tv Mayors Press Availability SFGTV October 11, 2021 5:00pm-9:01pm PDT
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 this and usually we start in november of the year before for the next fleet week. it's a late start. we had a big discussion. and we decided we're going to do it. we're going to take the risk because we trusted our leaders, mayor breed, the department of emergency management, the department of public health, all of the people who gave us the guidance as a community and it's san franciscans that were
smart enough to follow that guidance and here we are, the only live in-person fleet week in the entire nation here in san francisco. thank you, mayor breed. thank you to the leadership, and thank you to san francisco. fleet week's already started. there's ships already at the piers. yesterday, we had a fabulous program with the boys and girls club. a big basketball clinic down in front of [inaudible] which will be hope for tours. of course, we're all -- we all know about the air show. san francisco fleet week air show presented by united. united stuck with us as did the blue angels. they committed early. they said if you are having a fleet week on the ground, we are having a fleet week in the skies and they are going to be here with their brand new f-18
super hornets, amazing plane and joined by united and redbull and a whole lineup of participants. you can go down there for free and watch. buy the premium tickets with premium sitting. those tickets are, by the way, almost sold out. so if you want them you have to get them. we have the neighborhood concerts. you just got a sample of it right here. [ applause ] the full navy band southwest is here in town. and they break up into smaller bands and they're going to be in just about every neighborhood you can find in san francisco. check out the website fleetweeksf.org and see where and when they're playing in your area. the ship tours are going to be taking place. you've got to go down there. greet the sailors and marines. say hello to them.
welcome them to our city. they are excited to be here in our city and explore the streets of san francisco. the canine program. the dogs of the military, police department, fire department, and array of other organizations bring out their dogs to show their skills. it's a great neighborhood event 10:00 a.m. this saturday. check out fleetweeksf.org or monitor our social media @fleetweeksf. i'm going to introduce mayor london breed. thank you, mayor london breed. >> well, i don't know about you, but i feel like our city is finally coming alive again after such a challenging almost two years. and when i say two years, it's
leading up to this global pandemic. and, in fact, we missed out last year on seeing the incredible blue angels fly over the skyline of san francisco, but we did have programming for fleet week virtually and we went to treasure island to the coast guard base to kick it off, but it still wasn't the same. even though fleet week happened virtually, what i missed most is being around the people and welcoming the folks from the navy, from the coast guard, from the marines and also doing the incredible work they do in san francisco on preparedness. now, we know we talk about excitement around fleet week and the blue angels, but we also have to keep in mind that this is also an opportunity for us to come together with the port of san francisco, with the fire department, with the police department to talk about preparedness and how we continue to work together so
that if and when -- not a matter of if, but when there's an earthquake or a disaster in some capacity, we know we can count on the folks from the military to come through and help us weather the storm. we take this as an opportunity to work together and i want to appreciate the work of many of the city department directors that are here with us today including our fire chief janine nicholson and the fire department, we appreciate you. chief scott is not here, but i want to appreciate the police department and the work they continue to do to keep us safe as well as along with dr. grant colfax and the woman the department of health. and the director of the port, thank you to our port partners and president of the port
commission kimberly brandon for being here with us. you know, we had a lot of work to do and it was very challenging work to do, but let me tell you, it was all worth it because we are celebrating in san francisco. yes, we need to deal with preparedness and disasters and pandemics and other things. and we will come together to do that. but fleet week is opening a new chapter in san francisco. i don't know about you, but i still think about when i was in high school at gallaleo high school and the planes practicing to get ready for the air show. the air show is coming back with the blue angels. the parade of ship and ship tours which are incredible. i don't know about you again, but those ship tours were like the highlight for me. and, we have this band that's going to be performing all over san francisco in various
neighborhoods. i miss live music and, yes, i used to play the french horn, i may not be that good anymore, but i'm willing to take a chance and see if i can join you and i may need a couple of practices before i jump in. but the fact is, they're going to be going to neighborhoods. they're going to be performing for the people of san francisco and we are so very grateful. so for the activities and all the things that are happening for fleet week, please, check out the website and make sure that you participate, you attend, you follow the covid restrictions so you don't get in trouble. you make sure that you do your part because we're still in a pandemic. we're still in a pandemic, but san franciscans, we're at 82% of the folks in san francisco vaccinated. and that's really why we're able to have fleet week in the city. but more than just fleet week, just next week, i mean, just
tomorrow right down the street, guess who's going to be playing their first pre-season game? the san francisco warriors. i mean, the golden state warriors. and, one of the first parades in so long, the italian heritage will be this sunday. we have incredible tables all outside. people are eating, hanging out, waving. so make sure on sunday you stop by the italian heritage parade and celebrate with us. and i've also got to send out a big shout-out to the san francisco giants who are in the playoffs. and i just want to make sure the folks in l.a. know that the giants are actually number one in the series. so this friday, i heard that "beat l.a." yes. so friday and saturday, they'll
be games. they'll be all kinds of activities in san francisco. the city is going to be bumping and all of you are going to be all around our city enjoying it, enjoying our restaurants, staying at our hotels, visiting our neighborhoods, and just do one thing for me. make sure you remember we were in a global pandemic where we had no choice but to protect 1 another. we had to stay home. we had to obey many protocols and we're still doing that in some capacity today. but, ultimately, we're still able to come together like we haven't been able to do for the last 16, 17 months. so let's make sure when we're out there we're remembering what we didn't have at one point and appreciate where we are and let's celebrate it. let's have a good time. thank you all fur being here.
