
David Pilpel stated that the Agency is operating outside of the law. Staff suggested that this would be retroactive to the May 1 service changes. The law only allows for a single fiscal year and not for multiple years. The ongoing deficit was predictable and wasn’t caused by a failure of agency revenues to fund operations. He doesn’t believe the SFMTA qualifies as a publicly-owned transit agency. Procedures aren’t being followed.
Tom Radulovich, Livable City, stated that there is a good chance that the SFMTA in its present form won’t reach its 11th birthday. We wanted a Board that would put transit, walking and cycling first. Recent actions don’t foster those goals. The Board hasn’t diligently sought new sources of funding such as parking proposals. He hopes the Board will instruct staff to talk to neighborhoods about parking.
Eric Williams, TWU Local 250-A, stated that it’s a shame that the Board let the SFMTA hire 300 operators more than what was needed. The Agency broke every rule of “Negotiations 101.” This is union busting. The SFMTA budget is over $700m including $200m for operators and parts. He questioned where the other $500m is being spent.
Forrest Schmidt stated that this action would make it easier to do something that the public is against and doesn’t feel that the Board has the authority to cut service and raise fares. The Board didn’t use the power it has to tax millionaires and the large corporations. These cuts are driving people to cars which increases pollution. The public won’t let the SFMTA cut service or raise fares.
Shelley Bell stated that we have a long way to go before we achieve “Transit First”. The city is under great economic pressure and we must protect our people. Things should be done behind closed doors but we should look for suggestions with the community through an open process. She suggested we look at city stickers for cars like the system in Chicago.
David Tornheim stated that bus service keeps getting worse. Over the past ten years the Agency has cut service and raised fares. He expressed concern about the process. There’s an opportunity for 1000 meters downtown that should be implemented. The SFMTA should make it less affordable for cars and more affordable for buses. No justification for fiscal emergency
Rafael Cabrera, TWU Local 250-A, stated that the Charter gave the Board the authority to seek additional revenue which the Mayor, the Board of Supervisors and the SFMTA should do. The SFMTA can submit ballot measures. The Charter states that the budget must be adequate to make substantial progress towards the achievement of service standards.
Alvin Sered stated that the fiscal emergency shouldn’t make us forget the wealth of ideas that we could employ. People should be told when they board a vehicle that that vehicle will turn around prior to the end of the line. He stated that he would like to see N-Judah extended to CalTrain.
Marc Caswell, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, stated that the Charter says that the Board shall diligently seek to develop new sources of revenue. There is some low-hanging fruit such as extending parking meter hours. This revenue will support public transit and other alternative forms of transportation. 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions are due to private autos.
Aleena Galloway, TWU Local 250-A, stated that they anticipate the findings of the audit and questioned why the Agency is considering a declaration of fiscal emergency before receiving the results of the audit. We don’t want to give you “carte blanche.”
11. Presentation and Discussion of the SFMTA’s FY11 and FY12 Operating Budget. (Explanatory documents include slide presentation.) (Sonali Bose)
Sonali Bose, Chief Financial Officer, presented the staff report.
David Pilpel stated that there were no budget details provided and that he is very frustrated with staff’s response. It is insulting to boil down significant proposals to one sentence. How these solutions would be handled needs to be made available to the public. The Board shouldn’t cut service further. He is interested in what the total staff increases are for enforcement and layoffs. All ballot measures would need a 2/3’s vote. There is no exploration of organization structure, positions, part time operators, owl runs, tokens, real estate, etc. He stated that he filed CEQA appeal on the service reductions.
Gillian Gillett stated that SPUR’s goal is minimize cuts and to grow the transit system. Many of SPUR’s recommendations are beyond their control. Ms. Gillett reviewed SPUR’s recommendations.
Frank Lara stated that some Board members have a genuine interest in affordable public interest. The Board can propose ballot measures. The downtown businesses and millionaires should be taxed rather than poor working families.
Eric Williams, TWU-Local 250-A stated that the public can’t afford more fare increases. If there is a fiscal emergency, you should do it after the audit. If operators or the public take a 25% cut then management should too.
Marc Caswell, SF Bike Coalition, stated that drivers circle the block and block Muni. Private autos are the number one reason that Muni is delayed. We should price parking so people who want to shop can but not allow people who want to dump their cars at 6:01 p.m. The best way to create parking is to create turnover. Parking meters were created to help small businesses.