looking forward to celebrate fleet week with all of you. and, at this time, i want to introduce because we are at crane cove park which has a rich history in san francisco with the military and world war i and world war ii and the person who's responsible to keep this place beautiful and nice and clean and available to all of you and hopefully we can add a skate park one day because i like to roller skate, but our port director lane forbes. >> thank you so much, mayor. and welcome all of you to crane cove park and to fleet week. it's absolutely wonderful we can be here to celebrate. i'm here today with my commission president kimberly brandon and we broke ground on this park. it was wonderful to provide open space to this neighborhood, the dog patch community who actually designed
this park. this is a park designed by and for the neighborhood and the mayor came out and under her leadership, we were able to open up this space for people to enjoy the nature while they were all of us struggling from the pandemic. when we had our last fleet week in person, i made a joke that it was diane feinstein, our first mayor who was a woman who saved fleet week and now mayor london breed, our second mayor who is a woman, is so good and prepared for fleet week and i made the joke that women just know how to prepare better. but how would i know that we would have a global pandemic that none of us were expecting and that our mayor would act really quickly, more quickly than anyone else acted and that she would follow the science the whole way and not question it. and how did i know that our
mayor would be so successful that we would be the only country in the whole nation able to post an in-person fleet week and that we'd take the risk to do so and we'd be safe enough to pull it through. now, my tenants, 500 of them, the commercial folks, the retail, the people-moving facilities we have, excursions, crews, we've suffered so much and our tenants and businesses are so eager to get people back to san francisco. and we're talking so much about the inner connectiveness about being prepared and honoring our sea servicemen and women. this was all for shipbuilding for the war effort. a heavy industrial industry here with these wonderful vessels that provided our security. how did we know now that our tenants would be so eager to see the visitors that come back
in great numbers during fleet week and so many locals are coming down. we've had press articles about the war re-opening, pier 39. how our local small businesses are benefitting from this event and how they will be nurtured by people returning. so i think covid has laid bare how inner connected we are and how much we really have to think about community and its entire inner connectedness. and how i was right, women are better prepared. welcome to fleet week. [ applause ] and now i have the honor of introducing a very important person to san francisco port, the captain of our port for the coast guard, newly in the position, a great leader, let's welcome captain taylor lamb. >> thank you, director forbes,
for that great introduction. what a pleasure it is to be here with you today as we kick off fleet week 2021. on behalf of the district commander and all of our members across the state of california, we could not be more excited ton here as we highlight our u.s. military, u.s. navy, marine corps and coast guard members, our emergency first responders, our emergency management professionals and certainly the greater maritime community at large. on that note, i'd like to quickly convey our sincere thanks to the critical partnerships here in the port of san francisco as we work daily to ensure the safety and security of not only the public but our marine transportation system. on the note of safety, i'd be remiss if i didn't remind our boating public, please ensure you have enough life jackets for all passengers on board and a v.h.f. radio. it's the best means to contact
the coast guard for any time of maritime emergencies. with that, we are really excited and looking forward to a safe and enjoyable week of events and look forward to introducing you to some of our nearly 4,000 active duty coast guard members here and assigned to the bay area and some of 0 our visiting coast guard units such as robert ward. it's a 154' state of the art designed ship capable of conducting a myriad of missions. search and rescue, operations just to name a few. we thank you, mayor breed, for your leadership and all of our partners here across the region. thank you so much. [ applause ] i'd also be remiss if i did not introduce a very distinguished leader admiral u.s. navy.
admiral. >> hey, everybody. thank you so much. thanks to the mayor. thanks to these distinguished colleagues for letting me be up here. i'm honored to represent the sailors marines, coast guard men and women that i hope you get a chance to meet this week. i'll start out by saying wow. it's great to be here in person. i'm so happy fleet week was able to execute because of the city's preparations and for me, it feels a little bit like a homecoming because the last time i had a fleet week experience, it was here in 2014. and i was part of the crew on that. it was awesome. it was epic. probably second only to meeting my wife for the first time. sorry, that's just where things go. it's because of the hospitality of the city. i'm super excited to bring the
young people and show them what fleet week is life for the first time in their careers. so this year, fleet week is going to be epic. we've brought a slew of ships. the u.s.s. john mccain. and we're going to have a pretty big amphibious assault ship, the mount rushmore. we're going to have aircrafts and boats. it's not just the navy. it's the coast guard, support services, first responders. we're setting up a disaster relief village over in marina green. this is all about showing you the type of capabilities we have to work together with the city in times of crisis. navy and marine corps band. every day they're at a different venue. we've got parades. we've got parades on the water. we've got parades on the land. we've got an air group. i don't know who they are. the blue angels.
have you all heard of them? [ applause ] i'm a helicopter guy, but they're kind of cool you've got to admit. and the most important thing, i'm bringing a lot of young sailors, marines, coast guard men and women and we're telling them to get out and about in the community. ya'll clap for them, please. [ applause ] so they're getting beaten by your youngsters in sports. they're working with dogs which is a cool initiative, but the main thing i want them to do is get out and talk to ya'll about who they are, what they do, and why they serve because that's what fleet week is all about. it's about civilians celebrating their military, but it's also what we're all about. it's really important. so we missed 2020 because of covid, we overcame that. absence makes the heart grow
fonder. so this year is going to be epic as i said. i think it's going to be the best fleet week ever. i look forward to seeing you out there. it means a lot to me personally. it's a good feeling. i'm not going to lie, but also to our military families to see themselves and being recognized like this. and now i have the honor to introduce -- i'll pass the mic to our executive director mary ellen carol. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> thank you, admiral bayes, for that introduction. thank you, mayor breed. and it's such an honor to be here with my esteemed colleagues. it's also a thrill to be here and not talking about covid and not telling you what you can't do, but just really to send the message to have fun and, of course, be safe. but on a serious note, we do --
my team and i are part of fleet week. that is so important to us and the partnership and the planning that we do with our military partners. so we really focus on all different things. this year, we focused on air support and activities for san francisco in a seismic event. the possibility of us becoming an island for all intensive purposes for some period of time is real and so our marine and our air support with our military is critical. on a day-to-day, the coast guard provides us with help on our waters, around our bay. as a surfer and a bay swimmer, i personal appreciate it in case things go awry but during nature events of course. this year, we have -- last
month, we did exercises with all of our partners and the u. s.s. tripoli. and a lot of the people from d.m. had an incredible day at moffet field and really experienced the capabilities that the military brings to us and those relationships that we make. these relationships with these people that we make every year is going to make our ability to respond so much better. later this week, we have the seniors seminar and that's where we're really going to exchange our lessons learned. we are so proud of our covid response and so much of that goes to the leadership of this woman right here, our mayor. the fact that we have 82% of our folks vaccinated is entirely the reason that we're all here being able to do fleet
week. so thank you, mayor breed. [ applause ] and thank you to everybody in the city who contributed to that. so we're going to talk about the things that worked for us. we're going to talk about a lot of other things. virtual op's, when that needs to happen. mental health which is a real issue and problem for us and a lot more. so i hope everyone takes the opportunity to come out to the senior leader seminar. the only other thing i have to say is just, please, have a wonderful time, be safe and welcome to our service, our servicemen and women. it is our honor and our privilege to welcome you to our city and we hope you have a wonderful time. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you, mary ellen. thank you to all of our speakers. thank you to elaine forbes and the port of san francisco,