Darshan Gil provided her number and stated that despite a separation of church and state, free parking is allowed for churches, especially along Valencia Street. The Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and the SFMTA should be sued for not upholding the Constitution. The SFMTA should demand the immediate abolition of free parking for churches.
Dave Snyder expressed appreciation that the SFMTA doesn’t want to cut transit and he strongly urged the Board to take that off the chart. The Agency only included a $6.5m reduction in work orders which is way too small. He urged the Agency to stop subsidizing other departments. He stated that the revenue panel had good ideas and questioned why the Agency isn’t pursuing those now. He urged the Board to implement a payroll tax increase.
Tom Radulovich, Livable City, expressed opposition for the transfer penalty. He urged the Board to look at work orders because people shouldn’t have to pay twice for police protection. He expressed support for the parking proposal put forth by staff last Fall. There are downtown garages that don’t abide by policies.
Herbert Weiner stated that there’s a management crisis ever since Nathaniel Ford came on board. The fault of operations is not due to drivers but to management. Many managers are incompetent and don’t play with a full deck. The TEP was destructive.
Sue Vaughan stated that SPUR has made several suggestions such as taxing gas outlets, a parking stall tax, expanding the TIDF to cover residential units and an off-street commercial parking fee. The SFMTA should look into all of these ideas.
John Grasso stated he cannot afford to ride a bus. People who have more money should pay more.
Irwin Lum, TWU Local 250-A, stated that 250-A is still discussing what they can contribute to the budget deficit. There is a lot of money unaccounted for. Some merchants are open to Sunday parking but the Agency needs to look at areas with a high concentration of restaurants and evening activities.
Jean Rosemayer stated that as oil prices rise, people will want to take the bus. To cut service at this point will result in a deeper hole to dig out of in three to five years.
12. Presentation and Discussion of the Hunters Point Shipyard Phase 2 - Candlestick Point Integrated Development Project and related Transportation elements. (Explanatory documents include a staff report.) (Bond Yee)
Item 12 was removed from the agenda.
Board Secretary Boomer stated that notwithstanding the previous announcement made under Item five, Communications, the Board will meet in closed session.
At this point in the meeting, Vice Chairman McCray recessed the SFMTA Board meeting and called the Parking Authority Commission meeting to order to hear from the public regarding Parking Authority Commission items.
13. Discussion and vote pursuant to Administrative Code Section 67.10(d) as to whether to conduct a closed session and invoke the attorney‑client privilege.
On motion to invoke the attorney-client privilege: unanimously approved (Nolan-absent).
RECESS REGULAR MEETING AND CONVENE CLOSED SESSION
1. Call to Order
Vice Chairman McCray called the closed session to order at 4:00 p.m.
2. Roll Call
3. Pursuant to Government Code Sections 54956.9, and Administrative Code Section 67.8 (a) (3) the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors will meet in closed session to discuss attorney‑client matters in the following case:
CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL
__X__ As defendant or __X__ As plaintiff
Director Heinicke was not present for the discussion with the City Attorney regarding anticipated litigation.
4. Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6(a) and Administrative Code Section 67.8, the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors shall meet in closed session for:
CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR
CCSF Representative: Debra Johnson and/or her designees
TWU, Local 250-A
_X__ Working Conditions
ADJOURN CLOSED SESSION AND RECONVENE OPEN SESSION - The closed session was adjourned at 4:49 p.m.
14. Announcement of Closed Session.
Vice Chairman McCray announced that the SFMTA Board of Directors met in closed session to discuss anticipated litigation with the City Attorney and labor negotiation with their Labor Negotiator. The Board of Directors took no action.
15. Motion to disclose or not disclose the information discussed in closed session.
On motion to not disclose the information discussed: unanimously approved (Nolan-absent).
ADJOURN - The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
A tape of the meeting is on file in the office of the Secretary to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.
The Ethics Commission of the City and County of San Francisco has asked us to remind individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local legislative or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance [S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 2.100 et seq.] to register and report lobbying activity.For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 415.581.2300; fax: 415.581.2317; 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, SF, CA 94102-6027 or the web site: sfgov.org/ethics.
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