which is a whole community of people who helped to make the work of fleet week easier for the planners. the wharfingers. the people have just been flawless throughout this whole planning process. and thank you for this beautiful park. it's beautiful. crane cove park. and i cannot leave the stage without pointing out that our chairman of the board retired major general mike might retired marine corps is the guy who pulled this back together in 2010 to recessitate fleet week. thank you, general, for all of your support. i think we're going to conclude the conference. we're going to have the speakers gather in front of the stage for a photo-op and we're
>> fire station 35 was built in 1915. so it is over 100 years old. and helped it, we're going to build fire boat station 35. >> so the finished capital planning committee, i think about three years ago, issued a guidance that all city facilities must exist on sea level rise. >> the station 35, construction cost is approximately $30 million. and the schedule was complicated because of what you call a float. it is being fabricated in china, and will be brought to treasure island, where the building site efficient will be constructed on top of it, and then brought to pier 22 and a half for installation. >> we're looking at late 2020 for final completion
of the fire boat float. the historic firehouse will remain on the embarcadero, and we will still respond out of the historic firehouse with our fire engine, and respond to medical calls and other incidences in the district. >> this totally has to incorporate between three to six feet of sea level rise over the next 100 years. that's what the city's guidance is requiring. it is built on the float, that can move up and down as the water level rises, and sits on four fixed guide piles. so if the seas go up, it can move up and down with that. >> it does have a full range of travel, from low tide to high tide of about 16 feet. so that allows for current tidal movements and sea lisle rises in the coming
decades. >> the fire boat station float will also incorporate a ramp for ambulance deployment and access. >> the access ramp is rigidly connected to the land side, with more of a pivot or hinge connection, and then it is sliding over the top of the float. in that way the ramp can flex up and down like a hinge, and also allow for a slight few inches of lateral motion of the float. both the access ramps, which there is two, and the utility's only flexible connection connecting from the float to the back of the building. so electrical power, water, sewage, it all has flexible connection to the boat. >> high boat station number 35 will provide mooring for three fire boats and one rescue boat. >> currently we're staffed with seven members per day, but the fire department would like to establish a new dedicated
marine unit that would be able to respond to multiple incidences. looking into the future, we have not only at&t park, where we have a lot of kayakers, but we have a lot of developments in the southeast side, including the stadium, and we want to have the ability to respond to any marine or maritime incident along these new developments. >> there are very few designs for people sleeping on the water. we're looking at cruiseships, which are larger structures, several times the size of harbor station 35, but they're the only good reference point. we look to the cruiseship industry who has kind of an index for how much acceleration they were accommodate. >> it is very unique. i don't know that any other fire station built on the water is in the
united states. >> the fire boat is a regional asset that can be used for water rescue, but we also do environmental cleanup. we have special rigging that we carry that will contain oil spills until an environmental unit can come out. this is a job for us, but it is also a way of life and a lifestyle. we're proud to serve our community. and we're willing to help people in any way we can.
good morning everyone. i bet you all are wondering why we're here today. aren't you wondering? this is probably the worst kept secret in san francisco, politics, but today i'm here to make a very important announcement. yesterday, the public utilities commission approved the contract for our city attorney dennis herrera to become the next director of this incredible department and i'm so grateful to our city attorney for the work that he has done to lead this city for the past 20 years, an office of dedicated public servants who fight every single day to focus on the things that mart the most to the people of san francisco. and with our city attorney moving on, we now have a
vacancy potentially soon. and, as a result, we have to fill that vacancy. and i can't think of anyone better to serve as the next city attorney for the city and county of san francisco than assembly member david choo. some of you ask, why david? many of you have reached out to me and expressed the interest in seeing someone like david become city attorney. now many of you may know him as the board of supervisors, but his extensive career, getting his law degree from harvard. working for the nineth circuit court of appeals.
working as an attorney for the united states senate. working for lawyers committee for civil rights for the district attorney's office. he has an extensive career in law, one even before he stepped foot in the world of politics. that's why when he served as the president of the board of supervisors, he was a consensus building. he was someone who was dedicated and worked hard to tackle many of the issues he now continues to tackle in sacramento. focuses on tenants' rights, focusing on employment rights, civil rights and discrimination, there is a number of things that david and i continue to work on time and time again because it centers around the best interest of the people of this city. we are here today at a location that david will talk about in just a little bit, but it's just one example of the work he did as an attorney to fight for
those who are immigrants to san francisco to ensure that they have access to affordable housing just like anyone else and his work with the a.p.i. community and a number of other challenges that existed during this pandemic demonstrates his commitment to fairness. it demonstrates his commitment to san francisco and it's why i know he'll be an incredible city attorney. and before i bring up david to talk a little bit and answer questions, i first want to just say a few things about our city attorney. you know, we have been so fortunate in this city to have dennis herrera as our city attorney for the past 20 years and, before he took office, he took office as a pledge to the people of san francisco that he
would ensure integrity in public institutions and time and time again and every fight that this city attorney's office has taken on, he has done just that. starting early in his career with pg&e and the fight to shut down the power plant which was an environmental harm to the people of the bayview hunter's point community. the work that he did to ensure that same-sex couples can marry legally just like anyone else was historic and went all the way to the supreme court where we have accomplished our goals, although, there are still fights that need to be done to ensure equality. his work when we first discovered sadly some of the challenges that existed with a number of city departments here in san francisco. he and our controller ben rosenfield investigated, dug deep, uncovered, and made
recommendations of decisions that are currently now being implemented to restore public trust in those particular departments. his career is a long one, but one that has established him as the city's attorney, but most importantly, the person that we all rely on. the person that we all respect and trust when it comes to implementing policies and dealing with cases that are the right thing to do and that will continue to protect our city. this is why i'm so grateful to him, so grateful and honored that in the wake of the challenges of the public utilities department, he is taking on this new role. and although i know he won't be very far away from the city attorney's office, i know that he's going to do some incredible work for the public utilities commission especially with everything we need to do
to continue our fight for clean power and the challenges of distribution and running our own power system here in san francisco. our water, our sewage, our infrastructure, long-term planning and also just making sure that the people who work in that department know that they have someone to count on to lead that department and make good decisions on behalf of the city and county of san francisco. with that, i want to bring up city attorney dennis herrera before i introduce david chu. >> thank you, madam mayor. i see one of my last roles still as city attorney. when you get the pleasure of being an official, you can correct the mayor. she said potentially an opening. i submitted my letter of resignation, you accepted it. come 11:59 p.m. on october the
31st, halloween, i will no longer be city attorney. and it's been an honor and privilege of my life to serve the people of san francisco as their city attorney for nearly 20 years. i've accomplished all that i could ever hope for and more as city attorney and while now is the time for new professional challenge for me, i'm thrilled to be able to lead this office in the hands of someone who is committed to the mission, the values and integrity that have made the san francisco city attorney's office so remarkable for so long the nation's preamanent public law office. i knew david chu way back when. he is committed to transparency and clean government and he is independent which is the most
important thing you can do as san francisco city attorney. i just want to give you a few examples of his dedication to the people of san francisco. one focuses on everyday issues and david and i worked together to support the entertainment industry through legislation that made it safer for patrons to frequent night life venues in san francisco. that was david chu's leadership. another example shows his commitment to clean that tightened rules and regulations and expanded accountability and access. that was david chiu's
leadership. and finally and most recently, david worked with us fighting for california consumers. some of you, probably most of you remember that cities throughout the state won public nuisance law against the lead paint industry. that made sure we saw remediation of thousands of use of lead paint throughout california. the lead paint industry didn't like the imposed remedy and they went up to the legislature and tried to sneak through a bill that would have limited traditionally imposed liability. david chiu took the leadership, phoned me, worked clearly with our office to make sure california consumers were protected and that those traditional remedies stayed in place and that millions of californians would benefit. more than anything else, that's what you need to be a good city attorney and he won't be doing
it alone. i can tell you the professional integrity of the attorneys, the investigators and the industry leading staff and the attorney's office is unquestionable and they will continue to do their job for the people of san francisco and they will work tirelessly to ensure a smooth and seamless transition and make him the best city attorney he could be. it is my honor and privilege turning over this office to somebody who will be a tremendous steward of our traditions. thanks very much. [ applause ] >> thank you again to our city attorney dennis herrera for your service and thank you for your commitment to san francisco. the city attorney's office here in this city is arguably the number one city attorney's office anywhere in the country
and it is because of the leadership of our current city attorney and i know there are big shoes to fill and so in making a decision like this, it's not a decision that you take lightly. it's important to do what is in the best interest of the city and ultimately assembly member chiu will be doing this job for the next couple of months until you, the people of the city of san francisco make your decision. he is the peoples' attorney. he represents the people of the city and county of san francisco and, ultimately, you are the ones who decide and i think that over the years many of you and hands down, he is one of the most gracious, hardworking, consensus building, structured,
relentless, pursuit of justice person i know. i've worked with him for many, many years on so many issues starting with the board of supervisors and before i bring david chiu up to say a few words, i remember when i was elected to the board of supervisors and one of the first supervisors who reached out to me was david chiu. and we met and he had a binder like this thick. and he said this wasn't it, there were a number of other things that i needed to read before i do my job. he wanted me to be prepared for what the job entailed. not when i got to the job, but before i set foot in that chamber, he wanted to make sure that i was ready to do the business of the people and we went on to work on so many pieces of legislation together and even when he left to go to
sacramento, he would still reach out to partner on important issues impacting the city. he is one of the hardest working legislators i know and what's so interesting as an attorney, it's always from a lens, a legal lens of trying to get to the point to really make sure that the policy is effective. and i think based on what our city attorney dennis herrera has already said about his work, his consistency, his involvement in important issues and protecting the public's best interest regardless of who the fight is against, he will continue with that same drive, that same commitment, that same spirit of love for the people of san francisco. ladies and gentlemen, i introduce you the next city attorney for the city and county of san francisco david chiu. congratulations. [ applause ]
>> good morning. i am so humbled and grateful for this appointment. and let me start first by thanking mayor breed not just for this opportunity to serve, but for her tremendous leadership during these incredibly difficult times and i'm looking forward to working with her and alongside her with every single member of the board of supervisors, with 100 city departments and commissions to move our city forward. i, of course, want to solute my friend, our current city attorney dennis herrera. for the past 20 years, he has established the gold standard for public law offices in this country. i think it would take us an hour to summarize his
accomplishments, but let me just say in short, our city owes dennis herrera an incredible debt of gratitude. and i am looking forward to working closely with him during this transition and with him in his new role. i also want to take a moment of personal privilege and thank my dear wife, candace. in addition to her public interest job, she has for the past seven years held down the home fort while i have been in sacramento looking over our very rambunxious five-year-old son. growing up in boston, none of us ever expected that i become
an attorney because my family, none of us had ever met an attorney, had ever known an attorney, but something happened my college freshman year. i got a call from a friend about a hate crime involving eight asian students at a nearby school who were on their way to a formal dance, who were attacked by football players who hurled racial epifats. and the most incredible thing about that experience is those football players were never disciplined. that moment among others changed my life. i became a student activist. i studied the civil rights movement. i changed my major from bio chemistry to government. i wanted to fight for justice. the fight for justice is why i
became a public interest attorney. why i clerked for the nineth circuit. why i served as a criminal prosecutor. why i served to the democratic council. why i then became a civil rights attorney. the fight for justice is why i moved to san francisco because in our city, we stand up for those who are more vulnerable than we are. we right wrongs. i first came to san francisco to work for the committee for civil rights as we were challenging proposition 187. an anti-immigrant initiative that would have kicked immigrant kids out of schools and hospitals. a couple years later, i represented a number of affordable housing organizations including mission housing and i want to thank sam moss and your leadership because, at that time, there were rules in place by governor pete wilson to kick immigrant tenants out of their homes. immigrants like my parents, homes like the ones behind us.
well, for those two lawsuits, we prevailed. justice prevailed. for the last 13 years, i have been so honored to serve as a local then as a state lawmaker for san francisco. and during that entire time, the fight for justice has been front and center. i've been fighting for our collective civil rights, offering laws not just to expanded rights of housing and the rights of our immigrants, but the rights of our lgbtq community, the rights of women, the right to choose. and as your next city attorney, i look forward to furthering that right for our collective civil rights because in the wake of "me too," "black lives matter," and anti-asian hate,
we have a right. i've taken on some of the most entrenched corporate companies in america. big pharma, gun manufacturers and lead companies. wall street and big predatory profiters for schools. i'm going to fight to make sure that we are protecting workers, we are standing up for consumers and we are going to hold corporations accountable if they cross the line. as a policy maker working with our good mayor, our supervisors, our city attorney, i've worked hard to address the pressing issues of the day. whether it be getting folks to work or making sure tenants are housed after this pandemic. as your city attorney, i'm going to work with these policy members to look for ways and opportunities to use the law, to address the pressing
problems of the day. homelessness, public safety on our streets. the existential. let me just close by observation about what is happening in our country at this moment. we are living in dark days. there are rights that we have taken for granted that are literally in danger. the right to health care. the right to choose. the right to vote. but the san francisco city attorney's office has often stood up during dark days when no one thought marriage equality was possible. when donald trump targeted our sanctuary city. when mayor breed needed legal advice in how to defend san francisco from a new virus called "covid-19." and the incredible professionals at the san francisco city attorney's office have wielded legal
swords and legal shields for our city and state time after time after time and i'm looking forward to standing alongside each of them, to standing alongside the office. and standing up for san francisco and fighting for justice. thank you. [ applause ] >> and, to talk a little bit about assembly member chiu's work, i wanted to bring up sam moss who is the director of mission housing development corporation, mission housing. sam. >> thank you, mayor breed. to say it's an honor to be up here is really putting it lightly. i never thought ten years ago when i first started at mission housing we'd be here today, but it is a true honor to be up here and help david move on to the next part of his career,
but most importantly to usher in such a great person to the city of san francisco. there are a few people in the affordable housing industry's experience that have fought as hard for low-income tenants than david chiu and i don't just mean, you know, fighting hard with a tweet here and there. david really, he writes the legislation, he calls you up. he wants to know what you think. and it is rare that a politician truly believes in what they're doing that doesn't just want to write legislation for legislation's sake. david really hits the ground running and he understands. mission housing would not be where it is today without the hard work and support of david chiu both as a city supervisor, the president of the board of supervisors, as well as a city person up in sacramento and i think it's fitting we have this
event today. to have this press conference here i think it brings it all back home. so i want to thank everyone for coming and say again what an honor it is to be here. congrats. [ applause ] >> all right. there it is. the worst kept secret in san francisco is finally out. with that, are there any questions? >> city attorney herrera, where does that city wide corruption investigation stand and how do you pass it on? >> let me just say, first of all, you are correct that we've been working diligently over the course of the last year and a half both the controller's office and the law enforcement agencies to make sure that our departments live up to the highest ethical standards. and we have over the course of
that time rolled out numerous recommendations, actions, which demonstrate how seriously our office and the controller's office take our investigation. while i will not comment on the specifics of any investigation, as i've said all along, our investigations continue and irrespective of whether i'm in that office or not, they will continue because these type of investigations are made up not necessarily of the folks at the top. we have some of the most dedicated legal professionals anywhere, veterans u.s. attorneys offices and other agencies that are committed to this work and will guide, advise assembly member chiu as the investigations continue and they will continue and they'll go where they are and the next city attorney will make his
decisions and his recommendations in the actions he chooses to bring and he'll continue to advise mayor breed about the best way to ensure we're living up to the truest and highest ethical ideals. that will not slow down and it will continue. >> thank you. and i'll just add that some of the investigation that the city attorney and controller's office has done for various city agencies have led to a number of recommendations which i immediately through an executive directive implemented certain directives like the department of building inspection and the department of public works, so i will continue to do what is necessary to get our city on track and to restore public trust after a very challenging time for our city and this is why in making decisions about who is running these various agencies that were, of course, of concern from the public.
that's why it's so important to have people like our city attorney at the helm of the public utilities commission as well as other agencies and making those decisions, you can be assured that these public servants like david chiu and like dennis herrera have their own established reputations and will be extraordinary leaders in helping make these decisions in these various conditions. all right. no more questions. easy crowd, huh. all right. thank you everyone. [ applause ]
from there. so you have every time a unique experience because that slaver is the flavored we want to make. union street is unique because of the neighbors and the location itself. the people that live around here i love to see when the street is full of people. it is a little bit of italy that is happening around you can walk around and enjoy shopping with gelato in your hand. this is the move we are happy to provide to the people. i always love union street because it's not like another commercial street where you have big chains. here you have the neighbors. there is a lot of stories and the neighborhoods are essential. people have -- they enjoy having their daily or weekly gelato. i love this street itself. >> we created a move of an area
>> 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. you have three minutes to
>> 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